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A DVD-writer question

  1. Mar 11, 2018 #1
    I have a bootable DVD and I have two different laptops. The DVD-writers of the two laptops seems fine but something strange happened today. One DVD-writer does not recognize the bootable DVD but other does. This shows that DVD isn't corrupted. What is the problem? Is the DVD-writer which cannot recognize the DVD broken down? How can I understand this?

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2018 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Did you google on the error you got? I’m sure others online have run into the same problem with the same computer.
  4. Mar 11, 2018 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I have many times over the years experienced the same thing. Minor degradations in a CD/DVD can cause one reader to gag on it while another reader sees it just fine. I've even had cases where it was borderline and one reader would consistently read it OK but another would read it or not depending on whether or not it (the reader) was in a good mood.
  5. Mar 11, 2018 #4
    But how can I search that error when there isn't any notification or error code?
  6. Mar 11, 2018 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    You have the make and model of the machine and you have what happened so formulate a search. It’s what we often do when someone asks a question like this and we don’t know the answer.

    We often tell posters to try the search first and then try PF.
  7. Mar 11, 2018 #6
    You could try burning a second copy of the boot disk with the writer that does work.
    Could be just not a very good DVD media, that sort of thing is not uncommon.
  8. Mar 13, 2018 #7
    Apart from the DVD it can be also the reader itself. Even just some dust can make it do so that it reads/writes some DVDs, but not others (which are still OK in any other drive).
  9. Mar 13, 2018 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Two possible reasons:
    • One laptop may not have the DVD before the HDD in the Boot Order
    • There may be a fingermark on the DVD. Polish it.
  10. Mar 13, 2018 #9
    I think laptop DVD drives are main part of the problem and they are not as fine as that of desktop's. I tried to burn some iso files with Microsoft's own tool but there has always been problem. I cannot burn any bit to DVDs. The DVDs' brand is Princo. 4.7 GB, 16x speed. There is problem with two laptop's dvd drives. What do you think about buying a usb-dvd drive?
  11. Mar 13, 2018 #10


    Staff: Mentor

    The usb ones are pretty reliable. I use one on a regular basis. I do get bad burns but they are attributed to CD and DVD defects or fingerprint smudges.

    They sell dvd disk cleaning kits and dvd lens cleaner disks in case there’s dust on the lens.
  12. Mar 14, 2018 #11


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    A tip about buying a DVD drive. If you expect to do much writing to DVDs, beware. Many of them on the market will advertise high write speeds, maybe 48X, but will do that only for the first 30 seconds. They then fall back to a very slow write speed. If you want the faster speed, get a drive rated for 'Copy Duty.' They are typically available from manufacturers that make disk copying machines and cost only a few dollars more than the usual consumer stuff. Without any hard data to back it up, I suspect that the Entertainment folks (Hollywood) are now paying the DVD drive manufacturers to cripple the write speed, thereby reducing the supply of copied movies.

    It took weeks, 5 rejected and returned drives, and much Internet searching to trace that down. Annoying.
  13. Apr 25, 2018 #12
    Maybe one machine is using UEFI in the BIOS and the other isn't. Have you verified that the machine in question can boot from some other bootable DVD or CD? Is the machine in question older than the one that is able to boot from the DVD? How is the DVD formatted?

    If the DVD is a DVD+R type disc, try copying it to, or burning the .iso file to, a DVD-R disc.

    You probably don't need to fully understand how the CD/DVD boot process works, at least not just to fix your problem, but if you're interested, here are some references:
    and a document with more scope:
  14. Apr 25, 2018 #13


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Is the one that's giving you trouble significantly older than the other one? If so, that one's DVD reader may be suffering from age-related issues.

    The desktop Power Mac that I've used at home for nearly ten years has become slower in ripping CDs, and cannot read some "pressed" CDs at all. However, a somewhat newer iMac, that was formerly in my office, has no trouble with this (yet).
  15. Apr 25, 2018 #14
    Even though they are almost at the same age, the older is better.
  16. Apr 26, 2018 #15
    Can the DVD be read after boot? If you let your OS boot, then put the disc in, does the OS see it? Does it mount?
  17. Apr 27, 2018 #16
    I cannot work out the above. What does it mean by "Can the DVD be read after boot"? Do you mean I tried to boot with DVD or OS boot from HDD?

    Thank you.
  18. Apr 27, 2018 #17
    (I know I'm intercepting a question directed @newjerseyrunner and not at me in particular, but I just happen to be here within a few minutes of your posting.)

    I think that "Can the DVD be read after boot?" means, if you boot the machine that can't boot from the DVD, from the hard drive, or from some other device, can the DVD, that you can't boot from on that machine, nevertheless be read on that machine?

    To rephrase the question: after the machine fails to boot from the DVD, and it goes on to boot from the hard drive (or from some other device), can you at least still read the DVD, or is it the case that the DVD simply can't be read by that machine from that drive using the OS you normally run that machine with?

    I suspect that the answer to that question is yes, which means probably not a general DVD read error, but an error more specifically related to trying to boot from that DVD.
  19. Apr 27, 2018 #18
    I checked my posts but I didn't see I said "it doesn't boot from DVD" because it doesn't see or recognize the DVD even I didn't try to boot from that DVD.

    It was more than a month but as far as remember it also doesn't write a windows setup on a blank dvd along with seeing/recognizing problem. This show I have a general DVD drive problem.

    I think this is not a rare case for laptop DVD drives. I have used 3 different laptops of 2 brands and their DVD drives wasn't as fine as desktop systems. And there is a similar remark above by Phinds.

    Thank you.
  20. Apr 27, 2018 #19
    Your starting post said "One DVD-writer does not recognize the bootable DVD but other does." -- the question asked by newjerseyrunner sought (presumably) to ascertain whether the problem was only in trying to boot or was in reading the DVD at all -- you have now clarified that -- apparently the drive is malfunctioning.
    Yes. That's consistent with a problem with the drive. Now that you've established that not only booting, but even ordinary reads from the drive, and also writes, are not working correctly, it's clear that the drive itself is the likely culprit. Given that you didn't say that the drive was silent or wouldn't eject, I suspect something in its optical subsystem.
    I think you're right about that. I have a slim touch-screen machine that has an optical drive that became unreliable about a month after the warranty expired. None of my full-sized optical drives has ever failed. I think that the more failure-prone character of laptop optical drives is at least partly due to the compactness exigencies "crowding the specs".
    (I think it's not too great a liberty to take for me to say on behalf of myself and the other respondents) -- glad we could be of assistance.

    You can probably find a compatible replacement drive on ebay at a reasonable price. You've also been given the suggestion that you might try an external USB optical drive. That would work, but for booting, you'd probably have a slightly different boot device selection process than for an internal optical drive, and you might have to use some different BIOS Setup options.
  21. Apr 27, 2018 #20
    Oddly I can watch 99 of DVD movies and other kind of DVDs work properly, maybe some with struggles. The problem mainly appears with that DVD and when writing a blank dvd. There is scratchy sound from the DVD when it trying to read it. This is one of the strange cases of electronic devices.
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