Optical Media Woes (was: Two impertinent questions)

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at tristatelogic.com
Mon May 12 21:57:36 UTC 2014

In message <221.1399708393 at server1.tristatelogic.com>, I wrote:

>1) Whose responsibility is it, if anyone's try to insure that the
>FreeBSD release disks (e.g. FreeBSD-10.0-RELEASE-amd64-disc1.iso)
>can actually be successfully booted when using various makes and
>models of CD/DVD/Blu-Ray optical drives?
>I ask because trying just now I found that booting that release CD
>resulted in utter failure on two out of three optical drives on
>one particular system I have... and it seems to me that I have
>seen similar sorts of alleged "READ ERRORs" in the past, where
>FreeBSD just refuses to work properly with various optical drives
>that other OSes don't seem to have any problems at all with.

I just wanted to apologize to everyone for the above quoted
portion of my unfortunate outburst the other day.  I was tired and
frustrated.  But that's no excuse really.

I did more testing, and learned a number of things, none of which
implicate any problems whatsoever in the FreeBSD drivers relating
to optical drives.

First, a clarification... I said that a 10.0-RELEASE CD that I had
made was failing on two out of three optical drives.  That's not
quite accurate because one of the tests I did was with an external
USB drive which was connected to a particular motherboard I own...
one that I am quite completely sure (for other reasons) has "issues"
with USB attached mass storage.  So that test didn't really count.

More testing revealed that I _was_ able to boot all of the way to the
LiveCD/Install selection menu... with no read errors... when using the
burned CD in question with two different LG optical drives I own, but
the CD in question is/was still consistantly getting read errors when
I was trying to use it with my ASUS BC-12B1ST "combo" Blu-Ray drive.
Given this, I suspected that there might be a FreeBSD driver issue
relating to the BC-12B1ST drive, specifically, but it now appears that
I was utterly wrong in that suspicion.

I went back and burned a fresh new CD... also a good quality Verbatim,
like the one I was getting errors from... this time performing the burn
using Imgburn on Windoze (rather than cdrecord on FreeBSD), at what it
(Imgburn) said was minimum supported burn speed for the media (16x) and
with a final verify pass, just to make absolutely sure that all was well.

Sure enough, that new CD works just fine in the ASUS BC-12B1ST.

Obviously, the BC-12B1ST is quite a bit more sensitive to marginal CD
burns than either of my two LG optical drives are.

The moral of the story is obvious:  Even if one has the best quality
media and up-to-date burners, one should never have blind faith in any
kind of optical media, particularly CDs, which, I gather, may perhaps
have lots less in the way of error detection/correction than, for example,

Well, I'll never make THAT mistake again.


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