Need some guidance getting started with DVD burning




Firstly, a few things about myself… I am software engineer in his 20s, and I am from Malaysia. I am new to “dvd technology”, but i am already familiar with the cd counterpart… I have owned several cdrw drives and have been burning cds for a few years … :wink: My current cdrw drive is a lite on 48x24x48x.

After a week of research, I have finally made my decision and bought a LG GSA-4163B dvd writer…

I have gone thru some articles and faqs on the net, (yes, including here :D), but I cant seem to get a clear answer for some of my questions… I am new to using dvds on a computer (yes, I never had a dvd-rom before), so please bear with me…

Here’s some of the things that I’d like to ask:

  1. My new drive does not have any region set yet, so should I set it before starting to burn anything? Note that I’m planning to use the drive to back up my files on my pc… (like downloads, documents, ghost image files etc) – I dont have plans to rip / backup any protected movies … at least not yet… so, to make a backup data dvd, do i need to set the region 1st? Does region code affect the readability of such data dvds (own compilation) by other drives? If yes, wut will happen if i dont set it? Will it be something like… other drives wont be able to read the disc? Similarly, if my friend pass me a burned dvd (own compilation, made while his burner is set to a region which is different than mine), do i need to change my region to match before i can read that dvd?

  2. Say I have burned a dvd with my region set to 1, and when my drive is locked to regions other than 1 (e.g. I changed regions for 5x, and is now locked to region 2)… will my drive be able to read the dvd?

  3. I know that my LG cannot perform PI/PO test on a disc, so is there any other way to find out the quality of a disc, aside from using a drive like benq and do PI/PO tests? I have thought of using CRC checks i.e. make a CRC file of my to-be-burned data using tools like cdcheck, then do a verification after burning… but then again, it might not be practical given the size of a dvd – 700mb vs 4gb… so does anyone know a better way?

  4. I am aware of media codes, and oso the fact that not every writer support all media; there’ll surely be a few types that works best with my LG… yes, i have been to the forums, and have bought several types of media to do a test… As far as I know, Sony, TDK and Verbatim media seems to work well with my LG… but the actual media codes are not printed on the media packaging… even tho i know which exact media (by code) that i should buy, how can i know if i am buying the correct one when i shop for them?

And lastly, is there anything that i need to take special notes of before burning my first dvd?

p/s: the term “disc” that i use in this post, refers to dvds, unless noted otherwise… and btw, i am excited to be a part of the cdfreaks community! :wink:

Thanks & Regards


1.Don’t have to with data.

2.The region is coded in the DVD media. You can search the forum for more info. In general, to play multi-region DVDs, you need to tweak the burner, the media, and the software.

3.Run a read test using DVD Speed. The goal is to see a smooth read graph.

  1. Stick with quality Made in Japan media if possible. Also look for RicohJpn ID. There isn’t an idiot proof way to know for sure what the media code is until you test the DVDs. In the US, Made in Japan 8X DVD+R Fuji is always Yuden000 T02. The same with Verbatim 8X DVD+R (MCC 003).

Burn at 4X!


All of the media listed below burns very well on my LG 4163B. Avoid the new Ritek G05 as it is very erratic in quality. If you are in the US,,, and are very good places to get media. Currently, and a few others have TY 4X value media selling around $30. This is a very good media at a very good price.


Thanks for the replies guys. Furballi: does that mean i can start burning dvds with my current region code (which is “none”), and dont have to worry about the readability? And pardon me, you said burn at 4x at the end of your post… what exactly are you trying to say? Burn everything at 4x?? Can’t be, rite ? I guess I’ll do some test burns the next morning & post the results :wink:

  1. You can do that when you want to burn. With data you don’t have to.
  2. I can read every dvd wich I have burned. I always burn it region free. I quess i did it with CloneDVD or somethin’
  3. Run a read test using DVD Speed. (Quote furballi)
  4. In many online shops they put the mediacode also on the webpage. I should say: go for Taiyo Yuden. It’s great stuff!


Are you trying to say that i can do that (setting region) when i wanna burn region protected CDs, and with normal data, I dont have to?


I have read the post saying no hacks or anything of that sort should be posted here… but I really wish to get an answer for my question below… I’ve decided to post it here in my own thread because i dont know where else to put it :frowning:

Anyway, here goes:

My LG is on the official A103 firmware now, and the region code is still unset. I have read that to achieve region free, i need to beat all 3 portions of the protection - the drive, OS, and player software. I have just installed DVDIdle Pro (which includes DVD region+css free), I wonder how many portions of the protection I have managed to beat by running it?

And … for those who uses the software, I’d like to ask a bit more: There’s a “default region” section under the “region+css” tab, and it’s set to 1. What does this mean? my DVD player software will recognise the region code setting as 1, eventhough it’s current unset?

p/s: If I have asked the wrong question (which I am not supposed to, in this forum), i am sorry, do let me know please… after all, i am still new :wink:

  1. a) go through the 10 points listed @ [ you may not be a newbie, but the trouble is, and might be related to one or more of the listed items ]. note: very important to keep the transfer mode on IDE channels in DMA mode. check them every now and then as the transfer mode can change without you being notified. see this MS article

b) if the cd/dvd drive is external usb 2, be sure you have it plugged in to a usb 2 port, not a 1.1 usb port. DON’T plug it into the usb port where a usb mouse or keyboard normally plugs into. also, if the external case has an IEEE 1394/Firewire option, try it instead.

  1. a) know your drive’s capabilities. use nero info tool or dvdinfopro to discover them. also go to the drive maker’s website and find out what media types and brands, and at what burning speeds to those media types, the drive supports. [ eg., my pioneers 107, 108 and 109XL can burn to dvd-rw 4x @ 4x without trouble, but my 0ptorite 401 can only burn @ 2x to dvd-rw 4x even though Optorite, Nero, and other burning programs will allow the drive to burn @ 4x and will produce a “successfull” disc @ 4x…but the result is a coaster ]. and that’s one reason why i always recommend you use a burning program that allows you to change the burn speed just prior to clicking the BURN button, unlike, say, sonic recordnow!, because it has the burn speed options ONLY in the main options’ setup.

    b) update the firmware of the drive. also, you may want to try a firmware or utility that will allow you to booktype your burned +r/rw dvds to dvd-rom, or that can make the drive region-free. check for updates @

  2. a) try another brand of CD/DvD disc.

    b) try burning at lower speed. eg., don’t burn at 24x to 16x media even if you are allowed to choose 24x; burn according to MEDIA speed limits, don’t try to burn at the cd/dvd drive’s max speed until you are certain that you can do so without negative consequences.

  3. a) disable and/or uninstall any virtual drives.

    b) install an aspi layer. you may never need it. but it can’t hurt. my preferred aspi is v460. get it @

  4. a) update the burning program you are using to the latest release.

    b) uninstall any recently installed software.

    c) do a virus scan, and a scan with spybot s & d [ get it @ ]

  5. for XP or Win2K users, optimise your operating system Services for best system performance. for info go to and

  6. before burning, open taskmanager and shutdown ALL unneeded processes that are running. DON’T commence a virus scan or a defrag just prior to, or during a burn.

  7. a) try another burning software and see if you get a better result. deepburner standard is free. get it @ so is ht fireman @ [only burns data to dvd at the moment]

    b) for users of alcohol 120%, update to the latest drives support DLL [ look for topic “Alcohol 120% Device Support Patch Released” @ ]

    c) if you have multiple burning softwares installed, uninstall them all, then install one. test it. install another if needed. test it, and so on…

  8. a) make sure mainboard chipset drivers and BIOS firmware are up to date. make sure all cables and jumpers connected to drives are correctly configured with regard to master/slave setup.

    b) remove junk files from your hard drive/s. also remove useless entries from the registry. try hdcleaner @
    mru-blaster @
    regseeker @ c) know what programs & services are schedulded to run at startup; you should eliminate ALL the uneeded ones using Startup Control Panel @ + services.msc [as mentioned above] you can also try the disk clean batch file i use @ [scroll down, choose Free, wait for link to appear.

  9. enter your BIOS and disable anything you don’t use. eg. i disable COM ports, serial ports, game ports etc. also the parallel port because i use a USB printer. note that if it’s an external USB drive that is giving you grief, some BIOS options include a USB voltage setting. set it to HIGH and see if this helps. set memory speeds to default. set cpu speed to default. if you overclock, DON’T [ until you are certain that overclocking is not the cause of the trouble ].

  10. if you still cannot fix the problem, try the drive, or the CD/DvD disc you are having problems with, in another PC that has no burning issues [ if possible ]

  11. Disable autorun…unless you really need it for some purpose. for XP users go to start/run/type REGEDIT.EXE then click OK
    press Ctrl+F, type NoDriveTypeAutoRun in the box/find next
    doubleclick the highlighted key and replace the HEX value with b5
    repeat for each NoDriveTypeAutoRun key found. reboot.

  12. Two other settings to consider changing, but ONLY if you never use Windows’ in-built CD
    burning function [ie. you only ever use nero, roxio, intervideo etc. to burn cd/dvd]. Rightclick on your cd/dvd drive icons in My Computer/properties/recording and clear the Enable CD recording on this drive box. Note that this WILL NOT cause your 3rd party burning programs to malfunction - it only disables Windows’ in-built cd burning capabilities. now go to start/run type services.msc and hit ENTER, scroll to IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service, doubleclick it, disable it, apply/ok.’s also a good idea to try an arrange the device IRQ assignment so that each device on your system has it’s own IRQ. this is not always possible or user-configurable. however, on a modern PC running Windows XP Pro you can try the following.

a. enter your BIOS and look for a setting/option similar to “plug and play operating system” . you need to set this option to No or Disable. this allows the BIOS to assign IRQs to devices instead of Windows. there might also be an option like “allow BIOS to assign IRQ”. Enable it.

b. restart. open device manager/view/resources by type/interrupt request

note that in the above image all my devices have thier own IRQ ? this was not always the case; my NVIDIA GeForce and my Realtek NIC were both sharing IRQ 16 and my Realtek Sound device and a couple of USB controllers were sharing IRQ 18. so what i did was disable the USB controllers [ see below ] as i never need them. i also put my Realtek NIC into another PCI slot.

Anyway, see what you can do. maybe you’ll only be able to reduce the devices sharing an IRQ from 3 to 2. Better than nothing . Trial and error will get you through. if you disable your mouse or keyboard etc. just renable it.


If you want to PLAY all regions, you need a region free firmware from here:

As well as software to disable windows problems, as you have read.

If you want to CREATE region free DVDs then you need none of this as burning software by default creates all region discs.

Also look here for a clear explanation, not for firmware as it is a Pioneer site:


I too am new to this forum, not exactly new to DVD burning though. Perhaps in my ignorance I can bring clarity?! Anyone with more Knowledge than I please answer further or correct me. I am able to be wrong. :slight_smile:

I have read that DVD recordable medium is by default region free.

I believe that regions are only a concern for set top DVD Players like one that You would have connected to Your TV to watch Movies in. This would imply that regions are only a concern in regards to Video DVDs. I am not sure about commercial software releases though.

I have made hundreds of Video DVDs with My burner, that has never had the region set, that play in all the set top players I and My family have. I have not tried this in any other region than region 1 though.

Hope this helps You!


I have read that DVD recordable medium is by default region free.

when you buy it yes…but that might change afther you burned it. If you copy movies use Dvddecrypter or Anydvd to make it region free.

No need for it when your dvdplayer is region free though or when you copy movies from your own region.

some more info here;


Thanks for the replies again. I believe I have got the answer that I am looking for… I noticed that a beta RPC1 firmware is available from the rpc1 forums:
Has any LG GSA 4163B owners tried that yet?

Thanks for the links as well. I think I will read those before I start to burn my first DVD…


Great tutorial, but what is a virtual drive and how can I tell if I have one?

Also I have updated all my firmware but I’m a little leary about flashing my BIOS. I’ve read tutorials and downloaded the proper files to do this (Award BIOS). I’ve come across 2 things regarding this that confuse me a bit. I’ve heard that you must disable “Byte Merge” and “Virus Protection” in the BIOS before flashing, and the failure to do so could render your MOBO unusable.

I’ve checked my BIOS and cannot find anything that says “Byte Merge” or “Virus Protection”. Is this on every BIOS or are they worded differently?

I have Award BIOS v.6.00PG 12/18/00 My MOBO is K7VTA-B. I’ve got the update for the BIOS from Soyo, but l’m still a bit leary about doing it. Is it needed to Flash this or should I just leave it be?



A virtual drive is a software program that fools other programs into thinking that the files being read are on a disc. You generally need to have installed it.

I would email Soyo before doing anything as you are probably safe as the instructons are generic and probably do not apply to your BIOS but you need to be sure.