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Disc Writer Options.

AISBackup can use two methods for writing backups to CD and DVD:

  • Using the integrated writer.

    The integrated writer creates Joliet format CD's and DVD's, these discs are equivalent to CD and DVD ROM and are compatible with most PC systems. This is the preferred method of creating CD's and DVD's, however, there are a few constraints that may make the format unsuitable:
     
    • This type of disc requires that 100% of the contents is known prior to creating the disc, therefore the data must be written to hard drive first. This can be up to 4.7GB for DVD. AISBackup refers to the hard drive area as the Disk Stage.

      It is not possible to direct the backup directly to a CD or DVD writer, AISBackup will insist that the backup is written to hard disk first.
    • Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000 and Server 2000 can only use recordable DVD media once, therefore DVD-R and DVD+R media are not recommended for small backups. DVD+RW, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM, however, can be re-used to add more backup sessions. There are no problems re-using CD-R and CD-RW.
    • Discs created using the integrated disc writer cannot be used with the AISBackup prune backup option, this is because the CD-ROM and DVD-ROM format is read only. This is an operating system constraint, and RW media is treated as read only media even though extra backup sessions can be added to them.
       

    AISBackup allows you to create the discs using a third party disc writing application, for example the Windows XP disc writer. However, we do not recommend using this option unless the integrated disc writer does not work on your PC.

  • Using a third party Packet Writing system.

    This option writes backup data directly to CD or DVD, however AISBackup does not support this option directly, a third party interface must be pre-installed on the PC. You must check the documentation that came with your PC or third party disc writer software. This kind of interface is called a packet writing system and creates discs in a format called UDF (Universal Disc Format). Examples of this kind of interface are: Drag-to-Disc, INCD, Drive Letter Access (DLA), B'sClip, InstantBurn etc. Note, not all (or rather not many) packet writing systems support write once media.

    All packet writing systems require that blank discs are pre-formatted, however as sophistication increases this detail may be hidden from you. AISBackup insists that the disc is pre-formatted, or has been pre-used, before it will continue.

    The packet writing system makes a DVD or CD look like a regular magnetic disk to the operating system. Any program that writes to disc via a packet writing system are using the same 'write' mechanism as it does when writing to regular magnetic disk, therefore if there are problems writing the disc it is not the fault of the application doing the actual writing. The fault is with the interaction between the third party packet writer and the disc media.

    The obvious advantage of this system is that the backup is written directly to disc and AISBackup session pruning will re-claim used space from discarded backup sessions on RW media.

    Here are a few reasons why this format may not be suitable:
     
    • A third party interface must be used, you may not have a suitable interface installed on the PC.
    • Some people do not find Packet Writing systems reliable. However, patches may be available from the vendors web-site to improve this.
    • UDF discs can only be read by a suitable UDF reader so transportation to another PC may be compromised.
    • UDF formatted CD's cannot be booted. (This only really affects the AISBackup  Windows 95, 98 and ME Emergency System Backup).

How do I choose between the interfaces?

The choice of interfaces depends on which of the available interfaces have been enabled within AISBackup.

The CD and DVD interfaces are enabled using the Tools / Program Settings and Options menu option, which is discussed here.

If your PC has not got a third party packet writing system installed then the option to select a backup of this type will not be enabled (visible). AISBackup may not recognise all third party packet writing system's, but these can be enabled manually.

The disk writer interface is chosen when a new job is created:

  • To use the AISBackup integrated disc writer, on the Choose the Destination of the Backup form select:



    Summary: This option writes the backup to hard disk first, but these CD's and DVD's are compatible with more PC systems. Either new blank discs must be used or discs previously used with the same backup job. No third party software is required.
  • To use a third party Packet Writing system to write the backup directly to CD or DVD, on the Choose the Destination of the Backup form select:



    Notes:
    • If the packet writing option is not enabled: This option is not available if there is no third party packet writing system installed, or if AISBackup does not recognise the installed interface. However, any interface may be enabled by the Tools / Program Settings and Options / option. The option will test all available disc writing options and give you the opportunity to install a third party packet writing system by name.
    • To check that a packet writing system is installed and working correctly simply start Windows Notepad write a couple of lines and save the file directly to the CD or DVD. If this works the direct to disc, packet writing system, is working.

    Summary: This option writes directly to disc. The disc must be pre-formatted prior to use, although some packet writing systems may hide this detail. The packet writing system is NOT supplied by us and the packet writing system is responsible for writing data to disc, not AISBackup, or any other program you may use with to write direct to disc. Most packet Writing systems only support RW media, one exception is Roxio Drag-to Disc which can also write to write once media.

How do I know which interface a backup job is using?

The type of disc writer interface been used may be identified from the Job tab of the main AISBackup form.

  • If the backup job is using the integrated disc writer the Backup to option is set to AISBackup Mastered Disc. Notice that the backup destination is set to Disc Staging Area, this is because the files must be written to hard disk before been mastered (often called burned) to Disc.

  • If the backup job is using a third party packet writing system the Backup To option is set to CD with Name of interface. This option states CD even if you are using DVD's. Notice the the backup destination is set to [CD], this also indicates that the backup is written directly to CD or DVD. [CD] is shown rather than the drive letter because more than one disc writer may be installed on the PC.