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Sometimes media on a disc is incompatible with a particular drive causing it to not work properly. Unfortunately, there are limited options for solving this.

I have an LG DVD writer drive and it works fine. But when I put in a CDRW 80 disc, that contains data, I can't see any files and the DVD. The drive asks to insert a CD. But other CDs are working properly and the device manager doesn't show any problem.

Please solve. I can read the files from a CD from another computer. What could the problem be?

In this excerpt from Answercast #16, I look at the issue of media drives not being able to read all types of media.

DVD can't read CD

This is actually fairly common. And it's very frustrating when it happens.

What it boils down to is an incompatibility between the media that particular disc happens to be using and your particular drive.

In theory, any rewritable media should work in any drive. But, as it turns out, experience has shown us that sometimes drives will simply fail to recognize certain media. By certain media, I could mean certain manufacturers, certain styles. I honestly don't know specifically what it is about the media that causes this kind of behavior.


I simply know that it does happen, and when it happens, the only solution that I'm aware of is

a.) To use a different drive or

b.) To use different media: Burn the data to a different media that is proven to work with your machine

I know that's not really the answer that you were looking for.

There isn't a fix that I'm aware of to make that media work in that drive. But if you change either of those two variables, as you have in your own testing, that will clear up the problem.

Article C5321 - May 9, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

May 12, 2012 7:22 PM

If you happen to use an Apple computer to record a data CD, the data might not show up on a PC computer unless you checked certain choices when saving to the CD. If you check the right ones, then it will show up on the PC as well. If it doesn't show up, and you are able to go back to the Mac computer, save it with the correct choices, then you will be able to see the data.

Billy Bob
May 13, 2012 7:38 PM

The different manufacturer angle is especially mysterious for a burnable disc, since there is only a small handful of factories in that world that make them.

You may go to a store and see 6 different brands, but they could very well have been made by the same machines in the same factory. In the case of burnable discs, brands are just brands, and nothing more.

Notwithstanding all that, strange things happen...

May 15, 2012 4:20 AM

I've come across this problem before myself.
It's usually because the PC writing the data is being 'lazy' and doesn't finish the write session. This is more common on CDR than CDRW (as finishing a session and re-opening a session both consume valuable space). The PC (or more accurately, the software for the RW drive) that uses this method can still read the data, but others may not.

May 18, 2012 1:24 PM

It could also be that the user's computer requires drivers in order to use CDRW discs -- such as InCD from Nero Software AG.

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