Making coasters



Hello all. I am brand new to this forum (and to burning DVD’s) so pardon me if this is a dumb question.

I purchased an I/O Magic 16x4x16x Double-Layer Internal DVD±R/RW Drive this last weekend for my Dell (2.8 Ghz, 512 ram, etc… - decent machine).

I also purchased a 20 pack of Teon 8x DVD-R ($5 - couldn’t pass it up).

I am using DVDShrink and Nero to make copies of our DVD’s. Please note (if this is improtant) that I am re-authoring the movie only (and automatically compressing if necessary) via DVDShrink.

First I tried to make the copy directly - coaster #1. I then burned the DVD from the files which DVDShrink had encoded on my hard drive. This worked OK, so I proceeded to movie #2.

I ripped it to the hard drive, then started Nero burning (since the first movie seemed to “like” this process better). Coaster #2. I tried burning again, and it worked fine.

Last night I tried movie #3 twice, two coasters. Both said that the burn completed OK, but the verification failed.

Results - 2 completed movies, 4 coasters. Not bad if I was a professional baseball player (.333), but not what I expected here.

Any ideas for me to improve the results?


My guess: you have awful blank DVDs. I had a similar problem with my first spindle of DVDs (KHypermedia [CMC MAG F01], BenQ DW800a burner). I got 2 out of 25 to burn properly.

I have since burned 1 Taiyo Yuden 8x, about 35 Ritek RiData 4x (RICOHJPN R01 I think), and about 10 Phillips 2.4x (CMC MAG R01, surprisingly) and they have burned wonderfully.

This is all plus media.

Try running Nero CD/DVD Speed on a successful burn to see what sort of quality you got. If you have broad areas with more than 200 PI errors or 20 PO errors, you have a borderline disc. Much worse than this is essentially a coaster.


Can you please post the Media Code from the discs you are using. (Always use a blank disc to get the media code.)

There’s lots of terrible DVDR and CDR media out there that will cause problems like this. Getting the media code helps identify who really made your media, as Teon is just a rebrand from other companies’ factories.


You didn’t say what version of nero you were using. I believe that the ealier versions prior to 6.0 had to have an aspi layer installed. Most other copy programs require this to be installed anyway so get it at:

Download the second from the top under windowsXP which I assume your using(You again didn’t say) Details are very important! Anyway the second download is the same as the first except that it has aspichk in it. Run aspichk and see if you have aspi installed. Run the aspiinst.exe program and reboot. now recheck with aspichk. It should show that the files are properly installed and what version. Now try it. If you still make coasters, use nero and burn just a few files to a dvd at 1x or 2x and see if the burn completes. If it does then the DVDs that your using are not compatible with your writer at higher speedsor are poor quality(firmware has alot to do with this) If not I would download another copy program. Deep Burner is a good program and its available in 2 versions. A registered version and a free version with a few less bells and whistles. Have you checked on I/O magics web page for firmware upgrades. My MadDog 16x external writer made coasters on DVD-r disks when I got it. The latest firmware fixed that and it now writes both. I bought some FUJI 8x DVD+R discs at best buy on sale for $8.99/25 no rebate (Sorry sales over). My writer likes these and will write at 16x to these disks. But only writes 8X to FUJI DVD-R’s. Some writers do not like DVD-R disks and this could be the case with yours.


Reading is Knowledge
Knowledge is Power
Power is absolute


Is it your stand-alone DVD player giving you problems playing them back ?..if so, they might not be coasters if they burned with no errors. It could be that your player does not like the disc’s.


Thanks everyone for the feedback. I’m not yet at home, but I will check the Nero CD/DVD Speed (if I can find it) on one of the successful DVD’s when I get home.

I am running XP and Nero 6.0.

The discs that said they burned OK but verification failed would both play in a stand-alone DVD player, but they quality was crap - a lot of distortion, fragments, etc…

The ones that completed successfully I have “watched” (at 32x) all the way through and they appear fine. Is there a good (better) way to verify that they are OK?


OK - here are the results of the Nero Disc Quality Test:

General Information
Drive: DVDRW IDE 16X
Firmware: A079
Disc: DVD-R (CMC MAG. AE1)
Selected speed: Maximum
PI errors
Maximum: 303
Average: 67.04
Total: 952479
PI failures
Maximum: 39
Average: 4.70
Total: 108533
PO failures: n/a
Jitter: n/a
Scanning statistics
Number of samples: 130734
Average scanning interval: 1.09 ECC
Glitches removed: 8

It appears that the disc is a CMC MAG.AE1 - anyone have experience with these and are they good or bad?

Are my test results good, bad, or OK - please explain the results for me so I can learn.

Thanks :slight_smile:


These results are poor - CMC are poor quality discs as well so don’t expect good results from them. For PI - Maxumum should be less than 280 to produce an “acceptable” (not evn good) disc. PIF should also be less than 4 to produce anything “readable” so in essence, the disc u burned is a coaster, and I don’t recommend ever buying this media.

Hope this helps you.

If you need more information on the results, try going over to the Interperting K-Probe Results thread as it applies here too.

This Scan may be incorrect because you DID NOT SCAN AT 4X - PLEASE RESCAN AT 4X AND POST RESULTS AGAIN - error numbers MAY BE DIFFERENT! (lower)


Interestingly enough, we are watching the disc that tested so poorly right now - no glitches, skips, anything. It looks and sounds great. I have even gone to the area on the disc that tested the worst (estimated where it was and ran 15 minutes before and after) and it looks fine.

Why would I test at 4x when it is an 8x disc?

Again, thanks for the responses.


Sorry, what I meant was to scan the disc for errors at 4x because the “official standard at CDFreaks” comapres scans at 4x - this will also produce a more accurate result than scanning at Maximum, as it usually produces spikes in the scan that really don’t exist


Actually that might not be such a bad burn. I am not too farmiliar with nero tests (since I have a liteon and use kprobe) but from what I understand, some drives will only report with an ecc sum of 8 (similar to kprobe 1.???) so the maximum pi would be 280 and the maximum po (pi falures/pif etc.) would be 32. Single spikes are not as important so a single spike over these limits probably will not cause problems. The average pi was 67.04 (well under 280) and the average pi falure was 4.7 (well under 32 if it is reporting in 8 ecc sum blocks). Maybe someone can tell more about how diffrent drives report errors with nero. It was reading in the cdspeed thread that I got that some drives only report 8ecc though.
What is more important is what you saw on the graph that came out. If any large areas in the first went over 280 or large areas in the second went over 32 (or 4 depending on how the drive is reporting), those are probably bad spots. Single spikes are not that important. Too many people get tied up in the best scans (that defanatlly includes me) and think that anything worse than this
(This scan was done in kprobe 2.??? so limits are 280/4)
Is a bad scan. I reality, this disk plays all the way through just fine (this would defanatly be an example of a disk that is marginal though)
(this scan was done in kprobe 1.??? so limits are 280/32)
Rfortune, how did your graphs compare to these? It is usally beter to post the graphs because you can tell a lot more from it like if a certain part of the burn is bad. There is no way to tell from the posted info if there is a bad area because the maximun may have been a single spike, though the average looks well under limits which would explain why it plays fine.
When you say you get coasters, do you call them coasters because one of the drives on your computer has problems reading them, because of cdspeed results, because they won’t play on your stand alone units, or because of an error?
Also a note on cmcmag media. I would agree that cmcmag has a bad reputation (a bad reputation that they defanatlly earned). They seem to be improving things though. I would still not touch 4x and slower cmcmag media but the 8x +r (cmcmage01) is turning out to be pretty good media. Thay have partnered with phillips and are using a philips dye. I have been getting very good results with this media as have others. Keep in mind that this is a kprobe 1 scan so limits are 280/32
I get zero coasters with this media. I have heard that the 8x-r is improved in the same way but have no personal experience there. I wouldn’t automatically discount it as crap yet.
Could you post the graphs from a scan?
Fyi, lui_gough is right. You should scan at 4x so that your scans are comparable to others and the 280-32/4 limits apply.


Bear in mind that that scanned disc was a successful burn. His bad burns could be horrible compared to this. This was an ideal case.


Yea, thats why I was wondering what he was considering a coaster (wouldn’t play on a standalone or wouldn’t play on his computer) and I was wondering what the graphs looked like for the ones that would not play.


What I was calling coasters were discs that could not play on a standalone player (or had problems playing). I never scanned them - just tossed them, so I can’t test them.

I do not anticipate playing the discs on the computer - if I was going to do that I would just save the ripped files.

My graph (on the “good” disc) was much worse than your good graph - it had 2 or three bad areas where the PI Errors were consistently in the 250 - 300 range, and more typically was between 50 & 100. Nero doesn’t appear to report PO, it shows a second graph of PIF (PI Failures) and these were typically in the 1-10 range with the same areas spiking to 20-30.

Having learned a little so far, it looks like I got a bad batch of discs. Now the real newbie questions:

  • DVD-R or DVD+R? Should I buy double-layer? Brand I should look for?

I am really just burning DVD’s for my family’s library - they may not ever even be used, but if I pull one out I would like it to work. How can I ensure that it is good without watching it to confirm since the diagnostics said my “good” disc (that I did watch and it was OK) was not so good?


While your good disk is playable, it sounds marginal (it may not stay playable if there were areas that high). In those areas that it went that high, it may or may not start freezing up/skipping etc. after the disk ages a little. Had the graph stayed at 50-100 across the entire burn (and not had areas that jumped up), it would be a decent burn that you could probably trust. Dont get me wrong, you can get a lot beter than that but 100 is still 1/3 of the max.
These scans are not a magic indicator of will it play. that disk may play fine for a long time. In general though, a disk with low errors tends to play and a disk with high errors tends not to.
To answer your questions, dvd-r or dvd+r, it doesn’t matter, both are good but for best compatibility with standalone players if you use +r you should bitset if your burner can be bitset.
Should I buy dual layer? I wouldn’t. Its still very expensive. I would stick to single layer till the price drops on dual layer. There just isn’t any major advantage to dual layer. Would you rather use two 33 cent dvd’s or one 10$ dual layer dvd? As far as movie backups, you can compress them to a single layer disk and they come out just fine.
Brand you should look for gets more complicated. First off, brand doesn’t mean anything and should be ignored for the most part. What matters is the media code such as cmcmagae1 for the disks you got. You can look here to see what media codes various brands use.
The goal is to find a few media codes that burn well and keep getting those media codes. An additional approach is to try diffrent firmwares with the media you have to try to improve the burn. Good quality media will not burn good if the firmware doesn’t support it well. Thats why drive manufactures constantlly update firmware (and why there are so many hacked firmwares to improve burn quality). You should be able to find a firmware that will allow you to get good burns with many media codes. Pick the ones that burn the best and or the ones that you can easilly find for a good price that burns good and use those. Don’t be shocked if you buy a media that everyone says is great and it doesn’t burn well. Try updating firmware and it may start burning good. Personally I get whats on sale cheap and I can do that because I have found several media codes that work well with my burners. I have got stuck with some media that I couldn’t use trying diffrent medias but not that much. If you get media that doesn’t burn well, do not throw it away, a later firmware or another drive you may get in the future may make that media usable (I have about 30 cmcmag af1 that sat on the shelf for a year but I just got a new burner that can use them so they won’t go to waste).
Read about bitsetting, media codes, firmware and lots of other usefull info here
See what’s on sale, what media codes it might be and hear discussion about how good the media codes are here (bargain basment)
Read more about what media codes are good here (media forum)
It sounds complex and at first it is a little but it will get easy in no time after you have done a little reading and asked a few questions
Read these links and see what people consider good media, they try some and scan it. If it doesn’t scan well, try another firmware. If a particular media code consistantly scans good, and plays on your standalone player, you can usally count on it continuing to do so so you will not have to scan and or watch every disk once you know it works good with your drive and you players like it.
Here are some good disks to get you started if you want to get some media right now (and try another firmware with those cmcmagae1).
Sony 8x+r is usally sony d11 but can be yuden000t02. If it is made in tiawan it is sony, if it is made in japan it is yuden. Both are good.
Maxell 4x+r is usally ricohjpnr01 (my favorite media). It burns great at 8x on many burners even though it is 4x media (may require hacked firmware to burn faster than 4x on some burners). It can also be ritek r02 (anybody care to coment on this one) or yuden000t01 (most people consider any taiyo yuden media the best) but it is usally ricohjpnr01.
Fuji 4x and 8x +r can be ricohjpnr01, ricohjpnr02 (or if made in japan), yuden000t02), all good medias.
I recomended + media because it is what I am more farmiliar with, not because it is beter. Read about bitsetting if you are going to use + media. Many standalone players will read + media fine but even more (particularly old ones) will read it if you bitset.


I would recommend plus because “technically” it IS BETTER! … I also know of many drives that “prefer” plus media. I have been using plus for a long time and have never gone back since touching 300 DVD-R’s - the coaster rate on minusues seems to be higher for me - and I still prefer bitsetting on +R (because I have a liteon and a Nu-Tech) - it works for a 1997 player (-R does not work though)

  • works a little beter with my liteon too. So far my nec 3500 seems to like - a little beter but I have only had limited use with it. Some drives are going to like one more than the other.