3540a problems, similar to those below



I am having some of the same problems that others are having with the 3540 drive. I got it OEM from Newegg. In order to troubleshoot, I have installed it on the end of the cable in place of the CD drive, and set the jumper to CSEL.
The bios and Windows recognize the drive with the _NEC DVD-RW ND-3540a signature. The bios is set with DMA on, and the Primary IDE channel reports that the transfer mode is UDMA 2. In Nero Infotool, it shows up as in the cdfreaks review of this drive, except that the write speed is only 8x.
The drive cannot write any media and playback, even of commercial DVD movies is terrible. Speed tests with Nero CD-DVD speed bear this out. The graphs look terrible compared to what the review showed and what you would expect. Trying to write a CD gets you the error: Power calibration error.
When I first installed the drive, it acted this way, and I realized that the channel was set to PIO. I changed it and restarted, and ONE time, the drive performed the speed tests as you would expect. But after the next restart, it was slow again, even though the channel is set to DMA. Weird huh?
I have not flashed the firmware or made any mods to the computer. I don’t think I should have to update the firmware just to get it to work at all.
Any ideas?

Here are the facts:

Dell 8400, 3.2Ghz HT, 512 MB RAM
LiteON CD, currently not connected.
Windows XP, sp2
Nero 6 Ultra suite. Nero CD-DVD Speed ver 3.74.

I’ll be happy to send any other info that I may have missed.


Try updating Nero to the latest release. CD Speed is on version 4.04 (I think). Nero is on


Thanks for the quick reply!
I got the updates from Nero. So far so good. I installed the Nero updates, restarted, and was able to burn a CDR with data without problems. And the speed tests looked much better. I’ll really believe it after another restart or two!
I guess the conclusion from this is that the 3540a is NOT compatible with Nero 6 Ultra out of the box, at least on machines similar to mine. You need the update to work properly.

And for the record, maybe everyone but me knew this: If you run Infotool with the drive empty, the Read Speed and Write Speed combo boxes will show the maximums for the drive. But if you have a disk in the drive, these will show the maximums for that disk. I put an old CDR blank in and the Write speed was 8x. But with a newer blank disk in, the Write Speed is back up to 48x. Not a big deal, but there is nothing in the Infotool interface that makes that obvious to me.


Glad it worked out for you.

I found the same thing about Nero infotool as well. It gives a lot of information, but little in the way of interpeting it.

As far as what DVD drives Nero recognizes, I’m not exactly sure how Nero identifies the drives. Maybe a more knowledgeable source can add some information.


Since you set it to cable select, I hope you are using a 80 conductor cable and not the standard 40 conductor.

Read this article copy and pasted from http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/if/ide/confCS-c.html

"Unfortunately, regular 40-conductor IDE/ATA cables don’t support cable select. (Why this came about I do not know, but I suspect that some bean counter determined they could save five cents on each PC by doing this.) So to use cable select you need a special cable, and these are of course non-standard, making them a special purchase. Also, many people don’t understand cable select, nor do they realize it needs a special cable. If you set both drives to “CS” and then use them on a regular (non-cable-select) IDE cable, both drives will configure themselves as “master”, causing a configuration conflict.”

If you do have a 40 wire conductor install the burner on the secondary ide channel and set it as master. Both my cables in my machine are 80 conductor, even with these cable I don’t have to set everything to CS, you can do the traditional master\slave and they will work properly.