After spending the better part of a day attempting to recover files from some recently burned DVD+R discs, I'm starting to wonder if my 3540A is starting to go down the crapper. I bought it back in July of 2005 and it's been a great burner for the most part, but lately I've been having a lot of "cyclic redundancy check" errors when trying to copy files from +R discs to the hard drive. This seems to be happening somewhat randomly. For example, one day I attempted to copy some files from a disc and just kept getting the CRC error. The files would not open directly from the disc, so I figured that part of the disc must be unreadable. About 3 hours, after the computer had been shut down and left off for a while, I tried again to copy those files from the disc and this time they copied, no problem. This type of thing is happening a lot, where a disc is totally readable at one time then another time I get CRC errors.
Then tonight I burned a DVD-R, 4.34 GB of data, and did a surface scan in Nero just out of curiosity and I'm getting an increasing number of unreadable sectors toward the end of the disc. At least 2 other discs burned a couple months ago were unreadable toward the end of the disc. Those were CMC Magnetics discs (branded Philips) while the one burned tonight is ProDiscF01. I've used ProDisc and Ritek a lot in the past with no problems, but just over the past few weeks it has been a nightmare dealing with discs with unreadable sectors. Could the burner be at fault here or are the discs just crap?
By the way, I'm using NEC's stock firmware version 1.04 and all of these discs were burned on 8X media. The older ones were burned at 8X, the one burned tonight was burned at 6X. All were burned in Nero version 6. Oh, and I can't really check the discs in another drive either, as this is the only DVD drive in the house with the exception of a DVD-ROM drive from 1998 which barely recognizes a burned DVD....