MJ wont burn CDs or: why do Speed Disk&Defrag keep starting?

Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2003 10:43 am
My problem started when last night, suddenly all my attempts to burn CDs with Media Jukebox started failing. Almost every time, at track 16, it said "Unexpected Error", something about "Disk/File Read Error". This never happened before, and I've burnt a bunch of CDs just the other week.

I went through the MJ Interaction troubleshooting section, and I followed up on a number of things:
* In Windows device manager, I turned off DMA mode and "auto-insert" notification and enabled the "Disconnect" and "Sync Data Transfer" options.
* I've uninstalled WinOnCD.
* I right-clicked the icons in the toolbar bottom-right (near clock) and exited those programs.
* I clicked ctrl-alt-del and closed every program except Explorer and MJ itself.

But a last tip was to defragment the hard disk, as "sometimes a severely fragmented drive can slow data transfer considerably". So I tried that - but defrag keeps starting itself back up again every 2, 3 minutes - never finishing the task. Same happens when I try to run Norton Speed Disk.

Now the MJ troubleshooting section warns about this: "If the defrag process keeps restarting every few seconds, this could be the cause of the CD burning failures: something is writing to the disk periodically. Possible culprits are virus checkers, backup programs, virtual memory settings that cause swapping, network activity, background downloads of data or faxes". But:

* I already turned the screensaver off.
* I dont have a running virus checker (only a viruscheck program that I have to start up to run).
* I set the power saving options at max - hard disk and monitor dont get switched off for at least an hour.
* I disconnected from the cable/Internet.

What is still interrupting the defrag / Speed Disk process? Thats probably the same thing that interferes with the CD burning, so the problem must be there - but I havent got a clue where to look anymore.

Can anyone help me?

Suggestions MUCH appreciated ;-).
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Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2003 10:53 am
Restart in safe mode and you should be able to run defrag all the way through.

One thing though, the "Disk/File Read Error" may be indicating a problem with your hard drive or MJ installation rather than buffer underruns.

Try running Scandisk or Norton Disk Doctor with the option set to do a "thorough" scan. If it keeps restarting while running the disk check, again, restart in safe mode & run it.

By the way, what version of Windows and Media Jukebox are you running?
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Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2003 11:38 am
Monger wrote:
Restart in safe mode and you should be able to run defrag all the way through. [..]

Try running Scandisk or Norton Disk Doctor with the option set to do a "thorough" scan. If it keeps restarting while running the disk check, again, restart in safe mode & run it.

By the way, what version of Windows and Media Jukebox are you running?

Windows 98; and MJ 8 - checked for updates, there are none, so its the latest.

Thanks for the tip on restarting in safe mode - that should help in defragmenting. But if the thing that keeps interrupting the defrag is the same thing that interrupts the CD burning process, i'll still have that problem, wont i? That is, I assume I cant burn CDs in safe mode ... ?

I ran Disk Doctor (strangely enough, that didnt get interrupted - but then, it lasts shorter), but I didnt do a "thorough" one, I'll try that too.
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Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2003 02:27 pm
Dunno for sure what's causing defrag to restart on you, but that commonly happens when some application attempts to write information to the drive during the defrag process. Apps which have an auto-update function turned on, an email client set to periodically poll for new messages, memory managers, connection-keep-alive programs, screensavers, power managers, messenger programs, and all sorts of other stuff write to the drive, changing data with no conscious input from the user. Task Manager can help you spot and shut down most, but not necessarily all of these. If I recall, defrag will restart 10 times, then ask you if you wish to continue despite the interuptions or abort the process ... electing to continue will cause Defrag to press on regardless, but often is futile. Starting in safemode eliminates background apps from starting with Windows, so the drive status is unchanged during defrag. I defrag my machines on average 3 or 4 times a month, and after any major change, such as new hardware, intallation or removal of a program or applying a major update. I always do it in safemode, just letting that machine do its thing untill I notice it has finished, whereupon I do a normal reboot.

As to CD burning, that is resource-intensive, requiring significant employment of both processor power and available physical and virtual memory. An unnoticed backround app running concurrently with your burning program can result in the error you describe.

One more tip; sometimes it is best to first copy the data you wish to burn to your hard drive, then burn from that image as opposed to attempting to burn from an active live stream, whether from download or from secondary optical drive.

Finally, a corrupted installation of MJ could be the problem. If it is practical for you to do so, it might help to uninstall it and reinstall a fresh version from scratch.
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Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 11:53 am
Well, I've defragmented my harddisk in safe mode - took some 16 hours (!).

And then in normal mode I did Norton WinDoctor (corrected some 30 errors) and Norton Speed Disk. Speed Disk took another two or three hours.

Now I'm running Norton DiskDoctor, which has been going for a few hours too.

I still dont know whether, after all this, MJ will burn CDs again, but at least my computer will be squeaky clean again. But damn what a work!!

Thanks all. I'll let ya know about the CDs ... ;-)
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Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 02:51 pm
The more regularly routine maintenance is performed, the less effort it requires and the greater its benefit.
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Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2003 03:46 pm
Well, I finally found the problem - I can burn CDs again.

But first, I did all kinds of other things ... :-/

I ran DiskDoctor, thorough - took forever, found no problems.

I downloaded the Adaptec ASPI Installation verification, as suggested in the MJ Tips page, and it noted that "ASPI is properly installed and fully operational".

I found that I had already unchecked the "decode mp3 files directly to CD" option in CD Writer Settings, and that I didnt have "FindFast", which could also have gotten in the way.

But - here was the thing ... in the "Burning tips" page of the MJ Help, where the kind of problem I was experiencing is featured in some detail, it wasnt mentioned, but in the FAQ under "Burning" -> "When I try to burn a CD, everything goes fine for a while, but an error message eventually appears [..]", it was: one of the suggestions there is to basically toggle the "generic driver" option on the CD writer settings page - select it if its not selected, unselect it if it is.

I selected it, cause it wasnt, and presto. Works now.

Ah ... that was a large part of my weekend ...

But I do love my MJ ... its really a great program. So much more features than Winamp, while avoiding the bloated multifunction RealOne stuff (I used to like RealJukebox) ...
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