Limitations & assumptions in CD burning


Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
I tried to burn a single 400MB (or so) file to CD, and it got stuck for hours partway through. Is there a file size limit in the burning process? It was a blank CD, and I asked to have it treated like as USB stick when prompted, which I seem to recall was similar to UDF packet writing. In case it matters (I suspect it doesn't), it was a zip file of selected parts of a file tree.
After cutting up the coaster & disposing of it, I tried again, but this time, I descended to selected nodes in the subtree and zipped selected sub-subtrees (i.e., nodes in the subtree that I zipped up above), then got rid of the sub-subtree for which I had created a zip file. It seemed to work fine this time. However, when I ejected the CD, Windows said to wait while it closed the session so that it could be used in other computers. Hopefully, that doesn't mean finalizing the disc, i.e., I can still write (overwriting some files if desired) as if it was a USB stick.
P.S. From a quick google, I didn't come across a mention of some file size limit that people were running into.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
5,063
Reaction score
1,185
Windows said to wait while it closed the session so that it could be used in other computers. Hopefully, that doesn't mean finalizing the disc
Unfortunately that is the only time I know of that you would ever get that particular message. The good news though is you can finalize the disk anytime. I personally don't use procedures that would require finalizing. I usually prepare all my data to burn-at-once. Burn-at-once includes the allocation table for all the data during burn. Without the allocation table other systems may not know how to treat the data stored on the disk. This is what Finalizing is for. This allows you to add data through many sessions and then finish the disk later by including the allocation table when Finalized.
 

TrainableMan

^ The World's First ^
Moderator
Joined
May 10, 2010
Messages
9,353
Reaction score
1,587
Unless you use a CD-RW disk you cannot rewrite, whether you say it's a USB or not. Even a CD-RW disk doesn't work like a USB, all that happens is a layer is burned to wipe out the old and a new layer is written; I seem to recall this is limited to about 50 rewrites before it can no longer be rewritten successfully.

At one time there was a method to not finalize a CD so you could reuse it. Basically each time you burned the information it would burn a new header further and further towards the center of the CD until it finally ran out of space. Even though it was burned similar to a record album the header made only the most recent "track" useable and only from the exact same CD burner that created it; so if your CD burner died and had to be replaced you information was lost. This ability seems to have disappeared (EDIT: on my machine, as it appears to still work for Clifford [but]) I haven't seen it in years.

So yes finalized means it is done and cannot be rewritten unless it is a CD-RW disk. (EDIT: But closed rather than finalized may allow you to write a new "track" and would function similar to rewriting except eventually the disc runs out of writable space)

As for your other issue, at one time (WinXP) there was a folder/folder/filename limit of 260 characters and it may still be that way with CDs. With Unicode you should be able to go to 32000 characters but maybe thats just DVDs.

CDs are ancient history. You could buy rewritable DVDs but even that media is on death's door. If you want to rewrite then plug in a USB stick!
 
Last edited:

TrainableMan

^ The World's First ^
Moderator
Joined
May 10, 2010
Messages
9,353
Reaction score
1,587
So you still can write without finalizing Clifford? Some update I performed years ago did away with that capability. I can't remember if it was a firmware update or software but afterwords, I just plugged in a USB stick and never looked back.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
5,063
Reaction score
1,185
So you still can write without finalizing Clifford?
I wasn't trying to imply otherwise. During the beginning that was the case though, as only the first session could be read by some readers no matter how many was written. That was ages ago though, no need in worrying about it now.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
I am reminded that closing the session differs from finalizing the disc, so I am reassured that I can still write incrementally to it. I've tried various 3rd party apps, but Windows 7's native capability is so convenient. I'd rather find a way to make that work if possible.

As for CD-RW, I never use those. Too slow to write and CD-R's are more reliable for longevity. I understand that I don't really re-write when using CD-R, but apparent rewriting is all I'm after. This I can get in Windows 7 by choosing to write to it like a USB stick (the Microsoft colloquialism for UDF packet writing) and by not finalizing the disc. I know that the old stuff is still there, and I know that I can access it using 3rd party apps, but I'm not really after forensics. Just incremental backing up using the convenience of Windows 7 rather than 3rd party apps.

The full file paths being written in the initial burn that failed might have skirted 260 characters, but I would have thought that if that was the limit I was breaching, there would be warnings of this before I actually initiated the burn. I realize that Microsoft is not always know for reasonably behaved SW, but that is not something I would expect even M$ to overlook. It must have been something else :| .

Understood that discs are history, but it just feels much more reliable to have backups on media that doesn't rely on proper functionality of electronics on the media itself. In the final analysis, I'm not sure if this bias is rational. USB's nonvolatile memory -- not sure how reliable that is long term. Yes, I know that the same can be said of passive media....oh the options....

Discs are much cheaper. I can incrementally backup many tens of GBs of data for dirt cheap more likely to be DVDs than CDs these days), but that would be one stick. Also, it's easy to file away discs in an orderly manner. Not so with USBs. Simple logistical reasons for my bias. Also, if a disc fails, then only so much data is lost. If a USB stick fails, that's a huge volume of data lost.
 
Last edited:
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
I did research that solution before. I like the convenience of simple zip files, accessible on any machine, and not needing recovery apps.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Similar Threads

HDD Limitations? 13
Win7 Starter limitations ? 3

Top