I recently purchased a Plextor 716SA, and it seems to work very well at burning discs, but I get persistent read errors when I try to read data DVDs. I have emailed Plextor Tech Support about this; I will just post that text here (it's easier that way):
I recently purchased a Plextor 716SA DVD+-R/RW. I purchased the PX-716SA because I have had very bad experiences with cheaper, no-name components before. My PlexWriter 8/4/32A CD-R/RW still functions nearly as well as it did when I purchased it in 2002. I purchased the PX-716SA expecting the same high level of quality and performance that I had come to expect from Plextor products. However, that has not been the case at all.
Upon attempting to install software from the included DVD, I received Read Errors telling me that some file could not be read because it was corrupted. I checked the disc for scratches or dirt, but the disc surface was perfectly clean.
I kept attempting to install the software, but kept receiving read errors at the same point in the installation process. I then attempted to install Unreal Tournament 2004 SE, because it also comes on a DVD, and consistently received similar errors. I attempted to copy a large file (1GB) from a burned data DVD, and received similar errors. For the UT2004SE DVD, the burned data DVD, and the Plextor software DVD that was INCLUDED WITH THE DRIVE, I was unable to install the software.
I researched these error messages and tried a number of different solutions to resolve the issue, including:
- Stopping my anti-virus and anti-spyware software (unsuccessful)
- Manually killing any process that might be interfering with the install (unsuccessful)
- rebooting Windows to safe mode, and attempting the install (unsuccessful)
- disconnecting extraneous hardware components that may have been producing an excessive power drain (unsuccessful)
It was not until I used PlexTools Professional 2.19a to manually restrict the DVD read spead that I began to see any progress; with the DVD speed lowered, the installtion procedures would get farther along before they failed. By setting the DVD speed to its lowest setting (2X CLV), I was finally able to install Roxio Media Creator 7 Basic from the Plextor DVD. I was also able to complete the file copy operation from the burned data DVD ONLY at this speed. However, Unreal Tournament 2004 still will not install under any circumstances.
Using the latest version of PlexTools Professional (2.19a), I have run a CD/DVD Test and a Read Transfer Test on a pressed (not burned) DVD, and no errors were reported. I cannot account for why the PX-716SA is apparently unable to function anywhere near the level of performance specified for this drive. A 16X DVD drive that can only read DVDs at 2X is unacceptable.
I have the PX-716SA (serial # [COLOR=Black]removed) installed in a custom PC with the following specs:
AMD Athlon XP 1800+
1GB PC133 SDRAM
Windows 2000 SP4
Maxtor 6L080L4 IDE Hard Disk Drive (80GB)
Hitachi HDS72252 5VLSA80 SATA Hard Disk Drive (250GB)
Adaptec Serial ATA 1205SA Host Controller (PCI)
I hope that the issues I am experiencing are not indicative of the performance I can expect from this line of DVD burners; I was very excitied about receiving my new drive, and especially diappointed when it failed to function as designed. Please help me resolve these issues as quickly as possible.[/COLOR]
I thought it was a decent letter; I would have preferred to call someone to tell my troubles to, but I'm sure Plextor saves money by not having live support.
I have read quite a bit about the trouble that people have had with the UT2004SE DVD (and the CD edition, too) not installing due to whacked-out copy protection on the disc, so I figured that could be part of the problem. But the DVD that Plextor included demonstrated the same issues, as did a burned data DVD. However, none of the other DVD drives I have access to demonstrated these issues at all; granted, they were not 16X drives, and not DVD burners, but they were able to successfully read my DVDs significantly faster than 2X.
Here is the reply I got from Plextor Support:
SATA drives are not well supported by many motherboard bioses or SATA controller drivers yet. More compatible would be an ATAPI drive.
Please update your motherboard bios and sata controller drivers from your motherboard mfgr.
Unfortunately, many SATA mfgrs still test almost exclusively with HD's and not with other devices yet.
Plextor America Support Team - Jack
Now, I've received components DOA before; I've been through the RMA process and have found that manufacturers are generally compliant when it comes to replacing defective merchandice, even when it's not necessarily their component that is defective. But Plextor's website clearly lists the Adaptec 1205SA SATA controller as compatible with the 716SA.
I'm pretty irritated, and I don't know exactly what to do. I really don't want to pay (shipping and restocking) to return the drive and get an IDE version, but I also don't want to stick with a drive that doesn't seem capable of reading data DVDs with any consistency.
If any of you folks can help, I'd greatly appreciate it.