Is my drive dying? & Plextor Support tries to take me for a ride

vbimport

#1

Now I am really disappointed. :a

I just phoned the German Plextor Support and described my problems with my PX-716A. Perhaps you can have a look at my burn results and help me to decide if my 716A is really defective, but first have a look at the really “interesting” story the Plextor Support told me:

The guy claimed that if I use media that is not on Plextor’s lists of recommend or compatible recording media, the firmware forces the drive to develop a strategy for the media (and varies it from burn to burn) and writes it to the firmware (I asked why there aren’t any AutoStrategy entries in my drive if that happens, and he said something about unknown manufacturer/media, didn’t make any sense to me). And furthermore he stated that if I use not recommended/compatible media for extended periods of time, that will influence the reading capability (!) of the drive, even on original (=bought) CDs and DVDs, making the drive unable to read even bought (!) discs! He didn’t say it, but it actually sounded like: “Using incompatible media will damage your drive and you’ll void your warranty.”

I mean… I’ve read a lot at this forum, computers are my biggest hobby since I was 8 years old, I’ve assembled countless PCs myself, I’m really into hard- and software, I am studying electrical engineering… Bottom line: I’m certainly not a noob. :bigsmile: I may be mistaken, but the story from Plextor Support sounds like total and utmost bullshit to me! :doh:

He was very impolite, although I was very polite towards him, after all, I wanted to RMA my drive, and in cases like that I’m always very polite… :bigsmile:

  • Ok, and now about my problems with the drive. I noticed that burn results grew a lot worse recently. Until now, I tried only CD-Rs, because I don’t want to waste DVDs and I don’t have quality DVDs at the moment.

I bought 20 Verbatim Pastel discs, “Taiyo Yuden (typ. (type 1)”. The Plextor Support told me that they are not on their list of recommended media. I said that Taiyo Yuden are on the list, and he answered that they’re not manufactured by Taiyo Yuden, that Verbatim makes the polycarbonate disc and Taiyo Yuden only provides the chemicals. I can’t say if that is true, but I don’t believe it. :wink:

Well, as far as I know, my 716A should easily do a at least readable (!) burn on a Verbatim Pastel disc, even @48x, shouldn’t it? It doesn’t. Have a look at my first scan.

I tested some other media which are cheap, but in the past I achieved readable discs with low C1 error levels and only some C2 errors near the end, and now burns on them are unreadable with lots of C2s and even CUs (still the same cakebox!). I used PlexTools in case the Plextor Support wanted to see the scans…

Please tell me what you think and what I could do. :sad:
I will try to get some “recommended” media (even if it costs me more money… :a ), so he won’t have that stupid excuse anymore…

  1. scan: Verbatim Pastel “Taiyo Yuden (typ. (type 1)”, burnt @48x, read at 8x
  2. scan: same as 1, scanned at 10-24x
  3. scan: Tevion “NAN-YA Plastics (type 7)”, burnt @48x, read at 10-24x
  4. scan: i-b@se “NAN-YA Plastics (type 7)”, burnt @48x, read at 10-24x
  5. scan: same as 1 with PxScan/PxView

#2

Sounds like total BS to me to be honest :eek: Sure, Plextor cannot guarantee that if you use low(er) quality media that the burn with be great but they can never drop your warranty if you don’t use media that’s on their list.

I don’t know what the exact relationship between TY and Verbatim is, but both can be considered as producers of quality media. The drive should be able to burn their media reliably, except if there is a problem with the media itelf. Period.

Bottom line: your scans look bad while, in my opinion, they shouldn’t. The only thing I can suggest is to use media that is on Plextor’s list of recommended media and try again. Let us know how things work out please!


#3

Errrrm… You spoke with WHO? There only is a ‘Generalimporteur’ for Germany. I wasn’t aware they’re doing support :slight_smile: Better talk to the guys in Belgium. Your (and their) English should be adequate…

Bullshit. Autostrategy is for DVD only. It does not work with CD.

Which is perfectly normal, because those are CDs.

While multiple read-retries etc. will certainly put an additional strain on the hardware this is far from instantly damaging your drive. Over time, if constantly occurring, it might wear out your drive a little faster. However I doubt you’ll be able to measure the difference.

However very cheaply produced media that have bad axial geometry might damage your drive by generating vibrations. With good media the only sound you’ll hear is a ‘shhhhhh’. Avoid media that make your drive go ‘humm’.

That get’s my vote too :slight_smile:

The writing strategy is chosen by MID and PoweRec testing. If the disk is labelled TY MID and also uses Yuden Dye a strategy for Yuden should work out fine, given the disk was mechanically correctly manufactured. Do these disks ‘humm’ ?

It should. Have you checked for any signs that those might be fake TY? Also while TY is known for generally high quality there are some lower quality products by them out there too. Sad but true.

I’m afraid this can be ‘normal’ for cheap media.

BTW, why do you think this happened: http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/11924 ?

Please do so and save yourself a lot of trouble … :bigsmile:


#4

Sometimes hardware & software companies put inexperienced techs on the phone support bank and when you hit them in an area where they’re not fully trained, you’ll get half-baked answers that sound slightly plausible but, in fact, are just not true. They really don’t want to admit to either you or their superiors that they don’t know something. The only thing to do is to try and talk to someone else the next time you call.

A software company I worked for threw me on the phones the very first day I started there. For the next few weeks I said some quite outrageous things to customers.

Interesting how Verbatim/Mitsubishi Chem is still on the supported list for 712s, but not 716s…

http://www.plextor-europe.com/technicalservices/technology/recmedia.asp?choice=Supported%20media

Try again Lord Voldemort and, yes, you’ll have to use the recommended media. You’d think, though, that Verbatim’s media would be of sufficiently high quality to produce a readable burn. I use inexpensive, non-recommended Ritek media all the time and the burn quality is outstanding.

Edit: on a 712, though…


#5

A quick word on Verbatim:

At least in Europe there is “Verbatim” and “Verbatim DataLifePlus” CD media. Absolutely avoid media that are not labeled “DataLifePlus”. It’s cheap crap.


#6

That’s not too easy… I went to four different stores today, one of them was a huge electronics store with lots of different CD and DVD media, but I couldn’t get one of the recommended brands, at least not exactly: Plextor has only 48x media on their list, but they only had 52x media, e.g. from Maxell, and it was really expensive. Adding to these stores, I know which media some other stores are selling, and none of them has anything which is on Plextor’s recommended media list.
So I ordered these Plextor CD-Rs from Amazon today.

Let us know how things work out please!
I will. Thanks for your interest. :slight_smile:
It’s good to be able to share my pain with somebody. Being a student, I don’t have much money, and the PX-716A was very expensive (as you know :bigsmile: ), so the reaction from Plextor Support frustrated me a lot. :sad:

I could try that, true…

  • I phoned the number provided here: Plextor Europe Technical Support, +49 (69) 6698 4713.

Bullshit. Autostrategy is for DVD only. It does not work with CD.
He even wanted to tell me that he is talking about PoweRec, not AutoStrategy… :clap:
While multiple read-retries etc. will certainly put an additional strain on the hardware this is far from instantly damaging your drive. Over time, if constantly occurring, it might wear out your drive a little faster.
I’m aware of that, but he didn’t sound as if he meant this kind of aging.
However very cheaply produced media that have bad axial geometry might damage your drive by generating vibrations.
True, but I have never had a single disc that would generate strong vibrations. :slight_smile:
Do these disks ‘humm’ ?
No. :slight_smile:
I wouldn’t use them then.

Oh, ok… I thought the only thing that matters is that they’re from Tayio Yuden.
But it doesn’t matter anymore, I’ll have some Plextor CD-Rs to play with soon. :slight_smile:


#7

Seems my drive is really defective. Like the scans posted above suggest, the burn results are inacceptable even on quality media like the Plextor 48x discs:

Plextor 700MB 48x (PX-CDR80SP50) “Taiyo Yuden (typ. (type 1))”, burnt at 48x

(The error message may result from the “short leadout” option in Nero and a somewhat too big file, but that doesn’t have any influence on the results up to 80 min.)



#8

You’re right, that scan is unacceptable. The only thing I can suggest is to contact Plextor again, explain you tested your drive with Plextor CD-R media and that it still produced horrible results at the end of each burn. Good luck and again, let us know how things work out!


#9

Friday, 26.08.2005: I filled out the RMA form for my defective PX-716A.

Monday, 29.08.2005: I received an email with the irritating subject “No Return (RMA number)”, but I misunderstood that. :wink: Plextor Support told me to send them the output of PxInfo. After they would have received that (they wanted to know the serial number for sure, the alternative to the PxInfo output would have been a digital photo), they would send me a new drive. I should keep the old one, and if they don’t ask for it within the next two weeks, I can destroy it. :eek:

Wednesday, 31.08.2005: My new PX-716A arrived!! :smiley: It was manufactured in July 2005 and its TLA is #0308. :smiley: Considering that there was a weekend in-between, they’ve been really really fast! :smiley: :bow: :flower:

I’ve done a 48x burn on a Plextor (Tayio Yuden) CD-R, and the result is really beautiful. :slight_smile:
But it’s noticeable that the C1 errors per second increase at the end of the disc, so I might lower to 32x for daily use. :wink: Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a perfect result. :smiley:

I’ll try a DVD+R next…



#10

congrats on the new drive… :iagree: seems like Plex EU support is much better than US/NA…


#11

@drpino: thanks! :slight_smile:

Hm, the result of a Ricoh 16x DVD+R (RICOHJPN R03 04) at 16x is not so good: PoweRec first slowed down the burn process to 12x (didn’t see where), and again at 3.8 GB to 8x. Average speed: 9.4x.
But maybe these Ricoh discs aren’t that good? On the other hand, they’re on Plextor’s list of recommended media for the PX-716A.

Still, PoweRec has definitely done its job well: the disc is by no means a coaster.



#12

Yeah we’ve seen more than one report in which this is confirmed. Our US friends are not so lucky when it comes to RMA’ing their drives!

Good luck with the new drive Lord Voldemort! The scans are looking good!


#13

Here is a Thread C0deKing just did on that same media so there seems to be some media variables again. I think it’s the same media.:wink:
http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=147521


#14

not a bad scan at all IMHO…i agree with crossg here :iagree:


#15

@G@M3FR3@K: thanks! :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot! :slight_smile:
So it’s probably the media which is not perfect. :slight_smile:


#16

No problem. Remember that thread you opened on MCC 004 Media variation. Just opened up a 100 Tub of Fujifilm YUDEN000 T02 (1159) and to my surprise this is what it burns like. Checked about 8 discs from different locations in the stack. I have never seen real TY burn that bad.:sad: Almost tempted to see if Autostrategy would help.http://club.cdfreaks.com/showpost.php?p=1101430&postcount=1994


#17

Oh yes, I do remember… :a :wink:
I don’t know if I’ll give Verbatim media another chance ever again. Until today, Verbatim has always disappointed me, even the DVD+RWs. Except those Pastel CD-Rs, but they’re Tayio Yuden. :bigsmile:

Just opened up a 100 Tub of Fujifilm YUDEN000 T02 (1159) and to my surprise this is what it burns like.
OMG!! :eek:
Are you really really sure that they’re not fake? :eek:
Checked about 8 discs from different locations in the stack. I have never seen real TY burn that bad.:sad: Almost tempted to see if Autostrategy would help.

Uh… can you force AutoStrategy on a disc the firmware actually knows? :eek:


#18

I was toying with the idea of giving it a try. Quite a while ago I had some Ritek G05 that was not great quality and it showed up in the A/S data base.:confused: So I was thinking (guessing here) that maybe this rotten TY might do the same if I burn a couple of discs. Guess there is only one way to find out.:slight_smile: As for the fake part, the only way I can tell is the TG001159 S/N is on the inner hub, dont think anyone has faked that part yet. Good Luck with your new Plex.:slight_smile:


#19

G@M3FR3@K you are right on the money Plextor US support is not as good as plextor EU


#20

I would like to give an opinion on Plextor US support. My 712 had a few issues and I called plextor for an RMA. I was treated well, shipped my 712 on thursday last week and recieved a new 716 TLA 0308 today. Maybe others have had bad experiences but I cant complain. Good luck to all.