The SmartBuy BD-RE 25GB discs and burning it in the Panasonic UJ-260 drive
Today, we will see the SmartBuy BD-RE 25GB disc. This is a rewritable, single-layer Blu-Ray disc that can hold up to 25GB of data. Rewritable discs are the slowest Blu-Ray media available, only allowing them to be burnt at up to 2x speed. This is my first time using a rewritable Blu-Ray disc, so we’ll see how it performs in my Panasonic UJ-260 drive.
The discs comes in a 10-disc spindle:
Similar to the SmartBuy BD-R 25GB discs, these also have a blue top surface:
The data side also has a dark blue color:
Burning the disc in the Panasonic UJ-260 drive
My favorite Blu-Ray burner drive is the Panasonic UJ-260 drive. So I’ll be burning a disc in that drive. Since there was never an official DVD+/-RW DL (Double layer Rewritable DVD discs), these rewritable Blu-Ray discs are a great choice for when we need to temporarily hold data that would otherwise not fit on a standard DVD+/-RW discs. Examples are some Windows installation ISO files that can be a bit bigger than the standard 4.37GB size for a normal DVD disc.
I started ImgBurn and it reports that these discs have a media code of RITEK-BW1-001:
We can also see that the only speed it supports is 2x for writing. There are no other speed variants for this type of discs. At 2x, burning a full 25GB (23.3GB on Windows) will take about 45 minutes. Luckily, the discs can be read at up to 6x in this drive, so reading data will definitely be faster, taking up to 22 to 25 minutes.
Before we start burning these discs, we can tweak ImgBurn to allow the disc to burn at its full speed or have some extra care while burning. These options are:
- Prefer Format With Full Certification
- Prefer Format Without Spare Areas
- Prefer Properly Formatted Discs
Prefer Format Without Spare Areas will allow us to use the full disc size. If this is disabled, the disc will have spare areas which means a portion of the space cannot be used. This also enables or disables the Blu-Ray hardware defect management system. For these settings to take effect, we need to execute a Full Erase operation.
The other format options can increate the formatting time considerably, so if you want to get up and running, be sure to disable the first and last option. Otherwise, except ImgBurn to perform a full disc erase, taking a long time to do before the burn process actually stats.
One should also have the DVD-RAM / BD-RE FastWrite option enabled to allow the disc to burn at the full speed. In reality, my burns have been of varying speeds. Sometimes it will write at 2x, while other times it will simply write at 1x, regardless of these settings. It seems that ultimately, the drive takes control of what speed it will use, probably because of its power calibration, or maybe it sees something and the firmware decides to take control:
Once we tweak ImgBurn, we can start burning a disc. It may ask us to format or erase the disc, to which will permit the software to do. Once erased or formatted, the software will burn the disc. This drive was able to successfully burn this disc at the full 2x speed:
And the verification was also successful:
This is how the burned disc looks like:
These discs looks like an excellent media to burn temporary data, like Windows installation discs when we need to reinstall the operating system, given that nowadays some images can be bigger than what a single-layer DVD can hold. The Panasonic UJ-260 drive identified, burned and verified the disc correctly. Ritek seems to be doing great discs, which SmartBuy sells, and these are an example. The surface looks smooth and seems of top quality.
You can buy these discs on Amazon at the following link: