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ECDC 4 - Getting 'Please insert a CD with sufficient space' when trying to burn to a blank CD-RW

Edward Handley

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I'm trying to burn to disc some files of mine that reside on an old 'Windows 98' computer with the 'Easy CD Creator 4 by Adaptec' software installed in order to transfer them to my Apple Mac. I transfered some files off a few years back so I'm wanting to get the last remaining files off. I've inserted a blank CD-RW (TDK 650 MB CD-RW74HS High Speed 4~10x media which is the same disc I used last time), but when I hit the 'OK' button to burn the CD a dialog box pops up saying 'Please insert a CD with sufficient space in to the CD recorder'. I'm completly stumped as to why I'm getting this message as the CD is blank since I fully erased it after last time and the total size of the files to burn to disc is only 19.4 MB so a 650 MB disc is obviously way more than enough. I even did another 'Full erase' of the CD on my Mac just to make double sure it really is blank and my Mac certainly reports it as such. The CD-RW drive in the Windows computer is an 'Acer 10x8x32'. I also tried erasing the disc with ECDC 4 (choosing to erase completly), but the 'Start' button is blanked out for some reason as if it doesn't recognise a valid disc is inserted. However what computer I erase the disc on shouldn't make any difference? 



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Hi Edward,

I'm sorry, but I can't see a quick solution.

Your system isn't complaining because it thinks the CD is too full, but because for some reason it isn't seeing a disc it can write to.   If the 'Start' button isn't active it means that Creator hasn't got a 'ready to write' signal back from your CD recorder, and without that signal you're not going anywhere.

I assume that this setup used to write CDs before.  Why is this happening now?  Check the CD, and the drive connections and optics.
-can your Mac write/read files on the disc?  If so, the disc is okay.
-can your PC see the list of files the Mac wrote?  If so, connections and read optics are okay.

If it passes those tests but you still can't light up the Start button, I think the writing part of the PC's recorder may have died.   To continue you would need to get another old CD drive (from last century, that ECDC4 would recognise) to replace the current drive.  :(

If we get to this point you might consider other ways to get your precious photos off the machine.   There's no point trying a USB portable CD or pendrive because Windows 98 won't look at the USB.  If your machine has an Ethernet port (rather than a telephone port for dial-up) you could email the photos to yourself.  Floppies wouldn't work unless you had another machine to read them in.  If all else fails, you may have to get someone to pop the hard drive out and read it with another machine.

Best regards,


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Thanks Brendon for your informative reply. What you're saying is you believe it's not a case the optical drive is seeing the disc as full, but rather it's likely not recognising the disc, hense the 'Start' button being blanked out in ECDC 4. What I can tell you is the drive is reading discs perfectly fine like a commercial audio CD or a commercial game or an already burned CD-R data disc which has been burned on another computer. 

What I find confusing is even though there's only one optical drive in the computer (an Acer CDRW 10x8x32) 'Windows 98 (2nd Edition)' displays two drives in 'My Computer' - a 'D' drive and an 'E' drive ('A' is the floppy drive and 'C' is the hard drive). 'Device Manager' also lists two optical drives and both are listed as 'CD-ROM Drive'. Each drive has its own firmware revision - R04 for 'D' and 8JZ for 'E'. The 'Driver' for both is Microsoft 4-23-1999. For each it states 'This device is working properly' I'm presuming 'E' is for a 2nd optical drive (if one is installed) as when I load an audio CD or a game or an already burned disc it always shows in 'D' drive. When I load my blank CD-RW disc there's no CD start-up spinning noise (there should be) and when I click on 'D' I get the message 'D:\ is not accessable. The device is not ready' which as you say seems to indicate the disc just isn't being recognised.

I personally don't think the problem is the optical drive since it recognises and reads other types of discs just fine. I therefore think it's the disc I'm using which is why I need to try a different CD-RW disc, though as I said my Mac has no issue with the disc, but maybe Acer drives are fussy with TDK media? Someone suggested maybe the disc is in a Mac format since it was last erased on a Mac and that I'd need to erase it on a Windows computer for it to be recognised. I'll certainly try the disc in another Windows computer, though that won't necessarily prove anything since the optical drive will be different, but at least I can then erase it on a Windows computer. It shouldn't make a difference of course, but who knows?

The computer I'm trying to get the last of my old files off is a 'Fairstar' (an Australian brand) computer circa late '99/early '00 as the HD is only 4 GB. The ports on the back of the computer from top to bottom are: Printer (LPT 1), Mouse (obviously not USB) then Modem (for 56K dial-up which doesn't work anymore as the connector came loose and fell inside) then Monitor Signal then Joystick, Speakers and finally the last one which isn't labeled, but which is a 15-pin (8 top, 7 bottom) and has the screw either side like the printer connector. Anyone know what this port might likely be for? (maybe for hooking up another computer to transfer files between the two?) My sister has her old 'HP Compaq Dx7200' stored at our house which is certainly more modern hardware so probably has USB ports? It has Windows XP Professional installed.



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I'm chasing this one round in several directions, but it's hard given the enhanced age of both your software and hardware (and me).  Can you tell me which version of ECDC 4 you're running?  If you go to Help, there should be an "About" button in there saying somewhere between 4.01 and 4.05.

There are differences between MAC and PC discs.   Please read this topic, which also concerns a Fairstar vs. a Mac.  I think it would pay to erase elsewhere or try a different disc.  I can airmail a couple over to you if you're stuck, but expect the mail to take a week.  (Mouse over my picture at the left of this post to send me a private message with address if you need to)

ECDC 5 used the operating system's resources to read discs, but employed an Adaptec/Roxio PXEngine to write them.  The PXEngine had to be properly installed for the burn button to be active.  I'm trying to locate my old ECDC 4 software to see if version 4 did the same thing.

The display of two optical drives is perplexing!  I immediately thought of a registry error or drive emulation, but if Device Manager says there are two and they each show different firmware, that says two drives to me!  Can you (1) pop the case lid and peep under the bonnet?  (2) Is the 'Insert Notification' box in Device Manager properties checked for the second drive?  [perplexing is the polite word]

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Brendon, the version of ECDC 4 installed on the old Windows 98 computer is 4.02d S24. 

I read the topic you linked to. It's actually an old post of mine from 2008 when I was trying to work out how to burn a disc using ECDC 4 to get the files off my old Windows 98 computer and on to my Mac. I seemed to have the opposite problem back then in that the disc would burn successfully, but my Mac then wouldn't recognise it. Now of course it recognises the disc, but ECDC 4 won't. I can't remember what I originally did back then, but obviously I did manage to transfer the files as they're in a folder on my Mac called 'Old Windows 98 files'. Of course I only transfered the files I wanted or needed at the time so what I'm trying to do now is transfer the remaining files off.

It does seem like a 'formatting' issue rather than any physical issue with the disc itself given my Mac recognises it perfectly fine. I'll get a chance maybe today or Monday to try the disc in another Windows computer which will hopefully recognise it and thus allow me to fully erase it thus formatting it to a Windows format - if that's what happens?. Then I'll see if ECDC 4 recognises it.

I too am perplexed about the computer showing two optical drives ('D' & 'E') despite only one optical drive installed or certainly there's only one loading tray. There is another optical drive panel/section above the Acer, but the bezel is blank, but looks like it can be removed for a loading tray to be fitted. Directly below this bezel is an earphone socket, a volume control wheel, two tiny lights (non operational) and two buttons marked 'Play/Skip' and 'Open/Close', but are non functional. Clearly a CD player is meant to be installed here. Whether one was originally or still is I don't know? Obviously one can just insert an audio CD in the Acer and use Windows's 'CD Player'. The computer clearly has support for two optical drives. I'm gussing 'E' drive is designated the CD player (if one is installed) as any disc inserted in the Acer (assuming its recognised/readable) appears in 'D' drive.

By the way I found out what the unnamed 15-pin port is on the back. Apparently it's the 'Games' port for connecting legacy game controllers and also MIDI devices.
















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Well, your past came back to haunt you!  (grin)

I think you need to try another disc. Perhaps a CD-R?  My postal offer still stands if you can't find any in town.

Meanwhile I managed to get hold of an ACER OEM disc for ECDC4 and have installed it under Win98SE on a virtual machine, but the VM only allows one optical drive so I can't test what I want.

I remember way back when I was running ECDC4 on my old P4 with twin drives, there were ways you could test and write to one drive or the other.  I just can't see how to do that in the VM with one drive, so I'm going to try installing on a spare HD in a real machine.  Can you see any way to direct ECDC to drive D or E: on your machine?  (I'm wondering if the writer has confused itself with the extra drive letter)

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Back again,

No way I could install W98 on a real machine because I can't find real-time drivers for the more modern optical drives in there and the installer insists on using a CD drive.  :(

Meantime, would you please run yours in Data Disc, and then go to Tools > System Tests. You should see a screen like this:


Now mine is only showing the one optical drive, D.  Does yours show both D and E?  If it does, how do they both react to you inserting the blank CD and one with data on it?

Can you see any way you can choose to use one drive instead of the other to write a data CD?



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I tried the disc in another Windows computer (a friend's 'Dell' running 'Windows 7 Professional'). It recognised and read the disc fine and allowed me to erase it which I did so no arguments now about the disc not being in a Windows format (if such a state exists?). When I got home I put the disc in my old Windows 98 computer and no difference! It still will not recognise or read the disc despite the fact we know the disc is 100% fine (it reads and writes fine on both my Mac and my friend's Dell) and of course ECDC 4 did burn the first lot of my files to the disc in 2008.

I got my information wrong regarding the two drives as it's 'E' drive which is the Acer which makes me more confused because as I said if I insert an audio CD, a commercial software CD like a game or a CD-R data disc burned on another computer, they all show in 'D' drive and yet there's only one loading tray! How is that possible? You surely can't have one loading tray sharing two drives?

I went to 'Tools' - 'CD Drive Properties' in ECDC 4 and this is what it states for each drive:

CD-Recorder (Default)

E: ATAPI CD-R/RW 10x8x32

Vendor: ATAPI

Product ID: CD-R/RW 10x8x32

Firmware Rev: 8JZ

Address: 1:0:0

Audio Extraction Rate: Not tested

Max Read Speed: 32x (4800 KB/s)

Cache Buffer: 4096 KB

UPC and ISRC: Yes

Bar Code: No

Write Test: Yes

Disc At Once: Yes

And for 'D' drive it states:


Mitsumi CD-ROM FX800S !B

Firmware Rev: R04

Address: 0:1:0

Audio Extration Rate: Not tested

Max Read Speed: 8x (1200 KB/s)

Cache Buffer: 256 KB

UPC and ISRC: Yes

Bar Code: No

When I go to 'CD Creation Setup' in ECDC 4 the 'Target Device' is set to E: ATAPI CD-R/RW 10x8x32. There is no other option in case you're to say maybe it's set to Mitsumi CD-ROM FX800S !B. No it isn't.

So same messages as before i.e. 'E:\ Is not accessable. The device is not ready' when I click on 'E' drive and 'Please insert a CD with sufficient space' when I click 'Ok' to burn in ECDC 4 and the 'Start' button is still blanked out when I choose the 'Erase CD' option in ECDC 4.

I have a theory the computer and ECDC 4 have a problem recognising blank CD-RW discs so maybe I'll try burning a file to the disc in my Mac just so the disc isn't blank and see if that makes a difference when I insert it in my Windows computer. See if ECDC 4 accepts it and allows me to burn it i.e to add more files to it. I'll try that tomorrow.

There's also a 'PC Users Group' in my city so I might contact them and see if they can help? As a last resort I can still transfer the remaining files to floppy disc. That drive works fine and I still have a box of 10 Verbatim 3 1/2" discs. Of course I'd have to find another Windows computer with a 3 1/2" floppy drive and DVD/CD-RW drive. Easier said than done.






Edited by Edward Handley
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I might have an answer. I just found the following post titled 'Formating CD's and DVD's in Windows 7 for data storage'. It says the following:

Format a CD or DVD

Before you can burn files to a CD, DVD, or Blu-ray Disc, the disc must first be prepared using a process called formatting. There are several ways to format a disc. Your choice of format determines which computers and other devices will be able to read the disc.

  1. Insert a recordable or rewritable disc into your computer's CD, DVD, or Blu-ray Disc burner.
  2. In the AutoPlay dialog box that appears, click Burn files to disc using Windows Explorer.
  3. Type a name for your disc in the Disc title box.
    1. Click one of the following formatting options:
      • Like a USB flash drive

    The disc will use the Live File System format.

      • With a CD/DVD player

    The disc will use the Mastered format.

    1. Click Next to prepare the disc.

    Now you can burn files to your disc using whichever method you selected. For more information about burning a CD or DVD, see Burn a CD or DVD in Windows Explorer.

    When you format a CD or DVD, you can choose either the Live File System or Mastered format. Use the following information to help you determine which formatting option you should choose.

Live File System discs:

  • Enable you to copy files immediately to the disc by dragging them.
  • Are convenient if you want to keep a disc in your disc burner and occasionally copy a few files at a time.
  • Are convenient because there is no lengthy recording step as there is with Mastered discs. Each file is written to the disc as you drag it to the disc folder.
  • Enable you to save a new file directly to the disc.
  • Enable you to update or delete individual files.
  • Enable you to format the disc again when you use a rewritable disc, such as a CD-RW,  DVD-RW, or DVD-RAM.
  • Might have to be closed before they can be used in other computers.

Mastered discs:

  • Are compatible only with computers running on Windows XP and later versions of Windows
  • Enable you to drag files to the disc and then burn all the files at once.
  • Are convenient if you need to burn a large collection of files.
  • Are compatible with computers running older or current versions of the Windows operating system, a different operating system other than Windows, as well as consumer electronic devices such as CD players, DVD players, and Blu-ray Disc players.
  • Might require a large amount of free hard disk space to burn (up to twice the capacity of the disc you're burning).

So it seems I'm missing a vital step and the disc must be formatted before it can be used and that formatting a disc is different to simply erasing a disc (returning it to blank or an unused state) which is what I'm doing. In formatting it I need to give it a title and choose a formatting option ('Live File' or 'Mastered' or the equivalents if using a different Windows OS). I think the problem is I'm used to using Macs where there's no such requirement to format a CD/DVD. In fact from what I read the Mac OS has no concept of a 'Live' or 'Mastered' CD/DVD. That's a Windows OS concept. Anyway I'll go back and follow the steps in this article and see if the result is different?













Edited by Edward Handley
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DON'T FORMAT THE CD!  There be DRAGONS!  Stick with the standard "Mastering" system.

Easy CD Creator employs the Mastering system, but it also gives you a choice to use a system called Direct CD instead.  Direct CD formats your disc and then allows you to drag and write individual files onto it, as long as you have the right software running on your machine.  The formatting itself wastes 133 MB on a 700 MB disc, and there are many complications caused by it which increase the likelihood of sudden loss of files when the disc fails.


Now, back to your drive(s). Your system says you have two optical drives, an Atapi CD-R/RW 10x8x32 recorder, and a Mitsumi FX800S player (read only).   It's reporting different addresses on the bus, and appropriate different speeds, abilities, vendor, and firmware versions.   Computer systems don't get to make that stuff up, so there has to be another drive in there somewhere.  How I wish I was there looking over your shoulder so I could poke a stick at it!

I can't do much more for you from 2200km away - I think you need to approach your local Users' Group.  Someone needs to examine that machine in person, and there's bound to be several members who could transfer the files to a CD or a USB stick for you.  Please do it soon, because this puzzle is really nagging at me.

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