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Only 600 Mb on a CDRW with Genie Backup Manager?

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Only 600 Mb on a CDRW with Genie Backup Manager?

Postby Mattias on Fri Aug 22, 2003 10:03 am

I have just started to use Genie Backup Manager as backup program for burning backups to CDRW. A strange thing is that it doesn't burn more than 600 Mb data on a 650 Mb CDRW.

Is there anyone else here who who have experienced the same problem with Genie Backup Manger and/or knows the solution?
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Postby CDRecorder on Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:53 pm

Does this program format the CD-RW discs, or does it just write the data to the disc without formatting?

If it needs to format the disc, the formatting will take up a certain portion of the disc. This portion of the disc won't be available for data storage.
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Postby Mattias on Fri Aug 22, 2003 1:15 pm

I don't know if it require a formatting, but I have checked an option that it shall make a quick erase of the CDRW before the backup starts. But since this is an option I don't think the program _require_ an own formatting. It is possible to mark an option to split the backup into more than one CD and there you can choose for example 640 Mb as disc size. In the Help section of the program you can read:
Keeping in mind that the maximum size should not exceed the available space on the DVD/CD. If you are using a 640 MB CD, its recommended to enter a 600 MB split size, but if you are using a 4.7 DVD, you must enter 4.3 and below (4.0 GB recommended).

I have tried to check the 640 Mb split size and then run a backup, but the backed up files are still under 600 Mb when it gives a sign to insert a new CD.
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Postby CDRecorder on Fri Aug 22, 2003 1:54 pm

I'm sorry, other than the formatting idea I posted above, I really don't know why it is happening. Maybe the program vendor can help.

Edit: From what you said above, it doesn't seem that the program is actually formatting the discs.
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Postby Mattias on Fri Aug 22, 2003 2:01 pm

From what you said above, it doesn't seem that the program is actually formatting the discs.

Why don't you think it doesn't format the discs? It must format them, otherwise it wouldn't be possible for it to burn so much as ~600 Mb each backup session. Or what do you mean?
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Postby CDRecorder on Fri Aug 22, 2003 2:36 pm

I'm sorry; I didn't explain clearly. :oops:

There are two ways to write CD's; session writing (this term isn't used much anymore) and packet writing. When a disc is recorded with session writing, all of the data is written to the disc at the same time, and you can store as much data as the disc is rated to hold (like 640MB).

With packet writing, the disc is "formatted" in a way that allows you to write individual files to it through Windows Explorer or other programs in the same way as you would write to a floppy disk or a hard drive. Packet writing typically uses 50-150MB of space on the disc for the "formatting", so you can only use about 500-600MB. I thought that your program might have been doing that. However, it appears from what you said that this isn't the case.
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Postby Mattias on Fri Aug 22, 2003 3:11 pm

No, it doesn't uses packet writing. There is an option to use it, but I haven't checket that box. I have formatted the same CDRW with Mt Rainier format a couple of days ago, so first I thought it was that format that was "stucked" on the disc, but I looked at the disc in Neros disc info tools and it showed that it wasn't Mt Rainier formatted. So it shouldn't be that. A strange thing I just noticed was that when I have erased the disc using Genie Backup Managers erase mode it isn't accessible in Windows Explorer. Hmm... Maybe the Mt Rainier format is stuck on the disc after all. Maybe I have to make a Full erase to get rid of it. :) I'll try and get back later.
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Postby CDRecorder on Fri Aug 22, 2003 3:51 pm

OK. Let me know how it goes!
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Aug 22, 2003 5:42 pm

Mattias wrote:No, it doesn't uses packet writing. There is an option to use it, but I haven't checket that box. I have formatted the same CDRW with Mt Rainier format a couple of days ago, so first I thought it was that format that was "stucked" on the disc, but I looked at the disc in Neros disc info tools and it showed that it wasn't Mt Rainier formatted. So it shouldn't be that. A strange thing I just noticed was that when I have erased the disc using Genie Backup Managers erase mode it isn't accessible in Windows Explorer. Hmm... Maybe the Mt Rainier format is stuck on the disc after all. Maybe I have to make a Full erase to get rid of it. :) I'll try and get back later.

if you're not using packet writing they you should'nt use a formatted CDRW, but rather a blank one.

if you have erased the CDRW then it's blank, not being accessible in Windows Explorer is normal, it's just like any blank CD. there's no filesystem on it.
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Postby Mattias on Sat Aug 23, 2003 9:46 am

dodecahedron: Sorry, I mixted the terms. I meant "erase" when I wrote format.

Anyway, now I have found the source of and "solutions" to the problem. The source seems to be what I assumed in my last post, I.E that I had to run a full-erase, probably to get rid of the stucked Mt Rainer formatting I did a couple of days ago. That's the first solution. The second is to mark the option to allow multiple discs for the backup and then choose 640 Mb as the disc size. I tried to uncheck the multiple disc option, but then the program only burn under 600 Mb. Strange! It would be a little more logic if the default size was 640 or 650 Mb.

If you wonder why my post took so long, it was partly because it has been night here in Sweden ;) and partly because the Genie Backup Manager is very buggy. It just closed itself without warning several times when I was about to make a backup. Very frustrating! And the thing isn't getting better since it sometimes adds an extra (150 Mb) file to my backup compilation. Luckily I have found out which file it is, but anyway... Hmm...
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Postby cfitz on Sat Aug 23, 2003 2:51 pm

I'm glad you found the source of the problem and a solution (perhaps "work-around" would be a better term) for it, but after reading your last post I am a little concerned that the cure may be worse than the disease. :(

I say this because you are now able to use this program to back up your system data, but you report that it still has plenty of bugs and often crashes without warning. Can you really trust it to protect your precious data? I don't have any experience with it, but please be careful and make sure it is really saving the data you need and will be able to recover it in case of disaster.

Also, please be aware that CD-RW discs are not as reliable as CD-R discs. They don't last nearly as long, there are generally many more (correctable) errors on them than CD-R (leaving less margin for degradation), and sometimes they unexpectedly fail. I'm not saying that CD-RW should not be any part of your back-up plan, but I am saying you shouldn't rely on it solely. For example, perhaps cycle through a couple of sets of CD-RW for weekly backups, but burn a set of CD-R every month or two. That way you if a CD-RW went bad, you would only be out one week's worth of backups.

Also, try to use tools such as CD Speed's scan disc to monitor the quality of your CD-RW burns and discard any discs that start looking bad.

By the way, aren't the nights in Sweden still fairly short this time of year? I'm not sure you can use "night" as an excuse. :wink: :)

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Postby Mattias on Sat Aug 23, 2003 3:18 pm

cfitz: Thanks for the thoughts and tips about CD/CDRW backup! I'm aware of that CDRW discs are a little more unreliable than CDs, but I have two HD:s to the main backup, so the CDRWs are just a "backup to the backup" ;) But your advise about CD-backup once in a while seems like a good idea. As it is now I make an ordinary CD-backup once or twice a year.

Btw, what kind of CDR/CDRW backup program do you use and/or recommend? I really like Genie Backup MAnager since it gives the possibility to an easy backup of Windows related files and settings for Outlook Express, Favorites, Windows settings, Internet Explorer etc.

Concerning our Swedish nights (yes _nights_ ;) so have they started to getting longer and longer the last couple of weeks. The time is 21:15 right now here in Gothenburg (central Sweden) and its almost as dark as it could get outside. In half an hour or so it will be completely dark and the sun will go up around 05 tomorrow morning. So we also got a so called night here alright. ;)
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Postby cfitz on Sat Aug 23, 2003 4:05 pm

Mattias wrote:cfitz: Thanks for the thoughts and tips about CD/CDRW backup!

You're welcome. It sounds like you have given this some thought already, which is good, so perhaps my advice wasn't needed. But just in case you hadn't (or someone else reading this hadn't) I wanted to mention it.

cfitz wrote:Btw, what kind of CDR/CDRW backup program do you use and/or recommend?

I don't actually use any. I suppose I should, or at least look into various packages. I guess I just soured on back-up utilities when I first started using Windows NT about seven years ago. At the time, the utilities would claim to be able to restore the system, registry, etc., but when I practiced with them, they never actually did the job right. I would have to reinstall the system anyway.

Because of this, I ended up adopting the strategy of making manual back-ups of my data files and program installation files. I figure if the system crashes as a whole I will have to rebuild it anyway, so protecting my data files alone is sufficient.

Presumably things have gotten better since then. If Genie Backup Manager truly does back up (and properly recover) Windows related files and settings for Outlook Express, Favorites, Windows settings, Internet Explorer etc., then that sounds great for you. Many people also use Norton's Ghost product to back up the system. One nice thing about it is that you can quickly recover everything to a point in time when you made the image, without even needing a boot disk.

Mattias wrote:Concerning our Swedish nights (yes _nights_ ;) so have they started to getting longer and longer the last couple of weeks.

Yes, autumn is rapidly approaching. I can't believe it... :(

Mattias wrote:So we also got a so called night here alright. ;)

I know, I was just joking with you. :D And, of course, you pay for the long summer days with long winter nights. Nothing is ever a free ride, right? :wink:

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Postby Mattias on Sat Aug 23, 2003 4:36 pm

I know you were joking with me, so it's all right. :) I just made things clear for those who maybe believed what you said about the (non-existing) Swedish summer nights. ;)

Conerning Ghost I use that program too. Twice a month for my C-partition (4-5 Gb). The CDRW backup is for my settings, My Documents and stuff like that. But I have searched for a good CDRW backup program for a long time and except for the bugs GBM is the best one yet. I have emailed Genies support staff about the problems, so we'll see what they have to say about it.
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