Need help with NEC 2500A! I think it's dead!

Alright, so almost a year ago now I got a 2500A Mad Dog, internal. I’m working on a laptop, so I bought another cheap CD burner online, removed the drive and swapped it out with the mad dog, making an external burner.

The thing worked like a dream, had no problems…then my friend gets the bright idea of flashing it with hacked firmware (Herrie’s)…which I ended up doing. I was getting faster speeds but I notice a slightly higher increase in hangs on burning.

Lately it started to churn out a bunch of bad discs…they had skipping problems, etc…and I was having a really hard time burning PAL discs. I decided to flash back to the original, factory installed firmware and that temporarily fixed the problem…after a few days, the condition of the drive quickly deteriorated, the power wouldn’t turn on all of the time and I kept hearing a hard “click” whenever burning DVDs or powering the drive up.

Every single disc I burn is a coaster, even if I burn in UDF, DVD .iso or data, coaster city…however mp3 CDs burn fine. Again, I hear a clicking noise coming from the burner when burning DVDs.

Can anyone offer up any suggestions?

Every time I flash the drive, I power it off for about 10 seconds, then turn it back on. It’s also daisy-chained through a LaCie external (don’t think that makes a difference).

I’m running a TiBook (Macintosh) with OS 10.4 and burning with Toast Titanium. Should I flash it with something else? The clicking noise is making me nervous…

IF you have cleaned the drive/lenses and the issues remain there is no other choice than RMAing the drive.