PS1/2 Do modern burners/CD's make lower quality PS1 backups?

Fien

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I have a old Tekken 3 backup which I burned more then 10 years ago on a cheap Emtec CD and this one still works perfectly fine in the PS1. Fast loading and no skipping audio.

Then I've burned another copy using the HP burner in a i5-2400 PC (from around 2012) on a Verbatim AZO disc. Loads fine in the PS1 although some background music tracks have stuttering. IMGBurn on Windows 10 was used, 16x was the lowest supported speed.

Another copy is made using a TSSTcorp burner in a old Celeron D 352 PC (from around 2007) on the same Verbatim AZO. This copy has a little bit less audio stuttering, but is still not as good as the 10+ years old copy. Nero Linux was used on MX Linux 19, 8x was the lowest supported speed.

I don't think the 10+ years old copy was burned at 4x back then. And I don't know which burner was used for it. Why is the old copy better then the fresh ones? :unsure:
 

codezer0

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It's possible that because the newer burner cannot support a burning speed low enough, it's introducing errors in the burning process. Then again, Sony optics are infamously finicky and weak.

If I still had a PS1 nowadays I'd be inclined to do some kind of ODE mod for it, if at all possible. Either that or tune the laser somehow.
 
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Hayato213

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I have a old Tekken 3 backup which I burned more then 10 years ago on a cheap Emtec CD and this one still works perfectly fine in the PS1. Fast loading and no skipping audio.

Then I've burned another copy using the HP burner in a i5-2400 PC (from around 2012) on a Verbatim AZO disc. Loads fine in the PS1 although some background music tracks have stuttering. IMGBurn on Windows 10 was used, 16x was the lowest supported speed.

Another copy is made using a TSSTcorp burner in a old Celeron D 352 PC (from around 2007) on the same Verbatim AZO. This copy has a little bit less audio stuttering, but is still not as good as the 10+ years old copy. Nero Linux was used on MX Linux 19, 8x was the lowest supported speed.

I don't think the 10+ years old copy was burned at 4x back then. And I don't know which burner was used for it. Why is the old copy better then the fresh ones? :unsure:

I believe you have to burn it at slowest speed as possible like 2x.
 

FAST6191

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Burn speed is a myth from where I sit, or at least massively outdated advice. Made sense when buffers were small and hard drives were slow. Today buffers might be in the order of a CD and loading from a SSD or otherwise fast drive on an optimised OS...

Verbatim might once have done good media, CDs even, but how many they sell and how good their lines are that they bother to keep standards tight... most cars these days don't even come with a CD player.

The quality of burners did slip but that is more in the high end max out, and possibly lower end options such that it tried to manage 16x burn speed but actually higher would have been better.
 

SylverReZ

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Burn speed is a myth from where I sit, or at least massively outdated advice. Made sense when buffers were small and hard drives were slow. Today buffers might be in the order of a CD and loading from a SSD or otherwise fast drive on an optimised OS...

Verbatim might once have done good media, CDs even, but how many they sell and how good their lines are that they bother to keep standards tight... most cars these days don't even come with a CD player.

The quality of burners did slip but that is more in the high end max out, and possibly lower end options such that it tried to manage 16x burn speed but actually higher would have been better.
Speed is a main factor for burning CDs or DVDs, especially if the drive that you're using only reads discs at such lower speeds.

I remember watching YouTube tutorials on burning PlayStation and Dreamcast discs, suggested that burning the discs at maximum speed would work, which isn't the case from my experience. This would lead to video and audio skipping and putting a lot of wear and tear on the laser for when its reading data, so its highly recommended that you at least burn the disc to the lowest speed if possible.

In conclusion, your only hope would be to buy a good-quality IDE CD/RW drive such as an LG or Plextor that will support the lower speeds, as with many later drives with SATA would only write CDs with 10x or 16x speeds depending on the model.
 
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Fien

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It was already burned at the lowest supported speed. But those copied are still less good then a 10+ years old copy.

I don't think the PS1 laser is bad or need tuning if it reads a 10+ years old copy. I've tried to adjust the laser potmeter a little bit, but the new copies still has some stuttering audio, so I turned it back to the original value.

In the past I remember discs burned at a high speed like 40x has a lighter color then the same disc burned at like 16x.

I still have a old Pentium 4 with a NEC ND-3550A burner in the storage and two other units, a Philips DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo and a Samsung DVD burner, both P-ATA from around 2005. Are these worth wasting more CD-R's to try?

In the past I had a Plextor CD burner, but I sold it together with the Pentium 200 it was sitting in past year :(
 

SylverReZ

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It was already burned at the lowest supported speed. But those copied are still less good then a 10+ years old copy.

I don't think the PS1 laser is bad or need tuning if it reads a 10+ years old copy. I've tried to adjust the laser potmeter a little bit, but the new copies still has some stuttering audio, so I turned it back to the original value.

In the past I remember discs burned at a high speed like 40x has a lighter color then the same disc burned at like 16x.

I still have a old Pentium 4 with a NEC ND-3550A burner in the storage and two other units, a Philips DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo and a Samsung DVD burner, both P-ATA from around 2005. Are these worth wasting more CD-R's to try?

In the past I had a Plextor CD burner, but I sold it together with the Pentium 200 it was sitting in past year :(
You can replace the PS1 laser with one from a PSone slim model if problems still persist, then you can follow this guide that "alex-free" had made. https://alex-free.github.io/unofficial-ps1-cd-drive-service-manual/
 

RAHelllord

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The biggest issue with modern backups is that the CD quality has drastically lowered in recent years. The best raw CDs are simply no longer being produced, and the only kinds still being made are ones that are only "good enough" for modern drives with loads of error correction baked in. Older drives simply don't have the kind of advanced error correction to handle modern burned media and takes longer to correct those errors, or will fail outright.

The other issue is that most modern drives simply don't support slower burn speeds, which do matter as the pits get bigger (and thus easier to read) at slower burn speeds. Advanced in laser tech can compensate for that on newer drives, but older drives very often struggle with it simply because the laser isn't quite as precise as they would need to be.

If you have a second hand shop nearby you could check if they still have some older burners that support x1 or x2 speeds, and that might work again, but you will still see a small decrease in read speeds compared to original media or the proper high quality JVC CDs from 20 years ago.
 
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Fien

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So all the CD's today are lower quality :( Maybe I'll try the P-ATA burners first. Do burners too old don't have a weaker laser?

You can replace the PS1 laser with one from a PSone slim model if problems still persist, then you can follow this guide that "alex-free" had made. https://alex-free.github.io/unofficial-ps1-cd-drive-service-manual/
I know that's possible, but I don't really like to scrap a good console for parts :(

The lubricating part of that guide I've followed 2 days ago. The drive is way better now and all the grinding noise is gone. But the Tekken 3 audio is still stuttering sometimes with the new copies.
 

KleinesSinchen

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I mostly agree with this:
Burn speed is a myth from where I sit, or at least massively outdated advice.
I was unable to find any significant difference in burn quality comparing CD-R written with 4x on old writers compared to newer writers which – on full-sized devices – usually don't go below 16x. I even went full berserk mode and turned the writer to insanity (CAV, peak 48x) and the PS1 didn't complain on good CD-R.
My advise is still choosing a speed on which your drive can write in CLV mode. Current full-sized writers basically only offer 16x CLV and slim (laptop) drives offer 10x CLV. All other modes are CAV or at least P-CAV or Z-CLV. In any case the writer has to adjust write speed on the fly and therefore also the write strategy and power levels. It might result in multiple visible zone rings, which tells the naked eye that the write result isn't of equal quality across the disc.

It is more the media quality that matters. Trying different dye types is indeed a good idea. You might come across super cheap CD-R that work perfectly with the PS1 – I found such a spindle. That is of course not saying anything about long term stability.


Use a drive capable of measuring C1/C2 errors and check your burned media. If you get a beautiful result like in the example in the spoiler, chances for the PS1 being satisfied increase dramatically. I believe this one was written with Plextor Premium. The PS1 consoles love this disc! Never got that near to a zero C1 error CD.
3-png.344892

boader_cd-r-jpg.344894
For comparison an original PS1 disc, which was heavily damaged and unreadable. After resurfacing (sandpaper with 3000, 5000, 7000, 10000 grain followed by car polish+wax) the bad scratches exceeding the limits of the error correction had been replaced with millions (literally!) of tiny scratches introducing widespread error distribution well within the capabilities of C1 level (aka fully meeting CD specification).
4-png.344893
PC drives read such a damaged thing with full speed not even complaining the slightest (look at the green line representing speed – beautiful full speed CAV mode). The PS1 consoles on the other hand… weren't very amused by the mistreated game disc. Boots, looooong loading time. It wouldn't be surprising if it ended in DRE at some point. If your burning results look like this tortured disc (yes, this happens on bad writers/bad media), it is very likely that a console will stutter.



The quality of your writer absolutely matters as well. I just found out that a pretty new Lite-On DVD multi writer is considerably better at producing GameCube backups than all my other drives. Using the same type of blank DVD-R the backups load perfectly – while they don't when written with other burners. A measurement of Pi errors/failures revealed a much better quality as well.


All in all optical disc burning for consoles is a bit of a lottery and involves trial and error. I had not much luck with laptop/slim drives. They generally perform very poor compared to a proper drive.

In the past I had a Plextor CD burner, but I sold it together with the Pentium 200 it was sitting in past year :(
WTF? 😡Why sell a Plextor!?!?😡
I'm desperately searching for working Plextors (they are aging and sadly failing despite being top notch products concerning their special features).
 
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Fien

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I want to check the quality of the 10+ years old copy compared to the new ones from the HP and TSSTcorp burners.

In your screenshot it's a ASUS drive, are they all capable of reporting c1/c2 errors? I have a ASUS drive in the storage, although it's already from the S-ATA era.

Are Plextor writers from the S-ATA era not good anymore? These are still sold second hand.
 
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KleinesSinchen

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In your screenshot it's a ASUS drive, are they all capable of reporting c1/c2 errors?
How should I know this? This is a fairly new SATA drive, already capable of overspeed DVD writing (using that function makes a scary sound). Some drives offer the option, some don't. Pi errors/failures scan for DVD is less common than the C1/C2 for CDs.
Old "real" Plextor can also do it, but not with the Nero application. This can be done with Plextools or the open source QPxTool.

Are Plextor writers from the S-ATA era not good anymore? These are still sold second hand.
I don't even know if the brand exists anymore. Got a new drive labeled with Plextor last year. Seems to be a re-brand from a Lite-On model. Fun features like GigaRec or VariRec are gone. Neither the very old PlexTools nor a slightly newer PlexUtilities can do anything fancy with it. Didn't find anything for doing interesting stuff.
 

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It turns out my ASUS drive doesn't work with it... is starts the scan but doesn't nothing in reality. But the HP drive which I used to burn one of the copies does :)

It looks like the 10+ years old copy has the less amount of C1 errors :O Maybe that's why only this old copy doesn't stutter:
old_copy.png


This is the one burned with the HP burner at 16x speed:
hp_copy.png


And this one was burned using the TSSTcorp drive at 8x (which seemed be a old TS-652 P-ATA from sept-2006):
tsstcorp_copy.png

So they both have more then 6000 C1 errors, only the old copy has less then 2000 :(

Is the problem the modern media or the burners? Not the whole disc is "bad", maybe that's also why only some background track stutter but not all?

All three they are not nearly as good as your Plextor-burned disc, but are better then the scratched original one.


Edit: I tested a original PS1 TOCA Racer disc too, it has errors as well, light scratched. Plays fine on the PS1 althrough some audio skips. The PC only reads it in 8x CLV, it seem like the HP drive cannot read those black originals faster:
toca_original.png
 
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Is the problem the modern media or the burners?
I can only answer with that figure:
CrystalBall1.gif

How should we know? The error scan is only a rough estimation. You will get different error count on different drives, different speeds and just by trying again. The ASUS drive above is an excellent reader (and often the last chance of reading damaged discs). Any disc only showing C1 errors, even numerous, is very far from failed.
If the first correction stage (C1) is unable to restore the real data (E31 error: three or more errors in the same 24 byte F1-frame), the second stage can correct single and double errors… again. If there are three or more corrupted bytes at C2 stage (E32 error) this means data loss – in case of audio CD and (S)VCD.
But there is more: In addition to the low-level correction normal data CDs have an additional high-level error correction in each sector (data accessible with RAW read) that can restore the sector even in case of pretty severe damage.

What do I want to say with this gibberish of half-knowledge? There is no good reason for a working drive to stutter when only having C1 errors. They are normal. A PC drive re-reads, stutters and slows down only when encountering E32.


A high number of errors on a good PC drive however can be an indication that a worse reader – old gaming console – will more likely run into trouble. Sadly I've encountered this multiple times with used games, which got badly treated. Technically the information is still intact, but the console struggles.
======

Then there is the slight difference in reflective characteristics comparing pressed CDs with CD-R. Recordable CDs were developed to be as near to the "real thing" as possible, but there is still some difference in the signal strength produced while reading (not even taking rewritables in account – those are way lower in signal strength). Different dye types will give different results on a PS1 regardless of burn quality.
 

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Maybe the PS1 can correct the errors but needs more time/re-read resulting in stuttering? Audio seem to be nearly not buffered.


I tried more copies and it seem like less errors doesn't always mean it has less stutter. It's really a hit-or-miss, even with the same drive and same CD's.

First I tried 2 old burners, a '02 Philips and a '05 TSSTcorp TS-552. The first one makes corrupt burns. The second one leaves a unburned CD (but verifies 70%:wacko:) at first attempt. At second attempt it gives a very bad stuttering copy. Then I tried the TSSTcorp TS-652 in the first post another time and now it gives a corrupt CD instead of a stuttering one. Then I came back to the HP one in the first post and now it produces a stutter-free Tekken 3 CD :lol:

Time to burn a Bishi Bashi Special disc... I used the same HP drive, but this time it gave a stuttering CD. I have another Dell PC with a HL-DT-ST slimline drive and decided to give that a try... first one was stuttering less then the one from the HP. Burned another copy, now it's magically stutter-free even it has way more C1 errors then the previous two :lol:

So that was a big waste a CD's to just have two good working games... :unsure:
 

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most CDs made nowadays are old stock and the manufacturers that still occasionally produce them don't do it consistently enough to care about it being high quality since most modern drives are happy to chug along with whatever garbage you throw at it.

the main reason we would insist that people burn their stuff at, say, 1x or 2x is because people's computers and the drives themselves were literal potatoes and a single buzz from your friend on MSN would max the CPU usage which when you're burning something is a serious problem because of buffer underruns.

buffer underruns are basically when the drive finishes burning a chunk of data and has to wait. in theory a drive can be smart enough to recover from this but most the time this corrupted the CD because it changed it just enough that a console would reject it.
 
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KleinesSinchen

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I tried more copies and it seem like less errors doesn't always mean it has less stutter. It's really a hit-or-miss, even with the same drive and same CD's.
It is only good for rough estimation and for telling if a burn result is absolutely unusable.

First I tried 2 old burners, a '02 Philips and a '05 TSSTcorp TS-552. The first one makes corrupt burns. The second one leaves a unburned CD (but verifies 70%:wacko:) at first attempt. At second attempt it gives a very bad stuttering copy. Then I tried the TSSTcorp TS-652 in the first post another time and now it gives a corrupt CD instead of a stuttering one. Then I came back to the HP one in the first post and now it produces a stutter-free Tekken 3 CD :lol:
Old drives can be problematic. They are not always in working condition. Still, consider trying a different dye. The always repeated "Just get Verbatim and everything will be good" is either not true or not true anymore. Got mixed results with Azo myself. Try Phthalocyanine discs.



Sadly most of the ODE are replacements not featuring passthrough to the original drive. The WODE was able to keep access to original DVDs on Wii.
ODE is all great for reviving a console with dead drive, but not the ultimate solution for someone with a physical collection.
Somehow there is something missing without the *option* to use original discs. Why not go a step further and just use emulators then?

buffer underruns are basically when the drive finishes burning a chunk of data and has to wait. in theory a drive can be smart enough to recover from this but most the time this corrupted the CD because it changed it just enough that a console would reject it.
Buffer underrun protection is part of CD writers since… when? Eternity.
 
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Fien

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Buffer underruns was a thing when I still had a 20GB 5400rpm harddisk in a Pentium III, if the disc was buzzy I saw the buffer meter in Nero running down and the burner stopping. Sometimes the CD was ruined even if the burner has underrun protection. But I newer saw it happen again since the late Pentium 4 systems with faster harddisks.

I've saw the ODE based on a Raspberry Pi Pico. However, it only works for PU-8 en PU-18 boards. The SCPH-5552 can use it, but not the newer SCPH-9002 I also have.

The stores for new CD's are limited in The Netherlands. Most of the time it doesn't mention which type of dye is have too.

The Verbatim AZO wasn't the cheapest option. Maybe I'll give cheaper CD's a try.
 

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Few things on this.

Burning speed does matter on very old PSX consoles from launch day. Any PSX model SCPH-5000 and up are not nearly as picky about burn speed, and the PS2 doesn't care at all. My SCPH-1000 launch day PSX on the other hand can't read anything at 16x or higher on even high quality archival grade media. SCPH-1001 is the same. This is really unfortunate because it is rare to find a brand new burner that can do lower then even 16x now. Even worse, the lowest burn speed is never ever advertised anywhere.

The burner itself does seem to matter if you use garbage CD-Rs (99% of whats available now). Newer laptop style external CD burners that you find at i.e. Wallmart do work with high quality media. But low quality media (also found at Wallmart) in combination with such a burner may be a recipe for disaster. Low quality media in combination with say a desktop burner may be okay as well (but I never recommend low quality media, i.e. Maxell or 'fake' Verbatim CDs). Its really worth it to just buy the 100 pack of Verbatim DataLifePlus CD-Rs from the Verbatim website for ~$50.00.

It's probably best to use both high quality media AND a slightly older desktop CD burner with like an IDE to USB adapter or something but I've been using the crappy external drive I bought for $30...

I always burn at 10x (the lowest speed my crappy external burner supports) and only use Verbatim DataLifePlus CD-Rs (key word DataLifePlus). Even the SCPH-1000 is happy with it.

If it's really the drive (i.e. it makes bad noises) then try the refurb guide previously linked: https://alex-free.github.io/unofficial-ps1-cd-drive-service-manual/ . Sometimes it is night and day.

Also, don't forget about the old trick of changing the console orientation to a vertical standing position (try both left and right) or maybe even upside down. It works very well sometimes.

PS1 drives are not that great reliability wise, compared to almost anything else. But it got a lot better as CD technology improved, the tolerances are much better after the SCPH-500X series with auto BIAS/GAIN, and even better with the PSone. The pickups are much improved by that point.
 
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