Contacted by a client who suddenly found he couldn't burn CDs from iTunes. When he tried he just got an error message - the code was error 2131. How can that be fixed?
Reasonably on getting Error Code 2131 as he ran iTunes he naturally assumed that the cause of the problem was something within iTunes. Of course any single software application relies completely on interaction with the operating system which in this case was Microsoft Windows. iTunes does some things, Windows handles thousands of other tasks. For an exercise to be completed correctly, such as burning a humble CD, both iTunes and Windows need to play their part.
It is difficult to quickly see where the source of any error might lie, but my immediate thought was that this stems from Microsoft who offer a wide range of Error Codes. When we've been ripping CDs
I think we've seen most of them but this one was new to me.
First stop - Google the error code. Wow, aren't there a lot of people hit by Error Code 2131 was my first thought. Looking at their posts to forums and blogs this has been going on for years. One common complaint - why doesn't Apple fix this? In my experience Apple does so having seen the age of the issue my suspicious eye turned to Microsoft.
Reading through the posts I felt that the majority of users complaining were laptop users. Next, why doesn't Microsoft fix this? Reading deeper into the messages from those who had beaten error 2131 they had done so either through an edit in Windows Registry or by downloading firmware for their drives. If you're not familiar with the term firmware its a small program a device such as a DVD or CD writer needs to function. Logically it sits "under" the operating system and therefore out of Microsoft's remit; physically it is stored on a small microchip on the logic board driving the writer.
Dell, Fujitsu and Toshiba owners were all hit, odd in itself as these are better quality manufacturers. I can't prove it but my suspicion is that they have all sourced CD / DVD drives as components from the same manufacturer. At some point something has happened resulting in a clash between Windows and the drive. Indeed this is what the error code is trying to say.
If my analysis is correct this really is the responsibility of the manufacturer and indeed several Dell users have downloaded a new version of firmware for their writers which has put an end to 2131. Owners of other makes have said this has worked for them too.
What should you do if iTunes stalls with Error 2131? Try Googling 2131 with the name of your PC manufacturer and that might give you access to a firmware update. Try your suppliers support website too, and log this as a fault with them. If you purchased your machine recently from a decent supplier think about contacting them and maybe even rejecting the machine. In my opinion far too few people do this.
Beyond these comments and suggestions I'm sorry to have to say if you get both iTunes and Error 2131 I'm sorry, I don't have an instant solution.