I'm having recent problems with my SOHW-812S. It's hard to tell if it is firmware (US0S actually worse than US0N), or media or age of writer (it has burned about 100 CD-Rs and about 100 DVD 8x +R), or a combination of all three.
I've posted the results of 4 KProbe scans to 'Changing DVDÂ±R write strategies (results thread)' but really do need some comments hence this post.
The first DVD burned at 8x on Verbatim 8x +R MCC003 with firmware US0N downloaded from Lite-On. Post #258 in the above thread. (Burned in June 2004 but ran KProbe on it earlier this month after the firmware change hence the scan says US0S.)
In July 2004 I decided to patch the US0N with the 'force fallback' for 8x +R and the result on the same media was better. See post #259. This is typical of the results of about 100 burns on the same media until last month when my stock of Verbatim 8x +R ran out.
I could not find any more in Bangkok so I decided to update the firmware and try some different brands of 8x +R.
I changed the firmware to US0S Patched with the 'force fallback' option and
burned one disc at 8x on a 8x +R Mitsubishi. See post #260. I was shocked at the poor quality. Maybe the one Mitsubishi was a bad disc. I expected it to be almost identical to all the Verbatims, both being MCC003.
I then decided to try the stock US0S but didn't have another Mitsubishi disc
so I wrote the same data at 8x on a 8x +R HP one instead. See post #261. The result is better than the previous one but not as good as that of about 100 discs burned on Verbatim 8x +R MCC003 with patched US0N. It seems to me that US0N is better than US0S or is it impossible to say because of the different media? I now don't know which firmware, patched or unpatched to use.
I'll go back to the 8x +R Verbatim if they come back in stock but if they don't I don't know what to do. I can't afford a new writer yet nor can I afford to buy dozens of discs for test purposes. I've already wasted the Mitsubishi and a 8x Sony +R that went way off the scale with KProbe.
A radical alternative would be to crosspatch the unit to 832S and use VS0M or even CG5J.