Live File System vs Mastered

I’m trying to burn a 3 gig file to a DVD.  I put in the disc, and Windows offers to format it for me.  I’ve never used the Live File System disc recording feature so I say “sure” and it goes and formats the disc; this takes about 30 seconds.

Live File System writes data to the disc on demand – you drag a file into the Explorer window showing the disc and it copies it over.  When you’re done, you finalize the disc (Windows does this for you when you eject it) and presto, a disc that XP and Vista can read (though I have no idea if other systems can read it).

So I drag my file onto the disc and it starts writing.  Cool – that was easy.

After about a minute of copying data to the disc, I get this error:

Error 0x800705aa: Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service.

I have lots of free disk space, a gig of free RAM, and I don’t appear to be low on any other resource I can think of.  I’m using the driver that came with Vista for the DVD drive, so I can’t really blame the driver.

I tried it twice, on two different discs, so it wasn’t just a fluke or a bad disc.

In case you hadn’t noticed, this is an incredibly un-helpful message.  Presumably some operation failed somewhere allocating some resource; also presumably, at that point in the code, the author knew what resource he or she was trying to allocate.  So why throw the generic message?  Why not say “dude, you’re out of RAM” or whatever the real problem is.

Anyway, burning using Mastered Mode worked fine – although I can’t find any way to set Mastered Mode as the default; I have to remember whenever I put a blank disc in to select it or it formats the disc for Live File System, and then basically it’s a coaster and I have to take it out and put in another.

Now that my burn is done, I put in another disc, expecting the same dialog to pop up and ask me what mode I want for this new disc, but that doesn’t happen.  Hmm.  Maybe it’s because there are temporary files waiting to be burned – let’s delete them.  I click “Delete Temporary Files” on the button bar in the Explorer window and nothing happens.  My DVD drive (F:\) in the Explorer still shows the file I queued up for burning.  Right-clicking on the F:\ drive icon and selecting Delete Temporary Files works, but clicking the button doesn’t work.  Another bug?

But now that the temporary files are gone, I still can’t get the format dialog (not the dialog you get when you right-click the drive and pick Format – that’s the standard Windows format dialog – I’m talking about the one that lets you choose between Mastered or Live File System mode) to come up, even if I refresh the window.  Even re-inserting the disc doesn’t work.  I have no idea how to get back to the Live recording.

Ahh, asking Windows to eject the disc (instead of ejecting it myself using the button) and then inserting it worked. 

Here’s the dialog:

(Sorry for the blurry images on my blog lately – Windows Live Writer, which I like a lot, does this to the images; I don’t know why but I’ve seen others complain about it as well.  If the next update doesn’t fix it, I’ll probably go back to something like BlogJet).

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, Live File System is broken.  Choose Mastered in this dialog whenever you see it.