Anatomy Of A Dying/Dead 716A

vbimport

#1

First let me say I really liked my Plextor 716A. RIP my not so old friend. Only six months old and now one of the dearly departed to RMA heaven.

While a dead burner is no big news on this forum, I haven’t seen anyone who actually documented its demise like the way I, unfortunately, did.

Yesterday, all was well in whoville. I burned a couple of CD-R’s and a DVD+RW. The PxScan of that DVD+RW is even on this forum (http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=142795) and may have portended the eminent death that occured today. Is this the natural progression (degradation) of a DVD+RW after several rewrites or is it the beginning of the end?

Today, I opened up a fresh spindle of Taiyo Yuden 52X 80min CD-R’s purchased from meritline.com (nice $10 discount off). I have never used Taiyo Yuden CD-R’s before, but the DVD+R TY02’s I got from meritline are fantastic! I popped in the first disc from the spindle and “successfully” burned a full disc using Nero 6.6.x. Then I used Nero CD-DVD Speed’s Transfer Rate test and was greeted with “Error! L-EC Uncorrectable Error (031105)”, ATAPI error code for bad disc, unrecognizable MID, incorrect DMA setting or “unknown”. The only other clue I found on Goggle was a suggestion that the disc may be copywrite protected - which I know was not the case here. I then PxScanned the disc and the DOS window showed “Command Failed: BE(12) Position 73m45s” and then the same error at “76m41s”. Uh Oh! Never seen any of this before. (Can Alexnoe decipher “BE(12)” please?)

Then I used Nero CD-DVD Speed’s Create Data Disc to keep things nice and standardized. Using Nero’s Transfer Rate test, things got even more dicey, with a precipitous near vertical drop in speed from ~46X to ~4X at about 68 minutes. Never seen that before either.

I examined several of the blank Taiyo Yudens and saw irregularities, like a concentric smudged ring within the media near the outer edge on the bottom/data side and an occasional scratch as well. The first disc I burned also had a removable concentric ring of smudge on the top. Thinking I had bad Taiyo Yuden CD-R’s, I set up an RMA for replacement discs. No problems and very easy dealing with meritline over the phone.

Then things turned about as bad as they can get. The 716A would not read ANY media I fed it - new, old self-burned, commercially pressed, CD-R, or DVD+R, DVD+RW. The yellow LED would shine for about 2 seconds after inserting a CD or DVD (initializing), but then the LED would go dark (no green for reading). I couldn’t access the disc in Windows Explorer, and, games I had played last night would not load after clicking my desktop icon, instead reporting the disc was not in the drive even though it was.

A quick and easy call to Plextor Tech Support ended with me RMA’ing the drive. I asked the tech if this was a fimiliar issue and he said no, not having drives fail essentially while writing. He wondered if my drive was on the verge of failing and the media, if bad at all to begin with, created a tipping point and I had a complete failure. Also, the tech verified that the drive writes from inner hub to outer edge, so any imperfections in the media towards the outer edge would cause errors there just as my testing results showed.

The images below are of Disc 1 Nero Transfer Rate test and subsequent PxScan, followed by Disc 2 Nero Transfer Rate test of the Data Disc created by Nero, respectully.


#2

Sounds like what happened to my PX-716A. Had an error when burning (though it was a DVD and failed while writing lead-in), and after that it wouldn’t read anything. The light would go out after a few blinks, just like you described. Interesting that you drive was a TLA 0304 as well.


#3

Where did a see this before? :doh:

My regrets for the dead of it…

Mordorr


#4

Two Degrees:
Very similar circumstances indeed, though both of these burns completed as expected: The first disc finished with Nero’s customary completed popup window; the second disc burn completed appropriately I believe despite the “Error - Write Error - Recovery Needed (030C07)” as that may be expected with “Overburn Enabled” when making the data disc. It’s going to error out when it can’t add anymore to the overburn.

Mordorr:
Seems I’m not the only one after all. And here I thought I was unique! Thanks for kind regrets.

Will post more when I get my new/refurbished drive back from Plextor. I already miss my baby. :o


#5

I wouldn’t RMA the drive yet before thoroughly test it. Here are some reasons.

From what I’ve read, L-EC Uncorrectable Error refers to bad media. From your Disk2 pic it shows that the read curve dropped to 4x at 70 mins and this might cause your drive dropped to PIO mode. Try cross-checking the DMA mode in Device Manager. If indeed the drive is in PIO mode than that might also cause the problem reading DVD/CDs you mentioned above.

No Additional Sense Information can happen if you try to read locked protected disk or read blank data beyond the disk capacity. Also from your Disc2 pic you can see that Nero reported “Blank” with Length of “79:59.72” while the drive is trying to read beyond 80 mins. It stopped at approximately 82 mins with “no additional sense information” error.

\Edit
I would try to burn random data to a blank CD with Nero CD Speed “create data disk” and do Transfer Rate test and PXScan (if you can manage to wake up the drive again).


#6

Zevia:

Thanks for the reply. The drive is fried. The disk tray opens and closes, the “yellow” disc initializing LED goes on for 2 seconds, then the drive is dead. UDMA is still set to 4, which is correct, in Device Manager. (yep, the drive is listed as working properly in Device Manager if you were going to ask) More importantly, NO disc, blank or written to, commercially pressed, R or RW. CD or DVD could be read by the drive despite using a variety of applications.

As for the “overburn” on disc 2, the created data disc in Nero, the Transfer Rate test craps out long before (68 min) the “no additional sense information” error (82 min). I figured that error was due to the overburn and unrelated to a 031105 ATAPI error code on the first disc and my nonfunctioning drive in general.

I got my information on ATAPI Error Codes from http://www.bhacorp.com/support/atapi/. The Taiyo Yuden CD-R’s may be bad, and that is why I am RMA’ing them back as well, but the failure of my drive to read any disc now is a catastrophic drive failure unrelated (I believe) to a “bad batch” of blank media.

Unless my drive is in a temporary coma (let’s not turn this into a Terry Schiavo debacle), I, and the Plextor tech I spoke with, consider the drive toast. The drive goes back. Now I’m FUBAR’ed until I get the new one.


#7

Ooooo, karma modifier: -5

I, and the Plextor tech I spoke with, consider the drive toast. The drive goes back. Now I’m FUBAR’ed until I get the new one.

No, you’re SOL. The drive is FUBAR’d. :bigsmile:


#8

Now I know what FUBAR means but what the heck is SOL? :confused: :wink:


#9

G@M3FR3@K: SOL = Shit Outta Luck

ftp1020: My karma has been Charlie Foxtrot’ed the past seven years. It’s got to get better. Right? Or is this just a SNAFU?

(Acronyms may be the only good thing to come out of wars)

God bless Terry Schiavo. She suffered more than her fair share on this planet.


#10

Wow, crossg is correct, maybe it is a Canadian thing? How about (“aboot”):

Up shit crik without a canoe? (that describes where you are when your burner quits for good the day after the warranty expires).

Good luck with your next 716, bulletx. And the karma, too.


#11

its is not a CANoe but a paddle.


#12

Topweasel:

I hear you brother! But, I’d rather be UP shit creek without a paddle than be IN shit creek without a canoe. (Is cursing allowed here?) Either way, your in deep kimshee.


#13

Up the “crik” without a “canoe” is the Great White North variant of the expression.

Any expectation on when you can expect the replacement, bulletx? I’ve criticized Plextor for many things, but the RMA experience wasn’t one of them. The whole experience lasted less than a week, and the replacement (712) functions perfectly.


#14

ftp1020:

So far, my experience with Plextor tech support has been excellent - I get through on the phone quickly and the techs have been knowledgeable and patient. I shipped the drive out on 8/2/05 and Plextor in Fletcher, Ohio received the drive on 8/3/05. I’ll be calling tech support today to see if they can give me an ETA on the drive. Tech support told me that turnaround time is 5-7 business days once they receive the drive. They could not tell me if the replacement drive would be refurbished or new, only that it would be whatever was on hand. Somewhat ominous but not totally unexpected.

Although this is not the exact forum for this kind of talk, I am tempted to buy the new BenQ DW1640 - only $40 on Newegg last nght! - as a backup drive in case the Plextor takes a poop again. I need to move stuff off my harddrive ASAP, or else add a third drive (the next one will be SATA), to keep business going.

Will keep the thread apprised of my experience RMA’ing and the performance of the replacement drive.


#15

FWIW the replacement Plextor drives I’ve gotten certainly appeared to be new, especially the PX-716A replacement, which was TLA 0308 manufactured June 2005. I seriously doubt that’s a refurb…


#16

Two Degrees:

Good to hear I may be getting a new drive as replacement. How long did it take you to get your new drive once Plextor received your old one?

Called Plextor tech support and no replacement shipped as of yet. He cautioned that it may take the full 5-7 business days before shipping. Bummer! Still, no complaints in the way Plextor has treated me so far.