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Adaptec DirectCD STINKS!

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by Drgnhrn, Aug 27, 2002.

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  1. Drgnhrn

    Drgnhrn Thread Starter

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    I have been here, done this before, still need some advice.

    I am using DirectCD 3.01C, on a PentiumII, 450 Mhz, Gateway PC with 256Mb RAM, and using a HP 9100 CD Burner. My Norton AV is updated weekly, so I know I don't have a virus.

    I reformatted about a month ago because of this same problem. [you can look up my past letter on TSG] It was suggested I reformat the C: drive by a PC tech at a computer store after he played with my PC for a couple days, charged me $213, and didn't do a thing for me.

    After I reformatted and reinstalled Adaptec DirectCD, I could copy small files and photographs neatly to a CD-RW and I could copy full CDs to CD-Rs with no problems. (I could alway copy full CDs with CloneCd without any problems.) Single file copying worked fine up until about yesterday, then I started getting the same problem ~ Adaptec DirectCD would not recognize an already formatted CD-RW with files on it. If it did recognize it, it would take a very, very long time to try to copy those few little files [10 to 300 kb long] and then it would quit with the standard error [it has become standard to me, I see it so much] "...this CD has an unrecoverable read/write error, you should move all your files off this disk, blah, blah, blah..."

    Any suggestions or ideas out there? Am I one of the few [or many] that is beginning to think that this technology or the software is still in it's infancy and is not a really good way to backup or do I need another software product that is reliable and will do what I want?

    I keep adding to and I have a few thousand photgraphs we have taken that I try to keep backed up on a CD-RW. I just helped install an Iomega 250 MB Zip Drive on a friend's PC. I also installed a neat backup program that does it all automatically behind the scenes. Should I just buy a Zip drive as they seem much, much more reliable and this hassle with Adaptec is taking up much more time than I care to waste.

    Any help or ideas out there....

    Thanks a lot folks....
     
  2. pvc9

    pvc9

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    I'll go according to your subject's title. :cool:

    Adaptec really isnt such a good program. When I used I had a different sort of a problem. It used to take up nearly 30-33 MB space when I tried to write a cd in the DirectCD format. But thats when I started using Nero and since then no probz at all.

    I'd suggest you to use Nero and see how good it is yourself. A very very good program.

    Get Nero
     
  3. Rockn

    Rockn

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    I think he is talking about packet writing. There is a great program out there called InstantCD/DVD and it will also do packet writing. Have you considered your CD-RW could be bad or dirty?
     
  4. slipe

    slipe

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    DirectCD is probably the best of the standard packet writing programs. That superiority certainly doesn’t carry over to EZ CD Creator though. EZCD is fine for most purposes, it just isn’t the best at more sophisticated tasks.

    All standard packet writing software stores the table of contents (TOC) in RAM while a formatted RW is in the drive. It does this to try to speed up the slow packet writing process. The problem is that if you have a power failure or computer lockup there is no opportunity to write the TOC back to the disc, so it can become unreadable. I think this is likely to be what is happening to you.

    Some newer packet writing software like DirectCD 5 includes an explorer/recovery applet to allow you to recover the data. There is some recovery freeware online that will sometimes help.

    Besides the TOC loss problem, anytime a formatted RW is in your drive, the data already on it is subject to virus, erasure or overwrite. Packet writing to RW is a lousy way to archive anything IMHO.

    There are people who use packet writing to RW productively to write large daily backups on discs they constantly recycle. That is a far cry from trying to archive with a packet written RW. What you are doing makes no sense to me at all.

    You already have rock solid reliable media available for archiving your images. The media is CDR. CDRs are free if you live in the US. Best Buy has a spindle of 50 AT&T 40X CDs free after a $10 rebate this week. Every week there are free CDRs. Your burner is slow enough that any of the free CDRs are faster than your burner.

    DirectCD is the only popular packet writing program that will write to CDR. If you are resistant to learning to do multi-session with your regular mastering software then DirectCD to CDR will provide you with a good alternative. You close sessions with DirectCD to CDR and the data is secure. Unlike packet writing to RW, you can close a packet written CDR so it can be read on any CD-ROM, eliminating the need to recopy them. A copy of a copy is always bad, especially if it is a copy of a packet written RW.

    Zip is a poor alternative. The media is very expensive per Mb. The drives themselves have been unreliable, so if you have everything archived to Zip and you get the click of death your only alternative is to buy another piece of outdated equipment. CDR is faster and more reliable.

    I don’t have packet writing software on my computer. Anything I write to CD is much to important to trust to a packet written RW. Packet writing to CDR is reliable, but I just find it easier to organize what I want to record in a folder. I can keep better track of what has been backed up that way.

    CloneCD is only for copy protected CDs. It is a slow and klunky substitute for the copy utility in EZCD for anything not copy protected.
     
  5. pvc9

    pvc9

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    slipe,
    OMG! I didnt know all that. Thats really cool. Thanks for all that info. Shall save it for future purposes.

    Appreciate it...:)

    Just wanted to ask you what sort of a program is Nero I mean wont it burn the cds in the Packet Writing format.
     
  6. Drgnhrn

    Drgnhrn Thread Starter

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    Dear Slipe,

    I appreciate the dessertation on CD-Rs and RWs and I have more questions...

    I do not have any "...power failures or computer lockups..." while I am copying a few small files. As I stated, most files that I copy are between 2 and 300KB and when I say a few, I mean like 3 or 4 at a time. That is a small enough amount to sit and watch for 30 seconds or less to see them copied in a "normal" read/write copy routine to a CD-RW. The trouble is they don't copy or if they do or they don't, I get that read/write error. I doubt that the TOC is not getting written back to the disc in that short period of time but who knows?

    I believe you think I have large amount of software to archive but I do not. They are small files but there are many, too many to use a 1.4 Mb floppy. It is small files a couple time a week along with a couple of work records that I keep current with customer's facts and work performed that are about 40 pages long. I am thinking that these files would not "copy" very well to a CD-R as they would be continuously "erased" from the CD-R and the whole new file replaced at another location on the disc. I understand that a CD-R is not "re-writable like a RW, the TOC just marks that area as unuseable. But, in the long run, I do not know if I know what I am talking about! ! !

    As for me being "...resistant to learning to do multi-session..." I am not "resistant" to anything when it comes to computers ~ I learn something everyday or try to! It is just that I have never seen any documentation about multi-sessions or learned how to do that with this equipment. Maybe you can provide detailed instructions on how to do that or direct me to a good website explaining the operation... :)

    Can I use my version of DirectCD [Ver 3.01C S40] to do Multi-session or must I buy the 5.0 version?
    :confused:

    Thank you Slipe, for the info....
     
  7. Moby

    Moby

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    Thanks for that Slipe, very well written if I may say so and a good all round opinion of packet writing, which is exactly What I was after.
    I use Nero's incd, not for normal back up, that get's burnt properly, but for temp. The way I see it is every time I continue a multi session cd, about 12 mb gets used just for the multi session itself. For this reason I let the files I want to back up build up for a bit to get most out of my 12mb usage. It's at this point that my files are vulnerable, waiting for a decent amount (say 100mb) to burn in one go. So I put them on incd so at least they are somewhere if the worse happens. It's mainly mp3's I'm talking about. I've learned the hard way that waiting for 700mb of files to build up to burn in one go is asking for trouble.
    Am I missing something here, is there an easier way not to loose my downloaded music. Even burning 100mb a time I still loose nearly 100mb space on a cdr and we have to pay for them over here. What do you do?
     
  8. Brooks

    Brooks Guest

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    DirectCD is not actually burning software, it is designed to allow the direct writing to the CD from an Explorer window.


    What you may have on the system is ezcd creator. It is a seperate program that you run. It allows you to explore and drag files from one explorer like window down to the another window. When you get everything that you want drug down there, you click on a button and burns them all at once.

    I personally prefer Nero myself for this, but I have used EZ CDCreator in the past, and it was pretty easy to use. It just was not able to do certain advanced things that I wanted to do very well.

    Check out your start menu to see if you have it.
     
  9. slipe

    slipe

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    You mentioned photographs and that usually involves archiving rather than constant overwrite and changing. Actually for the files that have to be constantly updated and for the temporary storage that Moby is using it for, packet writing to RW makes a lot of sense as long as it is also staying on the hard drive.

    Most people have only the occasional problem with packet writing. It is just that those occasional problems are often traumatic if they have MOVED something important to RW. Some systems just seem to have more problems with CD writing than others. It usually involves a Via chipset which you don’t have. But it can also be caused by having too much going on when you burn.

    Before going too far with an alternative solution I would clean out the msconfig/startup. This is a good site with instructions and a list of everything likely to show up and whether you can uncheck it: http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_content.htm Lots of programs load stuff at startup that will run just as well only when you want to use it. No sense in having all that stuff taking resources and CPU cycles just sitting there.

    Set Internet Explorer to dump your temp internet files on shutdown and regularly clean out your temp files in the temp folder in Windows. Defrag the computer regularly.

    My thought is that it worked fine for a while after a format so it might be an accumulation of stuff, fragmentation or things using too many of your CPU cycles. It could even be a resource problem which cleaning out the startup will fix.

    Packet writing to CDR does not involve any risks. You can’t erase anything on CDR. You just leave the formatted CDR in the drive and before you shut down close out that session. You would have an accumulation of files that are just revisions of files already on the disc, but you would at least have the backup. RW is better for what you are doing with constantly revised files, but if CDR would work for you it might reduce your hassle so you don't have to bother with it. Might be worth a try if cleaning out the computer doesn’t help.

    If you have DirectCD you likely have EZ CD Creator. They usually load together although they are separate programs. EZCD is mastering software and you don’t format the CD to use it. It is ideal for archiving your photos and backing up large parts of the hard drive. You can set it to record session at once, close the session and leave the CD open This allows you to add other sessions. The copy utility in EZCD is much faster and easier for copying CDs that aren’t copy protected, and you have to use mastering software to make a music CD you can play in your entertainment players. As Moby pointed out it takes some space for housekeeping for each session so you don’t want to make them too small. My software wastes about 14Mb/session for the TOC, lead in and lead out.

    I would buy a second hard drive before getting a Zip if you can’t get the writer to do what you want. A second hard drive, formatted RW or Zip disc are all vulnerable to virus attack, so keeping the AV definitions up to date is important regardless of which you use. CDR isn’t as vulnerable. The second HD is much easier to use and more reliable than either packet writing or Zip. You just have to observe the same precaution to not remove stuff from the boot drive so there is a backup.
     
  10. Drgnhrn

    Drgnhrn Thread Starter

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    Brooks and Slipe,

    Thanks for the info. I will look into INCD and Instant CD/DVD software.

    I have a program called Optilaunch that will stop any running programs that I want. I will shut down non-essential ones to see how DirectCd works. I have programs that "clean" my harddrive and I check them once in a while and it is clear of all the junk you mention, Slipe. I also do a Scan disk and defrag about once a week.

    I have been experimenting with multi-session CD-Rs since we last talked and I see what you folks mean by the 12 - 14 MB chunks it uses. I think I will use CD-Rs for the photos and will try to make the CD-RWs work for the changing document files.

    Thanks for all the help, all you folks put a lot of time in on me and I appreciate it. Thanks a bunch!

    ;)
     
  11. Brooks

    Brooks Guest

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    From me you are welcome.


    I am glad I stopped by this article, because I learned quite a bit from slipe about packet writing I did not know.
     
  12. slipe

    slipe

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    HP has lots of goodies for you. Record Now is infinitely better mastering software than the EZCD 3.5 that came with your burner. There is a firmware update for the burner and software updates for DirectCD and EZCD 3.5. EZCD 3.5 is no longer being supported by Roxio or Adaptec, so this is the only place to get it: http://www.hp.com/cgi-bin/cposupport/swindex.pl?p=hpcdwriter18530&l=en&c=MicrosoftWindows98

    First update the firmware and DirectCD before trying other software – DirectCD is really the best packet writing software. Then try HP’s DLA software at the link above. It is also packet writing software.

    RecordNow and DLA are Prassi/Veritas products. I prefer the Prassi engine to any other mastering software including Nero. I’m not really familiar with their packet writing, but they are all pretty much the same except DirectCD.

    Should have sent you to update the firmware and software in the first place. It is really the first step in trying to fix burner problems.

    You might try the Simple Backup update even if you don’t have the original program. It should handle things in the background. I have read the update is the whole program but I’m not sure. Might as well try it.

    Those utilities that shut down stuff usually reflects just what shows with Ctrl+Alt+Del. I would still take the time to clean out the startup as there is a lot more stuff that can start on boot.
     
  13. Moby

    Moby

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    me too
     
  14. pvc9

    pvc9

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    I'm next guys...:)

    Infact I got no words to really thank slipe and appreciate his expertise about the info he gave regarding the packet writing program DirectCD.

    No words slipe. ;) :cool: :eek:

    Slipe,
    Now just to increase my knowledge(have already done that but can know more), I asked the same in my earlier posts but what sort of a writing mechanism does Nero follow? Isnt it the same packet writing technique? Plz. I'm curious to know and donot think that I'm trying to question or test your knowledge. Just my curiosity(is killing me) :D

    Thanks for all the info. Learnt a lot! Sure.
     
  15. slipe

    slipe

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    Nero is mastering software like EZCD. It lays down a whole track, session or CD in one continuous string. The CD can’t be formatted to use Nero.

    InCD usually loads with Nero and is packet writing software. It will only write in fixed packets to a formatted RW. Once the RW is formatted,InCD is active any time the formatted RW is in the burner and the computer is running. You can drag/paste in Windows Explorer or My Computer directly to the burner drive letter and save in programs directly to the burner. You can erase and overwrite stuff. You can only read a packet written RW in a computer with packet writing software installed or a UDF reader.

    The U in UDF is for Universal, but it isn’t. Sometimes you can’t read a CD you wrote with DirectCD in a computer with InCD for example. The opposite is also true. Most newer versions of packet writing put the reader on the CD so that someone can install it if they don’t have it.

    Adaptec invented packet writing before RW was invented and it was for CDR. They used variable packets which are more efficient with space and speed. They called the format UDF. You close out the session at the end of the day or when you are through and the data is secure. You can close the CD out to read as Joliet so it can be read in any computer. A session takes only 7Mb of housekeeping space compared to the 14 used for a session with mastering software.

    When RWs were invented Adaptec had to come up with a new system so you could erase and overwrite individual entries. The system was so different that the garus wanted them to name it something other than UDF, but Adaptec decided it wouldn’t be very universal to have two names. So they called it UDF even though it is a completely different system. It uses fixed packets and you can’t close the CD to read on any computer. It takes a long time to format the CD and the formatting takes over 100Mb of space.

    By the time others like Nero and Prassi wrote packet writing software the most common use was for RW, so they didn’t bother to add CDR capability or variable packets. So DirectCD is the only common packet writing that allows you to write to CDR.

    There is a new type of packet writing called Mt Rainier. Only a few of the newest burners support it. It uses much smaller packets and can be supported by the operating system. That means it can completely replace the floppy. The next revision to Windows will likely support Mt Rainier. The MB makers have been threatening to eliminate the floppy connection and Mt Rainier will take up the slack. You can record with Mt Rainier now with newer packet writing software like InCD, but it won’t come into its own until it is OS supported.
     
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