DVD problems

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by ilkka_nissila, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. Am I the only person who finds burning DVDs painful and unreliable? I have had
    a bunch of DVD burners at home (5?), three of them have died (one even
    produced smoke when it went....) over time, and I never know when a problem
    occurs and the burn fails. I have used a variety of burners (HP, IOMEGA, SONY,
    LG; three external, two internal) and three computers (one custom made, one
    HP, one IBM) and none have been entirely problem free in terms of burning
    DVDs. Burning 8 GB disks seems to invite even more problems than 4.7GB.

    I haven't had read problems on those DVDs which I've successfully burned. But
    I really don't know what to do about it. Right now I am burning a sequence of
    files for the fifth time (four failed, booted in between, changed burners ...)
    Right now the burning is going on at 1x and it takes forever.

    I mistrust having only hard drives to store my images ... having once lost two
    of them in one incident ... backup and original.

    Should I investigate tape drives? Blue-ray?
  2. Nope. I have an HP burner on a PC which seems to work just fine. Never any burning or reading problems.

    I have had a bad batch of DVD+Rs which wouldn't write without errors, but on my current batch of Memorex DVDs (100 spindle) they are all fine. All my Fuji DVDs seem fine too. I don't remember who made the bad batch, I threw them out!

    I only use the single layer 4.7GB disks.
  3. I use LG, HP, Gigabyte internals - Nero Express, and Imation media. I've coastered one or two disks over the years, but no major problems.

    One thing I'm particularly fully about is not touching the surface of the disk, and handling it with "kid gloves" (so no scratches either).

    Other alternative is stick with CDs?
  4. Hi Ilkka. It occurs to me, I *have* a DVD you burnt, thanks to your generosity in scanning some of my slides as a scanner comparison.

    I just had the CD reading portion of my Plextor CD/DVD burner quit on me, I believe it had separate lasers for the 2 media, and one went bad. The replacement drive I got was an LG GSA-H54N, which cost me only $32 dollars Canadian. It seems they really are "commodities" now, very inexpensive, which could be good and bad ;)

    Anyways, I'd second the above comments: use quality media. I use TY's for my important burns, and Maxell for everyday stuff.

    I use Nero to burn, and specify that the burn software verify data after burn. That alerted me early-on that media needed to be burned at slower than rated speed, to avoid errors. At least that was the case on my old Plextor drive. I haven't had my new drive long, and so far continue to burn at slower than rated speed. I should do some tests I suppose. For now, I typically burn at 4 speed, regardless of the media's rated speed.
  5. I back up to external hard-drive. I also burn dozens of DVDs each month and never have a problem. I use TDK and Memorex brand.

    Make sure you're using the latest drivers for your burners. Those are most likely available for download from the manufacturers Web site.

    Optical disk drives often get loaded with dust. Open the drawer and blow into it to remove loose lint, but not while your eating peanut butter and crackers! (Seriously, use low pressure compressed air if you have it.)

    One strand of lint fiber wagging in front of the optics could cause intermittent problems.
  6. "I use Nero to burn, and specify that the burn software verify data after burn."

    The Nero API has had problems with verification, and would report success even if verification failed. That was as of June, 2006, and it was supposed to be fixed "in the next version", but I still don't trust Nero for critical burns.

    We use K3b on a Linux system; it does a byte-for-byte ISO/ISO comparison. Of course, good media helps a lot. Since switching to MAM-A (Mitsui) we haven't coastered a single CD or DVD.
  7. My HP came with a HP 640b DVD burner and Sonic Record Now. Verifies the burn, runs smoothly.
  8. "The Nero API has had problems with verification, and would report success even if verification failed."

    That's great ;(

    I'm using Nero Burning ROM, fwiw. At any rate, it *did* catch some bad burns. I wasn't doing verification at first, but was finding there was something seriously wrong: the images would sparodically not open. Nero did report problems with that burn speed, but no problems once I slowed down the burn.
  9. Ilkka

    I was having some problems with my burner using high end DVDs.
    I updated the drivers on my DVD burner and that fixed the problem.
    I am using a Sony internal DVD burner and Mitsui DVDs.


  10. How to avoid DVD problems:

    Use a quality burner: Plextor has a great reputation, the others are all about the same.

    Use quality media: Taiyo Yuden or Verbatim are generally regarded as top quality. Or, for a $$$ alternative, archvial gold media. However, before buying any media type, go to the drive maker's web page and look for a list of compatible media. These brands of blanks will all have been tested with that drive.

    Use DVD+R format. It has better error checking than DVD-R.

    A free utility called CDSpeed will analyze the quality of the write operation and give you an overall "quality" rating for the disc.
  11. If the files on your hda you are trying to burn are crosslinked, corrupted, or extremely fragmented; or have radically super long file names the burn can fail verification too.

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