Creating 3D Animation


CD-R problems
Aug 30, 1999


Q: I am looking for assistance in tracking down a problem I am having when I distribute a CD-ROM program. The duplicated CD's work on the majority of computers but occasionally will run into a problem. The computer will not be able to read the CD-ROM. It will read part of the course on the CD but will get to a point and lockup. The real dilemma here is that it's not the same point on every computer.

I have tried to narrow the problem down to a specific version of Windows and there is no apparent pattern. I had the CD's tested at a Lab and the report gave them a Grade A.

Any Suggestions?



A: I don't really have any answers, but you might want to check the following:

i) Are these pressed discs or "burned" (CD-R) i.e. made on a CD burner? CD-R discs are not the same as pressed ones, and some drives have problems reading burned discs. Even different CD-R media can behave differently in different drives. Switching to a different brand of CD blank can make a difference; TDK and Memorex have worked well for me.

ii) Is the exact same disc readable on one drive, yet not on another? If that's the case then it sounds like a problem with the CD Reader; i.e. for some reason it isn't able to read the disc. Again, this is most likely to happen with CD-R media.

iii) When you say it's not the same point on every computer, does that mean also that two discs on the same computer will freeze at different points? If so, it again points to media.

iv) Does the same disc freeze consistently at the same point on the same computer if run multiple times? This test isn't very conclusive; it could he hardware or software.

v) What happens if you try and copy from the CD to the hard disk, rather than run the program from the CD? Does the copy freeze?

vi) Does the CD reader have an access light? Does it indicate the drive is trying to read the disc?

vii) On computers where the program does freeze, if you copy it to the hard disk does it run correctly? (The fact that it freezes at different points may mean it's software rather than hardware)

viii)Have you checked all possible system variations other than the system; i.e. Available memory; RAM as well as hard disk space available for virtual memory? CD-ROM drive letter; is the software accessing the CD drive directly? Connection to network(s)? Existence or lack of other hardware or software that the program might be expecting.

ix) I assume that the disc(s) you had checked were ones that had failed (not just a sample from the same batch?)

If none of these questions/suggestions turn up anything, then I'm not sure what else might be going on. Good luck!


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