20x DVD burning - break it down for a newbie, please

vbimport

#1

Using my new Lite-On DH20A4P to do some burns. My main reason for buying this drive is that I need to speed up my DVD burns, and I was hoping for it to be a fairly painless “plug-and-play” type operation.

I am very disappointed to find that Nero 7 still lists a max burn speed of 4x (same as my old drive), and – now that I enabled realtime speed reporting – appears to not even do that, most of the time.

My first step after doing a basic “wtf” google search was to read the thread about C0deKing’s firmware patches for this drive (and let me pause for a moment to throw a :bow: his way!)

I flashed my firmware to the 20A4P.9P59S.patched-fbl-eos-eoht version. No probs with that, except I still don’t get any faster burning options. (Yes, I opted to do the firmware thing without even trying other stuff for several reasons: #1 people were raving about it; #2 it’s the middle of the night and it’s more feasible (not to mention inexpensive) at the moment to DL a patch from the 'Net than it is to procure new burning software or media.)

I am burning UDF (data) DVDs.

I am using some cheesy CompUSA-brand (or worse) media, but I noted in the firmware thread that many people seem to be getting fine results with “junk” media.

I would like to know where to begin to speed up my burns, as I have tons of data that I would like to move to offline storage, and 13.5 min. per 4.3GB just isn’t cutting it; conservatively assuming I have ≈.5TB of stuff to move off, I’d be looking at over 2 solid days of burning! Yikes!

I am hoping to be able to attack the possible aspects of the issue in roughly the following order, but of course will consider and appreciate any advice at all:

  1. some magical setting in my burning software, the drive/firmware, or windows
  2. some “better” (i.e. more-capable) burning software, preferably FOSS.
  3. media
  4. drive
  5. “other”

Of course, while 20x would be ideal, even 8x (or 4.1x!) would be a helpful improvement!

Thanks in advance for any advice!

P.S. - One bit of good news is that my old burner wouldn’t even burn to this media, so… I guess that’s a plus (seeing as the spindle of 100 apparently cost about $70 when it was bought several years ago.)


#2

If this is data that you would like to keep, you should go with better media. Some burners are very picky about the media being used. Using cheap media is hit and miss.
Can you post a log of your last burn attempt?
This would provide the experts here with more information.


#3

If you want to burn at 20x, only the best media is good enough, and even then there will be some discs that will not produce a good or even acceptable result. You’re much better off if you burn good media at 16x or even 12x. For mediocre media I suggest you don’t burn faster than 8x. Cheap media is a waste of time and money IMO - a lot of it will not burn properly, especially beyond 3.5 - 4 GB.

You may want to check the DMA status of your IDE controller to make sure your drive is operating in DMA mode and not PIO mode.

Nero will only offer the burning speeds supported by the drive for the currently inserted media, so don’t blame Nero if it only offers 4x.

Next time you buy some media, I suggest getting some Verbatims.

Welcome to CDFreaks! :slight_smile:


#4

If you bought those discs several years ago, they may be only 4X speed rated? Either that, or they have some obscure MID (Manufacturer/Media ID, you can check it under the “Disc Info” tab in Nero CD DVD Speed), which isn’t supported (at higher speeds) in the burner’s firmware.


#5

I bought a DH20A4P cuz it was dirt cheap (I should have bought another Pioneer 115D). The DH20A4P will only burn my 16X Optos at 6X and poorly at that. The Pioneer on the other hand burns TYG02’s (8X) discs at 12X with near perfect results.

At $23 shipped it was still overpriced.


#6

Hi, Everyone, and thanks for the responses! :slight_smile:

[B]I’ll try some better media! [/B]I don’t want to take undue risks with my backups, but didn’t want to just trash a bunch of media already paid for.

Dialysis1: I didn’t save the logs from that burning session, but If I have further questions, I will include the log next time. My logs didn’t seem to be of the detailed nature I have seen in some other threads, though – just a basic “initializing…, burning, burn completed” kinda thing. Maybe it’s a log [I]file[/I] I’m looking for? (In which case maybe I [I]do[/I] have them, since I haven’t deleted any! Will look into it…)

DrageMester: The DMA mode appears to be set to “Ultra DMA 4 - Ultra66”, which appears to be the highest available mode. There are also several “Multi-Word DMA” modes… Not sure what that is. After a quick background search on the subject I see that ATA-100 appears to be the highest capability available. Do you think using only 66 might be preventing faster burning?

Cressida: yes it is quite possible they are only 4x rated. The package and media are entirely nondescript, other than a CompUSA price tag. I wasn’t aware that there was even such a thing as MID; just assumed “blank” meant blank! The implication is very interesting – that even if the media is physically capable, this MID can prevent it from being used at unrated speeds. Will have a closer look at that “Disc Info” next time I burn.

MysticEyes: Thanks for the input. I thought I got a good deal at $28.99 or thereabouts from newegg. Would like to know where you got it for $23. May check out that Pioneer drive as well.


#7

[quote=so_sick_of_logins;2056121]DrageMester: The DMA mode appears to be set to “Ultra DMA 4 - Ultra66”, which appears to be the highest available mode. There are also several “Multi-Word DMA” modes… Not sure what that is. After a quick background search on the subject I see that ATA-100 appears to be the highest capability available. Do you think using only 66 might be preventing faster burning?[/quote] ATA-66 is fine for DVD burning, but if the controller goes into PIO mode instead of DMA mode, performance goes out the window and the burn can even fail outright.


#8

[quote=so_sick_of_logins;2056121]Hi, Everyone, and thanks for the responses! :slight_smile:

[B]I’ll try some better media! [/B]I don’t want to take undue risks with my backups, but didn’t want to just trash a bunch of media already paid for.

Dialysis1: I didn’t save the logs from that burning session, but If I have further questions, I will include the log next time. My logs didn’t seem to be of the detailed nature I have seen in some other threads, though – just a basic “initializing…, burning, burn completed” kinda thing. Maybe it’s a log [I]file[/I] I’m looking for? (In which case maybe I [I]do[/I] have them, since I haven’t deleted any! Will look into it…)

DrageMester: The DMA mode appears to be set to “Ultra DMA 4 - Ultra66”, which appears to be the highest available mode. There are also several “Multi-Word DMA” modes… Not sure what that is. After a quick background search on the subject I see that ATA-100 appears to be the highest capability available. Do you think using only 66 might be preventing faster burning?

Cressida: yes it is quite possible they are only 4x rated. The package and media are entirely nondescript, other than a CompUSA price tag. I wasn’t aware that there was even such a thing as MID; just assumed “blank” meant blank! The implication is very interesting – that even if the media is physically capable, this MID can prevent it from being used at unrated speeds. Will have a closer look at that “Disc Info” next time I burn.

MysticEyes: Thanks for the input. I thought I got a good deal at $28.99 or thereabouts from newegg. Would like to know where you got it for $23. May check out that Pioneer drive as well.[/quote]

Drage covered all the bases.
Better media @ 12x.
Stay away from “Multi-word DMA” with your setup & needs.
Your DMA mode is right where it should be.