Burner life




I have found a couple of old threads on the net on this topic but I thought it might be worth asking it to get a (possibly) more up to date answer.

I am about to embark on a large CD-R burning project (approximately 300 disks at first, with a long term total of around 600 over the next few years). I have acquired two brand new Pioneer S09J-X burners for the project (one is currently a spare brand new still in the box just in case something happens to the one I have in service).

What I would like to know is if there is any way to tell how long these burners will continue to maintain their performance as time goes by and they burn more and more disks?

The last burner I bought (a much cheaper USB one) lasted around 160 CD-R burns from new, then died completely - unable to read anything at all let alone write. So it seemed to go from hero to zero in an instant.

Is this normally the case for a burner or does (can) performance gradually deteriorate from “new” specs over time? And if the latter is the case, what metrics can I use to determine the “fitness” of the burner at any given time? Is something like a Diskspeed disk quality test (using a different USB burner as the Pioneer cannot perform this test) a satisfactory way of determining if the burner is still effectively performing “as new”?

I’m just a bit worried that performance may somehow “degrade” over time (even though the produced disks can be read perfectly and don’t have average error counts any worse than when the burner was new) and that burned disks so produced may have a shorter readable life as a result.



I don’t know how many discs I’ve burned in certain burners .
My only failed burners have been Lite ON. They were already on the way out when a person I knew that burned a lot told me this .
[B]“Wait 15 minutes between each burn.” [/B]
I rarely violate that rule now & I haven’t lost a burner since.
My main burner is still IDE if that tells you anything.

I know this slows things down & some people would rather replace burners than slow down. That’s OK with me . Just not what I’m going to do. If I had some special project that was time sensitive & paid accordingly I would buy a “stack” of burners I knew were going to burn out from the abuse. Since that has never been my situation & I have to pay to replace a burner I practice the 15 minute rule.


If that’s the case, then equipping with two and using them alternately may be an answer, giving the other one time to cool down.


[QUOTE=Matth;2758406]If that’s the case, then equipping with two and using them alternately may be an answer, giving the other one time to cool down.[/QUOTE]
I agree . Since it’s the laser that needs cooling switching between two or more drives would work fine . As long as the computer is staying in the temp range it should.
Myself I’m not usually burning one disc after another that fast anyway.
I don’t have any “scientific” proof only my own results.


As with almost anything electrical Burners do have a “Duty Cycle”. Some of the high amp products have like use for 30 seconds, cool for 5 minutes. I have 6 burners in my computer and one external. If I have a lot of burning that I need to do I just start at the top and work my way down the row.


Thanks for the responses everyone. I had already planned to have incredibly low duty cycles, so it looks like I am doing the right thing there. I am unlikely to burn more than two CD-Rs per day and if I do more than one, I have in my flowchart that I wait half an hour between burns.

The reason for the slow burn rate is that the preparation of each pre-existing 24/96 resolution master file for CD burning takes about an hour (iZotope resampling, dither, word length reduction, creation of tracks, track names, etc). So I don’t actually have the capacity to do more than a couple of these per day and my software (SoundForge Pro) only allows the simultaneous processing of two files in any case, so that slows me down too.

I actually had all the above documented as soon as I bought the drives but you guys have brought home how important that is (and vindicated something that was merely a hunch on my part).

I’m still a bit concerned about possible undetected deterioration in the burner capability but maybe to be on the safe and logical side, I might just swap the spare one in after 300 burns and then I can “even up the wear” on them both thereafter.

Thanks again