Plextor 712UF headaches

vbimport

#1

greetings cdfreaks, i just purchased the plextor px-712UF (TLA#0105) and have seen a number of random problems within the first few hours of use today.

the media i’m using is ritek dvd-r 4x inkjet

  1. burned one coaster in cloneDVD
  2. tried a second time in cloneDVD, this time right as it began to write, my computer (running xp-pro) shutdown and restarted without any warning.
  3. attempted to do some diagnostics in alcohol 120, and when i right clicked on the plextor 712UF icon in the device window, again…system shutdown immediately and rebooted!
  4. burned the same DVD project in nero (it actually completed) but then verified data, the data validation of course failed. tried to play the dvd in home dvd player w/ spotty performance, like drop outs, skipping chapters, etc
  5. upgraded the firmware to the latest vesion 1.07
  6. performed the self-test using the ritek DVD; this test failed giving me the double blink error which indicates initialization error (can’t seem to find what exactly this error is anywhere on their website??)
  7. performed the self-test with garden variety TDK cd-r; this test passed.

so, i guess i will now install the plextor diagnostic software but am already worn thin with these repeated problems. my old DVD unit pioneer dvd-rw 106 has more or less burned flawlessly…although at 2x.

did i just buy a lemon or is it the media i’ve been using. the random shutdown/restarts are definitely not related to the media though…any imput would be greately appreciated…sorry if this is long winded, but i thought i did some basic internet research seeing nothing but good reviews of this burner…thanks…


#2

It’s possible it’s the media you’re using. Some Ritek media (4/8x +R “Ritek R03”) burns really well in Plextors, but others (8x -R “Ritek G05”) don’t seem to be as good. Problem is … Ritek isn’t on Plextor’s “recommended” list, and therefore using it for the diagnostic test is inconclusive. If you had some Verbatim, Maxell, Taiyo Yuden, or Ricoh media to do the diagnostic self-test on would be better ammunition to claim “Dead on Arrival” status for the drive. As it happens, the TDK CD-R media might well be on the recommended list - it depends on the media code; do you know how to retrieve that information?

Blank media actually can cause (or start the sequence of) system problems. This happens when software is automatically run when the drive senses a blank has been inserted. If two programs (& their drivers) are then auto-launched, XP might conclude a hardware conflict and attempt to resolve it with a rapid shutdown.

Weird results can also happen when Alcohol 120% has the “Ignore Media Type” checked (see under Options|General|Emulation). Please uncheck it and try again.

You don’t really need to install the bloated “Plextools” product to run burn quality scans. A much better command-line based tool is located here:

http://www-user.tu-chemnitz.de/~noe/Plextor/

…and welcome to CDFreaks!


#3

Also, free software from Nero for running Read (and write) speed transfer tests is located here:

http://www.cdspeed2000.com

With it, you can run the Read speed transfer test of the diagnostic disc you already burned. If the graph line is not a smooth upwards line, there is a problem. You can also run the “Scan disc” with it to test the readability of the individual sectors.

Those two tests should tell you a lot about the burns you make, without having to install bloatware (reboots required of course) like Plextools.


#4

well, sure enough it appears that the drive is in fine working order now that i used the included verbatim dvd+r that came w/ the burner on the self test diagnostic. also installed and ran the free nero cd test software you suggested and the graph did appear in the upward 45 degree angle towards 12x as it finished. and changed the alcohol media type setting and that seems to be fine now, perhaps the firmware upgrade has helped too.

thanks a ton ftp1020! i was just about to send this burner back one pissed off customer…but will hold off and buy some new media. fortunately my ritek spindle is almost gone now…


#5

Glad to help. The graph line in CDSpeed is only a cause for concern when it drops from, say, 8x to 4x. Minor squiggles are quite common.

You might want to look into doing some Focusing Error/Tracking Error scanning in Plextools for your remaining Ritek media. That sometimes improves burn quality on non-recommended media.