Welcome to the forums…
If you check the CD and DVD Burner forum, and search for your drive, you will find where folks have done numerous disk quality scans. This will give you a very good idea of which medias work well. You will also need to search to learn how to identify the media code for given media, by serial number, by where made, or by the appearance. Or, just buy verbatim and taiyo yuden, and you won’t have to worry.
There are many people who will tell you to flash new firmware to your drive. I have only flashed firmware onto 2 drives out of 6, over the years. Most of the time, it isn’t necessary. It all depends on what you are using it for.
You will avoid coasters by using good media, and burning just below their rated speed. IE: burn 16x verbatim at 12x.
As for guides, there are many of them, located throughout the forums here, and at doom9, and videohelp.com.