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Avoiding CD-R disk Failure - A User's Guide

Tips for Proper handling of Recordable CD's

Avoiding CD-R disk Failure

A failure with a recordable CD (CD-R) can be frustrating and costly-in terms of time and money. This guide will help you minimize disk failures when recording on CD-R's.

Recordable CD's are most susceptible to failure during the recording cycle. Once a disk has been "finalized" (with the Lead-Out area and Table of Contents completed) no further recording is possible, and the disk becomes much less susceptible to failure. At this point, a CD-R may be treated with the same care that any commercially made CD is treated, without fear of disk failure.

The "number one" cause of CD-R disk failure is contamination of the recording surface! The key to minimizing disk failures is to keep the disk as clean and dust-free as humanly possible before and throughout the recording process. To do so, use the following guidelines. Make sure, too, that anyone who may use the CD recorder follows these guidelines.

  • Do not touch the green, blue or gold recording surface of the disk. Do not expose to dust or dirt.

  • NEVER BLOW ON THE disk! To remove dust from the recording surface, use a camera lens air bulb.
  • To remove stubborn dirt or grease from the recording surface use only non-abrasive foam-tipped swabs (such as Chemtronics Foamtips #120) with a small amount of pure, denatured alcohol. Use light strokes to avoid scratching the surface. Start at the center of the disk and pull directly towards the disk's outer edge.
  • Always record in a dust-free environment. Use the ASC063 Anti-Static Cloth to remove dust particles from the recording surface and to minimize the disk's static attraction of dust particles.
  • If a disk must be removed from the recorder before recording is finished, store the disk in a clean, dust-free environment.
  • If a disk caddy has accumulated dust or dirt, DO NOT use it for recording. Always use a clean, dust-free caddy for disk recording.

Any mechanical vibrations during recording will put the disk at risk of failure. To avoid such failures, observe the following practices:

  • Place the CD recorder on a solid, stable surface away from high-traffic areas. The surface must allow the CD recorder to operate in a level, horizontal position.

  • Avoid touching or handling of the CD recorder during recording.

When recording at 4x speed, always use disks marked with the "4x" symbol. This is your assurance of the best-quality recording medium for 4x recording applications!

Tips for Proper Handling of CD Recordable CDs

To avoid disk contamination and possible disk failure, follow these guidelines whenever handling unrecorded or partially recorded disks:

  • Before handling disks always make sure that your hands are clean, free of dust and dirt. It is best to wash your hands with soap and water.

  • Always handle the disk by the edge. Avoid placing fingerprints on the green(recording) side of the disk. [To remove fingerprints from the disk, see "Tips For Safe Cleaning Of Recordable CD's.]
  • Do not leave an unrecorded or partially recorded disk exposed. When not in use immediately place the disk in its jewel case, or other suitable protective housing.
  • Never blow on the disk. Small droplets of saliva will leave a residue on the recording surface. Avoid speaking near the disk. Similarly, avoid using compressed air or sprays to remove dust or lint.
  • Avoid scratches, to the recording side of the disk. There is no way to repair or remove scratches, and they put the recording in jeopardy.
  • Do not place gummed labels on either side of the disk. If you wish to mark the disk, use a soft-tipped marking pen on the gold side after the recording is completed.
  • Before recording the disk, make sure the recording surface is free of dust, lint, dirt, fingerprints, and static charges. To safely clean the disk, see "Tips For Safe Cleaning Of Recordable CD's". To remove static charges, use the ASCO63 Anti-Static Cloth according to the instructions supplied with the cloth.



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