DVD+R read speed with the 708a

I’ve backed up a bunch of older data to DVD+R discs and afterwards used Nero’s CD Speed to check the discs for errors. It was an extremely show process (over an hour per full disc) so I checked the transfer speed.

To my surprise it was a flat line over the whole disc at 2x. Wondering if it was CD Speed, I also tried DVD Info Pro v2 and it showed the same results.

The stats show I should be able to read at 8x so why can’t it do that using a disc it burned at twice that speed!

Any ideas would be welcome. And yes, DMA is enabled and XP tells me that device is operating in Ultra DMA Mode 2.


I don’t normally reply to myself, but there have been developments I can’t explain. I popped in a previously mastered DVD+RW, ran the speed test and it started at just a little more than 3x and ended at 8x.

On a lark, I tried the speed test on the +R disc I first wrote about. This time however, it started at 3x and ended at 8x. It seemed the +RW test nudged the drive out of slow mode and it now reads at full speed. I’m at a loss to explain this. If you want to take a crack at it, please do. I just hope the drive won’t default back to slow speed every time it’s shut down.

As a side note, how long should I expect media recognition to take when I put a disc into the drive. CD Speed tells me a previously written +R discs takes 7 seconds to recognise. Isn’t that a but on the slow side?


The Plextor PX-708A has a speed option that can unlock the drive to 8x/12x reading for DVD-Video discs (which at default are read at only 2x). Perhaps this is related to your problem. From my review of the drive:

Update: some clever forum members noticed that the Plextor PX-708A drive can be ‘unlocked’ so that it will read DVD-Video discs a lot faster. You can do this by making sure the drive is empty and closed. Then press and hold the drive’s eject button for about three second until the drive’s LED flashes green three times. Release the eject button so that the drive’s tray will open. Now insert a DVD-Video disc and voila the drive reads faster. When you eject the disc or when you cut the drive’s power, the PX-708A will be reset to 2x reading again.
So if your drive is reading slow try this unlock trick. I think it will fix the problem.

Originally posted by G@M3FR3@K
So if your drive is reading slow try this unlock trick. I think it will fix the problem.

I have read about that in your review…but didn’t try it because the discs I’m working with are pure data. There’s no video involved at all.

I also suspect that built-in limitiation isn’t the problem because, as I descibed in my own reply above, I can pop in a DVD+RW and it reads up to 8x witn no trouble at all. Very weird…but it indicates the drive’s 2x limitation for video isn’t the trouble here.