Seeking Universal DVD+R Compatibility


Have been lurking for some months now, reading the existing threads about best burners, best media, etc. However, something happened yesterday at my office which motivated me to write.

I’m a system builder and occasionally make DVD recovery discs for my customers. I made a recovery DVD and popped it into the customer’s PC, just to make sure the disc worked. Out of five tries, it successfully only booted twice, even then it took longer (> 15 secs) than normal for the PC to boot. My best guess is that the DVD-ROM was old (likely > 2 yrs) and had drifted out of alignment. Am I on the right “track” w/ this suspicion ? BTW, the burner (a TS-H552B) is less than a year old.

My central question is whether there’s a universally-compatible DVD burner/media combo that will maximize utilization on the widest number of different destination drives ? Does such a thing exist ? This is important since I won’t be able to determine (in advance) which DVD drive the client will have installed in his/her PC and I may have to send recovery discs (by mail) to PCs I can’t physically inspect/certify.

My current thinking is that I’ll have to change drives once a year, to make sure that at least my drive(s) is/are close to std tolerances and simply hope for the best w/ my client’s DVD drives. Then stick w/ whatever media that has the best reviews for the drive.

Does any of this make sense ? TIA…Jet

PS: Is a slower burn (eg. an 8x burn using 16x media) better than a faster burn for compatibility’s sake ?

Some DVD-ROM drives will not read +R discs at all, some will not read -R and many will not read RW discs. Your choice of burner and media will not impact that problem very much, nor will burn speed. Quality media, burned at rated speed in a good drive is the ticket. Burn quality [B]may[/B] impact compatability, but usually only if it’s really poor quality.

Odds are best with -R media, but still not 100%.

If you want true compatability, CDR is the only way to go. If it has to be DVD, then in order to restore the system your customer may have to spring for a new DVDRW drive. At $40, is that a huge problem?

Even some CDR brands and bad burns can be quirky - the curse of all recordable media and compatibility “crap”.

If you get a burner that will do booktype ROM on +R media or bitsetting(video files) , this will be your best choice for what you have asked. But all the newer players will take a peanut butter sandwich and play it as well as spit it out with no problem. Data files should not be a problem if you close out the session everytime. Most people forget to do this. Some software packs will not read DVDs and CDs made with other software packs. Maybe the built in XP software burning APP may work better for straight data! maybe!
Most DVD burners have modified software in this forum to do Bitsetting.
I suggest a NEC or BQ for your needs. The NECs with the right media and burn speed can deliver a very good product, just not my favorite burner these days.

111,1650 would be what I would buy today for my needs only!
Since you go through a lot of burners, by a 1650, 4550(3550), 111 and do a comparison. Chef has a 111 and tell you what it can and cannot do. I would lean towards the 3550 at I crossflashed mine to a 4550 but that is not needed for what you are doing. A straight 3550 will work fine. Burn at 8X and then check your results. The 3550 loves TYMIJ media. It does not like the CMC Staples media. My BQ1640 and 110/A10 will burn anything I put in it!

etp, I’ve no 111 yet (I know, a shame for me, lol) - but soon. Not only one, but two.
1 will be black and one probably a silver one - I want to go this “black burner is better myth” to the ground. At least it should give an better indication of if that’s complete bull$ or not. So, soon, very s00n. :wink:

Dan: Not an option. CD-Rs simply aren’t practical any more WRT to this task, which is essentially a backup of a PC’s hdrive (usu starting out at 4GB.) Since this is a generic solution, coaxing a (non-tech) client into a DVD burner [I]simply[/I] for the purps of a backup isn’t practical either, altho that would be an ideal solution.

Then the only way to guarantee compatability is to verify ahead of time what disc types the customer’s machine can read. Unfortunately, how the disc is burned has less to do with compatability than does the reading drive’s idiosyncracies. In other words, it’s trial and error.

You’re correct, but I like etp’s comments about using NEC and BenQ drives. They seem to be widely-respected (around here), so would provide the best [I]chance[/I] at universal compatibility. At least to the extent such things are pos, given how crappy some of this optical tech is…Jet

I have found that a lot of very old drives tend to prefer DVD-R. if you must use DVD+R, I would stick to booktyping and TY or verbatim media; I know of no -ROM drives that can (marginally) read +R that’s failed on TY or verbatim media.

That seems to be more than just your opinion, re: -R discs and older drives. Prior to joining this forum, that was the consensus from earlier inquiries/investigation. Actually, I [B]only[/B] jumped onto the +R bandwagon after immersing myself in this site and that monster thread about +R/-R media…Jet

I think seeker010’s opinion is correct, at least from what I think.

Forget the 3550! It just died! Get the 1650 or 111.