Burning Errors/Bad Scans

So I understand that you can get a “bad” burn where you may scan the disc and it will be unacceptable in terms of quality. But, I’m having trouble understanding exactly what “bad” refers to. Does it have to do with how long the disc will last? (ability to archive?) Errors within certain burned files?

For example, let’s say I am burning a DVD of pictures with my TY media and Lite-On or NEC 1300A burner. Now, I get a “bad” burn and unacceptable scan. Does this mean:

  1. The disc will work now but will not last as long.
  2. Certain pictures (ie-files on the CD) will not be able to be opened because they are damaged
    3)Certain pictures will open on my computer off of the DVD but they have flaws so the quality is not as good as if I open the file off of my hard drive.
  3. Some combination of those
  4. I’m completely confused and these examples are missing the mark

As a follow-up to that (and the answer may answer this), but can you make a “good” burn (ie-copy) from a disc that was a “bad” burn? I guess if there are no true errors in the actual files and the only problem is the disc will not last you could possibly do this. If you have a disc that is a “bad” burn can you salvage some or all of the files on it? Or, is your only option to throw it away and reburn another disc from the information on your hard drive. In other words, if I get a bad burn, delete the info off of my hard drive, and then transfer the files from the “bad” burn back to my hard drive, have I lost some files/quality forever?

I’m just trying to understand this at a deeper level–it may seem like a moot point but I promise I have a reason for asking–I need to save some files from my hard drive before I install my new Lite-On drive and want to make sure that they are properly archived by my NEC 1300A before I delete them. Thanks a ton for all of the help!

If you are using TY +R 8x with that 1300a, you should be fine. I have a 1300a (with the last official firmware) that is mostly retired now, but it works very well with that media.

It is [B]easy[/B] to overemphasize the importance of scanning when you read threads around here, especially the quality scans. If you get a smooth transfer rate scan, you’ll generally be in good shape, regardless if your quality scan goes down to 90 in Nero.

You have to remember that scanning tells you how well your drive is reading and correcting errors as it reads. It is not measuring errors on the disk itself. A subtle difference, but an important one, and it explains why quality scans can vary from drive to drive when trying to scan one particular disk.

Now on to some of your questions. “Bad” burns often times will read perfectly well in your drives and players. We discard them because we would rather start with a “good” burn. All dvd media will degrade over time, and you might as well start with one that reads well. But the rate of degradation is unknown, even with disks that start out scanning well. I’ve read that some Ritek disks can burn ok, scan at a decent level, then degrade rapidly. TY isn’t known for this, so you should be in good shape using them.

If your dvd has degraded over time, then you probably won’t be able to open files on the disk. Possibly you won’t be able to read any. Sometimes with a degraded disk you can salvage information using a program called ISOBuster, but nothing guaranteed there.

If your information is extremely important I would advise getting another hard drive, maybe an external one, and transfer all of your files into it. Store this hard drive and consider it an archive, not a daily use drive. You should also back up to several dvds, not just one.

Personally I’d prefer to burn to my new Liteon rather than trust the 1300. If the data is critical & a hard drive is not an option then burn 2 copies on to 2 different media, say your TY’s & 16x +R Verbs.

Do Transfer Rate Tests on both copies & DQ scans (at 8x) also. Using the Liteon of course.

It’s important that if you’re not already using them with the 1300 that you get some good 80wire IDE cables as the current Liteons are best run in Ultra DMA mode 4.

Also bear in mind that Liteon use SmartBurn technology where the burne rlearns about the media so best burns are achieved after a number of burns with a particular media.

“Personally I’d prefer to burn to my new Liteon rather than trust the 1300. If the data is critical & a hard drive is not an option then burn 2 copies on to 2 different media, say your TY’s & 16x +R Verbs.”

So, I guess you are saying that the Lite-On is more reliable than the 1300A? I need to get some Verbatim discs–all I have is TY and then some old Memorex media, which I haven’t investigated but assume are not very good.

“Do Transfer Rate Tests on both copies & DQ scans (at 8x) also. Using the Liteon of course.”

Ok, I appreciate this info and I’m learning but I’m still lost–can you get me started or refer me to an article that will tell me how to do Transfer Rate Tests (is this done while it’s burning, or after?) and DQ scans? I’ve never done either.

“It’s important that if you’re not already using them with the 1300 that you get some good 80wire IDE cables as the current Liteons are best run in Ultra DMA mode 4.”

Can you explain this a bit further? I have an internal Lite-On and am planning to install it later today. I’m totally lost 80wire IDE cables. What are they and where do I get them?

“Also bear in mind that Liteon use SmartBurn technology where the burne rlearns about the media so best burns are achieved after a number of burns with a particular media.”

From that comment should I conclude that I should just burn a few discs and throw them away in order to let the drive “calibrate” itself? Are the first few that come out not very reliable?

Thanks for all the help–sorry I’m so ignorant on the subject. I’ve learned SO much but still have so much left to learn. Thanks for helping!

I still don’t think you’d have problems with the 1300a if you have +R 8x TY media. It will be slower of course, since its top speed is 4x. But if you already have the Lite-On in hand, you can use it. But I wouldn’t burn faster than 8x or 12x anyway. I’ve gone to 8x for virtually all my burns these days.

Transfer rate tests and Disk Quality tests are part of the Nero CD/DVD Speed utility. If you don’t have Nero, you can still download this utility for free and use it with your Lite-On drive. You test your disks after you have burned them. Load the disk and hit start on the program—that will begin the benchmark, which includes the transfer test. Or you can pick the transfer rate test out of the drop down box at Run Test at the top of the window. Hit the tab Quality Test to get to the window with that scanning test. Pretty simple to use. You can save the tests as image files and post them here at cdfreaks too.

You need 80 wire IDE cables for your Lite-On, assuming it is a regular PATA IDE drive. If you got one of the new ones that have a SATA interface, you’d have to use a SATA cable. The IDE cables are flat, grey usually, and have a lot of little wires covered in plastic insulation. If you count them, you’ll see 80 or 40 depending on the type. They plug into the back of the drive and connect to the motherboard.

Edit: Ha! I knew TimC was going to show up with that picture of the IDE cables. But I’ve saved it now :slight_smile:

Here’s a good guide to using CD-DVD Speed , read it here.

Here’s a pic of 80 wire & 40wire ones , the one on the left is 80wire.

My burner is the 165X6PS (something like that…doing it by memory…the box model says SHM-165H6S04C–it’s the Lite-On 16X with LightScribe). I did EXTENSIVE Q&A on these forums a few weeks ago and was guided to this burner by many of the folks on here.

I was also guided to TY and Verbatim media–I had purchased the TY 8X DVD+R, which I had concluded was probably considered by most the best out there for my particular burner. I had planned to do 2 copies of each disc, but now that you mention it, I guess doing one copy on TY and one of Verbatim would be best. I do realize the Memorex is crap–it is left over from literally like 2 or 3 years ago when I first got my NEC 1100A, which never worked until scoobiedoobie helped me flash it to a 1300A last week. I’ll just use those in my new LG DVD Recorder (TV DVD recorder) for stuff that doesn’t really matter or transferring a few files to a friend and use my good media for archiving all my personal files.

I do have some files (one DVD worth) that are saved to Memorex media right now that are deleted from my hard drive that I will be transferring to TY DVDs BUT, I also have all the files saved on at least one, and in most cases 2, Verbatim CD-Rs. These files are important, but not as important as the ones that I’ll be burning later! I also had to clear some space this morning so burned 2 copies of a TY DVD worth of pictures. I’ll run a TRT to make sure the NEC 1300A did it’s job but I feel pretty safe because I have 2 copies of the TY DVD AND, I also have each file saved to at least one Verbatim CD-R.

I’ll head to BestBuy tonight and see if I can find the Ultra 133 cables so I can have them when I install the Lite-On tonight. Do I just need one of them? Also, should I get another to hook up to my 1300A while I’m in there (my other current drive is just a DVD-ROM so I think I’m going to remove that and leave my 1300A and new Lite-On as my drives)

About doing the TRT test–you gave me instructions but what software are those instructions for? Maybe this will be self-explanatory when I install my Lite-On. At this point, I have been using CDBurnerXT Pro 3 for my burns with the Lite-On and have downloaded Nero CDSpeed 4702, which I have not installed or used yet.

On that note, am I OK burning with the CDBurnerXP Pro or do I need different software? Also, what else do I need to know before/as I get started with the Lite-On? (I’ll be clearing 60GB worth of pictures from my hard drive so I want to make sure I’m set up perfectly, using everything correctly, and getting the best burns I can) Is there firmware that I need to upgrade with before I start? Any other tips for installing the drive that aren’t included in the directions? (I’ve never done this before but have been told if I can replace someone’s hip or ACL that I can install this drive :slight_smile: Any and all help is appreciated and someone please let me know how many Ultra 133 cables I need–I’ll probably be heading out and can swing by BestBuy (assuming they have them) in a bit.

Thanks a ton for lending all your knowledge! I appreciated it!

I just reread the above posts (thanks again, guys!) and had a couple more things to add. First of all, my Lite-On drive says on the box it’s interface is “ATAPI/E-IDE”–that means it’s a PATA and not a SATA, right? Just need to make sure I get the right cable. Should I get a cable for my NEC 1300A as well, or will that drive not accept the cable or not need it? This cable is the cable inside my computer that connects the drive to the rest of the system, right? (and I haven’t opened it up, but given my computer is Dell Dimension Desktop that is 4 years old, is it a safe assumption I need to buy the cables?)

Lastly, about archiving things I really don’t want to lose–my plan has been to have everything on a minimum of 2 DVDs and then buy an external hard drive. Does that sound like a good and reasonable plan without being overkill? It is best to have 2 types of DVD media? Lastly, I’ve been researching but can’t find my info on external hard drives–are there good brands and bad brands just like with burners? If I’m going to spend the money I want a good one AND, it needs to be pretty large–200 to 300GB range. Any suggestions are appreciated!

The IDE cable you have in your computer right now may be an 80 wire cable. You should check and see first, before you go off to buy another. Since you have two optical drives, they are probably both on the same cable----IDE cables can connect two devices, one on the end and one in the middle of the cable. The device on the end is the Master, the one in the middle is the Slave drive. If you have to buy a new 80 wire cable, you’d only need one.

When you set up your new drive, you will need to put the Lite-On at the end of the cable as the Master drive and the NEC plugged into the middle connector as the Slave drive. You will have to change the jumpers on the back of each drive to reflect this (Lite-On set to Master, NEC set as Slave). There are markings on the back of the drives which indicate how to set the jumpers, and there should be instructions that come with the new drive.

Another way of doing this is to allow the computer to choose—it is called Cable Select. If you do it that way, set the jumper on the back of both drives to the position called cable select. But again, you would want the Lite_On plugged into the very end connector and the NEC plugged into the middle one.

This is probably harder to explain than actually doing it, so I hope I’m not making it sound more difficult than it is.

The guide that TimC linked for Nero CD/DVD Speed is very thorough. Read through it. I think it will answer any questions you have about using the program.

I don’t use your burning program, but if it has worked for you before and you are comfortable using it, go ahead now.

Nero CD/DVD Speed will show you which firmware revision you have now. You can check at the Lite-On site to see if there are any newer versions available once you know what you have.

As far as hard drives go, I like Seagate. They have a 5yr warranty and are reasonably quiet.

Thanks for the reply–once again, very informative. I have used CDBurnerPro over the last week–it was suggested to me by someone on this site as a good freeware to use for burning because I had a really old version of Roxio that wasn’t working. So, it has worked for me, but I’ve only burned 5 discs. So, I’m open to changing if there is a logical reason to do so. Otherwise, I like the program plenty well so I’ll stick with it. I’ll let you know how things go…hopefully I can get this thing hooked up later tonight! On other thing–I am not at my house to check my cable so I’ll skip BestBuy for now. If I DO need the cable (ie-my computer has a 40 so I need to buy the 80), can I hook up the Lite-On tonight and then just go in and replace the cable tomorrow? I just had set some time aside tonight to get things set up so wanted to go through and install everything. But, if I do need the cable and it is best to set everything up at once, I’ll just wait and install the drive after I go get the cable. Thanks again for all the help!

I just read through your posts again, and finally noticed you have an older Dell. Dell usually sets up optical drives using cable select, so you’ll probably want to follow their lead in this. They also like to cut any corners they can, so you probably only have a 40 wire cable for those drives.

No sense in setting things up with the 40 wire cable. You’d just have to change it, so you might as well hold off until you have the necessary equipment.

As a side note on burning programs, if you ever start doing dvd backups, ImgBurn is a very good tool to have. It is a free program, and is fairly versatile now that the author has added a build mode.

Thanks again, Kerry! Quickly, what do you mean “DVD back-ups?” Do you mean a back-up copy of a DVD movie? Also, what exactly is build mode? I’ll search for that program and see if I can download it and start getting familiar with it. I’ll go with whatever Dell has the drives set on–I assume from what you said above I’ll be able to look at the drives and see if they are set to cable select when I open things up, right? Thanks for all the help!

CDBurnerXP Pro is fine as a burning app. For Audio CDs add Burrrn (www.burrrn.net) to the list and then along with ImgBurn that’s already been recommended you have a reasonable collection of tools.

In terms of external hard drives you won’t go far wrong with either Seagate or Western Digitals products. Of these 2 get the one that gives the best value per GB.
You do need to have USB2 capability for these drives.

With the Ultra cables the thing to note is that the connections are very specific in that a certain end must connect to the motherboard, typically this is blue and often marked as System. Also if not using Cable Select then the other end of the cable is the Master connection & the middle is the Slave.

What you’ll have inside the PC is 2 IDE connections on the motherboard which will support 4 devices , one of which will be your hard drive. What you don’t want is the burner(s) on the same IDE cable as the HDD as this is a real restriction for burning or read off a CD/DVD.
There’s no reason why the 1300 & Liteon can’t be on the same cable & best to have the Liteon as master. I’d suspect in a short while you might want to dump this anyway.

I think the rest of what you’re planning sounds fine.

Thanks again for the help. Quick question so I can understand things at a little deeper level. For software, CDBurnerPro, Burrrn, and ImgBurn have all been suggested. Why do I need 3 burning software packages? Are certain ones better for burning certain jobs? (ie-movies, data, music, etc.) And, by “better” (assuming that is true) do you mean my burns (and scans) will be better or is the software just easier to use? (or both?) Thanks again for all the help!

ImgBurn is a fine program for burning image files. Many of the dvd (movie) ripping programs we use have the option to output as an image file, usually as an ISO file. ImgBurn handles these well, and is probably the very best program to use when burning to dual layer disks.

Let’s say you want to back up a commercial dvd, but don’t want to use any compression. Most commercially made dvds won’t fit onto a single layer dvdr without compression, so you’d have to burn to a dual layer. The best way to accomplish this would be to decrypt and rip the dvd to the hard drive using DVDDecrypter in ISO Read mode. ImgBurn can then burn the image to dual layer and [B]keep the layer break set correctly.[/B] Most burning programs can’t do this, so when you play a dual layer burned with another program, you get problems in the playback, usually skipping or freezing the picture.

I use ImgBurn for most of my dvd backups now, whether I use single layer or dual. If I’ve used an editing program that doesn’t output to an ISO, which is often the case when I do captures from tv, I can still use ImgBurn on the Video_TS folder because I have a shell extension that allows me to right click on the folder and have an option to burn with ImgBurn. It is quick and easy.

The build mode in ImgBurn allows you to combine files and build your own ISO. Then you can burn them to a disk. I haven’t explored this very much.

I use Nero for data just because I have it and am used to it, but I’m sure CDBurner Pro will work fine for you. I don’t burn audio cds, so Burrrn is a new program for me. I might have to go check it out.

Thanks again…one more problem…I’ve been looking for the 80 wire Ultra 133 ribbon cable and can’t find exactly what I’m looking for. I searched at BestBuy.com and Staples.com (haven’t been to the stores yet) but when I search for “Ultra 133” it gives me 40 pin connectors only. Can someone please post a link to where I can get the 80 wire Ultra 133 ribbon cable? If you could find it at BestBuy or Staples that would be great, as those are the closest stores to me that have computer equipment. Thanks!

Yes it only has 40 pin connectors. The extra wires are there to prevent crossover. Here is a link to one at Staples.

That’s pretty expensive for a cable. Makes me appreciate my accumulated pile of excess computer gear.

The output mode in ImgBurn can be switched to burn directly to your selected burner. No need to create an ISO image first.

Good to know. Thanks for the tip Tim.