Hey guys, i posted this in the general recording hardware section but it turned into a “what drive should i get” question, and so has probably been justifiably ignored. Ideally i want to prolong the life of my 105 rather than get a new burner (i’m quite happy burning at 2x or 4x and my dvd player and xbox are happy with G04’s burned on it so I don’t really want to risk an NEC drive which i’ve read can have problems with the G04’s, and i’d like to wait till the 108 comes out before investing in a new drive), and so if any of you guys have any ideas as to whether i can do anything to get it up and running again then i’d really appreciate the help.
Here’s what had been happening:
Ok I’ve had a Pioneer 105 (i bought it from a friend who had ordered it and at the last minute decided to get a 106 so i bought it off him for around Â£10 shy of what he had paid for it ~ Â£70 last year- just after the 106 had come out) for coming up to about a year now. I’ve always only used Ritek G04 based discs (of varying brands: datawrite (not any more), datasafe, fws, ridisc and Ritek’s own brand).
About 2 months i started getting powercalibration errors on succesive discs and from multiple tubs(different brands as well)- I expect to get one or two every so often but this seemed to be more than simply a bad batch- someone suggested i clean the lens which i did- not having any specific lens cleaning fluid, or alcohol based cleaner i read somewhere that i could use ahem, Listerine (mouth wash), which i did and it did seem to cure the problem (although possibly unrelated- lead in times started to get longer- ~1 minute at 2x- which is what i always burn my discs at- i don’t make backups for trading so i’m in no particular rush to have them done).
Today it went again so i opened it up cleaned the lens again but now once everything was put back together sticking a blank disc in there, the activity light is on for a long time ~20-30 seconds, and afterwards the disc dye is not being picked up in either DVD identifier, or DVD decrypter, Nero isn’t recoginisg the disc either when in the penultimate stage of the burn so valid speed options aren’t displayed. I’ve had maybe 350-400 burns in total so i’m not too narked about it going out on me- although i have read that this isn’t paricularly high either. The drive has been flashed with 2x4all firmware based on 1.33 firmware- though i regret doing it now as i never really made use of it, and as i’ve said before, I quite happy burning discs at the rated speed or lower.
Since then, i recleaned the lens again (with surgical spirit) and it actually burned a disc fine- on 2x, did Nero cd/dvd speed test, and it wasn’t perfectly smooth (yello and green curves) were generally smooth but there is a little bit of jaggy oscillation about 2/3rds of the way along both curves. I then went to do the Disc quality test, but it wouldn’t start.
Now if i put any disc into the 105, the activity light comes on for about 1 second and then turns off (can’t hear any disc activity) and windows explorer nor any specific dvd software- (powerdvd, DVD Identifier, Nero) don’t pick up the disc. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the drive about 3 times now and still no luck (its not picking up retail discs either). The wierd thing is XP (on an uninstall) picks up the writer- tells me its installed the drive succesfully, but strangely doesn’t tell me it needs to restart the machine- i restart anyway and still the drive isn’t picking up any media.
The disc i burnt which was a dvd-movie is being picked up fine both on my xbox and my standalone dvd player- so it seems that the has burned well enough to be read.
I’ve had probs on an off with this drive for about 3 months and usually get it working after some time so i don’t want to fork out money for a new burner f it is at all fixable (without needing to be taken to a shop to be repaired- if thats the case i’ll get a new drive)- from the number of burns i’ve made i don’t think it is what you would call “burned out” i’ve heard of people burning well over 500 discs on an older drive