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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Monday, January 13, 2003
Testing media quality


1. Introduction

Testing Media Quality - Page 1

Introduction

Most users possibly have this question in their minds. How can we test a burned disc? Are there any special utilities for this propose? To answer to that question, we have tested all existing utilities that can be used with normal CD/DVD-ROM & CD-RW drives.

In general we can seperate the utilities in three major categories:

- Utilities that check the idegrity of a pressed/burned disc:

- Utilities with the ability to measure C1/C2 errors of a pressed/burned disc

- Utilities that use C2 error information to extract Audio files from an Audio disc:


2. CD-Check

Testing Media Quality - Page 2

CD Check

CD-Check can be used to check the readability of the disc contents by performing byte to byte checksum. The software is available for free. CD-Check is a utility for prevention, detection and recovery of damaged files with an emphasis on error detection. It uses CRC and binary comparison algorithms. CD-Check can be used for all files visible by the operating system. This means everything that you can see in Windows Explorer (CDs, disk drives, floppy disks, ZIP drives) can be checked. Unfortunately it cannot be used with AudioCDs!

After starting CD-Check and pressing "Check", it will prompt about the folders/files to check for errors and if the CRC files should be created automatically or custom:

When the CD-Check finishes its tests, will show a test report:

According to the CD-Check software, our burned disc contains two files with CRC errors:

Using other reader for the same disc, we got perfect results:

In that case, we can select the "Recover" function that will try to rip the disc files to our HD:


3. CD-R Diagnostics

Testing Media Quality - Page 3

CD-R Diagnostics

CDR Diagnostics uses the CD error feature to analyse the CD for writing errors and it reports the number of defective sectors. The software checks if a critical error rate is exceeded. The free test version is just the same as the full version except that it cannot be used to reconstruct defective sectors. The cost of the utility is $50.

The interface of CD-R Diagnostics is simple. Initially you have to select the reader (File->Select CD-ROM) and shortly after the software will show the disc contents.

Under "Tools" we will find the "Disc Error Summary" function. There are 3 options there (Quick, Moderate, Complete) that affect the number of reading samples.

a) Quick Scan

In case our disc is ok, the following screen will appear:

In any other case, the software will give info for any recoverable and un-readable sectors:

b) Moderate Scan

c) Complete Scan


4. CD-R Inspector

Testing media quality - Page 4

CD-R Inspector

The same company also offers an advanced version of CD-R Diagnostics by the name CD-R Inspector. Its cost is $129.99. The software includes all the functions of CD-R Diagnostics and additionally offers more capabilities in three areas:

- Audio discs
- Searching for possibly hidden information on the disc
- Additional control over processing

As ArrowKey says "...CD-R Inspector is more suited for the "power user" and forensic examination of discs. CD-R Diagnostic is for recovering data - CD-R Inspector does not do any better job of data recovery. The displayed graphic for CD-R Inspector and the ability to print this information out can be extremely helpful for QA purposes..."

The interface of CD-R Inspector is simple. In start you have to select the reader (File->Select CD-ROM) and shortly after the software will show the disc contents:

Using the Disc Error function (under Tools) the following screen appears. By selecting the desired scan mode, you can scan the disc for errors. The possible errors graphically demonstrated on a table, among with the time position they were found on the disc.

As ArrowKey explains: "...The Error Summary tool tests the readability of a CD-R or CD-ROM. Because this test is performed on the devices you have available, it is not a scientific measurement of the readability - this can only be done with sophisticated (and expensive) equipment.

What can be done with the CD devices you have available is to measure the unrecovered and recovered errors which exist on the media when being read with a particular device. It is suggested that a CD-ROM reader be used for this purpose rather than the recorder that recorded the disc. A number of different tests are performed, depending on the capabilities of the device used.

If the CD device being used supports returning recoverable errors, the device will normally be automatically configured to do so and this information will be used. If the CD device does not support returning recoverable errors, a timing analysis is done to determine where extra time is being taken by the drive to read sectors. This has proven to be extremely valuable in locating defects with newer high-speed CD-ROM drives.

In all cases, retries are disabled if the drive allows this. This will generally cause errors to be reported for otherwise readable sectors that can be read if the drive is allowed to retry the operation. The objective is not to locate areas that are actually unreadable, but to report on potentially unreadable areas. It is important to emphasize the difference..."

a) Quick Scan (reads 500 sectors sample). It's the easier and more time cost effective option. It shows a quick scan of the disc and reports any un-readable errors:

b) Moderate Scan

c) Complete Scan

As we can see, there are major differences between the three reading (Quick, Moderate, and Complete) modes, due to different sample volume...


5. CD Roller

Testing Media Quality - 5

CD Roller

CD Roller is a new utility that can be used for CD data recovery. It can extract data from CDs and be used as CD media analysis tool and tester.

With the help of CD Media Test you can check:

- The quality of the CD(-R/W) media.
- If you have a CD recorder, you can check if the data on the CD-R(W) is written correctly.
- Get advanced information from CD Volume.

The test can be used for both Data and Audio CD's. It also examines Multisession and Mixed mode discs. Current version of CDRoller supports CD File System test, Data CD surface test and Digital Audio Extraction (DAE) Quality test. By CD Media Test tab options you can manually include (exclude) any test to (from) the list, set scan ratio while testing CD surface and also select checking of all sessions or only current session on multisession disc.

After starting the software you can see all installed readers:

Under Tools->Test CD Media (or simpler by right clicking->Test CD Media) you can test each media type (either Data/Audio) for errors

While testing CD file system the program checks the three main ISO 9660 data structures: the Volume Descriptors, the Path Tables and the Directory Structure of each or only selected session on the Data CD. The files location control enables to detect invalid files, which appear in the directories but are not really recorded.

Data CD surface test checks the readability of a CD-R or CD-ROM. Using the track bar on the CD Media Tab you can simply increase or decrease the number of tested sectors and therefore, adjust the time of the test.

After both CD File system and DataCD surface tests end, you will get a full report with several details about the tested disc:

Our disc is 100% OK, according to the CD Roller since no un-readable sectors are present:

The DAE Quality test examines the audio tracks extraction capabilities of a CD drive. While testing DAE quality the program extracts some audio data, detects synchronization and read errors and finally, estimates an integral quality of each audio track. Like in Data CD surface test the DAE Quality test time can be simply adjusted by the track bar on the CD Media Tab.

After the test ends, the software will give a complete report about the DAE quality of each track. However it doesn't support C2 error reports:

CDRoller needs further improvement since when we used a damaged disc, it immediately stopped the testing process displayed a fatal error message:


6. Disc Inspector

Testing Media Quality - Page 5

Disc Inspector

Disc Inspector ,by ECI, is no longer being sold. It supported a variety of formats and options. Under the CD-Tools menu, we can find the "Test Disc" menu. Test Disc tests the selected disc in a range specified by the user. It includes the tests of Error Correction Code (ECC) and Error Detection Code (EDC) by generating ECC/EDC codes from user data. As an option, Test Disc can perform the post-gap test at the same time.

Test Disc will test three areas of the Data and Audio discs:

The software will work with new drives, but from our tests, it worked better with the Plextor PX-40TS.


7. EclipseSuite

Testing Media Quality - Page 6

EclipseSuite

EclipseSuite is probably the most professional utility for checking CD/DVD media. EclipseSuite is being used mostly by CD/DVD premastering companies since it can check the "master" disc for any problems with the following components:

Each component fully analyzes CD/DVD images to ensure conformance to all Book and Format specifications. Red, Yellow, Blue, Orange, Green and White. EclipseSuite uses normal readers (either CD-ROM or DVD-ROM) for testing the discs. The price of the EclipseSuite varies and it can reach up to $10.000.

ImageAnalysis

ImageAnalysis is a tool that handles all common input media, and all common CD and DVD formats. ImageAnalysis insures that problem CD, DVD or file images are discovered before time is lost in production. With its configurable interface, you decide the level of protection required. ImageAnalysis does the rest; automatically analyzing the image and interpreting the results. ImageAnalysis excels as a media and format analyzer in both the premastering and the QC environments.

Tests Performed by Image Analysis


8. Nero CD Speed

Testing Media Quality - Page 7

Nero CD Speed

Nero CD Speed is a free testing suite that can run several tests upon a recorded media. The current version includes two types of error checking:

- ScanDisc

ScanDisc is a function, which shows you the quality of a disc. The test consists of two parts; the File Test that simply reads all files on the disc and reports all errors. This test can also be used for benchmarking to give you an idea on how well the drive performs with for example software installing. The Surface Scan checks the quality of each sector and shows the results in a graph.

The yellow parts show damaged areas. For data CD's the data in these areas can be corrected. The red areas are unreadable. This means files are lost which the File Test also indicates.

Unlike to data CD's, in AudioCDs, the yellow areas are uncorrectable which means a loss of quality. The colour tells you how badly the sectors are damaged. Bright yellow means only a few errors; dark orange means a lot of errors. It is very rare to see unreadable areas on an Audio CD, and in such case the disc is extremely badly damaged.


9. Plextor PleXTools

Testing Media Quality - Page 9

Plextor PleXTools

PlexTools is a utility exclusively for Plextor users. It works with Plextor readers and recorders and is included in every European retail package. In the latest builds, you can check discs for errors. The process is very simple. Just load the disc and press "Start" under the "CD Test" menu. The software will report reading errors and their exact position:


10. ScanCD

Testing Media Quality - Page 10

ScanCD

ScanCD is a free software that can check your discs for errors. The software is pretty simple, with limited functions, and can only check Data discs:

The scanning has started and the process will last some minutes:

The results are very good since no errors are detected in our disc:


11. Sector Tester

Testing Media Quality - Page 11

Sector Tester

SectorTester is a software that can scan CDs for errors in either Data or Audio format. The software is sharewhere, offers limited functions and can be downloaded here:

When you press the yellow "thunder" button, the software will start checking the disc for errors and will prompt for any errors. In our case the data disc passed the tests, while the Audio track produced the "Error" message:


12. CD Doctor

Testing Media Quality - Page 12

CD Doctor

CD Doctor offers advanced media quality checking. The software is distributed Japanese and English languages. The software will work with the majority of SANYO and LiteOn based drives, at least with the current 1.04 version:

- Working around with CD-Doctor

After loading the software, the first screen appears where we can select the testing drive (drop down menu).

After inserting a media, the software will report the manufacturer ID code, the media type and the burned space. There are two more options, to run the measure at full speed (left bottom tick box), or start the test (bottom right button),

The test has started and the software shows the % progress, the disc time, the reading sectors and the reading speed (average/maximum):

When we have ticked the bottom left box, the reading process is done at full speed at a 5915Kb/s average reading speed:

A popup window shows the minimum, average, maximum C1/C2 errors. Pressing upon the graph, you can insert a title (We added a "This is a demo" phrase):

We can also change the font of the text, save a picture in png/csv formats


13. CD-R Tools

Testing Media Quality - Page 13

CD-R Tools

CD-R Tools is a free solution for checking C2 errors on your discs. The complete package can be downloaded over here. There is GUI for windows that can be found over here. In order to start the tests; you must open a dos window and first run the scgcheck.exe that will show the ID of our selected reader. Each device will have an ID like "x,x,x", where X can take either 0 or 1 value.

After, you type readcd -dev=(x,x,x) -c2scan. An example is showed in the following image. Our test disc includes 0.000077% C2 errors as the software reports. Note that results will vary from drive to drive since not all drives can report C2 errors accurately. The software reads the disc in full speed.

There is the possibility also to determine amount of the sectors to be scanned (with the additional parameter -sectors=x-y ):

readcd -dev=x,x,x -c2scan -sectors=100000-300000

Lastly, in case you wish to have all errors in a txt file, just use the following command:

readcd -dev=x,x,x -c2scan > errors.txt


14. Nero CD Speed

Testing Media Quality - Page 14

Nero CD Speed

Nero CD Speed offers an additional error checking beside the "ScanDisc" function:

- CD Quality Check

The CD Quality Test scans the disc for errors (yellow line) and shows the read speed (green line). It can be useful to:

- Compare the recovery strategy of different drives when a low quality or damaged CD is used.
- Check the quality of the CD(-R/W) media
- If you have a CD recorder, you can check if the data on the CD-R(W) is written correctly but for this purpose the ScanDisc function is better suited.

Not all drives are capable of returning error information. To make sure your drive supports this feature you should run the test with a badly damaged disc. An audio disc is highly recommended for this because you will probably get a read error when you're trying to read from a badly damaged data disc.

A future version of CD Speed will offer the option also to measure the C1/C2 errors of a burned disc. The yellow lines here re-present C2 errors.


15. UM Doctor

Testing Media Quality - Page 15

UM Doctor

UM Doctor is made by SANYO Electric Japan and sold only to legal companies inside the Japan region. There are two versions, the UM Doctor and the UM Doctor Pro. The basic version is sold at 5.000 Yen, while the Pro (and most interesting version) at 50.000 Yen. As was expected the software works only with SANYO (including OEM) based drives.

The main functions of UM Doctor are:

Level
C1 (cps)
C2 (cps)
Dr. KYARA cartoon figures
Message Explanation
1
< 50
0
There are no problems with the data errors or noise on output data
2
> 50 (~ 250)
0
There might be a little problem, however the data are recoverable
3
> 250 (~ 1000)
0
There is a serious problem about the amount of data error detection. There is no problem of a data error or a noise on output data.
4
> 1000
0
The problem is serious about the amount of data error detection. A data error and a noise may occur on output data.
5
-
<10
A problem is serious about the amount of reproduction data. A data error and a noise occur on output data.
6
-
>10
A problem is very serious about the amount of reproduction data. A data error and a noise occur frequently on output data.

The diagnostic results are displayed after the end in the following format. The Pro version offers the ability to retrieve (and display in graphs) the C1/C2 error information from discs.

For more information please contact SANYO Electric Co. LTD at p-hanbai@infopd.sanyo.co.jp

- Working around with the software

SANYO offers demo versions available that will work without a licence for 10 times. In the following screen, the software reports that we don't have a licence and we can run the software in demo mode.

- Working around with the software

After loading the software, the first screen appears where we can select the testing drive (drop down menu). After inserting a media, the software will report the real media manufacturer, the media type, the linear velocity, the lead-out, the dye material and the capacity of the burned disc. In the main area, the software displays all the read tracks (Data/audio) and their start end time among with the sector size. Lastly, the START button will begin the reading process:

The software will prompt again about the demo status (8 more times before the software expires):

After the reading finished, a popup window will show the C1/C2 error graph among with the minimum, average and maximum absolute values:

At the bottom, we can see Dr. KYARA, SANYO's cartoon that gives an estimation of the condition of the tested disc. We can change the graph display (normal, LOG scale), the title of the axis, among with the scale:

Let's now measure an Audio disc. After inserting the disc, the software shows the Audio tracks. The inserted disc is pressed so there is no much information:

The reading process started

The drive produced several errors while reading, and Dr. KYARA seems troubled from the disc condition:

Lastly, let's see how a bad disc would perform:

Many C1/C2 errors are counted:

The disc's condition is really bad (un-readable) and Dr. KYARA is depressed!


16. WSES - Page 1

Testing Media Quality - Page 16

WSES - Page 1

- History

WSES (Write Strategy Evaluation System) comes directly from LiteOn labs.

- Propose

WSES that can be used to perform various tasks such as:

1) Performance tests (trasnfer rate, seek/access times),
2) Writing quality tests (C1/C2, ATER measurement, BETA, RF/GAMMA)
3) Getting Information about insert disc/drive status

- Supported drives

All LiteOn recorders and readers. Drives based upon MediaTek chipsets may work also, look in the hardware section for such compatibility. The software's writing quality tests will work only with LiteOn CD-RW recorders while the "exercise -> read c1/c2 count" will only work with the LiteOn CD/DVD readers.

- Installation

The WSES software works only under plain DOS, forget DOS windows under Win2k/WinXP, and only under FAT32 partitions. It is advised to use Win98SE boot disc and during the boot up process don't load any DOS drivers.You should have already unzipped the contents of the zip file into a folder (/WSES/). Inside that folder there are two files:

a) st.exe that will be used to take screenshots of the various test results
b) wses.exe that is the main test software

The st (screen thief) software can be used as: C:\wses\st.exe. Pictures can be taken by pressing CTRLl+ALT+T. The names of the saved pictures are in sequence (wses01, wses02,etc..). The default output format is .BMP. In case you wish you can store pictures in .PCX or .TIFF format with the following command: C:\wses\st. /output:pcx (or /output:tiff)


17. WSES - Page 2

Testing Media Quality - Page 17

WSES - Page 2

After you load the screen thief software (it's not necessary for all users), you can run the wses.exe. The first screen will appear as follows. In our test machine we had installed the ASUS CRW-4816A (MASTER) and LiteOn LTR-48125W (SLAVE). The WSES software will automatically choose the MASTER drive (in our case ASUS) but not many tests will work with it. You can navigate through menus with the arrows (right & left goes in and out of menus, and up & down as their name says...). Pressing enter in some menus, you can change values.

In order to change the drive, head over to "SETUP" menu. There are several options there, just change from MASTER to SLAVE:

As we can see the LiteOn drive is now selected.


18. WSES - Page 3

Testing Media Quality - Page 18

WSES - Page 3

Let's now see some of the menus of WSES software. Under the "Utilities" section we can find several functions like:

NEVER execute the "CLEAR EEPROM" command; else your drive will be destroyed without the option to repair it! Accessing the "SET CD Speed" menu, we can set the reading/writing speed for some of the tests:

We can also set the PCI mode of the drive and read the M/B chipset:

Let's now move one step higher and see what's under the "DRIVE EXERCISE" menu. There we can find the commands for checking various items in CD-RW, CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drives. Also we can check the Seek/Access times and read error rates:

Under the CD-RW menu we find several commands:

Under the "ATAPI-DVD" we can read the DVD structure:


19. WSES - Page 4

Testing Media Quality - Page 19

WSES - Page 4

Let's now pass over some tests. Under the "SEEK/ACCESS" menu, you can find the command set for the testing them. You can test the Random, 1/3 and Full stroke of either seek or access times.

The WSES software offers many parameters that cannot be found in any other testing software! You can set the starting/ending seconds/frame, how many times will be repeated, the maximum reported seek time and the max error count before the test stops.

Under the "Read/Err Rate" menu there are some more interesting features. The most interesting for us could be the "READ C1/C2 Count".

You can set the start/end time and the passes. After it finishes the software will report the total C2 errors. This test will work only with LiteOn CD/DVD-ROM since with the LiteOn recorders produces error message:


20. WSES - Page 5

Testing Media Quality - Page 20

WSES - Page 5

Let's now see the "DISC MEASUREMENTS" menu. The WSES software offers many measurements for both blank and written media:

- C1/C2 measurement

The basic function of WSES is to report C1/C2 error rate and plot them in a graph. You can set the start/end min (setup 80, 90 or 99 according to the inserted disc), the display scale (C1 to 50) and the reading speed (40X). The software by default tests at maximum speed, but it's advised to reduce to either 40X or even slower. You must eject and re-insert every disc you want to scan twice.

A C1/C2 measurement below shows a very bad disc with many C1 errors and C2 in a specific point.

The below screen shows a very good disc with low C1 error rate

After you finish the test, you can re-plot the graph with the "DISPLAY RESULT" function in a different scale.


21. WSES - Page 6

Testing Media Quality - Page 21

WSES - Page 6

Other measurements:

- ATER equals to ATIP error rate. This test can be run on a blank disc. The ATIP information encoded on CD-R includes a Cyclic Redundancy Check Code (CRC). The data is divided by a fixed polynomial and the remainder of this operation is encoded alongside the original data. Subsequently, the decoder performs the same polynomial division on the data and remainders are compared. If the remainders are identical then the data is deemed to be in error. The ATIP Error rate is the percentage of bad ATIP frames averaged over any ten-second period. Many bad ATIP frames can can seriously degrade the decoders performance.

- All Measurement

Under the "ALL MEAS" menu we can run the ATER reading and writing test. The software will plot the ATER graph before and after recording the disc at the selected speed. If the disc includes very low or zero amount of ATIP frames then the disc can be safely recorder at this speed.

ATER Measurement before writing

ATER Measurement (after writing)


22. WSES - Page 7

Testing Media Quality - Page 22

WSES - Page 7

- RF/Gamma is also called as "Rtop" and shows the reflectivity from Itop. This is a measurement probably more useful for the LiteOn engineers since they can see how the reflectivity responds to the laser power.

- BETA

Beta is an alternative asymmetry measurement. It is more applicable to recorded CD-R discs as CD recorders continuously monitor this parameter to optimise write power while recording. Generally, a low value of Beta means that the disc is recorded close to its optimum power. High values of Beta indicate poor recording. The result should be less than 20%. The WSES software can graph the BETA% between -40 till 40%. The reading process is extremely slow...


23. CD Vergleich - Page 1

Testing Media Quality - Page 23

CD Vergleich - Page 1

CD Vergleich can be used for checking mostly with AudioCDs for checking C2 errors. You can download the software over here.

The software is actually a verifier either for an image/disc or for disc-disc (original-copy) on-the-fly. The software co-operates perfectly with Feurio! Audio images only. Let's see the basic functions of the software. Unfortunaly the software is still in German language but we will give you an idea of its operation:

From the main menu we can select the two readers that will be used to compare. Note that the software will detect automatically if the drive supports C2 error information and will show the appropriate button. If you insert Data CDs, C2 error information is not valid. For our testing proposes we copied the CD to the hard disk with the use of Feurio!

From the second menu (Quelle I) we select the "Image-Datei" and we are ready to perform the comparison between the ripped image and our original/burned disc:


24. CD Vergleich - Page 2

Testing Media Quality - Page 24

CD Vergleich - Page 2

Before testing let's check if our original disc contains C2 errors by pressing the small "C2" button. The following image opens and we just press "Start". The software will search the disc for C2 errors. After the drive finished we saw that C2 were present, as also the CDR Tools software reported:

Now let's compare the image and the original disc for any differences. Note that this process occupies almost 100% the CPU. The software will drop the comparing speed down to 0.1X with some drives. However with Plextor PX-40TS and TEAC CD-W540E the process is done at full speed!

After sometime the software will report its findings. As we can notice, the drive stopped reading at 20track and reported C2 errors.

Comparison between image and CD-ROM

Comparison between CD-ROMS

In case you decide to register the software, you can enable advanced comparison features, like bit-to-bit visual graphic comparison, where the error occured!


25. EAC

Testing Media Quality - Page 25

EAC

EAC is one of the few AudioCD extractors that support return of C2 error information. This can be useful since the software will re-try to read sectors that reported to have errors. Under the software properties we can find the "Examine C2 feature" option. For this test, you must use a disc that has scratches or defects:

The test results will be reported:

Now you can tick under the "Secure" mode the C2 error information boxes to have the ultimate DAE ripping quality. Again the extracted tracks quality depends upon the reader capabilities:

The drive will start ripping the tracks. EAC reads each sector twice, and compare them to make sure they are the same, either in secure/burst modes.

If you are ripping a scratched disc with "Secure" mode enabled, it can re-read each sector up to 80 times, when under other setting would re-read it only up to 16 times. The C2 error setting, assuming the used drive can report it, will help the drive detect the bad sectors and re-read them. The 3 "Error Correction" red bars will light up showing the number of unsuccessful reads & compares:


26. Feurio!

Testing Media Quality - Page 26

Feurio

Feurio! can report C2 errors during the Copy process, if the drive supports it. In case software finds a C2 error will prompt and in the end will give a report:


27. Conclusion

Testing Media Quality - Page 27

Comparison

After we compared almost all CD checking software let's see their features/abilities:

- Utilities that check the idegrity of a pressed/burned disc:

Name
Can check Data
Can Check Audio
Can report damaged files
Has recover capabilities
Price
CD-Check
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Free
CD-R Diagnostics
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Demo / Full version costs $50
CD-R Inspector
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Full version costs $120
CD Roller
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Demo / Full version costs $17
Disc Inspector
Yes
Yes
?
?
No longer being developed
EclipseSuite
Yes
Yes
Yes
?
Full version costs up to $10.000
Nero CD Speed
Yes
Yes
No
No
Free
PlexTools
Yes
Yes
No
No
Free only for Plextor users
ScanCD
Yes
No
Yes
No
Free/ no longer being developed
Sector Scanner
Yes
Yes
No
No
Demo / Full version costs $??

The question that arises is which testing software we should use to check the integrity of a burned disc. The CD-Check software will cover your needs, since it checks the disc for read errors, can check files with CRC checksum, compare with the data placed in HD and also recover them. Best of all its free!

The Nero CD Speed is the defacto software for measuring a drive's performance for the industry, but can also be used to check your media with its "ScanDisc" test...

ArrowKey may advertise both CD-R Diagnostics and CD-R Inspector as two very strong media checking utilities but from our tests, they missed to report damaged discs. Their cost is high enough, since at the same time, other software can cover user's needs. Especially, CD-R Inspector's price ($120) is high, since Nero CD Speed can do the same tasks (and probably better) for free!

CD-Roller should be looked from users since it constantly keep improving. It has similar recover capabilities to the CD-R Diagnostics in a lower price.

PlexTools is a special case, since it works only with Plextor drives but it offers CD checking capabilities.

Disc Inspector is rather old software from ECI that was very popular in the past. ECI no longer sells it's and can check ECC/EDC errors of either a Data/Audio disc. It also works smoothly with older drives.

EclipseSuite is a utility that skips end users and is mainly used for measurements in duplicators. It offers full checking in both logical and physical levels, something that no other utility offers. Its price is high enough to be used only by professionals!

Lastly, ScanCD and Sector Scanner are not really worth to occupy your time since their options/features are really limited.

- Utilities with the ability to measure C1/C2 errors of a pressed/burned disc

Name
Can check Data
Can Check Audio
Can report C2 erros
Can report C1 errors
Works with all drives
Price
CD Doctor
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Only with SANYO and LiteOn based drives
Free
CD-R Tools
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Free (only DOS)
Nero CD Speed
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Unknown (?)
Still in beta stage
UM Doctor
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Only with SANYO based drives
Demo works for 10 times, full version only available to Japanese companies for a cost of 5~50.000 Yen
WSES
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Only with LiteOn reader/recorders and partially with MediaTek based drives
Free (only DOS)

All the above utilities offer more advanced checking methods and designed for the so-called "power" users. The WSES is the most complete CD-R checking software, offering C1/C2 errors, ATIP, BETA and other measurements, found in expensive testing equipment. It works mainly with LiteOn drives and partially with MediaTek based drives. Its biggest negative is that works only under plain DOS mode.

CD-Doctor is a new utility that can report C1/C2 errors from SANYO and LiteOn drives, and for now, available only in Japanese language. The software is offered for free.

CD-R Tools can be useful. It's free, works with almost all drives but only under DOS. Not many users will like the DOS commands but with some practise it's easy to use.

Nero CD Speed will become an interesting solution in the near future, since its C1/C2 error reporting is still in beta stage.

Lastly, UM Doctor series is commercial software that works only with SANYO based drives and its price/availability making it forbidden for end users.



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