Why might a DRU-500A burn really, really slow?

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,

make sure that DMA is enabled… not PIO for the IDE channel controlling the drive… until I did that my DVD burner would only cook @ 2.4 x regardless of the speed setting I selected.

to find the settings in Win2000 to check goto “Device Manager” & expand “IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers” double-click both “Primary & Secondary IDE Channel” and select the “Advanced” tab

thats all I’ve got

Where did you get “in theory an 8x -R drive” from? My DRU-500A is only rated to burn 4x max for + or - R, and 2.4x and 2x for +/-RW even with Sony’s latest firmware (2.1a), no matter what media is used.

Although, 1.1 gig in 17 minutes does sound kind of slow even for 4x.

I use Sony, Verbatim, and some Memorex +R discs that are rated as 1-4x and are Media Code RICOHJPNR01. I do get 4x burns and they work great.

I tried some Fuji Film “up to 8x” +R’s when they were on sale at Best Buy because they were YUDEN000T02 media code, and every one says that TYs are really good. With firmware 2.1a installed on my drive, some would burn successfully at 4x, however many would not and I ended up having my first pile of coasters :frowning: SO it was back to the RICOHJPNR01 for me and all is well again :smiley:


That’ll teach me to post past my bedtime.

The drive is a DRU-530A, which I guess is rated at 8x +R and 4x -R. However, even at a 4x -R rating, 17 minutes for 1.1gigs does indeed seem very slow.

I thought that Nero “knew” the max burn speed when it displays the drop down menu, and it had showed “8x” for this DVD-R media. (BTW, this drive is flashed with the very latest (2.1g?) firmware).

Regardless, whether 8x or 4x, something is going on to cause it to burn soooo slowly. I will double check the PIO/DMA thing as a previous poster suggested but I believe that checked out OK earlier. Never hurts to double check.


My SONY DRU500AX only burned at 2x most times and it was a 4x rated burner lots of other people had this problem also…

Dont just ‘check’ dma, you should fix it regardless.

Uninstall the IDE controller entry in device manager and reboot.

DMA problems are a known issue with XP but I’m not sure about with 2000. Still, it wont hurt things!