DVR-116D flashed to DVR-A16 read speed problems

[qanda]This thread is about the Pioneer DVR-116D. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]I have crossflashed my DVR-116D to DVR-A16 firmware 1.06, which allows me to write DVD RAM and quieten (slow down) drive with software. After flashing to DVR-A16 I used Quiet Drive Utility 1.07 just to see if it works - and it worked. Finally I left it at its factory default settings and didn’t use it anymore. Then I found the official firmware update 1.09 for DVR-A16 so I updated my drive with it.

Everything seemed to work fine until I burned a few DVD+R/-R discs - first I used Ashampoo Burning Studio. The problem is that after the burning process is finished the program starts to verify the disc and usually at about 40-50% of the verification process the drive slows down, becomes very quiet and would not spin to its maximum speed. First I thought there was a problem with the quality of the disc but after some trials it turned out that the drive will not reach its highest speed on any DVD, even those that were read at full speed not long ago. The drive seemed to switch to a quite/slow mode permanently. Then I managed to switch it back to its full speed with Nero DriveSpeed and seemed to work fine until I burned another disc and it switched to the slow mode again when verifying. It also turned out that the Quiet Drive Utility no longer sees the drive so I can’t use it anymore. I tried ImgBurn but it didn’t change anything.

What can I do now to fix this problem? I suspect this Quite Drive Utility might have done some damage since officially this version does not support DVR-A16 (I couldn’t find a newer version anywhere). Can I crossflash my drive back to DVR-116D? Can kernel files be found for that one? Or for DVR-116? Or can I crossflash it safely again now to DVR-A16? DVD-RAM is nice but not essential for me, however I need a fast drive because burning and verifying is now a very time consuming process and having to use DriveSpeed every time is a hassle (and DriveSpeed will not even detect my drive while ImgBurn is verifying).

Update: I use Verbatim DVD+R/-R discs - AZO 16x and never had any problems before with fast reading.

Ok, I finally solved the problem. It was something least expected by me so I will describe it in case someone comes up across something similar. I re-flashed my drive again to DVR-A16 but it didn’t solve the problem, the drive was still in its slow mode. Inserting a disc again didn’t help, nor rebooting or turning off and on the computer.

I managed to bring it back to full speed mode with Nero DriveSpeed by pressing “Fast” and then the black square button while I was copying files from the drive. I then existed DriveSpeed and from now on the drive was behaving as expected - slow for the first few seconds, then spinning up to full speed. So far so good. The culprit turned out to be Nero DiscSpeed 4.11.4.0, which I sometimes use to test discs, I use the only available quality test for Pioneers, which is Scan Disc/Read Test. The scan speed was set to 8X and this was causing the problems. The drive remembered the speed setting even after quitting DiscSpeed and was operating slow. I changed it to Maximum and now all problems are gone. I burned a new DVD+R and the verification went fast to the end. I suppose it would be quite hard for anyone to guess what was causing the problem.

My understanding is that DiscSpeed speed setting is behaving similarly to Quite Drive Utility, which can save speed in the drive. Because DVR-116D didn’t support changing speed at all (DriveSpeed didn’t work) then the problem didn’t occur after using DiscSpeed read test.