PI/PIF Scans



I’m new but learning…so I just learned a little bit about PI/PIF scans. Basically, from what I understand, you can burn a disc and then certain drives can give you a PI/PIF scan which tells you how error-full or error-free the disc you just burnt is. How is this used practically speaking? Is this just for evaluating drives or do you do it for every disc you burn? I mean, after you burn a DVD with some data on it, do you run a PI/PIF scan to see how many errors it has/quality of the burn? I assume if you burnt the same disc again there would be slight variations for burn to burn so is it like there is an error threshold that you have and if the disc doesn’t meet your standards you toss it out and start over again? Is there any way you would know that you didn’t have a quality burn without the PI/PIF scan? What are the impact of errors? Is it like I burn a DVD of pictures and it has some errors so a few pictures will be ruined and not open? Or, will the DVD not function properly later down the road? I know…a lot of questions…I apologize. Feel free to point me in the direction of a good newbie article on this if it is too much to answer. Thanks a ton for all the help–I really appreciate it!


most use it for error checking after copying movie’s(backups)…if u use junk media then the error checking is essential…would suck if u made a backup…deleted the copy off your hd then watched it and there was pixelating all throughout the movie…kind of a safeguard as it were…if u use good media then most don’t error scan as much

also helps to have a decent dvd burner that won’t give u many bad discs(burns)


Good explanation…I appreciate that! Yeah, I’d rather buy a good burner and good medic and not stress about scans. I was considering the Lite-On 160P6S or the Pioneer 111D. If I feed those Verbatim or TY media should I be fine without a lot of error scanning? If I have those burners and media how often will I get a “bad” disc? (I know that’s a hard question, but just wondering in general). Thanks again!


i would say 1 in 10 burns…some don’t even do that…they just go with it and risk it…i don’t…especially on an important backup…good choice of burners to buy btw…along w/ the media…always stick w/ the good stuff…you’ll risk a lot if u go for the sale dvd’s that are taiwan garbage

i use verbatim -r’s w/ my nec drive and i use less quality media for backups for friends/family etc…


How hard is it to learn to interprete the scans? Is it going to take me days to learn to interprete them or can you sit down and learn it in a short time? Just curious. Thanks!


If you can learn medicine, you can pick up scans in about 5 minutes of reading :wink:

I have both of those drives. I love the Litey 160P6S … I hate the pio111D … just doesn’t do as nice a job, and the PIO doesn’t return consistent scan results either.

Here is how to interpret scans, the detailed & the quicky in one easy thread …

The Litey is a 8/1 scanner, so the PI should be less than 300 for a decent disk, and the PIF must be less than 4.

Scanning is performed at 8x with CD/DVDspeed quality check (it comes with nero, but can be downloaded for free seperately).

For an excellent disc, your PI should be <50 and PIF less than 4.
For a fantastic disc, you PI should be <20 and PIF less than 4.

PIF is the important one :wink: Don’t spend you life trying to get exceptionally low PI results, like some freaks :wink:

Don’t worry too much about a single spike on a disk. It’s not important.
Watch out for the mountains though … those are believably bad :wink:

And remember, there are lots of factors in burning & scanning, including batch variation, burner firmware, software, which way the wind is blowing today.

The largest issue is the media though. Crap media is cheap for a reason. As a doctor, I expect that you understand that time is precious. Good quality media like Taiyo Yuden & Mitsubishi (MCC)/Verbatim media is well worth the extra few $$$, as it hurts to lose somethin you want/need, and almost as bad if you have to waste time recovering data from a bad disc & reburning it.