A month or so ago as usual I was burning some stuff at 8x on 8x rated media and when doing a verification of the burn, I found out that there were read errors all over the disc.
Up until that point i had been burning very reliably on all sorts of media with my ND-3500, which is well known to be a good burner. So then i tried 4x and 2.4x and it works then with no read errors, just slow downs when running a benchmark with Nero CD/DVD Speed.
When burning at any speed higher than 4x, the burning process completes normally but the data surface of the disc looks strange with circles of what seem to be burn circles, but they vary in intensity and are different all over the surface. The best explanation I can come up with is that the drive doesn’t burn properly (duh!) at any speeds where the speed of the burn has to switch to anything higher than 4x, because at 2.4x and 4x the speed of the burn stays constant, and the color of the surface is the same.
The only thing I remember that changed in the PC is the introduction of a new hard drive a bit before that. I have since then disconnected the hard drive that was in the same channel as the NEC burner in order to test a burn but it’s all the same.
The NEC is a secondary slave and the hard drive is the master on the channel. It’s an nforce2 motherboard with the latest IDE drivers for it, and the settings say it’s on Ultra DMA 2.
I flashed it back to the original firmware as well but no change. I put it on its own power connector and no change.
Another strange thing is that the drive does not read any of my previous DVD+R burns at anything higher than 12x without reading slowdowns. It does however burn and read CD-Rs at the full 48x rated speed.