Problems reading a full capacity 700mb CDR

Posted on 2005-05-17
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
We have delivered blank 700mb Ritek CDs for customers to use. The problem that I am having is that they say although you can burn them to capapcity you cannot always view/use them. This would be fine is this is always the case but then they say that when they buy brand names CDs from Staples etc. those CDs work fine and have no problems.

There are obvious answers like change brands but is there a technical reason why you cannot always view a full burned 700mb CDR. Is there a lead-in? Does the computer sense this over capacity?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated as much money is at stake.

Question by:mohmedia
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    An 80min/700MB disc is not "over capacity" and there is no reason a reader would have trouble with such a disc based on this size (90-99min discs are another story). What's happening is that the writer is writing at a higher speed at the end of the disc and this produces a potentially lower-quality burn at the end. A modern writer might begin at 24x (or even slower) and end at 40x. But the reason is that you're using crappy discs. Ritek is known to have produced some of the worst CD-Rs made (their DVDs are better). My personal favorite is Taiyo Yuden, which you used to be able to buy as Fujifilm "Made in Japan" but now even they have switched to another maker of discs. But most name brands (avoid office supply "house brands") don't use the crappy Riteks.

    You could also tell your customers to try burning the Riteks at 16x or 24x max, but why should they trust their data to marginal discs? I'd also tell them to verify every disc burnt (regardless of brand) using a program that will check C2 errors such as the ScanDisc -> Surface Scan feature in Nero CD-DVD speed. I do this with every disc burnt. It will tell you if there are marginal sectors that might cause trouble later even if you are able to read them now.

    LVL 13

    Assisted Solution


    On the one hand, I agree with Tim that your problem is not precisely because of the size of the CD, it just sort of "seems" that way.

    However, optical drives have more problems reading at the outside edge, and fail first at the outside edge.  And DVD media, when it fails by delamination, literally and explicitly fails from the outside inward.  So the closer your data runs to the outside edge, the more problems you can expect to have, in general.

    I still don't rule out, however, that you are just having "general" problems with your media and/or your burner.  Sure, you are having problems reading the disks and the disks are full, but it's a leap from those two fact to conclude that the problems are occuring because the disks are full.  You may just have either poor quality media, and/or you may just have a marginal burner.  And in either case, the problem migh manifest itself most obviously towards the outside edge but, at the same time, it might be just about as bad if the disc was only half full.  The only thing that can be said with certainty is that a good burner, with a good media, will produce a full disc (700 MB) that a good drive can read reliably.  Somewhere, you are missing one of those components (and the problem could be on your customer's end, by the way).
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    I picked bad media as the low hanging fruit due to the combination of Ritek, the fact that the customers reported good results with other media, and my assumption that "customers" meant different customers using different hardware, which would reduce the effect of the other variables. But I can see the question could be talking about a single customer with this problem.

    One thing to have the customers try is doing C2 scans (using CD-DVD speed, available with the Nero package or free at, or using other similar software) of the "bad" discs and see where the patterns of yellow and red are. And they could try this on burns using "good" media and see if there's any yellow, which might indicate other hardware problems). This might also help separate media and hardware problems from any OS, application, or PEBCAK (user induced) problems also.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    Although my suggestion is going to be more "myth than fact" I have found that certain cd drives that were made "in the early days" such as the one in my 1996 truck cannot read cd's that are written with more data than about 640MB.

    I believe this is due to the original ISO specification being limited to this amount, therefore, drive heads were made to only move so far from the inside to the outside of the drive. Makes sense to me, so I believe it.

    Also, there is definitely the case where cd's created using proprietary read/write/rewrite formats to appear as a usable drive end up being unable to be read by drives that are not as old as the one in my truck (which is audio only), but also cannot be read by computer/laptop drives that are not very new either.

    Moral: Older drives can run into limitations when newer burn techniques are used to create them.

    Sounds good to me...
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment


    No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
    I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:
    Split: TimEliseo, Watzman

    Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

    EE Cleanup Volunteer

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