Friday, January 9, 2009

Ubuntu DVD Burning Problem

I was trying to burn a DVD in Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04. Using Brasero, I got this message:

Burning error Error while burning: An unknown error occured. Check your disc.
Or, for those who are searching for phrases, the spelling should be: "An unknown error occurred." I found nothing when searching for the correctly spelled phrase, but the incorrect one brought up a few Google hits. Before digging into them, I clicked on the "View log" button. There, I saw what appeared to be two error messages:
BraseroGrowisofs stderr: File [file path and name] is larger than 4GiB-1. BraseroGrowisofs stderr: -allow-limited-size was not specified. There is no way do represent this file size. Aborting.
Again, presumably the spelling was supposed to be, "There is no way to represent this file size." Apparently the problem was that I was trying to burn a too-large file. It was perplexing that it was too large, because 7-Zip had created it as one in a series, supposedly in the right size for DVD burning. I killed Brasero and tried again to burn the DVD, this time using CD/DVD Creator (the default Ubuntu file burner, which seemed to be the same as the Nautilus program that some people referred to. This time, I got
Error writing to disc There was an error writing to the disc: Unhandled error, aborting
There was no option of reading an error log. When I closed that dialog, I got "An error occurred while writing." The Google search gave me a couple dozen hits this time, but in refined form it really only gave me one or two. The first discussion that came up offered some ideas: (1) they (in 2005) recommended using KB3 as my disc-burning program; (2) they said that ISO filesystems cannot handle files larger than 2GB, and beyond that I would need to use the UTF file system; and (3) they said you get better results if you put your files into an ISO disc image first, and then burn the DVD from the disc image. I started with option (3), using Brasero to create an ISO image. It didn't appear to give me a UTF option, and in the ISO option it gave me the same "no way do represent this file size" error, plus another "HUP" error. Turning to option (1), one source recommended tinkering with the large ZIP file using PgcEdit, which I had no interest in doing. That source also said it might be a problem unique to Hardy 8.04. Another source said KB3 wasn't the solution, but KB3 looked like it had a better user interface, so I decided to install it and take a look, just in case they had somehow upgraded it to handle the problem. Using Ubuntu's System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager, I searched for KB3 but didn't find it. From its name, I guessed it might be a KDE package, which wasn't the default with Hardy and (to my knowledge) wasn't installed on my computer. I decided to try a different approach. I was using VMware Workstation as a virtualization tool in Ubuntu, which meant that I was running copies of Windows XP in several virtual machines (VMs) on Ubuntu. So I went into VMware, opened one of those VMs, and tried starting a CD burning program. It didn't seem to be recognizing the DVD drive from inside the VM, but eventually I found that a version of Nero would at least burn the large ZIP file to an ISO file, named "CURRENT 01," using its Image Recorder. What I actually got, though, was three ISO files: CURRENT 01.iso, CURRENT 01.iso.001, and CURRENT 01.iso.002. Then, back in Brasero, I selected the option that said, "Burn image: Burn an existing CD/DVD image to disc." I pointed it to the folder where I had put those three ISO files. It would only let me indicate one of them, so I indicated CURRENT 01.iso. It burned the DVD, but ended with this:
Burning error Error while burning: some files may be corrupted on the disc.
The log had a number of messages of this type:
BraseroReadom stderr: addr: 7808 cnt: 64
I closed the error dialog and looked at the DVD in Ubuntu's File Browser (a/k/a Nautilus). It did report that it had burned the entire 4.4GB file to DVD, so apparently selecting CURRENT 01.iso to be burned was the right move. The file I had burned was named Reference.7z.001. It had the .001 extension because I had told 7-Zip to save the Reference folder (containing a bunch of materials I was keeping for reference purposes) in 4.4GB chunks. So this was just the first of several that I would then have to copy back to the hard drive and restore via 7-Zip in order to recover my complete Reference folder. Using Synaptic, I searched and saw that I had already installed 7-Zip in Ubuntu (I had done the zipping using 7-Zip in a Windows virtual machine), under the name of p7zip-full. Using File Browser, I searched File System for p7zip and found it in /usr/lib/p7zip. But it didn't appear I could run it directly as a standalone program, or at least it didn't respond when I double-clicked on it or right-clicked and selected Open. I copied the 4.4GB file back to an NTFS drive to test it, perhaps by using 7-Zip in Windows rather than in Ubuntu, but I kept getting "Error while copying 'Reference.7z.001'." The resulting file, back on the NTFS drive, was substantially smaller -- only about 1GB. So apparently the burn had failed. I tried again. Another failure; pretty much the same problems as before. This approach was not working. I went back into the WinXP VM, and this time I used Nero to create an .NRG Nero image file instead of an ISO. It did the same thing -- created three files, none larger than 2GB. Then I rebooted the computer into native Windows (i.e., not just a virtual machine) and tried burning a DVD from the ISO, using Nero there too. Nero reported that the burn was successful, so it seemed the NRG version would not be needed. I copied Reference.7z.001 from the DVD back to a separate folder on the hard drive and used 7-Zip in WinXP to extract its files. But it wouldn't work right; apparently I needed all of the Reference.7z files (i.e., Reference.7z.002, etc.) before I could check this thing. So, OK, I burned another DVD (there was only one more Reference file, i.e., Reference.7z.002) and then copied its contents back to the hard drive and tried again to test the results by running 7-Zip to unzip the complete contents of the Reference folder. Since there was space on the second DVD, I also burned a couple of other 7-Zip files onto it and copied and unzipped them on the hard drive too. They all worked fine; all my files were back. So the problem was indeed with the Ubuntu DVD-burning software. The hard drive and DVD drive hardware were working fine; 7-Zip was fine; Nero was fine. I just couldn't burn a DVD in Ubuntu if any of the files were larger than 2GB.



I get similar errors from Brasero even when I try to burn files smaller than 0.5gb. In 8 out of 10 cases it just makes my dvd+r unusable while in the remaining 2 cases it burns the disc without any problems (same set of files!).

It used to work just fine few months ago, but now it simply sucks. And it isn't the first time. On my previous Ubuntu install it did the exact same thing - worked just fine in the beginning and then, without any reason, started crashing. Is there some kind of time-bomb inside?


I`ve been using ubuntu for 2 and a half years.

Occasionally I would have problems with recordable dvds while other times all fine using the same brand.

I then started getting into usb pen drives for storage.

Then one day(wished I`d made a record!),several months ago,I lost ALL disc burning functionality on my ubuntu laptop(9.10) and my desktop (9.04),no matter what disc burning program or brand of cd/dvd.I`ve created 30 worthless mug coasters so far:(

I`ve been trying off and on for months to get a solution,even upgrading to 10.04 in the desperate hope of a fix.

Disgusted beyond words with the Ubuntu community.