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Windows 7: DVD drive reads ok, but has trouble writing

26 May 2015   #1
paul8f

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit, SP1, Build 7601
 
 
DVD drive reads ok, but has trouble writing

Hope someone can help me out here...

just upgraded PC from Win Vista to Win7. Bought new Nero burning
software as I was at it. All read/write functions of the optical drive
(Plextor PX-716A) work fine, but I can't burn DVDs (Yes, reading DVDs is
ok!).

The errors I get are:
"Focus or tracking error", "Power Calibration Error", "Session fixation
error" and "Burn process failed".


Things I've already tried:
- Turned down the burn speed
- Cleaned the lens with a special cleaner CD
- Updated the drives firmware from 1.07 to 1.11
- Updated the drivers
- Cleaned the Windows registry
- Fixed some corrupt files by running SFC /Scannow command
- Used both types of single layer disc, DVD-R and DVD+R
- Attempted burn with different settings: UDF, DVD copy and UDF/ISO

...the only thing that has worked (once) is changing the blank media
discs from TDK to Verbatim.

Is this a sign that the optics in the drive are on the way out?
Is there some way to find out how many hours the drive has been used for
through some diagnostic menu? (I really don't think I've logged that much time on the drive...)?

Thanks, any ideas welcome.

EDIT... just to add, I've tried the built-in windows burning tool too, but no joy..


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
26 May 2015   #2
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

I would suspect a defective drive. From your description it sounds like the Laser is not strong enough. DVD burner drives are relatively inexpensive (in the US) and I would suggest replacing it, especially considering the age of the Dimension 8300 (old XP hardware).

The optical drive in the 8300 is a PATA type (IDE). Make sure you get the correct type and NOT a SATA drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2015   #3
paul8f

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit, SP1, Build 7601
 
 

Thanks for the info fireberd. I found a test tool and I'm running it now. It's 'PlexTool', and lets you modifiy internal parameters and run diagnostics over a few hours. I've already bought a replacement drive, but I'm holding off putting it in, just in case there's a simple fix for the problem, allowing me to get another year or two out of the drive.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
The optical drive in the 8300 is a PATA type (IDE). Make sure you get the correct type and NOT a SATA drive.
...Unfortunately the new drive has a SATA interface. I know my Dell is old, but the motherboard has two ATA connectors (one currently being used by the HDD with the OS). I think I should be ok to use the spare. Any thoughts?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

26 May 2015   #4
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

It will be a problem if you decide to add another harddisk.

However, you can always get one of these http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-PA...-/191162025480
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2015   #5
paul8f

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit, SP1, Build 7601
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GokAy View Post
It will be a problem if you decide to add another harddisk.
...Already have a 2nd HDD. It's an old IDE drive that I use for backups, and to split the pagefile to get more calculations per second.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GokAy View Post
However, you can always get one of these http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-PA...-/191162025480
...Good to know these are a thing, good price too.

Anyways, the Plextor diagnostics tool spat out the same error. I tried playing around with settings to do with the lazer power o/p but no luck. I'm swapping out the drive. It's a pity, but at least I'll have a spare DVD drive with 4 region changes left on it! Might open up the case when I've more time and try cleaning the lens with some isopropyl alcohol, as an experiment.

Thanks for all the ideas.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 DVD drive reads ok, but has trouble writing




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