Receive error when CD is put in a computer

Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope

Dirty CD-ROM drive or CD causing CD not to be read properly

Computer CD-ROMIt is very common for dust, dirt, hair, or other material on a CD or CD-ROM drive to cause the CD to be improperly read or generate errors because data cannot be read from the CD.

  • See the computer cleaning page for steps on properly cleaning your CDs and CD-ROM drive.

Third-party program running causing the issue

Third-party programs running in the background can cause errors with the CD. Close all programs as well as End task any programs that may be running in the background to ensure they are not causing your issues.

CD-ROM not setup properly

If the CD-ROM is not installed or set up properly, this can cause the CDs to not be read or be read properly. If you are using Windows, check in Device Manager and verify no conflicts or errors are currently occurring with the installed CD-ROM drive.

CD is a bad burned CD or CD was copied from protected CD

If you have created a CD (burned a CD) and are getting errors, it is likely that either the CD was burned improperly or that the CD you copied was protected. It is recommended you either burn the CD again or verify with the software vendor that the CD is not copy protected.

CD is auto-running causing error

If you are using Windows, autorun can, in some cases, cause errors when first placed in the computer. It is recommended that you eject the CD from the computer and when the CD is placed back into the computer, hold the left Shift key on the keyboard. Holding the left Shift key down will disable the auto-running feature temporarily. Once the CD-ROM light is done flashing and you receive no error, open My Computer and right-click on the CD-ROM drive and click Explore to see if you receive errors reading the CD.

If no errors are received, it is likely the error is being caused by what is trying to automatically run when the disc is placed in the computer.

Windows is corrupted causing CD to generate error

If you are running Windows, it or its related drivers may be corrupt and is causing the CD-ROM drive to not be properly read. Before trying the below recommendation, make sure you have tried all of the above steps first.

We recommend that you use a bootable diskette that has CD-ROM drivers on it and test the CD-ROM drive from MS-DOS.

If you receive errors from MS-DOS, it is likely that the CD-ROM drive is bad.

If you do not receive errors from MS-DOS and the CD-ROM drive reads properly, it is likely that Windows is corrupted and we recommend that it be reinstalled.

Bad drive or bad discs

If you have determined you are only encountering errors with only one disc, you can recover the data from the disc and test the drive further using the software programs.

Additional information