[nSLUG] CD-DVD R/W continues

Jim Haliburton jim at on-site.ns.ca
Fri Jul 27 08:47:09 ADT 2007


Good Day All:

I've been in the hardware business for longer than I care to admit.  Over 
the last years I have seen almost every vendor make or label CD and DVD 
drives.  I have been exposed to Lite-On, Aopen, Benq, Toshiba, Plextor, 
and HP brand CD or DVD makers.

The internal electronics on todays drives are very compact and energy 
efficient.  The heat given off by these devices is from the laser.  After 
a long write on a DVD you find the media is somewhat above the ambient 
temperature.  A disk left in the drive not being written to does not get 
warm.

So if you are installing a writer in a Small Form Factor case, it would 
be prudent to consider that writing multiple disks one after the other 
for say an extended hour or more, then heat build up will be an issue.  A 
modest speed macine machine will take about 12-16 minutes to write and 
verify a full DVD.  Making 6 of these in a row will cause heat build up.

Also some of the small form factor computer units have much lower rated 
power supplies. Just be aware of this and make sure the fans are running 
and there is little or no dust build up obstructing air flow.

I put DVD burners in all new units I supply.  I have been "Burned" by 
every brand.  For the last 2-3 years I have used nothing but LG brand as 
either Panasonic either don't make them an or no one around here stocks 
them.  Panasonic were my favorite for reliability and LG have been almost 
faultless for the last 3 years or so.

There was some discussion about cable select versus Master vs Slave 
jumpers.  In theory all modern devices are supposed to support Cable 
Select.  Remember if there is only one CS device it must be at the end of 
the cable.  The device on the end of the cable is deemed to be the 
master.  For best results if using explicit settings for master vs slave 
that the master device should be at the end of the cable.

There are two types of ribbon cable in use 40 conductor and 80 conductor. 
 DVD units require 80 conductor.  It is not written down any where that I 
can find but bitter reliability experience has lead to my always using 
the 80 conductor cable on DVD drives.

I do not allow drives to use cable select.  I always explicitly set the 
jumpers.  

When it comes to burning I seldom use the full speed of the CD or DVD 
burner.  I have found better compatibility of burned discs is when the 
speed is the lowest tolerable.  I usually burn CDs at 8x-12x and DVD at 
4x even though the media and the drives support faster.  With R/W media 
you sometime have to use the higher speeds if the drive is labelled Hi-
Speed as there appears to have been a spec change for the hi speed R/W 
media and drives.

When I refer to compatibility I mean the ability to read the burned disk 
in a wider variety of target devices.  If I make a CD in the office it 
may have to be read on older drives at client sites.  Using the slower 
burn speeds mean it will usually work on the oldest of drives.

I trust this has added to the knowledge base rather than bored you to 
tears.

Regards

Jim H

James A. Haliburton
On-Site Computer Services of Halifax
Suite 100, 25 Walton Drive
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada     B3N 1X6
Office/ Cell           : (902)499-5250
Home/After Hours : (902)477-8342
e-mail      : jim at on-site.ns.ca

Please avoid sending me MS Office attachments.   For an explanation see 
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