Toivo Talikka

Total Data Pty Ltd

Computer system installation, support and IT management consultancy

Forestville NSW Australia        tel 0410 532 923       email

Toivo's TechTips Corner

Game CD-ROM Problem

This tip describes how to get the game application to recognise the game CD if it gives an error message about incorrect CD.

The solution has worked for the following two games:


"Please insert the correct CD-ROM" error message

Hardware Environment

Gigabyte motherboard, NVIDIA nForce 2(tm) SGP/IGP ATA Controller

Software Environment

Windows XP SP2

Word of Warning

If you have not changed settings in your system before, make sure you read the instructions first and make a note what the previous settings are, before making any changes. The suggested solution worked in the hardware and software environment described above, but it may not necessarily work in your particular environment and situation.

If in doubt, don't make any changes and call an IT specialist to provide the support instead.

Workaround for Windows XP

Microsoft Knowledgebase Article 228985 contains good general advice and a number of specific remedies for this error situation. Method 1 asks you to verify that you are using the correct game CD. For example, the Splinter Cell game is installed from three CDs. When you try to run Splinter Cell, it prompts for the game CD to be inserted. Considering the lengthy installation sequence involving three CDs, it is logical that the game CD is the last CD because it is already in the CD drive when the installation finishes.

If you have verified that you have the right CD in the drive, have a look at Method 9 "Change DMA transfer mode to PIO mode (Windows XP)". It provided the workaround in two cases in my particular environment.


Go to Control Panel - System - Hardware - IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers - NVIDIA NForce2 (tm) SPP/IGP ATA Controller.

Select the tab Secondary Channel and select Master or Slave, depending on which one is CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive. This depends on the jumper setting in the drive itself, whether it is set to 'Master', 'Slave' or 'Cable Select', in which case the position of the drive itself relative to the (usually) two possible connectors in the flat 80 pin IDE cable determines whether the drive is a Master or a Slave.

The option 'Select Transfer Mode' contains 'BIOS Default'. Change this from the dropdown list to 'PIO Mode', click OK and restart the PC.

What is PIO Mode?

If you are wondering what PIO mode stands for, PIO means Programmed Input/Output, or a method to get data from disk drives and other peripherals. Here is a description of PIO in relation to disk data transfers.

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