I have one very strange (and much more annoying) problem with my Plextor PX-755A (TLA 0001, current firmware 1.08), which I bought brand new about 14 months ago.
I RECENTLY noticed that my drive sometimes writes some corrupted bytes to DVD±R discs. I do not know if this had happened anytime before, since I did not notice until recently. Imagine my FRUSTRATION when I realised that all discs which I have written since the purchase may be faulty!
By performing a byte-to-byte comparisions of the content of just-written DVDs against the source content, I realised that in some cases there are few (sometimes a few dozens) bytes which are not the same as their source copies, although all those DVD discs have EXCELLENT after-write performance measuraments, without any glitches (PI/PO, etc.)!!!
Those bytes ALWAYS differ in a way that the source byte has its highest bit =1, while the written byte has its highest bit = 0 (highest bit inverted from 1 to 0). This is the only difference which may appear. So, these are the possible combinations of “defects” (hexadecimal notation, and X means “any hex number”).
I mostly use Verbatim MCC 004 (DVD+R) discs, but I tried a few MCC 03RG discs and a few cheapo discs, and got the same behavior regarding this problem;
I use my drive in a VIA KT133-based PC (1.1 GHz), but I also tried it in a 440BX-based PC (1 GHz). Both of them are NOT overclocked, have 100% error-free RAM (tested with MemTest), top-quality 350W Enermax PSU’s and different PATA cables. The drive had the SAME issue on both PC’s.
Both of these PCs use Windows 2000 Pro SP4 with latest updates (trough AutoPatcher 2000). ASPI is v4.60 (ForceASPI), UDMA is used.
I used ImgBurn 126.96.36.199 and PlexTools Professional v2.35 for writing. The issue appeared with both of them!
It SEEMS that the issue DOES NOT appear when writing CD-R, CD-RW and DVD+/-RW discs at ANY speed!
After I “detected” this awful problem, I deliberately spent around 20 DVDs (10 MCC 004s, 5 03RGs and 5 some cheapos) just to test this issue. It SEEMS from those test that the drive WORKS FINE when writing at 6x, but most of DVDs written at 8x had 5-15 errors (distributed everywhere on the media), every DVD written at 12X had around 30-60 errors (distributed all over the place), and a few which I wrote at 16x had several hundred corrupted f*****n bytes all over the media.
MY WEAK CONCLUSIONS:
- The problem seems to lay in the drive, since it exhibits on two PCs with completely different hardware, and with two writing applications.
- The problem SEEMS to be related only to DVD discs, and only when writing at 8x or faster (I wrote a few DVD+RW discs and one DVD-RW disc about 20 times at 4x and no corrupted bytes occured).
The simple solution would be to return the drive to the shop (since I still have the 2-year warranty), but they would give me PX-800A, which I can not accept. That’s like replacing an older Audi A8 for a newer WV Golf.
I insisted on receiving a PX-7xx drive, but they got a reply straight from Plextor saying that they have not PX-7xx drives in stock at all.
So, my plan is to first find out if I can fix this drive somehow (that’s why I am here). If not, I will replace it for PX-800, sell PX-800 immediately and hunt for a good PX-716A on Ebay (but that will be a hassle since it’s a lottery to get a drive which is not worn off and with a newer TLA).
So, PLEASE help me to solve this ugly issue!! I can’t believe that I am experiencing this, it must be a curse! I still have nightmares when I think about dozens and dozens of my written DVDs on the shelves which may or may not have corrupted bytes …
P.S.: I will provide any additional needed info.