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700 mb cd-rw only able to hold 570mb...

Posted on 2004-04-16
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I use briefcase files saved on cd-rw's to keep business files up to date and backed up. I noticed recently that I'm only able to save about 570mb on cd-rw's labeled 800mb. What is the explanation for this?
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Question by:cdcatais
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Luniz2k1 earned 50 total points
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If you are burning the cd in UDF Packet Writing mode, as such with DirectCD, or any burning software that treats the cdrw as a hard drive:

The ISO 9660 standard which has been applicable to CD-ROMs since their inception, has certain limitations which make it inappropriate for DVD, CD-RW and other new disc formats. The UDF ISO 13346 standard is designed to address these limitations. Specifically, packet writing isn't entirely compatible with the ISO 9660 logical file system since it needs to know exactly which files will be written during a session to generate the Path Tables and Primary Volume Descriptors, which point to the physical location of files on the disc. UDF allows files to be added to a CD-R or CD-RW disc incrementally, one file at a time, without significant wasted overhead, using a technique called packet writing. Under UDF, even when a file is overwritten, its virtual address remains the same. At the end of each packet-writing session, UDF writes a Virtual Allocation Table (VAT) to the disc that describes the physical locations of each file. Each newly created VAT includes data from the previous VAT, thereby letting UDF locate all the files you've ever written to the disc.

    By mid-1998 two versions of UDF had evolved, with future versions planned. UDF 1.02 is the version used on DVD-ROM and DVD-Video discs. UDF 1.5 is a superset that adds support for CD-R and CD-RW. Windows 98 provides support for UDF 1.02.  However, in the absence of operating system support for UDF 1.5, special UDF driver software is required to allow packet-writing to the recordable CD formats. Adaptec's DirectCD V2.0 was the first such software to support both packet-writing and the random erasing of individual files on CD-RW media. The DirectCD V2.0 software allows two kinds of packets to be written: fixed length and variable length. Fixed length packets are more suitable for CD-RW in order to support random erase, because it would be daunting (and slow) to keep track of a large, constantly-changing file system if the packets were not written in fixed locations.

    The UDF 1.5 solution is far from ideal however. Quite apart from the difficulties caused by lack of operating system support, there are other issues. The major drawback is that fixed-length packets (of 32KB as per the UDF standard) take up a great deal of overhead space on the disc. The available capacity of a CD-RW disc formatted for writing in fixed-length packets is reduced to about 550MB. In practice, however, the capacity of a UDF-formatted disc is reduced still further as a consequence of DirectCD's built-in features to increase the longevity of CD-RW media.  
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by:cdcatais
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would using xp pro's built in cd writing help at all?
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by:Luniz2k1
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Windows XP's Drag and Drop CD Burning would use the same UDF format.  Your best bet to get all of the space available is to burn the cd with a program such as Roxio Easy CD Creator or Nero Burning Rom and burning a data cd.
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by:danper
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UDF has to reserve space for the file system itself, so you got less space than your cd can store.
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