NEC ND-3540A CD/CDR Failure

I am currently on my third 3540A and just like the first two this one will no longer burn CDs. It will still read them, both store-bought pressed CDs and those I’ve burned myself, but I can no longer burn with it. I ran into the same problem with the previous two drives I had.

I bought my first 3540A back in July and it worked very well for about a month before it stopped reading or writing CDs. I returned it and had the second drive for maybe a week when the same thing happened. When those drives failed they wouldn’t even read pressed CDs so I guess it isn’t quite as bad this time.

I really hate to RMA this drive and try my luck on a fourth but I have no other choice. I’m wondering, though, if this might be OS or firmware related.

I’m running Linux kernel and burning CDs with cdrdao. The first drive died after cdrdao failed to burn an ISO. The second one just plain died. My current drive stopped burning earlier this evening after cdrdao failed the power calibration.

I was using the following firmware for each drive:

1st 3540A - Liggy’s 1.01e bitsetting firmware (fast)
2nd 3540A - Liggy’s 1.01e bitsetting firmware (fast)
3rd 3540A - Liggy’s 1.03 bitsetting firmware (fast)

I don’t think the modified firmware effects the CD reading/writing so don’t know if that’s the problem and I don’t think cdrdao is responsible. It just seems odd that three exact same drives would go bad like that. There is either something killing them or NEC just had a bad batch.

Anyway, I’m feeling extremely unlucky right about now. Anyone have any ideas or similar experience please respond. Thanks.

I hear ya, seems there may be a trend whereby the CD lasers go bad, my guess is bad build/calibration or bad batch of parts. Can you tell us which month/year your drives were built? So far May 2005 wasn’t a good month for ND-3540a’s at the factory :frowning:

Doubtful it’s the firmware, but do check the usual things, make sure you have a good power supply for the drive ( quality power supply, stable voltages, low noise, maybe even an interactive UPS for the 'puter ).

I didn’t think to look at the date but all 3 drives were from They have over 400 on-site reviews of the 3540A and only half a dozen or so complain about the same problem.

I have a good 425W dual fan power supply and a good UPS so I don’t think the problem is there. My BenQ 1640 has been running in the same machine for a few months now with no problems.

One thing I did notice earlier is that I was using the same maxell media off the same spool when all 3 drives stopped burning CDs. Don’t know if that means anything.

I’m hoping newegg just got some bad drives from NEC and I’ve been unlucky enough to get 3 in a row. Maybe the 4th one will last.

I had the same problem with my first 3540A. Manufactured May 2005 is Malaysia . Bought in Europe.

Looks like a trend :frowning: