Read errors on my PX-712A

A couple of days ago I tried ripping a DVD to my hard drive and it kept getting a read error when it was 99% complete. I tried ripping it over and over again, and it kept doing the same thing, but what’s interesting is that it wasn’t at the exact same spot, just close to it, and it would progressively slow down reading the disc until it came to a stop and didn’t read anymore. I ripped the disc with no trouble at all using the DVD drive in my laptop, so it’s not the disc.

If anyone is wondering, I used DVD Decrypter to rip the DVD, but I have reason to believe that is not the problem because I’ve also tried playing the movie (which freezes near the end of the movie) and just a straight copy and paste (which also gets an error near the end of the last file–it’s not a protected DVD, so I can do a copy and paste). Has anyone had this problem before? Or does anyone know how to solve it? Help would very much be appreciated.

Lucky me; I have exactly two weeks left of my warranty on the drive, so if it is in fact the drive that’s causing problems I can get it replaced.

I doubt your drive is the problem because then it would fail randomly and not always at the same spot on the disc. Just because your other drive can read the disc this doesn’t mean that the disc is fine. Some optical drives are just better at reading damaged discs than others. Your Plextor, does it also fail with other discs? And also, in DVD Decrypter, does it mention any read errors near the end of the disc? Slowdowns are a sure sign of the drive having difficulty reading the disc.

Welcome the forums :wink:

You could try using the freeware program DVDisaster to read your disc. This program allows you to read a disc in as many attempts as you like and in different drives if possible, to build a complete image of the damaged disc.

The program can also be used for creating Error Correcting Codes, but that’s not relevant in your case.

EDIT: After re-reading the original post I realized that you already managed to read the disc in another drive. But for future reference my suggestion to use DVDisaster still stands.

Different drives differ in their reading capabilities. If one drive can read a disc, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the disc is perfectly ok.

Sorry, I wasn’t all that clear the first time and I left a couple of things out.

The most important thing I left out is that it’s not just this one disc that I have a problem with, but any dual layer DVD. Every disc I try to read all the way through either slows down to ridiculously slow speeds before the end (DVD Decrypter rounds it down to 0.0x), but still eventually finishes, or just plain stops somewhere.

Also, the first disc I was talking about doesn’t have a problem with any one particular bit on the DVD. It always stops near the end, but it’s always at a different spot on the last file (i.e. it’s completed a different amount of the last file each time it does this, and I’ve written down the numbers and they are different each time). I’ve let it go on for 25 or so retries of the same bit with no results, but when I restart the rip process it gets through that point and gets stuck somewhere else (the times that it stops after that point, anyway).

My guess at this point, seeing as I could read all of these discs before in this drive, is that the laser on my drive is dying. Could that be it? I’m thinking that it’s most difficult for a drive to read the outer edge of the second layer on a disc, and a weakening laser just can’t do it all the time. The ones it can’t actually get through at this point are the worse DVDs, and it takes a DVD in very good condition to work. Does that one hold, or am I just confused? That’s all I can think of at this point.

I don’t think the “weakening laser” is the source of your problems. A laser works or it doesn’t, and in this case, read errors should appear randomly and not always occur at the end of a disc. But, it’s a strange problem you’re describing. Could you perform a PI/PO test on a disc that fails? This will show you how many errors the drive is picking up during reading. Of course, once the test is complete be sure to upload the image to this thread so we can have a look.

That’s not true. I’ve seen my old 716A dying slowly, and it at least seemed that the laser got weaker and weaker, because burns became worse, and it had more and more difficulties with reading and even recognizing discs. I don’t know if really the laser is the reason for such behaviour, but the point is that reading and writing became worse gradually.

Hmm maybe you have a point there but I still don’t see how a “weak laser” would explain that read errors only occur when reading the outer edge of the disc. Maybe someone with some more technical insights can shed some light on this? alexnoe? :wink:

I can only make a guess… usually, disc quality becomes worse near the outer edge, and therefore read problems usually occur there. But it should be approximately the same place on the disc every time.

First of all, thank you guys for helping me out with this.

How do I perform a PI/PO test? Is there some software I need? Also, in the chance that the laser is the problem here, should I contact Plextor and see if they will give me a replacement? If I do get a replacement of the same drive, that should solve that question (though I don’t think they make the 712A anymore, and they’re phasing out the 712SA too…maybe I should ask for a replacement either way, since I’ll probably get an upgrade). In the meantime, I’ve tried some of the non-working discs in 5 or 6 other DVD drives, and every other drive has been able to read it, so if it is in fact a combination of a dying drive and a dying disc, the drive seems to be the one that’s worst off.

If you ask me, try to get a replacement.

Before getting a replacement Plextor will ask you to perform the self-test of the drive. For info on how to perform this test please see the FAQ thread.

How do I perform a PI/PO test?
In PlexTools Pro or XL -> Q-Check functions. If you don’t have PlexTools you can use alexnoe’s freeware PxScan/PxView software. You can use Google and our Forum for more info on this application.

I may be way off on this, but arn’t the read and write lasers two separate lasers not one? Thus having both lasers get “weaker” at the same time is, well, nearly impossible.

…unless a hair lands on the laser sled.


I don’t think that, although I have to admit that I don’t know. :wink:

Well, I got an RMA from Plextor, so we’ll see if the replacement drive fixes the problem or not…