Philips 1620 dying?

I have a Philips 1620 that’s about a year old that seems to be intermittently playing up. If it burns coasters, it’s always at the edge of a full disc I see errors. If I burn a movie disc, my standalone player always starts to have problems reading the data towards the edge of the disc.

Yesterday I tried to force the write speed down to x8 (the Philips by default forces an overspeed to x12 on Datawrite Titanium discs), and it hung the machine three times in a row, at about the point I would normally have expected it to speed up past the x12 write point (ie towards the outer edge of the disc).

The weird thing is that it seems to be fine for a lot of data, but anything beyond the 3.75 gig mark seems to get flakey on my standalone DVD player, and above 4 gig seems to be a total lottery. For pure data discs, most of the time it writes perfectly, others it just falls over.

Any ideas on whether this is a known issue and the writer is on the way out? Is it something fixable with different media (btw, I’ve probably burned hundreds of Datawrite Titaniums successfully on this drive) or should I just cut my losses and replace the writer?

Gaius Baltar: Please provide a quality scan and Transfer Rate test using Nero CD-DVD Speed on one of your problematic burned Datawrite Titanium disc.

If the burned disc has a problem at the end like you said, the error level should rise significantly toward the end of the disc and read-back curve from Transfer Rate test may also show dips (slower speed) in that area.