I bought a new Samsung burner: Model SH-222AL/BSBE, from newegg. I put in a music CD (standard commercially pressed CD), and it played (in Windows Media Player) with lots of distortion and noise, as if badly damaged. The same happened with about half the CDs I tried; all of them played fine in another (IDE) drive on the same computer, an audio player, and a laptop. I measured the transfer rate on one audio CD at 1-2x on this drive, and 10-20x on the IDE drive. I measured the transfer rate for one data CD at 7-8x on this drive and 16-20x on the other drive. Note: the other drive is very old, probably rated at 20x for CD reads. I did not find clear problems reading DVD media. I did not test writes, because I didn't want to waste media. I tried a different SATA cable and a different SATA port, with the same results.
So I RMA'd the drive. The replacement behaves exactly the same (on the same half of my CDs). I did a little more investigation. If I ripped one of the problem CDs with Windows Media Player, it would rip very slowly, but the ripped file would play without the noise.
Does this make any technical sense??? Samsung tech support was no help. They suggested checking for a firmware update (my firmware is newer than what's on their site). Otherwise I can RMA it to them, but the rep suggested ZRMAing to newegg instead. No interest in diagnosing any technical problem.
Newegg issued another RMA for a refund, with return shipping paid. So Ican return it and just be out the cost of the first return shipping.
Any suggestions for determining/fixing the problem? Any suggestions for a better drive to get? I don't need anything fancy - just reliable playing, reading, and writing.
It's a Windows 7 system, Gigabyte GA-880GA-UD3H motherboard, Athlon II X4 640 CPU.