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Re: CD writer wear out?

On Tue, 2006-07-18 at 14:45 -0700, Cameron L. Spitzer wrote:
> I make a lot of Knoppix disks because the Green Party here
> gives them away.  I get CD drives used or salvage or surplus,
> all kinds and ages.  Over time I collected nine drives that
> stopped working: some wrote bad disks, others got read errors.
> Took the cases off and cleaned the lenses carefully with
> aqueous isopropyl "rubbing" alcohol on cotton swabs.
> Eight of the nine work perfectly now.  Try it.
> The key is to remove the extra alcohol before it dries and
> leaves a residue.  Use a wet swab and then a dry one.

Interesting.  Now I know why I have been keeping those CD burners that
work only half the time.

> Note, even a perfectly good brand new CD-RW drive will write
> bad CDs if you burn at full speed.  The maximum writing speed
> on modern CD blanks is very optimistic.  Try burning at half
> the automatically detected speed, or 16x, whichever is slower.
> You will get a much higher yield.  Your disks will be readable
> in marginal drives that can not read disks burned at full speed.

Before I learned this, I had some very annoying experiences with CDs!

> Also, don't waste your time with CD-RW media.  I have tried
> several brands and none erases well.  Second burn yield is
> under 50%.  Third burn is near zero.

Just for the record, I have never bought CD-RWs, but I have collected a
few (about 20) used ones.  The ones I have can be written at max 4x
speed, which is annoying.  However, I have had very little trouble with

I agree that they should not be used for any critical data.  I use them
only for testing/temporary burning.  Isn't it called "stuck bits" that
CD-RWs have after several burns?

Oh, and supposedly CD-RWs will last much longer than regular CDs.  Light
causes the dye in regular CDs to deteriate, but that takes much longer
with the dyes in CD-RWs.  (Okay, now everyone can pick that apart...
I've just "heard that" from someone.)

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