Plextor 708A Stuck at 4X DVD Burning?!

Hi all,

My first post. I got a 708A about 2 months ago, installed it fine and using Memorex 4X DVD+R media. I was able to burn at 8x with no issues whatsoever until a week ago when I noticed that it was taking 14 min to burn a DVD. Of course I checked and it was only burning at 4x!

I use Roxio 7, CloneDVD and even Nero but they are all burning at 4X instead of 8X. Never had a problem with the media before…infact I am still using the same spindle of Memorex.

Running Windows XP with the latest patches. Firmware is at 1.06.

Can somebody help? Or is my 708A defective? :a

Welcome to this forum,RedRaptor

Because you have changed recording software but the problem has’t gone,I think it should not the software problem.

Try to use 1.04 FW,or use some better 4X+R DVD media.If all 4X media can’t recording @8X, it is possible that you have the DMA or IDE driver problem,did you install the IDE drivers such as Intel IAA or VIA 4in1 before the problem occured ?And if there are some virtual DVDROM,please remove it.

What the chipest of your motherboard?BTW,you’d better change a XP OS to check the problem.

This is not much help, but I know what you mean, My 708A seem to be stuck at 4X also. I decided to switch machine’s to see if its my plex or my Rig, The funny thing about it, is when I switched, both the 712A and the 708A is burning @ the right speed. I am still testing to find out what the problem is or could have been, they both are in different machine’s now.

I just tried upgrading to 1.07 firmware which did nothing for me. I even tried removing the IDE channels and let WinXP detect them again. No go. Its so weird because everything was working fine a week ago. The drive is almost brand new…

I guess I should either try reformatting or trying the drive on a different machine. This is really disappointing to say the very least…I expected more from a Plextor drive.

You can try burning some 8X DVD+R media to see if 8X can be achieved. Choose a manufacturer from the Plextor recommended media list and rated at 8X. This should help you determine whether the media is involved in your PX-708A being stuck at the 4X burn speed. Regardless of what the burning software may be reporting as the actual burn speed, so can use the actual burn durations to distinguish between 4X and 8X speeds.

Also, depending on what the media code is reported by the Memorex 4X DVD+R media (I suspect RICOHJPNR01, but possibly different), this media is not necessarily guaranteed to burn at 8X on the PX-708A. It depends on whether the media code is actually on the Plextor recommended media list, and even if so, the 8X burn speed is not always assured. Disc quality has been known to vary, even among discs within the same spindle. Here’s a relevant statement on Plextor’s website:

[B]The 4X DVD+R media provided to Plextor by these disc vendors, and listed on Plextor’s Recommended Media List, has proven in factory testing to be of consistently sufficient quality for the PX-708A/UF to write at 8X. However, the media manufacturing process is not under Plextor control, so Plextor cannot guarantee the quality of future batches of media from these vendors. Vendors may change dye formulation or the way they test and grade their media, resulting in various levels of disc quality throughout their distribution channel. Media quality can vary between different manufacturing lots, or even between discs in the same package or spindle. As a result, not all recommended 4X DVD+R media from any given vendor will write at 8X every time.

This does not reflect a drive problem, nor does it reflect a problem with the media. It does reflect the drive’s evaluation of the media and the determination by the drive firmware to reduce the recording speed to guarantee a quality recording. If your specific DVD+R media is not of sufficient quality to sustain 8X recording, the drive will then ensure a good disc burn by recording the disc at the vendor’s stated speed rating of 4X.[/B]

Plextor apparently favors burn quality over burn speed, so it is possible that PoweRec is lowering the burn speed to 4X (or refusing to allow 8X), usually due to burn quality issues. If you have PlexTools Professional you can determine what it reports as the maximum supported burn speed for your media.

If you can confirm that your PX-708A is operating properly in UDMA mode 2, then your PX-708A has either become more picky on media, or has suffered some kind of hardware degradation that affected the burn speed. Several months ago, my PX-708A suddenly stopped reading and burning all DVD media, and downgraded itself to a CD-RW burner, so I had to RMA it to get a replacement. If the drive hardware is deteriorating in some way, the symptoms can manifest themselves in various forms.

scan80269 always explain the problem very detailed. :eek:

I really admire you,scan80269 :bow:

Thanks for the explanation.

I think a few points to ponder here is, I am still using the same spindle of Memorex 4X DVD+R. The first 10 DVDs burn fine but now the remaining 15 can’t work at 8X?! That really doesn’t make sense to me.

The 708A is working at UDMA, I checked in the Device Manager. Actually, last week it burnt two DVDs at 4X but they were unreadable. This week, it burns at 4X but they are readable.

I’m confused…when I first got the 708A, it was plug and play and I was off burning at 8X…now it decides out of nowhere to become a 4X?

I think I will try reimaging my hard drive with a fresh copy of Windows XP and ensure that its not a software issue. I am not happy about this…spent quite a bit of money on the 708A.

Maybe just the discs are of some different manufacturer although they are of same package. Strange things always go on…

If more than one media code is represented by the discs within one spindle, this should be easy to verify. Use DVD Identifier, Nero CD-DVD Speed, etc. to see if the discs return the same media code. This should work on both burned and unburned media.

Personally, I have learned to be VERY skeptical of Memorex brand media. I bought some Memorex Ultraspeed CD-RW last year and got messed up big time, as these turned out to be the worst CD-RW ever made (Infodisc). I found out that the label side printing has compromised the recording layer, and faint images of the printing can be seen on the recording side!!! :eek:

Memorex 4X DVD+RW currently has a media code of RICOHJPN W11, but I don’t know the media code for their 4X DVD+R. I don’t believe Memorex is loyal to particular media manufacturers, and can easily switch them depending on which manufacturer can offer the lowest cost. I suspect the situation is the same for most name brands (TDK, Maxell, Fuji, etc.), but I have to admit that discs within a spindle having different media codes is rather unlikely.

In any case, comparisons with different media and a different burner should help isolate the problem to either the media or the drive. If it turns out to be the drive, I would suggest the RMA process with Plextor.

I think i can remember it was CMC.MAG F01 the last time i had some of them. But its just a guess!

Try to use the better disc such as TY’s 4X DVD+R,if it can burn at 8X,it mustn’t be the 708A’s problem.

Is the power of your power supply steady?PLEXTOR’s recorders need higher power of power supply than any other drivers.

check the media code on MEMOREX DVD+R 4x. When I first purchased my 708a drive the only coaster I got was from MEMOREX DVD+R 4x CMC manufactured. Use a better brand of dvd media before even considering to RMA drive.

akina wrote:

Is the power of your power supply steady?PLEXTOR’s recorders need higher power of power supply than any other drivers.

On one of my computers I have a plextor 48x24x48 cdrw, toshiba 1612 dvdrom, liteon 411s@811s dvd burner, 40 gb & 60 gb hard drives, maxtor ide controller card all running off a 300 watt power supply. I’ve never knew or heard that Plextor drives need higher power from the power supply. Interesting information. :slight_smile:

They need as much power as any drives. Doesn’t make any difference.

Of course they are all need 12V.What my means is(sorry for my poor English) the request power of PLEXTOR’s driver is pickier than other dirvers.

I made this statement a couple days ago.

My 708A seem to be stuck at 4X also. I decided to switch machine’s to see if its my plex or my Rig, The funny thing about it, is when I switched, both the 712A and the 708A is burning @ the right speed.

Since then, while the drives were switched, they both had perfect burn times. I decided to put them back were I started and the 708A is acting like it does not want to go past 4 or 6X ??

Rig 1, 708A was bought for this Machine:
Pent 4 2.4 gig
1 gig of mem
Abit IC7 motherboard
Win2000 Sp4
Powersupply: 420 watts

Rig 2, 712A was bought for this Machine:
AMD 3000+ 333FSB
512 mem
Gigabyte GA-7N400L motherboard
Powersupply: 400 watts

708A while in Rig 1, will have burn times of 12 min.
708A while in Rig 2, Will have burn times of 8min.

712A while in Rig 1 or 2 will have perfect burn times.

Media have been Verbatim
Media code/Manufacturer ID MCC 002
Media Id Code Speed 4.0x 5540KBps
Available Write Descriptor CLV 8.0x 11080KBps
Available Write Descriptor CLV 4.0x 5540KBps
Available Write Descriptor CLV 2.4x 3324KBps

Durning this test I use the same cake(50) of DVD’s.

Added information,

I tried to burn using a 8X verbatim, came up with the same times as the 4X, 12 min. even with the 8X(Verbatim). So it’s not the media.

reason I don’t just leave them swithed is, Rig 1 is a black case with the black 708A, while Rig 2 is a standard color case with a 712A standard color.

Can you determine whether the 708A is in the proper UDMA mode 2 transfer mode in Rig 1? Win2000 built-in IDE driver does not report the UDMA mode number, but at least you can tell if the drive has degraded to PIO mode. Nero Infotool should be useful here as well.

Is the 708A connected as master only, or is there a slave drive?

If processor is overclocked, try going back to stock speed and retest. With the Intel 875P chipset, the Performance Acceleration Technology (PAT) feature can also be disabled to see if it makes any difference.

Other than that, I would suggest checking the IDE cables. Poor quality cables or ones with bad contacts can degrade IDE signal integrity and trigger the OS to lower transfer rates when errors are encountered.

You may want to take a look at a Microsoft knowledge base article that talks about how IDE transfer rates can drop in response to CRC errors:;en-us;817472&Product=win2000

sorry for being late with this information, but for reason, I couldn’t get to this page last night.

Everthing you said was very interesting. Since then, I havnt changed anything, but something else I figured out, it only happens with CloneDVD on Rig 1, the 708A will burn @ 8X will other programs on both Rigs as the 712a does, its just the 708A will only burn @ 6x with CLoneDVD on Rig 1. I uninstalled and reinstalled and get the same thing. the 712A can burn @ 8X with clone on Rig 1, why cant the 708A do it?

Ok, I can’t figure it out!!!

Not sure why they not working together, 708A, Abit IC7 and Clone. I really would like to say they did at one point but Im not sure, because of clonedvd doing everything together and I really never looked at the burn times by itself. The only reason I noticed the slow times, because I was comparing the 712A 8X with the 708A 8X burn times.

I called and order the faceplates, so I will be just switching the drives.

I guess one good thing about it, I have learned with the 712 in the faster machine, it only takes 19-22 minutes to compress and burn!!!

just my opinion but your problem could be CLONE DVD. Have you ever tried other burning software? Try using MAXELL OR FUJI DVD-R media 4x speed. Or are you using DVD+R media? IMATION DVD+R 4x speed will burn@ 8x.