FAQ for all DVD/CD Drive Models

Writing / Reading

NOTE: This page provides tips for using your drive. For details, please consult your manuals or the distributor.
The DVD section provides information on DVD models.



Is there any information about DVD-Video Creation available?

Go to this page.

For DVD-Video playback:

For information on playback of a commercially available DVD-Video disc on a Ricoh DVD drive:
See DVD playback FAQs.

For playback of DVD-Video discs created (DVD+RW/+R) on a home DVD player / DVD-ROM drive:
See DVD+RW Compatibility List.

DVD+RW/+R media should have a 4.7 GB capacity, but I cannot write over 4.4 GB or so.

Go to this page.

I cannot get my drive to write at its maximum speed.

<When you cannot write at maximum speed with any brand of media, including with Ricoh media>
For example; The MP5120A has a function for writing or rewriting at 2.4x (DVD+RW), 12x (CD-R) and 10x (CD-RW). However writing actually also depends on the source device or the PC. When you try copying directly at 12x from another CD-ROM device, the CD-ROM drive has to have enough speed to extract the data. In general most CD-ROM devices can read at 24x, or over, but the data transfer speed differs from the maximum reading speed. Some writing software will have an option allowing you to test the transfer speed of the source device.
Try change your writing method to create an image file or wave file using a Ricoh drive first, and then write from the files you created. Also refer this column about
Buffer underrun.

<When you cannot write at maximum speed with a certain brand of media>
Any time you have this problem, it is better to try recommended media, such as one from Ricoh.
Check your manual or
here for information about recommended or tested media for your model.

And, if your model has JustSpeed, a function ensuring optimum write speed control for safe writing, JustSpeed should handleany speed problem. For details on JustSpeed refer to
the product information page for your drive.


Although the MP5240A should write at 4x for DVD, the writing speed of 4x DVD+RW/DVD+R media does not seem to be any faster than that of 2.4x DVD media. In fact, it seems slower.

1. Check to see if the DMA mode of an MP5240A or the IDE HD drive is enabled. The DMA setting may be set to PIO mode (DMA disabled). Look here for details on DMA settings.
2. Update your HD controller driver to the latest version. For details please ask the PC manufacturer, the motherboard manufacturer, or the chipset manufacturer.

Error codes and Error messages appear.

When error messages appear from your writing software during writing or formatting, we would recommend writing the message down or saving the log file first, if you can.
For the solution in general, check the following items.

  • Try it with recommended media, such as discs from Ricoh.
  • Review your PC environment with after consultingthis Link.
  • For details aboutError Codes look here.

If this does not help you, there may be something wrong with the drive, itself. In that case, we recommend taking the drive for repair. Or please consult with your distributor or agent for further assistance.

A "Buffer underrun error" message appears.

What is a buffer underrun error?

This is an error that occurs when the data transfer from the PC cannot keep up with the speed of writing to the disc. The data is stored in a buffer (an area of main memory set aside for temporary storage) before it is written to the disc. This error means the buffer becomes empty causing interruption in the writing. Usually this is due to the lack of power of the CPU. This problem can be avoided by the following methods:

1. Quit or deactivate unnecessary programs resident in memory.
For example,
· Screen Savers, Anti-Virus software, System agents, Schedulers
· Any program that may activate on its own
2. Log out of any Networks. A stand alone PC is better.
3. Reduce the writing speed.
4. Try again usingRecommended media.
5. Scan the HD to check if something has gone wrong with the system.
6. Check the source files to see if there is something that has been damaged.
7. When copying from a CD, check to see if it is scratched, dirty, or damaged.
8. Reboot your PC before writing to a disc.
9. Defragment your HDD to reduce data access time.
10. Modify the recording method from the HDD to the disc drive by creating image files or wave files on the HDD before recording.

Enabling the JustLink feature will solve this problem where the data transfer from the PC cannot keep up with the speed of writing, if your model has JustLink.
In addition, using programs for packet writing will solve this problem, since the data is written in small 64KB packets.

If this does not help, refer to
Error codes and Hints on troubleshooting .

Certain brands of CD-R, for example, those from Ricoh can be written to, but other brands of CD-R cannot.

Try writing with the recommended CD-R discs first. For the details, consult your manuals.

Recommended media

It would be a good idea trying with several brands listed among those recommended. If this doesn't help, refer to
Error codes and Hints on troubleshooting .

My PC freezes during writing. Or sometimes it reboots by itself.

Check or try the following, one by one.
1. If writing software from different software vendors is installed, try to remove all writing software except the one that you are going to use.
Only one mastering software suite should be installed at any one time, as there may be a possibility of conflicts between the drivers.
2. Update the HD controller driver to the latest version.
3. On a Compaq PC system with pre-installed 'Compaq Utilities' like 'Insight Manager,' it has been reported that writing software will not run just after being installed. In such a case, you may have to try writing on that system after removing the utilities.
4. Change the DMA mode from Ultra DMA to Multiword DMA.Click here for information on DMA settings.
The case below was reported, and it has been solved by changing the DMA mode to 'Multiword DMA.'
- Cannot use the drive on a system with a MaGik1 chipset on the motherboard.
5. Review your system.This link will help you to figure it out.

My drive cannot read any kind of media.

Check the following one by one to find the cause of your problem.
1. Check to see if there are any dents nor scratches on the surface of the disc.
2. Try several other type of media, like an ordinary CD-ROM disc, a commercially available audio CD, or CD-R/RW media. If the problem only appears with a particular disc, it may be caused by the disc.
3. Try reading the disc using another CD-ROM drive connected to another PC that works properly.
If there is no problem with the other drive, there could be something wrong with the writer or the system.
Check to see if you have made any changes to the system connected with the writer. If so try setting it back to its initial state, first.
4. Try a firmware update to the latest version, if released. A RICOH drive firmware is available fromour Download website.
5. SeeHints on troubleshooting in general.

If the above does not help, and then if "Device not accessible" appears, or if an LED light on the front of the writer is blinking, there could be something wrong with the writer. We would recommend contacting the store where you purchased the drive or your distributor for repair service.

An LED light on the writer is blinking, or "Device not accessible" appears.

Check to see if the writer is properly connected. See here for details.

Or if you have made any changes to the system, try setting it back to its original state. Review your system with Hints on troubleshooting.

If the above does not help, there could be something wrong with the writer. We would recommend contacting the store where you purchased the drive, or your distributor for repair service.

My drive cannot read stamped CD-ROMs or commercial audio CDs.

Check to see if you have made some changes to the system. If so, try setting it back to the way it was originally, first. If you did not change any PC settings at all, there could be something wrong with the writer. We would recommend contacting your distributor or agent.

Other CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drives or players cannot read a disc written on My drive.

Check the compatibility between the disc and the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM/player first. For instance, check to see if the device supports reading the type of media and the format in which it was recorded.
Please check the following examples to look for any helps.

If you try to write again using other discs, please use recommended media to be sure.

[CDRW discs written using packet-writing software] Only multi-read compatible CD-ROM drives can read CD-RW discs as a function of the CD-ROM drive. Also a CD-RW disc written using packet writing software may need a specific reading driver. Consult your writing software manual or the help menu for details.

[Audio recorded on CD-R/RW discs and a personal CD player] Check to see if the disc is recorded in an audio format (CD-DA) first. Just writing wave files in data format, or in UDF format differs from CD-DA format.
CD-RW media may not be supported by some personal CD players, even if recorded using the CD-DA format. On rare occasions some CD players may not support CD-R media. Try the disc with several CD players or other CD-ROM drives.
Also see
Audio Playback FAQs.

[Audio recorded on a disc and the session opened] In case your writing software has this function, when a session on a disc has not yet been closed, it has not been completed in CD-DA format. It is quite normal that the disc cannot be read by CD players or CD-ROM drives until it is closed.

[DVD+RW discs written using packet-writing software] Whether a disc written using packet-writing software can be read or not will depend on the packet-writing software or your operating system. Consult the software manual first. Or visit the software vendor's website to find further information. A specific reading driver for the packet-writing software may be available.

[DVD+RW/+R discs written as DVD-Video] Visit DVD+RW Compatibility to find a model name for the DVD-ROM drive/home DVD player. Also see DVD Playback FAQs .

When a CD-R disc recorded with ordinary data cannot be read, test the drive using Recommended media first. If a Ricoh drive, or any other CD-ROM drives cannot read it, there may be something wrong with the drive. See Troubleshooting or consult your distributor.

The drive does not work well, and I cannot find what is wrong. What should I do first?

The drive is controlled by the PC, so that when you cannot figure out the cause of the problem, a review of the PC environment may be needed.

Look here or click the links below, in your case.


How can I create a wave file or an image file?

Most writing software will have this function, but for the details, please consult the Help menu or your software manual. When you create wave or image files on the HDD, it is better that you are using a Ricoh drive, rather than using other CD-ROM devices. In any case, you have to have free space on your HDD for the wave or image files.

Why should I create a wave file or an image file before writing to the disc?

Please understand the difference between reading speed and digital extracting speed first. Most CD-ROM drives can read data at 24x or over, however, they are not always capable of extracting data at a high enough speed.
Creating a wave/image file on the HDD using only the RICOH drive is a good way to help when you cannot find the cause of writing problems. You should be able to find whether or not the problem has been caused by a source device, like a CD-ROM drive.

How can I erase everything and return to a blank, a formatted rewritable disc? Are there any programs or utilities to do this?

Consult your writing software manuals or help menu for details on how to erase a rewritable disc. This is a function of each writing software.

After I installed my choice of writing software, a blank disc appears to be an 'Audio CD' in My Computer.

It is thought, in this case, that the HD controller driver may not support a CD/DVD writer. Try updating the HD controller driver to the latest version. Further information can be found from the manufacturer of the PC, the Motherboard, or the Chipset.

FAQs about HD controllers for your information.

The color of the recording surface of the CD-R disc makes it look like it is divided into three circles, inner, middle and outer.

In some case, this phenomenon may appear with 16x and over drives and which is not any malfunction of the drive.

This is from ZCLV (Zoned Constant Linear Velocity) method in writing.
For instance, RICOH MP9200A write CD-Rs at 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x and 20x.
When writing at 12x or over, the writing speed with ZCLV is constantly changing in points from 12x to 16x and to 20x. So that the surface of the disc looks like it is different colors at the inner, middle and outer sections, depending on the CD-R disc.
There is no problem with the drive in itself.

For details on ZCLV, see
the specifications page for each model.

What is the difference between 'For Data' and 'For Video' for DVD+RW and DVD+R media? Can 'For Data' create a DVD-Video disc with a DVD+RW drive?.

There is no difference between 'DVD+RW for Data' and 'DVD+RW for Video' media, or between 'DVD+R for Data' and 'DVD+R for Video' media in itself.
Refer to
FAQ for media for further information.
Useful LINKs:
Do you need other helps? Please find any link you want from the following.
Hints on Troubleshooting
DVD/CD Support Main
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