How to Troubleshoot a Memorex External DVD Burner

By Darrin Meyer

Some Memorex external DVD burners can write DVDs at up to 20x speed.
i a dvd-r disc image by wayne ruston from

Before internal DVD drives became standard in most desktop and laptop computers, external DVD burners were the go-to devices for burning discs. They still are today for computers that don't feature such a drive. Memorex is one company that manufactures external DVD burners. If the burner is not working exactly as it should, look for basic solutions before taking more drastic measures.

Ensure that the power cord is connected securely and plugged into the AC outlet. Press the "Power" button to see that the power indicator light is on. The lack of a proper power connection can be the cause of the drive not functioning or not being recognized by the computer. It can also be the reason for the disc tray not opening when you press "Eject."

Check the interface cable connection between the burner and the computer, whether it be "IEEE 1394" or "USB 2.0," if the burner is on--but is not being recognized by the computer. Re-insert the cable connector to its appropriate port and, or restart the computer, to see if the issue is resolved.

Ensure that the DVD burner, or its DVD writing software program, is not currently in use if the power indicator light is on, but the disc tray will not open. Follow any on-screen steps with the software to cancel the current operation, or close the program to allow you to eject the disc. Also, if the disc tray opens when the computer is powered up, close any running application software and restart the computer.

Insert a paper clip into the manual eject hole on the front panel beneath the disc tray to open the tray when the drive is not powered on, or as a last resort when it refuses to eject a disc.

Check the DVD disc if the tray opens without being prompted. Was it set properly--and face-up--on the tray? Is it dusty or dirty? Clean and reload the disc and try again. Try a different disc if it happens again. Also, if it is not a rewritable disc (DVD-RW or DVD+RW), check to see that it has not already been written by loading it into a DVD player or DVD-ROM drive.

Ensure that you are using DVD writing software--preferably the one accompanying your Memorex DVD burner--that is compatible with the device. Also, having multiple DVD burning programs installed can affect performance in certain cases.

Check the USB indicator light on the rear panel of the burner if using a USB connection and the disc will not write or writes at a speed much slower than you set it to. A green light indicates a USB 2.0 connection, and a red light indicates USB 1.1. Your computer and that particular USB port must have USB 2.0 capability for the burner to function properly with this connection.