Computer Buying
Computer Building
The Webcast
The Forum
Monthly Broadcast
Why Widescreen?
HDTV Images
How can I prevent creating "coasters" with my computer CD recorder?
Anyone who has ever burned a recordable CD has done it: created a disc that is useless and is good for nothing other than being used as a drink coaster. While newer software, media and drives have made these very rare, there are some ways to help increase your odds of recording a good disc.

- Verify your data: One major cause of creating coasters is not having the correct data (or having corrupted data) on the disc. Make sure all files are working and you have have everything in order before you press the record button.

- Record an image to your hard drive first: When duplicating a disc, don't record directly from one CD to another. Instead, tell the duplicating software to record a temporary image of the data to your hard drive prior to burning. This will reduce errors caused by the lower read speed of CD drives.

- Watch you speed: Make sure the media you are recording to can handle the record speed you choose. If your recordable discs can only handle 8x recording, don't set your drive to 14x.

- Check your media: While many people have good results with even the cheapest of discs, test the brand you wish to use before you start cranking out copies your photo discs and sending them to friends and family. Some recorders simply don't work well with certain brands. In addition, take a look at the recording surface of the disc to be sure it isn't damaged prior to recording on it. Scratched discs can result in data loss.

- Check your System: An older computer may not have the horsepower necessary to burn a CD correctly. Even with a newer system, be sure you have enough memory to avoid overrunning the write buffer.

©Copyright 2003-2005 Kimberlite Productions
No part of this site may be reproduced or redistributed without written permission.

Some of the tips and advice may void your equipment or service warranty. When in doubt, consult your owners manual and/or seek professional assistance. does not recommend performing any task that may damage your equipment, void your warranty or violate applicable laws. Since laws vary, depending upon your location, check local regulations regarding any activities you choose to engage in.