GSA-4166B Issues with Verbatim DVDs

I have a LG GSA-4166B 16x LightScribe drive which I bought about a year and a half ago. I was using only Verbatim media, and verified all the data I ever burned to ensure I won’t lose anything important. At first, everything worked fine, but then I started to notice the problems with the newer Verbatim DVDs designed for 16x speeds.

Basically, I buy two kinds of media, Verbatim DVD+R media which come in spindle of 10 or 25 units, and Verbatim DVD+R LS media where every disc comes in it’s own jewel box. Both kind of discs are made by Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, have a Manufacturer id: MCC 004, and are 16x certified.

Now, the problem is, at first I noticed the drive would refuse to burn both discs at speeds higher than 4x, and if I burned them at 4x speed, I would end up with lot of CRC errors during verification process. I successfully updated the drive with the official LG firmware (from 1.01 to 1.02), after which, the normal Verbatim discs (those bought in spindles) would burn at 16x, and the verification would pass without CRC errors. The reading speed would also be very good (reaching somewhere between 15-20 mb/s near the edge of the disc). However, the LightScribe media would still burn at only 4x speed (I couldn’t even select any other speed in Nero), resulting in CRC errors on almost every disc I burn, and reading would be extremely slow (barely going around 4-5 mb/s near the edge of the disc, and would sometimes drop even lower at some places). The old Samsung DVD drive I have on another computer (it’s a little older than my LG drive, and never had it’s firmware updated) recognizes that these discs can be burned at 16x, and performs the verification without any errors. The discs burned on Samsung can be read without errors even when put into my LG drive.

So, I’m wondering where exactly is the problem. Both kind of discs have the same info, and I practically have the whole desk filled with coasters I made when burning DVDs (both LS and “normal” ones) at 4x speeds. I thought it was a drive failure at first, and was thinking of buying a new drive. But since almost all discs burned at 16x work without problems, I reckon it may be the problem with the drive not recognizing the Verbatim LightScribe discs properly, or these discs are of lower quality than normal Verbatim DVD’s, despite of having the same info on them.

Hi & welcome,

I’m sorry to say the 4166B isn’t one of LG’s better drives. I played around with one for a couple of days and returned it because of similar problems (http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=202852). There’s more posts here (by user ItalianJob amongst others) to indicate that this burner can be temperamental and shortlived, so I think it will be time for something new.

Thank you for welcoming me, and I appreciate the reply.
As it seems, you are indeed right. Three coasters later after my original post and lot of negative criticism I found here about this drive, I will take that advice, and buy something new. I was considering BenQ DW1655, after having heard about some very good results from it’s users. Unfortunately, that drive is quite old by now, and I can’t find a store that still sells it. However, the salesman suggested Asus or LiteOn as the alternative (my new drive absolutely has to have the LightScribe support), but I’ll do some research before buying another drive, to ensure I won’t make the same mistake again. If anyone has a suggestion, or a link where I can see some comparison between various newer LS-enabled drives (the only articles I found on that subject were quite old), I would be happy to hear about it.

Please don’t feel that I’m trying to steer you away from LG, their current drives are some of the more desirable around and come in a LightScribe version as well (e.g. the GSA-H42L/H44L or its SATA interface equivalent H62L).

Well, while I do believe that LG might have improved the quality of their drives with newer models, I don’t have such a good opinion about them anymore. But I’m willing to give them another try if that’s the truth. However, before that, I considered getting LiteOn LH-20A1H, and now I see that LG GSA-H42L is also available on sale. The price difference is pretty much negligible, so now I’m split between these two choices. Fortunately, I found a guy here, who seems to be having the same doubt, but the thread contains both good and bad criticism of both models, and some just plain contradictory claims:
http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=213829&highlight=GSA-H42L
The first thing I’m looking for however, after the LS-support, is the the quality of the burns. The recommendations from others, and some of the info in this thread make me a bit more biased toward LiteOn, though.

My recollection was that the 4166 was not a real LG drive as they needed something with Lightscribe and they farmed it out. I have a 4166, a 4167 and an H42 and the 4166 is fine with +R verbatim but no where near as good with -R as the other drives are.

There has been a lot of mediocre +R Verbatim in the pipeline, although it seems to be cleared up so your problems should clear up with newer media.