CDRW Troubles


I’m running low on HD space, so I’m trying to off-load some files to CDRW for the time being. The problem is that while I can successfully burn the discs each and every time, each and every time I try to read them back, they always crap out.

I’ve got some CDRWs that I’ve had for a few years but used only a couple of times. They are pretty much all Memorexes, and are a mix of 74 and 80 minute CDRWs and a mix of 4x and 8/10x (normal and High Speed). I have previously been able to use them all successfully with my first two burners (a Plextor and a Sony) and I think that I used them in the Benq I’m using now as well. However, while both the Benq CDRW and the LG DVDRW can both write the discs without problem, they both fail when trying to read the discs towards the end.

I tried various things like reducing the size of the disc, burning in the other drive, reading in the other drive, unplugging everything I can to make sure that the PSU isn’t being taxed, burning slower, reading slower, different discs, and so on. Nothing I do can seem to prevent problems with reading back the CDRWs.

I’ve done some scans and they always have problems from around the 3/4 mark. In fact, the 80min 4x’s seem to always die at around the 74min mark which makes me wonder if they are actually 74min discs faking as 80s: (But then why does the burn not fail? :confused: )

My last resort may be to pull out the old Sony and try that.

If it was just one or two discs, or under a specific circumstance or something, I would say that it’s a compatibility issue or bad media or something, but I keep getting the same consistent problem.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks a lot.

Memorex CD-RW is mostly made by Infodisc. And their QC is awful.
Use Verbatim CD-RW instead to avoid trouble. :slight_smile:

Couldn’t agree more. :slight_smile:


Using something else isn’t really an option. I have neither the money, the transportation, nor the time; I just want to off-load some files to make some room to restructure my drives. Frankly, I’m really only putting replaceable files on the CDRWs but I’d really rather avoid downloading them again if possible.

The thing is that they used to work just fine. I am hoping that it’s a software issue like a corrupted or replaced driver or ASPI layer or something. My biggest confusion is if that the current drives can write them just fine and read the ones written by the old drive just fine.

It reminds me of the situation a few years ago where tapes recorded on my mother’s VCR could play on hers and my VCR, and tapes recorded on my VCR could play on my VCR but not hers. It was only one specific circumstance out of four which was problematic—I never did figure it out. It’s similar here. I have to draw this out or something to see if there is a pattern of what will and won’t work.

I agree with this advice. :iagree:

You could try “reviving” your Memorex CD-RW discs by performing a Full Erase a couple of times.


QC = Quality Control.

I have some Imation DVD -RW’s and as new they are far worse that my used Verbatim RW’s. Even thought they were a very cheap buy IMO its not worth it, RW media has a lot going against it in the first place.

But if all you want to do is make space then do so and try to be quick, just dont leave them for months and then expect to get everything back as was.

I know optical media is anything but ideal. I remember the first time I heard about their—optimistic—shelf life of 75 years; it shattered my idea of using them as long-term (that is indefinite) backup.

The thing is that the discs I wrote a few years ago with the Sony drive are perfectly readable right now with the Benq and LG. The Benq and LG can also write them. The only circumstance I’m having trouble with is when reading discs in the Benq and LG that were written in them. How can a drive read a disc that it wrote itself?

Here’s a scan of a HighSpeed 74min disc. It looks identical to the 4x 80min. There is definitely a pattern:

Oh, and if simply using better this and that were an option, then I would just up and buy a whole new computer with better everything but money IS an object.

I think it’s not your hardware.
IMO, the low-quality Infodisc media is to blame. Even my LG and my LiteOn sometimes give really “beautiful” results with Infodisc media.
You could just try some better media (Maxell [U]Pro/Plus[/U] (Taiyo Yuden) CD-R, Verbatim [U]Super Azo[/U] CD-R, Verbatim HS CD-RW - the price difference is small) and your problems may be gone.

I agree, but better media doesn’t seem to be an option :frowning:

[B]Coping with bad media: Lesson 1[/B] :bigsmile:

If only a few sectors are affected, you may wish to try packing the data with WinRAR. Use a big recovery record (10% recommended).
You need to try extracting once after burning to make sure that the data is extractable.

This will only work for data, but not for Audio CDs or Video DVDs.
This should not be used for important data. Discs with bad sectors should actually be disposed of whenever possible.

Can’t think of another solution right now :frowning:

Yes, it seems your big problem happens after 74 minutes. So don’t put so much data on the disks.

By the way, I see no C1 errors. I’m guessing that’s a problem with the drive. I know the LiteOn DVD burners underreport C1 errors.

But your problem is probably that C2 error at 76 minutes. I think a good CD should show no C2 errors.

Neither the Benq CDRW or the LG DVDRW seem to report C1 errors. Could it be a software thing then?

I forgot to mention that I also tried different combinations of image formats (ISO/BIN-CUE) and different burning apps.

I find that for this purpose, using ISOs created with MS’s cdimage, and burned with CloneDVD2 will give successful results the most often. I also noticed that the CMC 10x 74’s are more likely to succeed than the “identical” Infodisc 10x 74’s. (The optical media industry really needs some serious standardization because the existing “standards” are practically useless. Other sectors would never tolerate loose manufacturing standards like these. :rolleyes: )

I use the Win RAR recovery record all the time at just 1% as its saved me a few times.
The other thing I do with super important data is to make them with recovery volumes, they are akin to PAR[2] files, I also have used them (Quick Par2 files) on data that can be run from the disk and so cant be packed via rar files.

The RAR trick is certainly a good one. I think I’ve used it before (perhaps even for CDs, but certainly for floppies.)

I’ve found a site that caters exclusively to media so I’m eyeing it for my next purchase. This looks pretty good, is it? And, is there any appreciable quality difference between the types (lacquered, silver, inkjet, white)? I don’t care about printing, I just use a soft marker. Is RIData good? I saw them several times today but had never heard of them; I’ve always just heard about Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim.

Oh, and I have to return the last pack of DVD+Rs that I got from Futureshop because they sent me a 4x instead of the 8x I paid for (the cheaters!) I think this is the best that they have. Is it good?


Verbatim is good media.

I would prefer Taiyo Yuden or Verbatim over Ridata/Ritek every day, though.
The Ridata/Ritek 8x DVD-R (RITEKG05) are really craptastic.

I suspected as much. Then why is it that some places carry nothing but that (or other “crappy” media)? Do they figure that since it’s so bad, that they can sell it to people who don’t know any better for a “great price”? :rolleyes: