Mount Rainier FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions are a source of information to understand the background, the theory behind, and techniques involved with Mt. Rainier.
The data is presented in the questions and answers format.
It can be used by anyone who knows little or nothing about Mt. Rainier, and anyone who requires a more in-depth explanation about the technology involved.
What is the purpose of Mount Rainier?
The purpose of the proposal made by the Mount Rainier group is to make CD-RW easier to use for data storage and interchange. The changes proposed will enable the operating system support of dragging and dropping data to CD-RW discs. Formatting delays will also be eliminated and the use will be comparable to using a hard disk or a floppy.
Is there any relation between High Speed CD-RW and Mount Rainier?
There is no direct technical link between these two improvements to the CD-RW standards. The Mount Rainier functionality is independent of the use of the RW-media type. However, the Mount Rainier functionality will have a better transfer rate for writing with the high speed CD-RW standard and thus give a better overall user experience.
What file system will be used for Mount Rainier functionality?
The Mount Rainier proposal for data on CD-RW is technically independent from file system choices. It is, however, clear that the established file system for writing data on CD-RW is UDF. This file system is widely supported for reading (Windows 98, Windows 2000, MacOS 8.1). UDF is therefore a natural choice for this purpose.
Where will the Mount Rainier specification be published?
The logical structure of the disk will be defined in a document that will be licenced at no cost by the Mount Rainier companies. The command set aspects will be proposed as an addendum to the MMC-2 specification.
Isn’t it already possible to drag and drop data to CD-RW?
Yes, packet writing applications are currently available that enable CD-RW drag and drop capability in most major operating systems. What the Mount Rainier initiative changes is that the functionality will be seamlessly integrated in the operating systems and the user will be able to write immediately to a new disc without waiting for formatting.
Will the media still need to be formatted?
Formatting will be made invisible for the user. Background Formatting has been designed to allow immediate drag and drop to the disc, while securing compatibility with the installed base.
Will this make the packet writing applications obsolete?
Once this is fully implemented in the OS, packet writing applications will not be needed to write on Mount Rainier enabled CD-RW drives. There will be a continued need for applications to support legacy drives and non-enabled operating systems. It is expected that the user model will be split in three segments: (1) Drag and drop data writing with the Mount Rainier enabled drives and OS, (2) drag and drop writing with third party software functionality on legacy CD-RW, and (3) pre-mastering applications for audio, video, photo and some data.
What if I have a Mount Rainier capable drive, but an OS without Mount Rainier support?
Then you will need to install a 3rd party application to take advantage of the same functionality.
How will CD-RW drives that are not Mount Rainier capable and CD-ROM drives handle the discs?
Only Mount Rainier capable drives will be able to write to the Mount Rainier formatted discs. Other drives, including legacy CD-RW drives, as well as CD-R, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM drives will be able to read the discs. A “defect re-mapping driver” will be needed for these drives, which have to be Multiread compliant. It is expected that the OS vendors will provide the driver.
Will this proposal also allow to make bootable disks?
The Mount Rainier proposal allows use of the El Torito boot method.
What’s the relation between this initiative and the preformatted media business?
Although the formatting burdens are greatly lowered by the Mount Rainer proposals, some media vendors still might continue their current business model of providing formatted media. In this case the media should be preformatted as prescribed by the Mount Rainier specs.