Unfortunately Pioneer has really stepped on it with both feet this time
I doubt the problems the OP is experiencing can be blamed on the media. I believe it’s the drive itself.
I’ve been a Pioneer burner fan for years and have owned a 105, 107, 109, 212 and now a 218. My wife has owned a 109 and a 215. All excellent burners! Our [B]only[/B] DVD-R media for years has been Taiyo Yuden 8X silver (TYG02) and it has served us well. Pioneer burners have always (in the past) reliably burned this media and coasters are something we only read about.
Until the 218, that is. Now my drive has trouble recognizing the media. My wife’s 215 likes it fine.
I’ve done a little research and found info alluding to a change in the dye by Taiyo, but I’m not sure it affects the TYG02 media. Information is sketchy and much is hearsay, as usual on the 'net.
But the problem remains - I put blank media in the drive, close it, start Nero or ImgBurn, and wait …and wait …and wait …the drive ready signal is not sent. Opening the drawer and closing again sometimes makes it recognize it, but usually I have to advance to the burning step just prior to burning, and then repeat the opening/closing cycle before it sees it. Perhaps at that point the app rapid-fires the interrogate to the drive and it finally says “Hey …I’ve got media!!” and releases the drive to the app.
I don’t know if it’s the Mediatek chipset (as opposed to the previous superb NEC chipset) or the Pioneer marketing department’s desire to rush this thing to market before it was buzzed out, so noobs have a “Labelflash” drive (completely useless feature for me). Whatever the reason, this drive is a steaming pile of s**t. And to make matters worse, there is no firmware revision to make it better, despite it having been out there in the field for months
I’m going to hang onto it for a few months and see if Pioneer releases the firmware rev, and if so, if that fixes it. If not, it’s getting the “5 pound baby sledge hammer revision” Trying to work an RMA is a waste of my time because of the small $ value, and Newegg charges a restocking fee even if it’s defective (figure THAT out).
I’ll never buy another Pioneer burner. The sales department seems to have performed a coup d’etat on the engineering department, and their drives have become “bells and whistles” crap
In the meantime I’ve ordered an LG GH22LS30 and will just use MCSE to patch RPC and riplock. The 218 will ride the closet shelf for awhile.
AVOID THE DVR-218 AT ALL COSTS !!! Do yourself a favor.