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Writing issues w/ DVD+RW

Discussion in 'DVDR' started by machon7, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. machon7

    machon7 Guest

    Hello AD.com,
    I've been using the same blank media for a year. All of a sudden I'm unable to use DVD+RW's on my drive. I thought it might be the software, so I purchased another one. It still doesn't work.

    I have a Sony Vaio, PCV-RS420.
    Pioneer DVR 106D.
    I'm using Memorex DVD+RW's, 2.4 speed.

    Here's the only system changes I've made.
    About a month ago I used a blank Memorex 8x DVD+R
    I installed Windows SP2 (later I uninstalled it)
    Uninstalled Norton and added McAfee.

    Someone help. I'm beginning to think my DVD drive is fried. I may need some firmware? Does anyone have explicit instructions on how to install the firmware correctly. (I don't want to make it worse.) Or maybe someone has some other suggestions.
  2. saugmon

    saugmon Senior member

    Oct 9, 2004
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    Try another brand of media. I just picked up some tdk's +rw's at walgreens, 5 for $7.00 here in the usa. Memorex is not highly recommended here at AD. They say 10% is good, the rest junk. I helped another newbie the other week with the same Memorex +rw,and he switched, problem solved.Is this memorex you are having trouble with from a different lot? Each different size pack is made by a different manufacturers.Can you specify "unable to use on drive"? Is this pcdrive before burn,afterburn,or stand alone player drive. Also, pick up a 3 pack of maxell +r and try them. Just a few things you may try before the firmware is updated.
  3. machon7

    machon7 Guest

    This is the error log from trying the DVD+RW

    12/27/2004 7:54:06 PM error Unable to start the write process - finalization skipped to preserve media
    12/27/2004 7:54:06 PM error WriteSector failed at sector 0 (32) - Code 05 30 10 [Illegal request, medium not formatted]
    12/27/2004 7:54:06 PM info Starting write buffer

    I then used a DVD+R and it worked alright. It's an 8x, and I can watch it on the DVD player, but I can't play it on windows media or Power DVD XP for Vaio?
  4. ScubaPete

    ScubaPete Senior member

    Mar 13, 2003
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    Hi there machon7,

    We generally use PowerDVD as it plays almost everything.

    The error that you posted indicates that there was nothing to write too. A common problem with Memorex. The dye doesn't flow to the edge of the disc. Try dialing back your "target DVD size" to about 4360MB. That generally will help you when writing to poor media -



  5. machon7

    machon7 Guest

    Thanks for the information Pete! I've heard some other suggestions about the brand of media, and I will have to use another type. I had used the Memorex +RW's for so long without any issues, that I thought it had to be something else. Maybe I bought a bad lot.

    Unfortunately, I've also been having the same issues with Phillips blank DVDs. I recently switched over to Phillips DVD+R's, and have had the same issue. Only the program runs completely. It reads the DVD, then writes the DVD, and then when I try to play it, I get a disc error. (These were on a spindle of 50 that I bought a year ago to use for my digital video camera transfers. I used about 30 of them and they were fine. Now I'm trying to use them for copying DVDs and they aren't even playing in my computer or my dvd player.)

    So the memorex media makes sense, but what about the other issue. The Phillips ones are the same batch that I've been using for a year.

    I had changed the writing speed to 2.4, and it didn't help.

    1. Now I have Memorex DVD+Rs 8x, that work most of the time, but don't play on my computer. They work on my DVD player, but not with windows media player, or PowerDVD XP for Vaio.
    2. Then I have Phillips DVD+R's 4x, that seem to work, they go through the writing process, and say burn complete, but don't play on my DVD player or my Computer.
    3. I have Memorex DVD+RW's that sometimes work and sometimes don't (25%). When they work, they play on DVD player and computer.

    My computer burning engine is 4x, but I was told by Pioneer that using an 8x wouldn't be an issue.

    Even so, I downloaded firmware through the Vaio support center specifically for the DVR 106D from Pioneer.

    I downloaded Windows XP SP2, about the time all of this started happening, and then uninstalled it. (Maybe I should re-install it.)

    Just want to get everything out there.

    Thanks for all your info, but if you have more suggestions I'll appreciate it. I'll try the target DVD size suggestion, and maybe that will help.

    Thanks again,
  6. ScubaPete

    ScubaPete Senior member

    Mar 13, 2003
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    Ok "M",

    Let's try a few things, maybe some may work BUT first about your problem with your discs that won't play anymore - We all know that data, music and video backups on CD's and DVD's will last forever, well, if not forever for at least 100 yrs or so - That's what we've read and I believed and that's why we backup our treasures to disc, so that they'll be safe. "BLAaaaT" (the bone chilling sound of an emergency air horn), Wrong, Dead Wrong ! Don't throw the originals away, you may very well need them. Your video camera tapes and family picture CD's and DVD's, may not be there the next time you want to look at them. "Point of fact," inferior discs have a tendency to "Break down]" in time. In a very short time, we're talking disc can breakdown in less than a single year, in as little as 6 to 8 months.

    This article was written about CD discs but DVD discs are exactly the same. I was miss-informed and this opened my eyes. Perhaps you'll find it as important as I did.


    My personal observations on this subject -
    I have had about 40 backups that have refused to play after being stored for a year or more. I test all of my backups when they are burnt to be very sure that there are no problems. "In the Golden, Olden times," before I knew any better, the Memorex, Maxell and professional "Store Brand" discs (and any thing that was on sale) was what used before I switched to RiData and Verbatim. It is the poor quality stuff that I have been experiencing my trouble with. I noticed that backup DVD's I had refused to play in my standalone player and on my PC. VOB files wouldn't play either and other discs that I backed up about the same time would "Freeze" part way through the movie. After switching to Verbatim and Ritek's, mostly the Ritek's because the price was right, I've not had 1 go "Flat" in over 1 ½ years. I still have some backups about 90 of them done on the "cheap stuff" and, as time wears on I lose a few more as I attempt to check them. I say to you, why did a backup play fine in "01"and "02" then "fail" in "03 ?? Some that were done in "01" never made it till "02" (it took me some time to learn, lol) and others done about the same time and "Failed" in "04"? Most of my backups from around December of "02" were done on the "good Stuff" and they still work fine today - not a single failure ! What about now ? Well in a very short time when the calendar changes to 2005, I'm going to run the rest of them through. It's been too long and I don't want to run the risks that I've lost an original OR one has been borrowed and never returned (like that's never happened, Huh ?). I want my discs back and 005 is the year -

    As for the correct type of media, we can take Memorex as an excellent example as DVD media goes, 90% of Memorex, made by CMC, is sub-standard as far as DVD backups are concerned, figures as high as 50% coasters have been reported (One member bought a stack of 50 and got 23 good burns.), not what I would call an impressive record. Memorex made a name for itself with their magnetic tapes (VHS and audio cassettes) and have been living off it ever since. There are 4 different companies that manufacture Memorex DVD's BTW and product quality varies widely as you might imagine. Only 10% of the Memorex out there, those are discs manufactured by Mitsubishi in the 25 pack spindle , and they're the exception - they are the good ones. It's easy to see now why the quality of a big-named company can't be trusted - " Who's making your Memorex tonight ?"

    Is it just Memorex ? No ! I just used Memorex as an example, Princo, Orange Pack, Great AZO and most "store" discs aren't all that suitable as a DVD backup media - that's why we are specific in the type of media we are recommending.

    1. * Cheap media freezes, skips, pixelats and may refuse to be recognized by both burners and players :-( Besides "Freezing", "skips" many times you'll get a "Cyclic Redundancy error" or an "I/O error". This message can mean that your discs are scratched or dirty, it can also mean that your burner won't accept your "cheap" media :-(
    Another problem which, "Pops up" is a "*Power Calibration Error". This can stop you right in your tracks and most often is caused by, Yep, you guessed it, inexpensive media. *A "Power Calibration Error" can also be attributed to the Optical Components of a DVD Writer, though this isn't usually the case.

    Orange Pack, Princo, Great AZO and 90% of Memorex plus many others are just not that good for DVD burning. Those same discs however, are quite good for your MP3 music, picture archives, Spread sheets and Data..Even DataSafe G04's made by Ritek have been reported as an inferior quality media and are evoking that "Oh no, I shouldn't have gotten those."

    What we are suggesting is to download this DVD Identifier to find out who manufactured your DVD and if it's a decent quality.


    Once you have your disc identified, click the "More information" icon and see what information you're given. if you're not sure of the quality, come on back and we'll check it out for you -

    2. A good grade, Hi-quality media is needed for DVD reproduction ! RiData, Sony, TDK, "Branded" Ritek G04's or "Branded" Verbatim Data Life, Verbatim DataLife plus, Taiyo Yuden's and generally, almost any discs manufactured by Mitsubishi or RICOH are excellent bets. Among the better discs we're looking for, any media boasting "Advanced Metal AZO" - BUT it must say "METAL" AZO !, this indicates a superior dye and dye application on a good composite disc, while they are sometimes a bit "pricey" they are just the type of media we're looking for to do our DVD backups, Prices online from Meritline.com OR Newegg.com have gotten Ritek G04 starting at about a $ .45 (USD) a disc -

    For DVD backups, purchasing inexpensive media or even average media is a gamble, some people win BUT the majority lose, they lose varying amounts true but, they still lose :-(

    Using good grade media can guarantee you one thing to an absolute certainty; it surely cannot hurt.

    In an effort to clear the air, when I speak of "Cheap" or "Inexpensive" media, I'm not referring to the price you pay at the counter - I'm referring to poor quality control used during manufacturing and the quality of the dye, dye application or composite type used. I'm not saying it won't burn - Some may burn, some may not. It's quality is inconsistent, meaning it's not dependable. To make matters worse, many times the discs that you do burn may play in your PC BUT your standalone player may not accept them - what good then is a backup DVD that cannot be watched on a DVD player ?

    When I say "Branded," that means that when you pick up a disc in your hand, it says "Ritek" or "RiData" on the disc itself. The monetary cost of the media we recommend many times is cheaper than what you are purchasing now.

    We like to verify our information prior to recommending things. There are certain things we look at. For instance, when their dye and dye application are listed as unknown, this almost guarantees us they are using whatever they can get at a cheap price. Companies that use quality materials like to BRAG about it, naming names and staying with quality manufacturers who produce their media.

    Using DVD identifier and MediaMatch can help you find out a lot about what you're using. Purchasing your DVD media online can insure that you're getting quality merchandise at a good price. Shopping wisely will save you time, aggravation and money.

    Some extra "tricks" to try to help with your discs - !. This is a bit "wacky" BUT it has worked for some pple. Rebooting your PC (cleaning out all the memory) allows some discs to be seen better - As I said, it can't hurt and it's worth a try -

    2. Here's a good fix. Compress your DVD to somewhere around 4.3GB instead of the recommended 4360MB. I.e., Go into DVD Shrink, "Edit", "Preferences" then set the "DVD Target Size" to "Custom" and enter 4300MB as the size. Reducing the amount of Data to be burned it keeps your burning away from the disc's edges where the dye on poor quality DVD discs tends to be uneven and may even be brittle and flaking.

    3. You may reduce the number of errors and "artifacts" (the "freezing", "skipping" and other picture abnormalities) when burning poor media by burning at a reduced speed. It has been my experience that burning at 2.4X will succeed where faster burns will not. Don't be surprised if you have to burn at 1X. Some discs you're lucky to have it burn DVD Video at all. It will take longer but what the heck, you're saving money with those "Cheap" discs, who cares about time when you're saving $$$$ (Lol). Since you're compressing more it might be wise to burn just the movie, the less you burn the better the quality sooo, movie only, please.

    4. The "Magic cleaning" technique: Try cleaning your DVD discs. Yea, I know they're new and clean but do it anyway. Do it a few seconds before inserting it into your DVD tray, use a disc cleaner, eyeglass cleaning solution or 99% Isopropyl Alcohol and a soft cotton cloth and rub-a-dub, dub. As soon as you're finished, "Pop" it into your DVD tray and fire up your program. You would be surprised how many times your disc is now "seen" :)

    You never know what works, give it a try -


  7. ScubaPete

    ScubaPete Senior member

    Mar 13, 2003
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    Ok, here are some more things for you to try in order to see if we can't get your burning to even out - The answer is in here somewhere -

    There are some things we should check as they have a direct influence over how our drive behaves -

    Physically, Your burner s/b set as "master" on your IDE cable and the IDE cable s/b an 80-pin cable not a 40-pin. Always double-check your burner's jumpers to make sure they are correctly set for master, not slave if you installed the burner yourself.

    1. Let's check for up-to-date Firmware for your burner.

    "OK, so what is this "Firmware" garbage?" Fair question. Firmware is a "tutor" who's job it is to eliminate any "bugs" found in your drive and to "introduce" your burner to all the different kinds of media to your burner is likely to run into and to tell your burner a little bit about it. What type of media it is and at what speed to burn it. As new media is introduced OR, as the Mfgrs of your burner find new ways to use it, new firmware updates OR "Flash upgrades" come out to "school" your burner, keeping it up-to-date. It's good to keep your burner up-to-date as it "tweaks" your burner and keeps it operating at peak performance.

    Of major Importance – When dealing firmware, you must match your burner's exact model with the proper Firmware. Trying to "Flash" your burner with something "Close" won't do it. It must be the exact firmware for your drive. ("Flashing" is what the installation is referred to when you put the firmware into your drive.) Trying to "Flash" your drive with some other drive's firmware can ruin your drive.

    At the bottom of the page look for "What's my firmware? - Try this little tool I found," Download this tool and check out your Firmware's health (up-to-date wise). You can probably get a current upgrade there also –


    Firmware page -


    Always check your burner's Mfgr's "Support" section to see if some newer Firmware is there -

    Firmware, You can't burn without it -

    Now we need to see if we have a working ASPI Layer.

    "Yea right, and ASPI stands for Another Stupid Piece of Insanity, right ?" No, not quite, it stands for "Advanced SCSI Programming Interface". "Well that tells me nothing, what's it do ?" That's a much easier question to answer. It is kind of a "translator" allowing your software to talk your hardware in a manner that your hardware will understand. Let's imagine an Earthman trying to talk to a rock. Now, think of a sledgehammer as being the interface. With the interface in play, the Earthman can tell the rock to disperse into gravel no matter what planet the rock is from, OK ? Good, let's see if we have a sledgehammer –

    2. Check for your ASPI Layer. If one isn't present, we'll need to get one and reinstall it, then reboot our PC to allow it to "settle in".

    ASPI Checker -

    Force 1.8 ASPI Layer -


    Finally, we need to check your DMA. "Ooohh, no you're not ! Only my husband or my Doctor checks my "D", "M" . . whatever . . ." No, no, it's OK, DMA stands for "Direct Memory Access" transfer mode OR as we say in the computer field, it's a really, fast way to move stuff. Many PC's today are using UDMA or "Ultra Direct Memory Access transfer mode, or as we like to call it, a really super-duper fast way to move stuff as opposed to the PIO mode. The PIO or Programmed I/O mode, is a technique whereby the system CPU and support hardware directly control the transfer of data between the system and the hard disk since shortly after the beginning of PC's up until the mid-1990's. So we want DMA (fast) more than we PIO (slow).

    3. Let's check your Drive's transfer mode. It should be DMA-4, not PIO.
    Windows XP downgrades the Ultra DMA transfer mode after receiving six CRC errors and drops it down to the much slower PIO mode.

    To enable DMA mode using the Device Manager
    1. Go to "My Computer, ""System Tools," "View System Information," then System Properties, "Hardware," Then Open Device Manager
    2. Double-click IDE ATA//ATAPI Controllers to display the list of controllers and channels.
    3. Right-click the icon for the channel to which your burner is connected and select Properties. Now click the Advanced Settings tab.
    4. In the Current Transfer Mode drop-down box, select DMA if available if the current setting says, "PIO Only."
    If the drop-down box already says, "DMA if Available" but the current transfer mode is PIO, then the user must "toggle" the settings. That is, change the selection from "DMA if available" to PIO only, and click "OK".
    Then repeat the steps above to change the selection to "DMA if available".

    OPTION: Right-click the burner and select "Uninstall" and then "OK" all prompts until the PC reboots. Upon rebooting, the PC should "find" your burner and reinstall it setting it by "Default" to DMA.

    Lastly, when did you last defrag your Hard Drive (HD) ? If you have to stop and think about the last time you did it, then it's way, way overdue. Here we go, (Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter. When it opens, choose your HD, analyses it to see where we stand then if you need it (you probably will) choose Defragment.).

    After you finish doing it now you might want to think about having "Scheduled Tasks" in your Control Panel do it for you on a daily basis.

    A fragmented HD not only drastically slows down your system but it can cause all number of things to happen inside your PC, a messed up burn being one of them.

    Once we've done that, our DVD burner should operate at peak efficiency :D)



    Now let's see if everything will work together the way we want it to, OK ?

    Give it a test run and let us know how you make out -
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2004

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