I may have to agree that a number of the Plex 716A's are having difficulties with CD-Rs. My Plextor, a TLA#0203 manufactured in Dec. 2004, was having a tough time reading or writing CD-Rs. After the v1.06 firmware, my drive stopped recognizing CD-Rs at all. I called Plextor technical support and they suggested I run a diagnostic test. I did, and sure enough my drive failed. It displayed a green one-blink pattern, representing a read/write error. It's a bummer, because this drive has burned DVDs flawlessly, better even than my Benq 1620. Hopefully, they will send me a new TLA#0305 drive or later.
But to those experiencing similar "read/write" problems with CD-Rs, I recommend running the diagnostic test.
Here's how to run a self-diagnostic test.
1) Place jumpers (2 total) in both the cable select and slave spots, see picture [*||*]
2) unplug the IDE cable from the back of the Drive
3) jot down the serial number and manufacturing date (just in case you have to send it back)
3) restart the computer while holding down the eject button until the tray ejects
4) the light should blink amber and green alternatively
5) place a CD-R in the tray and the test will begin.
If the CD-R ejects, the drive is fine.
If it blinks green once in patterns, then there is a read/write error
2 green blinks means an initialization error
At this point call Plextor Customer Support 1-800-204-0332 to get an RMA#