Linux error messages with DVD writers

Q I have recently obtained a new DVD-writer. I don't have the box or anything, as I got it from a friend who upgraded to dual-layer. I didn't think I'd have too much trouble using it with K3b, dvdtools and so on but there seems to be something wrong. It is quite happy reading and writing CD-Rs and CD+Rs with Linux. It will read DVD-Rs burnt on other equipment, but when I try to burn any DVDs myself I get spurious error messages, sometimes telling me that there is no disc in the drive or the 'media is not ready'. Any ideas or is it just broken?

A From what you say, there are two possibilities that spring to mind. Either the DVD writer isn't supported by dvdtools (pretty unlikely) or the writer doesn't like the brand of disc you are using. Many manufacturers only approve a small list of media -other discs will simply not show up when you put them in, which is exactly the problem you seem to have. Find out who made the drive, and look at their website for more info, or try a range of cheap DVD-Rs and see if any work.

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