Many troubles with ND-3500A

I have NO idea what’s going on here. Unfortunately, the ND-3500 is the ONLY DVD drive I own, and I don’t have anyone localy that can do K-probes for me, so that’s just not an option.

The only media I have at present, and/or WILL have for a good while, is Ritek Ridata R03, and a couple Ritek Ridata G04’s. I have tried 2.16, 2.17, and 2.18 firmwares. (No offence, but I’ll not use any hacks until I am sure the drive is functioning properly.)

I’m writing 4.3 or so gigs in about 10 minutes at 8x, so that checks out, but I’m not entirely sure these scans with Nero CD/DVD Speed are any good. (A few are obviously bad.)

Transfer rate tests like these I suspect are acceptable, and have concluded may very well be normal for the P-CAV write stratagy…

Burned at 4x with 2.16

(The scan was done after I flashed the drive to 2.17, but as I stated, this disk was written with 2.16@4x)

Here’s a transfer rate test done on a disk that was burned at 8x with FW 2.17:

Now, here’s where things start getting strange. I made a test disk with Nero CD/DVD Speed, and the original test reports it as Z-CLV write stratagy on an R03 as seen here:

But I did another transfer test on the same disk after letting it sit around on my desktop for a few days as I was trying to see how durable the media is, and it reported the write stratagy as P-CAV, as seen here! :

What the heck is going on? I’m BAFFLED! Also, many of the disks are testing out VERY poorly, irreguardles of whether they were written at 4x with the 2.16 FW, or at 8X with 2.17. I’ve sence loaded the European 2.18 firmware, and written a two disks with that, and the results don’t look very encouraging either. Take a look.

First burn at 8x with 2.18 doesn’t look too bad I guess:

But this second burn is junk:

I don’t think that this is a media issue, because the G04 disk I wrote doesn’t look much better:

I have several x-fer rate tests that look VERY UGLY as well, not just the couple I posted here, but didn’t want it to take forever for the thread to load, so I tried to pick the most relevant tests-charts. If there’s more anyone would like to see, please just let me know adn I’ll post them as just links if that’s alright.

DMA is set properly in both Bios adn Windows XP Pro’s device manager, drive is alone on the secondary controller as master. One think I’ve noted is that DVDInfoPro says that there’s no windows ASPI loaded, and it’s not currently set to use any. I’ve wondered if perhaps that’s the problem, or no. Any help would be VERY much appriciated!

Johnny (Joe)

Looking at your transfer tests. Are you sure DMA is set correctly?
Check that its set to Ultra DMA mode 2 and not Multi Word DMA. I’m assuming the drive is connected to the mainboards IDE channel and not a PCI controller card.

Other things you can try.
a, Use Microsofts default IDE driver rather than a 3rd party driver supplied with your motherboard/controller card.
b, Try an 80 conductor IDE cable if your not already using one.

There may be some other issues but, you need to get the drive reading properly first.

Well Dee, system bios and windows XP reports the drive as opperating in DMA mode 2. 80 conductor cable, check. The drive is in fact on the motherboards naitive secondary ATA-100 conrtoller as supplied by the southbridge, which isn’t as unique as the northbridge. (This is the ATI 9100 IGP chipset however.) There IS in fact, a third party (SiS/Promise) IDE Raid controller onboard, so I’ll try turning that off in the system bios and seeing if in fact, that’s where the problem lays.

Given your reaction to my post, I’m assuming that these transfer tests DO in fact, look kinda ugly. I assume that the speed at which the disk was written should have little bearing on how fast it can be read, assuming it was a good burn. Is that correct?

Thanks for the reply, “Dee-Dee-Clause.”


Well, you kinda inadvertantly nailed the problem Dee.

This particular bios has not only a setting to enable DMA, but also a seperate section that allows you to choose between No UDMA, Auto detect UDMA, UDMA/33, UDMA/66 or UDMA/100. (That’s as far as the primary channels go. The RAID controller goes out to UDMA/133, but that’s obviously of little consequence here.)

The secondary master was set to no UDMA! Even though this was the case, the drive was still showing up as DMA mode two in the bios box at bootup, as well as in Window’s device manager!

This looks a bit better, hu?

:iagree: :bow: :smiley:

I’m still getting some lesser results on a few burns, but I’m pretty certain I’m well on my way to getting this thing to write reliably. The burns that didn’t tead back as well errored between the 4 and 4.5 gig range, so I’m thinking this may just be inconsistant quality of the media.

Again, thank you SOOOOOOO very much for your help!


Looks much better :wink:
DMA not working correctly is a very common problem.
Ritek media is not noted for consistent quality, now throw some Taiyo Yuden media in your drive and you’ll soon see what this drive is capable of :slight_smile:

You also might want to consider burning the R03s at 4X. They are notorious for being flakey at 8X and some of the NEC firmwares will allow 8X even though earlier limited it to 4X.

Funny thing is… Newegg sold them to me as 8x media. :confused: I think I am going to slow this sucker down to 4x on this media, because I just wrote a 7 disk backup set, and of the 7, 4 are bad.

I’ve heard people are starting to have problems with TY media now too, so now what? Here are some x-fer test results from that backup set.

What the heck is going on here?! I wrote all these disconnected from the net with NOTHING including spyware utils adn virus scanner running.

Looks like I’m going to have to try again at 4X. I’m just about completely out of DVD’s. :frowning: Where’s Santa when you need him? lol

Oh well… I’m sure sooner or later we’ll get this thing writing well.


PS. I’d read in another thread that some find disks that refuse to read in their 3500’s read just FINE in other drives. Perhaps this is the reason for these flakey results? Wish I had the money to just buy another… IE a Lite-On, and use THAT for testing… but alas… Anyhow… to be entiely politicaly correct, Merry everything, adn happy what-ever everybody! lol

JD > Out of the 4 bad ones…do they play?

IS Taiyo Yuden media same as fuji dvd ±R 1x-8x? different brand? but same company? :confused:

You need to find someone to run a Kprobe scan or comparable, to see if there is really a problem. I have had very good scans that drop off on a transfer rate scan after 12X on some media. The transfer rate test is not, in my experience, a measure of burn quality. 14X is rather extreme.

Wow, what a difference the UDMA made. goes to double-check his BIOS settings.

Rolling 56: The bad ones do not work. The restore fails, and the transfer tests also reflet this in the fact that they stop before finnishing with unrecoverable read errors.

Chas: Given there are unrecoverable read errors and the fact that the backups when tested will not transfer the files back to the HDD, no k-probe or other pif/pio testing is really needed. Unfortunately I know no-one that has a Plex, Benq, Lite-On or other drive that will do the reporting anyway, but the fact that I can’t restore the backup makes it abundantly clear that there IS in fact, a problem somewhere. I beleive I’ve taken the drive or the machine out of the equasion as I did this back up with 7 consecutive DVD+R’s without opening or closing anything, and the coasters were 1 or two, then a couple good ones, then a bad one ect…

I really do fear that what this thread is going to become at this point, is my reporting that R03 media on an NEC ND-3500 yeilds lackluster performance at 8X. At least the cake I got did. (Almost 50 DVD’s burned, and only a few I’d even really trust.)

I’m trying not to bitch too much, but I don’t have a great deal of money, and this is getting VERY frustrating. I’m almost starting to consider staying on the same limb I’ve BEEN on untill I can buy a 250 gig HDD and just swapping hard-disks out of my firewire case and using that exclusively for data backups. (I know, blasphamy! lol) I only have a 60 gig disk in there now, which I could still use on a daily basis, but put a 250 in this box, the 160G drive that’s in the machine now would be the back-up drive, then I can pull that, shelf it with all the most important data on it, adn put the 60 back in and run that as my removeable and portable storage solution. I’m ranting… sorry.

Braxas: Did you find that section on your bios? I’m thinking there’s a pretty good possibility you’ll find it there. I’m going to reboot the machine and see exactly where it was in mine, then I’ll come back and edit this post to let you know what I found.


The Bios is Phoenix-Award, and the setting is in Advanced>SB200 IDE controller. There are settings to auto detect or manualy confugure PIO adn UDMA settings there on this board. The north adn south bridges are the ATI 9100 IGP chipset, with external SIS/Promise RAID controllers for both a single UDMA/133 IDE channel, and two SATA headders, all capable of RAID 0, 1, and 0+1.

So between the rather unique chipset due to the ATI 9100 IGP onboard video, and the additional onboard controllers, (it also does gigabit lan, 5.1 or 6.1 sound… I forget, and firewire, in addition to having S-Video and composite video outs), there’s every possibility that the two EIDE channels that are part of the actual north and southbridge, they might be QUITE different and unique, and therefore, have some rather unusual bios options, I don’t know.

Thank you all who have participated in this thread. I really appriciate everyone’s efforts here.


Yo Joe Dirt-

Couple of other things you may want to try to improve your burn quality-

Turn off your antivirus while burning-

Defrag your harddrive often (probably most overlooked item with poor burning results)

Always use good media (try some Ritek 8x -R (G05) media - reasonable cost and reasonably good burns) or Taiyo Yuden or Maxell or Verbatim -R’s

Happy Holidays


Thanks Minke. I honestly feel this is down to media now. I was looking at the G05 media on meritline adn thinking that that might be a wise move as a matter of fact. Hering that you’ve used this media with favorable results in a '3500 is encouraging. I’m a bit gun-shy as I’m sure you can imagine, having already bought R03 media that I thought should certainly burn well, and even spent the additional money to buy them in inkjet white. I really do beleive that it’s a media issue though. Why else would some disks write so WELL, and others be marginal or completely useless?

Only antivirus I’m running is AVG, and I can’t honestly attribute these poor results to that as I’ve written coasters with it not loaded as well. My drive is also not fragmented, so that unfortunately, rules that out as a simple solution.

Thanks again Bro,


it is not likely it is the drive but it is likely that those discs are marginal @8x. if you have any left try them @6x and i bet they will be fine. the only problems i have heard of with tyt02 is that it is an 8x media and people are trying to burn it @16x.

you may want to look at dee’s firmware threads and see what everyone seems to be having good luck with…

accidental double post

I don’t post much, i just read and learn so ignore my lack of post reference under my name. So I got the nd-3500AG a week ago. I tryed 218_liggy_Ritek_SE to boost my R03 speed. The speed option on nero was 12x, but the true burning was 8x. I looked at Joe_Dirts (by the way, you used to be on SA?) Nero CD-DVD Speed thing and I don’t know what I should be seeing. Oh and my DMA is fine.
Mines kinda look like this
I’m not too sure if I am doin this right so I flashed the 2.13 nec original firmware. Do I need to post my transfer rate test and the other stuff? Also I occasionally freeze when burning dvds. Sigh, I am pathetic.

If your transfer tests look like the one you refered to, that’s an excelent result. No, I’ve never used this nick anywhere else. (What’s SA anyway?) Often times lock-ups are a power problem more than any other. Testing your voltage at the wall and ensuring it’s within about 5-10% of what it’s supposed to be, (IE 110-120 Volts in the USA and Canada), and making sure your ground is actualy grounded are a good start. Also, there is a small adn rather in-expensive tool for testing power supplies that might help locate the problem. Low voltage, beleive it or not, causes FAR more damage than high voltage. Often times, an un-interruptable power Supply, (UPS), will solve problems of low power brownouts causing lockups and other unexpected results.

cnlson, I’m going to have to agree with you here. I honestly beleive that the problem is inconsistancy in the media. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to get BackItUp to write at 6X. I need to investigate that. That or re-flash to 2.16 and finish off the disks I have at 4x that way. (They only write at 4x using fw 2.16. 2.17 and 2.18 official both write this media at 8x however.)

Hopefully I can get some different media soon, (Either TY or Ritek G05), and post my findings, but I may be going out of town for a month or more, so this may all soon be put on hold.

Thanks for all the responces!


@Joe_Dirt, below are scans of FUJI DVD+R TY02 media that was burned on my NEC3500. As you can see… the results are very consistant.:iagree: I’ve had many spindles of this stuff, and the scans are all the same. I highly recommend TY for your burner. You can order OEM TY from or you can check out the media forum here on CDFreaks and see how to identify Fuji that is TY media.

1) 8X BURN ON TY02 2F8 Firmware
2) 8X BURN ON TY02 2F8 Firmware
3) 8X BURN ON TY02 2F8 Firmware
4) 8X BURN ON TY02 2F8 Firmware
5) 8X BURN ON TY02 2F8 Firmware
6) 8X BURN ON TY02 Liggy’s 218 Firmware
7) 8X BURN ON TY02 Liggy’s 218 Firmware
8) 8X BURN ON TY02 Liggy’s 218 Firmware
9) 8X BURN ON TY02 Liggy’s 218 Firmware
10) 8X BURN ON TY02 Liggy’s 218 Firmware
11) 8X BURN ON TY02 Liggy’s 218 Firmware
12) 8X BURN ON TY02 Liggy’s 218 Firmware
13) 8X BURN ON TY02 Liggy’s 218 Firmware
14) 8X BURN ON TY02 Liggy’s 218 Firmware
15) 8X BURN ON TY02 Liggy’s 218 Firmware

16) 16X BURN ON TY02 Liggy’s 218 Firmware
17) 16X BURN ON TY02 Liggy’s 218 Firmware