Strange issue with my Optiarc AD-7170A

OK, I’ve actually got a problem here that I’m hoping you guys can help me with. I recently RMA’d an NEC 4570A because it would burn what I believed to be bad blocks of data on my DVDr’s. I am using HP 16x DVD+r’s as well as Sony 16x DVD+r’s. I would backup a movie and certain parts of the film would freeze for a few seconds and start up again. Doing a disc quality scan of the media would also freeze in certain parts of the disc. Same on the Sony media. Tried different burning software, ImgBurn, Nero and Alcohol, all burn fine, but all produce the same results. Also tried playing the disc in different standalone DVD players, 2 Phillips, a PSX2 and a GE. Again, same problem. I even formatted my drive because mainly… it was time and wouldn’t take me long to do. That didn’t make a difference either.

I RMA’d it and placed my old trusty NEC 2500A back in my computer. No problems at all with this burner which is what I expected as it has never given me any coasters that weren’t because of my own fault. It continued to burn without any problems and any of the issues presented from the NEC 4570A did not replicate in the NEC 2500A. Alas, I order the Optiarc AD-7170A, receive it, plug it in and backup another movie. Let it burn at its default setting (which is max and generally how I always let it burn on any burner) and it too, burns a DVD+r giving me bits of bad data on the disc. Out of curiosity, I ran an aspichk on my pc and find I’m missing 2 files. I have reinstalled ASPI, but haven’t had a chance to run a burn again. Still, it did burn fine with the 2500A under this Windows install, so I’m not too confident that ASPI was causing this problem.

DMA is enabled
AD-7170 1.O3 RPC1 fw
1GB RAM
WinXP Pro sp2 (Yes, it’s legit)
260GB total of hard drive space (I have tried burning from different partitions)
AMD Athlon 2200+
No viruses or spyware on this computer

I can post more detailed PC specs if needed. I know it’s possibly not one of the best systems in the world, but it has been great for a few years now and should be until I build a new one.

The media specs are as follows. HP’s are:

Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD+R:CMC MAG-M01-000]

Disc & Book Type : [DVD+R] - [DVD-ROM]
Manufacturer Name : [CMC Magnetics Corp.]
Manufacturer ID : [CMC MAG]
Media Type ID : [M01]
Product Revision : [Not Specified]
Blank Disc Capacity : [2,295,104 Sectors = 4.70 GB (4.38 GiB)]
Recording Speeds : [1x-2.4x , 4x , 6x-8x , 6x-16x]

** INFO : Drive = Optiarc DVD RW AD-7170A - [FW 1.O3] - [ATAPI]
** INFO : Write Capabilities = DVD+R DVD+R-DL DVD+RW
** INFO : Write Capabilities = DVD-R DVD-R-DL DVD-RW DVD-RAM
** INFO : Disc = [DVD+R:CMC MAG-M01-000]
** INFO : Reference Speed : 1x DVD = 1385 kBps
** INFO : An Writeable Disc Is Recommended For Accurate Results
** INFO : Write Speeds (Supported By This Drive On This Disc) Listed Below

** INFO : GET PERFORMANCE Write Speed Descriptor(s)
Descriptor #1 = 24930 kBps (18.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #2 = 22160 kBps (16.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #3 = 16620 kBps (12.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #4 = 11080 kBps ( 8.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #5 = 8310 kBps ( 6.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #6 = 5540 kBps ( 4.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]

** INFO : MODE SENSE Write Speed Descriptor(s) [Legacy Command]
** WARNING : MODE SENSE Is Obsolete And Not Always Properly Supported
Descriptor #1 = 8467 kBps ( 6.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #2 = 7056 kBps ( 5.09x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #3 = 5645 kBps ( 4.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #4 = 4234 kBps ( 3.06x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #5 = 2822 kBps ( 2.04x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #6 = 1411 kBps ( 1.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]

[ DVD Identifier V5.0.0 - http://DVD.Identifier.CDfreaks.com ]

The Sonys are:

Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD+R:SONY-D21-000]

Disc & Book Type : [DVD+R] - [DVD+R]
Manufacturer Name : [Sony Recording Media Co.]
Manufacturer ID : [SONY]
Media Type ID : [D21]
Product Revision : [Not Specified]
Blank Disc Capacity : [2,295,104 Sectors = 4.70 GB (4.38 GiB)]
Recording Speeds : [1x-2.4x , 4x , 6x-8x , 6x-16x]

** INFO : Drive = Optiarc DVD RW AD-7170A - [FW 1.O3] - [ATAPI]
** INFO : Write Capabilities = DVD+R DVD+R-DL DVD+RW
** INFO : Write Capabilities = DVD-R DVD-R-DL DVD-RW DVD-RAM
** INFO : Disc = [DVD+R:SONY-D21-000]
** INFO : Reference Speed : 1x DVD = 1385 kBps
** INFO : An Writeable Disc Is Recommended For Accurate Results
** INFO : Write Speeds (Supported By This Drive On This Disc) Listed Below

** INFO : GET PERFORMANCE Write Speed Descriptor(s)
Descriptor #1 = 24930 kBps (18.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #2 = 22160 kBps (16.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #3 = 16620 kBps (12.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #4 = 11080 kBps ( 8.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #5 = 8310 kBps ( 6.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #6 = 5540 kBps ( 4.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]

** INFO : MODE SENSE Write Speed Descriptor(s) [Legacy Command]
** WARNING : MODE SENSE Is Obsolete And Not Always Properly Supported
Descriptor #1 = 8467 kBps ( 6.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #2 = 7056 kBps ( 5.09x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #3 = 5645 kBps ( 4.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #4 = 4234 kBps ( 3.06x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #5 = 2822 kBps ( 2.04x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #6 = 1411 kBps ( 1.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]

[ DVD Identifier V5.0.0 - http://DVD.Identifier.CDfreaks.com ]

I only have the 7170A in this computer and I’ve read that NEC’s are horrible in reading their own disc so posting a disc quality scan wouldn’t be that benficial. However , when I did do it on my last and only movie burn on the 7170A burner, it gave me a quality scan of 30% - :o It would be embarassing to post it.

Now before I go through a couple of cakes trying to pinpoint this down even further, surely there’s someone out there that might have experienced this or might know what’s causing the problem. I’d appreciate any feedback.

No surprise that it has a hard time to read that back.

I would still want to see it.
Usually the spiking issue would still leave the QS at 70%+.

Yo-

Did you clear the secondary channel drivers in control panels device manager and let xp reinstall them?

The two types of disc that you are using would probably do a better burn at 8x IMO-eh!

You’ve got a good point. I’ll do a restore on that image file and try it again.

I never did clear the channels, Mike. :eek: Never really crossed my mind to be honest. I will do that as well.
I will test burning these @ 8x and see how they perform especially since the 2500A max was 8x… there should be something to that. I didn’t buy this one for speed anyways since 2 - 3 minutes doesn’t really matter to me.

Btw, is there anywhere (or a program) that will tell me what media will be best for use on this burner?

OK. I cleared the secondary channel drivers in device manager and let XP reinstall. That was fun as it would only let me reinstall the drivers after uninstalling Alcohol and Daemon-Tools.

For the Secondary IDE Channel, the Transfer Mode is set to DMA if Available on both devices, but the Current Transfer Mode for Device 0 is Ultra DMA Mode 4 and Device 1 is Ultra DMA Mode 5

Doh! When referring to Ultra DMA Mode 4, it’s referring to the Optiarc 7170A. That makes sense… should they both be set in the same mode?

I found this list of compatible media for this burner located here
Surely I’m not reading it correctly. According to the list, this media shouldn’t be presenting any problems. Course, I’m not thoroughly convinced it’s a media problem. Still, I will try a burn at 8x and see how it performs.

43 4d 43 20 4d 41 47 00 4d 30 31 00 01 -> [CMC MAG M01 ] 4.0 6.0 8.0 12.0 16.0
53 4f 4e 59 00 00 00 00 44 32 31 00 01 -> [SONY D21 ] 4.0 6.0 8.0 12.0 16.0 18.0

After clearing the secondary channels in device manager and reinstalling, I really do think that this issue just might be closer to being resolved than I thought. I haven’t reinstalled Alcohol and Daemon-Tools again tho.
Sorry kg_evilboy, I couldn’t replicate the previous DQ bad scan.
Here’s some scans I created just now:

The third one is a scan of a movie called Down In The Valley, which earlier didn’t scan this well at all. These all scanned very well, imo.

The Sony’s were a little worse, I think.

My biggest question is what could possibly have been the issue that caused me so many headaches to begin with? You guys have anymore advice for me?

The issue could be multitasking as the buffer fluctuates wildly, but it seems that your Sony media is a bad batch as the outside is very bad.

Funny you say multitasking, kg_evilboy since I’ve been a huge stickler for years about not letting anything else run while I’m burning. Not just visible apps, but processes as well. I generally know exactly what’s running in the background when Windows is up and running. You’re right tho, the buffer is all over the place on the Sony.

Any other reason why I would still get freezes while playing the disc on a standalone? I mean, the DQ comes back looking pretty good, but the disc still has a couple or so freeze points where it’ll stop for a few seconds and continue on. Burn the disc slower or something? What I don’t get is that I could burn the same movie in the 2500A and it would never give me any freeze spots, but these (4570A and 7170A) do. The only real difference I see is that the 2500A burns at half the speed of the other two. There’s got to be something else going on.

Just out of curiosity I did a DQ on the same movie twice. The 1st scan you’ll see above called Down in The Valley. It gave me a quality score of 91 the first time around and a 79 this time around. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

2nd DQ test:

3rd DQ test:

Progressively worse?

4th DQ test:

4th test was not a charm. Sigh…

Also when I did a scandisk on a known bad DVD burn (freezes several times and DQ test was real low), the scandisk came back fine without any errors at all. This should tell me that the problem is not my discs but my standalone player, but the results for the DQ were real low so this discrepancy on the tests is throwing me off a bit. Is it normal to have such fluctuation?

What’s the best speed to test DQ? Which is a better test to rely on, Disc Quality or ScanDisk?

Best speed is 5x (or 12x), about the rely part, i’ll go for a Transfer Rate Test(or a liteon dvd-rw).

Thanks, vroom.
Surely someone knows why when scanning DQ on the same DVD/movie a person will keep getting different scores?