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Slow down CD write speed and power calibration problem

Discussion in 'CD-R(W) Media' started by sumsaris, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. sumsaris

    sumsaris Member

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    I will cut to the heart of my problem by asking what is perhaps a silly question. My Pioneer DVR 103 generally writes CDs at 4x or 8x. Is there anyone to force it even SLOWER speeds(2x or 1x). My burner at this time neither reads nor writes any CD regardless of its brand, nationality or religious persuasion. Yet, it does read and write any type of DVD. The key differential here is the fact that the DVDs are all written at 1x speeds. So assuming dust and firmware are perhaps secondary considerations, you see what I would like to test. Thanks for any answers.
     
  2. Nephilim

    Nephilim Moderator Staff Member

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    I just checked Nero, DiscJuggler, RecordNow, FireBurner, Alcohol 120%, BlindWrite 5, and BurnAtOnce. Of them all only FireBurner and BlindWrite 5 (via BlindWrite 5 Tweaker) allowed me to select burn speeds lower than 4X. Another consideration is that some of the high speed media may not be compatible with write speeds that low.

    You mentioned power calibration errors in the thread title. They are most often caused by a dirty laser lens, low quality media or an old burner getting ready to die. A firmware upgrade may help the situation :)
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    Last edited: Sep 7, 2004
  3. sumsaris

    sumsaris Member

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    Thanks Nephilim. I'll check out the two candidates. There have been numerous posts in this forum and others concerning the power calibration error. It's a complex issue and unfortunately, at times posts seem to be at cross purposes when the symptons are outlined. You said the problem stems from 'dirty lens, bad media OR dying drive'. Begging the point that no one here has tried to explain in detail what it means for a drive to die (scratched or worn lens, disaligned transmission, Osama bin Laden?) I think your line of advice should have used the words AND/OR. These things almost certainly run in parallel and contribute together. To use a poor analogy--your pen may be out of ink, its ballpoint make be encrusted or the paper on your desk may be waxed or greasy, but they all result in the same thing--you can't write a single word. As for the bad media I have a nagging doubt that it's not the MAIN reason for peoples' problems. Correct me if I'm wrong, but from my understanding here in Europe, most CDs (or DVDs) are made by just two or three companys. With my DVDs I've used eight or nine brands and never a problem until this recent PCE event. Two last questions, can commercial lens cleaners actually do more harm than good to a CD/DVD writer? And does the act of rewriting a CDRW put extra stress and/or wear and tear on the lens ensemble of the burner as opposed the standard CDs? Thanks
     
  4. sumsaris

    sumsaris Member

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    Well, Blindwrite attempted a 2x but reverted to 4x (like Nero). Fireburner did attempt a 2x and a 1x on a CDR/RW but each time came up with an error, the first time at sector 135. Nero now shows that CDR/RW as having an internal failure with 'unable to perform endtrack write', but no power calibration error message (maybe the disk is dead). An erase attempt does bring up the PCE box. This further complicates matters. I wonder, my Pioneer DVR103 underwent a firmware upgrade to 1.9 about a year ago. Fine. Yesterday, I tried to install the new one v2.0 (via OEM site)and a reboot reflected no CD burner at all. Couldn't even open the tray. It did however allow me to reinstall v 1.9 again which I did and I'm back to square A. Any ideas?
     
  5. Nephilim

    Nephilim Moderator Staff Member

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    The cause for PCE's can most definitely run in parallel. When a burner starts to "die" it's because the components, mainly the laser/lens simply wear out. I'm not an engineer or expert in the constuction/operation of drive components but the fact that nearly every mechanical device has a finite operational life and the fact that dead burners are a common occurence is testimony enough.

    Poor media is the #1 cause of PCE's. Before every session the burner will write to a small section of the disc in order to calibrate the optimum strength of the laser needed for that particular disc. The low quality dyes used on cheap media oftentimes don't live up to the consistency/quality that the burner needs in order to go ahead with the burn.

    The #2 reason is a dying burner. When the laser/lens starts to wear out it isn't able to perform the correctly.

    #3 reason is either an insufficient or bad PSU in the PC not giving the burner the sufficient/consistant power it needs to perform the calibration or a dirty lens hampering the laser's ability to read/write.


    There are definitely more than two or three manufacturers of media with around 20 different makers of DVD media alone.

    A good quality lens cleaner shouldn't damage the lens although I prefer to use a shot or two compressed air into the innards of the drive. If rewritables put more stress on the laser I've never heard of it.

    RW media can certainly wear out and give you PCE's so it'd be a good thing to try a brand new disc. If a new disc fails you can also try using the drive in another PC to verify whethere the problem is the drive itself or something with your sytem/settings :)
     
  6. ShiningS

    ShiningS Member

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    I have a good one for you .
    3 different drives, all working fine using Nero 6.
    1 Sony DVD/CDRW in a Desktop.
    1 Pioneer/Matshita CDRW in a Toshiba laptop.
    1 Generic DVD/CDRW in an external case.

    These drives where all working.
    The external drive had only been used 4 times.
    I have several packages of media I have been using.
    Memorex, Sony and Ritak.

    All 3 drives are now giving the power calibration error with all 3 brands of media, which has been used before, out of the same packages with no problem.

    Now the interesting part.
    The desktop and the Laptop have recently been updated to XP SP2. The external will not work when connected to either of these, but DOES work when connected the the exect same model laptop running XP SP1, using all 3 media brands.

    I am seriously thinking that it is a problem with XP SP2. Any opinion?
     
  7. Nephilim

    Nephilim Moderator Staff Member

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    SP2 has been causing all kinds of weird crap. My best suggestion would be to update any and all burning software that you're using since by now most of them have been updated to correct issues with SP2 :)
     
  8. ShiningS

    ShiningS Member

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    I tried upgrading to the new Nero version.
    Still no joy. :-(
     
  9. ShiningS

    ShiningS Member

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    Update.
    Upgrading did not work, but completly uninstalling the old version and installing the new version did.
    I ha to manually delete all registry entries after the uninstall. But after installing the new version my burners are working properly again.
     
  10. Nephilim

    Nephilim Moderator Staff Member

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    Very cool!
     

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