- What is the purpose of this FAQ?
During support, it turned out that some questions are asked quite a number of times, therefore it seemed
to be sensible to produce that document.
- Is drive "XYZ" supported?
One of the most frequently asked questions, and the most difficult to answer. In the PC world, CD-R software
manufacturers usually get new drives for free to ensure wide compatibility of new drives with software.
Unfortunately, the RISC OS market is (at the moment) too small to be interesting for the drive manufacturers.
So testing of drives with CDBurn is clearly limited and often carried out by RISC OS dealers who sell CDBurn/drive
bundles. I have some of the most popular drives myself to ensure compatibility of new versions. And every customer
is asked to report working drives.
There are several "classes" of drives which can be distinguished:
- I own some drives myself, and those are likely to be supported
best (for obvious reasons).
- There are drives which are used by customers or dealers and are reported to be
working. It is normally a safe bet to buy one of those.
- There are drives that the manufacturer says are
compatible with either previous drives or a common command set standard. Usually, these give only
little problems which are easily resolved.
- There are drives which don't work at all, for known reasons. Avoid, or ask if CDBurn support is
in the pipeline.
- There are drives which don't work, for unknown reasons. Avoid at all cost.
For a list of known supported drives, please look at the Supported Devices page.
Generally, things don't look that bad. Drives are nowadays mostly MMC compatible, and CDBurn's writing routine
is now very stable and "forgiving". At least for IDE drives, interface compatibility is a more pressing issue.
Another problem that has recently come up is that of power consumption. There are a number of drives out there
that need more current at 12V than the 70W Risc PC power supply can deliver. Please watch out for power consumption
when buying a new drive - errors caused by insufficiently available current are incredibly hard to track down
and come in many disguises.
- CDBurn crashes my system completely during writing a CD. Why?
CDBurn is a very stable product. While it is possible that e.g. during ISO image creation or during operations
with the ISO filer errors are reported, a complete freeze of the machine is almost certainly not the fault of
A crash during a write operation is much more likely due to a problem with either the drive, the SCSI/IDE
subsystem or other hardware-related errors. Sometimes, there is an incompatibility between drive and SCSI podule
which can be resolved by e.g. switching off synchronous transfer mode or block transfer mode, changing the operation
mode of the SCSI podule (e.g. disabling DMA) or changing the disconnect/reconnect settings if possible.
There is a known incompatibility between the Connect32/SCSIConnect/Yucani F1 SCSI podule and many CD Writers. The
only known workaround is to restrict the "continuously read/written blocks" setting in the CDBurn Advanced Configuration
window to 16 blocks. If this doesn't help, try to set the podule to 8bit I/O.
- When recording an Audio CD, there are audible "clicks" or "pops" between tracks. How can those be avoided?
There are three possible sources for "clicks". First of all, there was a bug in the MMC and Sony drivers of
CDBurn version 1.48 and earlier. Please enquire for a free upgrade to the latest version. Second, there is the
possibility that the source of the audible glitch was already in the source samples used - please test the Audio tracks
with tools like !Player, !PlaySound or !SoundCon before writing a CD to ensure their integrity. Third, "clicks" might
be introduced by so-called "link blocks" which are written at track boundaries in the CD writing mode "track at once".
If CDBurn supports "disc at once" for your drive, it is recommended to use that writing mode - you get the additional
bonus of being able to determine the pause length between tracks precisely.
- I want to record a live Audio CD. However, I always get a two second pause between tracks. Why, and how to avoid it?
First of all, you have to use "Disc at once" as a writing method to avoid automatic pauses between tracks. Keep in
mind that not all drives are Disc at once-capable, and that not all CDBurn drivers are Disc at once-capable, e.g. the
old blocking IDE driver (which is still the default).
Additionally, there is the "pause between tracks" setting which is adjustable for every audio track (by double
clicking onto the track and editing the "Pause" field. You can also set a "default" for newly added tracks in the
Please note that the Red Book standard requires a 2 second pause between tracks. By setting the pause to 0 blocks,
you are essentially breaking the rules of the standard. However, there are countless professionally mastered
Audio CDs which bent the standard there, so you should be safe.
- Why are all the filenames on my Data CD uppercase?
The origin of this problem is the ISO9660 standard. This standard only allows the use of a very restricted
character set - upper case letters, digits and the underscore. This character set was chosen to guarantee
maximum compatibility between the then available platforms.
Nobody stops you from putting lower case filenames onto your CD-ROM. In fact, CDBurn is easily configurable
to allow this - just choose the right filename translation standard. "Acorn CDFS", "ISO Level 1" and "ISO Level 2"
will all translate filenames to upper case, while "WSS CDROMFS", "new ISO Level 2" and "raw" will retain the
original filename casing. You can easily check this by switching the ISO filer to Display->View as raw.
However, this might not suffice. Many CD-ROM Filing System implementations (including Acorn's CDFS) automatically
uppercase all filenames, so no matter what you write onto the CD, the filenames will always be shown as
uppercase. Fortunately, Warm Silence Software's CDROMFS does
not do that, and CDFS can be patched (with David O'Shea's CDFS patch - download as
standalone patch or
as a ROM patch in conjunction
with many other RISC OS 4 patches).
The most elegant solution is of course to use the Joliet extensions. This allows you to retain full ISO9660
compatibility and still have your original filenames, but of course only on Joliet-capable CD-ROM Filing Systems
(CDROMFS, RISC OS Select CDFS, Windows 95 and above, Linux, *BSD, Mac OS).
- Why have some of my files lost their filetype information?
There is an annoying bug in CDFS that does not allow a file to have both a "." in its filename and still carry
the Acorn CDFS extensions (like filetypes). So you end up with two possibilities: break the ISO9660 standard
(by using the semi-official Acorn file extension separator "/" instead of translating it to the ISO9660 standard
"."), or throw away the Acorn CDFS extension (and with it the filetype information).
If you select "Acorn CDFS", "WSS CDROMFS" or "raw" as your filename translation standard, the first approach is chosen.
Keep in mind that the resulting CD will not be readable on either Windows or Unix derivates because they either
do not allow a "/" in a filename or they use it in a completely different way. However, if you additionally select
"Add Joliet extensions" in CDBurn, everything will be well with Joliet-capable systems, because they will
automatically use the Joliet names instead of the broken ISO9660 names.
If you select "ISO Level 1", "ISO Level 2" or "new ISO Level 2", CDBurn automatically removes the Acorn CDFS
extensions from files that contain a "." after the filename translation. This means that without a proper
DOSMap (CDFS in RISC OS up until 3.7x) or MimeMap (CDFS in RISC OS 4.xx and later) entry, you will not be able
to see a filetype. Unfortunately, DOSMap did not work properly in early CDFS versions - you will need to use
CDFix to correct this.
- What is the difference between "Quick Blank" and "Full Blank"?
The Quick Blank is at least as quick (and likely quicker) than a Full Blank.
This answer might seem surprising or strange, but the problem is that the MMC standard does not give any
guarantees on what happens when you do a Quick Blank. The drive is free to choose any type of blank it
likes, including a Full Blank, and it does not have to tell the driving software that it does not
implement "true" Quick Blanking, so there is unfortunately no safe way for CDBurn to detect if a
drive supports Quick Blanking.
The usual behaviour of a Quick Blank is however to just delete the Table of Contents (Lead-In) and the
run-in and link blocks as well as the pregap of the first track of the program area. This means that
not all of the disc is really "blanked", but it looks exactly like a blank disc, because the writer
only examines the Lead-In area. This means however that the writer has to overwrite the old data in
the program area directly - this does not always work. If you encounter problems when writing
CD-RW, use a Full Blank first.
- When will USB support be ready? Will the Simtec or the Castle API be supported?
Work on USB support is currently on hold because of severe lack of interest.
- CDBurn uses its own "filer-like" display for image creation. Why has this approach been chosen?
There are many things to be said about that design decision. The other approach would have been to implement
something like an image filing system for the ISO9660 format and consequently having the RISC OS filer do the
display work. However, a special custom-written filer-like display was implemented to visualize the ISO9660 structure.
- All code is written in Ada95, which means higher quality, less development time and better maintainability.
Everything runs in user mode, which means higher overall stability of the machine.
- Ability to have a different menu structure with specific entries and configuration possibilities tailored to
the needs of ISO9660 format.
- RISC OS 3.1 users get a filer display with auto-resizing columns and full name display for long filenames
- Better possibility to add specific features
- ISO9660/Joliet specific sorting and display modes possible
- The ISO9660 standard was not designed for "on-the-fly" manipulations, it is a very static format. An
image filing system implementation would have required very clever code to minimise performance problems
due to image restructurings.
- less optimized code with slower redraw
- filer extensions for the standard filer (FilerPro, FilerPatch, RISC OS 4/Select etc.) cannot be used
- some features from the RISC OS filer might be missing, the CDBurn filer is not an exact copy
- How can I access other sessions than the latest on my Multisession CD?
Short answer: you can't. This functionality should be part of the CDFS driver, but there is currently no
driver available that lets you select another session.
CDBurn will soon be extended by a standalone CD reader with such features and more, and you will be able
to import arbitrary sessions into the ISO pseudo filer. Watch this space.
- How can I mix Audio and Data on one CD?
CDBurn is able to produce both standard types of CDs where mixing Audio and Data is possible: Mixed Mode and
CD Extra. Please consult the CDBurn manual, Chapter 7 for a detailed description.
- Is it possible to copy protected CDs with CDBurn?
Definitely not. There are now myriads of different protection schemes for both Data CDs and Audio CDs - without
a massive amount of manpower and money it is impossible to analyse all those schemes to develop methods to
copy them. The situation is made worse by the fact that the capabilities and features of CD-ROMs and CD writers that
might enable you to do a 1:1 copy differ widely, so a lot of system-dependant solutions would need to be developed,
multiplying the needed manpower and money.
If you happen to have a PC, use products like DiscJuggler or CloneCD to try to backup your copy protected
CDs. However, it is usually a much better idea to just avoid buying such CDs - copy-protected Audio CDs
usually violate the Red Book standard, which means they are not really Audio CDs and are not allowed to
carry the Compact Disc Digital Audio logo - bringing them back to the store where you have bought them
sends the right signals to those in the Content Industry who think that it is OK to jump on the
- What about a 32bit version of CDBurn?
A 32bit version of CDBurn is now available. Upgrading is free. Support for the IYONIX
IDE system is included.
- Should I buy an IDE or a SCSI drive?
Difficult question. I will try to list the pros and cons:
SCSI drives can be put into an external case, because SCSI is a proper bus and allows a quite long
maximum cable length (up to 3m if you use standard SCSI2). This has the advantage that the Risc PC's weak
power supply does not make problems, and that the drive is much better cooled than inside the suboptimal
Risc PC case. This means that overall writing reliability is a lot higher, and you can easily move the
drive between your RISC OS machine and perhaps your PC.
- The quality of the drives is usually better. An exception to that rule is Yamaha - they use exactly
the same drive in IDE and SCSI models and just change the interface electronics.
- Experience has shown that SCSI compatibility is much better than IDE compatibility. With SCSI, you don't
have to think about the master/slave problems, and nearly every SCSI drive works with nearly every SCSI podule.
CDBurn is also much better tested with SCSI drives than with IDE drives, mostly because IDE support was
added quite late.
Drives are much cheaper and now have the "technology lead" in terms of speed and features (but note that,
with current hardware and the current CDBurn version, you won't be able to use most of them).
Many RISC OS machines already have IDE inbuilt, you don't have to buy a possibly expensive SCSI podule.
Nowadays, it is sometimes very hard to get SCSI drives. A good source of drives is definitely eBay - look for
old 4x Plextor rewriters if you want a solid, reliable and cheap CD rewriter. The later models are still quite
- Am I allowed to use CDBurn on more than one machine?
It depends. You can choose whether to use the CDBurn licence you have bought as
a single user or a single machine licence.
This also means that if you already own a CDBurn licence, and you also have an
IYONIX pc, you don't need to pay for the CDBurn Lite -> CDBurn upgrade - upgrading
to the 32bit version of CDBurn is free, so if you are the only user on both machines,
everything is free.