At my wits end with PX755A

Over the past year I bought 4 PX755A. The oldest one (call it 1) died of natural causes :wink: a while back with power calibration error and refused to burn at all anymore. It was used a lot, so maybe no suprise there. It was dead, period. Easy to diagnose.

That drive (1) was exchanged for a new one (4) which still works very well and sits on the same power and IDE cable (slave) as the problematic drives, which you can read about below:

The first problematic 755A (2), jumpered as master on the same cable, was 2 months newer than (1), and developed strange behaviour about 2 months ago (give or take). It would always start the burn perfectly, burn well all the way up until the leadout. Then it would just start to click and basically take forever to finish the disc. In the end the pickup even hit the disc scratching it. I never recieved any error from Nero, and the discs were readable, but a Nero verify would give errors at the very last blocks. Plextools also gives 1-3 POF at the very last blocks. The amount burned didn’t matter.

Plextor sent out a new replacement (3) which worked perfectly for about 3 weeks (burning maybe 50 DVDs), an then, BAM! it started behave exactly like number (2). It burns perfectly all the way through up until leadout and then the clickety-clack starts.
Nero verify gives the exact same errors, and Plextools 1-3 POF at the very end, but NO errors from the burn itself. The overall errors with a full scan is quite good, with PIF at max 2, so the burn seems good.

4, the replacement for the first faulty 755A, still works perfectly on the same cables, and has done so for 200-300 DVDs.

I have used only Plextor DVD+R 16x and Verbatim TY 16x all the time (burned at 8x), so I have a hard time believing discs from the same batches all of a sudden goes bad. Especially since drive 4 still works perfectly.

Is it really possible to have 3 755A fail over a relatively short period of time? Two with the exact same fault?

The drives sit in a well cooled Antec P180 (with fan controller and 4 low rev 120mm fans with dustfilters), PSU is a Tagan 480W, AMD 4200+ X2, ATI X1800XT, 2 gig of Corsair 3500LL Pro, a Raptor and a couple of larger WD. No overlocking.
I have never seen any power related problems and Tagan is high quality in my experince, and I build computers for a living.

Firmwares used: 1.07 and Nero 7.9.6.0, but the problems started with an earlier version (7.2…something). I think I used 1.06 in the beginning on drive (2).

If any of you have the slightest idea what could be going on, my gratitude will know no limits. :bow:

Do you have tried an other PSU ? maybe yours is (a bit) unstable ?..

Or maybe it’s caused by vibrations ?

I don’t have others ideas .

My motherboard is an Asus A8N32-SLI. Forgot to mention that for some obscure reason.

I have some Corsair HX520s on the way, and I will try one of those even if no other components shows any signs of strange behaviour. Thanks for the suggestion.

The P180 is one of the least prone to vibration cases I have ever tried, with its sandwich construction and silicon rubber in many places, so vibration is out of the question. But I have seen it happen with some really poor cases and many HDs, so the advice is sound, again thanks.

Maybe dust is the culprit ?

do you live in a tropical country ?

you can check the stability of the voltage of your PSU with a nice little (freeware) tool : OCCT.

just run the 30 min. test and at the end OCCT will make some nice graphs of your temperatures and voltages. Check for the ripple of the +12V and +5V

(You have to use SpeedFan or Asus PC Probe to allow OCCT reading the voltage/T° sensors )

I have now changed to a brand new Corsair HX520.

Upon examination of the Tagan, one of the secondary capacitors was in touch with one of the heatsinks and had more or less exploded due to excessive heat. Alla other caps were in visually good shape, but of Fuhjyyu brand, which basically are crap. Too bad Tagan have used them in a premium PSU.

I will change all of them to Sanyo and check the old ones with my multimeter. I will post back with the results. One cap could potentially short completely and cause all the troubles I’ve been having, but it’s strange that all other components have worked fine. The voltages have been stable all the time, so it’s probably too much ripple that is the culprit if it turns out to be bad power.

If it is the PSU, then Plextor is probably more sensitive than most to out-of-spec. power and that could be good for others to know.

In answer to your new suggestions I have always used dust filters and the old PSU was nearly dustless when opened. It’s rather hot right now here in Sweden (tropical? I would have to say no :wink: ) so it’s around 28C, also in part due to the file server which is in the same room. But it’s only 5C more than I have in the winter, but it could of course make things worse.

Well, it wasn’t the PSU. The same problems persist.

My next step is to revert back to Plextools XL 3.12 and Nero 7.2.7.0.

Strange that noone has experienced anything like this. Too bad for me, but I’m only happy for that, honestly.

Tagan, while not the worst, is not that great either (However the Corsiar’s you picked up are awesome ;))

But I don’t see why that would cause problems with only 2 of 4 DVD drives and no other components in the computer…

I would say just really bad luck and both of those drives were from the same batch somehow…

I hope this helps someone else, so therefore this last followup.

After going back to Plextools XL 3.12 and Nero 7.2.7.0 the problems seems to have gone away.

Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that certain combinations of software can create POF-errors in the leadout of the disc. That is, as it seems, what has happened.

I have burnt at least 25 DVDs in a row now without a single fault. Hopefully this will continue. The last couple of months has been like walking on a minefield; Every click on the Burn button has caused 8 minutes of anxiety waiting for those dreaded leadout “clicks” to occur.

Why has it only occured on some of the drives? Maybe, just maybe it’s beacuse of the sensitive timings on the interface. After thinking a bit more about it, I’m 100% certain it was the master one, the drive farthest away on the IDE-cable, that has had the troubles. I have changed to new cables, but that hasn’t helped. The length remained the same though.

Why drive (2) had the pickup scratching the disc I don’t know. Maybe it has been several different problems all at the same time.

Well, hopefully this is the end of this strange story.