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Why use DVD-RAM?

DVD-R/W, DVD+R/RW, DVD-RAM

Why use DVD-RAM?

Postby VideoRoy on Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:22 pm

Now that I have a drive that supports DVD-RAM, I am trying to figure out if there is a good reason to use that format for anything I do. I only have one drive that supports it.

My DVD Recorder does not use that format and I have lots of good quality DVD-RW discs I use for transferring from it. I understand that DVD-RAM has some very good defect management and there are some studies that suggest it might be a more durable technology (longevity).

I do have a particular project I am doing to archive data and raw video footage and have invested a lot in good DVD-R media and a process for periodically checking the discs. DVD-RAM seems to be much more expensive than other SL formats but if there was a good enough reason I would consider it.

Any thoughts or advice on this topic?
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Postby Scour on Sat Feb 10, 2007 5:11 pm

It´s more reliable than RW-formats, that´s the main reason, i guess.

U can use it without special software like a HDD in WindowsXP, u can copy files to RAM, delete files etc.

And older Panasonic DVD-Recorders (not burners/writers) had only DVD-R and DVD-RAM, no recording-support for a RW-format
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Postby Justin42 on Sat Feb 10, 2007 5:28 pm

I use it for data backups and moving files between computers, since as long as you have a DVD-RAM drive, you only need the drivers and not the horrendous packet writing apps like InCD or Drag2Disc. Being as the packet writers are really buggy, it's nice not needing to have them installed. (and I've had them trash data off of DVD-RAM discs, which I assume means they don't comply to the standard 100%)

Never had any problem just with the straight DVD-RAM drivers.
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Postby VideoRoy on Sat Feb 10, 2007 7:15 pm

Scour wrote:It´s more reliable than RW-formats, that´s the main reason, i guess.

U can use it without special software like a HDD in WindowsXP, u can copy files to RAM, delete files etc.

I use RW discs for temporary storage and actually have never had any issues.

I do like the idea of using the disc like a HDD.


Justin42 wrote:I use it for data backups and moving files between computers, since as long as you have a DVD-RAM drive, you only need the drivers and not the horrendous packet writing apps like InCD or Drag2Disc. Being as the packet writers are really buggy, it's nice not needing to have them installed. (and I've had them trash data off of DVD-RAM discs, which I assume means they don't comply to the standard 100%)

Never had any problem just with the straight DVD-RAM drivers.

This is probably the best reason I have heard of. I gave up on packet writing software long ago and I have used them all. My Pio DVD Recorder only uses RW discs so no need there.

I will pick up a few RAM discs this weekend and see how they work. It might be worthwhile to invest in drives that have RAM capability in the future.

Thanks for the feedback from both of you.

Any reccomendations on DVD-RAM disc brands?
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Postby Ian on Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:39 pm

VideoRoy wrote:Any reccomendations on DVD-RAM disc brands?


Maxell or Verbatim.
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Postby VideoRoy on Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:14 pm

Of course, the usual suspects :wink:

I do not have any experience with this media.

Thanks!
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Postby Justin42 on Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:32 pm

I've never seen Verbatim DVD-RAMs... interesting.

I've used Panasonic and Fuji DVD-RAM with pretty good luck, although some of the Made in USA (!) Panasonic has seemed a bit flaky to me. (some read errors on some drives) Made in Japan stuff is ok from either brand.
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Postby bill on Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:16 pm

Justin42 wrote:I've never seen Verbatim DVD-RAMs... interesting.



Amazon & ZZF list Verbs in stock. I found some 3x 4.7 media at Best Buy or NewEgg (can't remember) about a year ago but haven't seen any at either place recently.
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Postby Pilgrim on Sun Feb 11, 2007 8:20 pm

NCIX carries these: Verbatim 5X DVD-RAM 5PK - Slim Jewel Case for $19.44 Cdn. Pricey little critters ain't they!! Image

Another place to check is "www.blankmedia.ca" Their prices are generally quite good although if you live a distance from their warehouse, shipping costs can quickly reduce the savings substantially. Anyway.... they do have the same Verbatim DVD-RAM media as NCIX here: DVD-RAM for $15.95.
Last edited by Pilgrim on Sun Feb 11, 2007 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby VideoRoy on Sun Feb 11, 2007 9:03 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

Someone else gave me a link to Club Panasonic that has some pretty good prices.

Panasonic

I just crossflashed an older LG drive in my Laptop and it is supposed to now support DVD-RAM. If that works I have even more use for this media now.
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Postby piano632 on Sun Feb 11, 2007 9:31 pm

There are other advantages of RAM discs over +/-RW, such as:
1. Can be overwritten up to 100,000 times (vs. 1,000 times for +/-RW)
2. Can be write-protected in the properties box, so disc can't accidentally be re-formatted or files deleted.
3. Handles errors better with automatic verify while being written.
4. Can be formatted for either FAT32 or UDF (but UDF is better because it's faster and always writes to a fresh spot on the disc rather than the same spot over and over as FAT32 does).

You can buy all kinds of RAM discs direct from Panasonic at their website:
http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/st ... 0000005702

With or without cartridge.
With or without hard coating.
Single or double-sided.
They even tell you where the discs are made.
They don't have many 5x discs, but some good deals on 3x discs like a 15-pack for $20.

For 5x Verbatim discs (same as Panasonic, "made in Japan"), cheapest price is here:
http://www.superwarehouse.com/Verbatim_ ... /p/1494929

You can even buy some 12x RAM discs if you're willing to pay the price:
http://www.audiocubes.com/product_info. ... ts_id=2015
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Postby Wischmop on Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:44 am

I use DVD-RAM for my Panasonic DVD-Recorder, it works properly for over 2 years now. I use mostly Panasonic and Verbatim 3x-media
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Postby VideoRoy on Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:38 pm

piano632 wrote:4. Can be formatted for either FAT32 or UDF (but UDF is better because it's faster and always writes to a fresh spot on the disc rather than the same spot over and over as FAT32 does).


Finally got my hands on a few Panasonic DVD-RAMs and even they were hard to find. I will definitely have to order online.

What are you using to format the disc in UDF? Seems I am missing a driver (meiudf.sys maybe).

Also if I do format in UDF will I have to install the driver on every computer that needs to read it? Probably not since I know I can read DVDs that in Video format on other computers.
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Postby Ian on Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:41 pm

VideoRoy wrote:Also if I do format in UDF will I have to install the driver on every computer that needs to read it? Probably not since I know I can read DVDs that in Video format on other computers.


Most computers can read the UDF format. Just don't go up to UDF 2.5. It's supported natively in Vista, but in previous versions of Windows, you'll need to install a reader.
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Postby bill on Tue Feb 13, 2007 5:39 pm

Anyone know if BHA drivers (DVDForm) will work with the LiteOn LH-20A1H ? I don't have a LiteOn w/ram or I would test it.
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Postby VideoRoy on Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:47 pm

bill wrote:Anyone know if BHA drivers (DVDForm) will work with the LiteOn LH-20A1H ? I don't have a LiteOn w/ram or I would test it.

I have that drive and the reason I started this thread. I will test if the drivers are free.

So far I am very un-impressed with the level of functionality that Win-XP provides with DVD-RAM. I formatted for Fat32 because UDF writing is not supported natively and if I try to drag and drop it wants to treat this like a CD-RW and cache the files to be written later.

I am going to disable XP native CD burning which sucks anyway and see if that helps.

I have following I will test with in various configs

1. LH-20A1H that is external so I can try it on WinXP and Vista Premium.
2. Mashita UJ832s on one computer with WinXP
3. GWA-4080N on one computer with Vista Premium. This drive is crossflashed to support DVD-RAM supposedly.

Maybe a few days before I can get to this though.
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Postby VideoRoy on Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:00 pm

VideoRoy wrote:I am going to disable XP native CD burning which sucks anyway and see if that helps.


Disabling the native CD writing did in fact solve the problem :D

Seems XP really does not understand DVD-RAM as well as the claims.
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Postby VideoRoy on Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:08 pm

For anyone that is interested Vista is awesome when it comes to DVD-RAM.

In my cross flashed GWA-4080N, I put in a brand new Panasonic disc in the drive and could copy files to and from it natively without formatting.

Not sure what version but they are pre-formatted with UDF already.
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Postby Ian on Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:42 pm

Yeah, the packet writing software built into Vista works great. It supports various UDF versions and will even work with write once formats.
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Postby bill on Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:35 am

VideoRoy wrote:
bill wrote:Anyone know if BHA drivers (DVDForm) will work with the LiteOn LH-20A1H ? I don't have a LiteOn w/ram or I would test it.

I have that drive and the reason I started this thread. I will test if the drivers are free.

I have following I will test with in various configs

1. LH-20A1H that is external so I can try it on WinXP and Vista Premium.
2. Mashita UJ832s on one computer with WinXP
3. GWA-4080N on one computer with Vista Premium. This drive is crossflashed to support DVD-RAM supposedly.

Maybe a few days before I can get to this though.


A little late but here you go- http://www.bhacorp.com/download/utilities/dvdram.html#

Works with a Pioneer 111L.
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Postby VideoRoy on Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:07 pm

bill wrote:
A little late but here you go- http://www.bhacorp.com/download/utilities/dvdram.html#

Works with a Pioneer 111L.


bill,
I should be able to try this tomorrow.

I looked at the website and cannot figure which package to download for WinXP 32bit. It appears that I have to have some sort of retail package first.

How did you get it to work?
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Postby VideoRoy on Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:00 pm

I installed the drivers from the Toshiba website and I can write to DVD-RAM in the LH-20A1H under WinXP 32 no problem.

Go to this site and type in "DVD RAM" in search. I chose the drivers with latest date of 2006-01-19.

Ask Iris

Huge download of 64mb but after unzipping I deleted all the languages I did not need and Win2K stuff.
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Postby bill on Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:59 pm

VideoRoy wrote:I installed the drivers from the Toshiba website and I can write to DVD-RAM in the LH-20A1H under WinXP 32 no problem.



Sorry for the delay, looks like you worked out the drivers. Here is what you get with Toshiba's drivers and if you update them with the BHA update drivers.

As of 2-16-07 from the links posted above.

From Toshiba's web site
Version date June 21, 2005 ( for XP)
Published September 20, 2005

Driver Software
Meiudf.sys - Ver 4.0.7.0
Format Software(DVDForm) - Ver 4.2.2.0
Write Protect Tool(WPTool) - Ver 1.1.5.0
RAM Assistance Tool(RAMASST) - Ver 1.1.0.0


OR (latest version at Toshiba)

Version date August 19, 2005
Published January 19, 2006

Driver Software
Meiudf.sys - Ver 4.0.7.0
Format Software(DVDForm) - Ver 4.2.2.0
Write Protect Tool(WPTool) - Ver 1.1.6.0
RAM Assistance Tool(RAMASST) - Ver 1.1.0.0
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BHA update
Versions numbers after updating the Toshiba drivers with the update from BHA's web site

Version date December 16, 2005, BHA_VER.09 (for XP)

Driver Software
Meiudf.sys - Ver 4.0.8.0
Format Software(DVDForm) - Ver 4.2.2.0
Write Protect Tool(WPTool) - Ver 1.1.6.0
RAM Assistance Tool(RAMASST) - Ver 1.1.0.0
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Postby VideoRoy on Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:48 pm

Yep. Got it.

Thanks for the help here.
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