iTunes for Windows: Additional troubleshooting tips for burning issues

Learn some additional steps to troubleshoot burning issues.

Using iTunes for Windows, you can easily "burn" audio, data, and MP3 CDs with most major disc drives, including:

  • CD-R
  • CD-RW
  • DVD-R/RW
  • DVD+R/RW

Here are a few tips you can try to solve common issues burning discs with iTunes for Windows.

  • Download and install the latest version of iTunes.
  • See "Can't burn a CD in iTunes for Windows" for basic troubleshooting steps. If you continue to have difficulty, then continue with the additional troubleshooting steps below.

If after following the instructions in this document you still can't read or burn discs, try the following:

Try other software


  • Open a different music player, such as Windows Media Player, and test if it can play a CD you've burned.
  • Open the CD burning software that came with your computer or disc drive, and test to see if it can burn a CD.

If you're not able to read or burn discs using other software, there may be a more general issue with your computer or the drive. You should probably contact your computer or drive manufacturer for help. In the mean time, try the tips below.


Use good blank discs


Some brands of blank discs may work better with your drive than others. Check the disc manufacturer's website for the brand of blank discs you are using. Many brands post lists of drives that have issues burning to their discs. They may also publish tips on how to troubleshoot burning issues.

You can use the chart below as a general guideline to assess what types of CD-R media are compatible with different drive types.

Drive Type

Drive Type Logo

CD-RW Speed Range

Media Type Supported

Multi Speed Drive

1x ~ 4x

Multi Speed CD-RW media
High Speed Drive

4x ~ 16x

Multi Speed CD-RW media
High Speed CD-RW media
Ultra Speed Drive

16x ~ 24x

Multi Speed CD-RW media
High Speed CD-RW media
Ultra Speed CD-RW media



Check for software updates


Microsoft or your computer's manufacturer may have released updated software. Check to see if there are updates to Windows or to the software that controls the drive. Check your computer manufacturer's website for updates, particularly for updates to the CD or DVD drive. If you bought the drive separately from the computer, check the drive manufacturer's website. See this document for additional information on updating software for Windows.


Check for firmware updates


From time to time manufacturers publish updates to a CD or DVD drive's internal software (known as firmware). Check your computer manufacturer's website for firmware updates first. This is important because the internal drives used by some companies (including Dell) require special firmware. If an update is not available from the computer manufacturer, check with the company that made the drive.

Updating your drive's firmware is a particularly good troubleshooting step if iTunes is showing a 2122, 2123, or 2131 error when trying to burn a CD. For optical drives manufactured by Aopen, firmware updates can be downloaded at

Important: Use special care when installing firmware updates. Incorrectly installing a firmware update could damage the drive and make it unusable. Always check with the computer manufacturer first before checking with the drive manufacturer.

Tip: If you need help with the next two steps, contact the company that manufactured your computer or drive.


Check hardware configuration


Check if your computer's drive is capable of Direct Memory Access (DMA). If so, turn on that feature and make sure the drive is not set to use Programmed Input Output (PIO). DMA and PIO are two ways a drive can be configured to connect and transfer data to a computer. PIO is the slower method. This could affect the drive's performance. If you have two drives, make sure the other drive is not using PIO either. It could affect the drive you are trying to use with iTunes. Check with the computer or drive manufacturer for additional information.

To turn on DMA:

  1. Open Device Manager (right-click on My Computer (Windows XP and Windows 2000) or Computer (Windows Vista and Windows 7) and in the shortcut menu, click Manage)
  2. Select Device Manager.
  3. Click the plus sign, or arrow, next to IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.

  4. Right-click on the IDE bus that contains the optical drive and in the shortcut menu, click Properties.
  5. Click the Advanced Settings tab.
    Make sure the Transfer Mode for the devices on the bus is set to DMA if available, not PIO Only.


Check drive audio cable


Some internal drives (such as the MediaStor CD-R/RW 52x24x52x) have a 2- to 4-pin analog audio cable that must be plugged into the main motherboard. This is in addition to the wider 40- to 80-pin ATA or IDE cable that connects the drive to the logic board. If the analog audio cable is not plugged in, the drive can behave in erratic ways.


Remove iPod and test


If you connect your iPod to the computer via USB and you use a USB burner, try ejecting and disconnecting iPod before trying to burn.


Learn more

A note about copyright

iTunes software may be used to reproduce materials. It is licensed to you only for reproduction of non-copyrighted materials, materials in which you own the copyright, or materials you are authorized or legally permitted to reproduce. If you are uncertain about your right to copy any material, you should contact your legal advisor. See the iTunes Store Terms of Service for additional information.

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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