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  1. #1
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    External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    My home PC has an internal CD ROM and an intenal DVD/CD writer.
    Recently I bought an external (USB) DVD/CD writer to use at a centre where I do some training, where the PCs only have CD ROMs.

    I plugged the DVD writer into my home PC and it worked ok. However, after disconecting it I found that neither of my internal optical drives would work: Explorer showed nothing in the right hand pane for the DVD writer when I inserted a CD-R disk containing various data files. When I put the same disk in the CD drive Explorer put out an error message saying "<drive> is not accessible. Invalid function".
    I can access the CD-R contents on either drive by going to the drive's hardware properties panel and clicking Populate. I can also make both drives work normally by uninstalling them (through Control Panel), then rebooting so Windows re-installs them. However the next time I reboot the problem is back again.
    This is a nuisance on my home PC but completely unacceptable for using the external drive at the training centre which is used by several organisations.

    Can anybody suggest a solution? Unfortunately I don't have the external drive at home with me at present, so I can't experiment.

    George

  2. #2
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    Re: External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    Did you install any drivers or other software with the external DVD? If you have a restore point from a time before the external DVD was installed you could try a System Restore to that time.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    No - I didn't install any drivers, but relied on XP automatically installing the external drive.
    Unfortunately I've passed any restore points before I connected the drive.
    There are similar problems, to do with the Windows Mount Manager getting confused over drive letters, described on Microsoft support pages, but these don't seem to relate to installed drives that already have letters assigned.

    George

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    Re: External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    That 'invalid function' message happened with older version of Roxio CD Creator and could happen with any software that tries to directly access the CD/DVD. Did you install any software to burn or play CDs/DVDs?

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    Yes Joe, I Have Nero 6 installed.

    George

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    Re: External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    Was Nero installed before or after the external drive?

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    Before

    George

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    Re: External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    Make sure that you have the latest update of Nero installed:
    http://ww2.nero.com/nero6/enu/nero-up.php

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    Re: External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    Thanks for the suggestion. I've done the upgrade you suggested, but it hasn't made any difference.
    I still get the same error message from the CD drive, while Explorer shows nothing on the DVD drive (although it recognises that a CD has been inserted, because it changes the drive name form DVD RAM drive to CD drive). Clicking the Populate button on the Volumes tab of the hardware Properties dialogue, then refreshing the Explorer view brings up the disk's contents as it should to start with.
    For some reason XP is recognising the disk type, but not its contents, until forced to.

    George

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    Re: External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    Have a look at Download details: Autoplay Repair Wizard. If you don't want to use a Microsoft program look at some of the links from Live Search: autoplay fix.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    Thanks Joe - ran the MS autoplay wizard & it found no problems.
    My problem persists, alas.

    George

  12. #12
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    Re: External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    Is your other issue with 'invalid function' gone?

    Joe
    Joe

  13. #13
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    Re: External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    I'm afraid it's just the same Joe.
    I tried changing the drive letters but this had no effect.

    George

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    Re: External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    May I ask a stupid question: are you disconnecting your external USB DVD drive the proper way (by clicking the icon with the green arrow in system tray next to the clock, then clicking "Safely remove USB mass storage..." balloon and disconnecting USB cable after "It is safe to remove..." message appears) or simply disconnecting USB cable?

  15. #15
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    Re: External DVD writer problem (SR2+patches)

    Sorry for the delay in replying, kaplinb. I got so confused with trying diferent things that I gave up & went to bed.

    Anyway, you question is not stupid - I'm normally very careful to disconnect an external storage drive properly - the way you describe. I've only ever connected the external DVD writer once, and I can't honestly remember whether I disconnected properly that time. I've always assumed that the disconnect facility just waits for the write cache to be emptied, but does it also do some kind of software disconnect?

    I've tried putting an audio CD into my internal drive: a Windows dialogue popped up asking me what I wanted to do, including "Play with RealPlayer". Clicked this and it played OK. Windows Explorer showed showed one file, tra01.cda. Double clicking this made it play in WMP.
    Replaced the audio disk with a data disk and Explorer again shows nothing until I click the Populate button on the Volumes tab of hardware properties.

    The internal DVD writer uses UDMA mode 2, the CD ROM drive uses PIO.
    Finally I tried a DVD RAM disk in my internal DVD drive (it supports + - and RAM formats) and lo and behold, the dreaded BSOD, and the eject button would not work.

    At this point I gave up & went to bed!
    I'm now wondering if maybe there is some kind of hardware problem because of what happened with the DVD RAM disk.

    Many thanks for all help and suggestions.

    George

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