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Archive for the ‘CDs & DVDs’ Category

If you want to try the GnomeBaker disc writer as an alternative to Brasero, or already had it only to find it uninstalled when you upgraded Ubuntu to 12.10, there is no version for Quantal Quetzal, but you can nonetheless get it to install. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as just getting Synaptic Package Manager or Ubuntu Software Center to install it, as it won’t be found in the official repositories.

GnomeBaker CD/DVD Writer

First, you need to add the PPA, which you can do by running the following command in the terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnomebaker/stable

Now you need to edit that source list:

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/gnomebaker.list

… and replace both instances of quantal with oneiric, then save/exit the file.

Next, run the following to update your software sources:

sudo apt-get update

… and then install GnomeBaker:

sudo apt-get install gnomebaker

You’ll now have GnomeBaker back on your system, or have a great alternative to Brasero if you’ve never used it before!

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If you’ve recently upgraded to 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”, you will notice that when you double-click an .iso disc image file, it will want to create an image checksum (for data verification) before it burns the disc. For most of us, this is annoying, as it needlessly adds time to the burning process.

What’s worse is that once the image has been burned to disc, it will want to do it all over again, even though it apparently does not even compare the first checksum with the final one.

If you’ve tried the Preferences button before burning the image only to find nothing useful, the answer can be found by opening the main program window (Applications > Sound & Video > Brasero Disc Burner), and going to Edit > Plugins.

You will see 2 plugins related to checksum creation/verification: File ChecksumEnables Brasero to check the integrity of files“, while Image ChecksumEnables Brasero to perform integrity checks on discs after they have been burnt. Also enables the writing of a small file which holds the MD5 sum of all the files on the disc“.

Now, in my situation the Image Checksum doesn’t seem to do anything but waste time. In theory, having it create a checksum file and sticking it on the disc for later verification seems a great idea, but I’m personally wary of that as it could render some bootable discs useless. Luckily, from what I have seen, it does nothing of the sort, and it seems no checksum file is created anywhere, meaning this plugin is really just wasting your time.

But simply uncheck the Image Checksum plugin to disable it, and your burn process will go back to how it was.

Extra Notes:

You can also uncheck the File Checksum plugin, since it is much simpler verifying data discs via the terminal, but this is not vital.

If you actually find this plugin useful, you can choose the SHA1 or SHA256 hashing algorithms instead of the default MD5, simply by clicking Configure.

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“Failed to eject media; one or more volumes on the media are busy.”

That is an error message you may come across from time to time, and of course the obvious thing to do is make sure no programs are still trying to access a CD or DVD in your disc drive. And this includes programs that aren’t actively using the device, but are nonetheless keeping it “busy”, like if you have a media player open with files or titles from the disc still in its playlist. But once you have ruled all that out, you still might be left with the inability to eject the disc and get on with things, so hopefully some information here will be of use to you.

In most cases, the following command run in a terminal or via Alt+F2 will successfully unmount the disc, and then eject the tray:

sudo umount -l /media/cdrom0 && eject

Please note: since Ubuntu now automagically creates mount points for discs based on the label, /media/cdrom0 may not work for you, so you may need to ascertain the correct path for the current disc with this command:

mount|grep ^'/dev'

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If you’ve come across some commands that require the actual device name of your CD/DVD drive (eg: /dev/dvd), rather than the mount point (eg: /media/cdrom0), it pays to know what it is, as commands won’t work if they’re looking in the wrong place. There are a couple of ways of doing this, and you’ll probably find they give conflicting outputs, but where one is not useful to you, the other will be; for example, if your drive is both /dev/scd0 and /dev/sr0, you might find /dev/sr0 works for most commands, and where it fails /dev/scd0 won’t.

Method 1:

To find out the name of the block device file representing your optical disc drive, enter the following into a terminal, without a disc in the drive:

wodim --devices

The information will be displayed as follows:

wodim: Overview of accessible drives (1 found) :
————————————————————————-
0 dev=’/dev/scd0‘ rwrw-- : ‘ASUS’ ‘DRW-24B1ST’
————————————————————————-

If there is a disc in the tray, you will see the following error, so just eject the disc and run the command again:

wodim: No such file or directory.
Cannot open SCSI driver!
For possible targets try ‘wodim --devices’
or ‘wodim -scanbus’.
For possible transport specifiers try ‘wodim
dev=help’.
For IDE/ATAPI devices configuration,
see the file README.ATAPI.setup from
the wodim documentation.

Method 2:

To find out the name of the block device file representing your optical disc drive, as well as its mount point, enter the following into a terminal:

mount|grep ^'/dev'

The output will look as follows:

/dev/sda3 on / type ext4 (rw)
/dev/sda1 on /media/Windows XP type fuseblk (rw,nosuid,nodev,allow_other,blksize=4096)
/dev/sr0 on /media/cdrom0 type iso9660 (ro,noexec,nosuid,nodev,unhide,user=ozzman)


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You’ve got to love Linux. There are so many things you can do with it that you could only dream of in Windows. What I’ll show you here is how to set up a button (or launcher actually) that will erase a rewritable disc with one click, with no further action needed on your part.

The command that will do the task is:

cdrecord -v dev=/dev/cdrom blank=fast

If you enter it into a terminal, you will see output similar to:

Starting to write CD/DVD at speed 2.0 in real BLANK mode for single session.
Last chance to quit, starting real write in 0 seconds. Operation starts.
Performing OPC…
Blanking PMA, TOC, pregap
Blanking time: 48.879s

But you don’t have to open a terminal, as this command runs fine from a launcher. So for one-click erasing of CD-RW and DVD-RW media, make a panel launcher for that command, and it’s done. Just insert a disc that needs to be blanked, click the button/launcher, and when the optical drive’s light finishes flashing, your media is now empty and ready for use.

Note: You may need to substitute the correct device path if it differs from /dev/cdrom, as the command will not work if it is looking to an address that doesn’t exist. It will likely be something like /dev/scd0 or /dev/sr0; to find out exactly what it is, read this guide.

Another error you may encounter may be that the operation cannot proceed because the disc is mounted (which can happen if you stick in a RW with data on it), and will end with something like:

Error trying to open /dev/cdrom exclusively (Device or resource busy)… retrying in 1 second.
Error trying to open /dev/cdrom exclusively (Device or resource busy)… giving up.
WARNING: /dev/cdrom seems to be mounted!
wodim: Device or resource busy.

Simply unmount the disc drive by right-clicking it in the left pane of Nautilus and choosing Unmount, then try the command again.

Note: If you can find no Unmount option, only Eject, you can do it via the terminal (replacing /dev/scd0 with the correct path if need be):

umount /dev/scd0

You can of course also run both commands at once (note this will not work as a launcher, as it will only run the first command):

umount /dev/scd0 && cdrecord -v dev=/dev/scd0 blank=fast

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Can’t Blank a Disc?

Unfortunately, while this command works great with some media, on other discs you might see it end with the following error:

Error: this media does not support blanking, ignoring.
This drive or media does not support the ‘BLANK media’ command
wodim: Cannot blank disk, aborting.

You can try adding the options -force and blank=all to the end of the command, but don’t get your hopes up. In my case, old 2x RW DVDs get blanked fine, but the 4x RWs I just bought simply refuse to be blanked in this way.

You will need to erase such discs with a burning app such as K3b (which will let you pick an alternate method if the default blanking option doesn’t work).

 

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If you’ve tried as many burning apps as I have over the years, both in Windows and Linux, you’ll already know that they all have their limitations, if you look hard enough. And when it comes to especially long file-names, you’ve probably also seen a few messages telling you the offending file-names will be truncated to fit in with the standard being used to burn the disc.

K3b is a great program that can do many things the others can’t, but it will complain about really long names that go past the allowed amount of characters, at least on the default setting. But there is a way around this, and it isn’t opening another app like GnomeBaker.

When you are in the Burn dialogue, go to the Filesystem tab, and under File System you will notice the setting is (probably) Linux/Unix + Windows, and this Windows support is the problem. Instead, choose Linux/Unix only and your project will be burned to disc without mention of long file-names. And your disc will still be able to open in Windows, and current versions of it should be able to handle the extra-long names. But, if you are worried about cross-platform compatibility issues, you can change it back to Linux/Unix + Windows when burning your next disc, and only set it to Linux/Unix only when you need to.

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Click here for all K3b tips

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K3b is an excellent disc burning program with lots of features, and one of those is the ability to customise the quick start pane that is shown when there is no open project.

The 2 default buttons are New Audio CD Project and New Data Project, but you can add more to these, or replace them with whatever you please. As an example, I’ll show you how to add a button for movie DVDs while removing the rarely-used audio CD button.

To add a new button, you can right-click any existing button, and from the Add Button menu choose your option.

Alternatively, just right-click anywhere in that pane (other than on a button) and automatically the Add Button menu is displayed. Simply click on your choice and a button for it will be added to the end (right of existing buttons).

To remove a button, simply right-click it and choose Remove Button, and it will be gone from sight. Note that you cannot delete the More actions… button (which is actually a good thing).

As I said, you can add as many buttons as you want. In fact, you can pretty much eliminate the need to go back into the More actions... menu ever again.

However, if you want to keep it neat and tidy, and only really use a couple of options – like burning data discs and movie DVDs – just display buttons for those.

As you can see, it is incredibly easy to tailor K3b‘s quick start pane to your needs, so set it up how you want and you will rarely ever need to click More actions… again.

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Click here for all K3b tips

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Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

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