Yet another knackered drive?

vbimport

#1

I don’t seem to have much luck with DVD writers. I’m lucky if they last a year. Well, in fact I’m lucky if they last just under a year, 'cos then I can get them replaced under warranty :slight_smile:

This LH-20A1S that I got at the end of June 2007 has been working fine up till today when I attempted to burn a few discs and noticed that it was struggling during the burn and when it was verifying, it was constantly slowing down.

I tried to do a TRT test on them and it does the same thing, constantly dropping down in speed and then spinning up again. Although as you can see, it didn’t get very far. After testing a few discs, including ones which I’d burnt and tested succesfully some time ago, I realised it seemed to only happen with +R so I burnt, verified and tested a -R which went fine!

Any ideas before I replace it?


#2

You might try latest firmware from http://www.liteonit.com/global/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=75 to see if it helps.


#3

Check DMA.


#4

bevills1, Your suggestion to try the latest firmware didn’t seem very logical, but it did cause me to consider that perhaps the firmware had somehow got corrupted, so I reflashed the current one (9L08) and at the moment, everything’s working :slight_smile:

Even the discs that were burnt yesterday and wouldn’t scan are working now, which is nice.

It might just be coincidence and maybe the drive was overheated, although I don’t see why that would only affect +R, so hopefully it’s fixed now.

As for the DMA suggestion pfloyd1, thanks but I had already checked that all my devices were on UDMA-5. Surely that wouldn’t affect only +R anyway?


#5

Hi :slight_smile:
I often wonder if Lite-On’s SmartBurn isn’t so smart.
This might help understand how/why re-flashing the same f/w, could be of some help.
Personally I don’t bother with any of Lite-On’s utilities.
Apart from disable SmartBurn & Clear the OPC history.
I check this before ever using my Lite-On’s for burning. :bigsmile:


#6

[QUOTE=zebadee;2073263]Hi :slight_smile:
I often wonder if Lite-On’s SmartBurn isn’t so smart.
This might help understand how/why re-flashing the same f/w, could be of some help.
Personally I don’t bother with any of Lite-On’s utilities.
Apart from disable SmartBurn & Clear the OPC history.
I check this before ever using my Lite-On’s for burning. :bigsmile:[/QUOTE]

I totally agree not everytime I fool with the clear hyper tuning & learned media or I somehow fool with the EEprom my drive isn’t at it’s 100% but If I reflash original EEprom & firmware I get excellent burning & scanning And if I fool with the firmware/eeprom eventually I get problems again but as long as I flash original-stock eeprom and don’t mess with it at all except bitsetting my drive will stay at 100% reliability for a long time. I haven’t had any problem with bad burns-scans in 8 mos since I stopped fiddling with the eeprom. :iagree:


#7

Newer firmware often increase media compatibility and might have fixed the problem if there were media compatibility issues. Anyway I’m glad you got it working.

BTW my LiteOn SHM-165P6S gets best SL burns with SmartBurn disabled which isn’t surprising since SmartBurn is designed for DL burns. OP might consider disabling SmartBurn for SL burns if it’s not already disabled.


#8

[quote=bevills1;2073429]Newer firmware often increase media compatibility and might have fixed the problem if there were media compatibility issues. Anyway I’m glad you got it working.

BTW my LiteOn SHM-165P6S gets best SL burns with SmartBurn disabled which isn’t surprising since SmartBurn is designed for DL burns. OP might consider disabling SmartBurn for SL burns if it’s not already disabled.[/quote]

Hi :slight_smile:
Not wishing to offend, but Lite-On might be as surprised as I was with the above.

Mind you Lite-On does have far too many SmartJargon utilities. Unfortunetly they don’t work in quite the way thay should. You’d have thought they could’ve found a way to use SolidBurn by now!


#9

I thought I’d read some where the SmartBurn utilities were for DL media, but maybe I was mistaken. In any event I get best SL burns with SmartBurn diissbled what ever the reason. Perhaps it’s because these utilities don’t work in quite the way thay should.


#10

Hi :slight_smile:
It is possible that some-one else has posted that.
Somewhere along in the dim past.
When BenQ where at their height with SoildBurn (which didn’t apply to DL or RW media).
It is possible some Lite-On fan misconstrued what Lite-On utilities did. :bigsmile:
So as to appear to have one over on BenQ.


#11

[QUOTE=bevills1;2073429]Newer firmware often increase media compatibility and might have fixed the problem if there were media compatibility issues. Anyway I’m glad you got it working.

BTW my LiteOn SHM-165P6S gets best SL burns with SmartBurn disabled which isn’t surprising since SmartBurn is designed for DL burns. OP might consider disabling SmartBurn for SL burns if it’s not already disabled.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, it might have been an idea if there were any doubts about the media but I pretty much exclusively use Verbatim MCC004 which had been working fine previously so I was pretty sure it wasn’t that. Thanks anyway.

I normally burn with SB, OHT and FHT on and I’m pretty happy with the results. I’m sure I’ve tried turning them all off before at someone’s suggestion but found it resulted in worse burns.

In fact, the first disc I burnt after reflashing the firmware was with only SB enabled and it went rather badly, as the attached TRT shows. I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty because the burn went funny towards the end.

I’ll try again sometime with everything disabled though and see how the results compare to my normal practice.



#12

Hi :slight_smile:
doveman,
Try just clearing OPC history first.


#13

[QUOTE=zebadee;2073658]Hi :slight_smile:
doveman,
Try just clearing OPC history first.[/QUOTE]

Hi :slight_smile:

That was actually the first thing I did after reflashing the firmware as I wasn’t sure whether doing that cleared it or not. That dodgy scan was the first disc I burnt after that! All the burns since have been fine.

It’s strange because the discs that were burnt when the drive was acting up seem fine now and scan as good as any others I’ve burnt, so the burn worked* but I couldn’t scan them. I would have thought the OPC history only affects the burn process, not scanning, so I’m guessing a part of the firmware relating to reading/scanning somehow got corrupted as well.

*in that the discs turned out OK, despite the burn process being very disconcerting!


#14

Well, it seems that the drive only had a temporary reprieve and has decided it’s had enough now, a week after the warranty expired :a

The first disc was burnt on 27 June and had much higher PIEs than I’d expect but seemed passable.

The second disc was burnt on 29 June and looks fine although I scanned it again today and it looks rather worse (fifth picture). I guess that might just be due to dust, although it’s been sitting in a protective sleeve since I burnt it.

The third disc was burnt on 29 June straight after the second disc and is clearly a dud.

The fourth disc was burnt today and looked passable until it got stuck at 95%. The drive didn’t spin down, it just stayed there for about 5 minutes before I stopped it myself. When Nero was verifying this disc, it did slow down to about 5x at 61%.

I then reflashed the drive with the 9L08 firmware (as this had fixed the problem before). I’ll continue with the results in the next post.







#15

OK, so I reflashed the drive with the 9L08 firmware and burnt a couple more discs. I normally burn with Smartburn, OHT and FHT enabled but I thought I’d try with them off.

The first disc was burnt with OHT and FHT disabled but Smartburn enabled and might have been passable until everything went south (well north actually!) towards the end.

The second disc was burnt with Smartburn disabled as well but showed similar problems towards the end.

I’ve also noticed that often with the TRT tests (which were fine for all the discs by the way), the drive will fail to spin up to full speed and so will start the test at about 3x, so I have to cancel it and restart it, which works fine because it’s spinning at full speed by then.

Also, on occasion the drive won’t recognise a disc and I have to eject and close the drive again to get it to register.

It seems clear I’m going to have to buy a new drive and I don’t think it’s going to be another Liteon, seeing as this is the third one I’ve had and all of them have failed around the 1 year mark, despite only being used for burning and scanning and only burning about 200 discs (if that)




#16

Ooh, some good news. It seems the drive wasn’t delivered until 4 July 2007, so it’s just about in warranty. I’m sending it back for replacement now :slight_smile:


#17

You are scanning too fast. I believe 4x is the standard scanning speed for the 20A1 series drives. Try rescanning at this speed and the results may improve.


#18

Thanks for the suggestion jubjubbird.

I did always use to scan at 4x but was advised by some people on here who I respect to change to 16x and I found that the results were always good with quality discs.

The fact that this is no longer the case, combined with the drives problems recognising discs and the odd glitches I’m seeing when burning/verifying makes me fairly confident the drive is knackered and it’s been sent back now.


#19

Well the supplier has agreed the drive is faulty (supposedly they tested it but I don’t know if they actually bothered) and has given me a refund.

I was thinking of getting the Pioneer-215 to see if that lasts any longer but then I found out it doesn’t scan, so it looks like I’m getting another 20A1S. Hey, at least I won’t have to change my tag :slight_smile:


#20

Well I ended up getting an LH-20A1L retail package with swappable bezels, simply because it was £3 cheaper than a black LH-20A1S!

As you can see from the scans below, it’s working very nicely with my Verbatim MCC004 discs and the Jitter is significantly lower than I got with the LH-20A1S :smiley: I haven’t bothered fiddling with the settings, so only Smartburn is enabled at the moment and all discs were burnt at 12x.

First two scans are of the first disc I burnt, scanned at 16x then 8x, just to check that the results are more or less the same at both speeds.

Third scan is just another random disc, scanned to check the first one wasn’t a fluke!