Audio CD's Not Recognized, Even After a Clean Format & Reinstall

  1. Posts : 36
    Windows 10

    Audio CD's Not Recognized, Even After a Clean Format & Reinstall

    Hello, everyone. I have a problem that I haven't been able to solve, regarding playing audio cd's on my computer. I've researched the problem, but I still haven't been able to solve it, so I'm seeking help with it.

    I'm running the most current version of Windows 10 (21H1), on a Hewlett Packard PC that is only six months old. It's a HP Pavilion Gaming - TP01-1155t.

    In addition to the internal CD/DVD burner, I also have two external burners, which I no longer use. I bought them because my previous computer was old, and the CD/DVD burner wasn't working properly.

    Anyway, lately, when I burn an audio CD, my computer does not recognize it. Normally, when I open up an audio CD in Windows Explorer, it shows the tracks on the CD as .CDA files. Lately, though, the only thing that is displayed is the desktop.ini file. Nothing else is showing.

    I've tried two different brands of CD-R, and I've also burned CD-RW. I've tried burning discs with the two external drives. The audio CD's are still not recognized.

    I use BurnAware Free to burn the discs, so I installed an OEM copy of Nero that I got with one of the external drives. I tried using Nero, but the audio CD's are still not recognized.

    The audio CD's I burn DO work on my stereo system. Also, whenever I try to burn data discs, the data is recognized. So, for some reason, the audio CD's only are not recognized.

    Research led me to believe I might have a corrupted cdrom.sys file, but I wasn't sure. So, I went ahead and tried to reinstall Windows 10, using a bootable USB flash drive. The reinstall was not accepted, and my computer rolled back all of the changes it made. Not sure why (yet).

    So, I backed up my computer using Macrium Reflect, and yep, I formatted the hard drive and reinstalled Windows 10 from scratch. This was last night (Wednesday, June 16).

    After doing that, I installed BurnAware, and tried burning a few audio CD's. Success! The audio CD's were recognized.
    Well, guess what…that didn't last long. After installing all of my software again, I tried burning another audio CD, and it's not recognized.

    This leads me to one conclusion: Either the subsequent Windows 10 updates screwed something up, or one of the software programs I installed is conflicting with the hardware or drivers. Not sure which one, not sure how to track down the problem. I sure as heck am not willing to format and reinstall Windows 10 all over again, just to solve this problem.
    I made one mistake, which was not using System Restore before installing each program. That way, maybe I could have isolated which program was causing the problem.

    So…any suggestions on what to try or do? I did read an article about editing a registry key, and have not tried that yet. I'd rather see if any of you have feedback first before messing with the registry.

    Thank you for reading this. I apologize for its length. I hope one or some of you are willing to help. J. Danniel
      My Computer

  2. fireberd's Avatar
    Posts : 2,413
    Win 10 Pro, 21H1

    Your description leads me to believe its not a hardware problem. I use Nero BurningRom in my recording studio to burn audio CD's (only CD-R) and never had a problem.

    I assume you are burning the audio CD's using wav files and not MP3 files?

    Using Nero Burning ROM, (burn "DAO" Disk At Once) there is an option to verify after burning. I always use that when burning audio CD's. Use that the next burn you make.

    The only driver for optical drives (CD/DVD) is the default Microsoft driver and it hasn't been a problem.

    I would rather think something you installed, rather than a Win update.

    ..just my thoughts...
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 36
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Thank you for replying. I'm inclined to believe the same thing. It's something I installed. The question is: What? How do I track down the specific program that interferes with the drive?

    The only method I can think of is to bite the bullet, and format-and-reinstall all over again from scratch. This time, however, I have to be more thorough. By that, I mean do a system restore IMMEDIATELY after Windows 10 is done installing, AND do a Macrium Reflect backup just of that.

    Then comes the tedious task of performing a system restore prior to each and every program I install. Very cumbersome. I then have to do an incremental Macrium backup prior to each program I install. I also have to check the audio CD's each time I install something.

    I can't think of any other way to track down the problem. And if the problem is—for some reason—due to a Windows Update, then I'm totally screwed.

    Oh…while it's on my mind…I don't think the problem is due to Nero, because I did not install that program last night, after the clean install. I don't think it's BurnAware, because the audio CD's worked on my computer after I used that program to burn them. Keep in mind, BurnAware was the very first program I installed after Windows 10 was installed.

    It might be one of the media players. I installed SM Player, and VLC Media Player. Maybe it's SM Player, because on the previous installation, I didn't put VLC on it.

    Or, maybe it's Any Burn. I did install that program. I use that mainly to make bootable rescue USB flash drives and discs.

    To address a few comments you made: I use MP3 files and FLAC files to burn audio CD's. Not waves. Also, I don't bother verifying the discs because after burning them, I immediately test them in my stereo. They all work. Also, I'm not 100 % sure verifying them will matter, because Nero might say they are all right, but Windows 10 Explorer might not.

    BurnAware, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't have a Verify option. I'll have to check. I might not install it this time around. I might go directly with Nero.

    I really don't want to do this all over again. Maybe I should do this in reverse, and just uninstall things one by one. I hope there's another solution out there, somewhere. Thanks again. Jd

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here is an update, for anyone reading this thread who might be interested.

    First of all, I tried a few file manager alternatives, including Free Commander and XYplorer. Neither recognized the F drive.

    Here is where things get interesting. I tried using the following media players to recognize and play audio cd's.
    1. SM Player
    2. VLC Media Player
    3. Winamp
    4. AIMP

    Here are the results:

    SM Player does not recognize the F drive.

    VLC Media Player not only recognizes the F drive, but it displays the CD-TEXT information for the audio CD tracks.

    Winamp is outdated and has been discontinued for years. Instead of using Winamp, I've been using a Russian-based program called AIMP. AIMP is not recognizing the F drive.

    So…I downloaded the most recent version of Winamp from the Winamp web site. The most recent version is 5.8, and it's old.
    This version of Winamp did recognize the F drive. However, it did not recognize the CD-TEXT information. It displays the tracks as Track 1, Track 2, etc. But the important thing is…it does play the audio CD.

    Some programs recognize the drive; some do not. I find this odd.

    But, for now, I've settled on using VLC Media Player. Not only does it recognize the drive and audio CD, and plays it, but it displays the cd-text information. Windows 10 File Explorer doesn't even do that.

    I'm using VLC Media Player as a workaround. I know it is not a solution to the problem, but at least for the moment, I can get audio cd's playing on my system. I am, of course, still interested in solving the problem.
      My Computer

  4. fireberd's Avatar
    Posts : 2,413
    Win 10 Pro, 21H1

    The Nero BurningRom verify after burn option only adds about 2 minutes to the total time. Not a big deal.
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 36
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    I’m not 100% sure about it, but as of this writing, I think I isolated the problem.

    I bit the bullet, and formatted-and-reinstalled Windows 10 all over again. This time, each step of the way, I did a system restore, prior to making any changes or installing software. Then, I restarted the computer to check the CD drive.

    Tedious, cumbersome, time-consuming, but dammit, if that doesn’t isolate the problem, then I’m stumped.

    To make a long story short…everything was good, up until I installed pCloud Drive.

    pCloud Drive is a cloud-based storage service, similar to Dropbox. There is software that allows you to integrate it into Windows Explorer. It acts like a regular drive. You can cut, copy, paste, etc. I’m sure you all know this.

    Anyway, after I installed it, I rebooted, and guess what…the audio CD went bye-bye. So, I did a system restore, rebooted, and sure enough, the audio CD came back.

    I installed a few other things, such as Office 365, Nero, and Dropbox. (Separately, each with their own restore point.)

    I was worried Dropbox might do the same thing, since it is similar to pCloud, but it didn’t. So, as of right now, I believe pCloud Drive—for some reason—is conflicting with my CD drive.

    I’m not done installing software or configuring Windows 10, so it’s possible this problem may arise again. I’m hoping it won’t, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’m well into installing software, so hopefully I’ve isolated the problem and solved it.
      My Computer

  6. fireberd's Avatar
    Posts : 2,413
    Win 10 Pro, 21H1

    Unfortunately sometimes it takes what you are doing to find the problem. I gave you a Kudo for all the work.
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 36
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Thank you. My grandmother referred to it as "elbow grease." I'll mark this thread as solved. Hopefully, the issue will not return if I install anything else. Lesson learned: System Restore EVERYTHING prior to installing it.
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 1
    Win 10 21h1

    Same issue and I use Pcloud, but on only 2 of 3 comps with issue

    Hi, first thanks for your hard work. I thought you nailed it when you mentioned PCloud, but I have 3 computers with this same issue and only 2 have PCloud installed. I have my main computer which i first discovered this. A test computer and most recently my Dell laptop is having the same issue. But I only have PCloud on Main and Dell. I do have iDrive a back up software on all 3. But I tried removing that from test computer and restarted and it made no difference. All the drives will play DVDs, All the drives will kind of play the music cds using VLC or something else. But File Explorer or other apps will not recognize that there is a music cd in the drive. This is driving me nuts. I would like to know if you reached out to PCloud and asked them if they had heard of issue or if they offered a fix. I did notice i recently updated the PCloud software. I was hoping if they did have a problem it could give a clue to what is happening. I am sure all the drives are OK. What are the chances of 3 drives failing at the same time.
    Thanks in advance for your help.
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 36
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Hi Ozzie.

    I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing the same problem. You may have to do what I did: Format your hard drive, reinstall Windows, and then install every software application one-by-one, while doing a System Restore backup prior to each and every installation. It was a tedious, time-consuming process for me, but it solved the problem.

    Also, I'm now running Windows 11 (via the Windows Insider program), and did not bother to install pCloud to see if anything would change on the new OS. (I have problems with Bluetooth, but that is the only issue I've discovered. I had issues with NordVPN, but that has been solved.)

    I'm not sure what else to say. I am sure formatting and reinstalling is the last thing you want to do, but that's how I tracked down my problem. Lastly, I did, yes, contact pCloud, but I haven't followed up with them.
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 1,658
    Windows 10 Pro 21H1 19043.928

    Hi OzzieC

    Welcome to Ten Forums.

    Before you decide to Rad-cap the tailpipe, why not try a Clean boot first? This is the usual approach to identifying app interactions or corruptions.

    Perform a Clean Boot in Windows 10 to Troubleshoot Software Conflicts
      My Computer


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