Mac laptop(s) problem: they won't burn *dual layer* DVD+Rs anymore!
September 25, 2016 6:54 PM   Subscribe

I have two Macbooks: one is a 2009 Macbook Pro, and the other is a 2012 Macbook Air. The internal Superdrive on the Pro conked out years ago (I bought it used, never wanted to pay to have that fixed) and the Air never had a Superdrive, so I've been using an external Memorex burner for about 3 years now for backing up video files (using Toast Titanium, in Data mode). Two weeks ago, I started experiencing weird issues where I was unable to burn dual-layer (8.5 GB) discs.

The single layer (4.7 GB) discs burn fine. But when I try a DL disc I get errors, and it's not even the same error each time! Sometimes it says "the connection is unstable" halfway through burning. Sometimes I get "Sense Media Error" before the burning starts. Sometimes it completes burning but then I get "Sector [some number] is unreadable, verification failed".

Here's what I've done so far, to no avail:
--I've confirmed that problem happens in both laptops (They both have the latest software updates).
--I bought a different burner, by Verbatim, from Staples.
--I returned that one and bought a more expensive LG burner.
--I've tried burning from the internal HD of the laptops, and also from external HDs
--I tried creating a disc image first, then copying the image to disc afterwards
--I've thrown away the entire stack of DL discs ("Maybe it's a bad batch?") and bought another spindle from a different store.
--I've tried using, then not using, a USB hub.

I feel like I have now swapped every possible combo of disc, burner and computer, and I can only conclude that something has changed in the past two weeks to make it impossible for a USB burner to work right. The most I can come up with is that some software update caused the power distribution to get flaky across the USB bus? Is that even possible? On two separate computers?

Someone please tell me there's something I've overlooked.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
DL media is unreliable. Even if you do manage to burn it, you might not be able to read it.

I wouldn't use a writable DL disc for anything other than making custom drink coasters.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:24 PM on September 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hmm. My LG Blu-ray burner and Verbatim DL media combo is pretty reliable with my late 2011 MBP's USB 2... when I burn at a slower-than-max speed. Have you tried that? I also don't use Toast any longer; it's all Burn (free) or ImgBurn (free but runs on my Windows 7 partition).

It's only going to get worse, I'm afraid; the optical disc market isn't as robust as it was last decade, and quality control on both writeable media and burning drives is noticeably poorer than before at every level.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:59 PM on September 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

The only external burner I've gotten to work on a semi regular basis on the mac at work was the Samsung.

Can you make an iso/dmg/some sort of disc image and burn it on another box?

That being said, I've sent DL DVDs for replication dozens of times. I had one come back.
posted by Sphinx at 8:24 PM on September 25, 2016

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