Wow. Quite a few excellent suggestions guys.
Well, I changed the positions of the drive, moving it to one of the lower bays as well as removing the ‘extra’ screws I installed. I did two more burns with my crappy (I knew those TDK 8X +Rs for $19.99 at CompUSA were too good to be true. Turns out they were rebagged CMC E01’s. So much for ever buying TDK again) media.
And the result is…well, inconclusive. I doubt my minor attempts really helped matters much, but the burn I did with the TDK was 94% (Sorry I can’t post actual Nero graphs, my burner is on my other comp.) quality which isn’t as bad as it sounds. There was only one PIE spike of 14 which brought it that low. The PIE and PIF count was actually way lower than my previous ‘usual’ 97% quality burns. The trailing upwards ridge of PIEs did seem somewhat larger than before however which still leaves me doubting.
I neglected to mention that I was running a modified write strategy as well. I was using CMC M01, but I still only burned it at 8X which is what the media is rated for.
Yes, I’m using a 40-pin connector. I hope I didn’t damage it in the transfer. I was thinking about switching out the hard drive cable for the one I use with my cdrom drives, but didn’t want to put an iffy cable (If it is that) on my HD. You may be right on the mobo not being grounded properly, or maybe its just I need to shift the soundcard into another slot, but my sound has been crackling very slightly occasionally, which I didn’t notice before.
I should have thought of that one Spartane, removing the drive from the case and trying a burn that way. I haven’t had my BenQ for that long and I guess I’m a bit squeamish about bumping it too much or (heaven forbid!) dropping it!
Dreamliner, the airflow seems to be okay. It doesn’t seem warmer or cooler than my previous case, although, this case does have a somewhat narrower profile. Hmmm…I may have to check on that further. Good suggestion. Thx!
Right now, I guess I’m gonna wait for the next couple of burns to see how things are. Seeing as how CMC media is very variable (At least so I’ve read here…this is my first time using any, so I have no first-hand experience with it) I don’t want to make too many changes which might make things worse. I remember the first media I bought for my BenQ was some crappy Memorex DVD-Rs which didn’t burn at all leading me to think something was wrong with my drive. But replacing them with Sony DVD+Rs yielded great burns without a single coaster or problem.
Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I wish I had more time to troubleshoot this more, but I needed the machine for other stuff and didn’t have time I wanted to take it apart again. Will post another follow up after a few more burns into this batch.