I'm having problems with the NEC-3540A (firmware version 1.01, NOT modded) and Nero 22.214.171.124. I'm using Win XP Pro SP2 and Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe mobo with nVidia nForce 4 IDE drivers. The burner is hooked up as PATA secondary slave (a harddrive is connected on secondary master) using DMA transfer mode. I've been using burners for many years, but this problem has eluded me so far.
The problem scenarios are as follows:
When burning DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD-R discs:
Nero tends to halt during the burning process. It just stops, while the burning light on the DVD-burner still blinks. There are no error or status messages. The halt can occur at the beginning or at the end of the burn. The disc can't be ejected because the burner is still in burn-mode. This doesn't happen every time, but roughly 3 out of 5 times.
After a successful burn, the disc verification says that certain segments of the DVD is unreadable. This has happened a few times in the past (it may depend on the quality of the media), but not as often as now.
I've tried using 4-5 different kinds of media, including high quality Verbatim discs (both DVD+R and DVD+RW). The error almost seem to occur at random: Sometimes no-name media is burned successfully and brand media fails, and vice versa.
My suspicion that the problem is related to the SP2 and Nero combo, has been reinforced by the fact that I've got the same problem with the computer at work, which also uses Nero 126.96.36.199 and SP2. But I don't know for sure. Nero 6.6 is supposed to be compatible with SP2. The burning process is in general much less predictable and unreliable than it used to be.
I've tried doing a clean re-install of XP with SP1 installed. I've tried to burn a couple of discs, and so far so good, but I need to do more burns before I'm sure the problem has been fixed. However, I still need to figure out if the problem is related to SP2 and Nero 6.6, because a) The problem might still exist, and b) I might want to install SP2 later sometime.
I've tried to find a new firmware version, but on www.nec.com, there are no firmware updates for the 3540A.
I might resort to another burning program (need to find another suitable replacement first) if I can't straighten things out with Nero. I also want to stress that I've never had these kind of problems with Nero before. There have been failed burns now and then, but not at such a high rate.
If someone with a similar setup could share some of their experiences and perhaps post suggestions on how to solve this problem, I would be very grateful.