Bought a 10-pack of 16X Verbatim DVD+R Lightscribes to test. Media code MCC 004. First two data DVDs were coasters with Nero Express 6 (burned first one at 4X with SB04 FW, next one at 8X with SB02 just to change things up).
Boy, am I frustrated with this thing. Plays pressed DVDs just fine. Here’s the PC setup:
Compaq DeskPro EN PIII 733/133 Bus speed, small form factor PC
(don’t laugh, it runs great for a legacy PC)
Win2K SP4, fully patched
Seagate Barracuda 250GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive
Bios = Max UDMA enabled for both drives
Windows = Ultra DMA Mode enabled for both IDE controllers (default PIO mode was too slow to play DVD movies, was a little choppy at times)
- Installed all Nero Express 6 updates from Nero’s site
- Installed latest Lightscribe update
- Tried two different 80-pin EIDE cables for the burner, also tried both CS and Master jumper settings
- No problems reported in Device Manager
- Passed all the benchmark tests in Nero CD-DVD Speed, created a test CD just fine (Fuji/Taiyo Yuden media)
When I burned a data DVD at 4X, it completed “successfully”, but failed during the data verification – lots of errors listed in ranges. I watched the internal buffer while burning, and it stayed in the 90’s percent range the entire time.
When I burned at 8X, it only got about 1-2% into the burn when it failed right after the lead-in. I thought this thing liked Verbatim media from all the posts and reviews. Nero 6 Express auto bit-set it to DVD-ROM.
I recently read other posts saying how this drive seems to do better having its own dedicated power line from the PSU. Can’t do that on this PC – it only has one pair of power leads in series off the same wires from the PSU. So both the hard drive and burner are powered in series, with the burner taking the power plug closest to the PSU.
Also, at higher spin speeds (burning and playing, doesn’t matter), this S182M drive makes a soft but ultra high-pitched squeaking whine (like at dog hearing frequencies – slight exaggeration so you get the idea). Wasn’t sure if this was a characteristic of the drive or whether I got a lemon. Definitely annoying, like fingers on a blackboard.
Before I bought it, I was trying to decide between this and the LG GSA-H42LI. Still within the 30-day return period at the store. Never had this much problem with a burner before – makes me appreciate my trusty Yamaha CRW3200E that’s still going strong in another PC, never burned a single coaster after hundreds of burns.
Any ideas on these problems, or am I just better off returning it and starting over?