Firstly, as my post count suggests, I should probably warn you I am a bit of a noob.
I have had an SOHW-832S for almost a year now. I bought it to back up all my CDs, so in the first 3 months it got a lot of use (well, ~25 discs, probably not a lot to some of you!).
The discs were DataSafe RITEKG04, and I had absolutely no problems with them. Yesterday I ran KProbe on one and the scores were very good - well below the 280/32 PI/PO levels I've seen in other threads.
I don't know when this happened, but recently I've seen a complete turnaround. I had three different spindles - Datasafe G04, Ridisc G04, and some printable G05 (all from SVP). I was getting coasters 90% of the time. All discs discussed are DVD- - I have seen on this forum that the Lite-On perfers + so I may have to rethink my strategy. I say "had" as I've now sold all my RITEK to a NEC owner for half price.
I tried the EEPROM utility, as I thought the writing strategy for G04/5 might be all screwed, but no joy. I've flashed to codeguys' CG5G, back to VS0A - no joy.
I thought my burner was just dead (I guess it may still be) but then I pinched a Maxell (RITEK G04) from work and it worked fine (Eh?! another G04!). I bought a 5 pack from PC World and 2 more worked fine. I pinched a Verbatim (MCC) and that worked fine.
I recently bought some Datawrite Titanium printable (MCC03) and DataSafe printable (CMC MAG AE1) ( I just wanted to test other manufacturers - I also got a five pack of the Verbatim pastel TYs but have not yet tested). I have only tested one disc from each (MCC/CMC) so far but both worked. KProbe results for CMC were bad. I need to rerun the MCC one as my wife started surfing while in action - but the results were around the 280 PI - maybe a little more (a little dissapointing). NB: The Verbatim scored 20/4 - I may try to get some more of those! Phew!
So, after my rambling, my question is: why the Hell was my drive OK (superb KProbe score) with RITEK G04 - and then suddenly it thinks they are scum? Surely not all three batches can be bad (that would be bad luck surely?)?
My basic plan is to try to just go with MCC/Verbatim/TY (in ascending order) from now on (now backed up by the surprising dislike to RITEK in this forum) - but I'm still so confused about this change - and a little concerned that my drive may learn to loathe MC and CMC also.
FYI: Verbatim (x8 DVD-R) KProbe results:
Date : 14/07/2005 07:39:19
Model : 1-0-1-0 LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-832S CG5G
Disc : DVD-R , MCC 01 [Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation]
Speed : 4x
ECC blocks sum (PI/PIF) : 8/1
Scanned range : 0 - 2258370
Sampling count : 129129
Errors : 0
PI Max : 20
PI Average : 4.27
PI Total : 70752
PIF Max : 4
PIF Average : 0.09
PIF Total : 1459
Edit: I see code65536 suggests EEPROM to wipe learning here. At least I now feel in good company