Audio CD burning weirdness with a confused PX-760A

Out of nostalgia and a long suppressed curiosity about its special features; amazingly I recently acquired a factory sealed PX-760A from a vendor on eBay.

I already have the original Premium CD burner and have long been intrigued by the GigaRec function but found the 0.8 setting too limiting in terms of capacity reduction and compatability with some playback equipment. The 760A supports GigaRec 0.9. So does the Premium II but it is way overpriced now, and all but unobtainable in like-new condition.

The 760A came with V1.04 firmware which I flashed up to V1.07 “free your Plextor” from RPC1 on a Win7 PC I keep around for things like this.

It is now in an external Syba enclosure which uses the NEC bridge chipset.

It has happily done lots of scans with PTPXL and QPXTOOL, and burned numerous audio CDR’s successfully with GigaRec 0.9 using both PTPXL and Nero in DAO mode, until the other night.

I had a collection of FLAC files which just fit on a CDR-80 at GigaRec 0.9; and used PTPXL for the entire operation. Setting up GigaRec with an 80-minute T-Y in place, and then using the audio CD builder in PTPXL, everything looks fine until I started the burn at 8X.

After hitting START, PXPTL started processing the first source file and immediately ejected the disc. Huh? No error messages, the disc showed no outward signs of having been written to.

Rechecked the project, reinserted the disc, re-enabled GigaRec, same result. I then noticed that the length was a few seconds over the calculated capacity with these settings (even though the “allow overburning” box was checked), so I tried again without GigaRec enabled, with the same result. Heart beats faster …

Disabled GigaRec, ejected and re-inserted the disc, and removed PTPXL completely from memory, I sucessfully completed the burn process using Nero. So I thought.

Tried the CD in 3 standalone players. Two would not even recognize the disc, the third stopped playing or skipped incessantly ~ 10 seconds or so into each track.

So I took the disc back to the PC and tried scanning with CDSpeed on a LiteOn drive. It identified the disc correctly but any attempts to actually read it immediately terminated with an error. Pure trashed disc.

It was getting late and I was getting disgusted, so I packed up the Plextor for another day.

Well, coming back to the Plextor last night I burned numerous test and project discs (different source files) everything worked perfectly as before. Same PC, same software environment as before.

I am still trying to figure out what happened.

By best guess is that PTPXL could not decompress these particular FLAC files (given its age I’m surprised it reads them at all) and that is why it panicked before starting the burn. Perhaps the numerous ejects and GigaRec disable/enable cycles somehow left the drive firmware in an unstable state so that the final burn with Nero was actually writing garbage - some kind of pseudo GigaRec strategy which was neither of the above.

I guess what I should have done was to power cycle the drive before switching to Nero, but time was running out and I wasn’t thinking too clearly by that point.

Any other ideas? Just curious.

Yeah, I would assume the same you did.

No idea what else could have gone wrong.