I've been cruising around here reading as much as I can trying to find out why I'm having so many problems with my PX-708a. I thought maybe I had a bad drive, but I ran the self-diagnostic using the media they shipped with it (YUDEN000T01) and it passed.
I've checked Plextor's web site for recommended and compatible media, and generally have had a hard time finding anything on the recommended list locally. I haven't had too much trouble with +R or -R media once I cranked the speed down to 2x to please my Sony DVD Player (anything burned higher than that usually ends up pixelating about 20 minutes into the video). The problem I'm having right now is with a batch of DVD+RW's I picked up from Amazon.com a while back. It seems they write great the first time, but typically when I try to use them a second time I get a "seek" error (figures I forgot to write down the exact message - I can probably toast another one if it's important). Generally they'll erase ok, but when I try to write the second or third time they crap out. This happens no matter what software I use (I've tried Roxio EMC7 & 7.5, Nero 6.3, Sonic Backup My PC and Plextools). The disk information from DVD Info Pro is:
Region information N/A not a DVD-VIDEO
Media code/Manufacturer ID RICOHJPNW11
Media Product Revision Number 01h
Format Capacity Blank Disc
Free Blocks 405405696
Free Capacity 4.38GB(4.70GB)
Book Type DVD+RW
Media Type DVD+RW
Manufacturer Rated Speed 4.0x 5540KBps
Available Write Descriptor CLV 4.0x 5540KBps
Available Write Descriptor CLV 2.4x 3324KBps
BG Format Status Blank Disc
Linear Density Blank Disc
Track Density Unknown
Number of Layers 1
Complete Media Code
00000000 01 02 00 00 92 0F 04 00 00 03 00 00 00 26 05 3F .............&.?
00000010 00 00 00 00 00 00 01 52 49 43 4F 48 4A 50 4E 57 .......RICOHJPNW
00000020 31 31 01 39 23 00 8A 86 68 02 26 00 8A 86 70 02 11.9#...h.&...p.
00000030 28 00 8A 86 6A 02 28 22 12 10 E0 00 F0 00 00 00 (...j.("........
They're branded RiData (the label says "Brought to you by Ritek"). This is where I'm getting confused. Ricoh is listed for DVD+RW on the recommended list, and Ritek is listed for DVD+RW on the compatible list. Based on the above, have I actually purchased something from the recommended or compatible list? The media descriptor of RICOHJPNW11 led me to believe I did, but my experience with these disks has been, well, crappy to say the least. When I check Ritek's web page it says this media is compatible with my drive with firmware 1.9, which is what I'm at.
Have I bought the wrong media, or did I just get a bad batch? Can anyone suggest some DVD+RW media? I'm using +RW because I'm using this to do weekly backups. Once a month I backup to a +R, but for the in-between periods I've been using the RW and rotating with a set of about six and just erasing them when I'm through the rotation.
The only +RW's that have performed consistently for me are some Imation's that had media code of CMC_MAG (which are on the compatible list). I've burned these about 8 times with no problems at all, and from what I've read here these aren't considered that great.
My PC specs are Dell Dimension 4300, 1.8ghz P4, 768 meg ram, hard drive 1: 40 gig, hard drive 2: 160 gig (both hard drives are on the primary IDE, are defragged and have plenty of free space) PX-708A and NEC 5800 DVD-rom (both optical drives are on the secondary IDE). My IDE channels are set for Cable Select since that's how Dell had it configured and I haven't changed it. Interestingly enough, I just noticed in Plextools that both DVD drives are showing as slaves. Hmm.
Sorry for the long post and thanks for any pointers you can give me.