Is this the sign of a Plextor 712A dying



Is this the sign of a Plextor 712A dying. The burner has never burned anything over a disc’s rated speed. It was just a plain Jane burner that did nothing special. Over the last 14 months I would have to keep slowing down the burn speed to get good scans. It refuses to burn RW media at all anymore, always gives the power calibration error. It still writes –R media well as long as I do it at half media rated speed or less. I tried a few purchased DVD’s that only have only been out of their case once. So there are clean. About 50% will not read. I hear the laser mechanism clicking away searching for something but it finely errors out with a 5 blink led blink code which according to the manual means it can not find the TOC. The computer and software are in correct config’s. Like I said this has been happing over time, not all of a sudden. I cleaned the lens with liquid cleaner and a q tip but that did not help either. Burst speed is 23M/S. I think it’s on its way to burner heaven. Your thoughts?

PS: Would love to get one of those 1640’s but man after reading around they scare me.


do the diagnostic test click here for instructions

power calibration error can be caused by several reasons

  1. incompatible media
  2. the burner’s power is shared with other devices (with splitters) its best to have it on its own power plug that comes directly from the psu without any splitters
  3. low psu voltages
  4. laser unit is dirty and needs to be cleaned with compressed air

lets check voltages get speedfan from here and take a screenshot


Hi Phil: Here are the temps and fan speeds. I even burned a disc at the same time to see if the voltage changed, it did not. I checked these numbers also with Everest and they match. Speed fan does not work well here, it said my cpu fan was running ar 7500 rpm. :confused: Also did the clean laser thing and the drive is on it’s own plug. This 500 watt PS has a million power connectors. Ill do the diagnostic test ASAP. Not easy to get into the computer where it lives. I added a couple more snaps. the bottom one is a 8X -R trying to burn at 8X the middle snap is the same disc burned at 4X. Forget +RW they no longer work at all at any speed.


all your PSU’s rails are a bit low…not horrendous, but your 12v rail is approaching the ±5% limit…


the +3.3/+5 are fine bit low but well within specs , the +12v is way too low get a new psu


Ok guys I got my little screw driver out and adjusted the voltage. :bow: Still acts the same. Any other ideas :eek:


you got an ocz psu? i dont know any others that supports that , anyway do the diagnostic test


Antec makes an externally adjustable PSU…some others have pots to adjust rails but are generally found inside the PSU…

what are the amperage ratings on your PSU?

as _phil mentioned, self-diagnostic test should tell you if it’s the drive hardware at fault here…unfortunately, sounds a little like a dying drive to me…


Yep it’s an Antec. I would have to look up the spec but for whats it’s worth it’s a SOHO style case so should be plenty of power. Ill get to the test tomorrow. But I think I just got a case of dying drive blues. Seems alot of people have been going through this. Maybe these DVD laser diodes dont have a long life span. The lucky ones get maybe a year or so and bang. I mean how much quality and QC can go into something that cost $40 bucks and the guy selling it is also making some profit. Anyway Thanks for your thoughts on the matter and ill post the test results.


Guys, forget the PSU! Read his first posting again! In my opinion it’s quite obvious that the drive is defective, that’s all.


Well guys it just lunched. Look up top of the forum for AKJS123 post. same thing with this 712 :rolleyes:


FYI: Power Calibration Error (from Nero)

  1. I get a ‘Power calibration error’ or ‘Calibration area (almost) full’ error message. Why?

Power Calibration is controlled by the recorder.

Before any write operation, all recorders must do a 15 step power test to determine the optimum power for writing to the CD; this is called “Optimum Power Calibration”(OPC). During the write, it continues to do this test to get the best write throughout the whole CD; this is called “Running Optimum Power Calibration” (ROPC).
This whole process is controlled by the recorder, though initiated by programs such as Nero. There is an area on the inner part of the CD for the test and test data info to be stored. You can use this area up to 999 times.

If you receive the “Power calibration error” or “Power calibration area is (amost) full” error message, the cause will be either poor media, poor power, or a defective recorder.

Please try the following solutions:

[li]Update the firmware of your recorder. Please check the manufacturer’s website for the latest version.[/li]> [li]Try another brand of CD-R or CD-RW media.[/li]> [li]Try different power connectors, and for recorders, do not share power with other devices. It needs its own power connector. If the error occurs with an external recorder, the power source in the chassis could be the cause. As a test, try to take the recorder out of the external chassis and connect it internal.[/li]> [li]Try different configurations, such as taking the CD-ROM to the primary IDE bus as slave and have only the recorder connected to the secondary IDE bus as master.[/li]> [li]Send the recorder in for service.[/li]> [/ul]

I would also suggest to do the Self Diagnostic Test as suggested by _phil (click here)


no more power cal errors. it wont even read anything. it’s dead. On anything except a blank it just sits there and makes little clicking sounds. And Newegg is out of 1640’s BUT the good news is I get in on a new batch. :bigsmile:


When/if my 712 goes, it’s already earned a burial with Full Military honours :cool:

Sorry for your loss.


Thank you. Yes it was trusty to the last. Always faithfull, never complained, Ill miss it :sad:


I had some time so I did the self test. It failed. Read/Write error blink code.