8631A problems

I’ve had this Dell OEM for a while now and mainly used it for data transfer, i’ve used a real assortment of discs and had very few failures. Just lately though I have started burning missed TV programs at work to take home and the success rate has become really hit and miss.

As an example Ridisc CMC E01, run it through Benq Qscan and it gives me a really nice graph TE/FE hovering at 150. Burn it using Nero it writes the lead in then coasters on me just saying write failure. Ridisc extreme RicohJPN R03, fails smart scan at 16x, runs through at 12x with an acceptable graph, slightly peaky but well in tolerance. The disc burns but has lots of hangs on playing. Another extreme, similar graph burns end to end perfectly. Another CMC, slightly worse graph than the first, fails at approx 3/4 the way through. Imation 8x similar problems, I seem to get a 50/50 success rate no matter which media I use. I’ve tried using B7V9 firmware and am now back to RPC1 GD30 again.

I cant work out what i’m missing here, is it possible the drive is failing? I can get a maintenance swap out but all I know is i’ll get a DVD DL writer I cant specify the make/model.