First of all, let me apologize for all the mistakes I'm making while posting my question. This is my second time to post and I'm still new at computer terminology. I don't have a website, I've never blogged and I just recently learned what a "thread" is.

I guess my first question here is, How do I determine if my problem is related to hardware or software.

I've had my computer (Vista Premium) for a little over a year. Since there is so much to learn, I've devoted most of my time to learning just the basics of computers and while I have burned one or two CDs and DVDs, I decided to wait untill I had learned more basics before really getting into burning.

The initial burning I did turned out fine. But now that I want to get into it seriously, I find that somewhere along the line some problems have developed with my burning and I don't know just where they started.

The first problem I noticed was that if I burned an audio CD, on playback it was difficult for the player to recognize the first track. The slider bar would go half way through the song before it would start playing. I found that I could move the slider bar back and the player would pick up the song from there. However, if I moved the bar all the way to the beginning of this first song, it would not play.
I also noticed that some of the rest of the songs were very poor quality with a lot of "static sounds" in them. So, the full first song is there, it is just not being read properly by the player.

Now, I've found that the two DVDs I burned earlier will not play properly in the "E" drive. Rather than starting to play automatically, I have to open WMP and promp the video to play. When it does play, the sound is fine, but the picture is nothing but a screen full of multi colored pixels. I could get DVDs to play properly in the "F" drive, but while testing that drive for this question, I find that the "F" drive now wont even recognize there's a disc in it.

I had K-lite full installed during this time of the player behaving properly and when it was not. I read a lengthy, rather comprehensive article on the Internet that advised against having this codec in WMP. I removed it, but the player will still not play as it should. I also tried the player with and without the Xvid codecs. That doesn't seem to make a difference either.

The only other thing I know to add is that this problem is certainly not related to a lot of use or wear because as I said, I have burned only four or five times since I've had the computer. Also, CDs recorded on other computers will play fine from the biginning on mine, but the auto play feature does't work all the and I usually have to prompt them to play.

If anyone can tell a novice like me just where to start troubleshooting, I would certainly appreciate it. Also, If this question is not posted in the proper forum, please let me know.


You could try changing the auto-play settings
go to

(classic view)
control panel->Default programs->Change auto-play settings

This a really good codec
Just install it and forget it
It will ask you if you want to use it with anything that plays video or audio
just tell it always
I've got it and it plays anything and everything

If it don't then find out what your missing and type that codec into google

If you don't have the required codec WMP will have a red X out beside the item you are trying to play
Click on the red X and it should tell you what you are missing

Also you could uninstall you DVD/CD ROM drives
go to

(Classic View)
Control Panel->Device Manager
Go down to DVD/CD ROM Drives
Expand it and tell it to uninstall all your DVD/CD Drives

Then restart your PC and it will reinstall them on startup

Or you could get one of those CD Drive cleaner things
'I've never used one of these or needed too'

That's about all i can think of at the moment
Good Luck
Hope this fixes your problem

I don't think changing the autoplay settings would help. What would I change them to?
They are already set to automatically play CDs and DVDs upon insertion. And they did play automatically until these problems started.

I have tried to correct this problem with and without FFD Show. It makes no difference whether it is installed or not.

I don't get a red X beside what I'm trying to play because it does play. It's just that instead of a picture, I get a totally pixelated screen (with good sound, by the way).

I uninstalled the DVD/CD/ROM drives. As you said, they were automatically re installed when I restarted the computer. However, it made no difference in correcting the problem.

I have read so many warnings about CD lens cleaner discs, that I would be afraid to use them for fear they might damage the lens.

I hope that you or someone more advanced in this area can give me more advice as what to do at this point.

Thanks a lot for your help so far

How are you burning discs?
1. Drag and drop to the drive in 'Computer'?
2. or using a program (nero, wmp, ect)?

What are you burning?
1. Personal video files(Family vacation)
2. Store bought DVD's/CD's

Store bought discs have copyright/encryption junk the prevents you from copying

you would need something like AnyDVD and CloneDVD That work together to remove this

The video files on your discs could be corrupted
This was my problem when video didn't play right
try opening the dvd/s in windows media center and see if the same thing happens

just to be sure,
to see the little red X (sometimes the window saying i could play it didn't pop-up when i opened it) go to the now playing tab, click the little arrow under now playing and click "show list pane"

To keep this simple I will give you examples.

I am trying to burn mp3 files from my computer to a CD in audio format. I have tried burning them with WMP, Roxio and even Realplayer and Napster. The playback results are always the same as described in my post.

I am trying to play a DVD that I burned on my computer from AVI files on my computer.
I am trying to play it in WMP. It would play and it would play with a very good picture before these problems started. Now, all I get is sound and a highly pixelated picture.

I have the list pane showing. It does not show a red x to indicate anything wrong. Apparently, since the CD and DVD will play (just not properly), The player doesn't recognize anything wrong.

I am beginning to wonder if the laser lens has developed a film over it that is preventing it from reading the discs properly. I am afraid to use a cleaner disc as I have read so much against them. I would clean the lens myself, but I don't trust myself to take the assembly apart and get it back together again.

The results in Media Center are the same as in WMP.

I will be waiting to hear from you.

That would probably be the case (an obstruction on the lens)

Since your not comfortable with doing anything yourself

Try calling your local computer specialist center
Where I'm at, one of the best places is called "Advanced Systems Inc."

Try getting their opinion and going from there

They know way more about computers than I do
so give try them a call and see what they can do

Best of luck!!!