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Slow backup with NEC 3540A


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Just installed NEC 3540A. Backup to CD or DVD is painfully slow ~ 30MB/min to 50MB/min. With the previous Toshiba SD-R5372, backup was 250MB/min to 400MB/min.


Nero writes just fine to CD or DVD.


Anyone else using the NEC 3540A? What kind of backup speeds?








Edit: Tried a custom config. Runs faster. But, now, writing proceeds for a while, then stops for 10-15 seconds [while the drive spins up significantly], then the drive slows down and writing starts again. Argh!


Speeds are still about 1/2 of the Toshiba.




Second edit: System is Win XP, SP2. Retro is version 7.0.326 [which comes with the RDU]

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  • 3 weeks later...

Reason for responding to my own post is to raise it's visibility.

I'm concerned about what 'qualified' means in Storage Device Compatibility.

The NEC 3540A is shown as qualified for Windows. Yet Retrospect writes to it ~ 1/10 of the rate of the other drives I've used [i.e., Toshiba and Liteon].

I'm hoping someone from Dantz will confirm the write speed that was observed during the qualification testing.


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I just tested the firewire ND-3540A in a Lacie d2 DVD DL enclosure with a Verbatim CD-R and saw about 73 MB/min so this would fit in-line with what you are seeing.


This drive and the Toshiba SD-R5372 are different drives so they really can't be compared against each other.

That said, here are a couple suggestions to increase speeds:


1. In Device Manager > IDE ATA/ATAPI controller > Rt. click Primary and Secondary Controller > Properties > Advanced Settings tab > make sure Transfer Mode is set to "DMA if available".


2. Make sure the optical drive is on a different IDE controller from the source drive.

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Thanks, but already there.


I've been switching the Toshiba and the NEC back and forth into/out of the same machine. So, while they are different drives, the NEC's performance when burning from Nero is essentially the same as the Toshiba => it appears that it's Retrospect's writing engine that is causing the slower writing to the NEC.


This all leads me back to the question: What performance is 'acceptable' when Retrospect qualifies a drive? Would 1MB/min qualify? And, what about Retrospect's writing engine is causing the difference in writing? And, is any one at Retrospect interested in 'fixing' it?

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Performance is definitely a criteria that is looked at during qualification.


However, the main priority is data integrity and the ability to backup and restore files correctly.


Our engineers try to maximize performance from every drive they qualify but not at the expense of the integrity of the backed up data.




>>And, what about Retrospect's writing engine is causing the difference in writing?




Retrospect will use different drivers based on how the drive handles certain commands.


Retrospect writes to the media differently than Nero or Roxio does for mastering so you can't compare speeds. This writing method is what allows users to read and restore from optical discs without closing the session thereby allowing you to continually write to the disc and maximize data storage capabilities by using the full capacity of the media.


Roxio and Nero will either close sessions after writing to the disc (preventing you from writing to the disc) or keep sessions open (preventing you from reading the contents of the disc).




To ensure data integrity, we alter the driver for each specific drive so two different CD-RW drives rated at 52x32x52 may not have the same performance.




It is not uncommon for certain media to backup at 30-50MB/min. It all depends on the media used.


Are you seeing these same speeds with DVD+R and DVD+R DL?

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Thank you taking the time to explain. At least I now understand that 30-50MB/min doesn't indicate something is wrong.

And, of course, I completely agree that reliability is dominant over speed.


How about Dantz including the performance results along with the Qualification notice?


For the DVD+R and DVD+R DL media,

DVD+R [samsung] full backup [~3GB]: the average looks to be 100MB/min +/-. The 30-50MB/min reported above to DVD was using Verbatim DVD-R DL.

For now, I'll take it on faith that the +R DL might also run faster.


The reason I'm concerned about write performance is just for the times when I need to do a full backup while I'm need to be using the workstation. Otherwise, the full backup could be scheduled to run at a convenient time.


Also, for me, writing to removable media [i.e., optical disks] is only 1 of three backup media. We also backup to USB drive and to a separate internal drive.


Thanks again

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