Sony DRU-840A/DRU-840U: Scans and Discussion

Sony’s latest retail half height [desktop] drive released for Summer/Fall 2007, the DRU-840A, is a 20x drive capable of all major DVD and CD formats. Its specifications include:

Write Speeds
20x DVD±R
12x DVD±R DL
48x CD-R
32x CD-RW

Read Speeds
CD-ROM 48x

The retail box includes: the drive itself [DRU-840A], Sony Software Disc [Rev. 7.90W], a Quick Start Guide, Front Panel Replacement Guide & Front Panel Replacement Kit [including a black bezel], 4 screws, a Product Information packet, and Warranty/Registration Cards.

The drive is based on the recently-released Samsung SH-S202 PATA drive. This drive was made in Indonesia in July 2007, and has firmware SS00 [very close to the stock Samsung SB00 firmware nomenclature].

The black bezel for the drive is very reminiscant of that of Optiarc drives. The beige/silver bezel is of typical Sony styling. Both feature the Sony logo dead center, with the Compact Disc logo to the left and DVD Multi Recorder and RW–DVD+ReWritable logos to the right. The rest is empty.

No pics? Scans please. Maybe the Sony f/w (SS00) is better than SB00?

Most people are looking for SATA drives these days.

1st burn:

Sony 8x DVD+R
YUDEN000 T02
written at 12x CAV [max speed] using stock SS00 firmware
Slow and steady wins the race…first 98 QS in my Sammy ever [note: this drive at 8x is comparable to my Liteys at 4x].

Also included are pictures of the two bezels.

2nd burn:

Sony 16x DVD+R
SONYD21 Made In Japan
written at 16x [max speed] with stock SS00

TRT on the 840A included. Another scan of the disc in my BenQ and my Lite-On will be done later.

3rd burn

Verbatim 16x DVD-R
MCC 03RG20 made in Taiwan by Prodisc
Written at 18x [max speed]

PIE & PIF better than 18x in SH-S182M, worse than in LH-20A1H.

4th burn

Sony 16x DVD-R
SONY16D1 made in Japan
Written at 18x [max speed]

Better-than-typical PIE [compared to LiteOn LH-20A1H]; normal PIF in same comparison. But still a good burn.

5th burn

TDK 16x Color DVD+R
Written at 18x [max supported]

Cruddy quality, but my M01 weren’t up to snuff by a long shot. Accidentally did some multi-tasking, too.

No TRT this time, folks. I might do one later in the BenQ or pull out my 1693S to do it.

6th burn and last burn for the night.

Sony 4x DVD+R
RICOHJPN R01 made in Taiwan
Written at 8x [drive only offered 2x]

After the initial points, and after the speed change, things came out quite nicely.

Scans are the same, just different zoom levels.

First impressions:

Never do 18x on CMC media in this drive
Never do Sony D21 made in Japan in this drive
Reading ability is great
Overspeeding and WOPC is very good.
Drive is slow at lower speeds, as is the case for these Samsungs.
Faster burns are darned fast [almost LG-like].
The drive is quiet.
Scanning seems to be implemented, although broken. I couldn’t do a quick scan, and I had to eject the disc for the drive to unlock. It caused CD-DVD speed to crash after displaying a few PIE.

7th burn

TDK 16x Color DVD-R
TTH02 Made In Taiwan
Written at 16x [max]

A very respectable output.

8th burn

Verbatim 8x Digital Movie DVD+R
MCC 003 Made in Taiwan by Prodisc
Written at 12x [max speed]

This really surprised me. I don’t know what happened with the last 2 recalibrations…

9th burn

TDK 8x Video [For Everyday Recording] DVD-R
TTG02 Made in Taiwan
Written at 8x [max speed]

Another respectable result.

10th burn

HP 16x LightScribe DVD-R
Written at 16x [18x selected]

Nice burn. Glad the drive dropped to 16x.

11th burn

Memorex 16x DVD+R
Written at 18x

Fastest lead-in [just under 22 seconds] for any burn I’ve ever seen! Faster than 20x burns on my Litey.

Disc had a dye defect towards the inner part of the disc, so I can’t say whther the issues later in the disc could be related or not.

SONY16D1 Made in Taiwan with pressing issues couldn’t hold on. The burn was attempted at 8x, it fell back to 6x when the drive first ran into focusing issues, and threw out an NO ADDITIONAL SENSE INFORMATION in the end. [I don’t blame it.]

Sony 48x CD-R with Sony ATIP burns at 40x [better than the 32x I get with other drives]. Scans will come of that later.

Memorex 40x music CD-R with CMC ATIP could be recognized, but the drive only offered 0x [yes, zero zpeed]. Clicking the start button resulted in the drive trying to burn, but continuously stroking back and forth across the surface of the CD until I reset the drive [put my computer on standby, then woke it up], until which you could hear as the OPU hit the innermost position and made its little “beep” every 5-10 seconds or so. Subsequent tries resulted in the same.


14th burn

Verbatim 8x DVD+R DL[up to 10x]
MKM003 Made in Singapore
Written at 10x Z-CLV using IMGBurn [just over 13 minutes for lead-in, finalizing, et. all][max speed]

This burn is better than some of my single layer burns…So sad.

Impressions after a day of ownership:

[li]The drive is super quiet at any speed with bad or good discs.[/li][li]The pickup assembly makes a little more noise in comparison with most of my other drives. It is just a bit faster to open and close the tray than my SH-S182M.[/li][li]SS00 is either very good or very bad with your discs. This might change with a little bit of use and firmware updates.[/li][li]This is the first drive that has literally rejected any of my CD-R discs. The SH-S182M offered 48x on the very same discs.[/li][li]Most discs came out of the drive fairly cool. They were around the same temp as my LH-20A1H would do at 18x, but 16x and lower were cooler. The SH-S182M makes discs that are a little warmer.[/li][li]The drive makes high PIE, but low PIF. Very much in line with the 182M.[/li][li]The drive’s scanning abilities are equal to that of the 182M I used to scan.[/li][li]Lead-In is super fast on even the worst quality discs. Lead out is fast, too, but depending on the circumstances, the drive may spin down and spin back up before being officially finished. But half the time I wasn’t expecting it to finalize so quickly.[/li][li]Using media that the drive has no strategy for would be a major no-no, based on my CD-R experience.[/li][li]Disc recognition time has decreased a bit in comparison with the 18x drives.[/li][/ul]I haven’t had the time to test any other reading situations [DAE, DL rips, etc] with this firmware. I am not sure if it limits reading/writing to 40x on CD-R by default, requring you to press and hold the eject button for 5 seconds for faster speeds. I also haven’t tested DVD±RW/CD-RW, nor have I tested DVD-RAM. No DVD-R DL available.

Return to Bad Burns [based on scans]

This is the MCC 003 from above, scanned & TRT’d on my DW1640. This is the first time that my Sammy has given results inconsistent with all my other drives.

RtBS number 2:

This is the same RICOHJPN R03 as above on my BenQ. I don’t know why my Sammy spit out such error reporting as it did. But this scan is much better.

I’m amazed that the disc–with visible dye issues–burned this well. I had some Prodisc media that burned only so well because of a similar situation.

RtBS # 3

The same SONYD21 as above. I just don’t believe it…

I see no reason for my Sammy to have done so poorly. The jitter is okay at that part of the disc, so…:confused::confused::confused:

Yet another re-scan…

Same CMC MAG M01 as above.

No comment, other than I just scanned after the 2000 MB mark.

Never have I see such an issue with a drive…I guess I overworked my Sammy for scanning or something.