ND-3540A Bad Reading Performance

I’ve recently bought NEC ND-3540A burner.
It has very bad reading performance. I’m wondering if I should return it and replace it with some other burner.
I’ve tested it with few CD’s.
It starts reading CD at fast rate, and many times it has to slow down to read some portion of CD.
Sometimes it can’t read data at all, but after inserting same CD again it succedes.
I also have TEAC CD-W552E CD burner and with same CD it has much more better reading performance.
Here are test results with Nero CD-DVD Speed.
You can see NEC slowdown’s and that NEC has many C1 errors, while TEAC has none.

Could this be a firmware problem? (I don’t feel comfortable flashing NEC with non-official firmwares beacuse it’s still under warranty.)
Is this normal behavior for DVD burners?
Should I return it and get something better?

Thanks in advance!

From what I’ve seen across these boards, the 3540 is not the best scanning drive. It burns very well though. I’ve flashed the FW in mine to Liggy and Dee’s 1W.7 and it scans a bit better - but it’s still scans VERY, VERY inconsistent PIE and PIF numbers (DVDs).

I don’t usually test my CDs because I’ve NEVER had a problem playing anything that has finished burning on this 3540. Real world results and playability are the true test of a burn’s characteristics. I wouldn’t suggest returning it unless you have problems playing CDs/DVDs in your player(s).

first for my light work

not true! the PIE might be inconsistant to other drives but the PIF is right on.


when c1 exceeds 25 you will see read issues. your teach is a world class reader but not seeing any errors indicates to me it is not able to scan the disc. you can;however; see the read issues in the teac as well because the line is not straight but has many dips which to me indicate a problem disc. the disc may not have degenerated enough to cause problems with the teac at this time but that does not mean it won’t

here are some examples of what the graphs should look like, notice how much lower the c1 errors are:

Thank you for your replies, guys.

@cnlson: The reading problem I have doesn’t happen with all my CD’s. There are CD’s in my collection that don’t slow down during reading process. So are you suggesting that problem is in bad CD’s, not the burner itself? Should I backup all CD’s that make same performance?

Definitly. :iagree:

You TEAC doesn’t report C1 errors at all. No wonder there are no errors. A CD with no C1 errors exists only in your dreams. :bigsmile: C2 is another matter.

The NEC scan with the C1 errors is actually a perfectly normal, good quality scan.

Make a transfert rate test of the very same CD you used for the C1/C2 scan you posted. If the transfert rate test is good, it means that indeed most of your CDs are bad and you should re-burn them. :frowning:

So, how many C1/C2 errors should I consider a bad thing? In wiki.cdfreaks.com I found 280, and 4. Is this same for DVD and CD?

All those scans have been made with same CD.
Didn’t you mean “is not good” where I bolded your quote?
If I get acceptable C1/C2 results, but many slowdowns in Transfer Rate test what could be the problem? Bad CD, bad burner or bad luck? :slight_smile:

I’m having a similar problem with my 3540A.

I just installed it about a month ago, and I immediately flashed it with the 1.W7 firmware. Now, instead of reading a DVD in about 20 minutes, it takes about an hour and a half. And when I LET the 1:30 go, the disc seems to be corrupted and will read slowly or not at all, no matter if I put in my PS2, my PC, or my Cyberhome set-top DVD player.

I’ve used Memorex DVD-R 4.7GB, Memorex dual-layer DVD+R, and Philips DVD+R media, all with the same results.

Should I try a different version of the firmware, like the 1.W4? Or maybe it’s a hardware thing? I also replaced my motherboard around the same time as I got this drive; maybe the new Asus SiS chipset board just sucks…? :: shrug ::

Anyone have any enlightenment?

My drive must be an exception then. My total PIFs are frequntly +/-50% - sometimes nearly as high as +300% - on the same disc @5x. (ie. Of the same disc, one scan will have 150 total PIF, the next will have between 75 and 599. Just yesterday I had one scan at 141 total, then 599 total.) That’s a large enough difference for me to consider it inconsistent. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ah, OK.So it looks like you 3540A has some reading problems, indeed. :frowning:

Didn’t you mean “is not good” where I bolded your quote?
No, but I admit my post wasn’t clear.

If I get acceptable C1/C2 results, but many slowdowns in Transfer Rate test what could be the problem? Bad CD, bad burner or bad luck? :slight_smile:
Reading problems with the drive, most probably. No idea why, and the confusing part is that the drive DOES reach 48X when performing the C1/C2 scan. :confused:

So maybe you should re-run the transfert rate test making sure your have nothing running in the background. Could it be that when performing this test (tranfert rate) you were defragmenting or something like that…?

Would it be that these different totals come from single spikes appearing on some scans and not others? Please post your scans :wink:

My ND-3540, unlike the 2500A is an excellent reader. Ripping audio CD’s is as fast as my old (and now defunct) Lite-On CD-RW drive, and believe me, that’s fast.

It’s been said that NEC drives aren’t meant for reading (and that’s true with the ND-2500A), but the ND-3540 does a great job of reading anything. Mine does anyway.

Definitly. The problem with the 3540 (and the 3550 and 4550 even more) is not speed but the so-so error correction on damaged CDs and DVDs. That’s why they’ve got this reputation.

Indeed, I could rip some friends’ damaged discs with my Pioneer 109 that I couldn’t with my 3540A. The 109, though, is MUCH slower at ripping.

For people like you and me who take care of their discs, we’re good with the 3540A :cool: (and the 4550 is an even faster ripper :eek: )


I used it with EAC on a badly scratched CD and it ripped very fast, and corrected all errors.

Perhaps the story is different for DVD’s.

I could restore the data from 2 (data) CDRs with the 109, when it was impossible with the 3540A.

EAC is another story, as the 3540A C2 errors reporting is compatible with EAC so it makes audio rip more secure with this (great) soft. :cool:

But as a sidenote let me say that if your rip was very fast, I don’t think your CD was THAT damaged.