I have a friend (really, it's true) with a Sony DRU-500A internal DVDR. I have noticed at his place that blank media takes a long time to burn -- seemingly way too long. So I sat down at his machine and ran some tests.
In trying different combinations of burning software (RecordNow 7 and Nero 6) and media, the results seem consistent -- very slow burns. For example, a 1.1 gigabyte DVD ISO burned in 17 minutes. This is in theory an 8x -R drive and we were using 8x media (media code CMC MAG AE1). But I have used other media in the past and anecdotally noticed how slow the drive is to burn.
Watching the buffer in Nero was interesting. As the ISO burned, the buffer bounced wildly from 100% to 70% to 30% and back up to 100%, continually throughout the burn process. The LED on the front of the burner also would blink on and off regularly throughout the burn. I know that my burner -- albeit a LiteOn 851S -- generally shows a solid light through a burn.
The specs of his machine otherwise are good -- Athlon XP2400, 512MB ram, minimal processes running, Windows 2000 SP4.
I have even swapped the DVDR's location and jumpers on the drive cables -- a master one one channel, a slave on another (I've built many PC's) and still it burns slowly.
I analyzed his 17 minute/1gig burn on my computer with KProbe/LiteOn 851S and the error rates were well within spec and consistent across the disc. The DVD does work, it just took so long to burn.
Any ideas? I'm trying to figure out what variable might be involved that would cause the drive to burn so slowly. Could it just be a lemon? A misaligned laser that causes the drive to keep resyncing throghout the burn? Any software utilities that could perform tests to give us clues? I know that a new drive is fairly cheap these days, but since he paid a lot for this DRU-500A at the time we'd like to figure out the problem if we can.
I suspect the drive has always been like this and he just didn't really know any better until I asked "what the heck is going on".
thanks for any ideas,