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CD burning on pre-Pentium systems?

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First post, by computergeek92

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I heard of somebody actually burning a cd on a 486DX!!! How is this possible and what (probably DOS) software is used?? What about even a 386?..

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Reply 1 of 27, by feipoa

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A 486 can even burn DVDs.
486 DVD burner

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Reply 2 of 27, by Scali

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I don't see why any 386/486 would have problems burning CDs (aside from possible buffer underrun issues on early burners that didn't have protection against it).
They can run Windows 3.x and 9x, and they can support the common interfaces for burners of the day, IDE and SCSI.

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Reply 3 of 27, by oerk

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Buffer underruns are never a good thing. It depends on what data rate is sustainable (at least 150KB/sec, though one CD could take up to 1 1/2 hours at that speed). Interface and not hooking it up to the same controller channel as the hard drive are also factors.

Reply 4 of 27, by Tertz

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To make things easier in Win9x on slow machines and old CD drives it's useful to set special params for cache by app like cacheman (it has the preset for CD burning).

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Reply 5 of 27, by jesolo

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I've burned CD's on my AMD 486 DX4-100 using Easy CD creator 5.3 while running on Windows 95 OSR2.5.
My writer does have buffer under run protection and I also had 16 MB installed.

Reply 6 of 27, by sliderider

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I am thinking burning a CD or DVD would be agonizingly slow on a 486 given the low bandwith of the time and the slowness of the CPU. SCSI drives would help some, but I still envision people falling asleep in front of their computers waiting for a CD to finish burning.

Reply 7 of 27, by feipoa

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I regularly burned CD's on my Am5x86-133 back in early 1997 before anyone else on the block had burners. Everyone was coming to me. I had SCSI though. I beleive it was a Memorex 2x/4x-rewrite, 6x for CD-R. If I tried to browse the internet while it was burning, the disc would get messed up, so I just didn't do much while it was burning aside from IRC/ICQ.

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Reply 8 of 27, by brostenen

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I remember that my friends at the school, used to burn cd's in 1995.
The CPU in question, was a 486-DX-33, 486-DX2-66 or a 486-DX2-80. (I can't remember)
The equipment used, was a SCSI burner and a IDE (pre ATA-33) Harddrive.
The program used for it, was a Dos based burner tool.
And finally. If something else was running, the buffer would "underrun".

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Reply 10 of 27, by brostenen

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Goldenhawk sounds pretty much correct, it worked in a special way right?
Something like it created an image or raw file before burning?
Or something like that. 1995 is none the less a couple of days ago after all. 🤣

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Reply 11 of 27, by squareguy

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I can tell you back when I had a Pentium 200, I had a SCSI burner. I didn't make coasters but my friends made a lot of coasters with the early IDE burners.

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Reply 12 of 27, by computergeek92

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Would any of these burning programs support ISO files? Also I don't need to burn faster than 2X for compatibility reasons.

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Reply 13 of 27, by computergeek92

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Or could I convert my ISO files to a format compatible with these older cd burning softwares?

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Reply 14 of 27, by Tertz

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computergeek92 wrote:

Would any of these burning programs support ISO files? Also I don't need to burn faster than 2X for compatibility reasons.

Nero 5 (oldversion) may be tryed to work. There is freeware ImbBurn wich requirements may be low. Probably for SCSI requirements can be lighter.

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Reply 15 of 27, by Sammy

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I had a pentium 75 , which ist at the same speed as a dx4-100.

And used a scsi burner with a plasmon , and later a hp scsi burner.

used win95 and 16mb ram..

But do not running anything during burning. only mouse moved every 5 minutes to prevent windows from starting the screensaver or going to sleep.

Reply 17 of 27, by torindkflt

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I have one of those external Backpack CD burners that connects through either USB or parallel port. I've never tried it before so I don't know if it works, nor do I have the drivers to set it up in parallel mode. Even then, I doubt I'd be able to find DOS-based CD burning software that supported it, otherwise I'd try it on my older computers to see which ones worked.

Reply 18 of 27, by kolmio

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Back in 2004, when I used 486 computer with Windows 95 daily, I regularly burned CDs on it.
They were mostly data CDs for storing pirated MP3s, as I didn't have much disk space.

The PC had 32 MB of RAM.
I used conventional contemporary PATA drive by Asus.
I remember having few problems:
- the only software I had success with was Padus DiscJuggler
- writing a full volume of CD at once was not always feasible
Unfortunately I didn't bother to figure out what caused these things.

The rig is still functional, tested few days ago with some old CD-RW disk.

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Reply 19 of 27, by jmarsh

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AlphaDangerDen wrote on 2015-10-10, 12:44:

I'm just waiting for somebody to burn a dual-layer blu-ray on a 486 😁

It might take a while, but given underruns are no longer a problem for current drives it's certainly possible.