Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Computer: Vista Doesn't Like to Burn, or Does It?

I upgraded to Vista expecting to have some problems. I did not expect one of them to be the ability to burn CD's and DVD's. Since the initial problems with burning (and even reading) some CD's I gave up on all attempts to fix the problem. However, I found the urge to once again burn a CD today and ran into the same problem.

Vista Burn Error

Basically, I get the above error message, it is not pretty. It sounds like Power Calibration Area Error would be quite serious. I received this error using ImgBurn, a free piece of software (compatible with Vista) used to burn ISO images. I had no problem with this software under XP and found it to be a very compact interface and the software performed nicely.

Vista Burn Error 2

Computer Software Troubleshooting 101, use a different piece of software if the first one fails. Toshiba Disc Creator here I come, again with an error! This time the error was a little more specific information on the problem. The error code given was: 060267-26-2A037303 and a quick yahoo search of the topic returned zero results so I appeared to have hit a dead end. But wait, there are more errors to come. I click the OK button and guess what pops up:

Vista Burn Error 3

Yep, another error! This time it was: 3109CE-26-00000000 which I didn't even bother to search because of my results form my last attempt to find a solution.

Computer Software Troubleshooting 102, if the software does not appear to be the problem, blame the hardware! I was dealing with a CD drive here and the first culprit would be the laser. In the case of a laptop drive, the laser is actually exposed when the drive is ejected making it a prime target for dirt or other things that would obstruct the ability to write to a disc.

After spending a few minutes looking for a CD laser cleaner disc that I had from way back in the day with no luck, I decided to get creative. Actually, I decided to spray my drive down with a can of air. Now that I have typed it down, it really does sounds like a bad idea, but let me share my results before any conclusions are reached.

First off, after visually inspecting the laser lens there did not appear to be anything obvious that would prevent the drive from working. My basic technique for cleaning was spray air all over the internal parts of the drive, focusing mainly on the electronics that actually do something. It didn't take but a few seconds and I was done. I did not expect it to work and though all hope of me ever burning a disc again was lost. However, my results were unexpected!

Working Burn

Basically, it worked. I am not exactly sure what happened, but I was successfully able to burn the ISO that I wanted to burn. To top things off, it was on a disc that failed to burn just a few minutes earlier. Hopefully this problem does not arise again, but at least I know that a can of air is useful for removing dust and getting annoying CD burning problems to go away too. I haven't tried burning again since my successful burn, but I am hoping I managed to fix the problem once and for all.

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