So how do you determine if a DVD is a coaster or not? I've spent the last month or so now fiddling with my LDW-451S getting it to run to the best of my ability and think I've finally come to the point where most if it's short-comings have been overcome. I know CMC Magnetics is bad on it but fine for my fathers NEC 2500A, etc. I know what to expect. So over this past month I guess I have developed my thoughts of exactly what a coaster is for me - I'm curious to here others input on this to see if there is anything I can apply to my strategies:
First, I have AnyDVD in the background to disable region settings mainly and then decrypter to the hard drive with DVD Decrypter. Once I do that I then encode/burn with Nero Recode and make the copy. I'm picky when it comes to my burns so it has to overcome an obstacle or two before I keep it:
1.) Pass Kprobe scans. I don't freak out if the numbers stay below 100 - if they go over that the quality of the burn is somewhat iffy at best. If the PO climbs past 25 at any point in the disc (outside of potential single spikes) I toss the disc - I like to see very low PO results.
2.) It has to be playable in my Polaroid DVD/DivX player. It has to start up properly and have no skipping/freezing throughout the film. If it crashes on the menu or something I reburn and go again. Typically anything I burn plays in PowerDVD 5.0 on my LDW-451S or my 165H Lite-On DVD-Rom drive without issue so the stand-alone player is the only real way to test out the burns.
A couple of things I've learned:
1.) System setup is important. Motherboard chipset (KT133/A sucks big time - hard drives on a seperate Promise IDE controller card seem to work well). DVD Drives should be on Ultra DMA Mode 2 for fastest access possible. For VIA chipsets in Windows XP (At least the KT133/A) I'd recommend going into control panel and changing the VIA IDE Controller to the Microsoft Standard dual PCE/IDE Controller instead. It seems to work a lot better. If you're running a Promise card for the hard drives like I am then I'd suggest moving your optical drives over to the primary controller on the motherboard. Seems to give them an easier time of being recognized in Ultra DMA Mode 2.
2.) Media. Do NOT buy a 100 disc spindle without knowing the media you're going to throw at the DVD burner works first on a 10 disc spindle test or something of that nature. sighs Bought 100 TDK DVD+R's and screwed myself. They were CMC Magnetics F01 media code and I can not get a single good burn from these discs in my LDW-451S no matter the firmware. I ended up giving them to my dad because his NEC 2500A burns every single one of them perfectly without error. Any Ritek/Ridata (as long as it is a media code of RicohJPNxxx) I burn copies onto seem to work beautifully every single time with really nice Kprobe results. I really haven't tried much else in terms of media. I did have some of those Sky DVD-R's that yesbuy.net sells and while not nearly as good as the Ritek/Ridata media they were acceptable. But for the cost in shipping handling when compared to Newegg prices I'd rather have name brand stuff that I know works.
Save yourself a headache and get name brand media from the start. I've heard Maxell is good and TY is good - haven't had a chance to test yet but since the Ridata media is working so well for this drive I don't intend to change unless something with the Ridata's change in future batches that I buy.
I know I'm just rambling but it's been a frustrating adventure to get this drive working properly or what seems to be properly in the last month on this sytem. I think I finally got it narrowed down. However, I'm almost out of my Ritek G04 DVD-R's and then have 50 DVD+R of Ridata's to burn through so I'm going to be taking my firmware from GSB6 back to GSB7. I hope it doesn't screw anything up in the process. Plus I intend on using the bitsetting tool on the firmware so I won't ever forget to set the DVD-Rom booktype with the lite-on tool. sighs It's always something.