Microsoft

Configure IT Quick: Fix common problems with the Windows XP CD burning program

Avoid problems with existing CD burning software and with certain CD-R and CD-RW drives when you use Windows XPs built-in CD burning software.

Windows XP comes with a slimmed-down version of the burn engine from Roxio’s Easy CD Creator package. This burn engine lets you burn CDs quickly and easily from within the Windows XP operating system without having to turn to third-party software, like Easy CD Creator. However, it can cause problems with existing CD burning software and with certain CD-R and CD-RW drives. I’ll take a look at the most common problems you’re likely to encounter with Windows XP’s built-in CD burning software. As I do, I’ll examine each solution in detail.

Uninstalling third-party CD burning software
Since Windows XP comes with its own CD burning software, conflicts can arise with older third-party CD burning software packages. Therefore, if you’re getting ready to install Windows XP on a computer that’s already equipped with a CD burner and a third-party CD burning software package, you’ll definitely want to uninstall the third-party software, as well as any additional components, before you install Windows XP.

During the Windows XP upgrade, Setup will attempt to disable the third-party CD burning software package during the upgrade procedure. If Setup is unable to completely disable the software, you’ll have conflicts when you attempt to use Windows XP’s native CD burning software.

Need more than XP offers?
If you decide that Windows XP’s native CD burning feature doesn’t adequately meet your needs, you’ll want to purchase a full-featured, Windows XP-compatible third-party CD burning software package. The latest CD burning software packages are designed to safely override Windows XP’s built-in CD burning features.

Problems caused by a previous installation of Easy CD Creator
If you have an early version of Easy CD Creator installed on your system and you subsequently upgrade to Windows XP, you may see the following error message when you start Windows XP. This error is generated when Windows XP discovers incompatible drivers:
Devices or Applications disabled
CD Recording software will cause Windows to become unstable. Windows has prevented these drivers from loading. Click here for more details.

When you view the details, you’ll see the following information displayed in the accompanying dialog box:
A CD Recording driver is installed that may cause stability problems including shutting down and problems using a CD/DVD drive.
The driver will be disabled.
The drivers may be installed by Easy CD Creator or Windows Media Player or Real Jukebox.
You might not be able to record CDs until you obtain compatible drivers.

Even if you’ve uninstalled an early version of Easy CD Creator prior to upgrading to Windows XP, you may see this message if the uninstall procedure left registry settings or driver files behind. Fortunately, you can remedy this situation with a few carefully performed operations:
  • Uninstall Easy CD Creator (if it’s still installed).
  • Manually remove the driver files.
  • Edit the registry.

Create a restore point
Because the procedure involves editing the registry, the first thing to do is to manually create a restore point. For more information on how to manually create a restore point, you should investigate the article "Recover from a crash with XP's System Restore" by Steven Warren.

Uninstall older versions of Easy CD Creator
You should uninstall any older versions of Easy CD Creator on your system by using the Add/Remove Programs tool in the Control Panel. Once you’ve located Easy CD Creator in the list of currently installed programs, click Remove and follow the uninstall instructions.

Search for drivers
Regardless of whether you’ve just removed Easy CD Creator or you did so prior to upgrading to Windows XP, you’ll need to make sure that the Easy CD Creator drivers are no longer on the system. To do so, launch the Search tool and fill in the All Or Part Of The File Name text box with the following:
Cdr*.sys

Then click the Search button. If the Easy CD Creator uninstall procedure left behind the driver files, you should see a couple of files in the Search Results dialog box. For example, if you were previously running Windows 2000, you’ll see the following two files in the Search Results dialog box:
Cdr4_2K.sys
Cdralw2k.sys

If the search turned up any files, you should rename the files or move them to a temporary folder. Don’t delete them until everything is working correctly.

Eliminate the registry settings
To eliminate the registry settings left behind by a previous installation of Easy CD Creator, launch the Registry Editor by typing Regedit.exe in the Run dialog box.

Back up!
Always use caution when working with the registry. Unintentional changes made to the registry can cause the system to crash. Always back up your system before opening the registry.

Once the Registry Editor is up and running, navigate to the following subkeys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
SYSTEM
CurrentControlSet
Control
Class
{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

Open the {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} subkey, and locate and delete the following values:
UpperFilters
LowerFilters

As you do so, you’ll be prompted to confirm the delete operation. Click Yes, and then navigate through to the following subkeys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
SYSTEM
CurrentControlSet
Services

Open the Services subkey, and locate and delete the following four subkeys:
Cdr4_2K
Cdralw2k
Cdudf
UdfReadr

As you do so, you’ll again be prompted to confirm the delete operation. Click Yes to proceed. To complete the operation, close the Registry Editor and restart Windows XP. Once Windows XP restarts, you should be able to use the built-in CD burning feature.

Can’t use multiple CD-R drives
If you have a computer that has multiple CD-R drives, you’ll discover that you can only burn CDs on one of the CD-R drives. This limitation is not corrected even when your users open My Computer, access the Recording tab in the CD-R drive’s Properties dialog box, and select the Enable CD Recording On This Drive check box, as shown in Figure A. When you perform this procedure, Windows XP appears to accept the operation. However, you’ll soon discover that the secondary CD-R drive is still disabled.

Figure A
Windows XP appears to allow you to enable a secondary CD-R drive.


This is because Windows XP is designed to use only the first CD-R drive in the device chain. As such, the secondary CD-R drive isn’t recognized as a CD-R drive—instead Windows XP treats it as a normal CD-ROM drive. During startup, Windows XP follows the device enumeration process and designates the first CD-R drive it encounters as the only CD burning device in the system. The order of the device enumeration process is shown here:
  1. IDE primary master
  2. IDE primary slave
  3. IDE secondary master
  4. IDE secondary slave
  5. SCSI devices
  6. Add-on IDE controllers

As such, if you have CD-R drives on the device chain at the IDE secondary master position and the IDE secondary slave position, Windows XP will only recognize the CD-R drive on the device chain at the IDE secondary master position. If the CD-R drive in the IDE secondary slave position is your burner of choice, you’ll have to physically switch the drives’ positions on the IDE chain in order to use the other drive as your main CD-R drive. You could also completely remove the unwanted CD-R drive from the system.

Problems caused by a slight CD-R drive incompatibility
Certain CD-R drives have a slight incompatibility with Windows XP’s built-in CD burning software. Since the problem is so sporadic and can occur with drives from a number of manufacturers, it’s difficult to point to any specific cause or drive. However, some problems are consistent, so let’s take a closer look:
  • Every time you attempt to burn files to a CD, the operation fails.
  • When you add files or folders to a CD that already contains data, duplicate files or folders are overwritten without any warning.
  • The contents of the CD are viewable in Windows XP but not in Windows 9x.
  • You can read MP3 files on a CD in Windows XP but not in an MP3 player.

A Windows XP patch called the CD Burning Update has the solutions to all these problems. When you download this patch, simply run the executable file, Q320174_WXP_SP1_x86_ENU.exe, and follow the online instructions.

Correcting a misidentified CD-R/CD-RW drive
In some cases, the Windows XP Setup procedure will misidentify certain compatible CD-R/CD-RW drives as standard CD drives. Setup will identify the standard CD drive as CD-R drive and the CD-R drive as a standard CD drive. When either of these snafus occurs, you’ll discover that the CD Writing Tasks section is missing from the task Explorer Bar and that the Write These Files To CD option is missing from the CD-R drive’s context menu. Thus, you won’t be able to burn data to the CD-R/CD-RW drive.

If you’re positive that the CD-R/CD-RW drive is compatible with Windows XP, you can easily correct the misidentification with a simple registry edit. Of course, I again recommend that you manually create a restore point because this procedure involves editing the registry.

To begin, launch the Registry Editor by typing Regedit.exe in the Run dialog box. Once the Registry Editor is up and running, navigate through to the following subkeys:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Software
Microsoft
Windows
CurrentVersion
Explorer
CD Burning
Drives

When you open the Drives subkey, you’ll find subkeys for each of the CD drives installed in your computer. These subkeys will be titled Volume{GUID}, where GUID is a lengthy 32-character hexadecimal globally unique identifier. When you open a Volume{GUID} subkey, you’ll see a DWORD value titled Drive Type. The value data setting inside the Drive Type value will identify the drive. The possible value data settings are listed in Table A.
Table A
Value data Drive type
1 CD-R
2 CD-RW
3 CD
CD Drive Type settings

If you discover that both the drives are identified as standard CD drives—i.e., both drives have 3 as the Drive Type value—then you’ll need to change one of the drive’s Drive Type value to 1 or 2, depending on what type of CD burning drive is in the system. By default, the first Volume{GUID} subkey should represent the CD-R/CD-RW drive. However, you may have to go through a little trial and error to get it right.

If you discover that one of the drives is identified as a standard CD drive and the other as a CD-R/CD-RW drive, then more than likely both drives have been misidentified. To straighten them out, just enter the correct value into each drive’s Drive Type value setting. To complete the operation, close the Registry Editor and restart Windows XP. Once Windows XP restarts, you should be able to use the built-in CD burning feature.

More information
As I mentioned earlier, the CD burning problems I’ve discussed in this article are the most common problems you’re likely to encounter. However, other CD burning problems are sure to crop up. If you’ve encountered a CD burning problem not listed here, be sure to check out the Microsoft Knowledge Base. You might also want to post a description of your problem in this article’s Discussion area. There’s a good possibility that one of your peers has encountered a similar problem and may be able to offer a solution.

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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