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Formatting CD-R media with DirectCD

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Formatting CD-R media with DirectCD

Postby Pilgrim on Wed Mar 19, 2003 12:27 pm

I have been told (corrected) by two people that using Roxio DirectCD, you can "format CD-R discs and use them exactly like a CD-RW".... !!! I only use Nero InCD, thus I am unfamiliar with this claim. This is totally contrary to what I have read and learned about CD Media. I have always believed that CD-R discs cannot be formatted. In fact, doing so will only render them unusable. This has been my experience using InCD. I have also read in many places of the physical difference between the two and why a CD-RW is rewritable a a CD-R is not. Is it true that a CD-R can be formatted using DirectCD and thereafter used like any other formatted CD-RW?

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Postby cfitz on Wed Mar 19, 2003 12:28 pm

I haven't used it myself, but yes it is true that Direct CD can work with CD-R. However, this isn't the same thing as being "exactly like a CD-RW". When you format a CD-R to use with Direct CD, you allow the CD-R to be used like a large floppy disc in the same manner you are used to doing with a CD-RW disc and Direct CD. Direct CD packet writes to the CD-R, so you can drag and drop files to the drive in explorer, etc., just like with a CD-RW disc.

The difference comes into play when you "erase" a file on the disc. With a CD-RW disc Direct CD can actually physically erase the portion of the CD-RW where the file was located, freeing up that space for new data. With a CD-R disc, however, it is impossible to physically erase the data, so Direct CD writes some new metadata of its own that marks the file as having been "erased". The data is still there on the CD-R, but it is hidden from your view.

Thus, with a CD-R if you continuously add and delete files you will eventually run out of room on the disc even though you have "deleted" all the old files. They are still there taking up space even though you can't see them.

So why would you use CD-R with Direct CD if you can't actually free up space by deleting files? One reason is that CD-R media are more reliable than CD-RW media, so you are less likely to have a disc go bad and lose data. In this sense packet writing to CD-R represents a compromise between writing conventional ISO-9660 data discs on CD-R (most reliable) and packet writing to CD-RW (least reliable).

By the way, you can "erase" files on a multi-session ISO 9660 data discs in a similar manner. The data is still on the discs, but a new table of contents is written that hides the undesired files.

cfitz

Thanks Pilgrim! :wink:
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Postby dodecahedron on Wed Mar 19, 2003 12:53 pm

one more (small) difference:
when writing to a CDR disc, DirectCD can use variable-packet writing as opposed to fixed-packet writing which is used when writing to CDRW media.
variable packet writing is more "efficient" in terms of usage of the capacity of the disc.

(i don't know if it actually does this, but it is possible...i blieve at one time it did, but not sure if it's still so).


BTW, are you the same Pilgrim from net-integration.net forums?
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Postby Pilgrim on Wed Mar 19, 2003 1:13 pm

dodecahedron,

Thanks for the additional information. Like I said, I personally don't use Roxio's burning software. It caused a major crash on my new XP box only weeks after I got it. I tried updating EZ CDCreator with the most recent update at that time (over a year ago now) and I lost everything. And after finding the Roxio "support forum" (that's a contradiction in terms), I read of dozens of screaming and frustrated individuals who were experiencing the same problems. I then found out about Nero software and haven't looked back. Image
BTW, are you the same Pilgrim from net-integration.net forums?

Yep, that be me!

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Postby FYX193 on Fri Mar 21, 2003 4:58 pm

Ok, I have a question about the Packet Writing to CD-R's...Sorry for the long post!

I've used Roxio V5 without any problems in the past; however, I do admit that their Windows XP patch situation sucked, and I almost fell into a hole too. I simply got tired of dealing with the Roxio Software and ended up switching to Nero. I've had zero problems with the Nero software, but the one thing I wish they could offer as an option is the CD-R packet writing option like what Roxio provides... :-?

My situation with the CD-R packet writing envolves a requirement for its use as part of a Backup routine in the DOS software at my work. My employer uses both CD-RW's as well as CD-R's, and he prefers CD-R's because they are cheaper and they provide a means of backing up data through DOS Batch Files as you would a Floppy Disk without the ability of a user to alter the data on the disc once closed.

Is there a way in Nero to packet write to a CD-R or is there an alternative software package other than Roxio that provides this option. (It seems that Roxio and Nero don't enjoy being installed on the same OS without a patch that alters the bootup and use of the software. :roll: )

Thanks! :)
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Postby cfitz on Fri Mar 21, 2003 5:04 pm

Nero will not packet-write to CD-R media.

I don't know how large each backup is, but writing multi-session CD-Rs might be your solution. In addition, Nero has a command-line utility named nerocmd that you will find in the Nero directory that is amenable to batch use. It doesn't have quite the options as the Nero GUI, but it might do the trick for you.

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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Mar 21, 2003 5:10 pm

to be precise:
Roxio's packet-writing program is DirectCD, not Easy CD Creator.
Ahead's packet-writing program is InCD, not Nero.

you can have both Nero and Easy CD Creator installed at the same time without the boot patch thing. the problems of Nero and ECDC toghether were long ago, and that has been since fixed.

you can have both Nero and DirectCD toghether. what you can't have is DirectCD and InCD toghether.
since you want to packet-write to CDR, there's no reason to install InCD.
i suggest you install Nero and DirectCD, Nero for burning CDs, DirectCD for packet writing. this combination works well for many.
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Mar 21, 2003 5:14 pm

damn... :x ...cfitz beat me to it again...by 6 mins this time :o

way to go cfitz :D 8)
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Postby cfitz on Fri Mar 21, 2003 5:18 pm

dodecahedron wrote:damn... :x ...cfitz beat me to it again...by 6 mins this time :o

I didn't beat you, because there isn't any race. 8) Besides, you provided additional information on different points that I did not. That is why it is good to have multiple voices contributing on the forums.

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Postby Inertia on Fri Mar 21, 2003 5:30 pm

FYX193 wrote:...is there an alternative software package other than Roxio that provides this option. (It seems that Roxio and Nero don't enjoy being installed on the same OS without a patch that alters the bootup and use of the software. :roll: )

Thanks! :)


Roxio and Nero can be installed together without problems. The Nero batch file is old, complicated, may cause problems, and is not necessary if only one packet writing program is installed. In general, multiple packet writing programs that operate at the system level should not be installed together. This means that DirectCD and InCD should not be installed together, as this will usually cause a conflict.

Nero and EZCD can be used together, and DirectCD with its CDR packet writing capability can be used with either or both of these programs. Formatting a CDR disc for packet writing is much faster than with a CD-RW disc. This is due to the use of variable length packet writing with a CDR which eliminates the extra overhead required for a CD-RW disc. As as result of this more efficient use of disc space, a formatted 74 minute CDR disc will have about 88 MB more usable capacity than its CD-RW counterpart.
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Postby cfitz on Fri Mar 21, 2003 5:49 pm

FYX193, dodecahedron and Inertia are correct that Direct CD can be used with Nero and most people have no trouble doing so. As they stated, the real problem is with mixing multiple packet writing software (e.g. InCD and Direct CD) on the same computer. However, based on your statement that you are "tired of dealing with the Roxio Software", I didn't suggest going back to Direct CD.

If you are willing to go back to Roxio products, then Direct CD is something you should consider, particularly since you already have experience using it. On the other hand, if you really are tired of Roxio and don't want anything to do with Roxio products anymore, another alternative to look into is Gear Pro Professional Edition. I haven't used it personally, but they advertise it as having substantial scripting support that might be useful for your application:

http://www.gearsoftware.com/products/prof/index.cfm

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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Mar 21, 2003 5:51 pm

cfitz wrote:
dodecahedron wrote:damn... :x ...cfitz beat me to it again...by 6 mins this time :o

I didn't beat you, because there isn't any race. 8) Besides, you provided additional information on different points that I did not. That is why it is good to have multiple voices contributing on the forums.

cfitz

only joking :wink:
this comes from too many times when i finish writing up my post onyl to discover that you posted a couple of minutes before! :o
no hard feelings at all! :P 8) just the opposite. :P :P :P
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Mar 21, 2003 5:54 pm

again! :o :lol:
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Postby FYX193 on Fri Mar 21, 2003 6:15 pm

Thanks for the replies!

Here's another question for you to race for the answer :lol: ...

I like the idea of using the Direct CD with the Nero software (minus the InCD)... But I also like the idea of the Nerocmd.exe for Batch File use in MS-DOS. Is there a way to completely control Direct CD through a Batch File as you can with Nerocmd.exe with perameters...etc? Thanks again for your help! :wink:
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Postby cfitz on Fri Mar 21, 2003 7:49 pm

If you are using Direct CD, there generally isn't any need to control it, since the point of Direct CD is to make the CD look just like a large floppy disc. Just write the files and directories you want to write. Yes, you need to format the disc to get started, and you may want to finalize to ISO 9660 when the disc is almost full, but you need to physically be there to insert/remove the CD-R at the time of these operations anyway, so there isn't much need for batch support of these operations.

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Postby dodecahedron on Sat Mar 22, 2003 5:32 am

ok i guess i'm coming in last in this race :lol:
i don't have anything useful to say anyway :wink:
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Postby Scrondar on Mon Mar 24, 2003 1:05 pm

Just to add my two cents, I use Roxio mainly for DirectCD. I like being able to packet write to CD-R media, as I have had little success using CD-RW media at all. I transport large files from work to home and back, and DCD is great for this. True, you do cannot recover the space on a CD-R, but the reliablilty and cost factor make that issue, for me , a non-issue. Also, I have been using Roxio 5 on WinXP Pro without problems for a long time. The only problem I had was when I upgraded to a 52X drive; the latest patch (applied so Roxio would recognize the drive) from Roxio hosed my install. I reinstalled and used the earlier patch and all is good.
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