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Techware Frequently Asked Questions

General Information and Policies

1. Where do I send my project or bring my project?

Our address is:

Techware Distribution, Inc.
7720 W. 78th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55439

(We are conveniently located in the northeast corner of the Hwy 494 / Hwy 169 intersection)

952-944-0083 – phone, Monday – Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm
612-384-7918 – phone, after hours and weekends

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2. Are you open on the weekend?

We do not have regular business hours on Saturday or Sunday. However, we can make special arrangements to meet with you or to run your duplication and printing job over the weekend. Even deliver if need be. Be advised that there are fees associated with weekend or rush production and delivery.

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3. Where do I find my UPS or FedEx tracking number?

It is automatically emailed to you on the invoice. If you are not getting our emails, please call to have your email address added to your account. Have your customer number handy.

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4. What guarantees do you offer for your duplication and printing service?

Techware Distribution unconditionally guarantees all products and services we perform. We will replace any CD, DVD, Diskette or USB stick product we worked on that is deemed defective by reason of workmanship.

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5. What are your return policies? Can I return a system if I feel I need something else instead?

We offer an exclusive Guaranteed Fit Program: Our Guaranteed Fit Program offers you our expert advice as to which duplicator and printer offers you the best solution for your exact needs. If we recommend and sell you a CD/DVD Duplication and Printing system that does not meet those needs, then you can return it within 30 days for a full credit toward a new system that you would then purchase from Techware. To take advantage of this program you must speak with one of our experts and explain your project needs. Call us at (800) 295-0083.

Return Material Authorizations (RMA): If you decide to return a unit, you must obtain an RMA number from your Techware sales representative. Please mark the RMA number clearly on the shipping label of the box you are shipping back. The RMA number helps speed up the processing of your return and is standard in industries where products are returned/exchanged. Shipments received without an RMA# clearly marked on the shipping label will be refused. Keep all of your original packaging (boxes/foam) in a safe place for the life of the unit. If you ever need to send a unit in for evaluation or repair, you will have the packaging available. We require you to ship all equipment back in its original packaging with all of the original components like software, ink cartridges, ribbons, manuals, power cords, etc. Full replacement insurance with the shipper is also a requirement. Failure to keep original packaging will result in extra costs (to buy new packaging) and a longer repair turnaround (you will have to wait for the new packaging to arrive before sending a unit in for repair). Any product returned to Techware in non-original packaging will void the RMA and any warranties on the product. There is a 30% restocking fee for all returned equipment within 30 days after purchase on non-defective printers, duplicators or systems.

You are responsible for all shipping charges and insurance charges. Equipment damaged in shipping and not insured for the full amount of the item is also your responsibility.

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6. I can’t find products and services on your website (CD-R, DVD-R, ink, ribbon, printer, duplicator, packaging, maintenance contract, etc)?

We strive to list all of our products and services on our website and to keep those products up-to-date. However, part numbers, prices and availability is a moving target. We are more than happy to help you out over the phone (1-800-295-0083), email (, or through one of the many contact forms on our website - Contact Us

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Sales and Supplies, Trade-ins and Refurbished Equipment

1. What type of disc packaging options are available?

Techware has various automated systems for packaging all of your duplicated and printed discs. We have packaging systems that can insert discs into sleeves and mailers, plastic wrapping systems for jewel cases, slim jewel cases as well as automated DVD Amary case wrappers.

To see more of our packaging options for bulk and retail ready click here.

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2. Do you take equipment in on trade for a new duplicator or printer?

We do take trade-ins on popular models like the Primera Bravo SE, Bravo II, Bravo Pro, Microboards Printfactory printers as well as other thermal printers. We only take in equipment that is in good working order.

To learn more view more information or please call (800) 295-0083, 8:00am-5:00pm CST

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3. Why do you have so many demo, factory refurbished and used disc printers and duplicators for sale on your website?

We have access to a lot of disc equipment that is not brand new. In most cases these machines do carry a smaller manufacturer warranty, typically 90 days versus the standard 1-year parts and labor depot warranty. We are simply offering you more options on this equipment at significantly lower costs. These deep discounts can help you move up to a better production machine for your needs. We thoroughly test each machine to make sure it is operating within manufacturer specifications for peak performance.

To learn more view more information or please call (800) 295-0083, 8:00am-5:00pm CST

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4. Why should I buy my ink and ribbons for my CD printer from Techware?

We ensure that every ink cartridge we sell is brand new and full to capacity. You will be able to better gauge how often to replace your ink and be more confident that each cartridge will provide you with consistent color results. Many retailers sell refilled cartridges and the fill levels of these cartridges can vary greatly, making it difficult to determine how long they will last and the color accuracy is always compromised. Same goes with ribbons for your thermal printer.

There are some compatible ribbons on the market that can save you some money up-front. They also cause excess wear and tear on the printhead, which can cost you between $450 - $1300 to replace depending on which model you have. Colors also do not look as bright, sharp and accurate using compatibles versus the actual ribbons.

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5. I have a bad Primera or Microboards Ink cartridge, what should I do?

These manufacturers handle bad CD/DVD printer ink directly. Please call Microboards @ 952-556-1639. Call Primera @ 763-475-6669. If you have any trouble, then call us. This is the quickest and best way to get help with your possibly defective ink carts.

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Equipment Sales

1. What kind of warranty comes with it?

Other than our closeouts, which in some cases may still have 30 or 60 day warranties, all machines we sell whether new or used come with a Techware or manufacturer warranty.

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2. What condition is it in?

With most of our refurbished units coming out of our production facility, the machines are kept in top condition by our experienced technicians. With units acquired through our resellers, we perform extensive tests and apply thorough cleanings to all incoming printers, duplicators and systems.

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3. Where was it being used before?

Other than new units or systems, all equipment was used as it was intended. All of our systems are used by qualified technicians in our secure production facility. While we do not guarantee how resellers or customers use their equipment we stand behind all service and inspection we do on any equipment offered for resale.

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4. What parts were replaced/refurbished?

This can vary greatly depending on the type of unit or system. During the testing and cleaning process if any parts are determined to be faulty, they are replaced prior to the unit being certified for resale.

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5. Do you pay for shipping?

We do have promotions from time to time that include shipping. In addition, special packages can include free shipping. Check any of our websites for details regarding shipping.

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Equipment Repair

1. How much does the average repair cost?

We charge $195 up front for the clean, test & advise fee for each disc duplicator and/or printer that is sent in for repair. After this bench fee repairs can range greatly depending on the type of unit, parts needed and time for labor.

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2. How long will it take?

Once we receive the equipment at our location, determine the condition from shipping and perform the assessment process, typical repairs will take between 5-10 business days. If you are pressed for time we have many options to help get your project finished. There are rental/lease options, we could print the job for you or we can replace your unit with a similar refurbished machine while possibly giving you credit for exchange of the equipment sent in for repair.

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3. Does it come with any warranty?

Other than our closeouts, which in some cases may still have 30 or 60 day warranties, all machines we sell whether new or used come with a Techware or manufacturer warranty.

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Printing Questions and Performance Tips

1. How fast can you turn around my CD or DVD project?

We can expedite almost all CD and DVD projects to same day completion. Our typical turnaround time for CD/DVD Duplication is two to three days. Our turnaround time for CD/DVD Replication is five to ten business days. Be advised that there are rush fees associated with CD/DVD projects that are rushed for completion in two business days or less.

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2. Do the printers print right on the discs?

Yes. All of our CD/DVD disc printers and automated CD/DVD Publishing systems print directly onto the top face of inkjet or thermal printable blank CD and DVD media. Ask our specialists which type of disc printer will best meet your needs and budget. Also which brands and types of blank CDs and DVDs work best with the disc printer you buy. Techware has been selling, servicing and using the same CD/DVD printers for over 20 years. Nobody will give you better advice and service than us.

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3. How can I see what my disc face looks like printed?

Color fidelity warranted by Techware Distribution is consistent with industry standards for "pleasing color." Techware offers no guarantee of "match-print" or "match-product" color fidelity. Techware cannot prevent slight color shift throughout an order. Techware Distribution does not guarantee color will match the preview as it appears on a customer's monitor, as we cannot compensate for a color variance on each customer's monitor.

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4. Should the disc artwork have the center removed (be cropped)?

No, please do not crop the artwork that you provide for CD/DVD printing. It works best if you do not. Our printers will automatically stop at the inner and outer edges of the disc. Please be careful to not layout your text too close to any edge.

For more information about creating artwork for disc labels and packaging, click here.

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5. How can I get the best long-term results from my duplicator and printer?

Here are a few helpful hints for making the most of your duplication process. If you choose Techware as your exclusive CD/DVD equipment and supplies vendor, you will get many more.

  1. Control your burn speed: the highest speed setting is not always the best. For example: audio CDs lack error correction, therefore, optimal burning speed is just 16x speed.
  2. Duplicate your CDs and DVDs from the hard drive: on multi-drive tower duplication systems the optimal method for disc duplication is to load your master image on to the hard drive and then burn, rather than burning disc-to-disc. You will not only get consistently faster burn speeds, but you will also get fewer rejects – saving you a lot of time and money.
  3. Keep your CD/DVD duplicator clean: Keep your unit in a clean temperature controlled environment and on a firm level surface. Extreme temperatures and dusty conditions will shorten the life of your CD/DVD duplicator and printer.
  4. Keep your CD/DVD printer clean: Inkjet CD printers spray ink mist within the printer that will cause sensors, gears, and circuit boards to malfunction. Thermal printers have trouble with dust accumulating on the printhead, heating elements, etc. Ask Techware how we can keep your printer clean and functioning at peak levels for years beyond the manufacturer warranty period.
    CD Printer Repair and Cleaning Services.
  5. Only use high-quality DVD and CD recordable media. The number one factor that determines your reject rate, poor playback and compatibility is the quality of the blank CD/DVD media you use. While you may save a few dollars buying cheap media made in China/Taiwan/India, you will pay for it in time and money over the long run due to an increased reject rate and poor playback, especially for audio CDs. Techware constantly tests out CDs and DVDs for high quality performance when used in conjunction with the CD/DVD equipment that we recommend and service. Another thing to consider are the royalties…many disc manufacturers in China and Taiwan are not paying royalties on the discs that they manufacturer. This could cause you to be involved in a costly lawsuit if you are using and selling these discs. Contact your Techware sales representative to ensure discs that work and have the royalties all paid up.
  6. Protect your master discs: keep your master CDs and DVDs clean. Master discs should be stored in protective packaging and free from scratches, fingerprints, dust and debris. A poor master will produce a poor copy.

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Technical Questions

1. What are the differences between inkjet, thermal, screen and offset disc printing?

Inkjet Printing: High Quality, full color 4800dpi printing. Great for small and medium size jobs. The only issue with this style of print is that it is not as durable as the below options (mainly that it is not waterproof).

Thermal Printing: up to 600dpi or 185 lines per inch. A wax resin ribbon is heated, and permanently applied to the surface of the CD or DVD disc. This printing process strictly uses CMYK color. Perfect for high quality, short to medium size jobs that require durable waterproof printing.

Screen-Printing: Typical resolution is 85-105 lines per inch. With screen-printing, the image is stenciled onto the disc face by transferring ink through a fine mesh screen, using CMYK inks. (C=Cyan, M=Magenta, Y=Yellow, K=Black), or Pantone. Makes sense for larger jobs of 1000+.

Offset Printing: The offset printing process uses an intermediate blanket cylinder to transfer an image from the image carrier to the disc face, also using CMYK inks (C=Cyan, M=Magenta, Y=Yellow, K=Black), or Pantone.

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2. What is the difference between inkjet printers and thermal printers?

Inkjet printers: use water based ink that is great for color, sharp resolution and relative printing speed. Print costs range from just a penny or two to $0.50+ based on the printer model and the level of print coverage on the disc. Inkjet CD printers as less expensive than Thermal CD printers and print itself is not very durable and will smear and run if it comes in contact with moisture.

Thermal printers: use heat and pressure to permanently print onto the surface of blank CD and DVD media. Thermal printers have print costs between just $0.01 and $0.35 each depending which model you use and the print coverage. Thermal printers are much more expensive than inkjet CD printers, and they offer very durable, professional waterproof printing.

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3. What’s the difference between a duplicator and a publishing system?

A CD/DVD duplicator is a system that only copies discs. It works like a photocopier for paper - you simply supply a master disc and the CD/DVD duplicator outputs copies at a high rate. A publishing system encompasses more. It connects to your computer and/or network and incorporates a printer as well as one or more drives to burn your CD-R or DVD-R media. Publishing systems are designed to output finished discs from files on a hard drive or network. In addition we sell very sophisticated, fully automated and configurable systems that allow you to output hundreds of finished discs from unique content on your hard drive/network. Each disc can have a unique printed label and unique content on the disc itself. We also have CD/DVD publishing systems that can print a unique barcode and serialized numbers on each disc.

To learn more, please call (800)295-0083, 8:00am-5:00pm CST

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4. What is a Network Enterprise CD/DVD Duplicator?

Our networked autoloading CD or DVD publishing systems have powerful software to provide network wide access to CD/DVD recording and allow for customization of data and/or the disc label. Many of these network autoloading CD/DVD Publishers features can be integrated into your company’s existing applications using an intuitive Application Toolkit. Printing options include many Thermal printers.

To learn more, please call (800) 295-0083, 8:00am-5:00pm CST

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5. What is the difference between duplication and replication?

Replicated discs (often referred to as pressed discs) are created by physically pressing your data into the surface of the CD or DVD disc. Whereas duplicated discs (often referred to as burned discs) encode your data onto the disc by burning microscopic holes into the dye layer of a recordable CD or DVD with a laser. Replicated discs are the standard for major commercial releases; however, duplicated discs have lots of advantages, too.

Duplication: This process uses CD and/or DVD recording drives that physically burn the data onto the disc surface with a laser. Our process utilizes the highest quality CD-R/DVD-R burners and equipment available. This process is especially cost effective for shorter runs of 5 discs up to 2000+ CDs and DVDs. The turnaround is also much faster than the disc replication process. Duplicated discs can be produced in as little as a few hours, and we have a capacity to turnaround 7500+ discs in a 24-hour period.

Replication: This process is typically most cost effective for longer runs of discs from 2500 to 500,000 and up. This process requires some set up and has a little longer turn around, typically 7 to 10 days. Replication is done from scratch, CDs/DVDs are injection molded from polycarbonate pellets, then are covered in reflective material and stamped with the information.

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6. Are the recordable CD/DVD discs you use for duplication orders compatible with all players?

The discs we duplicate for you are 100% compliant with the specifications set forth for data or audio disc creation. Some players, especially older ones, may have difficulty reading DVD-R and CD-R discs.

Factors that influence playability besides engineered support for CD-Rs are disc reflectivity, dye color of the duplicated disc, re-read rate, poor disc care, dirty lens, player temperatures, non-clean environments and disc capacity. We use the highest quality discs for your duplication to ensure the compatibility of your discs to the most playback devices possible. There may be instances when a duplicated DVD-r / CD-R will not play back on one device but will on another. This is unavoidable under any condition but with good quality Taiyo Yuden brand discs, it can be minimized.

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7. How much music or data can I put on CD orders?

The discs we use have a maximum capacity of 700MB or about 80 minutes of music. Some of this space is used up with space between audio tracks on audio CDs or indexing information on data CDs.

For data CDs, a general rule of thumb is to allow about 10 to 15 MB of space for indexing. So the maximum total size for files on our data discs is about 685 MB.

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Feel free to contact us. We are ready to assist you with any questions you have.

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