Buffer Underrun with Nero

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Todd Stout, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Screenwriter

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    I am having a hard time figuring this one out so maybe you guys can offer some suggestions?

    For about the last three weeks or so, I have been having problems burning data CD-Rs. Almost every time I have tried burning a group of files to a CD-R, I get a buffer underrun error. This has rarely if ever been a problem before with this PC. I am running an older Dell Dimension 8100 PC with a 1.8 Ghz P4 and 256MB of RAM with Windows XP Home and Nero 5.5.10.50. The CD-RW drive is a 12X Samsung SD-616 which came with the PC. The buffer underrun errors are occuring with different brands of media and at all burn speeds. Last weekend I defragged the hard drive (which took several hours to do) with a demo version of Diskeeper and that seems to have helped performance in other areas but not with CD burning. Yesterday, I tried running the Windows Disk Cleanup utility but after running it for about 4 hours, it appeared as though it was never going to finish so I stopped it. I believe it identified about 7GB worth of unneccessary files and was in the process of removing them but I needed to use the PC.

    Anyway, is there anything that you guys can think of that I can try to hopefully fix this annoying problem? I'd really like to free up some space on the hard drive in order to make room for some new software (ArcView 8.3) and it's associated files which can get rather large. I still have nearly 30 GB free but I'd just like to make a bit more room.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Does this burner drive have Burnproof technology built into it? If not, it's time to go buy a replacement burner drive with it because it'll be very rare to suffer those dreaded Buffer Underrun errors.
     
  3. DaveB

    DaveB Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe all new Lite-On models support buffer-underrun protection, and are affordable and reliable. I'm using a Plextor burner which I've had for almost 4 years and I've burned thousands of discs and never had a single burn error, but the Plextor drives tend to be a bit pricey.

    Also, the buffer underrun errors occur when you have more than one program running at once. You may want to try leaving the computer completely alone after you start your burn and don't touch it until it's finished -- don't even touch the mouse or keyboard and disable screen savers and other background programs. If you still get the errors I'd probably pick up a new Lite-On.

    David
     
  4. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    Also check and see if you can or have the drive in DMA mode under CD drives in the Device Manager.
     
  5. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Screenwriter

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    I do not believe that this CD-RW drive has burn proof technology built into it. In fact, I'm almost positive that it does not. I'll take a look into maybe getting a new drive.

    Also, I do not ever run any other software while burning CDs. I generally start the burn process and walk away from the PC for a few minutes. I am starting to think some sort of virus or spyware somehow got installed on this machine although Norton and Ad-Aware aren't finding anything wrong.

    I may actually need to buy a whole new PC now anyway. I installed the ArcView software that I need to run and it's giving this PC fits. The software runs painfully slow and even gets shut down by Windows doing what should be simple tasks. My PC more than meets the minimum system requirements for ArcView so I'm not sure what the problem is. The software runs fine at work with a 2.2Ghz P4 with 1GB RAM so think memory may be the culprit.

    Anyway... I'm going to keep trying to get my CD-RW drive to work in the meantime and I'm more than open to any more suggestions you guys may have. I am wondering if increasing the amount of RAM in this PC will help both problems that I am having? Unfortunately, this is a Dell that was made during the time that they used RDRAM which appears to be quite expensive. Doing a Google search I found 1GB of RDRAM for nearly $500.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    I swore off non-Burnproof burner drives because the ones with Burnproof are so cheap nowadays (especially on sale, usually less than $30), and that's worth it because I hated "holding my breath" when I was burning CD-Rs using a non-Burnproof burner drive (because you just never knew what might hose that particular burn session).
     
  7. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I have had a few "burning failed" errors in a couple of years with various Nero products :

    I became suspicious on one occasion and somehow pressed enough buttons to generate a "System resources are low" screen.

    Since then, altho I always take the precautions you do - defrag the drive occasionally, not run anything else when a disk is being burned, etc, but also, very importantly, REBOOT JUST BEFORE the burn to restore resources to the highest level possible.

    If you click on My Computer, On Properties, I think you get a Performance tab, where the resources free is expressed as a %. If this figure is low, after extensive use of the computer for a period of time, I understand it may not have the oomph to finish the burn properly. Rebooting should correct this (it brings me upto 88%).

    If you have Windows 98 or earlier this may be very important.
     
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    All these sorts of problems went away when I got a Liteon 24x10x40x CD burner with Burnproof 2 years ago. I never had to worry about the resources, or if anything else was running in the background, etc. Now that I also have a Liteon DVD burner, I still don't worry about these issues. Just click the burn button, and let it do its thing.

    Life's too short to deal with non-burnproof drives when they are so darn cheap.
     
  9. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

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    Sorry for checking in so late.
    I'm with Dave.
    Your computer is more than capable. The culprit will be an application(s) running in the background that initiates some sort of process that causes your system to burp during your burn. .
    The best course of action is to kill all but the minimum required apps running in the background. I have a 4 y.o 8 speed Plextor and have never had one failed burn from buffer underun.
    I unplug my internet connection, kill my screen saver, and everything except Systray and Explorer in Task Manager. (Win98SE)
    Despite how inexpensive discs are, I have an aversion around creating coasters that borders on close to some sort of "mental disorder".
     
  10. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Screenwriter

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    Thank you all for your replies. I am going to go back to trying to fix my CD burning woes as soon as I track down the cause of this problem. I am starting to think that something on a larger scale is wrong with this PC. I am about to try a repair installation of Windows XP if I can't figure out some other way to fix the problems I am having.

    I am really close to picking up a new tower (or building my own new tower) and setting it up with this one on a KVM switch so that I can run my GIS software more efficiently. That way I can have a secondary machine to keep my important memory hogging applications on while still having this machine to let the other users in the house do with as they please.
     

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