Why doesn't my DVD burner work?
October 12, 2006 9:03 AM   Subscribe

Why is my new DVD burner behaving so erratically?

I recently bought a Lite-On DVD burner from newegg.com after my old DVD burner quit working. After installation, Windows XP detected the new hardware and everything looked fine. I put in a DVD and it played the DVD without any problems. Then I opened up Nero 7 Premium and began to burn a Data DVD. The drive would rev up for a second or two, then slow down, then go up again for a few seconds. It did this for a minute or so, and the progress bar stuck at 4%. Then it stops burning and gives a "Power Calibration Error". I tried multiple times with this same result, and I believe the DVD-R is rendered unusable.

I also tried to burn using DVD-Shrink, which also failed. The lengthy failure report ends with:

11:47:01 PM #29 CDR -1135 File Writer.cpp, Line 302
Write error

11:47:02 PM #30 Text 0 File ThreadedTransfer.cpp, Line 228
all writers idle, stopping conversion

11:47:02 PM #31 Text 0 File ThreadedTransfer.cpp, Line 222
conversion idle, stopping reader

11:47:02 PM #32 Text 0 File DVDR.cpp, Line 2978
EndDAO: Last written address was 1663

11:47:02 PM #33 CDR -1195 File WriterStatus.cpp, Line 167
Disc not present - tray closed

11:47:02 PM #34 TRANSFER -24 File WriterStatus.cpp, Line 167
Could not perform end of Disc-at-once

11:47:02 PM #35 Phase 38 File APIProgress.cpp, Line 278
Burn process failed at 8x (11,080 KB/s)

11:47:02 PM #36 Text 0 File AudioCompilationImpl.cpp, Line 867
DRM: DRM burn session terminated.

11:47:02 PM #37 Text 0 File AudioCompilationImpl.cpp, Line 896
DRM: Closing entire DRM handling. Bye.

Existing drivers:
File 'Drivers\CDRALW2K.SYS': Ver=, size=23436 bytes, created 12/17/2002 1:32:46 PM

Registry Keys:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon\AllocateCDROMs : 0 (Security Option)

This isn't the only issue I've had either. I just tried burning a CD, and once the CD was in the drive, the autorun dialog box didn't pop up. I loaded up Nero 7 again and tried to burn a music CD but then the Lite-On drive doesn't appear in the dropdown list. It has also disappeared from the My Computer window, and it refuses to eject the CD. This has also happened before, and a reboot seems to make the Lite-On drive reappear in My Computer etc.

In light of the power calibration error, I opened up the computer and checked the power and IDE cables. Everything was secure, and the problem still persists.

I did do a bit of googling, but none of the advice was specific to my drive, and most were forum topics from 2004 or 2005. Does anyone know what's going on? Is it just a bad drive? Does newegg do refunds?
posted by Paul KC to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had a similar problem with my Lite-On burner. It was solved by getting the latest firmware from the site for my burner.
posted by perpetualstroll at 9:09 AM on October 12, 2006

Is this a drive connected to an IDE cable or a SATA device? If the old drive was acting strangely, you might want to check the respective controller to see if it got switched into PIO mode rather than via DMA.
posted by owenkun at 9:15 AM on October 12, 2006

Thanks for the idea. I did consider it, but I am a bit weary of flashing any firmware unless I know it's necessary. So I figured I'd hold off on that while I asked mefi.

The drive is connected via IDE and is set to slave. The old drive is not acting strangely, however.
posted by Paul KC at 9:20 AM on October 12, 2006

You may still want to check the Transfer Mode.

The reason I mentioned your old drive is because you'd mentioned how you replaced it once it died. If a drive encounters frequent read errors Windows will 'helpfully' shift it into a lesser DMA mode, eventually dropping back to PIO.

At the expense of making a terrible joke-via-TLAs, burning a CDR in PIO is a PITA. ^_^
posted by owenkun at 9:59 AM on October 12, 2006

Might be obvious but have you tried using different media? Some brands of DVDs don't play well with certain burners.
posted by gfrobe at 11:02 AM on October 12, 2006

Try a different program? DVDShrink relies on Nero, so you've essentially tested one program.

I'd recommend Alcohol 120%. Oh, and uninstall Nero first.
posted by mphuie at 11:40 AM on October 12, 2006

I have the same burner, and although I have it external instead of internal, I did learn a couple of things:

1 - Upgrade the firmware. It is incredibly easy, fast, and painless.

2 - This drive needs more power than some other drives. This shouldn't be an issue with an internal drive, but it is something to keep in mind.

Since I upgraded the firmware and put the drive in an enclosure with more power, I have not had 1 coaster or error.

If you can, set the drive to master and take the other device off. If that helps, there might be a problem with the current master device, or the Lite-On drive just might not like being set to slave.

That being said, there have been some reports of bad drives, but I can't speak to that.
posted by bh at 12:15 PM on October 12, 2006

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