Bad/not very good burns with 3500, 3540, 3550

Briefly, after my 2nd Liteon 451s went bad I purchased a MadDog (equivalent to a Nec 3500). Used various Liggy and Dee’s Nec drivers. I was using Kypermedia CMC MAG E01 8x DVD’s. Nero Ultra 7.0.12 and Roxio 8.The burns were not great or bad – compared to the ones posted. Same for using Memorex (Prodisc) CD’s and Riteks. ScanDisc errors. So, I took it back and got a different MadDog (equal to a Nec 3540a). Bought different media 16x HP (Phillips C16) Pretty much same thing. The DVD I burned for Nero “Create Data Disc” when I tried to do a Disc Quality test it would spin up to around 8.6, then I would get a Error Initializing Test. I tried it on Roxios DVD Info Pro, it read it though. DVD Info Pro always gave worse results, especially on scan disk – CD Speed would show no errors or one, but DVD Info Pro would show more. I then tried Memorex 16x (RICOHJPN R03). Same thing. Took it back and got a Nec 3550a at Compusa. Liggy and Dee 1Y2 and 1.05bt. Burns again where borderline or bad – none as good as on forums.
The last two burns were UDF for Xbox. Both of them get the Error NO SEEK COMPLETE (030200) @ 7.1 sec Spin Up Drive for BenchMark and Error initializing test for Disk Quality at 8.6 sec spin up. Disc Qualities on CD as low as 0. DVD as low as 0, 40 – low 80s’.

I have my DVD as master on the secondary IDE channel Ultra DMA mode 2 and a hard drive as slave Ultra DMA mode 5. (Is this setup OK?) I tried disconnecting the slave HD but it made no difference. I had IAA, and took it off, took off Roxio, reinstalled Nero, and nuked my PC and installed new XP (pro sp2), new Nero Ultra with nothing else - no AV, Etc…

I am at a loss…… I am running out of time, patience and ideas. Either I am very unlucky by purchasing bad DVD drives and/or Media, or there is something else I am overlooking. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

So you have tried at least two different DVD media and two different CD media on three different burners, and you get burns that are either bad or average.

Have you considered checking/changing the things that are common to all these combinations?

One very obvious possibility is the way you handle your media before burning and/or before checking it. Are you touching the bottom side of the discs thus getting fingerprints on them? Are you checking the media for dust and scratches before burning?

Another common factor is your pc system, including such things as the power supply. Have you tried putting your latest drive in another pc and doing some test burns?

This could be a matter of “false expectations”. Many people only post their best scans, not their “average” scans. And many (if not most) of the really good scans are done with Taiyo Yuden media.

Also, after you read on here a lot, you will start to notice the more knowledgeable posters say things like, “This disc came from a particularly good spindle of BrandX media”, or “this disc came from a below average spindle of BrandY media purchased at XXX store.”

So it could be that there is nothing wrong with your drive or setup, only with your expectations. An “average” looking scan is really what most of us get, most of the time. After all, that’s why it’s called “average”.

On EDIT: If you want to see a better scan, I would recommend that you purchase some Taiyo Yuden 8X +R discs and burn them at 8x while nothing else is running on your computer. Then scan them with a drive that is better at scanning than your Nec, such as a Benq 1640 or Liteon 1693 or Liteon 1635. This will probably give you a quality scan that you can brag about.

Thanks DrageMester and HenryNettles. I do handle the media carefully and usually look at it before I insert it. Other common things are the store I bought the media from, and maybe Nero 7? although I tried a couple on Roxio. Funny, but the PS also crossed my mind. Altough when I took out the other drive it would have eased up on power consumption a bit. I read that bit setting may also have something to do with the errors during spin up on the few DVD’s.

Maybe it is really my expectations, some of the burns turned out well. It just seems inconsistent. I recall that my burns on the properly operating 451s were really good… and these burns may look good on it too as you said HenryNettles. Maybe I will pick up that 1635s or 1693 - which one is better? Seems the 1635 has the potential for the better one…

Thanks!

I had some similar problems and found this thread http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=139455
After modifying the firmware for the media I was using I had much better results.

Thanks everyone,

I thought what HenryNettles said in his reply about liteon scans was correct but I did not know how correct he was! I know Nec’s don’t read as well as Liteons. So, I bought the Liteon 1635s with a giftcard at OfficeMax, threw it in and what a difference! The burns I saw from the various Nec’s were not bad at all, actually pretty darn good. Furthermore very poor burns read by the Nec’s and burned by my old Litey turned into disc quality 70 burns. The best part is that the 1635s burns even better than the Nec, and I could now also use K-Probe. Paired with using a giftcard at OfficeMax as opposed to laying out $50 at CompUSA I decided I will return the Nec and keep the Litey. Hopefully it will last longer than my other two 451s - the first one gradually worsened at about a year and by 1.5 it was unseable - the second one which was a refurb took a couple months - it still works, just that the tray comes out halfway and the burns are getting worse. Maybe it will be better now that I reinstalled the OS for the Nec’s Hmmm…

Later!