Regarding DVD copying and read/write speeds



Hi, please bear with me as this post is kind of long! But I’ve been trying to make backup copies of some of my older DVD discs recently, and I’ve been using Nero Image Recorder to make .nrg (image) files that I later burn using my external DVD writer.

However, I had a concern regarding the READ speed of a DVD drive when it copies/makes an image file from a disc. From what I’ve read and tried, I understood that I am UNABLE to change the speed at which the drive will READ the disc while copying (at least not using DVD Decrypter or Alcohol 120%). Apparently I CAN do so if I use Nero DriveSpeed, although I don’t seem to have the application. I certainly do not have that option of changing the read speed when using Nero Express to copy a disc or create an image from the disc.

I guess my question is, do you even NEED to change the READ speed? According to my calculations (based on how long it takes to create the image file and how large the file is), the drive reads at about 10x speed (it takes about 4 min. to rip a 2.8 GB image file).

While I understand the importance of a slow WRITE speed to ensure no errors in the burning process, does the same apply to the READ speed when the drive is creating an image file from the disc? I guess what I mean is, will you actually potentially get better results from copying the disc if you slow down the READ speed (assuming you actually can, considering how difficult software interfaces make it for you to do so), or is the WRITE speed the only one you need to be concerned about as far as keeping the data accurate goes?

… Also, sorry to tack this on, but I had another concern regarding copying discs. When I tried to burn the first image file using my external DVD writer (this was the FIRST time I had used the brand new drive), I used a Memorex DVD-R and set it to 2x write speed. A few seconds later, Nero gave me the “power calibration error” that everyone hates to see. I ruled out the media being the issue when I switched the Memorex disc out for a TDK DVD-R. I set the write speed again at 2x and got the SAME exact error message. I knew it wasn’t an issue with the drive itself as it was brand new, so I figured I would try burning at a faster speed. I put the TDK disc back in and set it to 4x write speed this time … the disc burned flawlessly.

Is there any reason why burning at too slow a speed would create a “power calibration error?” I’m thinking perhaps it has to do with firmware, that either the hardware or the software simply doesn’t want you to burn at such a slow speed?


You don’t need to worry about the read speed influencing the result of riping a DVD. The result will be the same, and the drive will speed down automatically if necessary, unless you use a ripping program where you deliberately set it to ignore reading errors.

Ripping an Audio CD or Video CD with a program that doesn’t perform secure ripping is the only case where ripping speed is something you might need to worry about, since these (old) formats don’t have good error correction.

Don’t burn any 8x or 16x rated DVD media at slower than 6x in a modern desktop DVD burner unless you specifically know what you are doing - the result could be anything from mediocre to unusable. Burning at a speed around 8x (6x - 12x) is usually safest.

Modern DVD burners are simply not calibrated to burn at the slower speeds.


Thanks a lot! Reading this allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief!