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VirtualAcorn Technical support:
Problems with CD-ROM drives

In order for VirtualAcorn to be able to read CDs you will need to be logged on to Windows with Administrator Rights. If you log on using an account without Admin rights then VirtualAcorn will not read a CD and you may well get an Access Violation error on booting RISC OS. The rest of this article assumes that you have full Admin rights on your user account.

If you have a problem with a CD-ROM drive then you firstly need to find out if it's the CD drive or the media that are the cause of the problem. To check the media (the CD itself) make sure it will read in another machine/drive. If it won't then the CD itself could be faulty. You might have a CDR disc that has degraded. Turn the disc over and look at the colour, is it purple? If so it may well have degraded to the point where it can no longer be read.

Assuming the CD does work in another machine, but won't read on VirtualAcorn then there are a couple of possible solutions.

PC's with two CD-ROM/DVD drives

If you PC has two CD drives then you can configure VirtuaLAcorn to work with the other drive. Read this article for more information. In our experience if one drive doesn't work with VirtualAcorn then the other normally will.

Errors when trying to read the CD

If you have 2 drives in your PC go to the solution above. If not then it might be possible to get the CD drive to work. Note that whatever you do some CD drives just will not work with RISC OS. If you removed the drive and put it in a "real" Acorn it wouldn't work either. Generally speaking RISC OS 4.39 (RISC OS Adjust) will work with almost all CD drives, but RISC OS 4.02 doesn't work with some.

However before declaring the drive "duff" there are a couple of things that can be tried:

Installing VCDZoom

If the drive won't read any CDs from RISC OS then the first step is to try installing !VDZoom. You will find this located in the directory HostFS::hardDisc4.$.Filing.VCDZoom. Follow the instructions and see if this helps.


You can also try changing the version of CDFSSoftAtapi installed in VirtualAcorn. Go the the directory HostFS::hardDisc4.$.Filing.CDFSSoftAtapi and follow the instructions.

If none of the above tricks work then getting your particular CD drive to work may prove to be impossible with the version of RISC OS you have. If you have RISC OS 4.02 then the only solutions may be:

  • Upgrade to VirtualRPC-AdjustSA with RISC OS 4.39.
  • Buy a different make/model of CD drive for your PC.

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Last Edit Date 29/03/21