Burning the SmartBuy DVD+R DL 8.5GB disc in the Panasonic UJ-260 drive

Burning the SmartBuy DVD+R DL 8.5GB disc in the Panasonic UJ-260 drive

Hi everyone,

Today, we will see how well a SmartBuy DVD+R DL disc burn in the Panasonic UJ-260 drive:

This unit supports burning these discs at a speed of 2.4x and 6x. This post will focus on a disc burned at 6x.

Smartbuy DVD+R DL RITEK-S04-66 Panasonic UJ-260 Burning 1

Burning the disc seem to have gone well:

This drive burns dual layer discs using a Z-CLV strategy. It starts burning at 2.4x, then increasing the speed to 4x, and finally reaching 6x. On the second layer, it does the opposite, starting at 6x, then going to 4x, and finally dropping to 2.4x.

The disc verification was successful:

This is how the disc surface looks after burning:

SmartBuy DVD+R DL Burned Surface 6x Panasonic UJ-260

You can see there are 3 visible zones in the disc, which are the 2.4x, 4x and 6x zones. It makes the impression that there may be more zones, but this may be because of the dual layer and how the writer writes the second layer.

Quality Scans

We will now see some disc quality scans from the above disc. All of the scans are performed at a speed of 4x, except in the Optiarc AD-7561A, which does not support setting the read speed, and the AD-7740H, which only scans at 6x and 8x.

LiteOn iHAS524 A

Smartbuy DVD+R DL RITEK-S04-66 Panasonic UJ-260 Scan Optiarc LiteOn iHAS524

This is a very good scan with only a few elevated numbers in the 2nd layer and a spike in the PIE at the layer break.

LiteOn iHBS112 2

Smartbuy DVD+R DL RITEK-S04-66 Panasonic UJ-260 Scan Optiarc LiteOn iHBS112

This drive always seem to scan the PIF correctly but reports a lot of error in the PIE. There is a spike in the layer break for both the PIE and PIF reported in this drive.

LG WH16NS58

SmartBuy RITEK-S04-66 Panasonic UJ260 LG WH16NS58

Numbers similar to the LiteOn iHAS524 drive, except the PIE are a bit higher at the end. It also reports a spike in the PIE numbers at the layer break.

Optiarc AD-7561A

This drive always reports elevated numbers. At about the 5.5GB mark, there seems to be a PIF spike.

Optiarc AD-7740H

Smartbuy DVD+R DL RITEK-S04-66 Panasonic UJ-260 Scan Optiarc AD-7740H

Elevated PIE numbers at the second layer, and a spike in the layer break.

Samsung SN-208AB

Smartbuy DVD+R DL RITEK-S04-66 Panasonic UJ-260 Scan Samsung SN-208AB

A good result. There is no spike reported in the layer break, but it is in the PIE.

Conclusion

The Panasonic UJ-260 has been one of my favorite drives when it comes to writing Blu-Ray discs. I recently started to use it to burn DVD+R discs for archival purposes and it seems to do the job well done. The only issue seems to be at the layer break that some drives can detect. Since only a few drives see this, I can’t say for sure that the disc is a bad burn. The Panasonic drive itself verified it correctly and the other drives can read it fine as well. Therefore, it seems to have done the job correctly. On the other hand, this drive does not support DVD+R/DL bitsetting, so if you’re cool with that, this drive will work for you.

You can buy these discs on Amazon at the following link:

Installing Windows 11 build 21996

Installing Windows 11 build 21996

Hi everyone,

In my previous post, I wrote about how to create a Windows 11 installation disc that would allow me to install this new Windows version on a PC without a Trusted Platform Module. I did this because my attempt from yesterday to install Windows 11 was not successful because of this requirement. Now, I’ll go through each step I did in order to install it on the same machine that failed yesterday, by using this new installation media.

Installing Windows 11 Part 2 36

The installation is really no different than that of installing a previous version of Windows. We would just boot the disc and go through each installation step.

Because we used a Windows 10 installation disc with the install.wim file from Windows 11, the first setup screens have the Windows 10 logo. However, we are installing Windows 11 as those are the versions that shows up in the version selection screen:

The End User License Agreement was also updated, showing a date of June 2021:

Installing Windows 11 Part 2 7

We will do a Clean Install, which requires repartitioning our hard drive to install a fresh copy of Windows:

The installation process runs as usual:

Once this setup is complete, our PC restarts and the second part of the installation begins.

We can see the new Windows logo is now in place. It seems to have been installed correctly. Now is where the new Setup Experience starts, with brand-new screens. The steps itself are the same as the ones in Windows 10. If you’ve been following the Windows 10 Insider Previews, the last few screens were present on those:

If we connect to the internet, there will not be an option to bypass the login screen. I did not test it to see if Windows 11 would allow me to add a local account if I hadn’t connected to the Wi-Fi network, but then again, there doesn’t seem to be an option to skip that step. There is, however, a troubleshooting option, so maybe it’s hidden in there.

I have a FIDO key to log in and Windows 11 happily accepted it and restored my account:

It also seems that Windows 10 backups are compatible with Windows 11, as it gives me the option to restore the settings from it.

The next screen is about the usual privacy settings Windows asks us if we want to allow, like Location and sending detailed reports to Microsoft:

The next screen was not present on earlier versions of Windows 10, but was added later:

Installing Windows 11 Part 2 41

And now, we finish off the installation process:

The “Getting Ready” screens also got a redesign. Now, instead of gradient color changes, there seem to be light spotlights of dark blue:

Finally, we are shown the Windows 11 desktop:

Windows 11 Desktop 1

The Windows explorer looks the same as in Windows 10, with the new icons that have been present in the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview versions:

Windows 11 Desktop 2

Windows does identify itself as Windows 11:

Windows 11 Desktop 3

It also activated. It seems that it uses the same Windows 10 key:

Windows 11 Desktop 4

Finally, I’ve made sure to install each driver which it did succesfully:

That’s it for this post! I’m really excited about what the future Windows 11 builds will look and what they will improve. We will know more about the future of Windows in Microsoft’s June 24 event at 11 AM Eastern Time.

Creating a Working Windows 11 Installation Disc

Creating a Working Windows 11 Installation Disc

Hi everyone,

In this post, we will see the steps to follow to make a working Windows 11 Installation Disc. The leaked ISO file currently only works if a machine has Secure Boot enabled and has a Trusted Platform Module 2.0 module.

It seems that these requirements are not really needed, at least in this build, but the installer will not let us move forward with the installation if a machine does not satisfies these requirements. This post will make you have a working installation disc. Note that these steps create a Windows 11 x64 installation disc, which will only work on x64 capable processors. With this in mind, let’s start.

First, you’ll need to have a Windows 10 installation ISO file. If you don’t have one, you can download and generate the ISO file yourself, by going to https://uup.rg-adguard.net and downloading the generation script for the latest version of Windows 10:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 1

Windows will complain that the script “can harm your PC”. You can simply ignore this warning and store the file. You’ll need to run it in order to generate the ISO file. Now, this process will take some time, so go grab a Coffee, or take a walk, go to gym or find some other activity to do while the script creates the ISO for you.

In the end, you should have the ISO file generated in the same folder as the batch script:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 2

The next step will be to mount the image:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 3

This will create a virtual CD-ROM drive with the image mounted in it:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 4

Make note of the drive letter as you’ll need this later.

You’ll now need to use a tool called ImgBurn. You can grab it from https://imgburn.com:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 5

You’re going to click on “Create image file from files/folder” or “Write files/folders to disc”, and go to the “Advanced” tab, followed by the “Bootable Disc” tab. Here, you’re going to mark the option to “Make Image Bootable”, select the mounted virtual CD-ROM drive, and click the small save icon:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 6

Save it anywhere you’d like. Here I saved it in the location that has the Windows 11 ISO:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 7

ImgBurn will promt you if you would like to use this image as the boot image. Click “Yes”:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 8

This screen should now look like this:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 9

The next step is to click on the “Show Disc Layout Editor” button. If you don’t see it, click on the icon on the left below the text saying “Free Space”:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 9.5
Windows 11 Install Workaround 10

Once the new dialog opens, drag and drop everything from the mounted image into the ImgBurn window:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 11

Now, we will need to either mount or extract the Windows 11 ISO. We are interested on a file called install.wim from it.

Windows 11 Install Workaround 12

This file is located inside the “sources” folder. So, in both ImgBurn and in the extracted/mounted Windows 11 image, go to that folder:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 13

You are now going to drag and drop it into ImgBurn. When asked what to do, click on “Replace”:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 14

This file will replace the Windows 10 install.wim file:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 15

Close the window. ImgBurn may ask you if you want to use the correct filesystem for a bootable disc. Click “Yes”:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 16

We are now ready to burn this on-the-fly image to a disc. If you selected to create an image, switch to drive mode by clicking on the little burning disc icon:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 17

Select the drive to use and initiate the burning process. Note that you’ll need a DVD+/-R DL disc, or a BD-R/RE disc as this image is a bit bigger than what would fit on a regular DVD disc:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 18

I used a BD-RE disc. If you use a rewritable disc, you may be required to erase it. Click “Yes” if prompted:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 19

Next we are asked about the name of the disc. I simply wrote “Windows 11” here. Click “Yes”:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 20

We will now confirm everything by clicking “Ok”:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 21

The disc burning will start. I recommend you also mark the “Verify” option. We don’t want to have a broken installation disc after all:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 22

Once the disc is burned, the verification stage will start. If you use a laptop drive, you may be prompted to close it and press “Ok”. Desktop drives do not have to do that, as the software will cycle the drive automatically. It will then load the disc and start the verification process:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 23

Once the verification process is complete, we will have a working bootable disc:

Windows 11 Install Workaround 24
Windows 11 Install Workaround 25

In the next post, we will attempt to install Windows 11 with this new disc.

Attempting to install Windows 11

Attempting to install Windows 11

Hi everyone,

Today, Windows 11 build 21996 got leaked, and the Windows 10 subreddit is already full of Windows 11 posts and comments. Thanks to it, I managed to grab a copy of the .iso image.

Windows 11 build 21996 leaked ISO

I then proceeded to burn it to a Blu-Ray Rewritable disc since the image size is 4.54GB. This is bigger than the maximum size of 4.37GB that a Single Layer DVD+RW disc can hold, and there are no Double Layer DVD+RW discs as that never came to be officially available.

Once the disc was burned, I attempted to run the setup on an old Lenovo laptop, but unfortunately, I was prompted with a message saying the PC is not compatible with Windows 11. It seems the requirements are different than that for Windows 10, and is surprising, given that the laptop has the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview version installed.

One thing that I noticed is that the Windows boot logo changed and is now 4 straight squares:

Attempting to install Windows 11 build 21996 1

It is also reflected in the first setup screen:

Attempting to install Windows 11 build 21996 2

This build seems to have been compiled on May 30th, 2021, as shown in the versions page:

Attempting to install Windows 11 build 21996 3

Unfortunately, after that we get a message saying that the laptop is not compatible:

Attempting to install Windows 11 build 21996 4

That’s alright. I then proceeded to try to upgrade the Windows 10 build, but I got the same message, and it didn’t explain the reason of why it cannot be upgraded:

Attempting to install Windows 11 build 21996 6

I then tried to upgrade my main media center PC, and in that PC, I got the reasons of why it cannot be upgraded. These requirements seem to be new, either to this particular build, or to Windows 11:

Attempting to install Windows 11 build 21996 5

This PC has an Intel i7-3610QM CPU and the motherboard does not have a Trusted Platform Module, so it’s clear I cannot install it there. I do have a laptop that satisfies these requirements, and tomorrow, I’ll attempt to upgrade it.

Are you excited about Windows 11?

Movies added, removed, and coming soon at Redbox – June 15, 2021

Movies added, removed, and coming soon at Redbox – June 15, 2021

Hi everyone,

Today is the third Tuesday of June 2021. This week, we got 5 movies on DVD, 2 in Blu-Ray, and 1 in 4K UHD. Let’s see them below:

Movies added

DVD

Blu-Ray

4K UHD

Also, on Friday, we Got Rogue Hostage on DVD and Blu-Ray

Movies that can no longer be reserved

DVD

  • Billionaire Boys Club
  • Broken Star
  • Dystopia
  • Ghostbusters (2016)
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Siberia
  • Silencer

Blu-Ray

  • Annabelle: Creation
  • Ghostbusters (2016)
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Movies Coming Soon

June 22nd

  • DVD: Night Of The Sicario
  • DVD: Batman: The Long Halloween Part 1
  • DVD: The Unholy
  • Blu-Ray: Nobody
  • 4K UHD: Nobody
  • DVD: Nobody

June 25th

  • Blu-Ray: Lansky
  • DVD: Lansky

June 29th

  • DVD: The Paper Tigers
  • DVD: Death in Texas
  • DVD: Meander

July 6th

  • DVD: Space Jam
  • DVD: Locked In
  • DVD: The Nest

July 13th

  • DVD: A Cinderella Story: Starstruck
  • DVD: Separation
  • Blu-Ray: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
  • DVD: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
  • 4K UHD: Mortal Kombat (2021)
  • Blu-Ray: Mortal Kombat (2021)
  • DVD: Mortal Kombat (2021)
  • Blu-Ray: Wrath of Man
  • DVD: Wrath of Man

More upcoming releases

  • Blu-Ray: Spiral
  • DVD: Spiral
  • DVD: Joey & Ella
  • Blu-Ray: Midnight in the Switch Grass
  • DVD: Midnight in the Switch Grass
  • Blu-Ray: A Quiet Place Part II
  • 4K UHD: A Quiet Place Part II
  • DVD: A Quiet Place Part II
  • Blu-Ray: Those Who Wish Me Dead
  • DVD: Those Who Wish Me Dead
  • Blu-Ray: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
  • 4K UHD: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
  • DVD: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
  • Blu-Ray: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
  • DVD: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
  • Blu-Ray: Spirit Untamed
  • DVD: Spirit Untamed
  • Blu-Ray: Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
  • DVD: Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
Burning the SmartBuy DVD+R DL 8.5GB disc in the Optiarc AD-7561A drive

Burning the SmartBuy DVD+R DL 8.5GB disc in the Optiarc AD-7561A drive

Hi everyone,

Today, we will see how well a SmartBuy DVD+R DL disc burn in the Optiarc AD-7561A drive.

This unit supports burning these discs at a speed of 2.4x and 4x. This post will focus on a disc burned at 4x.

RITEK-S04-66 Optiarc AD-7561A ImgBurn 1

Burning the disc seem to have gone well:

While in the very first image I realized it doesn’t show the burning speed, it was actually burning at 2.4x. Same as the last image, since the drive burns in 2 zones, using the Z-CLV strategy. The rest of the discs burned at a constant 3.8x speed.

The disc verification was successful:

This is how the disc surface looks after burning:

SmartBuy DVD+R DL Burned Surface 4x Optiarc AD-7561A

You can see there are 2 visible zones in the disc, which are the 2.4x and 4x zones.

Quality Scans

We will now see some disc quality scans from the above disc. All of the scans are performed at a speed of 4x, except in the Optiarc AD-7561A and AD-7740H drives, and in the Pioneer BDR-2212 drive.

LiteOn iHAS524 A

RITEK-S04-66 Optiarc AD-7561A Quality Scan LiteOn iHAS524 4xPNG

This is a very good scan with only a few elevated numbers in the 2nd layer.

LiteOn iHBS112 2

RITEK-S04-66 Optiarc AD-7561A Quality Scan LiteOn iHBS112 4xPNG

This drive always seem to scan the PIF correctly but reports a lot of error in the PIE.

LG WH16NS58

SmartBuy RITEK-S04-66 Optiarc AD-7561A LG WH16NS58

Numbers similar to the LiteOn iHAS524 drive, except the PIE are a bit higher by a few numbers.

Optiarc AD-7561A

This drive always reports elevated numbers.

Optiarc AD-7740H

RITEK-S04-66 Optiarc AD-7561A Quality Scan Optiarc AD-7740H

Elevated PIE numbers here, but the PIF numbers appears to be fine.

Samsung SN-208AB

RITEK-S04-66 Optiarc AD-7561A Quality Scan Samsung SN-208AB 4xPNG

Another good result.

Pioneer BDR-2212

RITEK-S04-66 Optiarc AD-7561A Quality Scan Pioneer BDR-2212

Unfortunately, this drive is not suitable to scan DVD+R DL media, but the disc itself is readable. This drive always fails in the layer break when scanning this type of disc.

Conclusion

As we can see, the Optiarc AD-7561A is a great drive to burn these discs. It will do it without any issues and will verify correctly. The disc also scanned with good results in all drives when we take into account the PIF numbers. All of the drives reports different numbers for the PIE, especially in the 2nd layer. However, we can conclude that this is a good burn taking into account the PIF numbers alone.

You can buy these discs on Amazon at the following link:

The SmartBuy DVD+R DL 8.5GB 50 disc Spindle

The SmartBuy DVD+R DL 8.5GB 50 disc Spindle

Hi everyone,

Today, We’ll see the SmartBuy DVD+R DL 8.5GB 50-disc spindle. SmartBuy is a subsidiary of Ritek Corporation.

These discs can hold up to 8.5GB of data and can be burned at up to 8x. These have a logo top:

On the data side, they have a dark purple color:

SmartBuy DVD+R DL 7

The Media Code of these discs is RITEK-S04-66:

Smartbuy DVD+R DL RITEK-S04-66 Panasonic UJ-260 Burning 1

In some of my next few posts, we’ll see how these discs burn and scan on some of my drives. Look forward to them!

You can buy these discs on Amazon at the following link:

New CD-R and BD-RE Reviews and Unboxing Coming Soon!

New CD-R and BD-RE Reviews and Unboxing Coming Soon!

Hi everyone,

The past few days, I brought the following products:

New CD-R DA + BD-RE + BD-RE DL

I purchased the new PlexDisc CD-R Digital Audio discs that they mention are the best to store music. I’ll be reviewing it against the regular PlexDisc CD-R to see if they are really different, or are just the same but with the CD-R DA flag in them. Also, I’ll try them on my CD players to see if they do the initial seek faster.

The other products I got are Blu-Ray Rewritable media (BD-RE). A Spindle of SmartBuy Single Layer BD-RE spindle of 10 discs and a 10-pack Verbatim BD-RE DL media. These are my very first BD-RE media I got and will be testing them on my Panasonic UJ-260 writer and maybe on my Pioneer BDR-2212 drive.

Be also sure to be on the lookout on some other media I’ve yet to write that I currently have on the backlog. As of this moment, I’m still writing those articles with detailed images of the burning process and disc verification and quality scans. In the next few days, you’ll see those posts on my blog.

See you soon!

You can see and order the above items at the following links:

Unboxing Game Builder Garage for Nintendo Switch

Unboxing Game Builder Garage for Nintendo Switch

Hi everyone,

Today, I got the new Game Builder Garage game for the Nintendo Switch, thanks to Amazon’s Prime Release Day Delivery.

The box art is very yellowish in color.

Game Builder Garage Nintendo Switch 3

The same goes in the inside, where we also see the game cart.

Game Builder Garage Nintendo Switch 4

This is the image that pops in the Nintendo Switch when the game cart is inserted:

Game Builder Garage Nintendo Switch 5

Here goes another game to play later. I’ve been playing Ring Fit Adventure lately to keep myself exercised.

You can get this game on Amazon at the following link:

SmartBuy BD-R 25GB 50 Pack Review

SmartBuy BD-R 25GB 50 Pack Review

Hi everyone,

Today, we will be seeing the SmartBuy BD-R 25GB 50Pk Logo Top. These discs should be able to be burned at up to 6x. SmartBuy is a subsidiary of Ritek.

These discs have a blue Logo Top:

On the data side, they have a gold color:

SmartBuy BD-R 25GB 6x 6

A few years ago, I recall that some gold-colored discs became corrupted due to corrosion. Since these discs are gold-colored too, I’ll be checking them after a while to make sure its data is still fine.

I got these discs last year and I’m writing about them right now, altough these images and screenshots were taken last year, the disc quality scan is from this moment. This is also why the drive we will be using is the LG WH14NS40 crossflashed to the LG WH16NS60 firmware. This drive allows us to burn these discs at up to 8x. I’m no longer using this drive to burn discs due to some coasters it produced randomly and have since moved to using the Panasonic UJ260 or the Pioneer BDR-2212. Here are the details for these discs on the LG drive:

The drive was able to write the disc successfully:

And it was also able to verify correctly:

The burned disc surface looks like this:

SmartBuy BD-R 25GB 6x 7

The LiteOn iHBS112 problem

These discs will not burn correctly on the LiteOn iHBS112. They fail around the 18GB mark, and while the drive can scan the disc, it will also report a very high error count at that same mark. Here is a recent scan from the disc burned in the LG drive:

SmartBuy RITEK-BR2-000 Burned in LG 8x Scanned in LiteOn iHBS112

Here is another scan from another disc also burned in the LG drive and scanned in the LiteOn drive. This is a scan from last year:

Smart Buy BD-R RITEK-BR2-000

The disc, however, is completely readable on that drive. Something that contradicts the scans:

Smart Buy BD-R RITEK-BR2-000 ScanDisc

Here is an image of a failed burned disc in the LiteOn drive. Notice the right disc has some clouds in the burned surface and that the left disc surface seem to come lighter in color and then return to be dark:

SmartBuy BD-R 25GB 6x 8

A Year later

A year later the discs do not seem to have any visual defects in the surface. The discs can still be read. Here are the scans of 2 discs scanned in the LG WH16NS40 crossflashed to the LG WH16NS58 firmware:

The first image is from the disc we burned above. It still have excellent results. The second image is from a disc also burned last year but with the Panasonic UJ260.

You can see that neither of the images above have the 18GB spike that we had in the LiteOn drive. It seems that the LiteOn really doesn’t like this media. Altough it can be read fine, it will fail to burn, and if it succeed, it will fail to verify those sectors. This read issue does not happen if we read a disc burned with another drive, but the scan will still report the spike at 18GB.

Conclusion

These discs seem to be reliable, except with the LiteOn drive. I was able to burn them fine with my Panasonic UJ260, where it can only burn them at 2x or 4x, but will always burn them at 2x regardless. I assume it has to do with the drive’s power calibration it performs before it writes.

The LG WH16NS40, crossflashed to the LG WH16NS60 firmware at that moment can also burn the discs fine. I do recall it failed to close the disc session sometimes, erroring out and therefore leaving the disc in an open state. The discs would still work and the data could be read just fine, with the exception that they remained open.

You can buy these discs on Amazon at the following link: