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Problem formatting CD-RW

by michhala / July 21, 2007 2:36 PM PDT

Using DirectCD to format an unused CD-RW, everything went O.K. until it was finalizing. A message appeared saying there was a command error, and I would not be able to access the drive letter using and to please reboot. There was no error/incident number for identification on the message.

I put in a 2nd CD-RW to attempt a format, and although I did not see the message when the formatting completed [it may have popped up when I was away from the computer], DirectCD showed the CD status as "read only". While the 2nd CD-RW was still in the CD-RW Drive (E:\), I could not access the drive to open or eject CD through My Computer or the quick launch shortcut, or DirectCD.... I had to use task manager to end task.

I checked out other formatted CD-RWs I use, and the drive worked O.K. and was accessible.

Where and what would I look for to solve the problem?

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Addendum to my O.P.
by michhala / July 21, 2007 3:27 PM PDT

I forgot to mention that I use CD-RWs as one of my two backups and since they have a short life, I replace them every 11-12 months.

Miki

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More :)
by michhala / July 21, 2007 4:27 PM PDT
In reply to: Addendum to my O.P.

This is the message I received when the CD-RW formatting failed to finalize: "Illegal request. Drive reported an error with a command it received, please reboot computer. You will not be able to read and write to the CD through drive letter access."

I am able to format a CD-R, so that might mean the software is functioning properly. It took a few seconds to format the CD-R with DirectCD; whereas a CD-RW took 40 minutes.

I meant to post all this in Computer Help.... Happy

Miki

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Although you mention DirectCD, the error message ...
by Edward ODaniel / July 24, 2007 4:41 AM PDT
In reply to: More :)
You will not be able to read and write to the CD through drive letter access
indicates that possibly you also have DLA (Drive Letter Access) installed and multiple packet writing software doesn't "get along" well.

DLA often comes packaged with Sony drives and some HP drives (as well as a few others).
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Reply to Edward
by michhala / July 24, 2007 5:37 PM PDT

Hi Edward -- I never heard of DLA until you mentioned it. Roxio sells DLA separately on their website. My version Roxio Easy CD Creator uses UDF with which I am familiar....perhaps it serves the same purpose..... My RW drive is GCE

I have been burning music on CD-Rs with Roxio Disc Copier and data backups on CD-RWs using Roxio DirectCD to format for 5 years with just a few hiccups now and then.

This is where I am at now....I was unable to format three new Memorex CD-RWs; but I was able to erase an old data CD-RW and reformat that successfully.

That said, I was able to successfully format a CD-R in 2-3 seconds....the CD-RW takes about 40-45 minutes with half of that time verifying. It never occurred to me that I could use a CD-R for data backup, but I am going to do so from hereon. Not regaining space from deleted files is of no concern to me since I do not delete backup data.

My thanks for your reply.

Miki

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Problem formatting CD-RW
by Bob__B / July 22, 2007 12:44 AM PDT

I don't use the format feature for cd media.
Packet writing?

Most of the opinions I've read say this is not a good thing to do.
Something about data tends to vanish.

You might not find many folks who are using this feature.

Perhaps check for an update to direct cd.
Try a different brand of media.

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reply to bob b
by michhala / July 22, 2007 7:37 AM PDT

Bob:

I use ECDC 5 as it always worked for me and methinks I have done all the upgrades, but I will check it out. I use Memorex CD-Rs and CD-RW, which always worked for me, too. I found them to be the best for my purposes of burning music and saving data.....I had very bad luck with Imation and some of the others. However, I certainly will try another brand to make sure.

Re Packet Writing: I am familiar with the general consensus of packet writing.....however, I have been using CD-RWs formatted by DirectCD since my first computer in 1998 as a backup, In addition, I have an Iomega USB Zip 750 MB as a second backup. I backup to both as I go along and not at the end of the day, or week, or whatever. Thanks to good luck, the CD-RW saved my life in 2000 when a Dell-at-home tech was working on replacing a motherboard and DOS recognized it, but Windows did not. I told him to go ahead because I had the backup.

I used the CD-RW to send my data to the new computer in 2002, and when I reformatted in January 2005.

So far, so good.......and I did not need to use my zip disc.

There was some old information I thought I would never need, but something came up and I needed it. Without much hope, I dug up one of my first backup CD-RWs and it was still readable. This was a disc that I knew was on its way out, but I saved it anyway.

It has been my experience and conclusion that when the disc is losing its vitality, I receive a message that it could not be read and to make a copy. While the message is up, the CD-RW is also up and running on my screen. When this message comes up once in awhile, I ignore it, but when it comes up every few weeks, I make a new CD-RW backup.

......and that's my story Happy

Thanks so much for your reply.....it is appreciated.

Miki

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Miki, Which Version Of Roxio/DirectCD Are You Using?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 22, 2007 4:10 AM PDT

First, a "full" format of a CD-RW DOES generally take about 30-40 minutes so that's not unusual.. A "quick" format takes just a few minutes. Maybe that's what was being performed on the CD-R discs.

As Bob mentioned above, have you updated your current version by visiting the Roxio website?

Normally it's not necessary on a new disc, but if you've now formatted them, have you tried "erasing" the incorrectly formatted discs before formatting them again?

What brand of CD-RW are you using? (Maybe the discs are just bad. I've had two or three discs in a row be bad on a disc spindle. Some of those cheap discs will do that occasionally.)

How old is the CD burner? (Will it burn both DVD & CD discs?)

One thing comes to mind.. On both Roxio 5 and 6 versions, I don't remember it "finalizing" during the format process. Are you sure you're not doing a standard burn which burns the data to a disc, then "finalizes" it? (I don't have a Roxio machine here at the moment so maybe I'm wrong on that.)

Hope this helps and let us know more.

Grif

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Reply to Grif
by michhala / July 22, 2007 7:07 AM PDT

Grif writes: First, a "full" format of a CD-RW DOES generally take about 30-40 minutes so that's not unusual.. A "quick" format takes just a few minutes. Maybe that's what was being performed on the CD-R discs.

Miki writes: When I use DirectCD to format a CD-RW, it gives me the option to quick format or full format. Full format is always checked. When I formatted the CD-R as a test, DirectCD did not give me any options -- clicked 'format' and in what seemed a few seconds it was done with no choices. That said, I transferred the data from my back-up CD-RW I want to reproduce as a just-in-case, and the CD-R does everything the fully formatted CD-RW does. What is strange is that both CDs have the same capacity -- I downloaded all the data from the CD-RW to the CD-R and the CD-R used 64 MB less space -- I checked the files sent to the CD-R and nothing appears to be missing.

Grif: As Bob mentioned above, have you updated your current version by visiting the Roxio website?

Miki: I am embarrassed to admit that I am still using the version that came with my Dell 8250 in November 2002. However, I do have version ECDC 7, purchased March 2005, still in the box. I installed ECDC 7 in a friend's computer and did not like it.

Grif: Normally it's not necessary on a new disc, but if you've now formatted them, have you tried "erasing" the incorrectly formatted discs before formatting them again?

Miki: No, but I will after I submit this post.

Grif: What brand of CD-RW are you using? (Maybe the discs are just bad. I've had two or three discs in a row be bad on a disc spindle. Some of those cheap discs will do that occasionally.)

Miki: I use Memorex, but not on the spindle. I found more bad discs in a row on the spindle than I did in the individual boxes. I have one more new CD-RW left and I will also try that one.

Grif: How old is the CD burner? (Will it burn both DVD & CD discs?)

Miki: It came with the computer and will be five years old in November. I have two drives -- a CD-RW drive and a CD/DVD-ROM drive
.
Grif: One thing comes to mind.. On both Roxio 5 and 6 versions, I don't remember it "finalizing" during the format process. Are you sure you're not doing a standard burn which burns the data to a disc, then "finalizes" it? (I don't have a Roxio machine here at the moment so maybe I'm wrong on that.)

Miki: You are correct in that it does 'finalize' when I burn music from a CD using Disc Copier. I don't remember seeing the 'finalizing' process either when formatting with DirectCD. This might be because I was probably not at my computer at the end of the process. There are two big buttons to click on DirectCD -- one is 'Format" and the other is "Eject". I am sure Happy

Thank you. Grif, for your time and patience......and on a Sunday, too.

Miki

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(NT) Grif... forgot to say...using ECDC 5
by michhala / July 22, 2007 7:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Reply to Grif
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Grif -- apologies, the word was not finalize...
by michhala / July 22, 2007 10:07 AM PDT

it was "verify".

When I tried to erase one of the CD-RWs that would not format as you suggested, DirectCD did not give me the option to do so. The word 'erase' was greyed out. When I put in a proper CD-RW the 'erase' was not grayed out.

I also attempted to reformat a new third disk and it went on verifying for over an hour and I finally did an end task.

Keeping the aforementioned in mind and that I had no problem with the unusually short automatic format of the CD-R and a proper result, do you think it is the CD-RW drive or the software?

My thanks.....Miki

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First, Start By Updating The Software,,,,Then...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 22, 2007 1:39 PM PDT

..if that doesn't fix it, since the burner is now 5 years old, I would replace the burner..

If you don't want to install Roxio 7, here's a link to the Roxio site for ECDC 5 updates. (If you're not already registered, you will have to do so.)
http://www.roxio.com/enu/support/ecdc/software_updates.html

The updates have helped quite a few of the computers I've used.. (Hopefully you are aware...Roxio is now on version 9! But for basic CD writing tasks, I actually prefer version 6..)

Still, because the drive is old, PLUS it won't verify and format correctly, I'm guessing you may need to new drive.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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First, Start By Updating the Software...then....
by michhala / July 22, 2007 7:41 PM PDT

Grif -- I already have the latest updates -- I updated to ECDC 5.3.5.10 in May 2002, according to my program file date, and did another update in March 2005. These updates are the latest for Basic version.

I will install the ECDC 7 I still have in the box and see what happens. I will also do some research on upgrading to a CD/DVD-RW drive.

Thanks, Grif.

Miki

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I had forgotten......
by michhala / July 22, 2007 8:24 PM PDT

.....I had similar problems with the CD-RW drive within my warranty period and Dell installed a new one April 2004. A few months later, the problems came back and Dell would only replace with the same drive (GCE8483B), and I would not take another of the same after the problems it had. After much research and phone calls the problems were resolved, so my current drive is a little over three years old instead of almost five years old.

Miki

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Still Depends On How Many Discs You've Burned
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 24, 2007 5:52 AM PDT
In reply to: I had forgotten......

If I get a burner to last 3 years, I count myself lucky.. They only have a certain lifespan and most of that is dependent on the amount of discs you've burned.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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Still Depends On How Many Discs You've Burned
by michhala / July 24, 2007 5:52 PM PDT

Hi Grif -- I don't burn all that many discs these days.....

Methinks I am going to wait and see how things go and if my problem is the burner, I will replace the CD-RW drive with a CD/DVD-RW.

You had suggested I try to erase one of the new CD-RWs that would not format successfully and attempt a reformat, but that could not be done. However, I was able to erase an old Memorex data CD-RW and reformat that successfully.

I am pleased with the 2-3 seconds it takes to format a CD-R. Since I have not had a problem....yet...I think I will backup to that media from hereon.

Thanks for all your help.

Miki

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About Formatting CD-R's...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 25, 2007 3:18 AM PDT

Remember, unlike a CD-RW which can be erased and written to again and agin, a CD-R will not allow such an option.. Once you've used up it's alloted amount of space, it can't be formatted or written to again.. It's not "re-writable".

Hope this helps.

Grif

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About Formatting CD-R's...
by michhala / July 25, 2007 3:52 PM PDT

Thanks, Grif....from previous posts you wrote on the subject, I am aware that a CD-R cannot be rewritten and that when deleting files, the space is not retrieved. When I am backing up My Docs to a CD, I have no reason to delete....they are there to stay. I use a separate CD to back up my setups. On another CD, I back up Outlook Contacts, Notes, Calendar, I.E. Favorites and AOL Organize.....I update these regularly and delete the old....when the disc runs out of space, I can toss it and make a new one.

Methinks the CD-R will work for me....and if it doesn't, I will make other plans Happy I also have duplicates on external USB 750MB zips.

Your patience and time spent with me is, as always, much appreciated.

Miki

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