October 13, 2020

Solved Windows 10 DVD Burning Problem

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Since my reliable workhorse eMachine Windows 7 computer was showing signs that it was ready to take a dirt nap on Boot Hill, I decided to choose a replacement before I had to hurry the process along. This here Acer Aspire TC-885-UA92 has been working mighty well for a few months now, but there are some Windows 10 quirks that put burrs under my saddle. One is its reluctance to burn a DVD.

Probable solution to a problem with Windows 10 forbidding software from burning DVDs.
Credit: Unsplash / Phil Hearing
To get the hang of Win10, I did a passel of searching and reading. Videos by ThioJoe, Tech Gumbo, and others helped me considerable-like. One thing I found out is the timing of reference material. Win10 was made available to the public in 2015, and as usual, had a series of updates. When searching articles and forums for information and ways to solve problems, many became quickly outdated because new updates changed how the OS worked. I have spent hours on some problems (such as Windows refusing to go into sleep mode except when it wants to, so I gave up on finding a solution), but some were resolved quickly, even with older posts and articles.

I chose this computer because it has the optical disc drive, and I occasionally need to burn a CD or DVD. Yes, it's great to have my Roku device so my wife and I can watch YouTube and other videos on the TV, but there are times when I want to burn a DVD of a downloaded video and plug it into a player to watch in a more comfortable setting. My needs are simple, and DVDStyler (which has more features than I use) was reliable on the Win7 machine. Why didn't it work now?

"Does this get useful for anyone, Cowboy Bob?"

Yes, I think there's something very useful in a few paragraphs, but I'm also having fun telling this story.

It gave me an error, telling me that I didn't have a DVD in the drive. Yes, yes I did, and this computer recognized it. I was able to play a "store bought" DVD, and to use the built-in data burning software to save a file. I tried other burning programs, but none of them worked.

After spending hours searching forums and articles, I had no solutions. However, using my experiences with software and the logical mind that God gave me, some things came together. A few of the incidental remarks in forums and such were actually important for fixing the problem.

DVDStyler can burn ISO (International Organization for Standardization) images. Those are on CDs and DVDs and have other uses. DVDStyler was able to take my downloaded video and burn it into an ISO. That was a promising development.

The workaround was to use the software to make an ISO. That was successful, and when I clicked on it, the computer believed it was a DVD and offered the VLC (VideoLAN) player. That's great, making progress. Next step, I used the built in ISO burner. Yee ha boy howdy, I had a disc for the player.

Now we can move on to what I think is the actual problem and its solution.

Windows 10 users, you know that thing in the lower right corner on the taskbar? You click that for messages from Windows Security. My fussing with DVDStyler indicating there was no disc happened in the evening before bedtime, so I didn't look at the messages until the next day. I had a prairie schooner-full of notifications, many of them were of incidents that happened in the same minute. Well, I was on the prod when getting the errors, so I kept clicking "try again" and getting the alert tone until I shut it down. Each of those was listed.

While it may be "Fair Use", I don't want to risk getting in trouble with Microsoft, so no screenshots. Sorry.

Was Windows Security was getting over-protective again? Yes. There is a setting for "ransomware protection" to stop "unauthorized changes by unfriendly applications". Although I did install the software, the security wouldn't let it operate. I needed to find out.

Here's the fix: I disabled the "controlled folder access" protection, and DVDStyler was more than glad to burn my video to a DVD. I'm willing to switch that off when I need to do this, but I'm thinking the protection setting has caused other problems and errors with installations, applications, and so on, It's worth watching.

Hope the information here is useful to someone. Too bad there's no fix for the way this platform on Blogger was changed by it's masters at Google. They forced it on us, and I hope to be going elsewhere and leaving this for an archive.

ADDENDUM: Out of curiosity, I went to the Windows Security panel and saw which threats were blocked while leaving the folder protection active, and allowed one. Error. Okay, saw another program was blocked, so I allowed that. Another error. Allowed a third program, and the burning was successful. I'm glad blank DVDs are not expensive. The lesson from this part is that we can choose to allow access without disabling that part of our security.

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