Just bought a PX716A TLA 0203 Jan 2005, should I get rid of it?



I have read about issues with the TLA 0203 drive on this forum. I just hopped up to bestbuy and bought the only revision they had, the 0203. Should I return this drive and wait till they have a 0304?

This is my third DVD burner. I will not tolerate even the slighest flaw in this purchase. I have a bit of a DVD horror story :’(

My first one was a Sony DRU-510A, paid 300 dollars for it, thought I had the best thing in the world. My first one’s firmware (1.0b) literally ERASED itself. Started a burn, it locked up nero, had to do a hard power off power on to get it to stop (ctrl alt del, end task was not working on nero, and soft reboot was not working either). Rebooted, the drive’s light kept blinking on and off, the firmware version in the BIOS said “BOOT” and the drive would not eject or be recognized in windows or anything. Dead. Called Sony, found out that their support is horrible, and that it would take 1 entire month to get me a new drive. So i just returned the drive from the internet store I bought it at. I RMAed it, and because I needed to burn DVDs right at the moment, I jumped out to bestbuy and bought another one, this time patching the firmware to 1.0c, as the issue with the firmware erasing itself was fixed in that version. Burned a lot of DVDs, and was happy. They read perfectly… for a while. About a month later some of the discs (these are file CDs, not DVD Video discs) would only read in the Sony drive, taking hours to copy the data off them (I could hear the laser position reset. It would move it all the way to the center, then all the way back to where it was reading… reminding me of the click of death thing zip drives make, but without the click). Then one day I tried to copy a disc, and not even the Sony drive could read it. The next day, it read it fine. Another day, it couldn’t read it. Wether or not the drive could read the disc varied with the room temperature… Need I note that I didn’t get my money back for the drive I RMAed back? The company I bought it from did not pay me back, did not respond to my emails, and their could not get through to customer support because after the 8 hour hold time, both of my cordless phones ran out of power. I had to go to the bank and FIGHT to get my money back… it was a NIGHTMARE.

I decided it was time for a new DVD burner. Reading good things about Lite-On and wanting to be able to run KProbe, I bought a Lite-On 812S. Burned a couple DVDs (same media, btw) and they worked just fine. I wanted to find out how bad the sony drive’s burns were. I burned a DVD, and scanned it. Average PI was about 300 with the last quarter of the disc going up to about 900-1400. Average PIF was about 80, with the last quarter of the disc going to about 160-200. Absolutely, hideously terrible. Scanned the same media burnt with my new Lite-On. Average PI was 120 or so, average PIF was about 19. Not bad, not bad. I also tried another type of media with the Sony, and the results were just as bad. I also tried different firmwares, to no avail. After many burns with the Lite-On, one disc would not read right after burning… so I scanned it with KProbe and average PI was 220 and average PIF was 120… WTF! After that there weren’t many problems… until… Every disc I burnt after a while started having tiny spikes. Say, for example, on a scan there was an average 15 PIF, the graph would have four spikes of around 200… and sometimes certain parts of the disc (where the spikes were) would not read… absolutlely unacceptable! Then, I tried flashing to unofficial firmwares and the best I found was… ironicly… flashing it to the Sony DRU-700A firmware… It supressed the PIF spikes to about 80 rather than 200 and reduced the average PI to about 30 and average PIF to about 3-8. Still not great, but way better than before.

Now, I burn an insane amount of DVDs, mostly anime from streamload that I have to pay to get. The last thing I want on my mind is that my drawerfull of 150 DVDs could be unreadable. I need, absolutely NEED a reliable burner. So, I decided to get a Plextor and possibly reburn all 150 DVDs whilst feeling wallet-stabbing pains. After all, if you add up all the money I have lost on bad DVD drives and ruined media that’s about 500-600 bucks in the dumpster.

Thus, I am in need of help. If this TLA 0203 has even the slightest flaw, I do not want it, I already have two flawed burners and am not going to pay $130 bucks and $60 in media just to make a second set of unreliable burns. :frowning:

A warning to everyone:
Boycott Sony… or at least NEVER buy any product from them unless its like the 60th revision. They make the worst quality crap I have ever seen in my life. Sony always uses cheap parts, and cuts corners, just look at the PS1, the PS2, and their burners! The reason they are so rich is probably cause they sell cheap crap at really high prices and hide the fact that they use crap parts very well. I had problems with my PS2 as well, had to have it serviced cause I suffered from the extremely widespread “Read Error” problem that they do not even admit to as being their fault! That PS2 scratched almost every single one of my games as well… (circular scratches… the WORST kind).

Edit: some spelling and grammer fixes


interesting story. :o

i’ve also bought a PX716A rev TLA0203.
no problem a this time.


That’s nice to hear. Good luck with your TLA0203.

Here in a while I’ll try to burn some DVDs. I bet they will work fine at first, as my other two DVD burners did, but I suspect that I’ll have trouble down the road :Z Time is a funny thing :sad:

One of the issues with the TLA0203 was strong vibration on some discs towards the end of the burn right? Does yours to this moomsman?


UserNameGoesHere said:

One of the issues with the TLA0203 was strong vibration on some discs towards the end of the burn right? Does yours to this moomsman?

The mine does, but at the first 25% - 45%. Especialy at 8x and 32x with CD`s… :confused:

But works like a charm, PI above 60 very rare…and i did have also a Lite-On ( 832 ), before…

Now my concern, is if goes beyond 20!

You will have a beautiful Burn Machine! For shure!!



ALL Good!


Mm, yeah just started reading a disc with the plextor and noticed the vibration XD in the beginning as you said. Mmm… what do you mean by “Now my concern, is if goes beyond 20!” ? You mean if PIF (or PO as Plextor calls it, i think) goes beyond 20?


I haven’t heard any issues with TLA 0203, I thought the only issues were with the earliest rev like TLA00xx? Variations in speed are due to media quality.


just as a siiiide note… I scanned a disc (SUM8 test) burned by the sony drive (actually the same disc I scanned on the lite-on drive in the horror story). The results: Max. PIE = 1584, Total PIE = 3,446,585, and Total POF=1077

Could this be the worst scan in existance? Wow, the sony burner s00x. Of course, this disc does still read, but only in the sony drive (slowly, at that, ~1-2 hours to read it). The only reason i haven’t gotten rid of the sony drive is cause i need it to read back the many discs burned with it, as only it can read them…


From what I’ve read, the only ones that are a bit iffy are the 00xx and 01xx revisions. The 02xx seem to be okay, aside from the vibration issue in some of them, and you shouldn’t get that unless the drive was knocked about a bit during transit…

An 0304 would be nice, but they’re not really worth returning for if you have a good 0203.


Well my PX-716A TLA 0204 (was 0203) seems OK. Burns with excellent results on TYG02. Much better than the SOSW-852S on my laptop. No vibrations either.


My TLA 0203 (also now a 0204) is outstanding. No problems, and no vibration issues … unless I’m missing something that everyone else is noticing. I’ve burned reasonably full disks - i.e., past 4 GB - with wonderful results on several kinds of media. I also recently burned 6 dual layer Verbatims that play in every machine they’ve been tried in. I replaced a Pioneer 106D just because I knew I’d be doing a lot more DVD work, and I wanted something faster than 4x. I bought mine at Best Buy, for what it’s worth. (An unscientific survey of those who seem to have problematic drives seems to show that the majority were bought online. Then again, it could just be that the majority of people buy that way, so take that for what it’s worth.)

Incidentally, I think people are going a little crazy here with the TLA revisions. As I believe has been pointed out before, we have no way of knowing what the difference between a 01xx, 02xx, or 03xx is. For all we know, they may have started using a slightly different shade of gray for the bezel. Regardless, I’m sure all of the revisions have gone through the same quality control process, which is to say that if that process is spotty, you’ll start seeing the same ratio of good to bad drives within the 03xx revision.


TLA #0203 here, working excellent.


Same here.


I second that …


Well, looks like its a keeper. Burned two discs, a RitekG04 Silvertop DVD-R 4X and the disc that came with the burner, the MCC004 Verbatim DVD+R 16X. Well, I must say I am impressed with the Ritek burn (sorry, no SUM1 graph, forgot to save it, but the peak was 4 and most of the scan graph was between 1 or 2, the actual average was 0.03), however not too impressed with the Verbatim burn. That spike of 90 in SUM8 (its off the chart) and the spike of 6 in the SUM1 bother me. Is that where PoweRec kicked in? Maybe I should just stick to 8X burning? (I beleive PoweRec kicked down the speed to 8X, thats what the reported speed was at the end). I know spikes aren’t that big of a deal, but I don’t see other people getting spikes like mine in the quality scan thread, especially not on MCC004 media! Maybe I just have pre-determined bad luck with DVD burning? It’s really driving me insane…

Good news is that the only vibration I got was on certain discs toward the beginning when reading at low speeds (like when the scan was in progress)

1st Pic - RitekG04 Silvertop DVD-R 4X SUM8
2nd Pic - MCC004 Verbatim DVD+R 16X SUM8
3rd Pic - MCC004 Verbatim DVD+R 16X SUM1


IMHO the 03s and 02’s will be the best ones - After that the revisions will probably be using cheaper components (Like the xx58 Liton 52327S - My later model one produces such horrible burns now…! :()


My new PX-716SA TLA #0203 Jan 2005 Made in China drive that was flashed with the 1.04 firmware has problems. The first 16X burn I made to the Verbatim 16X DVD+R (MCC 004 made in Taiwan) that came with the drive resulted in a coaster (PIE Max was well over 400, and there were POF errors). I have tried two other spindles of this media bought from Best Buy (also MCC 004 made in Taiwan). AutoStrategy Media Check indicates that 50% of the media from the first spindle and 20% of the media from the second spindle are not “judged as good” for 16X burns. Attached is my first 16X burn (from a SUM8 test) to the “judged as good” Verbatim 16X DVD+R media in the second “better” spindle from Best Buy. I will try a couple of other “good” discs and see if I can get better results. I am very close to an RMA of this drive, as the quality stinks. Yes the results are within specs, but a good PX-716A/SA drive is capable of much better burns to this media @ the 16X write speed. Also, the drive will not write to TY 8X Fuji MIJ media at 12X–good 716A/SA/UF drives will. Other than testing more media (which is what I am doing now), what else can I do to verify that this drive really is bad? I just cannot believe that the Verbatim 16X DVD+R media is so bad that the drive will fail the media check on so many discs, and have such lowsy results on the “good” discs.


IMHO the 03s and 02’s will be the best ones - After that the revisions will probably be using cheaper components (Like the xx58 Liton 52327S - My later model one produces such horrible burns now…! )
It seems that Plextor is already using a very poor/cheap construction. Senior Admin OC-Freak says “That construction is very poor and weak - the worst I’ve seen, no other drives I’ve seen has such a poor construction - Not even cheap drives like Lite-On.” in this thread: http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=122137&highlight=bad+vibrations

yikes tlotz, @_@
Your scans sound kinda scary… In the picture you have attacthed, your spike looks just like mine, except bigger. Thats gotta be poweRec kicking in there at the end of the burn. I’m wondering how in the world some of the people got the scans they got in the Plextor Scans thread… This thread doesn’t give me any comfort as far as reliability… http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=128384 I know it might be the media, but still… I guess I’ll find out how things go after I start burning stuff


I had vibrations with my #TLA203, I changed it (via RMA) for an TLA0304 and what a difference. No more vibrations.
The same with my neighbour also a #TLA0203 with a lot of vibrations. He also changed it and now he have also no more problems.
For the both of us this is already our third drive since december and now it finally looks good.



I had the same problems with my first PX-716A TLA 0202!
I RMA it and got a TLA 0304 back from Plextor Europe.
The new drive works like a charm!

Look at my scans from post #483


I would RMA our drive!!!