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Confounding DVD writer issue

System: Asus P4P800 Deluxe w/ Intel 2.4Ghz cpu, 1.5GB DDR memory, Windows XP Pro SP2, 120G. HDD (1/2 used space), AGP video card, CD-RW, DVD-RAM drives.

Issue: Samsung(TSST SH-S182D MODEL)nor other Lite On(LDW 411S Model)DVD writers will not show any free space with blank DVD or CD-R disk, therefore not allowed to burn data. Under My Computer, label of DVD drive changes from DVD-RAM to CD drive, and shows all used space of disk when blank is placed in drive.
However, drives will see and run DVD disk I've burnt on Lite On drive and will run DVD-rom disk of programs.
History: Lite On DVD drive bought about 4 years ago and used just a little, made backup disks of data and music files; some time last year I redid the backup disk again. I then bought new Samsung DVD drive that has Lightsribe, and put Lite On drive in som's PC. Until now I've not had reason to use Samsung DVD drive, am now attempting to make DVD's of music files for brother who's going to Middle East.
Now, I have tried reseaching on troubleshooting the problem based on the Samsung model, reading through different forums, I found that there might be possible conflicting issue between drive and VIA chipsets, so I updated the VIA dirves for my motherboard. Also, I've updated the firmware to the latest version for the Samsung drive.
Having the problem persist and needing to get the DVD disks finished, I swapped out the DVD drives, and the problem now affects the Lite On DVD drive as well. I doubled checked the firmware for this drive, I had already updated it prior, so I doubled check all the settings that I'm aware of, not having had any problems before with the Lite On, am not sure what issues there are with DVD drives and XP.
I replaced the Samsung DVD in my system, booted up in safe mode, and see no issues in Device Manager, from there I removed the drive and then reboot normally into XP, and had no problems. Drive shows up in My Computer as DVD-RAM drive, using blank DVD disk drive changes to CD drive, using blank CD-R disk it changes to CD drive and shows CD-R disk in drive, clicking on drive I get warning "drive not accessible, incorrect function". In properties, all disks are shown as full. Note: DVD drive is set as master, cd-rw as slave, should that make any difference.
Reading through the forums here, something was mentioned about doing clean install of XP, I'm praying that isn't nessary at this time. Is there some sort of new issue with SP2 and DVD drives?
If anyone can solve this problem soon, you'll truly be a savior as I've spent all day Saturday compling music and ALL of today trying solve this confounding DVD writer issue.
Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated, many thanks in advance.

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All the CD/DVD recorder software I use...

In reply to: Confounding DVD writer issue

"will not show any free space with blank DVD or CD-R disk"

Does not show that space in EXPLORER. Remember I never install ANY drag to disk title as I find those too unreliable. There are some that used such and as it fails a post like yours does happen. But I read your post twice and couldn't find exactly what you use.

However the age is a concern. At 4 years I would tossed it when it failed but here's a NUGGET for you. Let's say you installed the software for old drive and it worked until now. Now we install the new drive and it's supplied software. DISASTER. Why is that? Most of these titles are locked to that make drive so we always want to avoid the supplied titles unless we have to.

So where does this leave us? If this was my machine I'd uninstall any and all CD/DVD recording software and try titles like CDBURNERXP and IMGBURN to see what it thinks of the media. REMEMBER THAT WE NEVER CARE WHAT EXPLORER REPORTS for the drive type or free space. We only use the CD/DVD recording software and what it thinks.

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Recording software

In reply to: All the CD/DVD recorder software I use...

Forgot to mention, both DVD drives were purchased as OEM items, came with no burning software. Friend gave me a dependable program called
Record Now, which I used for previous DVD use. It is not drag & drop method of loading files. Iite On is about 4 years old but was working just fine when I last used it in mine and son's PC. The last time I used Record Now, I burnt a DVD disk at 4.5GB, nearly a completely full disk, this time I had just 4.1GB of data, program stated not enough free space, so I cut files, got the folder down to 3.8GB size and still too I start looking at the drive, and ended up where I'm at now.

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Which still brings back to "Windows Explorer."

In reply to: Recording software

It and Windows XP never understood DVD drives without help. And such help does fail. This is why I use CDBURNERXP and other software and click on the media information window.

Also I wonder if you are attempting multi-session recording. If so that has some pitfalls as you can't put 4.7GB on a multi-session DVD...

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(NT) No multi-session recording here....(NT)

In reply to: Which still brings back to "Windows Explorer."

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You're coming down fast to failed drives.

In reply to: No multi-session recording here....(NT)

I offered CDBURNERXP which is known to peacefully co-exist with other CD/DVD recording software. It is possible to use that to querry media to see if it's blank and what size your drive, OS and such thinks of the media.

There is another area worth noting and that's those CD/DVD drive emulators. They can cause such an issue. I only note this just in case but you didn't share if such was installed.

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In reply to: You're coming down fast to failed drives.

Worked! After jumping thru some hoops, I was able to get CDBURNERXP running, and finally got to burn a DVD. It was very late last night when I did, so I didn't get back here to say so, and was off to work this morning. Anyway, many thanks Bob, for the lead to CDBURNERXP.
I don't keep up with what's all going on in the PC world, so didn't know about the program,I'll have to learn more how it works, but is working great for the first trial burn.
I don't usually have too many problems such as this one, but the people in this forum community are great, and have never failed to solve the problem one way or another. Again Bob, many thanks.

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