General discussion about drive-reliability

Hi Folks,

what experience do you have made with your optimal drives in your burning-career :wink: ?

My first CD-RW-burner in early year 2000 was a HP 4x for 399DM (= 204,01€), my most expensive drive was a Plextor 1210A for 599DM (= 306,26€)

Now DVD-drives are much cheaper than CD-RW-drives in the old time, so what about the quality?

I still have some old CD-writers from Teac, Liteon, Yamaha which are rarely used but still works. My oldest DVD-drives are from Benq which also still works.

But not all older drives were so reliable. I had defect drives from Liteon (mostly readers, but also CD-RW-writers), MSI (Optorite), Mitsumi

Some years I had not so much defect drives, but in the last time the failure rate is decreasing.

LG GH24NSC0: 3 drives are existing here, one burns media really bad (unreadable/unrecognizable) and make weird noises, reading OK. The 2nd drive also make similar noises, but works without problems. 3rd drive (less used) still in good shape

Pioneer BDR-209D: 1st was DOA, 2nd works flawless

LG GH20NS: Suddenly dead, won´t recognize any media

Liteon DH-20A1S: After reading some DVD-movies it makes only bad noises and recognized any media

An other experience is, some drives start to burn bad quality after some years.

The LG GH24NSC0 I mentioned above

Pioneer DVR-S20

LG GH22NS40 (OK, it´s not the newest)


Benq DW 1670: Was never great, but the last burns were mostly awful

Other points:

LiteOn iHAS 524 B: Recognize DVD+R as DVD+RW

LiteOn iHAS 124 F: Eject-button works only if pressed with power

LG BH16NS40: Sometimes all works great, some days it won´t recognize any disc

LiteOn iHBS 112 2: Had sometimes trouble to recognize BD-R-media, Kodak from Umedisc can´t be recognized.

Thta´s my experience, do you have any trouble with (newer) drives?

1 Like

I can’t speak for writing. I can only speak for reading.

In my experience with dvdr drives over the past decade or so, the belt of the disc open/closing drawer mechanism frequently broke first. The actual drive itself was still fine for reading/ripping, via using the paperclip trick to open up the drawer.

Yep, have this tray-problem also with some drives, like with my PX-708 and the now gone 20A1S.

My oddest failure I had with a iHAS 120, maybe one of 1st revision: A weird noise while burning DVD+R DL at layer break and after that it wont recognize any media

Some of the drives that died on me over the years (and I remember about):


And some of the drives (at least 10 years old) that I still have and are working with no issues:


1 Like

Back in the day circa early-> mid 2000s, I went through several dvd drives which died within several weeks after purchase of a new desktop. It was covered by the retailer’s return/refund/repair policy, so I didn’t pay a europenny for a replacement.

I don’t remember which models they were. (In those days, I didn’t care about dvds at all).

Nevertheless back in the early->mid 2000s, my main interest in those days were primarily audio cds.

I don’t remember the model numbers, but IIRC I went through various LiteOn, LG, and a Plextor for ripping and burning audio cds. (In those days, I preferred cd-only drives which didn’t have any dvd functions. Though after awhile, such cd-only drives were not really available anymore).

My then-wife was using the Plextor for burning a lot of discs. (I don’t remember the model number offhand). That beast probably burned through almost 1000 discs, until it finally died. I don’t know if this was typical of Plextor in those days, or whether it was just dumb luck.

In regard to newer dvdr drives (ie. manufactured after 2014), I strongly suspect the primary reason why I haven’t encountered too many newer drives dying on me, is that I largely stopped burning any dvdr discs by mid 2015.

In the past, I primarily used “made in japan” Taiyo Yuden (TY) discs for archiving stuff like photos, documents, etc … When I first heard rumors of TY being sold to CMC in 2015, I largely moved on to other data storage methods such as external hard drives, flash drives, etc … instead of optical discs.

So since 2015, none of my dvdr/blurayr drives have been used for any writing. Most of my dvdr drives which died, were almost always ones which were used heavily for writing.

The old Plextor CD-R(W)-drives were extreme reliable, but after the 2410A the quality dropped, especially the 4012A were a bad drive at writing quality.

The 4824A were a lot better, but not so good as the older drives. The Premium I never had

Reliable CD-RW-drives: Older Plextors, Teac (Original, not rebadged), Yamaha. Still have a CRW-F1, burned many discs with it. But tBH, it´s not really a 44x-drive :wink:

Also my Teac CD-W 516EB works flawless, my 552E ends everytime at 24x and won´t burn faster, no matter what speed I select.

Mediocre drives: LG, Sony, BTC, LiteOn, Cyberdrive, Ricoh and rebadges

Bad drives: Philips, Acer, Mitsumi 54x

My experience, but experience may differ :wink:


Good: Original Plextors, newer LiteOn, latest Samsungs, not so new LGs, (not the latest) Pioneer (except the tray-mechanism), Benq (except nice looking 1670), NEC

Bad: Latest LGs, LiteOn 20x (wide range, but defects with many drives from A1P-series to iHAS 120), older Samsung 16x

So DVD-writers were better, maybe because some manufacturers died in the CD-RW-age or in the beginning of DVD-age (Optorite, Cyberdrive, BTC)

1 Like

I’ve rarely had drives completely die on me, even going back fifteen years now. The worst was a BTC DVD-rom drive, followed closely by a Creative brand DVD burner made by Lite-on that would randomly disappear from Windows, and occasionally hang up in the middle of a burn.

One of my favorite DVD burners was the Samsung SH-S203B, but the first died within a few weeks. The replacement was a workhorse that lasted years of heavy use until it developed irrecoverable sticky tray syndrome and I had to retire it.

Everything else has lasted for me in this time period. Before I came to CDFreaks I had developed a distaste for Lite-on CD burners, but that is a different story. It seemed our companies were trading them out on a monthly basis.

My good drives include an NEC 1300a, BenQ 1620 (yes amazing…I happened to get one without the flaw on the pcb), several NEC 3500 series, LG GGW H20L, Pioneer 207MBK and two Optiarc drives, the 7200s and 7240s. Plus several others I can’t remember off hand.

You’ll notice a complete lack of Lite-on brand DVD or Blu-ray burners, or Plextor. Never liked Lite-on, and Plextor was always overpriced.

1 Like

Indeed, I remember in the days I start to visit this page long time ago, I would vow CDFreaks was like a LiteOn-fanpage :wink:

Remember not the names, but two guys here start to modify LiteOn-FWs and had much feedback by many users. LiteOn were the brand which overhelmed CDFreaks.

The only similar thing I remember from here were Liggy and Deedee (Dexters sister?) with the modified NEC-FWs

I were also not a LiteOn-fan, much bad experience with old CD-ROM-drives and CD-RW-drives, noisy and short lifetime, but mostly real fast. So I wait long time till I bought my first DVD-writer from LiteOn, the 1653S. High quality burns were rare, but I used it for scans and to read bad burned media.

After that I switched back to LG, Pioneer, Asus, NEC, Benq, all of them were better burners than the 1653S.

Next I bought a 18A1H which was a good drive, and it still works, but gets rarely used. With some 20x-models I had much problems, so I stayed again away from LiteOn and used mostly LG and Pioneer.

In the 24x-era I start to give LiteOn the next chance, and my 122W (yep, came out after some 24x-writers) showed good performance. Other series like B and C also not bad, but overall the LG and original Pioneer till x15-series were better.

Now I have the 124 and 324 F. Loud, similar grinding noises like my old DVD-ROM drive 166s, not so good like an actual LG in writing-quality, but still OK. Some amonth ago I made a quick check of the DVDs I´ve scanned so far with my 124 F and it´s more than 800 DVDs, and the drive still works; only the eject-button have ro pushed harder.

You see, I have a long history with LiteOn and mcúch bad experiences, but there were/are also some good drives.

Now not many manufacturers left, only LG, LiteOn and Pioneer. Pioneers BDR-drives were IMHO the best drives, LGs DVD-drives still good in writing-quality but showing problems at reliability; the LG BD-drives are a bit picky with specific BD-media, even with MBIR06 which worked very good in the 16NS40.
LiteOn only have DVD-writers now, not so good as LG and Pioneers BDR-writers, but solid performance and rarely problems

Plextor was expensive, the PX-1210A were my most expensive drive, but it worked long and good. For a standard-user Plextor was the wrong choice, but if you used Plextools these drives were awsome.

I also tried it a short time because of the possibilities of scanning, but I stopped because it takes to much time

C0deKing was the primary firmware writer for Lite-on around here as far as I know. Liggy and Dee are still admins here, and I’d give a fair amount to see her face as she reads that you’ve called her DeeDee. Hahahaha.

She’s easily one of the more formidable personalities and intellects around here.

1 Like

So I maybe have to lend Captain Americas shield :wink: ?

Yep, I remember the name C0deKing. And someone with Code(number) or so