Win98: can't copy CD to CD-R

I'm helping out a friend with his computer.  The problem is that it won't copy from the CD-ROM drive (e:) to the CD-RW drive (f:) directly.  I can use the E: drive to rip a CD without problems at about 7x-8x speed which is about what I get with my 40x CD-ROM on another system.  I can then write that data to a CD-R with the F: drive at 8x speed (1200 kb/sec) without problems.  But if I try to copy directly from E: to F: (simultaneously) I consistently get a buffer underflow error after 5-10 minutes and the copy is automatically aborted.  When the reader and writer obviously work fine independantly, I have a hard time figuring out a possible cause for them to fail when operating simultaneously.

The CD-ROM (E:) is on the same IDE port as the hard drive (C:) - they are both on IDE1, the hard drive is the master and the CD-ROM is the slave.  The CD-RW is the only thing using the secondary IDE port (and is the master on that line).

Other stats for the machine: 333MHz Celeron, 64MB SDRAM, ~3 GB hard drive, 2MB video SGRAM.  I don't know for sure, but I suspect that it has a 100MHz bus.  I think the CD-ROM (E:) is a Goldstar 40x, and the CD-RW (F:) is an HP 32x read / 8x write / 4x rewrite.

Any ideas on why they won't work together or how to get them to work together would be much appreciated!
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telebasicsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
winbeartx - i agree at that, but only if you get errors you should first read it slowly to disk and then burn it to CD.
It used to be that you couldnt even do cd to cd copies without SCSI, and thats how we approach that issue here at FA.  The error you're getting, if i recall correctly, is the result of either the cd or cdr being too slow and the data's suddenly not there when it needs it.  Since you can't just pause a write, it gets the error and chokes therein destroying the disk.

My old roommate had this problem fairly often on a K63-500 system using a HP 8xx series cdr and a 32x cd rom.  Some would work cd-cd, others would have to go cd-hd-cd.

Your cd program should have the capability to do a cd-hd-cd from the CDR itself, some cd's require to be ripped from the cd device which will be doing the burning.
risAuthor Commented:
OK, that's basically my assessment of the situation as well - that I'll just have to do CD-HD-CD copies instead of CD-CD copies.  I was just wondering if there was any way to synchronize the data transfers or slow down the write operations or something so that the reader would be able to keep up with the writer.  Sounds like there isn't a way though...
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The software which comes with the HP cdr had a cd-hd-cd option which would copy the cd and then burn it again without any extra steps other than swapping the cd when required.  It would write the image to a temp file on your hd.  It was pretty quick.

Sorry i'm not of more help.  Maybe someone with more experience will propose a better solution.
risAuthor Commented:
I'm familiar with the application you're talking about for cd-hd-cd copying and I suspect that that or some similar route will always be required for copying CDs on this machine.

If nobody with any special tricks for dealing with this stuff comes along pretty soon to help me out, I'll give you the points for at least letting me know that someone else couldn't solve this problem either.
The HP usually comes with Easy CD Creator. If that is what you have go to the help section and read the info it gives. Ed is right that the primary cause is the buffer running dry. One of the major reasons for that is another program running that calls on the processor. All it takes is a second and you got a coaster.
Disable all other programs you can before the burn, especially virus programs. Run a complete test on all the drives from the software that came with it. You can slow the write speed down from within the program. Your system sounds like it can do it, it just takes a lot of tinkering. IDE isn't very good at CDR.
If the comp uses UDMA33 or UDMA66 you can forget it, also you say that you CD rip works at about 7x or 8x and the bruner works at a steady 8x, with these speed it is abvious the source is slower than the destination, burning a cd requires a constant feed of data and can;t wait for it (creating a buffer under run error).
The only thing a can't accept is that a 40x cd player runs at a 7x ripping speed, it should be able to run at a 32x withou problems (unless there is Udma33 enabled)

You should disable Udma on a machine that copies CD's from IDE to IDE

It is solvable, so don't give to fast yet.
I'd suggest to burn at 4x speed, it should be adjustable in the burning software.
risAuthor Commented:
How do I tell if UDMA is enabled, and how do I disable it?

Also, my home system (different machine than I'm talking about with this question) has a 40x CD-ROM that only rips at about 7x - I thought that was normal since they say "40x MAXIMUM" like you never actually get that much...I'd like to improve that if I can, too, and this UDMA stuff sounds promising.

What's UDMA for anyway?  Is it the same as DMA?  I know what DMA is, and I know that I left the boxes checked for it in the settings for the drivers for both the CD-ROM and writer on my friend's system.  Can you tell me what the disconnect option is all about?  The help offered by windows says that it is only for SCSI drives, so I disabled it, but then on startup the computer compained that the disconnect option was diabled for my CD-RW and that it was recommended to enable it.
The UDMA and DMA for all intents and purposes is the same as far as setting it goes. You turn it off at the settings tab in the properties Window
<I know that I left the boxes checked for it in the settings for the> DMA and UDMA is an interface that the device uses. UDMA is 33mbs and DMA is half that or less.
You may also try some other burning software.  I found NERO, sorry dont have a link here with me, solved most of my CD to CDR problems.  The software deployed by HP seems to be inhibited and if not inhibited you may just need to got the the HP site and look for any patches for the software and also the notorious HP firmware upgrades.


Another thing that you can try is to slow down the burn process so that the other cd rom will have an easier time keeping up with the burner.  Instead of writing the cd at 8x have it write at 4x.  it will take longer to burn the cd but will not take as long as doing a cd-hd-cd copy and should stop the buffer underruns.  You should be able to change this option in your software.

The web site for nero is:

The latest version (with the latest patch) copies CD's on the fly fine and dandy.
I have a hpCDRW 8100i4x that came with easycd-creator. I now also use Nero. I belive I turned off the option for disk-at-once one time to correct the problem you are describing.
Turning of the check box on your CD settings tab for DMA wont be enough, rerun the IDE Driver installation and select Deactivate UDMA, Udma is a new way of copy files between to disk's. Instead of letting you OS do the copying now the OS only gives the order and the UDMA controller does the rest, leaving you Processor alone so it can doe other things. Since Burning Cd's requires action's from the software it fails burning when this option is enabled.

I don't know how to increase the ripping speed of your CD player (trie the CD cache), but do know that my Aopen 48x cd player rippes at a speed of 40x and my 36x scsi player rippes at a cool speed op 32x, so not having any buffer under runs at all. If you can't find a way to increase the CD ripping speed you will have to decrease the burning speed if you will like to do direct CD copies (6x will do it). It won't be enough to do cd-hd-cd copies since the first action will go on 7x speed (about 8 min) then a burn at 8x speed (about 5 min) and a cd-cd copie at 6x will goe in about 10 min, still faster.
My name is MudSystems EngineerCommented:

You don't even have to disable the IDE in the MB, so you'll have 8 IDE DEVICES in one box... [I have 3 HDD, 1 40xCD and 1 2x32xCD-RW, planning on buying a DVD, and two more HDD of 20Mb], and 'bout the price, well is ~50 bucks, the FAST TRACK, which i haven't found, is like ~150 bucks...
1. Turn off Dma

if that is not enough

2. Put CD in the same IDE channel as CD-RW. Jumper CD as slave.

I know the latter proposition is against all theories but at least in two combinations ( Mitsumi-WD-ToGo-8xCD probably Funai and HP9XXX-EasyCD-40X ) was the only way to make CD>CDRW work.

Word of caution. This way Hard disk>CDRW copying may demand making an image of CD beforehand  
This may be something to do with the CD you are trying to copy.  If the CD you are trying to copy was not defragged well before burning then the data is splashed all over the cd.  If this is the case the reader has to jump all-over the place to get relevant files, and the net speed is low.  Because the CD burner does not "access" different areas, it just smoothy burns its way round the CD, the reader cannot keep up.  
I have been able to burn some cd's fine, but some cd's with lots of small files all over the place (lots of accesses all over the disk) cant be burned cd-cd.

Hope this helps
Direct copy process involve moving the data from the Source through the Buffer to the target. Your CD-Rom reading 7X to 8X and which is sometimes sligltly slower than your Recorder, that will cause the problem you mention.

Solution, minimize your Windows CD-Rom reading Cache. Creat CD-Image on HD before actual recording with 8X. If you must use record-on-the-fly, with 7X to 8X read speed, please switch to 4X record Maximum.

I think the problem can be solved!
risAuthor Commented:
sorry I haven't been replying to all of these great comments.  I am passing this info on to my friend who's computer is the issue at hand here and I'll let you know what works for him as he lets me know what's he's tried.  Currently I believe he is exploring: DMA on/off and IDE adapter cards.

I don't believe that fragmentation on the CD is an issue.  For one thing, the software should be doing an bitwise image copy, which is ignorant of files and their order on the drive.  For another, he primarily wants to do music CDs, which are a collection of only a few unfragmented files.

Skiike ~ your second suggestion is, I believe, how things were originally set up with the IDE channels before I first looked at the computer in question (CD+CDRW on IDE2 w/CD as slave) - and it wouldn't do direct CD-CDR/W copies.  Interesting suggeston though, and I'll be sure to keep it in mind for future troubleshooting...

telebasics ~ do you have a super-fast IDE bus on your machine that can handle CD ripping speeds of 40x+?  Because I've played with my settings a lot and I can't get any ripping above 8.5x with my 40x drive, and it isn't really reliable unless I do synchronous ripping, which means I can't get speeds higher than 7.5x.  I suspect that my IDE connection just doesn't have that kind of bandwidth.  I'm just wondering if you have extra high bandwidth on your IDE connection which would explain to me why you get such fast ripping speeds.
The ripping speed isn't totaly limited by you IDE (i have a udma66) but also by the manufacterer of cd-rom drive some plextors read easely with a 16x ripping speed on a udma33
risAuthor Commented:
ho yin leung ~ I'm rejecting your answer because I don't think you understand my question.  I can burn CDs.  The problem is copying directly from one CD to another, so telling me to create an image of the CD on the hard disk before copying to the CD is just useless information to me because I know it works that way (and I thought I said as much)

To clarify again what my problem is: I want to copy directly from a CD to a CDR/W.  I will not accept any solution which requires that I make a hard disk located image of the CD to burn before burning because that is exactly what I am trying to avoid - it takes extra time and personal attention.  I want to be able to stick the CD I want to copy in my CD-ROM drive and a blank CD in my CD-RW drive, click a couple of buttons, and have it work.  Currently it gives a buffer underrun error a little ways into copying and I end up with a ruined blank CD.

telebasics ~ Your last comment was over my head, but I'm trying to understand.  I have a 40x CD-rom drive (I don't know what brand) that never rips faster than 8x.  I see few possible reasons for this:
1) my IDE bus is not fast enough to transfer 5mb/sec (what would be required by 40x ripping)
2) The advertisement of "40x max speed" is a misleading statement which should have been written "the drive can spin the CD at 40x speed, but can't extract information from it nearly that fast"
3) I am trying to use a direct memory addressing scheme to talk to the CD drives (UDMA) which is slowing me down - though why DMA slows it down is a mystery (theoretically, DMA should be faster than other access methods)

Is there something else that I have control over?  Somebody mentioned minimizing the CD read cache.  I see two possibilities with how that would work: either it is actually used like a memory cache in which case it is only hindering me at all times (regardless of its size) because I'm not repeating any reads from the CD (100% cache misses!) or it actually works like a buffer, in which case a larger one will provide more reliable uninterupted data transfer while reading from the drive.
Sorry, I think my comments would be contradicted with Skiike's previous comments.

Instead of putting CD in the same channel as CD-RW, I would suggest you to split the CD and CD-RW drive into different IDE channel. (HD+CDRW on IDE1 w/CDRW as slave and CD on IDE2) OR (HD+ CDRW on IDE1 w/CD as slave and CDRW on IDE2)

You can give it a try if you think it is worth it.

p/s: Personally, I believe that connecting the both CD devices to a same IDE channel will slow down the performance.
My name is MudSystems EngineerCommented:
You can't mix IDE and ATAPI [well actually you can, but is not a good idea]...
A udma33 has a transfer of 33Mb/s and a udma66 66mb/s so that's realy not the prblem, but ripping audio or tracks of a cd is something else than copy data from cd, th 40x states it can copy data at 5 mb/s (in most cases it realy stay's around 32x or something depending on the size of the files (the smaller the slower) you IDe bus can easely transfer this. CD ripping is another action and just like buying a 8x DVD wich shuold be a 40x cdrom) it can easely be that altough it realy does read DVD at 8x it anly plays cdrom at a 32x it is another action with different speed's the same goes for your CD-rom drive it can read data at 40x but audio at 7x, another pplayer can read 40x data and 16/32x audio. Depending on the drive, it's not a matter of speed of the data part its a limitation in your player.

Therefor is one player $200 and another $50 but both 40x

Hopes this explains my earlier comment better.
Oh i forgot, you udma isn't slowing it down, but the danger for having Dma enabled on the ide channel your cd drives are on is that you Udma controller takes over the action of copying data so wanting to copy the data to fast to the burner wich spins out of control.

I have seen this problem several times and disabling the udma was always the sollution. A sympthome may be that the software burns in 1/2 minutes to 90% (wich is realy fast) and then fails
Have you tried dropping your recording speed when you do CD-CD? 1x or 2x?

From Adaptec's page on Buffer Underruns:
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.)

Setting hard drive read ahead optimization to "none" may cure buffer underruns in some cases. (Go to the Start menu | Settings | Control Panel | System
| Performance | Advanced Settings/File System | Hard Disk and set "Read-ahead optimization" to "None.")

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.
risAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone for all of your insightful comments so far!  I've passed all this info along to my friend and will let you know what the problem was if/when he finally fixes it.

In the mean time, feel free to keep the comments rolling - I find this all very interesting and every bit of information helps! :)
Well I initially looked at this thinking ok I had a similar problem
with an HP CDRW but then noticed He's not talking data he's talking
Music... so.. therefore I won't be able to give much insight.

but here goes with what info I can offer. log system off network if it is on one, log out of internet if connected, the rest of shutdown of programs as mentioned above includeing everything that is in systray.
defrag the drive that is set for temp files before the burn
it's a music CD.. turn the write speed on cdr down to 2X
no audio CD is ever faster than that.
having it so cd and cdrw are on separate channels is a good idea
find a ramdrive program for your operating system and if
you have enough memory set up a ramdrive for temp files
(hmm 700 mb ram? drool... :) <no I don't have that much> :(
I've found that to get a nice clean burn every time
no matter what the data is from  make an image file and burn
however it does tend to just about double the time to burn

And No I dont expect that I really answered anything (just put my
two cents in is all)
risAuthor Commented:
When you copy music at faster than 1x, isn't it the same as data?  I mean it transfers it across the IDE data cable, so it's synonymous with data transfer.  If you make a copy of a data CD or a music CD, who cares which it is?  As far as the computer is concerned, both should be just a bitwise copy of the data on the CD, be it music or a FAT file system.

Tascan - that's an interesting suggestion to make a RAM drive and copy the whole CD contents to that and then from there to the blank CD.  Unfortunately, it's just not practical for lack of 700 MB of RAM (I don't know if my friend's motherboard could even support over 512 even if he could afford the $1000 to buy all that RAM) and because it would be a significantly slower copy than just going directly from CD to CD.  It's a very interesting suggestion though.
The transfer across the bus really is the same, but reading it from the CD is different (why do you think it's called an audio track), the player needs to read it different than audio.
Digital Audio Extraction becomes less reliable at higher speeds. Take a look at any good CD-ripper and you'll find ripping at faster speeds results in poorer files or errors.
Tascan - I can do direct audio to cd at 8x at my system.
The big difference is that i use a scsi burner and a scsi source wich reads audio at 16x (a 32x cdrom) my 8x speed DVD player goes even faster but a have that 32x so why not use it...

The difference i already explained several commants above, read it.

So to do CD-CD audio copies (and maybe data) you will need a better (not faster) cd-drive, A-Open or plextor will do the job (about 100 dollar i gues) i am from holland so i don't know prices in the rest of the world.
risAuthor Commented:
My friend who's computer we're talking about here just found out that he has the option to upgrade his CD-RW to the same model of drive, but in a SCSI.  I told him he should do it.

He has a print-out of this and about 7 other similar discussions that are just overwhelming him right now.  I'm sure the answer we're looking for is in all this information somewhere given the time to try more of it.

It could be quite some time before it's all straightened out, so I'm going to just award the points to telebasics for giving the most prolific comments on this problem.  Thank you very much for all of your thoughtful insights, telebasics and everyone else!
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