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Hewlett-Packard 8100i SureStore CD-Writer Plus
Last updated: 07/29/03

OPERATION Disk mastering depends on a constant, uninterrupted stream of data.  You may have to shut down programs, such as dial-up connections, which could interrupt your CPU, before making copies audio or digital CD's or risk loosing data.

I found a full format of RW CD's took better than hour (about 75 minutes, sigh!) on a 350 Mhz Pentium II computer.  This is greatly mitigated by Hp's Fast Format software (see above).  Once formatted, I could copy about 530 MBytes from a hard disk drive, which fills a  formatted RW disk,  in about 39 minutes.  This is quite respectable--much faster and easier to access than a tape drive, and simpler than minding a zip drive and inserting five or more 100 MB zip cartridges.   Rewritable CD's are not readable on older CD-ROM drives. Newer CD-ROM drives with MultiRead support can read them.

For the most reliable CD-R copies, you can choose to test a CD and write at 1X.   That takes well over an hour.  If one cranks-up the speed to 4X it takes about 33 minutes to test and copy a CD.  By skipping the testing,  a CD can be directly copied to a blank CD in about 18 minutes.

When reading CD's, I really don't see an overwhelming difference between this drive reading at 24X and 36X CD-ROM.  The 8100i spins-up pretty darn fast. 

A real nit pick,,, the CD drawer could open and close with a somewhat smoother sound.

THE 8110i DRIVE.  8100i and 8110i drives are identical.  The 8110i has more software, a superset of the 8100i software.  I have not driven the 8110i  drive

SUPPORT.  HP provides really excellent Web support for this product.

BOTTOM LINE:  Considering overall price, performance, quality, support, and functionality, I do not believe you will find a better CD burner.

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Larry

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