4550 SHUTS DOWN mid-burn!

I’ve recently upgraded from a Toshiba SD-R5112 to a NEC 4550. I’ve never had any problems at all with my old drive, but the NEC is giving me very strange problems indeed:
Out of the 4 DVDs I’ve burned so far with this drive, 2 came out just fine, but, during the burning of the other 2, the drive just stopped working partway through. I was using Nero 6, and, on the first occassion, it stopped at 13%, on the second at 24%. Nero didn’t freeze - I could open new windows and access the menus, though of course I couldn’t stop the writing process as the Cancel button is blanked out during burning. The drive, however, was completely dead, as if switched off - no LED was flashing, and the Eject button wasn’t reacting.
The only option I had (after waiting for a good long time to see if maybe Nero wouldn’t start up again) was to force Nero to close with Task Manager. I still couldn’t Eject the disc after doing that, but, strangely, I could access the files on it just fine, so I’m sure it’s not a mechanical problem. (Just to clarify, on the 2 occassions this happened, the first was continuing a multi-session disc I had already written with my Toshiba, and it was the files from the PREVIOUS session I was able to access after closing Nero, not the files from the session which I had to interrupt. The second disc was a fresh compilation, and, although it shows up as empty even though it got 24% of the way through being written, I’m sure it’ll end up being a coaster.)
Restarting the computer got the drive back to normal, fortunately. I was using the stock fw when the first failure happened, but I flashed it to the micheldeboer’s fw in between attempts, and had one successful and one unsuccessful write with the new fw.
One thing I suspect might be the cause of it was that I had several programs open while I was writing, and, on the occassion of the second failure, I was even watching an Xvid movie on BS-player. Also, I hooked up the NEC as a slave drive because I was too lazy to remove the other drive - I set the jumpers on both drives correctly obviously, but I’m wondering whether the NEC doesn’t like being the slave drive for any reason and is giving me problems for that reason?
System is an Athlon XP-M@2.4 on a NF7-S 2.0 running WinXP SP2. My antivirus is AVG7 and my firewall is Kerio, if that makes any difference.
Any suggestions to test or fix the problem are welcome! Thanks in advance!

Just a picture to clarify what I mean:

30’ and stuck at 24%! That isn’t natural!

AV should be disabled during burn.

Is there a specific conflict between the 4550 and AVG7, or do you mean that, in general, AV should be disabled when burning anything? I know that’s the received wisdom but I’ve been burning both CDs and DVDs successfully on several different computers and optical writers for YEARS and I never once bothered to switch off my AV!

Never had problems with this (Kaspersky) :disagree:

What “other drive”? If it’s not an UDMA compliant drive, it’s possible that this is the source of your problems. Some mobos won’t allow UDMA operation on a slave device if the master device only supports PIO or multiwords DMA.

Another possibility is the quality of your discs. What discs are you burning?

The other drive’s an Asus CRW-4861A, and, from what I can see in Device Manager, it’s chugging along just fine in UDMA2 mode (automatically set by the BIOS).
The DVDs I’ve been using are RiDiscs, and I’ve burned around 60 of them without a single coaster on the old Toshiba, so I’m pretty sure that’s not the problem.
You did give me an idea though: I think I’ll try a couple of burns in PIO mode and see if I have the same failure rate.

It seems that PIO mode works fine. At least, I’ve had 2 consecutive successful burns which is more than I’ve been getting (the last 3 discs I had burned before switching to PIO mode turned out coasters…)
However, I’m not really happy with this! My old Toshiba could burn at x4 at UDA2 just fine - why not this one?

Well, so much for PIO mode: the drive just froze at 37% of the way through a burn!:frowning: What’s wrong here? Am I looking at a borked drive? Is there anything else I can do to test it?

I should mention that prior to my last 2 posts I had swapped the drives round so that the NEC is now the Master, so my CD-RW interfereing shouldn’t be a problem. Although having it set as Master did practically no difference until I had switched to PIO only, as I still got 2 coasters at UDMA2.

I had just like your problem with my Nec 3500AG when I changed my old working Nero (I dont remember the exact version, 6 and...) with Nero 6.3.... I burned 3 DVDs Ricoh +R 4x unsuccesifuly before I suggested it was Neros fault and I installed 6.6.0.12 witch I use now. I don`t have any such problems now!

I’m gonna take you up on that advice because the exact version of Nero I use is also 6.3.1.10! Will post back to say if it works!