NEC 3500 and Datawrite Major Problems



I have been using my NEC 3500 with the patched 2.1A firmware for months now with mainly Datawrite media and usually with no problems. Recently I started to get lots of coasters - usually in the last 10% of the disk.

I have tested the burns with DVDinfo Pro and am getting horrible results. With the Datawrite DVD-R Printable (not full face) the Pi-PO burn is excellent up to about 3GB and then spikes dramatically up to a PI value of over 1200 for the remainder of the burn.

The Datawrite Titaniums full face are not much better - same spikes at around 3GB and then up to a PI value of around 800. These can be read OK by my lounge player but I am worried they will decay and ultimately become coasters.

Have also tried on my Pioneer DVR 108 v 1.1.8 rip lock patched firmware - same problems.

Anyone else experiencing these issues with the above combinations?

Any other media choice suggestions that work well with the NEC 3500?

I can’t seem to find a patched version of the official V1.20 for my Pioneer - anyone know where I might get one to see if this solves the problem.

This is SO annoying as I thought the NEC 3500, Pioneer 1.08 and Datawrite media were considered as good quality and good combinations.


I’m guessing the problem could be with your choice of media. Datawrite tend to use all different manufacturers, so a spindle that worked well one week, could produce totally different results to another spindle.

Just for curiosity’s sake, try popping one of the discs that “worked” into DVD Identifier, and tell us the MID. Then try one of the non-working discs, and tell us the MID of that, too.



DVD Info identifies the bad disks as “CMC MAG. AE1”, the OK ones are also “CMC MAG. AE1”

I also now just tried a Ritex AAA “RITEKF1” on all 3 of my drives with the following results -

NEC 3500 - PI Spikes at 3GB to peak around 800 (as per the Datawrites)
Pioneer 108 - Terrible PI spikes over 1200
NEC 4550 - PI spikes at 3GB but then recovers towards the end of the burn Results attached)

Why the hell am I geeting these horrible PI spikes at around 3GB on 2 different media and 3 different burners?

Just a quick question about Nero Drive Speed - is this now accepted as a better test for disc quality as I see it being used in many threads. Problem is, it will not let me run the quality test on either of the first 2 drives. I would expect this for the NEC as even DVDinfo Pro won’t work the PI?PO tests for this drive but why not the Pioneer 108? (The start button is greyed out)


Re: CDSpeed…you can scan on a Pio drive with a bit of registry tweaking (I think), but I’m not too sure how reliable a scanner it would be - you’d have to ask in the Pioneer/Asus forum about that… :slight_smile:

Edit: from what I saw after a search of the Pioneer forum, you’re better off using DVDInfo Pro to scan with your Pio (IMO, anyway).

And after getting you to check media, that’s unfortunately all the experience I have :(…just really wanted to point out that Datawrite really isn’t the most reliable brand. :wink:


Take a look at the scan of an older Datawrite burn (same media code) done with the same NEC burner and Firmware. Not perfect by any means but a different league to the crap ones I am getting lately. Could this be down to a combination of worn out drive and low quaility media or just one of them.

I think its time for a burner investment!

Any suggestions for the following profile -

  • Best quality DVD Reading and Writing in DVD-R
  • Good quaility CD-R burning (I don’t do much of this)
  • Copatible with all the usual Quality checking utiities (my NEC’s & Pioneers do not seem to be up for this)


Here is the burn test from DVD Info


Based on the above, I’d probably go for a BenQ or a LiteOn.

But hang in there, one of the NEC gurus may have an answer for you, before you consider buying a new drive! :slight_smile:


But hang in there, one of the NEC gurus may have an answer for you, before you consider buying a new drive!

Umm, I think that might be a bit late. I have just been trying the 3500 with some Samsung media as a final check before I ditch this drive. It crashed the burn halfway through on 2 disks. I therefore decided enough was enough and tried an experiment with the drives aerodynamic properties out my office window. It apperas that it could fly as well as it burned - lots of bits of DVD writer are now on my patio. :iagree: :slight_smile: :cool:

Ahh that felt good

Will check out the Liteon and Benq (BTW - can you buy the BenQ’s in the UK?)


ROTFLMAO :bigsmile: - but you may have been a bit hasty, Samsung’s not terrific media, either!

I’m sure you can buy BenQs here in the UK, but I’ve never seen any in regular retail shops (PC World, Currys, my local independent PC shop etc) - you might have to look online!

For a shop like the ones I mentioned, LiteOn is probably your best bet - I got one of my Liteys in PCW, the other in the small PC shop I mentioned.



Well I just tried the NEC 4550 with the latest firmware and the Samsung media and got a near perfect burn. I think my 3500 was just old and tired out.

How about latest Plextor or LG Drives - latest reviews look very promising and are widely available on line.

I am also attracted to the Plextor’s SATA interface - I read somewhere that SATA is in theory a much better way to go for reliable burns that with IDE (especially if you have 2 drives on the IDE)


Glad at least one brand of media worked out for you :clap:

Can’t comment about Plextor, as I haven’t owned one since CD-RW days…but the LG drives are excellent burners - as long as you feed them good media :iagree: I wouldn’t be without my two LGs!

Downside of LGs, is that they don’t support quality scanning.