Regularly my CD ROM drive (actually a Pioneer DVD burner) just won’t read data CDs. If you insert a CD it will spin for a bit (activity light) and then just stop. The AutoRun doesn’t work and the Explorer popup never appears. If you try to open or explore you simply get the error message – “please insert disc” and the drive just ejects. Google reveals a LOT of people seeing this same problem. Nothing seems to work – even the Microsoft bulletin that suggests some obscure Registry tweaks. I kept searching and finally, 10 pages or so into my third try on Google, I came across another Microsoft bulletin – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/939052

The solution is –
Close Windows Media Player
I use the Zune Desktop Software as my pod-catching so it’s always running in the background.
I discovered that this also applies to the Zune Software too (must be closed)

That’s it – everything magically started working again. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is a feature that somehow prevents piracy or whatever. I hope this helps someone who is struggling with this issue.

Update – this problem also manifests itself with CDBunerXP running *very* slowly. Scrolling through lists of files is glacial. Same easy fix – just shut down WMP and the Zune player.

Update – this problem also manifests itself in Windows 7

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