How do I determine if I have a bad CD?

By: Josh Fletcher

Abstract: How to determine if you have a bad CD.


Question:

How do I determine if I have a bad CD?
 
Answer:

It is extremely unusual to have received a CD that is corrupt. In many cases, the CD-ROM itself is not reading the CD properly. One of the following actions may correct the problem, or allow the installation to proceed:
  • Try a hard drive installation.
  • If the CD-ROM is external, try turning the CD-ROM drive on it's side. As strange as this may sound, in many cases it will change the behavior.
  • If you are using Windows drivers, switch to the manufacturer's CD-ROM drivers (try the reverse if you are using the manufacturer's drivers). Also, check with your manufacturer to obtain a more recent copy of their driver.
  • Compare the file size of any files that you suspect are corrupt to the file size of those on your CD. If you can copy the installation directory from the CD to the hard drive, and the file sizes match, then the CD is most likely fine -- the problem is elsewhere.
  • If the CD-ROM drive simply will not read from the CD at all (and works on other CDs), then replacing the CD with an identical CD will probably not work either. This is usually due to the fact that there are different CD-ROM formats and not all drives can read all formats. Be sure to check for firmware updates for your CD drive. Alternately, you could try using another CD-ROM drive (or copy the files over the network from another machine).
 

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