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I'm trying to "mass produce" a DVD so I thought that by hooking up multiple burners to my computer and running multiple instances of Imgburn I would be able to reduce the amount of time I spent attending to the computer. (I need to produce 50 copies.)

I found that even only burning 2 discs at the same time caused Imgburn to run out of buffer pretty quickly and hence slow down the burning process.

This doesn't make too much sense to me. My hardware is definitely powerful enough to handle burning a mere 2 discs, and my hard drive should be capable of reading at least 50MB/s (which the two discs can only burn at 4x speed at a rate of 10 MB/s total). My hard drive should be able to keep up with the demand and yet it is not able to. Why is this happening? is it because the two Imgburn instances are fighting each other for hard drive access and interrupting each other's sequential reads with another random access?

Would bumping up the buffer help or is there another software I should consider trying?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

There are two areas of potential trouble here.

  1. Your multiple instances are not reading from the same location at the same time, so your hard drive reads aren't as fast as they could be.

  2. Depending on the interface your optical drives are using (IDE/PATA, SATA, USB, Firewire, etc), there could be a major data transfer bottleneck there as well. I'd expect IDE/PATA and USB to be particularly susceptible to this kind of trouble; SATA less so.

What you really want is an application that is specifically designed to burn the same disc to multiple drives simultaneously. By using a single instance, hard drive reads won't be a problem (or at least will be less so), and the application has the opportunity to slow the burn speed as needed to handle potential data bottlenecks on the way to the burners.

According to the Imgburn forums, you're already using the proper procedure for Imgburn (multiple instances). You can try:

  • Increasing buffer size
  • Manually setting the burn speeds lower
  • Making copies of the ISO to burn on separate physical hard drives -- have the individual Imgburn instances use copies on different drives, so they aren't reading the same file, which will take care of any concurrent read bottleneck.

To my knowledge, Imgburn doesn't offer that feature at present. See also the related "Multiple CD writer taking long to burn"; that user reports using Alcohol software, and it may have that feature. I've also seen reports that Nero can do what you're looking for. (I've never tried burning multiple CDs, so have no better suggestions for what to try.)

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Thanks, i suspected it was due to some sort of conflict between the two programs trying to read the same file. Would burning off of a usb flash memory stick work as a separate physical drive? – Faken Jul 1 '10 at 2:49
@faken: maybe, but a SATA (or even PATA) hdd or ssd would be better. if you aren't using USB burner drives, go for it. if you are using USB burners, don't bother; you could end up making any USB bottleneck worse. – quack quixote Jul 1 '10 at 4:06
Hmm...I know! I'll use a LAN network drive from another computer. Transfer rates are around 12.5 MB/s, should be enough? May have problems with latency but thats what the buffer is for. – Faken Jul 1 '10 at 4:53
@faken: ... that sounds even worse than USB. i never trust time-critical data reads (or writes) from the network; i always burn from local storage. ymmv, but to me that sounds like a great way to make a coaster, especially if wireless is involved on any link. – quack quixote Jul 1 '10 at 15:40

Your post included the note of hooking up multiple burners to your machine.

Not wanting to make assumptions, but there could be a bottleneck in the actual hardware setup you have. If you were connecting powered USB burners (even to multiple buses), the limiting factor would be the speed at which data can be pushed to the devices. Perhaps you could look into a dedicated controller card, like those found in dedicated burning kits.

Also, a program like ImgBurn is intended to burn one disc at a time. A quick internet search lead to some confusing results, but a possible program to use would be DiscJuggler. While not free, it does what it says on the tin.

I hope this goes some way to helping out. And, if I made some wrong assumptions, please correct me.


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Nero can burn multiple discs simultaneously on multiple drives.


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