I appologize if this isn't the best forum for this question, but feel more comfortable in the NEC forum until I can determine if I have a hardware problem or not.
I have searched and queried the entire forum until I feel I have analysis paralysis. Largely from my reading here, I decided to buy the NEC ND-3550a for a good burner that would handle a wide variety of media.
After installation and burning many CDs (I had a large project of CDs to make), I got some feedback that some of the copies were borderline in quality. Since Nero Express came with the drive, (OEM) I started looking at the test results and was horrified at the poor results. I spent a week learning all I could about Nero CD-DVD Speed, and learned that the 3550a isn't the best "reader", but what it was telling me was also relected in poor playback in other drives and software. In fact, the results were so poor, I bought a second drive from NewEgg. The results were no different at all.
After spending literally weeks trying and testing with different burn speeds, different "read" speeds, and different media, I became so discouraged, I nearly gave up. I kept reading the forums here, but could never find anything to relate. There are very few scans posted that look as bad as mine.
During the time I was doing all these tests, NEC came out with FW 1.06 which I flashed to the second drive, but I don't see any difference in performance.
Thinking that there may be a difference between burning CDs and DVDs, I tried burning a DVD on Tayo Yuden TYG02 and it seemed to burn OK, until I tested it. CD-DVD Speed 4.5 couldn't even read a quarter of the way through without choking.
I don't have a large variety of media, but did test half a dozen different brands and thought I was using better quality media by getting Tayo Yuden and CMC Magnetics. I checked the NEC media list and they only show DVD media, not CDs.
I even wondered about my power supply as others have found this to be a problem, but mine is rated at 450 Watts. I only have 2 HDs and the 2 Nec burners, so don't see why that should be a problem. So at this point I need some ideas where to look for my trouble. I have many screen shots I can post, but don't want to bog this down with too many. I am including some hardware info below. Please advise what further info would be most helpful for analysis.
I am indebted to you brilliant scollars and really hope someone can explain what I'm doing wrong.
CPU : AMD Athlon XP 1533 MHz
Bus Speed : 133 MHz
Motherboard : Gigabyte nVidia-nForce2
BIOS : Award FG
Memory : 1024 MB (10ns)
Sound : SB Live! Audio [A000]
Video : NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700LE
Description : Primary IDE Channel
Description : System32\DRIVERS\atapi.sys
Company : Microsoft Corporation
Version : 5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)
Description : IDE/ATAPI Port Driver
Description : Master: NEC DVDRW ND-3550A
Type : CD-Rom Drive
DMA : On
Autorun : On