VSO Inspector is a free system information tool that tells you everything you could ever want to know about your CD, DVD or Blu-ray drives, and the media they contain.

This starts with basic data, like your drive model, serial number and manufacturer, firmware version and date. You'll be able to see the drive's current DVD Region Code settings, and how many changes you have left. And there are details on your drive capabilities: the disc types it can read and write, the commands it supports, whether it can work with features like LightScribe or Labelflash, and more.

The System tab displays software-related information, too, the upper and lower filter drivers that are working with this drive. That's very useful information if a drive is misbehaving or not recognised (it's often one of these drivers that's to blame).

Insert a disc into the drive and VSO Inspector can tell you all about it: media type and ID, the speeds it supports, capacity, the number of sessions it includes, file system details and more.

There's also a Sector Editor, which allows you to view your disc one sector at a time, and recover data to your hard drive (if only in single sector blocks).

And perhaps most useful of all is the Media Analysis option, which scans a disc and reports on any read errors, perfect for checking archived discs to confirm that they're still in good health.

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An excellent little system information utility that includes some useful troubleshooting options, too