Monday, June 29, 2009

Overburning in Mac OS X

The Mac OS X Finder and the Disk Utility (used to burn CDs/DVDs) together impose a limit on the amount of stuff that can be burned onto a CD to the specified size of the CD. And there is no way to get around this using these two.

On Windows, there exists disk burning software (a.k.a. Nero Burning ROM :) ) which supports something called as overburning, which will let you burn slightly more data than the specified capacity on a CD. Wikipedia has this to say about it. Obviously, the CD/DVD drive has to support it, but most modern drives do.

However, for Mac users, there is one simple way of overburning a disc using native (that came with the Mac) software. It’s a command-line utility called hdiutil.

Just requires three simple steps:

  1. If you don’t already have an ISO image to burn, create it by using this command in Terminal:
      hdiutil makehybrid –o image.iso files_to_burn/
    where files_to_burn is a folder which contains the file/s you wish to burn.
  2. Load an empty CD/DVD in the CD/DVD writer of the Mac.
  3. Now that you have the image, in Terminal, go to the folder containing the image and use the command
       hdiutil burn image.iso

It is very important to load the CD/DVD before you fire the burn command, because if you fire the burn command before you insert the disk, somehow hdiutil doesn’t overburn.

A word of caution, the amount of data beyond the specified capacity that you can overburn on a CD/DVD depends on the burning drive, the CD/DVD and the burning software (hdiutil here). So, be careful to remain within about 3-5% of the capacity of the disk over the capacity.


More info about the utility hdiutil can be found in Apple’s man pages here.


Borba said...

This was helpful! Thank's a lot.

Borba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mahasiswa teladan said...

hi...Im student from Informatics engineering nice article,
thanks for sharing :)

Viraj said...

Thanks! Nice to hear that you found it useful.

The Geeks said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)