Fix I/O errors when accessing CD or DVD

by on September 15, 2009

Q: When I try to access a specific DVD in my DVD drive I get an I/O error message. How do I go about fixing this?

A: The most likely cause of this is that the disc is damaged or dirty. You will know for sure if this is the case especially if you can access other discs without a problem. You will want to inspect the disc to see if there are any scratches on the shiny side without the logo if it is a CD/DVD you bought from a store. If it is a CD/DVD you burned then you also want to check the top to make sure that there are no scratches up there as well because in a burned CD/DVD the top is actually just as important as the bottom.

Since data on a burned CD/DVD is just as susceptible to being damaged from the top as it is from the bottom you should always consider putting a label on your home made CD/DVDs. If you can actually see though the disc because of a scratch on the top then the disc is no more good because data has been removed.

If you inspect the disc and you don’t see any major gouges out of it then you will want to try to clean the disc. You should first start out with a soft lint free cloth. Some people suggest different cleaning solutions but I usually try to rub gently to see if I can remove any spots. If it does not work then a little liquid, maybe even a drop of water, should help get the contaminants off. Just be careful not to press hard and cause scratches when cleaning the disc.

Most of the time this will solve your I/O error messages that you get. If it does not and other discs still work then you might want to try looking closer and trying again or maybe borrowing a friend’s disc if you know someone that has the same disc.

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