this is my first post here
I bought my LG 4040B writer in December for $149 CDN before tax (doh… should have waited for futureshop’s boxing day sale).
anyways, my drive is manufacturered in November 2003 and the firmware was A301
I tried quite a few DVD-R media in futureshop and the result is as follows:
Pine DVD-R 10-pack (4x): burn at 2x
E2works DVD-R 10-pack (4x): burn at 2x
memorex DVD-R 5-pack (4x): burn at 2x
maxell DVD+R 5-pack (4x): burn at 4x
maxell DVD-R 5-pack (4x): burn at 4x
I noticed that my drive performed poorly when writing at 4x (the buffer kept running between 90 and 10) and the write time was only a bit faster than my 2x write time… something was definitely wrong.
well it turned out that since my DVD writer was attached to my Promise ATA100 controller card, it wasn’t recognized properly ! (during computer boot-up, my promise controller didn’t recognize the drive at all, although the drive IS recognized under Windows XP). Anyways, since I have no direct way of checking whether DMA is enabled or not (not accessible via the promise driver), I decided to move the drive to my motherboard IDE2 as primary. Voila, I was able to burn at 4x with buffer staying around 96 and burned full capacity in around 15 minutes
just yesterday, I updated the firmware to A302. I checked both the canadian and US LG service website and I noticed something weird: the new firmware on the Canadian website is intended for DOS mode only (I remember seeing someone in this thread, or others, mentioned something about seeing many files and was told to run “install”). On the US website, the firmware is provided as a windows program in a zip file (one EXE file). Well after extracting the zip file and running the EXE file, I see the GUI and, interestingly, the “update” button is red (which means not good…), even though it recognized my drive properly and showed the fact that I’m upgrading from A301 to A302 (my LG dvd writer is on IDE2 as master drive, and there’s a Lite-on cd writer on IDE2 ad slave). I clicked “update” anyways and to my surprise, it started updating my dvd writer and after a few minutes (I believe it took over a minute), it said “update complete” and told me to reboot.
after rebooting my drive seems to perform as normal, so I guess the update was complete (it shows I’m A302 now).
I immediately put in the Pine DVD-R and hoped to see the magic 4x in Nero… but unfortunately it’s still recognized as 2x
that’s my experience for now
oh, by the way, I bought a spindle of 25 DVD-R for $33 CDN before tax at a local computer store in Richmond, BC, Canada. http://www.computraksystem.com
I asked the guy in the store if it’s guaranteed to run at 4x, and the guy started giving me a lecture about “there’s no such thing as GUARANTEE… I’ve tested it on my drives and it works. if you can’t burn at 4x, it’s YOUR problem” (what a f***ing guy …)
well, as I thought, it burns at 2x on my drive… the media is reported as AN31 under Nero CD-DVD Speed. I read somewhere else that it is bad media, should be avoided at all cost. knowing that I probably can’t refund this sh*t, I gave it a try anyways. I burned some anime on my HD (4,458MB) in Nero and chose to do verification after burning and things seemed ok. To be safe, I did a “tranfer rate” test in Nero CD-DVD speed and the curve seems ok (didn’t drop off dramatically in the end like what other people reported). I’m not sure if the writing quality is improved by the new firmware, or I was just lucky.
hope my post is of some use, and sorry for posting such a lengthy “article” @_@