Just trying to get straight what is a good method to check that the burning proces has worked correctly. Even better of course to get good instructions on how to burn so that you don't get problems in th first place. I know MD5 is a method that can be used to check the burning proces, but I would like a step by step instruction so I can inform others that have to do this for real and sometimes find out the hard way that their DVD is worth nothing.
What is a good method to check that the burning proces has worked correctly[?].
If you create an ISO (.iso) from the newly burnt DVD, the MD5 (or whatever checksum you use) should match the original ISO (.iso) image checksum.
Alternately, you can creat bulk checksums for both the files from the original ISO and the newly burnt DVD and compare those sums as well.
Even better of course to get good instructions on how to burn so that you don't get problems in the first place.
Get a PC with a decent processor and a good amount of memory.
Get a burning drive with a large hardware buffer.
Shutdown all extraneous programs (including anti-virus).
Watch for buffer underruns (where both the software and hardware buffers are exhausted).
I know MD5 is a method that can be used to check the burning process, but I would like a step by step instruction so I can inform others that have to do this for real and sometimes find out the hard way that their DVD is worth nothing.
Create or download an ISO image.
Make a checksum for this image (verify the image is good first).
Burn the image to a disc.
Create an ISO image of the newly burnt disc.
Make a checksum for this new image.
Compare the new image's checksum to the original image's checksum, making sure they match.
Comparing Files Without A New Creating ISO
There are a large number of tutorials on how to do this on Linux.
For Windows, though it doesn't use the original checksum file, you can use a program such as WinMerge to compare two drives contents (i.e a virtual drive and a physical drive).
Mount the original ISO as a virtual CD/DVD (I like WinCDEmu for simple stuff like this but anything else will work too).
Insert the physically burnt disc into a CD/DVD drive.
In WinMerge, select File - > Open and enter the drive letters to compare (e.g. "D:/" for the physical disc and "V:/" for the virtual disc - - no quotes and obviously your drive letters may differ). Each drive letter should be in a different "pane" (the "Left" and "Right" fields). Make sure to check "Include Subfolders". Hit "OK".
Assuming you did Step 3 correctly, you should be presented with a single long list of files. In the "View" menu (along the main menu bar) uncheck "Show Identical Items". Make sure that "Show Different Items", "Show Skipped Items" and "Show Binary Items" are checked.
If no files show up once you have checked/unchecked items in Step 4, your images should be identical.