NEC 3500 issues (upgrade to 7201)

I just upgraded my old NEC 3500 to 2.R8 firmware, to perform some quality scans on new DVD+R burns.

DVDInfoPro gave a 0% quality result on 2 different media I tried:
720k PI errors on TY003 media
320k PI errors on TDK/SMC? media
(I did not save the results, but they were awful)

  • So, is my old 3500 dying or just scanning poorly? How can I test this?

If my 3500 is dying I’ll most likely upgrade to a 7201S.

  • I read plenty reviews, but hearing it again is always nice: This drive results in very good burn quality, right? And its scanning quality also is very good?
  • I will be doing LightScribe burns sometimes, are there decent/affordable quality LS media? Verbatim LS DVD+R sounds good to me.

First of all, in those cases where NEC/Optiarc drives produce meaningful scans of DVD media, they are overreporting PIE (reporting bytes in error instead of rows in error), so you cannot compare PIE reported by a NEC/Optiarc drives with those reported by e.g. LiteOn, BenQ or Plextor drives.

Second of all, the scanning firmware 2.R8 became available so late that there’s not much experience here with using the NEC ND-3500AG for scanning, so it’s unclear how variable or reliable it is for that purpose.

The only way to check the reliability of your NEC 3500 for scanning is to scan a lot of discs on that drive as well as another reliable scanning drive such as e.g. LiteOn DVD burner.

I did perform the scans of the discs at a speed of 16x (max)… and I remember having a relatively low error rate at the beginning (low reading speeds there)…

Would it matter if I scanned the whole disc at a speed of 4x perhaps?

I don’t have access to another scanning drive like a LiteOn unfortunately, so comparing is hard.

If I don’t get good scanning results with my 3500AG I may just buy a 7201 for 20 euro’s… At least that one burns and scans great, right?

The 5200/7200 series drives are great for burning.

My 7203A drive seems to be a decent CD and DVD scanner, but my experience from earlier Optiarc drives makes me cautious to conclude anything from just a single drive, because the earlier series have varied greatly between individual drives of the same model.

I would suggest scanning slower than 16x with your NEC 3500, trying 12x, 8x and 5x.

Hrm, if the 720x is only a decent scanner, is there are great burner/scanner then?
Maybe the Samsung or Pioneer?

And I will try some lower speed scans tonight.

Pioneer drives have scanning disabled in later Nero CD-DVD Speed versions because they are very unreliable for scanning. They are excellent burners though.

Samsung has some good burners and they can be made to scan by making a registry change (check in the Samsung Mini FAQ).

LiteOn DVD burners would be my favourite for DVD scanning and they burn some media well, but in my experience they are generally not up to the same burning standard as some competing brands.

LiteOn DVD burners are fairly poor CD burners in my experience and have very limited usefulness for CD scanning.

With only a single drive, an Optiarc 5200/7200 series might not be a bad choice, but I cannot guarantee the reliability of its DVD scanning feature.

Well, from what you’re posting it seems that the 5200/7200 series is the best choice for a single burner/scanner.

Guarantees are never necessary, and I’m not looking for a perfect scan… just an indicator if a burn was good or not. A burn quality value of 80% or 90% doesn’t matter that much to me.

But everyone here seems to be using Nero CD-DVD Speed instead of DVD Idle Pro.
Is Nero better or just more commonly installed because most people get it bundled?

[quote=KwarK;2141956]But everyone here seems to be using Nero CD-DVD Speed instead of DVD Idle Pro.
Is Nero better or just more commonly installed because most people get it bundled?[/quote] I’ve never used DVDInfoPro for scanning, partly because its interface looks confusing to me.

Nero CD-DVD Speed is a utility bundled with Nero, but you can also download and install it freely from [B]here[/B].