Burning with Windows 7 Live File System



Windows 7 contains two built-in ways of burning data to optical media, one is the normal Mastering method known from countless other burning programs, and the other is the “Live File System”.

Does anyone have experience in what kind of speed should be expected when burning using the Live File System (a.k.a. Burn a Disc “Like a USB flash drive”) to DVD media?

I was getting ridiculously slow burn speeds of approx 700-750 Kilobytes per second, then I installed hotfix KB975617, and now I’m merely getting incredibly slow burning at approx 1.5-2.5 Megabytes per second.

This is to an Optiarc AD-5260S using Taiyo Yuden 8x DVD-R (TYG02) and Richoh 16x DVD+R (RICOHJPN R03 004).

Using e.g. the built-in Mastering (Burn a Disc “With a CD/DVD Player”), the discs are burned at full speed as I would expect, using the same drive, the same type of media, and the same files.

So is anyone else getting decent burn speeds with the Live File System in Windows 7, or is this another one of those features that’s good on paper but should be avoided in real life?

Windows UDF speed limit


the Live File System is good for DVD-RAM. I wouldn’t use it for anything else.



Sorry to bump this ancient topic, but since Windows IMAPI and LiveFS are still implemented, I thought it would be better to jump in here rather than start a new thread.

After umpteen years of ignoring the Windows built-in burning engine through multiple iterations of the OS, I have started playing with this under Windows 10 to make temporary incremental backups of stuff. It mostly works, and sometimes yields unexpected nice surprises (e.g. my BluRay player sees ALL sessions of a multisession MP4 disc so created). My major issue seems to be burn quality related to the declining quality of media and the inability to explicitly set the recording speed that the drive uses for LiveFS.

I was wondering whether the same thing could be accomplished using, say, Nero in multisession UDF mode. Between ImgBurn and ISOBuster I have determined that my LiveFS discs are recorded using UDF 2.01 and Mode 2. I have looked through every online reference I could find on Windows LiveFS/IMAPI, dating to the XP days, and am still unable to answer certain other basic operational questions.

Also, if the Mode 2 parameter is true, this is a major downer, as the error checking (dating from CD-R days) is supposed to be not as robust.


  • Is a multisession LiveFS disc structurally and functionally equivalent to identical content written by (for example) Nero in UDF/multisession mode?
  • If I use Nero to add an extra session to a LiveFS disc formatted and written by Windows IMAPI, (and vice versa) will the disc structure still be useable, or will it somehow get disrupted?
  • If I use Nero to add an extra session to a LiveFS disc formatted and written by Windows IMAPI, will Windows IMAPI subsequently be able to write additional session(s) past the one added by Nero? (Same question for the reverse: start disc using Nero, add sessions using IMAPI).
  • What is the default UDF version utilized by IMAPI/LiveFS in each version of Windows, XP through 10?
  • Besides using third-party burning software, is there any way to use IMAPI to add files to a LiveFs disc BESIDES drag-and-drop from Explorer?
  • Under Windows Explorer/IMAPI, what exactly does the initial “formatting” step do on write-once media?


OK. So I’ve done some more experimentation (and thrown away a bunch of discs) and have a little more empiric data, most of it not encouraging.

A LiveFS disc created and maintained by Windows IMAPI appears to be fundamentally different from one manually created using burning software such as Nero.

When Windows first “formats” a disc, and upon closing a session upon ejecting a partially written disc, it creates a new incomplete session which is used the next time the disc is written.

If Nero imports last written LifeFS session it works, but writing fails with a generic message that the disc structure is corrupted. I presume it is because Nero does expect/not know how to deal with the open session that follows the last closed session containing data.

Similarly Windows LFS does not know how to handle a mastered multisession disc (it treats it as blank), presumably because it is looking for an empty open session at the end, which Nero etc cannot do.

Windows LFS creates data sessions using UDF 2.01, and writes the discs in Mode 2 Form 1, which does contain some additional sector length for error correction, so it is not as bad as first thought. I can’t figure how one could replicate that mode formatting on a mastered multisession disc using current versions of Nero.

I have found no other way to add files to a Windows IMAPI LFS disc other than Explorer/Drag+Drop.

Bottom line: I’n done playing with LFS.


Wow, this thread is from 2010? Cool.


It works well for me on all disc types, but I don’t like the high speeds. The disc drive accelerates to full speed, just to append a few lines of text to a text file (maybe it overwrites the full file, I don’t know).