Starting out ------------ I have got a LitOn It 24x10x40 CD-RW (CD Re-Writer). It goes like lightning. I have it installed in a PC I built myself, and it is extremely good (I use Nero to burn with). It has a burnproof system (stops buffer under-run errors) and in a recent PC magazine (I forget the name of it) this CD-RW was rated very highly, and so it should be too. Looks ----- This drive is nice looking, but the fascia is that sort of yellow-coloured white. I prefere the sraight white coloured drives myself. The emergency eject hole is conveniently placed. Installation ------------- Easy installation (as with most CD drives nowadays) Screws are supplied, as too is an audio lead. Jumpers were easy to adjust and set (to slave in this instance) What do you get for your ££? ---------------------------- The drive comes complete with a high-ish quality CD-RW disc and a CD-R disc. This is quite nice if you can't afford to or can't get around to buying any, and you want to burn (write to a CD) straight away. Overall -------- Definately recommended to anybody, however they now have faster models available. (I shant write any speeds, or I shall have to keep modifying this opinion to stop it going out of date :) )
Liteon have made a decent quality CDRW at a damm good price. I have been very impressed with this drive since I installed it. Having not purchased a CDRW for quite while I needed some advice, the chaps at the place i purchased it from (Gladiatorcomputers.co.uk) seems to give me all the answers I needed, told me about it ability to copy any CD which sounded good. I did my home work and read around, it seems that most CDRW fail on copying complex software do to intentional error put on the dicks by the publishers, the Liteon sense these and dones not naff up your copy, leaving you with a perfect copy and a lot less cd coasters! Make sure you get hold of Clone CD for making the best copies, and if your copying on the fly from one drive to another use a Liteon CDROM of DVD drive, i found that the 16x DVD works a treat.
I had been meaning to purchase a CD-RW drive for quite sometime, for both neccesity reasons aswell as luxury, but more on neccessity since my aged computer was on it's last few hundred megabytes of disk space (and I require a fair amount of disk space as I mostly deal with audio files on my computer), and my factory installed Iomega Zip 100 drive had been almost useless since day one, not to mention that its consumables are very expensive and have less storage in comparision with a cheap CD. The only way to secure my contents and cater other needs was to indeed take the plunge and buy this. On shopping around for a suitable drive, I was at first put-off by the majority of modern CD-RW drives all requring a computer specification from the last few years (fair enough), but eventually I sighed relief when I came across this one which only required a P133, 32mb RAM (minimum) and atleast 100mb HD space, which pretty much accounts for almost all computers just a little out of the 5yr range. So if you're looking for a suitable CD backup system for an OAPC, this is instantly one to check out for backwards compatibility. DOS up until the current version of Windows is supported, and so is IBM's OS/2 Warp. Just so you know, I use a P200 with 32mb RAM. I had no free drive bays, so I had to kiss goodbye to my old 12x speed read CD-ROM (and fortunately this drive's read speed was 40x) in order to install my drive (this can be done horizontally or vertically). This was a straightforward task that involved opening up my computer for the quick operation in where I had to unplug the power cable (with some effort) from the CD-ROM drive, along with the EIDE (yep, it's an EIDE drive) cable and the audio cable (of which one is given in the box also, had you previously not had a CD device connected to a soundcard you own), and then removing the drive from the bay and slotting the CD-RW drive in with the connections restored. End of insta
llation - boot up, and Windows (I have 98) will automatically recognise the device and assign a driver. It's simple. The only hardware in the box is the drive, accompanied with an audio cable and two optional fixing screws (case dependent). And all that's left is the software on CD, and a simple fold-out sheet explaining installation, and for your instant usage; one CD-R disc (700mb/80mins - multi-speed), and one CD-RW disc (650mb/75mins - 4x-10x speed). I admit I was a bit dubious about the performance of this drive despite spotting some good reviews on shopping sites, because the brand name, Lite-On, wasn't exactly a name I had heard of before. I never had. And before my CD-RW arrived (from Watford Electronics) I checked out their website (which is at: www.liteonit.com) and was horrified by the pointlessness of the site, and the site trying to download something I didn't want! Fortunately, my horror was short when I realised all had gone so well and fast with this simple looking drive (it doesn't look too disimilar to my CD-ROM drive), and it had nestled in nicely, and the drive also though more powerful aswell, doesn't sound like it's going to make my PC take to the air when I load a disc), and the loading tray is efficiently built though a tad slower than my old CD-ROM drive to open. Both 8cm & 12cm discs (upto 99mins) can be used - which is all CD types really. Installation shouldn't take more than 10mins. Of course having a CD-RW drive is ace, but you'll need software in order to record! And bundled in the box is a CD copy of Nero Burning ROM 5.5 (the latest version as I write) which caters for pretty much all your standard writing needs (audio, data, video etc. plus!), and is a marvellous piece of software, that's simple to use with its wizard driven interface, and Windows Explorer like familiarity. It didn't take long to pretty much get to grips with all its features, and the software only require
s 486 power from your computer. It's so apt, that it's easy to take it for granted. The only gripe I have, thus far anyway, is that the help system of Nero is flawed in that once you view a topic you can't backtrack, you have to close help and start again, which is a hassle. I hope this is recitified in the future. It's shambolic for a 5.x release! Atleast help isn't a menu I have to visit much. With the Nero suite you can also edit wave files, perform drive diagnostics, design CD covers and burn local images of CD's. Also on the CD is a packet (incremental) writing program called InCD which allows you to format CD-RW (only) discs in such a way that they can be essentially used in the same way as floppy disks - only you can store more on a whopping 650mb atleast, rather than a laughable 1.44mb). On installation InCD resides in your system tray and adds itself to approprate Windows menus. You can also use InCD formatted disks with other packet writing drivers and programs such as DirectCD. And to top off the CD's contents there's a facility that allows you to make a floppy disk copy of DOS drivers (beneficial in those backup times when Windows won't start), plus Acrobat Reader, and a .pdf file of a 13 page disc manual - surely a .txt file would've been more simple?) NerioMediaPlayer is also on the CD, and bizarrely looks like WinAmp (especially in the dialogue boxes) with a bad skin, so one to avoid installing if you're happy with your multimedia playing software(s). I've only burnt 2 CD's thus far (1 test 2 track audio CD-R, and 1 collection of useful junk (a paradox?) on CD-RW) and I've been very impressed at the speed (bar individual disc limitations). Though it's early days, I've obviously not had bad burns resulting in useless discs, and with the (sic-y?) SMART-BURN (optimum burning) technology, this should make that impossible, if not, atleast less. And my hard di
sk space is now back to over a gigabyte free from a total of 3.5). Apart from reading at 40x, importantly the drive can write at 24 speed, which is currently high enough as most retail shops sell discs that only support writing upto 16 speed! And you can write/re-write (on special CD-RW discs only, of course) at 10 (high) speed. All standard and popular formats are covered by this device; all most people and sub-professionals will ever need anyway. You also get standard CD-ROM features such as high-speed digital audio/video extraction (useful for ripping MP3's from CD's fast), emergency manual eject (via a pinhole switch), and a headphone socket and volume wheel. This was a well-deserved buy, for me personally, and if anyone else is on a budget, with an aged PC, but wants a decent enough (maybe more!) CD-RW drive, this is perhaps one of the few best options. Don't let the brand unfamiliarity put you off. Lite-On's package is right on!
For anyone with a near encyclopaedic knowledge of late 1980s dance/pop music, the allusion to Black Box (featuring Nicki Harris I believe...) in the title would be child's play. I was sceptical about buying a LiteOn CD Burner, especially one which claims to be 24 speed writing speed, as I have always gone for names I could trust (e.g. Hewlett Packard, Yamaha). However a glance through Geizhals.at showed that this 24 speed burner could be mine for ATS 1688 (that's £76.72) and with my HP Burner having been bought just prior to the era of Burn-proof burners (these eliminate the scourge of many a users' life - Buffer Underrun), and that being the cheapest price in the country by close to a tenner, and with the shop a three minute work from where I live, then of course there was no hope but to buy this burner. Having installed many burners and so on in my time, the installation was a doddle, and all I had to do was attach it to my secondary IDE port, where my previous burner was and attach a few cables and it was ready to go. The retail version includes, to help with the installation, a cable to connect the writer to your sound card, but no secondary IDE cable (the HP did include one), so check your machine before you buy to check that you have one, otherwise you will have to add an extra IDE ribbon cable (a normal 40 pin UDMA-33 compatible ribbon cable is the one you want). There are screws for mounting the drive (in a spare 5.25" bay as if it needs mentioning!). Obviously you may have to change the jumper cap (initially set to slave) if you want to run the drive as the secondary master device. Then fire-up your computer and let the BIOS recognise the latest addition (don't be perturbed if at first it is described as a CD Rom drive rather than a writer. The bundled software, Nero 5 (my version was 5.5.30) and In CD (packet writing software and similar to Direct CD) are easy to install and once there are installed then you are ready
to burn, apart from one recommended tweak to the system settings. It is mentioned on the installation sheet (not quite like the manual and video CD that HP offered but then again, who really needs that, as you can get a friend to fit it if you can't!) although only by allusion. What you should do is: 1) Open System Settings 2) Select System 3) Select the tab "Hardware Manager" 4) Select the drive from the CD Drives (the only one there in some cases ? otherwise obviously click on the correct name) list 5)Click on properties 6) Select the tab "Settings" 7) Select DMA (i.e. put a tick in the box if it is unselected) 8) Close the various windows using "OK" in each instance. The Nero software is easy to use, and would cost about £35 if sold separately. I would advise removing all CD writing software you have installed (especially Adaptec/Roxio DirectCD) as having more than one piece of burning software installed can cause problems when writing. Before writing my first CD I did check the website (www.liteonit.com.tw) for any firmware patches, although with my drive being only manufactured in late November 2001, according to the box and the drive case, there were no updates necessary. Typically though a firmware update is about 300-400k in compressed zip form - expanded it was about 900k. Before getting burn crazy, run the Nero utilities that come with the drive, (Nero CD Speed and Nero Drivespeed), in order to get the drive calibrated and then open Nero. There are a host of options in Nero, but it should all be quite simple, I won?t tell you how to do it all - this is not a Nero op after all, although it would have been nice to have had some sort of a manual for Nero included for the first time user! The media supplied with the drive is the correct speed (I have seen slow media supplied with a burner before now - eg. 12x max writing speed for the CD media and a 16x writer).
Of course when buying Media for the drive you should also ensure that the Media is compatible with write speeds of 16x and 24x (otherwise you are advised to turn the speed down on your burner). For music CDs I would always advise a slower write speed (max 8x) as some CD players can be a bit fussy about what CDs they'll read. My first test for the burner was to create a Data CD - ca. 600Mb from the hard-drive (this is going to be the typical workload for the computer) and this took 6:16 including 1:30 for data caching - but was only this long because I had used a slower CD 16x compatible, which the drive had recognised. As a tip to avoid any problems don't run lots of apps in the background when burning, admitted it is not such a problem as it used to be with the earlier burners but for the quicker burn speeds it is still worth heeding. Having linked up another CD drive to read the data to back-up a CD, I then saw the burner really fly although on the fly burning is not advisable with scratched original CDs. All in all this is a very good low price burner, and well worth the cash - especially after you have got fed up of waiting for new HP Burner firmware to arrive.
After recently upgrading my PC from a 333 Mhz to a 1.4 Ghz I thought it was also time to upgrade from my 2 speed cd writer. After countless hours of searching over the internet I found this LiteOn 24 speed cd writer. Surprisingly the price was very cheap at £112 from buy.com but then I noticed some £20 off when you spend £40 or over for first time buyers from buy.com. At £112 this cd writer would have been excellent value for money but for just £92 I couldn't complain. The CD writer arrived after around 10 days (out of stock at buy.com so it had to be ordered) and setup was very straightforward. It is also fully complient with Windows 2000. The writer also comes with one cd-rw and also one cd-r. My first CD took around 5 minutes and the reason why it didn't take 3 minutes as it should at 24 speed (3.6 MB a second transfer) was because of the CD-R media I was using which was only 12 speed complient. I do not know how I even survived with a 2 speed and with the latest technology like Smart Burn (making CD burning buffer underun free which I always used to get with my old cd writer) I think this was another very wise move I took in purchasing this CD writer. Overall.....excellent price, excellent features...highly recommended