Burning a data DVD?

When making a data DVD, I heard it is (sometime ?) better to make an .iso file first, with for example UltraISO, containing all the files/folders and then burn the image, instead of compiling all individual files and folders in Nero for example.

Is there a real advantage doing that ? Is the number or type of files/folders a determining factor ? For example, I have to burn a substantial backup which will take at least a dozen DVDs, each containing something like ~300 .rar & .zip files.

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

Actually there is no real advantage in creating an ISO file first. The only main usage of this method is that with an ISO file you can use Imgburn as burning software, because it only accept an image file as data source.

Another possibility is to use CD-DVD speed to test a burner avoiding to waste a media creating a random binary test disc, so after completing the test you can retain the disc because it contains the data you inserted in the ISO file.

As far as understand it, there is value in making an ISO image of a disc if all you want to do is make a copy. This is particularly relevant when copying a DVD-Video, since the original features such as layer-break position and DVD-Video fileset padding are preserved.

With a dataset, there may not be any particular advantage, and Nero or any other DVD burning application should be sufficient. However you should check out ImgBurn, since it is a very compact and efficient program that is well-supported by the author. It offers the ability to build an ISO image from a series of files. Better still, it is free. :slight_smile:

Edit: posted without seeing Geno888’s reply… Geno; IIRC you can build an ISO from simple data files… :wink:

oops, I forgot about a DL disc backup :doh:

Yep, it’s possible to build an ISO file from simple data files, and this is what I usually do when I want to do a burn with cd-dvd speed, to test a drive (or a specific media with a new firmware) trying to not waste a disc :bigsmile: :stuck_out_tongue:

Ah no sorry Geno; I was meaning this idea…

In fact ImgBurn will also accept data files, as long as you add them in the ‘Build’ mode… and will then burn an ISO image of this to disc.

oops I misundertood :o

No problem - it took me also a long time to realise the potential of ‘build’ mode.

Not totally correct. You can burn directly to the DVD without going through the image phase first.
Just select the burner as the output device whilst in build mode & add your files/folders.

Maybe just a matter of sematics, Tim, but I suspect we’re talking about the same process.

In build mode, ImgBurn reports information on sector designations and other disc-related stuff so I think it safe to assume there was a virtual image being ‘built’ in pieces somewhere (and without necessarily pre-saving the whole finished image to hard drive first).

This is most clearly visible when you try to build a image from a set of DVD-Video folders. There are image-related decisions to be made regarding the layer break, etc…

That’s quite possible, just wanted to avoid any confusion. :slight_smile:


Exactly :slight_smile:

Whenever an app takes files as input as e.g. Nero does, then the app always internally builds a filesystem(ISO) on-the-fly in RAM of the files during the burn-process(ImgBurn even has options to set the cache size for both writing and the ISO building part in the preferences ;)). Many people are confused about ImgBurn’s build mode, as they don’t understand why it isn’t just possible to just select the input files in the same window as where the ISO files are selected, but that’s because ImgBurn dosen’t hide whats actually is going on for the user, as e.g. Nero does. If an app would only write files to a disc without meanwhile building an ISO on-the-fly in RAM, then the files would never be able to be read back from the disc afterwards, as the disc would’nt contain a propper filesystem…

CU, Martin.

I don’t think this quite right at all.

In ImgBurn’s build mode , if you select the burner as output I’m quite sure that no image file is created as you seem to be suggesting. If it were then the time taken to burn would be increased by the time taken to build the image and burning wouldn’t start immediately as it does.

The same applies to the likes of Nero as well.

Well, i can assure you that i’m right on this, but of course you don’t have to take my word for it :slight_smile: As i said, most other apps hide the semantics from you to be more userfriendly, but if a filesystem wasen’t made on-the-fly, then the data could not be read back at all afterwards and their is no SCSI-3/MMCx commands that can make the drive make the filesystem for you.

Hint: Why do you think the feature is called Build mode :wink:

When you burn directly to disc in Build mode, then the log states :

“Source File: -==//[BUILD IMAGE]/==-”

Also, i found this quote in a post on the ImgBurn forum :

CU, Martin :slight_smile:

I’m certainly not going to argue with LUK (the author) on this, I’m just amazed at the speed that it does it as there’s no delay before burning starts.

Cheers mate :slight_smile:

All burning apps that take files as input, formats the data into a propper filesystem i.e. ISO, on-the-fly in RAM, during the actual burn process and as the process occures without any temp files, but solely in RAM, then modern CPUs can easilly handle that at 16x.

CU, Martin.

Not possible to create it solely in RAM as almost nobody runs with 4gb+. What probably happens is that the TOC etc gets created in memory & the files taken directly from the HDD to burner. Certainly my memory usage barely changes when I’m burning.

Lets face it none of this is particularly helpful to the OP so best we end this now.

Sorry, this will be my final comment on this matter, but i just need to clarify that of course the whole ISO isn’t built in RAM before the burning process starts. I said that it was done on-the-fly in RAM during the write process which means that the ISO is built in little chunks at a time and handed over to the writers write cache for writing to disc. Think of e.g. when burning MP3s on-the-fly, then all the MP3s isn’t either decoded to WAVs first either, but just at little chunks at a time… :wink:

OK, now i will promise to shut up and sorry to the OP for going off-topic :slight_smile:

CU, Martin.