Hi everyone :)

I have a lot of files in my HD (around 10 GB) that need an urgent backup before I run out of space, so I'm considering buying a CD writer. Meanwhile I'm grouping all my files in 700 MB folders to save some time, but some questions came to mind...

I know virtually nothing about the subject so feel free to treat me like a child :wink:

*) What good CD writer would you recommend me to buy (without stretching my budget too much, that is :roll: )?

*) How many bytes of actual data you can save in a CD? I know the sizes in MBs are 600, 650 and 700, but how many exactly?

*) Specifically, when they say 700 MB, a megabyte means 1048576 bytes (like it should) or 1,000,000 bytes (like zip drive sellers do to cheat on consumers)? :-D

*) Does the format and/or file system take disk space (like in hard drives and floppies)? Does it depend on the length of the file names, or how many bytes are in the CD? If so, is there any way to calculate in advance how much space will that be?

*) What are the limits for file names length and folder nesting depth? I read in a somewhat old book that you can't have filenames longer than 32 characters or directories nested deeper than 8 levels, but I don't know if that information is still accurate.

*) Links to reference material on the CD-ROM file systems and the CD image file formats would be greatly appreciated :)

Thanks in advance :alright:
Posted on 2004-08-26 18:47:07 by QvasiModo
I would definitely buy a DVD writer now. You can get one for 100 dollars in Argentina.
But if you still want a CD writer:
1) I like Sony, Plextor, Teac, Pioneer (in no order)
2) It depends, with Nero you can do overburning and write like 720 MB in a 700 CD...also there are 99 min CDs
3) CDs are in minutes, I would say 700 MB in powers of 2, but hey...who knows
4) not sure, According to Nero, there is some overhead, but it's like 1 MB per CD if no sessions are used...If I remember correctly, when using sessions there is like a 13 MB of overhead per session.
5) Depends on the format. Standard Joliet allows up to 255 chars in a full path name.
6) Sorry =(

In any case, get a copy of Nero. It's the best, by far.
Well, if I said something wrong, please correct me.
Posted on 2004-08-26 20:50:31 by GogetaSSJ4
Brand of CD writer: LiteOn. Cheaper than plextor, but must of the components are the same, and liteon+plextor work closelly togetther.
Posted on 2004-08-26 22:24:14 by f0dder
The prices of external hard drives are insanely low now as well.
Posted on 2004-08-26 22:41:25 by SpooK
I think you should go for a DVD writer combo. It should support DVD +/- R/RW . Here in India I can get a Samsung WriteMaster for INR 13500.
1 US$ = 50 INR or so. But the actual cost in your country may vary due to duties taxes etc. Here I can get a decent 52x CDReWriter for INR 2000 or so. They are very cheap now. I think you should go for a DVD writer. Even though the media are expensive now, they will become cheaper.

Thomas Antony :) :!:

Thomas Antony :)
Posted on 2004-08-26 23:26:47 by thomasantony
Thanks a lot for the replies! :alright:

You've convinced me, a DVD writer is the best option, a little far off my budget but maybe I can borrow some money from my parents ;)

As for the other topics, it seems there are lots of different CD formats out there... googling won't work, all I get are burning tutorials, not the specs. I think I'll have to decide exactly which files go to which CDs once I get the writer.

I'm still curious about CD formats though... :)
Posted on 2004-08-27 16:57:13 by QvasiModo
format info: http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/bchafy/cdb/info/specs.html

most if not all cdrw or dvdrw drives come with burning software, but if they don't and the soft is pricey at first you can always see about using cdrecord (http://www.fokus.gmd.de/research/cc/glone/employees/joerg.schilling/private/cdrecord.html)

I used it on windows 2000 before and it worked great :)

I have a nec 2500A DVDRW which is supposed to be hackable to a 3500A (which can write dual-layered) but I haven't tried that yet :) (http://forum.rpc1.org/viewtopic.php?t=25904&highlight=)
Posted on 2004-08-27 18:41:46 by Hiroshimator
get a pioneer dvd writer drive. i have burned over 500 dvd's without a problem with a pioneer. plextor's are very nice but over priced. ive had problems with lite-on drives. the following websites are great:

Posted on 2004-08-30 08:03:11 by smurf
Hiro, smurf, thanks a lot for the links! Lots of info, I'll have to digest this for a while ;) :alright:
Posted on 2004-08-30 16:46:24 by QvasiModo
  I want change what I said. I a mere 6 months the price of DVD wirter here has come down from INR 13500 to INR 4400 . We have bought one

Thomas :P
Posted on 2005-04-08 10:30:37 by thomasantony

          Yes, I guess a person who wants to store backup of the Hard-Disk with the capacity of at least 40 GBs and above may come up with the suggestions as other said and I too that the DVD-ReWriter is the best choice uptil now as given above by many of the members. Yes DVDRewriter may become cheaper in the future. Its media may be expensive but no matter what it can give, we can be assured that we may write any thing from common global CD media as well as the DVDs and so other things espicially the small radious CDs which are coming these days as well. Although the main factor lies in the product's complience with the current Operating Systems and the other things such as the Plug-&-Play feature in the common Computer systems uptil the date. The common question is: The things can be deviced successfuly into the Operating System.  In-fact QvasiModo, You have been given best solutions to your problems here. The DVD-Re-Writer may be the best choice as according to me also. I use Sony Combo DVDR-CDRW Drive which does not contain any DVD writer although the device I bought in the yester year so at that time the DVD-Re-Writers were costly but now their costs have been slashed tremendously and may become as cheaper as a Digital Pen-Drive in the coming months. Better be remind yourself from the suggestion by others also...

With Best Regards,

Posted on 2005-04-10 14:04:48 by Wonder Mage
The optimal backup solution depends on what kind of data you're backing up. If you're dealing with data that changes often, a CD or DVD media certainly isn't a good solution, it becomes too tedious. Rather, a pendrive (or, if the data amount is larger, an external harddrive) is better.

If you're backing up large datasets that don't change often (electronically distributed applications, movies, music), CD or DVD media is okay. I'd go with DVD+R media, as per +spath's article: http://www.cdfreaks.com/article/113 .

But generally, I used an external USB2/FireWire harddrive, as well as backing up to my server. Yes, I do run RAID Mirror, but that is NOT a substitute for backups!
Posted on 2005-04-11 03:19:46 by f0dder
I'm not so stupid to pay a lot of money for Plextor? :D
so I got a "NEC ND-3520A Dual Layer DVD?R/RW Drive (IDE) OEM, Black - DVD+R (16X), DVD+RW (8X), DVD-R (16X), DVD-RW (6X), DL DVD+R (4X), CDR (48X), CDRW (24X)"

The price in Toronto is CAD 75
See Hiro's post above

Lingo? :D
Posted on 2005-04-11 08:12:46 by lingo12

I'm not so stupid to pay a lot of money for Plextor

I'm not so sure it's stupid to pay extra money to get a plextor drive - these days, they're quite affordable (75 CAD is quite a bit cheaper than what I gave, though :) ), and plextools offers a *lot* of nice features that I haven't seen shipped with other drive types. Also, the quality of burnt CDs with my PX-716A drive seems higher than any of my old lite-ons.

The NEC drive is probably fine - I just happened to have money to spare, so I went for the plex drive :)
Posted on 2005-04-11 08:28:11 by f0dder
"I'm not so sure it's stupid to pay extra money to get a plextor drive.."
You are not but I am sure? :D

The prices in Toronto are:

NEC ND-3520A -> CAD 75
Plextor PX-712A -> CAD 155
Two times more for nothing... :D

" and plextools offers a *lot* of nice features "

plextools is just a software and run fine with any DVD too..? :D

To be honest I use Nero ver. Ent. ed.
and CloneDVD2 ver. with AnyDVD ver.

Here is some reviews:

NEC ND-3520A

Plextor, the PX-712A:

Posted on 2005-04-11 12:06:34 by lingo12
I bought a Sony DW-D22A. It's burns everything (DL included) but it's a little slower than lingo12's NEC. It cost me US$ 80.
I use Nero 6 only, it's an excellent software.
Posted on 2005-04-11 14:20:28 by GogetaSSJ4

Plextools is just a software and run fine with any DVD too..

Afaik, it depends on plextor firmware to do some of the more advanced tasks; of course that could be a blatant lie :) (www.plextools.com says that you shouldn't purchase plextools unless you have a plextor drive, as most functions only work with plextor drives).

It's pretty nice when extract digital audio, by the way. In the past with other drives, I had to use EAC in secure mode to be sure there were no glitches - and that's pretty slow. With plextools and my PX-716A I can rip directly to MP3 format at 24x, and I haven't experienced a glitch yet. It also happens to rip copy protected CDs (albeit at less than 1x), which means I can finally transfer some of my legally bought CDs to my MuVo^2 MP3 player, without downloading the files illegally off the net :)

I don't really like Nero anymore - I think it has become overbloated. Also, have a look at http://f0dder.reteam.org/speed_wtf.png - the green and blue lines show the speed curve of the ISO image burnt with Nero (one is from my Lite-On drive, the other is on my Plextor), the red curve is the same iso burnt with plextools. I wonder if the cd-key I got for nero when I bought my liteon drive is a pirated one, or if nero sucks badly at burning iso images?

I'm going to stick with plextools now, but I've got to find a replacement for nero for my old box... any suggestions? I've looked at the freeware DeepBurner and CdBurnerXP, but their UIs suck, and DeepBurner coastered on me.
Posted on 2005-04-11 14:37:29 by f0dder