This is a great forum, I've been learning a lot! Thank you!
My Plextor 716A got the "amber blink of death" the other day and I got a Benq 1620Pro to take its place (while it's being repaired/replaced).
I had several exceptional burns on both DVD-R/DVD+R, great speed with the hacked firmware --> very positive initial impressions!
Suddenly, however, the drive stopped recognizing DVD-R media altogether. I had done a CMOS clear/OS reinstall when I got the drive so it couldn't be that (running "light" with only ASPI 4.60 and Nero 188.8.131.52 installed). I flashed the firmware several times in safe mode to no avail. Even with jewelcase TY DVD-Rs it returned "No Media Inserted". WTF??
Since it had recognized and burned TY DVD-Rs fine the day before, it had to be power-related. Drives bought the day before shouldn't suddenly die overnight by themselves for no reason, right (especially if they had worked totally fine for 2 days)?
I have a 2cpu Xeon workstation with all PCI-X/PCI slots taken, 3 SCSI/5 IDE hard drives running off a secondary PSU (Antec 480), but I had left the 2 optical drives (I have a Plextor Premium CDRW) running off the primary PSU (Antec 550 EPS). I switched the Benq MOLEX to the secondary PSU and voila! --> all media is recognizable again! I guess those new Folding@Home cores are really power-hungry, eh.
The moral of the story (it has been pointed out several times on this board already) -- Benq 1620s are really power sensitive, so if your drive starts misbehaving (not recognizing blanks, etc), your first instinct should be to check the PSU.
Phew, I can finally start doing some real tests