Burned first two coasters ... reasons why?

I know up front that I might not get any good answers here and that things like this might “just happen,” but I’m a newbie at this (had my burner for about a month) and am still learning, and I’ve always found that on computer related stuff I get better, easier to understand answers on forums like this than from instruction books or help sections, which to me almost universally seem to be written in Hittite.

I have a Lite-On LTR-40125W burner, 40X12X48, and am using Nero version that was bundled with the burner.

The first 20 discs I burned, had absolutely no problems, it was almost too easy. The last 9 I’ve burned, I’ve had two coasters. Here is what happened in each case, with as much detail as I can remember:

  1. Wanted to copy a CD-R. Source CD-R is a little old and is not great quality media and has a goodly bit of pops and crackles and clicks. So, what I tried to do was save each track individually as a WAV file, use Nero’s declicking (and dehiss) filter on every track and, hopefully, produce a little better version of this. I was using a Taiwanese TDK 16X “for audio” disc, the last one in a pack of 20 and had had no problems with the other 19. Disc was burning at 16X. Got to the second track and it gave me a write error on it, then the burn process failed. I then used another disc … Japanese Fuji, says 24X in one place on the label but 40X on another place; I burned it at 24 … and did a straight disc copy and it worked fine. Any ideas what happened here? Was what I tried to do with the filters unwise and too much for Nero to handle? Or could it have just been one bad disc in the pack?

  2. Tried to burn some MP3s from the good old days of Napster that were still hiding out on my hard drive to CD-R so I could get them off my hard drive. Used the New Compilation function for burning audio CD-Rs and just dragged and dropped the tracks into the window. Used one of the Japanese Fuji discs I mentioned earlier, only this time I tried to do the burn at 40X just to see what would happen. Also, on the read speed, I set it to maximum instead of leaving it on 12X, again just as an experiment. First disc burned fine, although a little slowly even though it said it was burning at 40X. I set up New Compilation for the rest of the MP3s, but they weren’t near enough to fill up another disc, so being that they were mostly jazz stuff, I tried to fill out the disc with some other favorite jazz tracks of mine from other CDs. I used the save track function to save those tracks as WAVs and then dropped them into my compilation. I then started burning the CD-R. It got through all the MP3s all right, and most of the WAV stuff, but it hung up on one particular WAV, gave me a write error and then the burn process failed. Any idea what happened here? I went back and checked all the settings and I did see that I had left the Track-At-Once setting on. Would that have been the reason for the slow burns, because it seemed like each track would buffer up and burn, then the buffer would go to zero, it would pause a second, and then buffer up and burn again? Should I have just left the write on 24 and the read on 12? Or, again, could it have just been one bad disc in a stack of 50? And this particular CD track that it stopped on, I’ve saved as a WAV and burned twice before with no problems.

I have noticed one other thing on my recent burns. I don’t know if this is the dreaded buffer underrun or what, but compared to my first 20 burns, which were smooth as silk, I seem to be getting more instances where things seem to bog down and you can actually hear the drive stop and start and stop and start a couple of times, like it’s having trouble with the burn, but every time so far it’s took hold and caught back up and finished the burn with no problems.

Sorry to go into so much detail, but I figured too much would be better than too little and I really want to learn this stuff.

One more question … should I forget about Nero and get EAC, would it do a better job for me?

Alrite, let’s see.

First off, your making the whole proccess sound way too complicated. Your only copying and making audio CDs. Let’s start with using Lite-On’s SMARTBURN utility to make sure the media your using is capable of the speed your writing, and no matter what you should not exceed 16x when writing audio, I like 8x. Also reading audio you should also go for a lower speed. Make sure the drive is on UDMA 2, under Device Manager.

Second, copying from a damaged audio cd is not a good idea. Mainly because audio cds only have the most minimum of error corrections, so even lil scratches are really bad. I suggest you try to use like that device called Spin Dr. (or something) and clean the CD and try to eliminate whatever scratches you can. Then try first to read it with CloneCD at a low 4x speed with FES disabled and regeneration on (though I doubt it’ll help audio much) and with quality at best, that’ll give you an image, I hope, if it doesn’t change the FES to auto, but you want to try to go for the best read not the fastest. Also try using Easy CD-DA extractor, or some program capable of rereading sectors carefully, and extract the files in either WAV or MP3 or CD-DA. Then filter it or watever, using Nero’s bult in on-the-fly filter. Remember to burn at low speed. But I think it’ll be better if you just use CloneCD to burn it, low speed of course.

Last, to make an audio CD, just use Nero Express. If you’re version don’t have it, then create a new shortcut and make its target:
“C:\Program Files\ahead\Nero
ero.exe” /w
Then start it, select audio CD, drag the MP3s or whatever in and burn away, again at a low speed.

Hope this helps,