Blank ring bad burns

I have recently had two bad burns on a DVD-R Taiyo-Yuden premium disc, and the resulting disc looks like this:

(the disc in this image was sent back from a client in an unpadded envelope, so it is scratched and dirty).

The two bad discs appear to have been burned correctly at the beginning of the burn. Thus, they will play the menus. However, as you can visually tell from the picture, it then appears that something shut down the burn for a long period of time (see the large dark, inner ring labeled “bad burn”). Following this bad section, the burn resumed, and the outer part of the disc was burned normally. The video on this outer part of the disc can be played.

I am running Windows XP Pro, SP3; Lite-On iHAP422 (no firmware upgrades were ever issued for this drive); Taiyo-Yuden (Manufacturer ID: TYG02) DVD-R purchased from Meritline. I have a very clean computer with no background processes or anti-virus software running, so I don’t think that any background process is interrupting the burn, although I am open to any ideas along those lines. And no, I don’t have any viruses on this computer.

The burn was done with Nero 6.6.1.15.

I have tested several dozen of the other discs done with this batch of media, and DVD Speed gives me really good test numbers.

I am an infrequent poster in this forum, so I hope I have posted this in the right place. I tried to search this forum and elsewhere on the Internet, but couldn’t find any mention of failures where the drive apparently shuts down in the middle of the burn, and then resumes the burn. It is almost as if the DVD writer were put into simulation mode for part of the burn.

Thanks in advance for any help!

The drive did not “shut down” during the burn, but it was forced to change the burnspeed/burnmethod/strategy during the burn which can have various reason.

Sometimes the data cable is not a proper one (40 wire versus 80 wire PATA; cable too long), the SATA controler setup may be wrong, the media not reliable or just the burn made too fast.

Last but not least, the burnmethod plays a big role, speaking of CLV vs. CAV.

The drive did not “shut down” during the burn, but it was forced to change the burnspeed/burnmethod/strategy during the burn which can have various reason.
That provides a good starting point for my troubleshooting. Thank you.

As for the specific things you list, I’ll try re-seating the cable. This computer is fourteen months old and, until a month ago, burned close to 700 DVDs without any problems. However, I know that cables can work themselves loose.

It could be a bad (media) disc. I am now finished with that particular batch of 100 discs, so we’ll see what happens. The burn was made at 8x, the same speed I’ve used for the past five years, using five different burners (I burn a lot of discs and every brand of burner I have owned – HP, Sony, Plextor, Pioneer, and now Liteon – has not lasted more than eighteen months. I don’t think I’ve ever manage to burn 1,000 discs on any of them. It is possible that this one is getting ready to fail, but is doing so in a different way than my other drives. They usually failed by refusing to even start the burn, usually on re-writeable media.

Also please check this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAV/CLV

I appreciate the link to the CAV/CLV definition, but I’m not sure how to put it to any practical use. I just opened Nero, and also all the various Nero tools, to see if there is some way to actually specify a write strategy that keeps the disc rotating at a constant RPM (CAV) or which keeps the speed of the disc under the write head constant (CLV). I was unable to find any such setting. I Googled “nero cav clv” but that didn’t provide much help either. I looked in the “extras” area in the DVD Speed tool, in the place where I can change the bitsetting for DVD+R discs, but I didn’t see anything there either.

Of course, the key thing is that I burned 500 discs without any problems, and now two out of the last 100 have had this problem. So, I am looking for something that might have changed. The media and the drive are the two most obvious, but if there is some write strategy that might somehow get “bumped,” I’d sure like to know how and where to change that setting.

What burn speed did you use and were any options enabled? Is your iHAP422 using VL18?

Using Clear OPC History (Settings Utility) may help your drive to burn better. Backup your EEPROM first.

I burned at 8x. The media is rated for 8x. The firmware in the ihap422 is VL14. This is the latest firmware available for this drive. There is no VL18 for the iHAP422 drive. Liteon never released any later firmware updates for this drive.

As for the Clear OPC History, it took me awhile to find out what that is. If you read my initial post, you’ll see that I am using Nero 6.1.1.15 to burn. Apparently, this “Clear OPC History” function is part of ImgBurn, which I am not using. I am a little leery of using that without getting more information on what that will do to my burns. Also, in doing some quick research, some posts make it sound like this is only used for “unknown media” while other posts suggests that it somehow learns what happens while burning [I]any[/I] media and then based on this, makes laser power adjustments more quickly.

So, if anyone else has opinions on whether this is a good idea, and also whether this is indeed a function in the ImgBurn utility or instead is some separate utility, I’d be interested in getting assurance on both these things.

You will find VL18 here:
http://codeguys.rpc1.org/firmwares.html#iHAP422-8

As for the Clear OPC History, it took me awhile to find out what that is. If you read my initial post, you’ll see that I am using Nero 6.1.1.15 to burn. Apparently, this “Clear OPC History” function is part of ImgBurn, which I am not using…

The Clear OPC History is in the Options tab of my Settings Utility and EEPROM Utility (see my signature)…