Any Experience With M-Disc?

Discussion in 'Optical & Backup Drives' started by cybereality, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. cybereality

    cybereality [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,381
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    I recently bought a Blu Ray burner (LG WH16NS40) and I'm liking it so far. I've burned some BD-RE discs and those work fine. Will probably use them in UDF mode for file backups on my projects.

    However, I got some Verbatim M-Discs and they don't seem to work. Tried burning using Windows file explorer in UDF mode, and the files didn't get written correctly (the filenames showed, but with 0 file size and un-openable). So far I tried with 2 discs and not only did they not burn right, I got BSODs in Windows when trying to load the disc. Stability is my main concern, I don't want any crashes.

    Has anyone had success with M-Disc or can recommend settings or something to make this work? Normal Blu Rays should last long enough, but I did kind of like the idea of 1,000 year backups.
     
  2. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

    Messages:
    5,725
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    I can't speak for M-Disc Blu-ray media but here's my recent experience finally making use of M-Disc DVD-R media to burn off some stuff that I consider to be irreplaceable and not worth trusting to "cloud" storage or local hard drives, etc.

    I have an LG external USB burner that's M-Disc capable and I ordered a 25 pack of Verbatim M-Disc just a few weeks ago actually, my first time actually deciding to make use of them. Here's the link and no I don't have a referral thing, this is a direct product link:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B011PZA68Y/?coliid=I2BA3M21EZDNMP

    I know that Millenniata (the creators of M-Disc technology) and Verbatim struck up a deal a few years ago to reduce the general price of M-Disc media at least under the Verbatim brand name so that could be a reason this 25 pack is so inexpensive by comparison to other brands. I know that people recommend Panasonic optical media (as well as Taiyo Yuden products which I have used in the past with 100% success) but the Panasonic branded media is crazy expensive. I mean if you think about it M-Disc media is designed to last for a really really long fucking time so if any company making M-Disc branded media - meaning it complies to the spec set forth by Millenniata - should be rock solid and not have any issues, right?

    Anyway, I ordered the 25 pack from Amazon and for whatever cheap ass reason they had they tossed the cake box into a simple blister pack envelope which of course means it'll get tossed around by various shipping workers during transit and that's exactly what happened. The cake box when it arrived was damaged and cracked wide open at the base from where it apparently hit something pretty solid during shipping and the bottom 3 discs were damaged and useless - if you damage an optical disc on the edge, like chip the material in any respect, you can't use it and shouldn't even attempt it. Damage of that kind causes the disc itself to be imbalanced and if you put it in an optical drive and it spins, even at a relatively low RPM, it'll be like a car wheel that's off-balance and it could damage the optical drive's spindle motor and obviously the vibrations caused by spinning an imbalanced piece of media will just ruin the burn and waste the disc anyway.

    So, I called Amazon, told 'em what happened, told them I had some pics of the damage if they wanted to see it and the CSR simply said don't worry about it and they sent me another cake box 2 days later. I of course was very precise during the call and told the CSR they cannot ship these types or products in the blister pack envelopes, they need to be in a box with some kind of cushioning and I was assured that info was on the replacement order and it would be fine.

    2 days later, another blister pack but it wasn't damaged so luckily I suppose one could say I got 47 M-Disc blank DVD-R media for $30 which to me is a bargain for sure. :)

    Now as for M-Disc media, I've made 13 burns so far with this LG external drive at 4x (M-Disc burns at 4x and they've all been effectively pristine in terms of the burns, the verification, and the PAR file (parity files) that I have included (15%) on each of the media just in case. I keep the burned data capped at about 3.5GB per disc + the PAR files so it ends up being just under 4GB per disc. Unless you really have no option to do so, the recommendation is never burn optical media to within 95% capacity or about 4.2GB, keep it at 4GB or less to ensure that the burn process is always going to be successful presuming you're using a good burner with good quality media. Optical media suffers the most potential for data corruption at the outer edges of the discs so capping the amount of data stored at about 4GB keeps a "buffer zone" of sorts. Even with the cost of M-Disc media I simply never burn more than 4GB on an optical disc (DVD5 sized media) and I've yet to encounter issues.

    So far so good for me, but again DVD burning technology, even using M-Disc capable burners and media, is vastly more advanced than Blu-ray tech - I know some folks will say it's basically the same thing but I'd argue while they might be the same in terms of the general concepts (lasers, pits, media, dyes, etc) the actual technology and practice of doing burns on various media is very different. I've only owned one Blu-ray burner in the past, burned 2 Blu-ray BR25 discs and then I sold the drive and the remaining BR media I had 'cause I just didn't find it useful. I'm weird, I prefer DVD media even in spite of it requiring 5x as much media to do the same amount of storage, go figure.

    You might look into the forums over at https://www.myce.com/ which is the best source for discussion and info about optical media on the entire Internet. It originally was known as CDFreaks.com (and still redirects from that domain name) but they changed it to MyCE years ago (I have no idea what, CDFreaks was memorable). I'd say look into reviews of the actual burner you own, potential firmware updates that might not be published at LG's firmware site, possible tweaks to the firmware of the drive to improve performance with specific media, benchmarks, burning quality tests, and of course look into the particular media you're buying - those people over there spend most of their time burning discs just to test the quality of the burns, not store date. I mean some of those people literally use up hundreds if not thousands of blanks discs every week doing quality testing on the media and the burners and firmware issues/tweaks.

    CD (and DVD and Blu-ray) freaks, indeed. :D
     
    cybereality and DrLobotomy like this.
  3. BrainEater

    BrainEater Gawd

    Messages:
    910
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    I don't know yet.
    I bought a couple M-disc drives , can't find media.
     
    cybereality likes this.
  4. cybereality

    cybereality [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,381
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Thanks, Tiberian . That forum looks like it has a lot of good information.

    BrainEater M-Discs are pretty easy to find on Amazon and Newegg. I bought the Verbatim 25GB discs, they were well rated, but I might try another brand to see if I have better luck.

    I was also only testing Windows default burning software. I did buy Nero, so I'll see if that is more reliable.
     
  5. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

    Messages:
    5,725
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Ah, OK, I didn't see you saying anything about the default burning software you were using, that could possibly be the reason you're having issues. I know the BD M-Disc media isn't cheap but yes, absolutely give Nero a shot and see how it works. Obviously burn the media at the rated speed (what the media is labeled as, I'm guessing BD M-Disc is also 4x but I don't know for sure) regardless of what the burner hardware is capable of. If the media is 4x it shouldn't be possible to force a faster speed anyway.

    The default burning "software" built into Windows is absolutely not the best stuff, especially for Blu-rays. It can handle CDs and DVDs fine but again as I was hinting at before, there's just some odd shit happening when it comes to Blu-ray burners and media that can cause grief when you least expect it. Hopefully Nero will be more successful for you as you do some testing.

    And always always do the verify pass, just always. Yes it increases the time to complete the burn but if the data you're burning to an M-Disc is valuable - and it more than likely is considering the additional expense for that brand of media and why (long term archival storage usually, stuff you really cannot or do not want to lose, ever) - then it absolutely is worth the additional time to know for sure it's done right.

    And if possible, considering using PAR technology to increase the safety of the burned data even more. It would mean you can put a little less of your data on the media because you'd need to make room for the PAR (parity) files, but when you do that kind of thing properly with a well executed archive/backup strategy, you can literally mitigate the potential of lost or corrupted data to effectively 0%.

    EDIT:

    I went back and re-read your post and you DID point out you were using Windows Explorer, my bad, I missed that on the first read, my bad. :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
    cybereality likes this.
  6. BrainEater

    BrainEater Gawd

    Messages:
    910
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    I just got a sleeve of the Verbatim M-Discs myself.
    Will do some test burns and report back.

    :D
     
    cybereality likes this.
  7. cybereality

    cybereality [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,381
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Cool. I think it was an issue of how Windows finalizes discs you use like USB drives.

    I was able to burn once and close an M-Disc and that worked. But I wanted to use it like a USB drive, and that seemed to be the problem.

    I did try Nero after I posted, and Nero does seem to work better than Windows explorer when using M-Discs. Honestly didn't mess with it too much after that, but I should check again.