CD recording process can't be sever in the middle of the session.

The recorder must always have data for write, from start until the session end. To avoid a situation where a temporary slowdown in the computer bring frustration of writing, producers of CD recorder provide CD-ROM drive with a buffer 512K-4MB in size.

This was a very common and very annoying problem for many years, so most recorders released in 2001 or later have optional "buffer underrun protection" features available.

You can sometimes use a disc that failed during writing by closing the session and starting another, assuming there's enough space left on the CD, and assuming your pre-mastering software didn't choose to finalize the disc for you. If you were using disc-at-once recording, you're probably out of luck.

Don't do anything else with the computer while recording. Don't record from a file server.

Defragment your HD, especially if you're doing on-the-fly recording. (But don't defragment *while* you're recording.)

If your hardware and software support it, enable buffer underrun protection. Usually this is just a checkbox.

Record at a slow speed. It takes longer to empty the buffer when recording at 1x.

Record from a disc image file rather than on-the-fly.

Use a fast, AV-friendly hard drive (one that doesn't do slow thermal recalibrations). Pretty much all drives sold since the late 1990s fall into this category.

Keep your CD-R cool. Sometimes the drives fail when they overheat, with a buffer underrun or an inability to finalize a session. This is rarely a problem with drives made in 2000 or beyond.

Also watch out for things like anti-virus programs that wake up, virtual memory settings that cause swapping, screen savers that activate during the CD creation process, unusual network activity, and background downloads of data or faxes. One way to check is to run the HD defragmenter in Win9X. If it restarts every few seconds, it's because something is hitting the drive.

Depending on your setup, putting the recorder and your hard drive on separate SCSI or IDE controllers may be helpful.

Some game discs use a form of copy protection where bad sectors are deliberately placed on the original CD. Attempting to copy one of these discs on the fly may fail, because some CD-ROM drives slow down and repeatedly try to read the "damaged" blocks. The slowdown may result in a buffer underrun before the CD-ROM drive reports an error.

A utility included with Microsoft Office, called "FindFast", will occasionally start up and scan your hard drives. Disabling this by deleting the shortcut in the Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp folder may be necessary.

If you're using Windows, see the sub-sections on Auto-Insert Notification and VCACHE settings, below.