DVD writer problem

I recently had to reformat my hard drive and re-install windows. I dont know if it’s coincidence or not, but my writer seems to be playing up a bit now.

It’s an intermittent problem - sometimes it converts and burns a DVD in the normal time and other times it’s taking over an hour just to burn a DVD. I’ve lost loads of DVDs as well - it just seems to have taken a dislike to them and they’re varying quality and brands - Verbatim, TDK, Memorex and now one cheapo from Morrisons.

Maybe a really dumb question, but do burners burn out?? :o It’s a 2-3 years old and probably isn’t the best quality. The local computer store didn’t have the one I wanted when I went for it and I ended up in PC World getting an Emprex Dual Layer writer.

Also, if I burn a DVD and then try to play it, I’m getting a notice saying that theres a problem with the copyright protection!! And I’ve not been trying to burn anything illegal!

Sorry if I’m being so vague - I guess my question is - is there any settings I should be checking or should I just go and get a new writer and what’s a recommended one (without having to sell a kidney to pay for it!)



Check your DMA settings. Should be on.

Checked my DMA settings

Primary IDE Channel:
Device 0 - Transfer Mode - DMA if applicalbe
Current Transfer Mode - Ultra DMA Mode 5
Device 1 - Device type - Auto detection
Transfer Mode - DMA if available
Current transfer mode - not applicable

Secondary IDE Channel:
Device 0 - Transfer Mode - DMA if available
Current transfer mode - Ultra DMA Mode 2
Device 1 - Transfer Mode - DMA if available
Current transfer mode - Ultra DMA Mode 2

Are they OK?

Your DMA settings are OK.

It could be a damaged IDE cable. Can you try another cable? Make sure that it is an 80 conductor cable. Also try a different power connector.

Poor quality discs can also cause problems. Can you tell us the MID as well as the brand of the discs you have tried?

What is the make & model of your DVD writer? If you can I would consider returning the Emprex drive, there are much better drives available. You you can find good drives for £15-£25 from most internet shops.

What’s MID?

I’ve got loads of different discs - Verbatim, Sony, Memorex, TDK, Panasonic, Morrison’s supermarket cheap ones (don’t ask) - they’ve all failed in one shape or form at least once.

I didn’t think the Emprex drive was much good and I guess it’s done well to last a couple of years. I don’t have another IDE cable - it just seemed weird that I started having the problems after the windows xp reinstall.

What make of DVD writer would you recommend? Maybe I can ask Santa for a new one!!

Ah. I misread what you had written properly and thought that you had just gone out and bought the Emperex as a replacement. (sorry):doh:

MID = Media Identification code. Every writable & rewritable DVD has a code at the start of the disc which identifies the ‘model’ of disc. The DVD writer needs to know this so that it can use an appropriate writing stratergy. You can check the MID using software such as Nero CD-DVD Speed / Discspeed. It doesn’t matter if the disc is blank or not, but you must use a DVD writer (not a DVD-Rom drive).

These days most brands source discs from different suppliers and the MID can vary from pack to pack. Also MID codes can easily be faked, and even if genuine it won’t tell you who actually made the disc. A lot of disc production is outsourced. The country of origin is very useful for identifying who actually made the discs (few countries have more than one major disc manufacturer).

In the screenshot below the MID is MCC004. This code is owned by Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation (who own the Verbatim brand). The ‘Manufacturer’ shown is derived by the software from the MID code, it would be more accurate to call it the MID code owner.

Are you looking for a SATA (serial) or PATA (parallel) DVD writer?

I’ve binned most of the failed discs but I got the information off a couple that I still had:

MID : MBI 01RG40
MID : MKM A02 000 (00h)
MID : MBIPG101 W04 000 (00h)
MID : RITEK 004 048 (30h)

And I’m going away to sound even more thick than I have already but I can’t remember if it’s PATA or SATA - I’m sure it’s SATA though - it’s a Dell system and looking at their site, their writers all seem to be SATA.

You’re gonna think I’m not fit to be let loose with a writer!:o

If you can find one, I would recommend a [B]Samsung SH-S203[/B] (SATA) or [B]SH-S202[/B] (PATA) drive. They are my favorite everyday drive - excellent CD & DVD writer & reader, and a useful DVD scanner. But they were replaced with the faster SH-S222/223 drives last year, but there are still some around (without resorting to Ebay). But make sure you [U][B]don’t[/B][/U] get the newer SH-S222/223 or SH-S243 by mistake, they don’t have a good reputation round here.:Z

Another good choice would be an [B]Optiarc AD-7240S[/B] (SATA), or [B]AD-7200A/S[/B] (A=PATA, S=SATA). There are also Lightscribe ‘1’ & Labelflash ‘3’ versions available. Again, don’t get an AD-7220 by mistake (reported to be a rebadged Lite-On). I have an Optiarc AD-7200A and it is a good drive, but I prefer my Samsungs.

Both the Samsung and Optiarc drives have their merits, so you might like to read the CDFreaks/MyCE reviews & browse the forum to see what other people think before deciding.

Pioneer DVD writers are also popular and highly regarded (although I don’t own one myself), but the jury is still out on their new DVR-x18 drives. The earlier models are difficult to find in the UK at the moment.

A lot of DVD writer ‘faults’ are actually due to poor quality discs. The MBI codes are Moser Baer (India), MKM A02 is a Mitsubishi Kagaku Media (Mitsubishi Chemicals) rewritable and the Ritek 004 is Ritek. Both Moser Baer & Ritek DVDs are of variable quality, especially under Memorex or supermarket brands (and others). I suggest treating yourself to a pack of Verbatim 16x AZO DVD+R discs (MCC004). It shouldn’t matter if they are made in India or Taiwan, but I would play safe and avoid any made in China.

Good luck.

Thanks for that. I’ll go and have a hunt around for the drives you’ve recommended and see if I can locate any.

I use Verbatim discs myself but use the cheapos for other people (that’s terrible, isn’t it!!). Mind you, my brother “borrowed” some of my Verbatims and they look like he’s skated across them - I’m down to my last rewritable just now. Must order some more

Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I’ve been trying to find the drives that were recommended - and I’m getting a bit confused.

I’ve found a Sony NEC SAD-7200A - is that the same as an AD-7220A? And does them having OB after the model number make any difference - ie it’s says its a Sony NEC SAD 7200A-OB.

The Samsung is the same - SH-S202 (and a variety of different letters at the end)

Sorry if I’m sounding a bit thick here - but I want to make sure I get the right drive and not something that appears to be the right drive but because it’s got an extra letter somewhere in the model number, is nowhere near like the one I’m meant to get - if you know what I mean!!