Nero CD-DVD Speed User Guide Part 3: Basic Tests 2

3 - Basic Tests - Disc Info

In this tab of the main window it’s possible to visualize some informations on the media inserted in the drive.

In this panel, experts can find many information. To explain all of this information it’s not the scope of this guide. Here will be described only some basic informations of CD-DVD Speed.

More informations can be found in the CD Freaks Forum.

Drive and firmware: As already said describing the main interface, CD-DVD Speed shows in all its tabs information on drive model and firmware installed.

In this image, drive model is evidenced by the red square, and firmware by the blue square. In this example, we have a Lite-On SOHW 1693 with installed firmware KS0A.

Basic informations on the media

This is the most important part for most users.

Disc Type: Pretty intuitive, the disc type (-R, -RW, +R, +RW, ROM, etc)

Booktype: Disc booktype (-R, -RW, +R, +RW, ROM). Remember that for +R/RW media booktype can be changed in ROM.

Manufacturer: The manufacturer that produced the disc. Often is shown “unknow”.

MID (Media IDentification code): Often know also as “Mediacode”, MID is the code that actually identifies the media. This is one of the most important piece of information that the user needs to know. In fact, the brand on the box doesn’t say what the exact disc type is, and to say “+R” or “-R” it’s not sufficient. The same brand can sell media with many different mediacodes.

Write Speeds: Here are shown all supported burning speeds for this media. This information is located in the burner firmware. So different burners can show different speeds for the same disc.

Blank Capacity: This is the official disc capacity (when overburning is not used), i.e. how many data can be written on this disc. In our example: 4,38 GB (gigabyte) = 4488 MB (Megabyte) = 4706076672 bytes.

Extended Informations

Some other informations on the media inserted in the drive.

Layers: How many layers there are on the disc. In dual layer media will be shown as 2.

Usage: Some discs have specific usages. For example audio CD. Normal data discs will show “general” as usage.

Copyright Protection: Here is shown if the disc is copyright protected.

Disc Status: Here is shown the disc status, for example Empty, Closed, Open (for discs written in multisession), etc.

Raw Data

Binary data pre-recorded on the disc.

Options

In the bottom of the window there are some options.

Basic Informations: Checking this option, will be shown basic informations. Unchecking this information, basic informations will be not shown.

Extended Informations: Checking this option, will be shown extended informations. Unchecking this information, extended informations will be not shown.

Raw Data: Checking this option, will be showed raw data. Unchecking this information, raw data will be not showed.

Copy Text: Pressing this button all informations read from the disc will be copied in the clipboard as plain text data.

Copy HTML: Pressing this button all informations read from the disc will be copied in clipboard in html format.

[BREAK=Basic Tests - Disc Quality (DQ)]

3 - Basic Tests - Disc Quality

In this tab of the main window it’s possible to execute the “Quality Test” of burned media. The main utility of this test is with burned media, but it can be executed also on pressed discs.

Important: Quality test can be done only with burners; readers are not usable because they give unreliable results.

Moreover, not all burners can do quality test. To provide a list of all burners able to do scans it’s really difficult; as a rule of thumb, all Lite-On and BenQ drives can do this test; also some Pioneer and some NEC burners can do quality test, but their reliability is rather variable. Plextor burners are among the best burners able to do quality test, but they are not supported by CD-DVD Speed (Plextor drives must use a proprietary software named Plextools).

Often this test is also called “scan”, but CD-DVD Speed allow to do another test named “Scan Test” (see below in “Scan Disc” section of this guide), so it’s rather easy be confused between these two tests.

Important: The main purpose of this guide is to describe CD-DVD Speed and it’s functions and not a discussion on significance and interpretation of test results. An accurate description on significance and interpretation requires a dedicated discussion because it’s really complex and rather controversial subject. So I’ll purposely avoid discussing the test interpretation. Those who are interested to know more on this subject can find a lot of detailed informations on the CD Freaks forum.
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The “Disc Quality” tab shows an interface dominated again by a graph, and a lateral panel containing some settings and informations.

Differently from other tabs, here there is no a single graph, but there are two graphs. The one above shows C1/PIE (respectively for CD and DVD media), and the one below shows C2/PIF (respectively for CD and DVD media).

Each graph contains various information.

C1/PIE Graph: The numeric scale on the left refer the number of C1/PIE Errors, the scale on the right refer the reading/writing speed, and the scale on the bottom refer disc capacity.

C2/PIF Graph: The numeric scale on the left refers to C2/PIF errors, the scale on the right refers to jitter, and again the scale on the bottom refers to disc capacity.

As already said, if in global options of CD-DVD Speed the option “Include Test Data” is selected,

above the graph will be shown also the burner and the firmware used to burn the disc.

It’s also possible to show a “secure zone” in the C2/PIF errors graph

selecting the “Use Background to Show Error Limits” option in global settings of CD-DVD Speed.


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Under the graphs there are some panels showing in real time when the test is running some informations on disc quality.


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PI Errors: This panel shows informations on PI (Parity Inner) Errors.Average: The average number of PIE
Maximum: The maximum value of PIE detected
Total: The total number of PIE

PI Failures: This panel shows informations on PI (Parity Inner) Failures.Average: The average number of PIF
Maximum: The maximum value of PIF detected
Total: The total number of PIF

Jitter: This panel shows informations on jitter. Important: not all burners are able to measure jitter. If the burner used is not able to measure jitter, this panel will remain empty.Average: The average value of jitter
Maximum: The maximum value of jitter

PO Failures: The number of PO (Parity Outer) Failures. These are the worst errors that can be detected on a disc. Usually POFs are indicative of unreadable data on the disc.
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On the right of graphs there are other panels containing more informations.

[BREAK=Basic Tests - Disc Quality Continued]
Disc Info: Show informations on the disc tested.

Type: The type of tested disc (+R/RW, -R/RW, RAM, ROM)
ID: The mediacode of tested disc (see more info in “Disc Info” section of this guide)
Date: Disc date.

There is a special consideration regarding date. The value shown here is not the date when disc is tested, but the date when disc was created. If the disc was created burning an image file, then this label shows the date when the image file (ISO or NRG) was created and not the date when disc was burned.

For example, if the image file was created on 01-01-2000, even if the disc was burned on 01-01-2006 the date showed will be 01-01-2000.Label: The disc label.

As already said, it’s possible to avoid showing the disc label by unchecking the option “Show Disc Label” in global options of CD-DVD Speed.

Settings: In this panel there are all available settings to execute the Quality test.

Speed: Very important, this box allows the user to select at which speed to execute the Quality test. The speed to select varies according to the burner used to do the test and the media tested. For CD media, with any burner suggested speed is “Maximum”. For DVD media, selected speed is related to the burner.

[ul]
[li]For Lite-On burners up to the 1693 the preferred speed to select is 4x
[/li][li]For Lite-On drives starting from 1635 the preferred speed id 8x
[/li][li]For BenQ drives the preferred speed id 8x
[/li][li]For NEC and Pioneer drives the preferred speed is 5x.[/ul]Refresh: Near the speed box there is a little button. Pressing it CD-DVD Speed does a refresh of available speeds that can be used to do Quality test with the specific burner selected. It can happen that if there is more than a burner connected to the computer this list can need to be updated because each burner will have a different set of available speeds. See as examples the following pics:
[/li]
Speeds available for Lite-On SOHW1693

Speeds available for BenQ DW1640

Start: This box contains the starting block from which Disc Quality test must be started. Selecting zero makes CD-DVD Speed start the test from the beginning of the disc. This value can be manually changed to start test from a desidered block of the disc.

End: This box contains the end block to be tested, i.e. where the test will be stopped. CD-DVD Speed automatically loads a value here when the disc is inserted in the burner. If inserted disc is a burned one, this block can have a different value from maximum capacity of the media for two reasons:

[ol]
[li]the disc is not burned up to its total official capacity
[/li][li]the disc is burned in overburning, so last block is over the latest official block.[/ol]Again, the user can select the end block manually.
[/li]
Quick Scan: Unchecking this option, Quality test will be executed on the entire disc. Checking this option, Quality test will be executed according to options selected for quick scan, as already described (see Options --> Disc Quality).

This method consists in execute a scan only in some segments of a given length of the disc, as showed in this schematic picture:

Important: Before executing a quick scan, it’s important to set correctly in global options of CD-DVD Speed how many measure points to scan and length of each point.

Show C1/PIE: Checking this option CD-DVD Speed will draw a graph of C1/PIE. Unchecking this option, the C1/PIE graph will be not drawn.

Show C2/PIF: Checking this option, CD-DVD Speed will draw a graph of C2/PIF. Unchecking this option, the C2/PIF graph will be not drawn.

Show Jitter: Checking this option CD-DVD Speed will draw a graph of jitter. Unchecking this option, the jitter graph will be not drawn. As already said, not all burners are able to measure jitter.

Show read speed: Checking this option, in the C1/PIF graph will be shown also a curve for scan speed. In the following picture, scan speed is the one drawn in red.

As already said, the color of this curve can be customized by user (see Options --> Disc Quality).

Show write speed: Checking this option, in the C1/PIE a graph will be shown also writing speed. In the following picture, write speed is the one drawn in white.

As already said, the color of this curve can be customized by user (see Options --> Disc Quality).

If when disc was burned in the global options of CD-DVD Speed was checked the option “Include Test Data”, writing speed was written in the disc during the burn.

If the option “Include Test Data” was unchecked, writing speed can’t be drawn because it wasn’t stored on the disc, so even if the option “Show Write Speed” is checked, no writing speed curve will be drawn. The only exception to this is if the disc was burned some minutes before than Disc Quality test is executed, because writing speed curve is still in CD-DVD Speed memory. However, closing CD-DVD Speed after burning and before running Disc Quality test will clear memory, so again no writing speed curve will be showed.

Quality score: Based on results of Disc Quality test, CD-DVD Speed assign a score

A score of 100% is a perfect disc, without C2/PIF errors (a very improbable event).

Finally, in the lower right corner of this window there are some informations on the running test.

Progression: The progression of the running test (the percentage of disc scanned).

Position: The disc position being tested.

Speed: The current scanning speed.

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Test Procedure

To execute Disc Quality test the procedure is the following:

  1. Select the drive to use to run test.

  1. Insert a disc in the burner

  2. Select the tab “Disc Quality

  3. Check that global settings of CD-DVD Speed are set in the correct way

  4. Select scanning speed

  5. If a full scan is desired, uncheck the option “Quick Scan

  6. Press the “Start” button on the main window

  7. Wait until test end

  8. Save scan results as PNG file pressing the save button (number 2 in the pic)

[BREAK=Basic Tests - Scan Disc]

3 - Basic Tests - Scan Disc

In this tab can be executed the “Scan Disc” test.

This test is a bit different from “Disc Quality Test”, even if often this latter is called scan.

Again, main window is dominated by a graph.

Graph represents a map of all disc sectors, and each sector is drawn with a little square. When test is running, each square (sector) will be showed in a different color according its status.

Green for normal sectors, perfectly readable;

Yellow for damaged sectors that are still readable because internal correction error capabilities of the burner;

Red for damaged sectors that contain uncorrectable errors (and then unreadable data).

Above the graph can be drawn the burner and firmware used to test disc.

As already said, this information can be omitted unchecking the option “Include Test Data” in global CD-DVD Speed options.

Under the graph there is a box showing more detailed test results. See below for more details.

On the left there are some panels.

Disc Info: Show informations on tested disc.

Type: Disc type (+R/RW, -R/RW, ROM, RAM)
ID: Disc mediacode. See “Disc Info” tab for more details.
Date: Disc date.

There is a special consideration regarding the date. The value showed here is not the date when disc is tested, but the date when disc was created. If the disc was created burning an image file, then this label show the date when the image file (ISO or NRG) was created and not the date when disc was burned.

For example, if the image file was created on 01-01-2000, even if the disc was burned on 01-01-2006 the date showed will be 01-01-2000.

Label: Disc label. As already said, this information can be omitted by unchecking the option “Show disc label” in CD-DVD Speed global options

Settings: Options to customize Scan Disc test.

First of all, the test speed must be selected. This varies according the test. In fact, Scan Disc test consist of two parts:

[ol]
[li]Read Test (or File test)
[/li][li]C1/C2 -PI/PO Test (or Surface Scan)[/ol]
[/li]
[BREAK=Basic Tests - Scan Disc Continued]
Read Test (or File Test)

It is aimed to check file readability. CD-DVD Speed simply reads all files on the disc and reports all errors.

Test results are reported both in the graph and, in a more detailed manner, in the box under the graph. As said previously, each square represents a disc sector, and sectors are drawn in different colors according their status.

In the same way of Transfer Rate Test (TRT), Read Test can be used for two main reasons:

[ol]
[li]Test optical drive
[/li][li]Test a burned disc[/ol]To test an optical drive can be used some special test discs containing standard defects, like A-BEX discs.
[/li]
If the user wants to check a burned media, the Scan Disc Test is aimed to verify that burning was successful and that disc is readable in all its parts.

Similarly to TRT, to test burned media I suggest to set test speed as “Maximum”. in this way, discs will be checked in the worst conditions. If a disc passes the test successfully in the worst conditions, burning was done correctly.

C1/C2 -PI/PO Test (Surface Scan)

In the second part of Scan Disc test, it is checked quality (integrity) of each sector of the disc, and results are shown again in the graph.

This latter test is very similar to Disc Quality test, but results are presented in a different way. In fact, in the graph is reported sector status and not error numbers. Again, sectors are represented in different colors as described previously:

Green are integer sectors. Yellow are damaged sectors that can still be read thanks to the internal error correction routines of the drive, so data can still be retrieved. Red are damaged sectors, and unreadable. They should be the same of POF showed in Disc Quality test.

The speed to select for this test is related to the media checked, similarly to Disc Quality test. For CD media should be selected “Maximum” speed. For DVD media the speed should be selected in the same way for Disc Quality test, i.e 4x for Lite-On drives, 8x for BenQ, etc.

Under the graph are shown some details on test results.

File: File name

Position: File position on the disc

Length: File length

Quality: File quality (calculated based on the number of read errors measured)

PIE: Parity Inner Errors (this is shown only for burners able to measure it)

PIF: Parity Inner Failures (this is shown only for burners able to measure it)

POE: Parity Outer Errors (this is shown only for burners able to measure it)

POF: Parity Outer Failures (this is shown only for burners able to measure it)

Jitter: Jitter (this is shown only for burners able to measure it)

To explain the significance of these parameters is out of the scope of this guide. Anyone interested can find more details in CD Freaks forum.

Under settings panel there is another panel showing, in real time when test is running, some other test information.

Here are reported in percentage all disc sectors: Good (in green color), Damaged (in yellow color), Bad (in red color).

In the following panel are reported, again in real time when test is running, other informations:

Progress: Test progression (100% when test is completed)

Position: The position of optical pickup on the disc

Speed: Current reading speed

Test Procedure

To execute “Scan Disc Test” the procedure is the following:

  1. Select the drive

  1. Insert a disc

  2. Select first step of the test (“Read Test”)

  3. Select the correct speed (suggested = “Maximum”)

  4. Press the “Start” button

  5. When test is finished, save results as PNG file pressing the save button (number 2 in the pic)

  1. Select second step of the test (“C1/C2 - PI/PO Test”)

  2. Select the correct speed (according the drive used)

  3. Press the “Start” button

  4. When test is finished, save results as PNG file pressing the save button (number 2 in the pic)