Several readers have written us claiming at CDs that literally explode inside the CD-ROM unit. Reader Renan Melo could even take pictures of the CD that exploded inside his CD-ROM unit, damaging it. See those pictures below.

Explosive CD-ROM

Figure 1: Explosive CD-ROM destroyed the CD-ROM drive.

Explosive CD-ROM

Figure 2: It really destroyed the drive!

The “explosion” is in fact the shattering of the CD, posing a serious risk to the user, since oftenly the CD-ROM tray opens alone, which permits the fragments of the CD to dangerously fly off it. Imagine if your PC has such problem and your case is on your desk: fragments from the CD could fly in your direction and hit your eyes!

But what is the cause for the explosive CD? When that problem was first noticed on the market, we thought the problem was related only to low quality CR-R media. However, after some time, that same problem began to happen to industrially recorded media too. Then we suspected of Creative 52x units, due to the huge amount of e-mails relating this case to this drive model. But does that mean that the Creative units have that problem? Not necessarily. The biggest problem is that Creative (just like some other manufacturers) does not manufacture CD-ROM units. It buys units from other companies that print its brand (a system known as OEM), and it does not always use the same supplier (manufacturer). This, we suspected the problem could be related to a certain manufacturer of the Creative CD-ROM units or even to a certain batch of products.

Besides, there are strong indications that there are forged Creative CD-ROM units on the market. That is, some “wise guys” buy cheap units from unknown manufacturers (“generic” units) and print the “Creative” logo on them. That is just a rumor, but the problem could be related to such units.

But we were wrong. The explosive CD-ROM has nothing to do with the drive model nor manufacturer, but with the media. Keep reading.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.