Welcome to cdf. I understand your apprehension to update firmware. Every newbie's heart beats a little faster when they do it the first time. But if you don't mind me saying so, it is an absolutely ESSENTIAL skill for you to learn if you want success at backing up. Period! And it is way easier than all the threatening legal warnings that are probably scaring you. After you do it once, you will laugh at how easy it was. It's just an automated install routine, just like installing software. Go to your drive manufacturer's website, support area, downloads page and find your drive model's listing ... Read a little about how to do it. For all you know, you might already be current. No fear dude! :bigsmile:
Burners won't just burn any media you throw at it. Not like a toaster will burn any brand of bread. :rolleyes: Their firmware has to contain the exact manufacturing data of the the media you are using. Media makers (like TDK) are changing specifications often, even though the retail packaging looks the same. Reliable compatibility of media with your burner can only happen if you update the firmware with each new version as it is released. Other wise your burner won't go to burn stage. And that IS the error message you are receiving.
And even if your firmware is updated, TDK is not top notch media and still might not work! You don't have to be loyal to some storeshelf brand because the last batch worked ok ... you don't owe them anything. TDK outsources their manufacturering and they change manufacturers based on cost bidding. Great for them ... sucks for you.
Buy Sony -R 1X-8X Accucore (must say made in japan, not Taiwan) which is available in many stores. Or order online Vervatim or Taiyo Yuden. Good media is just as cheap as crap media especially when bought in bulk.
Slowing down your burn speed isn't going to help you. CloneDVD and your burner can't even get started burneing the disk. The error message you are receiving is a classic symptom of either bad media or the need for a firmware update. Since you now know what the problem is, it's up to you to do something about it. First, start by changing media to one I have suggested above. That is the simplest variable to eliminate. Firmware update second if that is not a fix.
Sorry if I sound like dad!