CD-Writer - Buffer underrun

Ok, so soon as I try to write a CD-R, no-matter which program I use an Error message concerning a buffer underrun occurs in the middle of the writing process. So I keep losing blanks. A few days ago I checked my system through and I noticed a parity jumber on the Sony CD-ROM
Is that meant to be on?

I have got the following system:

Matrox Millenium 4MB 220 RAMDAC
Adaptec 2940
Matrox M3D
Quantum Fireball ST 3 GB
SCSI CD-ROM 8 X (sony)
CD-Writer = Philipps 2600 (SCSI)

The SCSI devices are linked up as follows:
Terminated < External Zip < 2940 > Fireball > 2600 > Sony > Terminated
Writer Software=Easy CD Pro 95 & Easy CD-Creator 3.x
Who is Participating?
Try writing at the slow speed instead of the fast speed.


BIGFOOTAuthor Commented:
it happerns at any speed i.e. 1 X
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BIGFOOTAuthor Commented:
Adjusted points to 75
Do your drives perform the occassional thermal recalibration? this is one of the things that separates a A/V capable HD from your run of the mill drive. A normal drive will perform a recal every now and again and this may be the source of your underrun.

Also, be sure to DEFRAG your drive prior to copying to CD. This will prevent lots of hopping when you're copying a file out.


BIGFOOTAuthor Commented:
even with defrag it does not work and I do not know about the thermal thing but it worked fine before, I don't know how but it did.
BIGFOOTAuthor Commented:
Adjusted points to 100
About Buffer Underruns
NOTE: Buffer underruns are rare with Easy CD Creator, and unknown with DirectCD.

CD writing is a real-time process which must run constantly at the selected recording speed, without interruptions. The CD recorder's buffer is constantly filled with a reserve of data waiting to be written, so that small slowdowns or interruptions in the flow of data from the computer do not interrupt writing.

A buffer underrun error means that for some reason the flow of data from source (e.g., hard disk, CD-ROM drive) to CD recorder was interrupted long enough for the CD recorder's buffer to be emptied, and writing was halted. If this occurs during an actual write operation rather than a test, your recordable disc may be ruined.

Possible Causes of Buffer Underruns
Hard Disk

Extremely fragmented hard drive.
Not enough space in temporary directory.
Hard disk compression may cause buffer underruns. We do not recommend writing from a compressed hard disk or disk partition.
"Dumb" thermal recalibration (only on very old hard drives).
Other Hardware

Spindown of CD-ROM drives you're copying data or audio from.
Slow source devices.
Source devices that transfer data in bursts.
Incorrect recorder controller settings.
Inability of the devices to sync properly.
Overall system configuration.
Computer unable to allow fast enough data transfer.
Conflicts with old device drivers. Do not use 16-bit (real-mode) device drivers in Windows 95 or 98. REM out any old CD-ROM drives you may have in your CONFIG.SYS file. (You don't need them anyway.)

Recording across the network (a network may be too slow to maintain adequate throughput speed).
Files to Be Recorded

Recording many small files.
Damaged source files (data loss).
Trying to record files in use by the system or other applications.

Copying from a CD that is scratched, dirty, or damaged.
Recorder malfunction.
Checks / Prevention

Defragment your hard drives at least once a week.
Do not record across a network. Copy the desired files to your local hard drive.
If your source hard disk is more than five years old, make sure it does smart thermal recalibration.
Record at a slower speed.
In any operating system, always using the newest drivers from your SCSI controller card manufacturer.
It may be necessary to write audio at slower speeds than those you can achieve for data, since writing CD-DA audio requires streaming more bits per second to the recorder.
Keep the CDs, the recorder, and your source CD-ROM drive free of dust.
Make sure your SCSI card is FULLY ASPI-compliant.
Do not try to copy empty directories, zero byte files, or files that may be in use by the system at the time of recording.
If your data includes more than 10,000 very small files, create a disc image first, or record at a slower speed.
The temporary directory should always have space free at least twice the size of the largest file you are recording.
The entire computer, from the motherboard bus to the recorder itself, needs to be configured properly for faster recording and highest maximum sync transfer rate.
Change the DMA transfer rate for the SCSI card being used.
Try a different brand of recordable disc.  

Go here and download the patch for Easy CD Pro 95 and see if this helps your situation any and check out the post I left with possible solutions to buffer underruns, overruns.
If you have a lot of icons on your taskbar, then close all of them if you can. Disable any Screensavers. If you are writing a one off CD which you intend to close then write your CD from an ISO image. Don't try to write cd's direct from your other CD because the data transfer rate will be too slow.
BIGFOOTAuthor Commented:
It crashes anyway. Even form image files and I never enable Screen Savers while writing.

Rather at a real write then at a test run it seems to crash, but I don't think its the blanks because I tried different brands and they worked fine before.
Try Removing the Zip drive, its the slow link in the chain.

Make sure double buffering is enabled.

Does the CD Writer work perfectly as a reader. ie: no delays when searching for a file?

Did you disable your virusscanner...???
You probably did if you have but.. yust asking??

regards MC
BIGFOOTAuthor Commented:
zip disabled but still.....

no I don't use a virus scanner...

What part shell I DOUBLE BUFFER?

Works fine as a reader.

Double buffering is used for SCSI HD's it located in 2 places.

In the msdos.sys there should be a value for it. ( can't remember if its1 or 0 for enabled)
If you do a selective boot, you will be asked to enable double buffering.
Its also located in windows in system properties devices either in the hd controller or Hard drive   properties advanced.

Here's something for you try.

Install your cd using the DOS drivers for config and auto.
Then do a selective boot to load auto exec and config but don't load any windows drivers.
You will see the cd in safemode and provided the cd software doesn't complain, you might actually be able to do something.
If so, we can work from there to get windows running.

I had a buffer underrun many times with my burner and the problem was vibration. Try to place your burner on its own table since the vibration of the PC can force underruns.
BIGFOOTAuthor Commented:
Well the writer is located in the midi-tower....
BIGFOOTAuthor Commented:
Is it possible that the hardware side  of the cd-writer is the reason for all the error (i.e. it allready more than two years old.)?
I would have the drive looked at by a hardware technician.
Also try changing the SCSI ID to a higher one. Higher ID's have higher priorities and other devices may be simply blocking the CD writer from doing its thing. Try removing every device from your system that isn't needed to narrow down the problem.
BIGFOOTAuthor Commented:
I already did all that. But still... it doesn't work.
Also getting a technician to have a look at something which is worse less than he costs an hour is rather pointless.
a lot of software is incompatible with win98 and i epecially recall reading something by philips to that effect.
trt getting new drivers or an update for the software.

BIGFOOTAuthor Commented:
I tried Win 95 A and B as well as 98 and it all doesn't work.
You list your CD recorder as:

>  "CD-Writer = Philipps 2600 (SCSI)"

When visiting the Phillips site, I don't see this one listed.......
Is this the correct model number?
Are you still having problems with it?
Wow, you seem to be getting a lot of activity on this.  I think I might have a fix.  It has to do with drivespeed often or if you are trying to work with files over a network connection.  Also if you are writing tiny files (like a cache directory).

Try this instead.  In EasyCD writer create an ISO file which is an image of the CD.  Then create a new project where you write from an iso file.  This means that you will be streaming from a single file and not all over the place, eliminating a lot of disparate data reads.  When you have written the cd then delete your iso file.

Remember also to defrag your disk.  This will cause less jumping around.
BIGFOOTAuthor Commented:
And it still doesn't work.
What about the model number?
Do you have a modem or a ISDN Card installed in your system?
(I had the same problem with my AVM A1)
BIGFOOTAuthor Commented:
I havn't installed a modem or isdn-card.

The model number is Philipps CCD 2600.
EZ CD Creator has a test facility to check data transfer rates of HDD's and supported CD writers. Have you tried this.

Also check that you have enough virtual memory allocated for swap files, and that the temp file that your cd uses for buffering has enough space on the HDD. It uses this aswell as the onboard buffer ram on your CD writer.

If your CD laser is failing then normally you would get write errors, as opposed to buffer under-runs. It's sounds like a degradation in system performance for some reason.

Also try a different brand-name of CDR disk, just to eliminate a bad batch that you might have bought previously.
Look at the specifications for the CD and computer system.  Is the hard drive fast enough? (look at rpm specification of the hard drive and the rpm requirements of the CD recorder) Do you have enough memory (RAM)? Are you copying from the C drive? Is there enough disk space in the primary drive?
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