Benq1620 records 8x disc at 4x for 3 hours?

I have a Benq 1620, B7P9. Yes, I have updated the bios in attempt to fix the bug. Here’s the bug. When recording a +R disc (HP’s 8x) it will fly right through it at 7.3x to 8x changing speeds on the fly and do an absolutely perfect job with a video DVD. . .Unless the book type is set to dvd-rom. If the book type is set to DVD-ROM, then it will not exceed 4x and frequently produce a write error or just spend the next several hours trying to record and not succeed.
This behavior has been produced most often by Nero (NVE), but also by DVD-Decryptor burning in ISO mode. The write error occurs when the speed, going up, higher, higher, finally made it to 4x–and about the middle of the disc, it decides to shift the speeds up or down more dramatically. Next, I get what I believe is: “YUK!! I can’t write to a DVD-ROM! You gotta be kidding!” response from the Benq writer. It seems that there has been a “live controller reset (Via8235)” and coming back from that, it discovers that it is writing to a DVD-ROM??? I’m making a wild guess there. So, I check and sure enough, the book type is on DVD-ROM. So, I use the utility or DVD-Decryptor’s little book icon and set it back to DVD+R. Everything is perfect again until Nero automatically (bug! not feature!) sets the book type to ROM; then I get an irritated Benq with hit-or-miss writing. Help?

Is it in DMA mode? You might try a clean install.

I’ve also have such a writer, he won’t write faster then 4X, plus when I choose to write at 16X the lead in takes 2min and he only writes at 4X. I’ve tried a clean install, other ide cables,…

s0lar, what’s your bitsetting, book type set on?

My problems dissapear when I set the book type for DVD+R TO DVD+R. DMA is on. Abit’s hardware UDMA is on in the BIOS. Benq’s included cable is in use. No problems except that NERO automatically sets the book type to -ROM, and whenever I forget to switch it back, I get hit or miss writing and a slower write speed. No problems when book type is set to +R with this computer.

Actually, I have 2 Benq1620. For the other computer, it was suffering from the soft drive controller implementation of Via. It’s the mainboard manufacturer’s choice whether to have the drive controller’s IRQ 15 hard or soft, and soft is cheaper. For this second computer, I did use the Benq cable. I did set DMA on in Windows XP. But, the extra-cheap XFX mainboard has UDMA for secondary master set to off, and this will force IRQ 15 on. Finally, the book types are set to match the physical media, not DVD-ROM. 8x writing works, but the limit is the max hardware speed of the controller at 11264k. My fault for being cheap, not Benq’s fault. After pinpointing the trouble, I mailed the mainboard right outta my life and replaced it with an MSI (Via8237). The processor heat jumped from 48c to 65c (80mm cooler too!), performance nearly doubled, and the second BenQ is very happy now. Earlier, I had replaced a Machspeed with an Abit of exactly the same chipset (Via8235). Same story CPU from 42c to 55c, twice the speed and a happy BenQ. Abit had plunked down the extra cash to have my DVD writer work well.

Maybe this belongs in a different thread, but if you have an extra-cheap mainboard with a via chipset, it may have the soft UDMA implementation. This gives you quite a cost savings, a performance drop and a drop in CPU heat (I don’t know why). Machspeed, XFX and other cheap boards are a very nasty headache for DVD writing, but there is a patch. Install a very old cdrom (any predating UDMA, predating ATA33) for secondary master and then reset the CMOS. Boot, go into BIOS, choose optimized defaults, customize to your liking and set UDMA on IDE secondary controller channels to off. On the standard screen, have whatever channels are in use set to auto detect and auto type, while empty channels may be set to none. You should now have PIO mode locked in until the CMOS is reset. Save, boot completely, shut down, and reinstall your BENQ. Set windows to DMA=on. This will synchronize and support the soft implementation of Via’s chipset, and you can get speeds about 11264 kb per second. Maybe you should also set the book type settings to +R instead of ROM. If this doesn’t work, you can always reset the CMOS to clear it. If the procedure does improve the DVD writing performance, though, just send that mainboard off to Ebay and get a nice one. :wink:

Okay, I have a headache now :wink: But I wanted to tell you of my mainboard trials and the patch that worked. However, an Abit (any) or MSI(8237 and up) board for $60 is cheaper than all the coasters. I talk too much. . .

I like s0lar had a similar problem though I managed to beat the 4x for all media and at least get 8x going but burning at 12x or 16x results in long lead in times and writing at 4x even if its real 16x media not just overspeeding Prodisc or TY.

I’m in the process of RMA’ing my drive but I gave your suggestion a go with regards bittsetting and it didn’t work for me and by the way I’m on an Intel 875P chipset so on this reassuringly expensive motherboard it should be working just fine : (

I believe the drive is defective somehow and hopefully the replacement will solve the problems (by the way I contacted BenQ about my problems and they said none of that behaviour should be happening at all and to return the drive).

Maybe I should return my drive. But I have two of them, and they both do the same trick. Suddenly, the mood strikes. . . Burn speeds are reduced to 4x and then hit or miss writing starts. Either powering off and then on again, or making a change, (just discovered this) any change, to the bitsettings–and then burn speed is restored and the BenQs (both of them, same behavior) are in a great mood again. Huh?
This happens a lot less frequently with the better quality mainboards I got, but it still happens. Two hours ago, I got an 8x coaster burned no higher than 4x. I restarted the computer and then got an 8x done perfectly, lightening fast. Huh?

The other computer, using a different windows, different software, different mainboard, different chipset, different memory, different hard drive, and a different BenQ 1620 has exactly the same behavior.

Yeah, the product suffers from Xerox-like mood swings. But, when it says it has done the job (sometimes a few coasters later. . .) and when the disc is burned to completion, it is not only perfect, it is durable. Both BenQs are able to read from horribly scratched originals. It’s like magic.

The only reason I haven’t quickly replaced them with NEC is this: The BenQ product admits when it screws up (feature only works on +R media). If there’s no “WTF?” message on my screen, I can take the disc out and put it into the backup file, knowing the job was done right.

This is not the quality experience I want, but it is the best from the many DVD writers I have reviewed. On reading DVD-ROM and +R, it always excels, no matter how long it takes. On +R media only, either there is an error message or perfect output. This product is certainly not a fence-sitter on the quality issue (comment does not apply to -R use).

So, the BenQ is providing me with the best quality experience available. I was just hoping for a less moody product. Maybe there will be a fix, patch, or BIOS in the future. I just want to get this issue out there and talked about, so that fix, patch, or BIOS can be headed my way. Thanks for any help!

Narrowing down the symptoms, it seems that the “bad mood” is usually, but temporarily, cured by restarting the computer. This applies to two very different systems, both using BenQ1620. Thanks!!!