[I was advised at CDRInfo to try posting this here because of the knowledgable group of people available. I hope, perhaps, someone here has a few ideas as to what is going on.. because I have no idea.]
I recently purchased my first DVD-ReWriter, the BenQ DW1620A Pro. I was excited, believing this drive to be extremely powerful and efficient at an economical cost. Also, being my first DVD burner, I was even more excited to get started burning media.
I installed the drive into my computer using a rounded cable. I read that this could cause problems due to data corruption both in that the cable is slightly longer than IDE specifications, and that the wires are so closely meshed together that data becomes scrambled. I don't know what to make of this -- I've used these IDE cables for over two years (with an older CD-RW drive) and never had a single issue.
So, onto my problems.
I've burned a number of CD-R's (from various manufacturers) with this drive successfully. Tonight, I decided to start messing around with the DVD+R and DVD-R's that I have laying around, to learn the capabilities and extent of my drive's ability.
Before I get into the problems with the drive using different media, let me note that no matter what I do, I usually get a "Lead-in" or "Short Lead-in" error in Nero, using the latest version (I used the web update tonight on the version 6 software that came bundled with the drive).
I tried burning some BenQ DVD+R's that came with the drive (Daxon DZ2's, or something similar to that). with little success. Many times I received the "Lead-in" or "Short Lead-in" error. I even tried using different discs from the spindle, thinking perhaps one disc was faulty. No luck. I tried switching the Book Type setting from DVD-ROM to DVD+R, to even setting it to "Automatic" and "Physical". Nothing changes. Lastly, I've also switched burning speeds, from 16x, to 12x, to 8x.. all the way down as far as I could. At random (it seems), I managed to burn -1- flawless Daxon DVD+R disc full of family pictures. Additionally, I managed to burn half of a Daxon DVD+R disc, and then Nero errored out.
With DVD-R media, I can't burn anything. I can't even get past the "Lead-in" or "Short Lead-in" errors. DVD-ROM, Automatic and Physical -- makes no difference. Neither does burning speed. Everything, from 2x to 2.4x to 4x and so forth -- same problem. I have not yet burned a single DVD-R disc. I've tried using TDK TTH02 discs (which are supposedly fully supported by this drive) and also ProdiscS03 discs. Neither works, nor changes anything.
In desperation, I've tried updating the Firmware. My drive shipped with B7S9, from which I immediately tried B7V9, the latest firmware (that I'm aware of) for this model. Same problems. At this point, I began swapping firmware, testing all the settings and then changing out for new firmware in hoping I'd fix this incompatibility or stability problem. I've used every firmware listed on this site's firmware page, as well as firmwares from Canada off of BenQ's site (I read that some Canadian firmwares corrected problems).
I have no idea what is wrong. I consider myself fairly tech-savvy, but after fighting with this drive for six hours, I'm exhausted and I don't know what could possibly be the issue, beyond being an IDE cable problem. Could the IDE cable actually be causing this issue? Is something else wrong? Do I need to call BenQ because I simply have a defective drive?
Please, if you have any ideas, or could offer some advice, do so.. I'm a nerd at wits end.
EDIT: My hard drive is running at Ultra DMA 5 (mode), and my 1620 Pro is running at Ultra DMA 2 (mode) under device manager when I checked the settings (after delving deeper into this site). I think this should be satisfactory, but wanted to include it incase it is not.