I am experiencing an interesting and challenging problem making a copy of a DVD+R dual layer disc, which itself is a backup of a commercial DVD. This problem is random in nature, some backup discs will copy just fine, others will not. I have read a few similar posts on this issue but none of the solutions presented have worked for me. This is a long and detailed post. The details are as follows:
I decided to make backup copies of the DVD miniseries North and South, and of the 13 episode series Cosmos by Carl Sagan. I have a Pioneer A09 dual layer burner with its latest firmware 1.58.
I used Smartripper 2.41 to rip all the files from each original DVD to its own folder on my 160 GB hard drive. The only Smartripper setting used was to remove Macrovision. I did this for all 7 Cosmos DVDs, and for all 8 North and South DVDs.
After I ripped each commercial DVD to its folder, I then opened the DVD in the folder with PowerDVD and also with DVD Shrink 3.2 to verify the quality of the rip. I used PowerDVD to check the basic menu operations and played random scenes just to be confident the rip was good. After completing all the rips, I have sent these two DVD series around to the extended family for them to enjoy. They will not be back in my hands for quite some time.
I began the process of making my backup copies of each DVD from its stored folder. I used the Ulead software that came with the Pioneer burner to make the copy onto a Memorex DVD+R DL disc. I burned the first 4 DVDs of the Cosmos series in this fashion without incident and tested each one in my home theater DVD player. Each one works flawlessly.
Because this is my first time doing dual layer burning, I decided to go a step further and make sure I could make a copy of the copy. One by one, I tried ripping each of the 4 DVD+R DL discs and noticed that some of them would rip and some error’d out about half way through the rip process.
I then focused on trying different methods to rip the problem DVD+R DL discs. I tried Smartripper 2.41, DVDClad 2.0, DVD Shrink 3.2, DVD Decripter, ImgToolBurn, and even just using Windows Explorer. Every method failed in its own way near the halfway point. I began to suspect there was some issue with the layer break.
I then read every post I could find on dual layer issues. I suspected that, because I had ripped each original commercial DVD with SmartRipper using the copy file method, and not altering the files - perhaps the original layer break information was being persisted and somehow causing the subsequent copy of a copy issue.
To eliminate this possibility, before I burned the contents of the (stored) DVD folder, I first opened the DVD folder up with DVDShrink 3.2 and made a Backup of the DVD with DVDShrinkâ€™s â€œRemove Layer Breakâ€ setting checked ON. I also used DVDShrinkâ€™s other default settings regarding removing prohibited user operations and such.
I then tried burning the remaining discs of the Cosmos series, and ones from the North and South series by first using the DVDShrink backup method in Step #7 and trying different burning software including Roxio 7, Nero Platinum 7, ImgToolBurn and ImgBurn. I tried combinations of using and not using the DVDShrink backup method in Step #7. I even tried combinations of with and without first making a disc image of the DVD folder. Every disc burned successfully and every disc plays find in my stand-alone player, no matter what it was burned with. But I found there was still the random problem when trying to rip some of the (copied) DVD+R DL discs, some will rip OK and others will not. I even find this pattern within a particular burning method and process, meaning some discs will rip OK after being burned with Nero, some will not. Some will rip OK after being burned with Roxio, some will not.
I now feel confident that this problem has nothing to do with which burning software used, or whether or not a disc image is first produced. The last thing I tried was using the latest version of ImgBurn 188.8.131.52, and its method of finding a nice layer break position on a DVD.
I burned one more North and South DVD. After starting the new
ImgBurn, it produced a layer break setting window with the following two choices:
(can’t seem to get this table to line up right)
LBA PGC Cel l Time (??)
1839120 1 24 1:34:45 No
1839120 3 2 1:48 No
I chose the first selection offered (Time = 1:34:45) and burned the DVD. The disc produced would not subsequently rip past the halfway point. It plays fine in my player.
- I also noticed one more thing. Each disc in the North and South series I have copied has 2 episodes. Each episode is very close to the others in duration, around 95 minutes. When playing all the North And South DVD+R DL discs I have made on my standalone player, they all layer break somewhere close to in the first 2 minute mark of the second episode. I can tell when the layer break happens because there is a slight pause in the playback. I have seen this happen on a few commercial DVDs too so I am not concerned that it happens. I find it odd that the last disc made in Step #10, using ImgBurnâ€™s layer break setting capability, actually layer breaks near the 2 minute mark of the second episode. Recall that in Step #10, I chose the first layer break selection (Time = 1:34:45). I would expect that when the disc is played it would layer break at the 1:34:45 point of the first episode.
One final point: It seems very odd to me that a standalone player would have no trouble reading and using the files on the DVD+R DL discs I have burned, but every ripping product I have used cannot deal with the layer break on some of these discs. It is as though the player gets the layer break info from the .IFO file(s) and knows exactly how to deal with the disc, and the ripping products use some other method.
Thank you for reading this long and detailed post. This issue is driving me nuts and I just cannot let it go. There is an answer somewhere and I am determined to find it. I welcome and appreciate any comments you may have.