I recently started experiencing a problem that my CD-RW and DVD-Rom stopped reading data on my CD's. They see the CD's but don't read the data, the CD's appear not to contain anything. I've posted the particular problem twice on this forum, but got no answer. For users experiencing the same or similar problems, I've now determined the cause... I've got a SAHARA USB 2.0 flash drive that came with a UFD-utility that enables one to configure the drive into a private and public area, enabling you to safeguard critical files. This utility causes this problem. Unfortunately I could thus far not find a solution, apart from uninstalling the utility and making do without this function. The flash drive works fine otherwise, not causing any problems. Only the UFD-utility does. I will see if I can find an update that resolves this problem and I will let SAHARA know about it.
I hope this can be of value to someone.
For the sake of completeness, here follows my initial posting about this problem:
Both my Samsung CD-RW and my Sony DVD Drives worked perfectly for a while after I first installed Win XP (first without S/P 1). Then suddenly both mysteriously developed the following quirk:
If I boot up normally, with no media present in the drives, both the CD-RW and the DVD Drive refuse to read the data on any CD (music or data). XP does see the drives, as they are indicated in Explorer as a CD-RW and DVD drive respectively. However, the moment I put a CD in either one, the designation in Explorer changes to "CD Drive" instead of CD-RW or DVD Drive, and they refuse to read any data. They would now refuse to auto play also. When I click on either one in explorer, they do not spin up at all, and no data is displayed. If Nero is opened, the CD-RW sees the CD as empty, as it requests whether or not the user wishes to save data to it. (Both are set to auto play in My Computer and the designation in the registry (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Cdrom) is set to (1).
If, I boot up to SAFE MODE however, both would read any CD. Obviously music CD's then don't play, as the correct sound card driver has not been loaded.
If I place CD's in the drives FIRST, and then boot up, both read data on the CD's as normal. They also continue as normal when I swap CD's, no problem.
Obviously this is a very perplexing and frustrating problem, and I found it very difficult to isolate either the cause of this problem or the fix. Although there are scores of users with related problems, as can be found on this forum, none of the proposed solutions that I came across worked. I found many identical responses to this problem from Rich Barry. He actually seems to be physically connected to his PC, just monotonously pasting the same answer over and over. I did uninstall the drivers and allowed XP to detect the drives again after rebooting, but it makes no difference however. Rich would leave us all much richer if he would rather refrain from posting this solution.
So I took a day off from work and decided to format partition 1 and reinstall Windows and all my software systematically for the FOURTH time in an attempt to try and isolate the cause of this problem.
After formatting and reinstalling XP (S/P1 this time), I rebooted and tested both drives. They both worked perfectly. I then started installing all required drivers one by one, after each installation rebooting and testing the drives. Everything still fine. Then I installed Nero Burn 6.0 before any other software, because I reasoned that it might possibly interfere with Windows. However, still no problem. Then I installed all other software, after each installation rebooting and testing (took me all day!) Still no problem. Then I installed a UFDS utility that is used to split my 128 Mb USB 2, SAHARA flash drive into a private and public partition. Again I tested, still no problem.
Then I found the cause! I disconnected the flash drive and booted up. THE PROBLEM REAPPEARED. I've now tested this several times. If I connect the flash drive BEFORE I boot up, both the CD-RW and DVD drives read the inserted media fine. If I boot up without connecting the flash drive first, they do not read the media at all after a CD is inserted.
If I insert CD's in the drives BEFORE booting up, but not the flash drive, the drives also read the CD's fine.
I have two flash drives - an older 16MB USB 1 drive and a 128 MB USB 2 drive. If I connect the USB 1 drive before booting up, it makes no difference, the problem is still in evidence. It is only when I connect the USB 2 drive before booting up or place CD's in the trays before booting up that the CD's work properly.
Now I believe I am a step closer to the problems of probably most people with related CD problems on this forum. However, I still do not have the final fix, just a 16th century getting around the problem solution. Most probably this has to do with the way in which XP allocates drive letters to the different drives, I don't know, but since I am just an average user, not an expert, it would take me some more time off from work to figure this out.
I would now really appreciate it if Microsoft would apply their minds to this problem and come up with a solution. I've read a reply on this forum from presumably a Microsoft engineer (so assumed because he responds very regularly, and seemingly with authority, to queries on this forum) wherein he came across quite patronizing and sarcastic in his response to a frustrated user. I my opinion he (they) (Microsoft) should maybe maintain a lower profile on this matter, and rather be sympathetic towards people who did pay (in my opinion) an exorbitant price for an operating system that is not working properly. (This problem does not occur in Win 98 as far as I'm aware).