It depends. If I am doing on-the-fly audio disc copy I would close all open windows.
If I am doing data compilation copy or writing disk image to cd/dvd burner, opening a few websites in the web browser or browsing network share are fine. I did not do any multimedia playback (not sure if those media players can cause buffer underrun - rather not risk it).
That being said the only machine I use for burning stuff is a 7 year old laptop with a usb burner.
It was good old times when people argued on IRC/BBS which model of the burner is the best and no one trusted IDE burners (Ultra DMA 33 just got popular and most of the 2x/4x readers still use PIO mode - Ultra DMA 66/100 was considered luxury with its higher density IDE cables and mainly for HDDs lol). Sony, Yamaha, and Plextor were the major brands with their SCSI cd burners on the market back then...
Most of the blank CD media was expensive then and I guess it's a valid concern about the habit of closing unused windows before and during burning process to avoid producing coasters.
i am always burning at 4x speed without closing any windows.
but i am not burning a lot of disks; maybe one or two month when I need to create slip stream setup with drivers and updates.
i am not burning cds, even if I have just cd data i am burning data dvd.
Most coasters were caused by buffer underrun errors, where the buffer runs out of data and the burner can't continue where the last bit of data left off. Since around 2002 or earlier, most DVD burner manufacturers have been developing and utilizing buffer underrun protection technologies (e.g. Burn Proof and the like) that allow the burner to go back to the point where the last bit was written. Since then, I've not had to worry about stopping my computer activity to burn discs. Nowadays, most computers have a combination of fairly fast processing, fast data throughput and large burner buffers that make this a non-issue.
The only errors I've really encountered were back in the day of IDE drives when anomalous behavior would occur when something would go on on a device on the other channel. For instance, I burn a disc on the drive connected to the master channel and then pop a disc into a drive connected on to the slave channel and the burn would freak out and stop.
I've burned over 1000 CDs and DVDs and I've had very few coasters in the last 10 years or so.
Back then I would. Even though the system should be relying on buffer plus the ability to still write after your buffer runs out due to buffer underrun protection, I had numerous junk discs back then. On the rare occasion today that I burn discs, I haven't seen similar problems so I don't close out of anything, even my distributed computing tasks.
Reading comprehension isn't just for school children!
So I've been burning discs since CD burners first became available...and in those days, you had to have pretty much everything that you had running closed if you wanted a good burn.
Your question in the title and poll are different!
I voted "No" since I always close out my programs. For a good many years, I did a fresh restart any time I burned a CD or DVD, because like you, I grew up in the era of 4x drives (even though CD writers existed before then) when blanks were like what BD-R pricing is now and there was no such thing as buffer underrun protection. You lose the data stream, you lose the disc.
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