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CD-DVD burner has forgotten how to burn DVDs


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#1 Quex

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:18 PM

Well, like the last three times I've popped up here, the family desktop is to blame. Please be kind; I am barely knowledgeable enough to be called an amateur in polite circles....

Machine is an (admittedly old) DELL Dimension 8300, running WinXP Pro. About a year ago, I stripped it down of many of the old programs and junk that had built up on the machine. Every so often, I get into the programs list with Revo Uninstaller and check for any extraneous crap that I might have missed before, plus any coupon printer things, desktop weather widgets or whatever the heck else climbs aboard when someone isn't paying attention.

The tower houses two CD drives.

The first is listed as hardware JLMS DVD-ROM XJ-HD166. It is, according to the properties tab, working properly.

The second is _NEC DVD+RW ND-1100A. It is also supposedly working properly. This is (I think) the one I have used in the past to burn both CDs and DVDs.

Tried to burn a data DVD recently, only to find that the machine doesn't seem to remember that it has the power to do this. I KNOW it can do this, as I have burned many a DVD on here before. Is it busted? Well, I would think so, except it can still burn CDs.

Did I, whilst trimming fat with Revo, perhaps delete some driver that enables the burning of DVDs? Or do DVD+CD burning drives fail in stages...? Or what?

Please help. ;_; (And thank you.)

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#2 PrinceDraxx

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:24 PM

There are a couple ways to go about this based on your description. First though, if the drives are not SATA drives, meaning they are EIDE/PATA Drives and your DVD-ROM is actually the first drive, they would be arguing about who is #1 all the time.

Anyway, my suggestion is to check with the manufacturer and see if they have a firmware upgrade and if so, download and install it. If that fixes it great, if not, then check to see if there is a driver upgrade for the burner. If so, download and install it and if that fixes it, great. You didn't say whether you are using third party software to burn the DVDs but, if you are, check for upgrades and if not, and the DVD burner is first on PATA connection or on SATA, then it is possible the it will no longer write DVD. You might also try uninstalling the DVD-ROM through the device manager or just pull the power connection off the drive.

Most likely problem though is that the firmware or drivers need to be updated.

Good luck.

#3 Quex

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:12 PM

Thank you, sir! This is a most excellent diagnosis, in my humble opinion, because it does not say I am utterly farked and will need to convince my family to buy a new computer. Now to see if I can solve the problem according to your advice:

When I follow the properties tabs to their logical conclusion (the "update driver" button), the system looks for a disk in the drive. Like the install disk. From 2001. Clearly, this is not the source from which I would be pulling the most recent driver... is there an trusted online bank of up-to-date drivers for the OEM parts in a DELL desktop? Or a Bleeping-Approved driver scanner that checks for out-of-date drivers and directs the user to updates?

I am not entirely sure how to identify the manufacturer of disk drives based on what I can find in the properties tab. By simply searching "driver download JLMS DVD-ROM XJ-HD166", I came up with http://drivers.softpedia.com/get/FIRMWARE/Lite-On/Lite-On-JLMS-XJ-HD166S-Firmware-D9C4.shtml'>this, but it is for JLMS DVD-ROM XJ-HD166S. Does this make a difference? I do not know. Please advise.

A likewise search for the _NEC DVD+RW ND-1100A driver brought up this, which I have since downloaded but not yet installed. I wonder, is there a practice of feeding viruses to people in the guise of driver updates? (Yes, I am paranoid; thank you for noticing. c:)

Lastly, a very simple (I hope) question about software... does one NEED third-party software to burn a data CD or DVD? I understand things like Roxio come in when, say, you want to burn a movie to play on a DVD player, but I have always assumed that the Windows OS itself contained whatever was needed to drag files to a blank disk and simply burn a data copy. At least, CDs have always worked this way for me on this machine. I spend most of my time on a MAC, where DVDs work this way, too. I have (perhaps wrongly) assumed that DVDs were also supposed to work like this on the family desktop, and that third party software would not be necessary. Under this assumption, I may have removed some third-party burning programs from the machine in my fervent quest to debulk the system (I think it was some ancient limited version of Roxio, actually). Did I thereby directly cripple the DVD functionality of the drives? I really hope not. ;_;

#4 lti

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:26 PM

Windows XP needs additional software to be able to burn DVDs.

Don't mess with the drive firmware updates (the files you linked to are not actually drivers) unless it is determined later that they need to be installed. If they need to be installed, download them directly from the drive manufacturer or Dell.

#5 Quex

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:43 PM

Windows XP needs additional software to be able to burn DVDs.


Crap. I suspected I might have sabotaged myself.... is there a freeware program you could recommend to give me back the ability to burn data DVDs?

Don't mess with the drive firmware updates (the files you linked to are not actually drivers) unless it is determined later that they need to be installed. If they need to be installed, download them directly from the drive manufacturer or Dell.


Hmm, okay. If I can get functionality back without playing the update game, that'll be swell.

#6 jhayz

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 08:45 PM

What type of burning software do you have? You can try this http://www.dvdflick.net/ and make sure that the files are already converted in DVD format.

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#7 Quex

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:09 PM

What type of burning software do you have? You can try this http://www.dvdflick.net/ and make sure that the files are already converted in DVD format.


This looks like a sweet program, but I'm not in need of anything to author a DVD for viewing, just something that will give me back the ability to burn various data files to DVDs. Like documents and illustrator files and email backups all that jazz.

It seems infinitely more simple that these movie authoring programs, that's kinda why I expected WinXP would already have something that allowed me to do data DVDs. I understand that is supposed to be a way to do it with Windows Media Player, but following that tutorial, the option to burn a data DVD does not appear where it is supposed to appear. This is what makes me think the drive itself has forgotten how to burn DVDs. ;_;

#8 rotor123

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 03:26 PM

http://www.imgburn.com/, Do not install the toolbar. It is what I use for CD, DVD & BluRay burning.
http://www.imgburn.com/index.php?act=screenshots

Did you by chance get -R discs? I believe that the drive you have is one of the ones where Dell got a better price on it by having the ability to burn -R media removed. That way no license fee to the DVD consortium as +R was fee free.

You may damage the drive trying to upgrade with any firmware except from the Dell Website.

Around here a replacement drive would be $35 to $39 depending on OEM or retail box.

Edited by rotor123, 14 January 2012 - 10:45 PM.

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#9 Quex

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 06:01 PM

http://www.imgburn.com/, Do not install the toolbar. It is what I use for CD, DVD & BluRay burning.
http://www.imgburn.com/index.php?act=screenshots


That is a cool utility... thank you VERY much! I will try downloading it and getting a disc to burn; we'll see how it goes.

Did you by chance get -R discs? I believe that the drive you have is one of the ones where Dell got a better price on it by having the ability to burn -R media. That way no license fee to the DVD consortium as +R was fee free.


A good idea, but I'm still using the same spindle of discs that I used last time I (successfully) got the machine to burn one... *checks the stack* ...aaand they are indeed +R.

You may damage the drive trying to upgrade with any firmware except from the Dell Website.


Woah, okay. o.o Good to know that, thank you. I'm going to go see if I can't find those drivers on Dell's site... considering the age of the machine, I'm not sure if it's still supported, though. ._.

Around here a replacement drive would be $35 to $39 depending on OEM or retail box.


This, combined with other difficulties, are beginning to push me towards the "convince family to buy new machine" end of the spectrum.
If it gets that bad, I will certainly be here asking for advice for a new build. ^^'
Thank you again!

#10 rotor123

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 10:48 PM

Latest Dell firmware for your drive.
Version A0410GE
2003

Just double check I linked the right one. Which you should always do, anyone can make a mistake.
NEC ND-1100A 4X DVD+R/2.4X DVD+RW
http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/DriverDetails/DriverFileFormats?DriverId=R59801&FileId=2731127578

Still supported, Dell unlike some seems to keep the drivers a long while. One Plus for Dell

"Fixes & Enhancements
1) Improves writability of black CD-R media 2) Improves readability and writability of DVD+RW media
Installation Instructions


Custom Instructions for R59801.EXE:

Follow these steps to update the firmware on the NEC ND-1100A 4X
DVD+RW drive.
1. Check to see if the tray is closed and that there is no media in the
NEC DVD+RW drive.
2. Download the R59801.EXE file from the Dell website to a known
directory.
3. Double click on the file R59801.EXE
4. Go to the directory and double-click on the R59801.EXE file that was
downloaded.
5. Click on "Continue".
6. Follow the instructions for unzipping the files.
7. The update utility will launch automatically. Click on "Flash" to update
the firmware on the drive. **Please do not interrupt the update process by accessing the drive.
8. Reboot the system when update is complete."

Edited by rotor123, 14 January 2012 - 10:50 PM.

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#11 Quex

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 06:01 PM

Well holy cr*p. I updated both drives with the drivers found listed under the model on Dell's website (sure enough, they DO still have everything on there from a 10-year-old machine, including models much older than this one!) and restarted the machine... to my utter surprise and delight, the notification tray tells me the system has suddenly discovered "new hardware", that is, the burning drive that has been installed with this setup for a decade. WOW.

Still having some issues getting it to recognize the difference between a DVD and a CD, though... going to download ImgBurn and see if I can't get that solved, too.

Much thanks and adulation to all of you, especially PrinceDraxx and rotor123. (Osewa ni narimash*ta!) (LOL swear filter caught my Japanese.)

Edited by Quex, 15 January 2012 - 06:02 PM.


#12 rotor123

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 06:38 PM

believe it or not to windows they are new hardware due to the firmware change.

You should see what it does to Japanese drive maker Matbleepa. Which I believe is / was part of Panasonic.

Oh wait you can see it. :wink:

Edited by rotor123, 15 January 2012 - 06:40 PM.

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#13 Quex

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 06:43 PM

Well, I'm back. We seem to still be having difficulties. ImgBurn, while extremely useful, hangs up badly for some reason when trying to verify as it burns a test DVD... just a data disc full of PDFs and old work files. Is this a bad sign about the health of the drive? Not sure yet.

Windows Media Player STILL doesn't understand that there's a DVD drive installed, still won't give me the option to burn a data DVD like it's supposedly supposed* to.

(*repeated root on purpose. :P)

Edited by Quex, 29 January 2012 - 06:44 PM.


#14 James Litten

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 07:54 PM

Hi

At this point you may want to consider an external CD DVD Burner. You can get one for less than $35 that does nearly everything and connects via a USB port.

My mom has a similar Dell with XP that she set up for my son to play his games on when he visits and when the DVD drive went wonky on it we got an external one for $25 (from either amazon or tigerdirect because they are good about accepting returns) and it worked out very well.

If you try to replace the internal one, it probably has jumpers for master/slave settings and may need tweaking in the BIOS so if you aren't comfortable with that and it isn't affecting your system's regular operation then an external drive is the way to go.

Hope this helps.
James

#15 lti

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:11 PM

When replacing an optical drive, you just need to make sure the jumper is in the same position as it was on the original drive (master, slave, or cable select). There aren't any BIOS settings that you need to change unless the computer thinks the drive doesn't support DMA.




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