Difficulty reading pressed DVD

[qanda]This thread is about the Lite-On SHM-165H6S. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]Both my SHM-165H6S HS0E (stock) and SOHW-1633S BS0Y (stock) have problems reading DVD movies that don’t appear to have any defects or scratches. :frowning:

Last night I pulled both out of the case and took them apart. I blew out each of them with canned air and wiped the laser lenses with a microfibre cloth. Didn’t see any obvious discoloration on the pc boards. After re-assembly and re-installation, I fired up the PC and tested again. My cleaning didn’t appear to make much difference as both still had problems reading DVD’s.

Both drives show a transfer mode in use of UDMA-2 on 40 Conductor cables.

I’m guessing the lasers are getting weak. Is there any point in re-flashing the firmware? If so, should I try cross-flashing them both to a modded FW?

I went ahead and ordered a Lite-On iHAP422-08 and a Pioneer DVR-1910 (either DVR-116DBK or DVR-115DBK, won’t know for sure until it gets here) from Newegg. I should receive them sometime this week.

Dell 8250 P4 2.4 GHz, 768 MB PC1066 RDRAM, Win XP SP3
Intel Application Accelerator v
Intel 82801BA Ultra ATA Controller
Drivers: IdeBusDr.sys, IdeChnDr.sys, IPrtCnst.dll v

Change your ide cables to 80 wire cables. That may fix your problem.

Thanks for your prompt reply pfloyd1.

When the 165H6S was new it read dirty and scratched discs fairly well, or at least better than the 1633S, so I don’t think going to an 80 conductor cable will help in that regard. It seems like both drives have suffered a slow degradation in read ability over time which leads me to suspect a decline in laser output.

Still, 80 conductor cables are required for anything over UDMA-2 so I think I will go ahead and follow your advice for the new drives I have ordered. That way I should be able to get up to UDMA-4, which will maximize my write speeds, even though I mainly use 2.4x DVD +R DL media and rarely burn over 4x.

I installed my new Pioneer DVR-116D and it is reading DVDs that my 165H6S was unable to. Also, the IDE cables I was using were indeed 80 conductor but the 165H6S is unable to use a UDMA mode higher than UDMA-2. The DVR-116D shows as using an 80 conductor cable at UDMA-4. Since most DVD burners read at less than 16x an 80 conductor cable has no bearing on read ability. It does however affect the write speed. To achieve write speeds greater than 16x an 80 conductor IDE cable is required.