Guide to ASPI Drivers








An Alternate Method

You can also install the latest Adaptec ASPI drivers *without* the requisite Adaptec hardware or software in your system, by 'virtually' installing an Adaptec 2940 SCSI adapter (even if you don't actually have one).

Do this by opening your Install New Hardware wizard: Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Hardware.

This will trick your system [and the ASPI32.exe installer program] into thinking you have an Adaptec SCSI card installed in your system.

After you have 'virtually' installed the phantom Adaptec SCSI adapter, you will be able to install the Adaptec ASPI layer.

You can no longer download ASPI v4.60 file directly from the Adaptec site, but back when you could, they posted a Caution! note which said:

"Do NOT install ASPI32.EXE with Windows 2000, Windows ME, or Windows Media Player 7.0. If you have one of these applications (or OS), you will be using a different ASPI layer that will conflict with this one."

Many people have reported using these Adaptec ASPI layer 4.60 drivers with a variety of operating systems, including Win98, WinME, Win2K, and WinXP .. all with NO PROBLEMS.

I've heard many people say things like, "All my ripping and burning problems disappeared once I updated my ASPI drivers to v4.60 (1021)."

In fact, I haven't heard of a single problem. I use them myself, with W2K, WME and WXP. When you consider that my system contains multiple SCSI hard drives, a SCSI burner & CDROM, you can see that these ASPI drivers from Adaptec get the job done without generating conflicts.

After installing/updating your ASPI layer drivers, you can then remove/delete the phantom (virtual) Adaptec hardware from your system (via your Device Manager).

I forget where I learned this trick. Plextor support, perhaps. ForceASPI is easier & quicker, which is why I recommend that route. People who are uncomfortable using 'hacked' software [ForceASPI] might prefer this alternate method, even tho it's a bit more complicated.

Another trick is to download and decompress Adaptec ASPI layer v4.71.2 [the executable decompresses to a default folder named "\adaptec\aspi"]. Rename WNASPIXP.DLL to WNASPI32.DLL and copy this renamed file to your \windows\system32 directory/folder. You should then be able to download and install Adaptec ASPI layer v4.60 without a qualifying Adaptec product installed in your system.

This method has only been tested/verified with Windows XP. If anyone verifies that it works for Windows 2000, let me know. Note that there is also a file named WNASPI2K.DL_ that comes with the Adpatec ASPI drivers v4.71.2. I would expect this to be the one to use [renamed to WNASPI32.DLL .. but I could be wrong].

Burning & Ripping with Force ASPI

I regularly rip CD audio with Exact Audio Copy, and burn CDs using a variety of software programs: Nero Burning ROM, Fireburner, BlindWrite, Feurio, Jeff Arnold's CDRWin (Goldenhawk), Plextor's PlexTools, and CD Architect, Alcohol 120% .. and a few others - all with NO PROBLEMS.

I use a Tekram DC-390U3W SCSI controller. Note that Adaptec ASPI drivers work fine with a non-Adaptec SCSI card. The SCSI standard is apparently well defined.

If you still have problems ripping or burning after installing the latest Adaptec ASPI layer drivers, it's usually due to a problem with your burner or CD-ROM drive. It might be a good idea to try ripping with a program such as AudioCrusher, which doesn't require/use an ASPI layer. Perhaps you might try updating your drive's firmware. Or perhaps you installed a program that loads proprietary drivers for packet-writing software.

For info on the kinds of problems this can cause, check out the FireBurner FAQs. Scroll down about halfway & read the answer to the question: Will Fireburner co-exist peacefully with other CD-R software?

UPDATE: Seems the folks at IgD Software, who develop Fireburner, are in the process of redesigning their site, and I can no longer find the Fireburner FAQ. It was nice, little explanation about the problems packet-writing software can cause.

Another potential problem might come from installing *both* Adaptec's (now Roxio?) and Nero's burning software in your system. I wrote to both Adaptec and Nero's tech support groups, and they both confirmed that there is indeed a driver conflict between the two programs.

The solution offered by each tech support group was: don't install the other company's software (duh). There are some workarounds available, but these digital gymnastics weren't worth the hassle.

I've never used Adaptec's (Roxio's) burning software, which is designed for the beginner. It's popular cuz it's easy to use, and comes free with many burners. My information dates from well over a year ago, so perhaps this driver conflict has since been resolved. Reader have recently written to say the problem has been resolved, while others say it hasn't.

Plextor drives are generally considered the best rippers [DAE] & burners. See here for more info about -> [Ripping CD Audio with Exact Audio Copy].

Using Non-Adaptec ASPI Drivers

Companies other than Adaptec (such as LSI Logic, for example) also write ASPI drivers. These other ASPI drivers *should* work fine .. but you don't have to use a PC for very long to know that things don't always work the way they should. =/ Can I get an amen, somebody?

There is a chance that the particular burning or ripping program that you use was developed [by program developers] using ASPI drivers different from the ones you're currently using. If your ASPI drivers are different from those used by the developer of your particular burning or ripping software, there's a chance that your system may experience quirky compatibility problems.

I've even seen instances where a different version of the same brand of ASPI drivers (Adaptec) generated quirky compatibility issues with a particular ripper. Adaptec's ASPI drivers are the closest thing there is to a *standard*. At one time, the 'A' in ASPI stood for Adaptec.

USB/Firewire devices

Update 15may2003: Dick Johnson writes to say:

I run both Win2K and XP. According to Goldenhawk, using all four Adaptec ASPI drivers won't work with *any* USB or Firewire devices. Their proposed solution is to use the Nero driver wnaspi32.dll in Win2K/XP, which supports all CD/DVD recorder interfaces.

I just replaced this file in my WINNT\system32 folder and it solved the problem I had with my USB burner. Note this Nero driver won't work in W98/ME! My ASPI layer looks like this:

ASPI32.SYS [Adaptec] 4.71.2
WOWPOST.EXE 4.6 (1021)
WINASPI.DLL 4.6 (1021)
WNASPI32.DLL [Nero] (2.0.1 = 131072 bytes)

Now I use the following software without a problem: Roxio 5 & 6, Nero, CDRWin, CloneCD, Alcohol 120, Musicmatch 7.5, Burn to the Brim, Click-n-Burn Pro, DVDXCopy, NTI, Plextor, Power CDR Express, Total Recorder, Fireburner, Veritas, Sonic, and a few others.

If you have trouble downloading the file from Nero, I've mirrored it here: wnaspi32.dll [160-KB, v2.0.1.74]. Another reader wrote to say:

WXP uses a SCSI "Pass Through" Interface which does not require wnaspi32.dll unless a SCSI host adaptor is installed. Then the proprietory drivers should be used.

The only driver required, that is 100% safe (it seems), is the Ahead wnaspi32.dll copied into the \system directory, regardless whether Nero is installed or not. It more forgiving than the Adaptec version.

Other versions of wnaspi32.dll should be avoided as they are not compatible with XP's deep level of hardware access.

Anyone with Nero installed on an XP system will find that disabling IMAPI services will allow their PC to start faster. Nero will also start faster, since it will be able to scan the bus faster.

Fireburner ASPI with Windows XP

I heard reports of problems with Fireburner when it is used in systems running Windows XP. Fireburner is apparently a front-end for ASPI, and Windows XP won't let you access ASPI as a *User*. The solution is to log in as an *Administrator*. The folks at Fireburner are reportedly working on a fix, and may already have one.

Dusty wrote to say that he got Fireburner to work with Windows XP by copying the following files to the Fireburner folder:

  1. wnaspi32.dll (one copy in \system32 folder; another in \Fireburner)
  2. xaudio.dll

You can download these files here (199KB), compliments of Dusty. He even included a nifty .nfo file containing quick-n-dirty instructions. [You can open his .nfo file with any text editor, such as NotePad.]

Update 02feb2002 - The nice folks at Firburner sent word that Fireburner no longer requires ASPI drivers for Win2K or WinXP.

Windows Media Player

You can usually use Windows Media Player v6.4 by following these simple instructions:

  1. Open mplayer2.exe from C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player.
  2. Go to: View > Options > Formats
  3. Select all file formats that you want to associate with WMP v6.4

From then on, all files you select will open with WMP v6.4. [Thx to SkyPilot for this tip.]

More ASPI-related Info

Learn more about the wonderful world of ASPI at Bart's, .. Computall, .. Plextor,.. Terry Burke's,.. Chicken Systems and Mike Richter's. For your hypertext convenience, this ASPI guide can be found at any of these fine Radified URLs:

It has become surprisingly popular since search engines discovered it. Try searching for ASPI in either Google or Yahoo, and you'll see what I mean.

It began as a short note, containing a few links, to a computer-illiterate friend who was having trouble burning CDs. It has since become the site's second most popular feature, and is currently translated into more languages [such as German, French and Italian] than any other Radified guide. Only the Norton Ghost User's Guide is requested more frequently.

Before closing, I want to mention <shameless plug> a few other Radified guides you might find helpful. For example:

If I did a good job explaining the ASPI mojo, you shouldn't have any further questions. But if you do, I started a thread in the Rad forums, where you can post your ASPI-related queries or share insights I might've overlooked. The end. Happy ripping & burning.