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Old 11-17-2008, 09:07 PM
Chris Jones
 
Default USB 1.1 too slow for burning DVD's

I eventually bought a Panasonic UJ850 DVD burner and I am able to copy
my daily backup to a DVD+WR w/o any problems. I have done a few restores
to confirm that.

Since my daily backup resides on a Flash Drive accessed via USB 1.1, I
now strongly suspect that I could have bought an external USB DVD burner
at a lesser cost and that I would have had no problems burning my
backups via this slow channel. I'm not going to buy an external burner
just to verify this, but the growisofs web page also tends to suggest
the same in the "Technical Ramblings" paragraph: As long as the output
is directed to a DVD+RW it would appear that burning is suspended when
input data is not forthcoming and will resume later on when input data
is again available without the process timing out so that writing to the
DVD+RW will simply continue at the exact same spot, eventually resulting
in a valid copy of the input data, no holes attached.

At least that's how I understand it.

:-)

Apart from copying my backup, I have also been able to copy a couple of
live linux CD images (grml and the current ubuntu) to DVD+RW's and I was
absolutely amazed at how fast it went. My long-dead SCSI over PCMCIA
cardbus external CD writer would take over an hour just to burn an .iso
image to a CD-RW where growisofs now only takes about five minutes.

Generation gap, I guess?

Since the .iso images were on the laptop's HD and not on the Flash Drive
that's connected via USB 1.1 port, the only problem I ran into was that
while growisofs is burning an .iso image, the system becomes totally
unresponsive & unusable for other purposes. I'm not sure why this
happens since CPU utilization does not appear to be that high (but then
as far as I can tell, the old laptop may be so overwhelmed that it is no
longer able to provide a reliable CPU utilization counter in the first
place).

Maybe the MB's bus is not capable of sustaining the required bandwidth?

In any case, I'm pretty sure at this point that despite indications to
the contrary by other posters, an external DVD burner connected to a USB
1.1 port would probably have worked OK, at least for DVD+RW's. Copying
my backups to DVD's would have been somewhat slow, but this might have
been a blessing in disguise because it would have ensured that DVD
burning episodes did not bring the old laptop to its knees.

Since the machine is so overwhelmed by the growisofs process when
burning data from the albeit slow HD (4200rpm I believe) that it's no
longer able to even display the process's execution counters, I now plan
to nice it a bit and see if I can get away with that and still end up
with a usable backup on the DVD.

In my case at least it looks like it's more the inherent slowness of the
machine itself that has problems with burning DVD's rather than USB 1.1!

Anyway folks, that's the good news for now and I do hope that this rant
may benefit someone at some point -- naturally I refuse to be held
responsible should they ending spending hundreds on hardware that don't
work or fries their old laptop.. etc.

The above works for me, ape at your own risk.

:-)

Thanks!

CJ




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Old 11-18-2008, 08:05 PM
Paolo
 
Default USB 1.1 too slow for burning DVD's

On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 05:07:25PM -0500, Chris Jones wrote:
...
> now strongly suspect that I could have bought an external USB DVD burner
> at a lesser cost and that I would have had no problems burning my
> backups via this slow channel. I'm not going to buy an external burner
...
> DVD+RW will simply continue at the exact same spot, eventually resulting
> in a valid copy of the input data, no holes attached.

up to you to try - good luck and pls report back, I won't do it for you,
I've piled up enough DVDs, now good as glass-mat only
Anyway, DVD+R is known to offer such feature (theoretically), but YMMV.
And, ~4400 MB @ ~10Mbps means ~73 mins for recording just 1 DVD ...

> while growisofs is burning an .iso image, the system becomes totally
> unresponsive & unusable for other purposes. I'm not sure why this
> happens since CPU utilization does not appear to be that high (but then

your system is I/O bounded, gowisofs takes up the whole i/o bandwidth;
check DVD burner docs and/or play with gowisofs' -speed.
check with ' dmesg|grep -i yenta' (or whatever pccard driver it's using)
what your pcard is using, also check with 'cat /proc/interrupts' that you
have INT handled by IO-APIC-*; if you see XT-PIC instead, your system is
handling interrupts the old and quite inefficient way; that might be either
the kernel config or just your system.

> burning data from the albeit slow HD (4200rpm I believe) that it's no

no magic in place here, it won't read faster than your HDD's speed - check
with 'hdparm -tT /dev/hda' (as root and assuming HDD is hda) what's your
limit.


regards
--
paolo


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Old 11-18-2008, 11:41 PM
Chris Jones
 
Default USB 1.1 too slow for burning DVD's

On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 04:05:29PM EST, Paolo wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 05:07:25PM -0500, Chris Jones wrote:
> ...
> > now strongly suspect that I could have bought an external USB DVD burner
> > at a lesser cost and that I would have had no problems burning my
> > backups via this slow channel. I'm not going to buy an external burner
> ...
> > DVD+RW will simply continue at the exact same spot, eventually resulting
> > in a valid copy of the input data, no holes attached.
>
> up to you to try - good luck and pls report back, I won't do it for you,
> I've piled up enough DVDs, now good as glass-mat only

The other reason I won't is that the point of having a laptop is maximum
power with minimal "form factor" :-)

I'm usually more in favor of leaving expensive laptop add-ons alone
anywway and checking if I wouldn't be better off installing their more
affordable equivalents in some no-name tower that I would ssh to if need
be.

> Anyway, DVD+R is known to offer such feature (theoretically), but YMMV.
> And, ~4400 MB @ ~10Mbps means ~73 mins for recording just 1 DVD ...
>
> > while growisofs is burning an .iso image, the system becomes totally
> > unresponsive & unusable for other purposes. I'm not sure why this
> > happens since CPU utilization does not appear to be that high (but then
>
> your system is I/O bounded, gowisofs takes up the whole i/o bandwidth;

Yes, that makes excellent sense.

> check DVD burner docs and/or play with gowisofs' -speed.
> check with ' dmesg|grep -i yenta' (or whatever pccard driver it's using)
> what your pcard is using, also check with 'cat /proc/interrupts' that you
> have INT handled by IO-APIC-*; if you see XT-PIC instead, your system is
> handling interrupts the old and quite inefficient way; that might be either
> the kernel config or just your system.

.. and right you are .. XT-PIC it is!

> > burning data from the albeit slow HD (4200rpm I believe) that it's no
>
> no magic in place here, it won't read faster than your HDD's speed - check
> with 'hdparm -tT /dev/hda' (as root and assuming HDD is hda) what's your
> limit.

Can't do it right now .. watching an online TV news channel .. and
you're supposed to run it on an otherwise inactive system .. per the man
page.

Do you know of good in-depth documentation of linux+PC hardware issues?

I'm so ignorant of these aspects, it's really embarrassing.

Thanks!

CJ


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Old 12-06-2008, 09:10 AM
Paolo
 
Default USB 1.1 too slow for burning DVD's

On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 07:41:29PM -0500, Chris Jones wrote:
>
> Do you know of good in-depth documentation of linux+PC hardware issues?
>

sorry, overlooked this one - well there's plenty of resources out there,
check /Documentation dir in Linux tree, and perhaps also wiki.kernel.org
for many hints, also browse through www.tldp.org, then of course search
around for something like "pc hardware guide".
What turns out good and enough depends on your needs and prior knowledge.
wikipedia.org should help too.

HTH
--
paolo

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Old 12-06-2008, 01:44 PM
Chris Jones
 
Default USB 1.1 too slow for burning DVD's

On Sat, Dec 06, 2008 at 05:10:06AM EST, Paolo wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 07:41:29PM -0500, Chris Jones wrote:
> >
> > Do you know of good in-depth documentation of linux+PC hardware issues?
> >
>
> sorry, overlooked this one - well there's plenty of resources out there,
> check /Documentation dir in Linux tree, and perhaps also wiki.kernel.org
> for many hints, also browse through www.tldp.org, then of course search
> around for something like "pc hardware guide".
> What turns out good and enough depends on your needs and prior knowledge.
> wikipedia.org should help too.
>
> HTH

As always!

Wikipedia is probably my best bet .. read the article first .. then
follow the links.

Thanks!


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