Burning multiple CDs at the same time?



I currently have 1 LiteOn LOTR-5238S CD-RW in my computer. How safe is it (including burn quality) is it to run multiple instances of NERO and burn all let’s say three or four CD-ROMs at the same time like the duplicators you often see. Do they have some sort of special equipment that allows you to burn multiple CDs at the same time or are they just regular PCs? I wanted to see if it was possible before going out and buying a few more LiteOns to put into my computer. Would NERO be the right software for the job or is there something else out there that could handle this situation better?


Nero’s the best for this , and yes its possible but you have to make sure all writers are on different channel


The drives must all be identical. Nero Retail will allow up to 4 burners. If you are burning all the drives from one instance of Nero (multiple copies of the same session), the drives do not always need to be on separate channels. If you are burning from multiple instances of Nero, they must be on separate channels.


Why do they all have to be the same drive? I was hoping to get the 27S or new 5239 along with my current one and possibly make one of them a DVD-ROM.

As for different channel do you mean separate IDE cable? I have two ide channels (usual) and of course you can connect two per device (master and slave). Does that mean you can only do two CD-ROMs to get the one per channel?

Thanks for your help.


In order to be able to burn the same thing to multiple drives, they must all burn in the same strategy and the exact same speed. Only identical drives with identical firmware can do this. Burning from separate instances of Nero does not require this. This is also the reason why duplicator towers have all identical drives.

As for different channel do you mean separate IDE cable? I have two ide channels (usual) and of course you can connect two per device (master and slave). Does that mean you can only do two CD-ROMs to get the one per channel?

IDE limitations require that you can only access one drive on a channel at a time. Thus you cannot burn to one drive (say…the master) and simultaneously burn or read from the other (slave). Most IDE controllers are fast enough to allow burning the same thing to 2 drives on the same channel
(2 drives in the same instance of Nero). The controller is actually switching back and forth between the 2 drives, but it’s fast enough to avoid buffer under-run.

So, if you have 2 IDE channels, (and no hard drives on them), you will be able to burn from 2 instances of Nero to one drive on each channel. Or, possibly from 2 instances of Nero you could burn to 2 drives on each channel (again presuming they are 2 identical drives).

All the above operations do also require that somewhere you have a HD that is capable of delivering a sufficient datarate for multiple burns. With DVD’s this is usually only possible at lower burn rates.


Two active devices on the same bus will reduce the IDE bus bandwidth so that high speed burning is not possible. One major rule you have probably already seen is do not put the source and target drive on the same IDE bus. With two active targets it is basically the same.

Identical drives using the same firmware use the same writing speed (as long as no problems occur). So they all can be fed from the same small buffer from the burning software. If the drives differ too much, the buffer has to be larger or the data has to be reread from the harddisk, which can cause performance problems. 1-2 GB ram and a smart burning software might solve this problem.


Saving time is important but of course one bad disk for me is very costly and is not an option in an effort to save time. So would you recommend no more than just 2 CD-ROMs total to play it really safe?

In this case, would it be better to run one CD-ROM as a slave off the hard drive primary channel, plus one CD-ROM on its own channel.

Or would it be better to run the hard drive on its own channel, and the two CD-ROMs on the same channel?

Your help is extremely helpful. I’ve tried a few configurations and they’ve worked but I get some burn-free has been used messages which worries me somewhat.


If you’re serious about doing multiple burns, your best (and maybe only) option is to put hard drives on a separate PCI controller card, and use the onboard IDE for optical drives only.


I tried the two types of IDE setups. Putting two CD-ROMs on the same IDE channel resulted in buffer underuns and I would make it only to around 200mb before my drives would fail.

I did however succeed with doing the master/slave with the HD and CD-ROM, plus the other CD-ROM on its own channel. I tested the CDs and they worked great. Seems as though my setup only works with one CD-ROM per IDE channel. I did have to increase the amount of RAM on my system however in order to make the burns more stable.

I was wondering. How would this be different if I burned lets say one from the IDE channel and then one from the USB 2.0 Port? Would these cause any conflicts? I dont have any USB CD-ROMs to test out but I would buy some if it worked. Seems like you could do a few from the USB port since it is a fast interface. Would this interface difference cause the burning to be different and negate the idea of using identical drives? I did notice you sort of need identical drives in order to keep the data in sync.


Then burn them one at a time, thats simple, wont cost you extra, and you wont have to worry about burning coasters.

I can remember a time that it took a better part of an hour to burn one cd, I wonder how we ever made it…lol

Peace and Luv,

DJ Mind


The reason is because I have four computers all burning with one CD at a time which seems inefficient. With two working each one I’d have 8. Looking at CD duplicators they run 7 burners at once on one computer and the computer they are using arent even fast ones. If I just use two CD-ROMs on one computer that is configured correctly then I should be better of then a duplicator. Yet I hear those duplicators are pretty accurate even if they burn 7 at a time.


Duplicators are burning the same thing to each identical drive simultaneously, which places very little demand on the system. They are designed specifically to do this, and nothing else.


I was trying to burn the same ISO to each CD. Doing so on the same ide cable didn’t work. Doing two CD-ROMs on separate cables did work fine and the quality tests were okay. I was thinking of doing the PCI card for my hard drive and then using each IDE channel for a separate CD-ROM. Then USB came into my head and I am wondering if that would work just as good.