Hi everyone -
I've spent some time looking around at all the helpful tips, and trying to find someone else with a similar problem, but no luck. The other forums had too much stuff I couldn't understand, so I thought I'd better start off as a Newbie.
I have an old HP, Pentium III, with only 256 MB of RAM, running Win2k, don't know if that's relevant. DMA is enabled.
I got this NEC ND-3550A two months ago. Burned a CD at top speed right away, no problem, but was never able to do that again. I've had to keep cutting the speed down over the last two months until, at the last point that I could burn a CD, I was down to 1x. But I could still burn them until a couple of days ago.
I didn't expect much from the Legacy brand blank DVDs I got with the burner, but they didn't do too badly. Data DVDs always had cyclic redundancy errors, according to CDCheck, on about the last 30% of the data burned onto them, so I stopped trying to use DVDs for data and started just backing up my movies. Got a few coasters, got a few good ones, but most of what I burned came out with a couple of bad spots during playback. So I got a stack of Verbatim DVD-R 8x because I'd heard they were the best.
Well, now the burner doesn't work at all! It would not recognize the Verbatim discs at any point. Alcohol 120% and CDBurnerXP Pro 3 both said, respectively, "no disc" and "disc is not empty" on each of about 15 blank Verbatims that I tried. (I've had both applications installed for a while now and never had any problems before this. Alcohol seems to do a better job burning ISOs.)
Thinking it was a bad batch, I went out and got some TDK DVD-R 8x, burned one DVD flawlessly, then I got a "No Seek Complete" error, then it started telling me "no disc" again. It was at that point that I tried to burn a CD to see if I still could. Same problem - "no disc" or "disc full". These were TDK CD-R.
THEN I got some canned air, took the burner out, removed the cover (it's past warranty anyway), and sprayed it with compressed air. I couldn't see anything that looked like a lens, so I didn't touch it (and anyway, half the people tell you it's okay to clean the lens with a brush or a Q-tip, and the other half say you should NEVER EVER touch the lens EVER). Put everything back together.
After that, I put in an ultra-cheap DVD (nexxtech 8x) to see what would happen. It started to burn, got about 15% in, then the drive started making horrible screeching noises, then I got a "No Seek Complete" error and the burn failed. And we're back to "no disc" no matter what brand I use.
Fortunately the drive still reads discs (for now!), but it's always been very noisy.
What's happened? Is it garbage? How could it only last 2 months? Everyone raves about this thing. I wish I'd returned it when I first had to start cutting down the writing speed! I'll know better in the future!
Any suggestions are welcome, I've done everything I could think of and I'm desperate! Thanks for reading this far -