Here’s all I know about my Emprex 1008 8x DVD Writer:
If you are like me, the fact that it burns at 4x all the time, and will burn 8x DVDs without coasters whenever you have a bunch of DVDs to burn, and burns CDs at 40x always, you’ll think it’s a great drive. Had it for a year.
The cheapass (but good enough for more expensive drives) GC “8x” media available at Fry’s Electronics only writes at 4x on this drive, because the firmware doesn’t recognize the code on the media. The latest firmware is version 0159, and it’s the one with this problem. However, Emprex is a rebranded BTC drive, and you may be able to use firmware for that drive. Risky. Anyway, it has burned every other regular brand name 8x media at 8x for me, so I don’t buy the GC 8x media when I want to burn at 8x.
This drive supports UDMA 66, but Windows XP SP2 resets it to PIO mode 4 if the drive reports 2 or more hardware errors (which happened to me). When Windows sets it to PIO mode, it’s pretty much a permanent change unaffected by reboot. Causes drive to write very slow. You have to change the registry to get it back.
To restore UDMA 66 after xp/sp2 has changed it to PIO 4, you can reset it by going into the registry (Start/Run/Regedit), find
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318. There will be many sub keys ( 0000, 0001… etc.) Find the subkey with “DriverDesc” set to the IDE channel your Emprex drive is on (either “Primary IDE Channel” or “Secondary IDE Channel” and delete both keys (it won’t hurt the other drive, it will just be redetected): MasterIdDataCheckSum and SlaveIdDataCheckSum, and then Reboot. This will force redetection.
Yeah, I know - I’m stupid. I had two CD/DVD drives on one cable and I had them both set to slave - it kinda worked, intermittently… so there’s at least one person stupid enough to forget to check the master/slave status ot his drives.
The newer EIDE cables with 80 conductors on the 40 pin cables is necessary to get UDMA 66, and therefore 8x burn speed. Crappy 40 conductor cables will not work. Also, if your cables are bent funny, sometimes that will cause occassional hardware errors. I replaced my crimped, twisted, folded up 80 conductor cable with a brand new “air flow” type cable and it stopped changing from UDMA to PIO mode all the time. Buy cable select cables with the grey, black and blue ends, set each drive to “CS” and you can save on brain power.
That’s all I know.