How to Fix a CD Burner

by Contributor

If you're having problems with your CD burner, the first thing you need to do is determine what is causing the problems. Once you've done that, it's just a matter of following some simple steps to get your CD burner working again like new.

Frequent CD Burner Problems

Make sure your CD's are free from dust and scratches, since this can cause problems with your burner. Also be careful how you handle the discs when you put them into the drive. Fingerprints can also cause problems.

Remove checks from the AIN (Auto Insert Notification) and DMA (Direct Memory Access) boxes, if DMA isn't allowing the CPU to control the CD Writer which causes lock-ups and errors or if AIN is causing discs to auto-run.

Make sure the media you use to burn is of good or high quality since low quality media can cause errors.

Close all problems before writing. Do CTRL+ALT+DEL to get the Windows Task Manager window to pop up. Close down everything (this includes screen savers, virus checkers, crash guards, un-installers and power management software) but your CD burner, Windows Explorer and your SYSTRAY, because other programs can cause lock-ups and errors.

Defrag your hard drive before you write, because if your hard drive is fragmented it can slow down your hard drive's ability to send data to the Writer. A compressed hard drive can also cause errors or slow down your CD burner, since it takes time to un-compress the data and then send it to the Writer. Also if your computer has been on for a long time you may just have to reboot it to fix any problems.

Run a virus scan to make sure that isn't the cause of your problems. Make sure that your anti-virus software is up to date.

Make sure that your computer recognizes your CD burner by going to "My Computer," then right clicking on your CD drive, and then clicking "Properties." From there select "Recording" tab. If you don't see that tab it means that Windows doesn't recognize your burner.

Fix CD Burner by Editing Registry Key

Go to your "Start Menu" and select "Run," then type "regedit" in the box, and then click "Okay." From the list find this key: "HKEY_CURRENT_USER" then "Software," "Microsoft," "Windows," "CurrentVersion," "Explorer," "CD Burning" and finally, "Drives."

To back up your original registry key click the "File" menu and then select "Export," then type in something so you can identify it later. You can reinstall by placing it back in the registry by double-clicking.

Click "Volume" in the "Drives" menu, and then from the right side of that menu select "Drive Type." In the "Value" box type either 1 or 2. (1 is for CD-R; 2 is for CD-RW.) Now click "OK" and exit "Registry Edit."

Repeat the steps from Step 7 of the "Frequent CD Burner Problems" section above. If there is "Recording" tab then Windows recognizes your CD burner and you have fixed your problem.


  • close Editing registry keys can be very risky to your system, so if you're not sure of what you're doing, or are afraid to try it, call a technician.

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