Why do I receive an error when a CD is put in a computer?

Updated: 06/30/2020 by Computer Hope
Computer CD-ROM

If you receive an error in Microsoft Windows when you insert a disc into your CD-ROM drive, the following tips and information may help you fix the problem.

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

Dust, dirt, hair, or another foreign material on a CD or CD-ROM drive can cause the CD to be improperly read and generate errors. Make sure the disc and drive are clean.

Third-party program running causing the issue

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

CD-ROM not set up 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 created a CD (burned a CD) and received an error, likely either the CD was burned improperly, or the CD you copied was protected. We recommend 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. We recommend you eject the CD from the computer, and when the CD is placed back into the computer, hold the left Shift on the keyboard. Holding the left Shift down disables the auto-running feature temporarily. Once the CD-ROM light is done flashing and you receive no error, open My Computer and right-click the CD-ROM drive and click Explore to see if you receive errors reading the CD. If you get no errors, it's likely the error is caused by what's 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 tried all of the above steps first.

We recommend you use a bootable diskette with CD-ROM drivers 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 correctly, Windows is likely corrupted, and we recommend 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