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Burning Data DVDs

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Workshop

Review the questions and answers in this section to reinforce your data DVD creation techniques. Also, take a few moments to tackle the short quiz and the exercises.

Q&A

  1. I put a DVD-R disc in my drive and nothing happens. Windows XP fails to display that pop-up interface asking me whether I want to open a writable folder. I can copy and paste files to that drive, but when I click Write These Files to a CD, I get an error message.

  1. Windows XP's new optical disc creation software does not work with DVDs. If you want to use that basic file management software, simply rely on CD-R/RW discs instead of DVDs.

  1. How can my PC DVD recorder have a 6X DVD read speed and a 24X CD read speed?

  1. DVDs have seven times the capacity as CDs. DVD data are packed much more tightly than CD data. So, if a drive spins at the same rotational speed, data flows off a DVD about seven times faster than off a CD. But all that DVD data flow does create a bottleneck at higher speeds. Therefore, it's not a straight 7:1 ratio at all rotational speeds. Nevertheless, a 6X DVD rate equals 7.5MBps throughput and a 24X CD rate equals 3.6MBps. DVDs can have lower rating numbers but decidedly faster true data transfer rates.

Quiz

  1. Windows XP's My Computer CD recording module offers two ways to tell it which files to copy. What are they?

  2. How do you test your DVD recorder's DVD and CD record speeds?

  3. How do you ensure you don't try to burn too much data to a disc?

Quiz Answers

  1. I like the copy/paste and right-click approach. Select the files you want to copy, right-click them, select Copy, right-click your DVD recorder drive letter, and select Paste. Method #2 uses the Files and Folders Tasks window in My Computer. Select the files you want to copy; then, in the File and Folder Tasks window, select Copy the Selected Items. Finally, in the pop-up Copy Items window, select the DVD drive and click Copy.

  2. Before you click the Record button, note the total size of the files you're copying and check the time. Then, click Record. When you're finished, calculate the elapsed time and divide that into the total file size. For a CD, divide that answer by 150KB, the standard 1X rate. For a DVD, divide by 1.25MB, which is equivalent to 1X in DVD parlance.

  3. If you rely on Windows XP's CD creation module, you need to do the addition yourself. My Computer will note how much free space the recordable CD has, and you need to be sure you don't exceed it. PrimoDVD (and other bundled optical recordable media tools) tracks that for you as you add files to the queue.

Exercises

  1. Make a backup disc of all your critical files. If you think those files will exceed 700MB, use a DVD. You might consider using rewritable discs to do backups on a regular basis or, as you update files, simply replace the old ones on the disc.

  2. Make a CD-to-CD or DVD-to-DVD copy using PrimoDVD or whatever bundled CD/DVD creation software came with your DVD drive. If you have more than one drive, that simplifies things, but try it using only one drive. Try to copy a DVD movie and see how that works. Depending on the copy protection scheme, you will probably get a disc read error.

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