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Packet writing software

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This article applies only to Backup4all. If you don't have it yet, you must download it first.

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Jul 26, 2019
Backup4all 5.x - 8.x
This article applies to older versions of Backup4all. It does not apply to version 5 or later.
If you do not wish to use the built-in burner of Backup4all or your CD/DVD device is not compatible with Backup4all, you can use third party packet writing software.
Packet writing software
Packet writing software can write only to CD-RW, DVD-RW or DVD+RW if the disks are formatted using the Universal Data Format (UDF) file system. The advantage of packet writing is that your rewritable media can be used like a floppy or zip disk (drag and drop from Windows Explorer is also possible).
Here are links to some packet writing software:
  1. IBM DLA developed by IBM (free)
  2. Drag-to-Disc (DirectCD) developed Roxio
  3. InCD developed by Ahead
Set up packet writing
There are three simple steps to set up the packet writing:
  1. Open "New Backup Wizard" or "Backup Job Properties" and go to the "Destination" page.
  2. Select the drive letter for the "CD, DVD or Blu-ray" burner device you want to use.
  3. Advanced settings are available by clicking on the "Advanced mode" button. This will open the destination settings window where you must select "Use packet writing". Here you can also set the "Erase before writing" option. Press OK button.
  4. If packet writing is set, you will see the following message on the "Destination" page "[Device name] Writing method is UDF."
Use packet writing
Backup4all detects if the CD-RW, DVD-RW or DVD+RW is UDF formatted. If the disk is not UDF formatted it will show the following message:
"Disk in drive [drive letter] is not UDF formatted. Please insert an UDF formatted disk"
The backup catalog (.bkc file) is stored on the destination CD/DVD. When the backup process starts, Backup4all searches for the .bkc file in the destination. If the CD/DVD is empty or it does not contain the catalog file, Backup4all will start with a new full backup. If the catalog file is found, Backup4all will make a new version for the backup job. If you wish to write the new backup version on a separate CD (as recommended) then you should set the "Ask for a new disk before backup" option (see below).
If the backup does not fit onto one CD or DVD, Backup4all will automatically span the backup over multiple media. Each disc is assigned a different label for future identification. We recommend marking the CD/DVD with this label.
One disadvantage of using packet writing is that CD/DVDs written with this method are recognized on other computers only if the same third party packet writing software is installed there too.
Other options
The "Options" window contains other options related to the burn process.
Eject CD, DVD or Blu-ray after backup
You can leave the CD/DVD ejected after the backup is finished (and tested). To do so, open the "Options" window, go to the "Backup" page and set the "Eject CD/DVD after backup" option.
Load CD, DVD or Blu-ray before backup
If checked, the CD, DVD or Blu-ray media is loaded before the execution of a backup. This option is useful when the CD, DVD or Blu-ray disc was previously ejected by another process.
Please consider our recommendations when using CD and DVD as backup media:
  • Do not use the same CD, DVD or Blu-ray to store consecutive backup versions. Better use different CD, DVD or Blu-ray media for each backup version (change the CD, DVD or Blu-ray medium at each backup run). Use a set of CD, DVD or Blu-ray media and rotate them periodically (eg: take 7 CD media, one for each week day; start with the first CD again every 7 days). The reason for this is that in case the burn process fails, you still have the previous backup version on a different media.
  • CD, DVD or Blu-ray media can be burned only a limited number of times. When strange errors happen first check if the CD, DVD or Blu-ray is not overburned (worn out).
  • Always test the backed up data after burn. Backup4all has a special option to automatize the test after backup.