What IS the used read buffer?

What IS the used Read buffer? AND whats the optimum performance of the used read buffer ? ie 100% or 0% ? Also what it the firmware . Ive been told to update my firmware but dont know what it its or where to get it and what will it do for me if i do get it ? :confused: Unless the chap was talking about the firmware i get when a nice girl chooses to share her charms with me :wink: but i doubt thats what he was on about :slight_smile: LOL

Nero normally shows two buffers, the Software read buffer (which is typically sized from around 40-80Mb, automatic or settable in preferences ultrabuffer, and the drive buffer (typically a 2Mb buffer).

At the start of a burn, the software buffer (which I think is the “used read buffer”) is tanked up to 100% by prereading the first files (or the first part of the file) to be burned.

Now in the buffer dance that follows, the writer fills it’s buffer from the software one, and Nero tries to keep the buffer filled, until the end of the burn, when the buffer will drain out as it completes.

If the writer draws data faster than it can be read into the buffer, the buffer will deplete - and when both buffers hit zero (other than in the final rundown) then you either have an underrun recovery (“BurnProof”) if any underrun recovery is supported and enabled, or a buffer underrun and a failad burn (coaster) if it was not supported and enabled.

The read buffer should ideally flicker around the 99% (used) during a burn - if it repeatedly depletes, then either use a lower burning speed, or take measures to improve the read transfer rate:

  1. Defragment the hard drive
  2. Ensure that both the HD and the writer are in DMA mode
  3. Avoid putting the writer on the same IDE cable as the drive you are reading from
  4. Avoid putting any additional load on the system while burning

Firmware is, effectively, the operating system in the drive - a good firmware update (flash), can add recognition of other media identities (better or faster burn on them), but a bad update (wrong or failed) can kill the drive - though there are backdoor rescue methods for many drives.

The key to firmware updates, always read the instructions - DOS means BOOTED TO DOS, a DOS Windows is NOT GOOD ENOUGH - though most firmware updates now run in Windows anyway.
And of course, don’t try to update when there is an above average risk of power failure.

Thanks Matt. That explanation of the used,software buffer really helped me understand that part of the process in copying my CD’s. I dont think im going to update my firmware untill i have greater understanding on burning in general. I did a backup of an expansion CD for a game the other night and it worked :slight_smile: Had to do an image of the cd to the HD and then did a simulated burn and it said it di so successfully. Now that was an older game and an expansion cd as well so next time im going to try a newer cd untill i start hitting copy protection problems. Will pick up from there i guess. THANKS AGAIN M8