13 Replies Latest reply: Apr 4, 2012 8:00 AM by Mr. Desi
Mr. Desi Level 1 Level 1

The error message says: "The attempt to burn a disc failed. The burn failed because of a medium write error."


I updated iTunes, ran Disc Utilities, and even tried lowering the write speed.


Sometimes I don't get the error message above, the disc starts to burn for a minute, burns a song or two, then jumps straight to "finishing" and freezes.


Data discs burn just fine by putting a blank CD in the drive, dragging files to it and then pulling it to the trash to burn. So it's not the media or the drive. It's iTunes.


I'm using Mac OS X

Version 10.5.8

Dual 2 GHz PowerPC G5

iTunes 10.5.3

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Limnos Level 9 Level 9

    You can try a cleaning disc (about $10 from a computer store or media store) to get rid of dust.  I haven't had much success with these, though usually I am running some older machine on which I can expect a drive to die after 5 years of use.


    Try a different brand of media.


    If you're really desperate and none of the above work, you could look at: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3635433 - tips on possibly repairing an old CD drive  If you have to go to this extent you're probably in a place where you just want to think about getting a new drive.

  • Mr. Desi Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for the reply, but the drive works just fine when I burn a disc. I just can't burn an audio disc in iTunes.

  • Mr. Desi Level 1 Level 1

    FYI, I can't burn an mp3 or data disc in iTunes either.

  • Mr. Desi Level 1 Level 1


  • Limnos Level 9 Level 9

    What brand of CDs?  Did you try a slower burn speed.  Yes, I know it burns all right outside of iTunes but we're trying to narrow down areas of issue inside of iTunes.  Of course you could just use a different burn program -- there's plenty out there that are free and do audio CDs.

  • Mr. Desi Level 1 Level 1

    Song CD-R AUDIO 80 min.


    Yes, I tried slower burn speeds.


    I tried burning an audio CD with Burn and it didn't work either. So maybe it IS the drive. Just not sure why it burned a data disc. ???

  • Limnos Level 9 Level 9

    For testing some utilities let you turn off the laser so you don't end up using up a lot of CDs.  Of course that doesn't verify the actual burn quality.


    Just one data CD burning isn't statistically significant.  I know you don't want to waste a lot of CDs in testing but until you have it narrowed down it is hard to do anything but make suggestions.


    I think Sony is pretty reliable.

  • Mr. Desi Level 1 Level 1

    Whoops, I meant... Sony CD-R AUDIO 80 min.

  • Mr. Desi Level 1 Level 1

    So what are you suggesting I do next?

  • Limnos Level 9 Level 9

    The error is either correct and you have a bad burner or bad media, or it is wrong and something in the hardware or software is misinterpreting.  The only way to tell is to test various parts of the process.


    I'm guessing you're using good CDs but you can always try a different brand.  It's a cheap experiment.


    2011 post on optical media - http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2754858&


    You have had one good data burn and several bad burns with different applications (although some may use similar hardware and software components, but not 100% the same).  If you came to me and said you had burned 5+ data discs with no error, and 5+ faulty audio CDs, then I'd wonder about something in the software.  Right now I'm not convinced it's not the hardware.


    Frankly, it could be a bit of dust blowing about in front of the lens (try cleaning the drive).  It could be a faulty burn laser in your optical drive.


    It would be nice to know for sure you can reliably burn any kind of CD or not.  I would think that a software or hardware error like a faulty controller would be pretty consistent.  The only way to tell if it is truly software error is to remove the hardware from the equation altogether by using an external burner.


    I know on some Intel Macs a reset of the SMC can sometimes clear up some optical drive issues.  I don't know if a CUDA reset of a G5 does the same.  You'd have to ask on the G5 hardware forum.


    You say this is a G5 but I still don't know if this is the original optical drive.  If it is I would not be surprised if it was going.  About 5 years is what you can nominally expect.  They are relatively inexpensive to replace yourself (www.mac-sales.com has videos on how to do it).  It's up to you how much time and money you want to spend testing.

  • Mr. Desi Level 1 Level 1

    I was able to burn one mp3 one time with a different brand of CD, but not a Purchased AAC audio file.

  • Limnos Level 9 Level 9

    So it is sporadic.  Have you tried any of my suggestions such as a cleaning disc?


    I still don't know if this is the original drive.


    I suggest you try on the Power Mac forum.  Everything to me is pointing to a hardware issue.

  • Mr. Desi Level 1 Level 1

    Tried a cleaning disc. It didn't make a difference.