This thread will be my personal log covering my experience with the Plextor PX-716UF External Burner.
Mainly, I'm replacing my older Iomega 4X Super DVD Burner which, even with the latest firmware, is having a harder time with new media - not being able to burn at the maximum speed of the media and burning at 2x with media rated 1x to 8x (one of the latest DVD-R version).
I hope to post here with my results and experiences and offer a springboard for further discussion.
My System Details:
HP Pavilion zd7005qv Notebook (DR341U#ABA) Rev 1
Windows XP Home Edition SP2 (build 2600)
Intel Pentium 4 2.67GHz Processor
Hewlett-Packard 0880 28.1C Main Circuit Board with 133Mhz Bus
BIOS: Hewlett-Packard F.35 10/14/2004
C: 40GB Hard Drive
D: HL-DT-ST RW/DVD GCC-4241N CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive
F: 80GB External Iomega USB 2.0 Hard Drive
G: Iomega Super DVD Drive 4X DVD-R/RW; DVD+R/RW; DVD-RAM Drive
Intel 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers
Primary IDE Channel
Secondary IDE Channel
Texas Instruments OHCI Complaint IEEE 1394 Host Controller
Bus Adaptors -
ENE CB-710/712/714 Cardbus Controller
ENE PCI Memory Card Reader Controller
Intel 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D2, 24D4 and 24D7
Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller
Display: NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 with AGP8x
DVD/CD Software (02/17/05) -----
Nero Ultra Edition 18.104.22.168
Clone DVD 2 - 22.214.171.124
Clone CD - 126.96.36.199
DVD Decrypter - 188.8.131.52
DVD shrink - 184.108.40.206
AnyDVD - 220.127.116.11
DVD Identifier - 3.6.2
DVD X Copy Platinum - 18.104.22.168
DVD X Copy Platinum RF - 22.214.171.124
FairUse Wizard - 1.0
DVDx - 2.3
VSO Identifier - 126.96.36.199
Feb 15 2005
Ordered Plextor PX-716UF/S16X External DVD Burner from Best Buy on-line for $199.97 US. Next Day UPS shipping from Findlay, OH to Selma, AL brought the total to $222.90.
I had the drive in a cart from Newegg but they went up $10 before I had the money to place the order. Tiger Direct was also slightly higher at the time and in California.
Feb 16 2005
Due to Best Buy shipping error, UPS had to reschedule pickup causing delivery to be delayed until February 17th. Could have got it on time with Newegg or Tiger Direct. Sent complaint to Best Buy to credit back difference between next day and 2 day shipping.
Feb 17 2005
Drive arived around 10:00AM CST double boxed and in good condition.
Once connected, the drive took over (more like Windows freely gave) the F: drive letter from my external hard drive and the Iomega 4X burner got H.
This would not work as I have software installed on the external drive and not just media.
Went into Administrative Tools>Disk Manager and sorted it out.
However, Windows stopped responding with both the Plextor and Iomega connected. Furthermore, DVD playback did not work in any drive.
Ended up totally replacing the Iomega drive after several different attempts. Really wanted to use them both together though.
After everything up and working, installed PlexTools, rebooted and set it not to start up when Windows does. Had to reboot again.
Checked drive with VSO Inspector and it showed firmware 1.3 without DVD-R DL support. Flashed 1.4 and rebooted. Another VSO check confirmed 1.4 firmware and DVD-R DL support.
Upgraded PlexTools to 2.10a version and rebooted. Had to reset option to not load at startup and also remembered to set book type of DVD+R and DVD+R DL to support my portable DVD player that doesn't play DVD+Rs.
Backed up 4 karaoke discs using Clone CD's Multi Media CD option. Burned at 40X onto Memorex 40X CD-Rs using Clone CD's max speed setting. Drive louder than my Iomega but a whole lot faster without a doubt. Took less than 2 minutes to burn each disc.
NOTE: CD+G was a big feature of this drive for me. I can see it doesn't seem important to most and it is rare to find.
Backed up 1 DVD using AnyDVD/Clone DVD 2. Burned at 4X onto a Durabrand 4X DVD-R (will have to use these up until I can afford to get something different which may be awhile).
Backed up 1 DVD using AnyDVD/Clone DVD 2. Burned at 16X onto the Verbatim 16X DVD+R supplied with drive. It played fine in my portable player mentioned above. The burner took under 7 minutes (transcoding took 30 mintues or so) with the Plextools default settings. Can't be too accurate based on Clone DVD 2's 'counter'.
SPECIAL NOTE: thank you to EVERYONE in the Plextor forum. My readings here helped me a great deal with my purchasing choice as well as made the installation and use a smooth process (example: was going to purchase a OEM internal drive and enclosure to save money). Thanks to google also.
With the Plextor's ability to make a DVD+R and DVD+R DL 'appear' as a DVD-R, I think I'll switch over from DVD-R to DVD+R in the future.