CD-R failing more and more frequently

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Gram123

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Hi.
I'm using my brother's PC to make compilation audio CDs using Adaptec and am having more an more problems.
I expect the occasional failure, and on my own PC, I've had 1 disc fail out of about 30 burned (also using Adaptec) some audio, some data.
On this PC though, the failure rate has gradually increased and now about 3 in 4 discs are failing.

It is a Samsung CDR-RW SW-408B The markings on the CD-R drive say "RW 8-8-32".
The PC is a custom built PIII, 700Mhz, 256Mb RAM, 20Gb HD.

I have tried recording direct from CDs and from files stored on the HD, but it makes no difference. I've tried 6x speed, 4x speed and 2x speed, and it makes no difference. I have removed all but the bare minimum from the Startup (msconfig) files, but it makes no difference. I have used Bush, Memorex and TraxData discs, but it makes no difference.

The errors are generally "buffer underrun" and "Retry failed" (have had others), as though the disc is trying to scan but failing to pick up the info. They usually occur in the testing phase, but sometimes, the disc tests okay and then fails when burning.
This last occasion, I attempted to get 16 tracks, totalling about 60 minutes on the disc. It did the first 12 fine, about 20 seconds of track 13 and although any CD player identifies it as containing 16 tracks, the last few will not play. When burning, the progress indicator jumped from 76% to 100% with an error message.

Sometimes, the burning works, but still reports errors. Sometimes on the playing side of the disc there is a visible "gap", evidently between 2 tracks, because the discs still play fine.
But more often than not, I end up with a disc with 30 minutes of music which then cuts off abruptly.

The PC is still under warranty, so if you guys have no suggestions, we'll have to get someone to take a look at it.

Cheers.
Gram
 
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Oct 13, 2000
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Not my usual forum, but I've learned a lot about burning, so...

One thing is, it's recommended that your CD burner and your CD reader not share the same IDE bus. This would apparently be the number-one cause of buffer underrun.

But in any case, I loathe Adaptec, and condemn them to software hades. I would strongly recommend trying nero burning rom, which you can use for evaluation, and see if the problems continue. Never lost one single disc with it, scout's honor...
 

Gram123

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Mar 15, 2001
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Hey Down.

How do I tell if they're both using the same IDE bus?
And if I find that they are, how do I make them use different ones?

I'm going to stick with Adaptec for now, just because I know how to use it. When I relocate and get my own PC finally set up, and my busy lifestyle calms down a bit, I'll look into alternatives.

Gram
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2000
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If you are getting coasters trying to burn directly from the HD as well as on the fly it is an indication of problems that don’t have anything to do with whether your burner and CD-ROM share the same IDE channel.

Have you don the three finger salute (Ctrl/Alt/Del) and removed everything but Explore, Systray and the burner software? Get DirectCD also as EZCD works fine without it.

The music could be a separate problem – especially if you are using MP3 as the source.
 

Gram123

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Cheers slipe.
I'll try again tonight doing the ctrl+alt+del thing.

When saving the audio files to the HD, doesn't Adaptec automatically save them as mp3 files? Regardless, I've done it before and it's been succesful.

Gram
 

Gram123

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Okay, I followed your instructions and retried. The testing phase failed again, giving me a new error - one I hadn't seen before:
something like "Track Reading Failure: Operation Continued".
There was no help associated with this particular error, so I thought sod it, I'll have another go, but omit the testing phase, and risk getting yet another coaster.
It worked.
The CD burned fine.

I have a couple more to do, so I'll follow this procedure again and hopefully this is a temporary solution.
I will arrange to have it looked at though.

Thanks
Gram
 
Joined
Oct 20, 1999
Messages
363
You can only burn audio from wav files. Any software that claims to burn from mp3s actually creates temporary wav files first.

I use EasyCD 3.5, and I've had no audio coasters. I burn conservatively - I make my own wav files with CoolEdit or CDEx and check they're OK, always burn from the Hard Drive, kill all other apps (Use a free app called EndItAll for that), use good CDs (gold) and I've only got a 4 speed burner anyway. (Ricoh - nothing special)

Despite what downwhateverhecallshimself says, Adaptec software has been fine for me.
 
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You can get a RW blank and use it for troubleshooting until you get things sorted out. Just erase it and start over until you can burn without problems – then switch to CDR. Don’t be concerned if the RW doesn’t read in your stereo system as some entertainment CD readers can’t read RW.

I think most experienced users have learned to skip the test phase. Often you get errors in the test but a burn works fine like you experienced. Often the test will be fine but the burn fails. It is a waste of time IMHO.

I’m always in favor of doing things the easy way. Newer software is capable of converting MP3s on the fly quite reliably. EZCD 4 and higher will convert MP3s on the fly, but you need the Deluxe package to equalize the volumes (called normalization). I think normalization is a necessary step or the resulting CD is crappy.

Give Feurio a try. It will normalize the volumes and convert on the fly. It will do all this in automatic or manual mode if you want to work at it. It is quite robust and doesn’t seem to have as many problems as some other software. The demo is completely unrestricted. It is full featured and you can use it as long as you like before registering it: http://www.feurio.net/English/index.shtml
 
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Oct 20, 1999
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I totally agree about normalisation. It's an absolute must.

Thanks for the link to Feurio. Sounds like it's worth a look.
 
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