Discussion of game backup, reproduction, burning, and ripping. Covers ROM backup, cartridge reproduction, optical disc ripping, burning, and storage. Focus on archival purposes and not deceptive selling.
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Sarge
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Recommended modern-day burners for CD-Rs

by Sarge Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:58 pm

Pretty much as the title says, I'm looking to find out what the better burners are for CD-Rs. I supposedly had a decent one, an NEC ND-3540A, but I think that drive has started to die on me and is why I'm getting less than stellar burns. My old laptop drive also seems to be less than efficient for my purposes; it always was when I was doing PSX stuff, so its failure in Duo burning is unsurprising as well (although I figured those TYs would help more than they did).

I'd also take suggestions for reasonably priced older drives as well. I've got an external IDE enclosure that I use with that NEC, and I've got an old computer set up that would take one as well. External USB drives are also an option, although I suspect their quality will suffer compared to a dedicated internal drive.
Hardcore Retro Gaming - Talk about games ten years old or older!
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Re: Recommended modern-day burners for CD-Rs

by Exhuminator Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:44 am

Sarge wrote:although I figured those TYs would help more than they did

You've got good media now. There are other issues to consider.

Firstly, making sure you've got legit scene images, not fly by night rips.

Another issue could be; is the Duo's laser simply worn out? Maybe try a real Duo game in there and see how it holds up to the credits.

As far as burners go, I think you need to find an old one that supports at least 2x minimum speed burning. The faster a disc is burned, the fainter the dye is marked, and some old lasers simply can't read faint burns well. Even a 4x burn can be too faint for old lasers to read reliably. Hence a 2x burn (at most) is your best bet for archaic hardware readability.

If that Duo's laser is still fully functional, if you have a good source image, if you burn a TY disc at 2x (or 1x preferably), using ImgBurn with verify enabled, you should be in business.
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Re: Recommended modern-day burners for CD-Rs

by Sarge Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:13 am

I think it's the drives; changing media helps, but still poops out sometimes. Further on the disc, though, and it's consistent. Nothing I currently have will go below 4x, sadly.

For reference, I refer back to that Xak III burn. It's not a bad ISO as I thought, it's just whatever burner I used back in the day did a really good job burning that disc, even on lesser-quality media.

I've checked each one in emulators, compared TOCs at Necstasy, and used TOCChecker to make sure the rips are legit. In these cases, they are, I just get worse and worse results the further on the disc it goes.
Hardcore Retro Gaming - Talk about games ten years old or older!
“History isn't just the story of bad people doing bad things. It's quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” -- C.S. Lewis
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Re: Recommended modern-day burners for CD-Rs

by Anapan Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:50 am

Presently, I'm using an LG GH24NSC0 Sata drive. Cheap and effective (~$20 USD and by most accounts works great). All of my old CD based systems seem to be happy with the writes from these drives. Previously I had a few HP, and Creative drives get weak and burn bad discs.

A very long time ago (mid 2000's?), I heard that LG's PATA/IDE "GSA-H10N" model DVD burner had the best laser as far as longevity goes, and the laser diode was so powerful, that you could remove it and turn it into a powerful burning laser that could light matches, pop balloons and burn pictures into wood. I bought two of them fully intending to build a death ray out of one. Because the one I installed never failed or burned a bad disc, I've never used the replacement (Brand new - never used). Yours for the cost of shipping if you want a drive that's tested and NOS (tho it's from BC, Canada so It may not be worth the investment).

In the late 90's and early 2000's I had terrible trouble with failing optical burning drives and cheap media for my backups. I took to verifying burns and even double checking written discs with my read-only drive to root out problems and verify data integrity - I couldn't really afford to upgrade my hard drive space or my optical drive. My go-to app was Infinadyne's CD-DVD diagnostic. It could read out detailed statistics on the drive's ability to read the recorded data, and also recover data by reading the sectors multiple times if a read failure happened.
I'm sure there's better free programs now.
I've had to replace some console's optical reader assemblies, as that was more often than not the problem.

edit: Laptop drive replacement? I have a stack - if you're interested, again - cost of shipment. I guarantee that nearly all of them have never been used more than a handful of times as I know the previous owners only ever loaded office and quickbooks (that's why I kept them). Easy to replace with a single screw. Never heard anyone want one before.
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Sarge
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Re: Recommended modern-day burners for CD-Rs

by Sarge Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:39 am

Well, peeps, it looks like it's not my burners. It's the media, still. So I did some poking around (i.e. registered on pcenginefx.com), and the seller of my system hangs out there. I found some old Sony CD-Rs I'd taken to work. My first burn didn't work at all, but I'm starting to suspect a bad rip on that one. I burned Ys III, and the tracks at the end loaded perfectly, not a hitch. This was burned at 4x using my laptop burner, in the oldest of old school CDRWIN. (I don't think that part mattered, honestly. I actually am not sure if even the laptop part mattered.)

Either way, it looks like I have a way forward on my PC Engine burns. Thanks to everyone that helped me out, and if you ever get a Duo, just remember that sometimes, even Taiyo Yudens might not work properly. He said that sometimes, all of them will work with a console, some just with one or two brands. I clearly have the latter. (In his experience, Sony discs are the ones that consistently work, and TDKs, although I'm not sure those are produced anymore.) Either way, I am a very, very happy camper right now.

As for those TYs... well, maybe I should start diving into the world of PSX burns again. I bet I could use those to make some really nice discs for my old-school PlayStation. It's not modded, but I actually own one of those PSX-Change discs that sets up properly to do the swap trick. I never got to use it well because my burns never turned out quite right, but maybe it will now!
Hardcore Retro Gaming - Talk about games ten years old or older!
“History isn't just the story of bad people doing bad things. It's quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” -- C.S. Lewis
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Re: Recommended modern-day burners for CD-Rs

by Exhuminator Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:04 am

Sarge wrote:sometimes, even Taiyo Yudens might not work properly

I have to say, in all the years I've been using TY, and reading accounts of others using TY, I've never seen this brand fail, or cause any readability issues. I have to wonder if you ended up with some rebranded fakes. It is possible, sadly. TY forgeries are out there. I would appreciate a link to where you bought your TYs.

Since those Sony CD-Rs are old, there's a fair chance they are actually just rebranded TYs:

"Taiyo Yuden made the first CD-R disc. They worked with Sony & Phillips as one of Japan's largest chemical companies to make the dye which would store the data on the CD-R. Each disc is still made in Japan, in fact they are the only company in Japan that still makes CD-R, so if you see a "Made in Japan" on any CD-R disc, be it an Sony, Fuji or Imation, you know its made by Taiyo Yuden." ( http://www.tapecenter.com/taiyoyudencdrs.html )

Sarge wrote:and TDKs, although I'm not sure those are produced anymore

I don't know if TDK is still made. But TY used to manufacture CD-Rs for TDK.

At any rate, I'm just glad you found some CD-Rs that finally work with that curmudgeonly Duo! Please do join Bone and I in our micro cabin, sit by the fire, sip some cocoa, and trade stories of Far East adventures.
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Re: Recommended modern-day burners for CD-Rs

by Sarge Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:45 am

Well, given that the knowledgeable chap even said he had trouble with TYs on some units, I'm inclined to believe him. I'm guessing there's a very specific wavelength that is the sweet spot, and the Sony hits it. Or at least hopefully hits it; I still didn't get that 4-in-1 disc to work, and I think that the rip, after some work, is accurate. (I extracted using ISOBuster to ISO/WAV and used TOCFixer to verify. It said it's right.) I did burn that at 8x with the NEC drive, though, so the slower speed of the laptop drive may well be important. I was just happy to not see it choke at the end of Ys III.

Those Sony discs are old, but they're not that old. Probably circa 2010 or so. They do have a slightly lighter hue to them than the TYs. Just a hint of green, where the TYs are a bit darker (but still light) green.

I think the next thing I might try to do (other than attempting to get that 4-in-1 going; the only game it won't load properly is Bonk's Revenge, and the audio at the start) is find some 650MB Sony discs somewhere. I suspect that might help even more.

That, and I'm gonna burn that cool-looking shooter you beat the other day. :)
Hardcore Retro Gaming - Talk about games ten years old or older!
“History isn't just the story of bad people doing bad things. It's quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” -- C.S. Lewis
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Re: Recommended modern-day burners for CD-Rs

by Sarge Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:39 pm

So I ordered from here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/seller/a ... CJR7EZEX3Z

They appear to be out of the exact one I ordered, but here is the listing from another seller, and all the details match up with what I received on the discs.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007R ... UTF8&psc=1

ImgBurn identifies them as TY discs as well. There's a chance they could be fake, or they could be a bad batch. Apparently there was a period where there were a few bad ones floating around. Or, as mentioned earlier, this laser could just be goofy and not like them. If they crap out on some PSX burning, I may look at getting a refund, although I'm not honestly sure I want to go through the hassle.

UPDATE: Tried the 4-in-1, it works, although it sometimes misses the audio track for the intro and has to reset and try again. Bonk's Revenge actually loads correctly. Better than what I was getting! Going to look into a different burner. Might take you up on that offer if I don't turn something up, Anapan. :)
Hardcore Retro Gaming - Talk about games ten years old or older!
“History isn't just the story of bad people doing bad things. It's quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” -- C.S. Lewis
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Re: Recommended modern-day burners for CD-Rs

by Exhuminator Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:13 am

Sarge wrote:Those Sony discs are old, but they're not that old. Probably circa 2010 or so.

Taiyo Yuden produced CD-Rs for third parties until 2015, so that still falls within range.

Sarge wrote:J-CDR-ZZ-SK

I can't attest to that model particularly. The model I recommended when we first started talking about this was "TY80X52NP".

The reason why:

"This is the Taiyo Yuden brand Silver/Blue CD-R media that fully conforms to the "Orange Book Part II". This type of media consists of the standard silver surface and cyanine dye on the burning surface. This type of dye is most compatible media for older CD-R/RW DRIVES due to compatibility of a wide range of laser powers of CD-R/RW DRIVES and CD Players." ( http://www.tapecenter.com/taiyoyuden.html )

Sarge wrote:Or, as mentioned earlier, this laser could just be goofy and not like them.

Well, maybe that particular dye mix on that particular brand of TY you got, is simply not 100% simpatico with the Duo's laser. It's also possible that Duo's laser is actually flaking out. Have you ruled that out yet? Do you have a legit Duo game to play on it to completion?

Sarge wrote:Might take you up on that offer if I don't turn something up, Anapan.

I would definitely take him up on the offer. I mean if you can get down to burning 2x that would be ideal.
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Re: Recommended modern-day burners for CD-Rs

by CRTGAMER Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:27 am

Exhuminator wrote:
Sarge wrote:Those Sony discs are old, but they're not that old. Probably circa 2010 or so.

Taiyo Yuden produced CD-Rs for third parties until 2015, so that still falls within range.

"This is the Taiyo Yuden brand Silver/Blue CD-R media that fully conforms to the "Orange Book Part II". This type of media consists of the standard silver surface and cyanine dye on the burning surface. This type of dye is most compatible media for older CD-R/RW DRIVES due to compatibility of a wide range of laser powers of CD-R/RW DRIVES and CD Players." ( http://www.tapecenter.com/taiyoyuden.html )

Well, maybe that particular dye mix on that particular brand of TY you got, is simply not 100% simpatico with the Duo's laser. It's also possible that Duo's laser is actually flaking out. Have you ruled that out yet? Do you have a legit Duo game to play on it to completion?

Sarge wrote:Might take you up on that offer if I don't turn something up, Anapan.

I would definitely take him up on the offer. I mean if you can get down to burning 2x that would be ideal.

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That is interesting on the disc dye compatibility to new burners vs old burners. I remember that older CDRs tend to have a dark dye. Concur, that 2x better for burning PS1 games. Most backups work well at higher speeds, but PS1 discs seem to fare better at 2x. A trade off of buying a used burner to get the 2x vs the wear factor of the older drive, now a worry of obtaining compatible CDRs. Definitely avoid the re-writable CDR-RWs.

Exhuminator wrote:
Sarge wrote:and TDKs, although I'm not sure those are produced anymore
I don't know if TDK is still made. But TY used to manufacture CD-Rs for TDK.

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TDK CD-Rs and Maxwell DVD-Rs my pick
I have pretty good luck with TDKs which have a silver dye (not the bluish tint of the Taiyo Yuden) for my older burners and avoid the writable label design. Read some where the top label burn (maybe added weight?) compromised the data burn in some cases. DVD+R DLs easy to find, but I had to special order Phillips DVD-R DLs due to the obscurity locally. I find the DVD-Rs better for backup of videos and the DVD+Rs for creating your own video discs.

EDIT
I found out Frys no longer carries the older TDK 52x pictured above. Searched online and found even older TDK 48x which I remebered worked great, but some have a flat finish on top for writing with marker adding weight throwing off the burn. Prefer just shiny tops and burn at 8x or less anyways. Found an interesting perspective:

http://askdeanslist.blogspot.com/2009/03/what-is-difference-between-48x-and-52x.html

What is the Difference Between 48X and 52X CD-Rs?


Q: I noticed that some of your newer CD-R brands (like Falcon Pro) have write speeds of 48X, but other CD-R brands have write speeds of 52X. When is Falcon Pro coming up with a 52X speed disc?

A: The short answer is that 48X and 52X, in terms of media, are really the same thing. But, for the specifics, I turned to Fred Perez, National Sales Director, for Falcon Technologies International, makers of Falcon Pro media. Perez told me that the maximum speed of Recordable CDs, according to the Orange Book specifications, is 48X. "Originally, we decided to stick with this specification and only market our Falcon Pro as 48X certified," he said.

The recorder manufacturers are the ones that started marketing their recorders at 52X, this pushed media manufacturers to then market their media as 52X certified. "The reality," he said, "is you cannot achieve 52X record speeds. The maximum burn speed that I've ever been able to achieve is 47.2X with a full CD. The write speed starts off around 16X to 20X and climbs to about 47X for a full 700Mb CD, and then drops a little during the finalization of the disc."

That's why review sites, like CDFreaks, talk about how long it takes to burn a full disc at 40X or 48X speeds. The combination of the media quality and burn speed influence the overall time to complete the burn. It would be great to have a burner recorder at 48X speed for any size CD because then we could easily figure out the time it will take. Unfortunately, that is not the case, the amount of information on the disc coupled with recorder and media brand contribute to the overall burn time.

"Most folks are now purchasing combo DVD/CD recorders and these recorders are only certified to burn CDs at 48X or slower. The dedicated CD-R only recorders are going away - everybody is now using these combo DVD/CD recorders so this whole 52X vs. 48X is becoming less important." Having said that, Falcon is aligning its marketing materials with those of its competitors. Since Falcon actually certifies and tests its media on 52X recorders, their product packaging will soon say their CD-Rs are 52X compatible.
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