Best Alternative Reader in an Enclosure?

Hi everyone,

Can anyone recommend an alternative reader/ripper to Lite-On that I can put into an external enclosure?

I use almost exclusively Lite-On for ripping, and Plextor 716A for burning, and I use mostly TY media. But right now my Plextor is housed in a Shuttle small form factor case, which does not allow me to put in another DVD drive. I’d like to get another drive to use with the Shuttle, so I can keep the Plextor as a burning drive only, and not have to put it through the wear and tear of ripping as well. But the only way to do this is if I were to put the new drive into an external enclosure.

I already have a Lite-On DVD-ROM, which is installed in another computer – I don’t really want to take it out anyway, so I think this is a good opportunity for me to find an alternative reader. in case I come across discs that my Lite-On can’t read. But are there other brands of readers that are on par with Lite-On? From my research it seems to be able to read more problem discs than many other brands…

I’ve posted my question in another forum that I belong to, and most suggest that I get another burner instead of just a reader, because a burner will serve dual purposes. However, I’m always under the impression that when it comes to reading/ripping, a burner just doesn’t do as well as a ROM drive. Am I mistaken? (I care much more about accuracy than speed.)

And of course, to complicate the matter, whichever I get needs to be able to perform well in an external enclosure (so I think pretty much any SATA drives are out of question, because I haven’t seen any 5.25 SATA enclosures…). I understand there’s a whole difference science to finding the right enclosure; but baby steps…

Sorry if my situation seems convoluted; I hope I’ve described it as clearly as possible. But any tips and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

pugdaddy

Hi
I have a LO 20A1H with nec chipset enclosure and 160P6S with prolific 3507 firewire in external enclosure that I use for ripping/scanning, are they better readers than a ROM? Not sure, but they give quality rips fast, there is ESATA enclosures you can use also. If you are in the US see here http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817716048 you might need a SATA to ESATA cable depending on what type of sata ports you have available also it works with USB but I am not sure of the burst rate on USB, you can purchase a PCI card for SATA or ESATA also. happy burning!

Thanks for the info, James. I didn’t realize they do make an ESATA enclosure… But I forgot that I already have an ESATA HD connected to the Shuttle; so I think I have to stick with PATA/USB 2.0… My local store sells the 20A1P/H; but if I have to get a Lite-On burner I may try the 20A1P, since I don’t care about Lightscribe. I was just hoping to find a different brand of reader, in case I come across something that Lite-On can’t read… This way I’d get my bases covered.

Hi,

at the moment I have a Samsung SH-S182D installed in a Cypress AT2 based USB enclosure. Admitted, this combination can’t go faster than @12x, but this Samsung drive is a better reader for bad discs than my Liteon SHM-165P6S and it is also better than my Samsung SH-S203B.

Michael

Thanks Michael. Is there any particular reason that this SH-S182D is a better reader? When I went through the reviews for this drive the opinions weren’t very positive…

Hi,

most people complain, that the drive is not very fast when reading a (video) DVD. If speed is important, then this drive is not an option, indeed. But it seems to have a very good error correction which helps with reading bad discs.

Recently, I had to read back a file from a (bad) DVD+RW. The only drive that was able to retrieve the data was the 182. All other drives from my collection (including SH-S203B) failed. Either they stopped with some error message or they slowed down to abnormal low speeds (below 1x).

The Samsung 18x drives are problematic with DVD-R, so that kind of media should be avoided. I am using this drive as reader for problematic discs and as CD writer.

Michael

Thanks for the explanation, Michael. But do you mean it should not be used as a burner for DVD-R media, or it’s not good at reading DVD-R either? I do use DVD-R exclusively, unfortunately…

However, I don’t care about speed at all – I am more frustrated by coming across a bad video DVD that neither my Lite-On nor Plextor can read. I’d be very happy if I can find more drives that are can read bad discs, even if it’s considered “slow.”

Hi,

This is a burning problem, some drives (possibly not all) suffer from. There is a link to a discussion thread in the Samsung forum in the FAQ (see my signature).

However, I don’t care about speed at all – I am more frustrated by coming across a bad video DVD that neither my Lite-On nor Plextor can read. I’d be very happy if I can find more drives that are can read bad discs, even if it’s considered "slow."
If you need also DVD-R burning, then the Samsung 20x series should also be considered, even if their reading capabilities might be slightly different from the 18x drives. I would then get the external version (204N) instead of getting drive and enclosure separately. This would avoid interface compatibility issues.

Michael

Hi Michael. I don’t really need burning, as I use Plextor for my burns. But it’s not a bad idea to keep an extra burner around if necessary.

I don’t think 204N is available in the US yet though. I could only find one retailer that still sells an OEM S182D; I may not have any choice but to get a 203B instead…

LG204N is available at bestbuy.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8507341&type=product&id=1186005354662

@The Kipper: Thanks for the lead! I found a 204N at Best Buy…

@Michael: I’ve only test one “bad disc” so far with the 204N, and surprisingly it was able to read through where my Lite-Ons and Plextors couldn’t! It’s only one disc, but I’m impressed… Do I still need to consider the SH-S182D?

Hi,[QUOTE=pugdaddy;1919751]I found a 204N at Best Buy…[/quote]:slight_smile: Congrats :slight_smile:

@Michael: I’ve only test one “bad disc” so far with the 204N, and surprisingly it was able to read through where my Lite-Ons and Plextors couldn’t! It’s only one disc, but I’m impressed… Do I still need to consider the SH-S182D?
:disagree: I don’t think so.

Maybe the better reading capabilities of [I]my [/I]182 compared to [I]my [/I]203 are simply due to manufacturing tolerance, controller properties etc. At least not enough to make a general rule from that :wink:

Michael

I thought the performance of a burner in an enclosure was significantly influenced by the bridge chips in the enclosure. No?

From what I’d been reading recently, the combo units powered by the Oxford 911+ and Cypress AT2 chips gave the best performance and flexibility. Anything would be better than the INIC-1430L chipsets in my Acomdata enclosures. Nice enclosures, but they don’t make for happy burners. My experience at least.

[QUOTE=lasitter;1936636]I thought the performance of a burner in an enclosure was significantly influenced by the bridge chips in the enclosure. No?[/quote]Yes, it is. Together with the drive that is connected, and especially UDMA2-drives are extremely picky with enclosures. In that case, the retail unit from the drive manufacturer should be preferred at all.

My Liteon DVDRW (UDMA4) does fine with AT2 and GL811E, my SH-S182D or my Philips DVDR1660 (both UDMA2) won’t work properly with GL811, but will do with AT2 if reduction of maximum speed (12x max) is accepted.

Michael

[quote=mciahel;1936649]Yes, it is. Together with the drive that is connected, and especially UDMA2-drives are extremely picky with enclosures. In that case, the retail unit from the drive manufacturer should be preferred at all.[/quote]I’m trying to interpret this last sentence. Does it mean that you should strongly consider buying a combined / preconfigured burner and cabinet, or do you think it is still possible to get good results by purchasing the two separately?

My Liteon DVDRW (UDMA4) does fine with AT2 and GL811E, my SH-S182D or my Philips DVDR1660 (both UDMA2) won’t work properly with GL811, but will do with AT2 if reduction of maximum speed (12x max) is accepted.Michael
I toasted my SH-S182D while trying to upgrade the firmware with it in an Acomdata enclosure. I hadn’t heard of that Genesys Logic chip before you mentioned it, and from some quick searches it doesn’t seem to show up in many enclosures available in the US. Pity.

Since there isn’t a lot of support / options for FW 800 right now, I’m beginning to wonder if I might need to consider external cabinets featuring SATA for my home rig.

Hi,[QUOTE=lasitter;1936680]I’m trying to interpret this last sentence. Does it mean that you should strongly consider buying a combined / preconfigured burner and cabinet, or do you think it is still possible to get good results by purchasing the two separately?[/quote]It depends. If I wanted a Samsung externally, then I would prefer the external Retail Samsung drives (184 or 204), not some preconfigured unit that is built by some retailers or 3rd party manufacturers. With a Liteon drive, self-building an external unit should be more successful (but I don’t know how the new 20x drives would perform then).

I toasted my SH-S182D while trying to upgrade the firmware with it in an Acomdata enclosure.
If the drive is still detected as “something[B]BOOT[/B]somethingelse”, then it can be recovered.

I hadn’t heard of that Genesys Logic chip before you mentioned it, and from some quick searches it doesn’t seem to show up in many enclosures available in the US. Pity.
Well, that works good with my old Liteon drive, but it is not recommended with Samsung or Nexperia Benq/Philips drives. I also own an USB/IDE/SATA adapter with Jmicron chipset, and I wouldn’t recommend this for UDMA2 drives either.:frowning:

Since there isn’t a lot of support / options for FW 800 right now, I’m beginning to wonder if I might need to consider external cabinets featuring SATA for my home rig.
eSATA is one of the best options today, since there is no additional controller needed, IMO. Provided, the SATA controller supports SATA ODD properly (not all do).

Michael

I owe you a bit of a “Thank You” for prodding me to try further with the drive, as I had given up with both SFDNWIN and WININQUIRY just showed gibberish as the drive identity before and after re-flashing attempts.

I finally decided I should remove the drive from the enclosure, and was successful at recovery on the first try after that.