Laptop DVD drive problems - burner dying (?)....what to do

Something appears to be wrong with my Dell laptop’s DVD burner (TSST TS-L633c). I’m not 100% positive but I think it is dying (?).

It’s worked fairly well for a few years but now almost every DVD I burn with video on it skips, stutters, locks up, or gives “DISC ERROR” in my players towards the end of discs. These are with Verbatim MCC-004 media, which usually work well in all my burners.

I used to only test a few discs with NeroDiscSpeed after burning but now I have been testing each one in my desktop’s Liteon drive, and I’m noticing that every disc has big problems chiefly starting about the 3.5gb mark, some worse than others, but all have problems there.

Below are some example graphs.

Is something like this proof positive that the burner is no longer any good, or at least is having problems burning discs longer than around 3 gb? Or is there something that can be done to correct this (what?) - I’ve tried burning at different speeds but all of them have the same issue. I just tried upgrading the firmware (from DW10 to DW60) but I don’t see how that is going to make any difference and I haven’t had time to do any tests since then.

If the burner is dying (which is what I suspect) then how ez is it going to be to find a “good” laptop slim replacement (any recommendations?). Or, I am wondering, should I just get an external USB-type burner instead (any recommendations)?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks.

I would suggest that you try a entirely different batch of discs.

[QUOTE=G_Ivan Awfulitch;2695926]I would suggest that you try a entirely different batch of discs.[/QUOTE]

Thanks. That is actually a great suggestion. One I thought might be a possibility but on further reflection it seemed to me more likely that my drive was bad.

I did originally complain to Newegg that I felt there is probably something wrong with the spindle that I bought & that I wanted either a refund or a replacement, but they totally blew me off & said there was nothing they could do (much to my surprise - so they have now lost me forever as a customer btw. Their customer service totally blows).

I have a new spindle of MCC004 on order from Amazon. When it gets here I will try some tests. I’m hoping that’s it but I would not be surprised if it was the drive.