2003-03-16 Additions to S7 (help), S11 (MusicMatch), S18 (debug)
2003-03-02 Minor addition to section S17 (ADS utils)
2003-02-28 Minor revision of section S11 (registry removals)
2003-02-26 Initial version
I have compiled a guide on troubleshooting InCD problems under Windows XP.
This guide (given below) may help some users until Ahead updates their FAQs and Help files (hopefully soon).
In most cases recent versions of InCD should work if you use media matched to your burner with recent firmware, and your OS is reasonably clean (without drivers installed by other burning programs that conflict with InCD).
Thus, before blaming InCD itself, you should test other factors carefully, and this may take a long time. If you want help from other forum members, follow the steps below and report as many details as possible. A bad (but frequent) example is where a user reports InCD problems after testing a single disc supplied with a new burner.
Beware that packet writing with InCD is in general less reliable than multisession writing to CD-R discs with Nero. However, I am not trying to scare you away from packet writing. I have been using it for about five years without loosing a single file. For me it is more convenient than multisession writing when just a couple of files change between backups. But its unreliability shouldn't be ignored: I would never delete any important file from my HDD after copying it to an InCD disc.
I intend to update this guide periodically. Hence I'll welcome comments, suggestions and especially reports of success stories. However, please refrain from posting messages such as "It didn't work for me" here; if you need help, start or join another thread. Simply speaking, if several users wanted to troubleshoot their individual problems in the same thread, this would only result in total confusion.
Finally, here is the guide itself.
---Steps for Troubleshooting InCD Problems under Windows XP---
S1. Upgrade the firmware of your burner to the latest version from your vendor's or original manufacturer's website. Frequently new firmware will enable your burner to accept more media.
S2. Check your vendor's website for recommended CD-RW media. Search the Web (Google) for reviews of your burner and users' experiences with different media at www.cdfreaks.com , www.cdrinfo.com and www.cdrlabs.com . You may expect problems: 24x re-writers are fairly new and probably not tested much on older media, whereas 24x and even 16x media are hardly available. In particular, Memorex CD-RW discs are not recommended.
S3. To check if your problems are not due to one specific brand of media, try several brands. Thus, depending on your burner, get at least a couple of 4x, 4x-10x, 4x-12x or 24x CD-RW discs from several better known vendors (see S2 above). Note that old 4x re-writers usually won't work with High Speed or Ultra Speed media. Unfortunately InCD no longer allows you to control rewriting speeds.
In particular, if your burner is old, most probably it can't handle High Speed discs, which have "High Speed" included in the Compact Disc ReWritable logo on their covers, and are usually rated at 4x-10x or 4x-12x (but even 1x-10x indicates an HS disc, since the rated speed exceeds 4x). If your burner can only rewrite at 4x, its laser system doesn't meet the requirements of the newer HS technology. Then you should look for CD-RW discs rated at 1x-4x, or older discs rated at 2x. Such discs are gradually disappearing from the market, so in the long run, upgrading your burner may be the only solution.
You can check which speeds are listed for your media in Nero itself (for a blank CD-RW), and in Nero CD Speed and InfoTool. BTW, the latest version of Nero usually installs quite recent versions of CD Speed and InfoTool (see Start | Programs | Ahead Nero | Nero Toolkit), which are highly useful for troubleshooting InCD; the latest versions may be downloaded from www.cdspeed2000.com .
S4. If you wish to re-use a disc (e.g., because it failed in your experiments, or was formatted by earlier versions of InCD, DirectCD, etc), don't try to save time by using any quick formatting or quick erase options; always do full-erase in Nero | Recorder | EraseReWritable.
Note that each CD-RW disc can handle only a finite number of rewrites. Manufactures may claim 1000 or more, but most users say 100 is a more realistic estimate. Yet there are tests showing that some poor media may become unusable after just 5 rewrites. To check your discs, you may run Nero CD Speed | Extra | CD Quality and Scandisc.
S5. If InCD fails to mount a formatted disc, run CD Speed Scandisc to see if there are bad sectors, especially initial ones.
S6. Before upgrading to the latest version of InCD from www.ahead.de , remove the previous version via Control Panel | Add or Remove Programs, selecting "Ahead InCD", and reboot. Similarly, remove "InCD EasyWrite Reader" and "InCD UDF Reader" if they are listed, and reboot.
Since recent versions of InCD uninstall cleanly, there is little danger in version switching. Note, however, that InCD 3.37 has the infamous rename bug, and InCD sometimes fails to handle discs formatted with earlier versions (mostly CD-MRW discs, so back them up).
To check if your burner is supported by InCD, see
(you may choose Products | InCD | Supported Recorders if these links don't work). Since Ahead's documentation may be outdated, even if your burner is not listed, but it works with Nero, it will probably work with InCD as well.
S7. Download the InCD manual from Ahead's site (Products | InCD | Documentation); although outdated, it gives general ideas about InCD. (In particular, the final format OK message has disappeared in recent versions, which give only the InCD mounted message.)
The help in InCD versions downloaded from Ahead's site frequently doesn't work, because the setup program fails to put the help file InCD_US.chm into the InCD directory C:\Program Files\Ahead\InCD. There are three ways to get InCD_US.chm:
S7.1. If you have a fairly recent Nero installation disc, you may find it on the CD (e.g., in the directory \Nero\InCD).
S7.2. Run the InCD installation program (e.g., InCD35220b.exe) until it asks you: Reboot | Finish? At this stage, open Windows Explorer and navigate to your TEMP directory; on my box this is
C:\Documents and Settings\KCK\Local Settings\Temp
Its subdirectory RarSFx0 should contain InCD_US.chm; copy this file to C:\Program Files\Ahead\InCD before giving a final click to the InCD setup program (which will remove RarSFx0).
S7.3. You may create a scratch directory C:\InCD and unpack the InCD installation program (e.g., InCD35220b.exe) to C:\InCD via, e.g., WinRar from www.rarlab.com or Total Commander from www.ghisler.com (using Files | Unpack Specific Files...); then look in C:\InCD.
S7.4. To get some (again outdated) info, use Windows Explorer to call up C:\Program Files\Ahead\InCD\InCD.hlp and click Index, or anything else that's clickable (doesn't work in normal way).
S8. Before formatting with InCD, make sure there are no "heavy" programs running in the background. Also before writing to InCD formatted discs, it may be wise to disable virus scanners, etc.
There are differences between standard CD-RW (UDF 1.50) and CD-MRW (Mt. Rainier) formatting. (To verify whether your burner supports CD-MRW, see if Nero InfoTool | Drive has a checkmark for Mount Rainier, or right-click on the InCD icon and select InCD Property Sheet | InCD Page Settings to see whether the option "Format disc to CD-MRW" exists.) For instance, on a CD-RW 80min/700MB 10x disc, for a standard CD-RW (non-MRW) formatting, physical format takes about 8 min and logical format takes about 3 min (i.e., 11 min in total). In contrast, initial CD-MRW formatting takes about 30 sec (the disc is usable at this stage), whereas background formatting takes about 9 min (without influencing copy speeds); in both stages, ejecting the disc takes several seconds (this is for Lite-On LTR48125W). As for space, InCD reports 50KB used, 572MB free for CD-RW, whereas CD-MRW has 539MB free.
Concerning readability of InCD discs in CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drives, XP with SP1 can read standard UDF 1.50 discs natively, whereas both standard and CD-MRW discs are readable under 98x, W2K and XP after installing Ahead's EasyWriteReader (download the latest version by selecting InCD | Utilities). This is independent of whether InCD is installed, but the reader should be MultiRead compliant (as are most drives used nowadays).
Here is how you may format a CD-RW disc in InCD.
A. Choose the standard CD-RW format or the CD-MRW (Mt. Rainier) format.
Right-click the InCD icon in the taskbar notification area near the clock, and select Properties. When the InCD Property Sheet pops up, select InCD Page Settings, and either check or uncheck the option "Format disc to CD-MRW" (if this option is missing, either your burner doesn't support CD-MRW, or InCD isn't installed properly). I leave the other two options (messages and Safe mode) unchecked. Close the sheet.
Alternatively, to call up the InCD Property Sheet, right-click your burner's icon in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
B. Insert a blank CD-RW disc into your writer. When the InCD Disc Information pops up, you may cancel it (nothing useful there). Right-click the taskbar InCD icon and select Format. When the InCD Wizard starts running, press Next, then select a drive if you have more than one, and click Next. If you wish to change the formatting options, click on Properties to access InCD Page Settings; otherwise click Next. Choose the Volume Label (no spaces!) and click Finish. Formatting proceeds in two stages, and displays progress information (which is not always consistent). Finally, you'll see the InCD message "The disc was mounted in InCD UDF file format", as indicated by the green N-W arrow on the InCD icon.
Note that some earlier versions of InCD eject a disc after formatting.
The InCD icon should stay green while the disc is used (for copying, etc). When the disc is ejected, the InCD icon has a red S-E arrow (indicating there is no medium or InCD-formatted medium in the drive).
As for using a previously formatted disc, on my box with Autorun on, after the disc is inserted, the arrow on the InCD icon flips from red S-E to green N-W after about 20 seconds, the InCD mounted message pops up, and Explorer shows the disc contents, unless I keep pressing the Shift key after closing the tray.
The third possibility is that the icon is a yellow circle with an exclamation mark and a red S-E arrow, which means that no InCD-supported CD-RW drive could be found. (This may occur if an external drive is not turned on.)
Finally, a big WARNING: Always Eject from the InCD icon or Explorer; using the recorder's eject button may spoil the disc! Ejecting via the button may seem to work, but if InCD doesn't finish properly, data will be lost (possibly later because some structural information is corrupted).
BTW, if you want to keep an InCD disc in your drive for a longer period, you should first eject it after doing backups so that a proper TOC gets written; otherwise you could loose data if your system crashes!
S9. If your burner supports CD-MRW (Mt. Rainier) formatting, experiment with it separately from the standard CD-RW (UDF 1.50) formatting. It may happen that your combination of burner/media/software will work only with one of these formats.
S10. Sometimes InCD works only with Autorun off (as reported by Nero InfoTool | Configuration). To get Autorun off, either use Notepad to create a file called autorun0.reg that contains the following four lines
and run it by double clicking on autorun0.reg in Explorer, or edit the registry. (If you replace the final 0 by 1, you'll get Autorun on.) The "proper" setting of Autorun for InCD may depend on the burner, its firmware, IDE bus, etc. Until Ahead clarifies this issue, one has to experiment.
S11. Expect trouble if, before installing InCD, you ran other packet writers (e.g., Roxio's DirectCD), UDF readers (again Roxio's UDF Reader) or burning plugins installed "silently" by other programs (e.g., Windows Media Player, WinAmp, RealPlayer, etc). Such applications typically install drivers conflicting with InCD, which are not removed even if you remove the application itself. Still you should first try to remove such applications or their burning plugins via Control Panel | Add or Remove Programs before doing manual cleanups described below.
S11.1. Since I've never installed such software on my XP box, I can't identify all possible culprits, but you should look for files named as Cd*.sys, Cd*.dll, Ud*.sys, Ud*.dll. Here are listings for my XP Pro SP1 box:
08/17/2001 01:52 PM 7,680 CD20XRNT.SYS
08/18/2001 07:00 AM 18,688 CDAUDIO.SYS
08/29/2002 09:58 AM 59,648 cdfs.sys
08/29/2002 09:27 AM 47,488 cdrom.sys
08/29/2002 09:06 AM 64,000 udfs.sys
08/18/2001 07:00 AM 142,336 CDFVIEW.DLL
08/29/2002 11:40 AM 14,848 cdm.dll
08/18/2001 07:00 AM 15,872 CDMODEM.DLL
08/18/2001 07:00 AM 2,028,032 CDOSYS.DLL
08/29/2002 11:41 AM 22,016 udhisapi.dll
For comparable listings, run these dir commands in a cmd (Command Prompt) window (opened via Start | Run | cmd). For instance, type
dir C:\Windows\system32\drivers\cd*.* >C:\dir1.txt
and Enter to get the first listing in the file C:\dir1.txt.
If you see other .sys or .dll files on your box, you may try renaming their .sys extensions to .sy_ and .dll to .dl_; however, before rebooting, you may also need to remove the registry settings for these files (see S11.5 below, especially UpperFilters and LowerFilters).
S11.2. IMPORTANT: Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs; see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 256986 "Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry":
http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... -US;256986
S11.3. For example, after incomplete removals of Roxio's Easy CD Creator, DirectCD, UDF Reader or the Adaptec/Roxio burning plugin of Windows Media Player (WMP) 9.0, you may still have the following files in C:\Windows\System32\Drivers:
Cdr4_2k.sys, Cdr4_xp, Cdr4vsd.sys, Cdralw2k.sys, Cdudf.sys,
Cdudf_xp.sys, Dvd_2k.sys, Mmc_2k.sys, Prtseqrd.sys, Pwd_2k.sys,
and in C:\Windows\System32:
Cdr4dll.dll, Cdral.dll, Cdrtc.dll
After renaming these files (.sys to .sy_, .dll to .dl_), to clean the registry, either use Notepad to create a file called cdclean.reg that contains the following fourteen lines
and run it by double clicking on cdclean.reg in Explorer, or edit the registry, or use RegCleaner from
S11.4. For other (better) ways of removing the Adaptec plugin, and preventing it from being (re)installed by WMP, see
In particular, to uninstall the Adaptec plugin of WMP 9.x, run
rundll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\inf\roxio.inf,Uninstall
If you want to block WMP 9.x or later from ever installing the Adaptec/Roxio plugin, you should run the adaptecblock.reg file, which contains the following four lines
This will either create the AdaptecBlock keyword in the registry if it is missing (e.g., after a clean Windows installation), or change its value to 1 if it is already there.
On the other hand, the MS information in
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/window ... eadme.aspx
implies that Roxio CD Burning is not available under XP for the latest release of WMP. Further, the only way of uninstalling WMP 9.0 under XP is via System Restore. (Hence I will wait until other users report their experiences with WMP 9.0 before installing it on my boxes.)
S11.5. Incomplete removals of Adaptec/Roxio software may lead to startup problems (e.g., due to wrong UpperFilters or LowerFilters) and other issues discussed in the following MS Knowledge Board articles:
314060 CD-ROM Access Is Missing and Messages Cite Error Code 31, Code 32, Code 19, or Code 39 After You Remove Easy CD Creator in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... -us;314060
315345 "CD Recording Software Will Cause Windows to Become Unstable" Error Message When You Start Windows
http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... us;315345&
320553 CD-ROM Drive or DVD-ROM Drive Missing After You Install Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... -us;320553
In particular, to clean up UpperFilters and LowerFilters, either use Notepad to create a file called ulfilter.reg that contains the following five lines (note the possible wrap in line 3)
and run it by double clicking on ulfilter.reg in Explorer, or edit the registry. Note that after the UpperFilters and/or LowerFilters values are removed, in general you may need to reinstall your burning software.
On my XP Pro SP1 box, LowerFilters has the value bsstor, corresponding to the driver bsstor.sys installed by InCD 3.52.20b, whereas UpperFilters has the value incdrm, corresponding to the driver incdrm.sys installed by EasyWriteReader.
To check your filters, open Registry Editor (Start | Run | regedit) and use Edit | Find... to search for "lowerfilters" (without the quotes); LowerFilters and UpperFilters are displayed in the right pane.
For more information on upper/lower class filters, see
S11.6. You may also ask Ahead's tech support for Nero CleanTool
http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic. ... 3897#43897
which may obviate the need for manual removal of conflicting drivers.
S11.7. Here is some brief info on other burning plugins.
Apparently no version of WinAmp installs any burning plugins by default, so typically users download them and install separately. The most popular ones include the Veritas CD Recording Plug-in, QuickBurn MP3, and Burning CD plugin, but there are many others which might conflict with Nero/InCD.
RealPlayer is now called RealOne Player. For the free RealOne Player v1, one can buy Roxio CD Creator Plus, whereas in the commercial version of RealOne Player v2, CD burning is automatically available if you are a RealOne SuperPass member or a RealOne Player Plus user. You may expect conflicts with Nero/InCD, since Roxio CD Creator Plus is not compatible with RealOne Player v2.
MusicMatch JukeBox may conflict with InCD, but usually it uninstalls cleanly via Add or Remove Programs; otherwise, you may need to rename its driver MxlW2k.sys in C:\Windows\System32\Drivers and remove MxlW2k from UpperFilters; see S11.5. According to a user's report, MusicMatch 7.50.1070 may work with InCD 3.52.00b on XP SP1.
S11.8. There may be conflicts between InCD and drivers for some storage devices, such as older models of Iomega Zip drives, in which case you should uninstall such drivers.
S12. Check what Nero InfoTool says about your ASPI layers (both System and Nero). Nero and InCD don't need special ASPI; thus on my box, System ASP is not installed, whereas Nero ASPI WNASPI32.DLL 188.8.131.52 is installed and working properly. You may be in trouble if other burning programs required installation of special ASPI layers. Many users reported problems with the latest Adaptec's ASPI (4.7x), and frequently they had to to revert to version 4.6 by using ForceASPI from
http://www.afterdawn.com/software/cdr_s ... rcaspi.cfm
S13. If your burner is connected to a RAID channel, try shifting it to an ordinary IDE channel. If your burner is connected through a USB Hub or extension cable, try connecting it directly to one of the USB ports on your computer.
S14. Check if you have the latest BIOS and chipset drivers for your motherboard by visiting its manufacturer's site. Note, however, that sometimes the latest drivers may conflict with InCD. For instance, instead of using Nvidia IDE drivers, you may need to revert to the standard Windows drivers.
Sometimes you may need to clean up ghosts for controllers (IDE, SCSI, USB, FireWire, Parallel Ports) and your burning devices in Device Manager (ghosts appear dimmer than installed devices). Some ghosts can't be seen even if you select "Show hidden devices" in Device Manager; a workaround is given in the MS KB article Q315539:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... us;Q315539
S15. If you are running Intel's Applications Accelerator, you may uninstall it temporarily to get a cleaner testing environment. Note that IAA may prevent Windows and Nero InfoTool from reporting correct information about your drives.
S16. If your system freezes every few seconds, check if switching Autorun helps (see S10). Several users reported that their InCD slowdowns disappear when they leave a disc in their burner (so that InCD doesn't poll the burner to discover a fresh disc). Just remember not to leave an InCD disc in your drive, since it could be destroyed when Windows hangs and you have to power down your box.
There are also reports about system freezes when InCD is used with certain network cards. This may not be due to InCD. For instance, users of some 3Com NICs frequently deactivate the option of "Software cable detect", because otherwise the NIC polling may cause system freezes every few seconds.
S17. If you get errors while copying files from an NTFS volume to an InCD disc, inspect the error messages carefully. For instance, I used Explorer for copying a folder containing a hidden file Thumbs.db to an InCD CD-MRW disc (under XP Pro SP1). I got the dialog window:
Confirm Stream Loss
The file `Thumbs.db' has extra information attached to it that
might be lost if you continue copying. The contents of the file
will not be affected. Information that might be lost includes:
Document Summary Info
Do you want to proceed anyway?
[Yes | No]
to which I replied No; the copy finished as expected, i.e., all the files except Thumbs.db were copied. But when I replied Yes in another run, Explorer was "Not Responding", and I had to power off. BTW, nobody needs copies of Thumbs.db, but inexperienced users are likely to reply Yes to such copy querries. In contrast to Explorer, Total Commander (formerly known as Windows Commander) from www.ghisler.com copied Thumbs.db successfully. Hence if you get errors while copying other files, consider using Total Commander. Such errors may arise when some applications (e.g., virus scanners or archivers) add data streams to files on NTFS volumes.
If anybody is wondering about "Confirm Stream Loss", take a look at Microsoft Windows XP Professional Resource Kit Documentation, Ch 13 File Systems, NTFS File System, Features Available on NTFS Volumes, Multiple Data Streams, Fig. 13.15, also available at
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treevi ... frame=true
More information on how to detect and remove alternate data streams is given in:
In particular, I have tested two utilities for listing alternate data streams and their sizes: Streams v1.3 from Sysinternals
and LADS v3.10 from Frank Heyne Software
Their capabilities are similar, except that LADS's switch /XADSname allows to exclude ADS's with name ADSname (useful if your antivirus software creates ADSname streams).
S18. If none of the preceding fixes work, you may ask for help by starting a new thread. Please provide as much information as possible, since frequently details that look irrelevant at first sight turn out to be crucial for diagnosing a problem. Of course, you should describe precisely your problem and the error messages you get from InCD and Windows (if any) and whether your problem arose after any recent changes to hardware or software.
You should list the troubleshooting steps performed so far, and their results; if some step was skipped, explain why (e.g., not applicable, or you didn't know how to execute it).
Your post should also answer the following querries. (If you don't know how to handle a querry, mention it, so that other users may help.)
Q1. The model and firmware version of your burner, and how it is connected (internal IDE channel, USB (1.1 or 2.0) or FireWire (IEEE 1394), external interface (PCI or PC Card) if any). If you also have a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, specify its model.
Q2. Hardware info for your box: motherboard and chipset for desktops, manufacturer and model for laptops.
Q3. Version of Windows service packs installed, if any.
Q4. Versions of Nero/InCD and other burning programs or plugins, and whether Nero works correctly with your CD-RW media (otherwise there is little point in dealing with InCD before other problems are fixed).
Q5. Brands and quantity of CD-RW discs used; if re-used, were they fully erased before reformatting?
Q6. Format version (UDF 1.50 or CD-MRW) and whether it proceeded as in Step S8.
Q7. What does Nero InfoTool | Configuration say about Autorun for your burner? Are the symptoms for your problem the same for Autorun set to on and to off?
Q8. What does Nero InfoTool say about ASPI (both System and Nero)?
Q9. If other burning programs or plugins had been removed, was InCD reinstalled after the registry had been cleaned either manually or via programs such as RegCleaner?
Q10. The results of the dir commands described in S11.1.
Q11. A suitable extract from Nero InfoTool report (click the diskette button to save it to a file). To save space, you may give only the Driver Information section, skipping all Microsoft drivers and those nonrelated to CD burning (e.g., modem, scanner, etc.; if unsure about a driver, don't omit it). An example from my box follows:
Driver : BsStor
Description : B.H.A Storage Helper Driver (WindowsNT5.x)
Version : 1.0.7
Company : B.H.A Co.,Ltd.
Driver : BsUDF
Description : UDF File System Driver (WindowsXP)
Version : 184.108.40.206
Company : ahead software
Driver : incdrm
Description : remapper
Version : 220.127.116.11
Company : Ahead Software AG
Q12. Once Nero is run, the file NeroHistory.log in C:\Program Files\Ahead\Nero lists useful system information. Since this file can be rather long, you may concentrate on its last session. Thus you may extract the initial information section (which ends with "Wizard: Off or On") and the final "Existing drivers" section from the Nero log file and post it.