PX-708A won't burn at 8x

I have a Plextor PX-708A for over a year now and it always work fine for me. However, about a month ago, I upgraded the firmware from 1.07 to 1.10 and thats when I started getting problems. At first, when I try to burn something, the LED instead of flashing orange, will switch between orange and green. This cause the burner to take 1 or 2 hours to burn a DVD at 8x. This happen 2 or 3 times so I decided to downgrade the firmware to 1.07 again.

However, now there is a new problem. I can select 8x to burn, but Nero won’t burn at 8x. It will say something like “burning started at 8x,” but in reality it burns at 4x. The reason I knows this is because it takes 14 minutes intead of the 4 minutes to burn a full DVD. I have WinXP Pro, Nero The DVD media is Ridata, manufacturer code RICOHJPN. PIO Mode 4, ULTRA DMA Mode 2 in BIOS. Device Manager have the drive in Ultra DMA Mode 2.

Also, the Buffer Underun bar is always at 87%, which is the same as before the upgrade.

Have you tried upgrading your firmware to 1.11? The discs you’re using could simply be 4X discs and not work at 8X. Not all 4X media works correctly at 8X. Nero’s write speed indication is not reliable, it will report what you have selected, not what the actual write speed was.

even burning at 4X, it will not take as long as 1-2 hrs. Reflash your firmware again, must be a bad flash or something or flash to a newer firmware.

The 1-2 hours was before he flashed back and was most likely a result of the drive not operating under UDMA mode 2 as it’s supposed to.

Oh yeah, I forgot to say that before the 1.07 --> 1.10 upgrade, the Ridata discs burn at 8x fine. There DVD’s labels only say 4x though.

As I said before: not all 4X discs work at 8X, even if you’re using discs from the same manufacturer or even from the same spindle. If you can, get some ‘real’ 8X media and check if your Plextor is able to write them at this speed. Good luck!

To my best understanding, even recording at 1x, a 4.7GB DVD+/-R should be completed around 50 minutes. So 1 or 2 hour is definitely in problem. As I daily tested many media and some of them are outsourced. There are some of them with poor durability for the cheap media you bought from market; even for 8X media some of them are not available burning at high speed after few months. Maybe that is the case for your DVDR.

Well, I think the reason the first couple DVD took so long so burn was because of the new firmware. Maybe the burner was trying to recognize the firmware so the buffer underun was going up and down. Right now, that is not the problem anymore. The problem is that although I can select to burn at 8X, my Ridata disc burn at 4x instead. However, it seems that the Fujifilm can, even though it is also RICOHJPN, the same as the Ridata ones.

Also, I just noted a mistake in my original post. I meant to say 7 minutes for 8x instead of 4 minutes.

That’s not possible. Firmware is not recognized by the burner, it’s either there or not (and if not, you have a serious problem :p). But, whenever you flash your drive with a new firmware, Windows will see the drive as a new drive and re-install it. This can cause Windows to drop the DMA setting for your drive, putting it in the safe but ultra-slow PIO mode. This results in terribly slow performance and thus a lot of buffer underruns. I’m 99% sure this was the cause of your slow burns.

Unfortunately, even though two media brands can have the same ADIP code (manufacturer’s identification code), they can still be different quality wise. Generally speaking companies like Fuji have first pick of media manufactured by a certain company, resulting in the best quality.