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Problem With Toshiba Dvd Drive


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#1 xelaw

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 03:56 AM

I have a Toshiba CD/DVDW SDR5372V drive in a WinXP SP2 system. For the past month or two, it has exhibited a strange bug:

I use the DVD to back up my files, so that I write data to them. The first time I write to a disk, everything is fine, I can read the data without any problems. However, when I write to the DVD disk in a second session (I've kept it open for writing more sessions), the Nero software says everything is fine. But when I try to read from the DVD disk (using the same DVD drive), I get a pop-up window that says:

Disk is not formatted. Windows cannot read from this disk. The disk might be corrupted, or it could be using a format that is not compatible with windows.



And the disk, which is a backup disk, seems useless.

But when I take the disk to another PC, and a different DVD drive, I can read the data just fine. Therefore, it doesn't seem to be a software problem, or a disk media problem, but a hardware problem with my Toshiba DVD drive.

Has anyone else encountered this problem and/or found a solution?

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#2 HitSquad

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 07:50 AM

Hi xelaw.
From your post I'm "assuming" you're not using Nero's InCD to burn your backup files, which can be a problem itself. If you are, I would suggest you uninstall it and use burning rom instead. Either way, open the Nero Info Tool. On the "Drive" tab your firmware version will be listed.
As new dvd media comes out, occasionally your drives firmware may need an update to correctly handle it.
For that drive the first two letters will be either "BA" or "TU" followed by two numbers.
If the two numbers are numericly lower the 15 (i.e. TU15 or BA15), go here, download and install the corresponding updated version for that drive (about 7\8 th's of the way down the page). Close running apps before installing. Reboot afterwards for the heck of it.
If it doesn't help, re-open the nero info tool, click the "ASPI" tab and post the file names and versions.

#3 Walkman

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 08:30 AM

The other computer you said that the disc reads fine, is Nero involved on that computer?

#4 xelaw

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 03:09 AM

HitSquad, thanks for the advice and suggestions. In general, I think it works now, but not 100%.

1. I'm using Nero Burning ROM 6.6.0.18. I see InCd 8.3.20.1 in the list of software in the Nero Info Tool. Is this a problem? I don't know what InCd is, and I don't think I'm using it.

2. I updated the firmware, as per your suggestion (the PC shuts off at the end of the process). I turned the PC on, put the "bad" DVD in, and I was able to see the files. (In this case, *.wmv files; I didn't look through everything, but the sample seemed OK). So this problem seems solved.

3. I then tried to burn more *.wmv files on the DVD. (There was plenty of space.) The burning went OK, but the verification found very many sectors with read errors, and in the end, said "Data Verification Failed".
I was able to see parts of these files on Windows Media Player, but they were obviously no good.

Is (3) above a different problem, or a continuation of the same problrm I had?

Walkman, the other computer does not have Nero.

#5 tg1911

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 03:19 AM

InCD
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#6 HitSquad

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 07:02 AM

Data verification can fail for a number of reasons. Poor drive performance, data restriction, substandard\incompatable media and faulty drive just to name a few. It's "usually" not very hard to narrow it down in most cases. It's also an option in Nero I prefer to shut off as it's not always 100% accurate.
Take a clean empty disk and insert it in your drive.
Open the Nero info tool and click the "Disc" tab. Under the "Extended Information" category you will see, among other things, "Supported Speeds". They should match (or be very close) to the advertised speeds of the disc that you inserted. If it does not, either the media is garbage or your drive still isn't correctly identifying the disc. Next, click the "Configuration" tab and make sure "DMA" is listed as "On" for your burner. Close the info tool.
With the blank disc still in, open the Nero cd-dvd Speed tool. In the lower right hand corner of the speed tool window, make sure type and length are seen properly then click "Start" to run the test. Let it complete the entire test. This will show the actual burn speed your writer is using for the inserted disk (Note any ups and downs). When the test is done, use the "Average" (not max) speed calculation as the burn speed. By default, Nero sets the burn speed to max. Run a test burn using the average speed calc, or as close as you can come. If you still get the verification error, slow it down some more. Also, when you launch nero, before you burn, shut off cd\dvd overburning. It can damage a drive that can't handle it. If you launch Nero using Nero Express (startsmart), click the "More" button, click the "Configure" button, then click the "Expert Features" tab to do so. Click apply then ok. If you launch via burning rom, the expert features tab will be under File>Preferences instead.
If I were you, I'd also remove InCD. It should be listed in your Add\Remove programs menu seperatley from Nero. Nuff for now, let me know what you come up with.

Edited by HitSquad, 05 November 2006 - 07:18 AM.


#7 xelaw

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 09:28 AM

Hitsquad, thanks again. I started running the tests you described. I must say that Nero has a whole world that I never bothered looking at before,

I put the clean empty disk in the drive. The supported speeds were between 1x and 8x, which is what it says on the disk. DMA was listed as "on".

I then opened up the CD-DVD Speed tool. Type was "Blank Disk" and length was "4.38 GB". But when I pressed Start, a window popped up that said "Cannot simulate with this type of disk. Please use the Create Data Disk Function to measure the write performance." I'm not quite sure what that means, since I can't find a "Create Data Disk" function anywhere in the Speed Tool, I assume they want me to create an actual data disk and then run the test. Is that correct?

Anyway, since I had already discovered the Speed Tool, I tried testing Disk Quality (I got a pop-up saying "Error initializing test"), and ScanDisk. Here it painted most of the grid in the window red, and under Surface Scan, said it was 100% bad. Should I be worried about this?

Why are you so dead set against InCd? Now that with tg1911's help I know what it means, it seems like a handy tool. Does it screw up regular DVD burning? If it does, then I'll definitely get rid of it.

I shut off "Disk-at-once overburning", but I have never tried to use more than the maximum disk capacity.

I stopped at this point, hoping you'll be able to tell me what to do about the "Use the create data disk function" pop-up.

#8 HitSquad

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 10:10 AM

Hi again xelaw.
Run the tests with a cd, not a dvd. :thumbsup:
InCD is packet writing software that is a well known problem creator for certain system configurations. Because it uses seperate drivers to perform it's functions, it can interfere with standard atapi drivers.
Since you're not using it anyway, remove it as an obsticle for now. You can always re-install it if you want it back. If your burner continues to fail the tests using a cd, try burning half speed or slower to see if the verification error is still there. You're drive has a somewhat notorious reputation for problems but I'm not ready to call it toast just yet. :flowers:

#9 xelaw

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 11:33 AM

Hitsquad, hello.

I uninstalled InCd. You're right - if it can cause a problem why keep it.

I ran the tests with a CD. The supported speeds were up to 32x, but the CD says 52x. I think this is a media problem. When burning CD's, I've noticed that Nero always writes at a slower speed than that marked on the CD, also when using the CD drive I had on my PC before I installed the DVD drive.

The speed test showed a start speed of 14.61x, an end speed of 32.88x, and an average speed of 24.44x. Now how do I translate this to DVD burning speeds? I notice that the graph of the test has two vertical axes - the left one from 0 to 48x, which more or less corresponds to CD writing speeds, and the right one from 0 to 20. Assuming that the left axis is the meaningful one, the graph shows two sqiggly lines - a green one going from 15x to 33x, and a yellow one, more or less horizontal at 7x. Do you have any idea what this means? Their Help is not very helpful.

By the way, I ran the ScanDisk on the CD, and again it showed red, or 100% bad. Is this test meaningful?

And I hope that my drive isn't toast!

#10 usasma

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 03:57 PM

Writing to "unclosed" media (and in particular with packet writing software) has always been a pain for me.

So, I close every disk after I'm done using it - and make my incremental backups on another hard drive.
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#11 HitSquad

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 10:31 AM

I'm not quite sure what that means, since I can't find a "Create Data Disk" function anywhere in the Speed Tool, I assume they want me to create an actual data disk and then run the test. Is that correct?

Not exactly what your thinking but close. From the Nero cd-dvd speed tool menu click "Run Test">"Create Data Disk". It'll create a disk full of dummy files. We won't worry about that right now until we get the verification error fixed first. We can also work on getting any files off of a corrupted disk that you may want as well.

I ran the tests with a CD. The supported speeds were up to 32x, but the CD says 52x. I think this is a media problem. When burning CD's, I've noticed that Nero always writes at a slower speed than that marked on the CD


That doesn't necessarily narrow it down to a media problem though it is still a possibilty. In fact, I think it more likely the drive isn't correctly identifying the media. That is why I had you upgrade the firmware which is specificly written to address this issue. Understand that the cd you bought a month ago may not be the same cd you bought yesterday, even though it has the same label slapped on it. Brand name means nothing. There are only a few "actual" manufacturers. These few manufacturers supply all the disks you see on the store shelves, constantly refining\changing the disc composition which can cause your burner to not identify it 100% correctly. To see what I mean, stick a cd in your drive, open the nero info tool again and click the 'disc" tab again. Under "extended Information" you will see the "actual" Manufacturer ID. If you open the cd\dvd speed tool, Click Extra>CD Info, it'll also give you the recording layer used on the disc. (i.e. Dye Type, etc.)

The speed test showed a start speed of 14.61x, an end speed of 32.88x, and an average speed of 24.44x. Now how do I translate this to DVD burning speeds?


Burn at 24x for starters. Use the drop-down arrow in Nero's interface before burning to select it.
If you get no verification errors, do another one at 32x and see what happens. On the other hand, if you still get the error at 24x, drop it down to 16x and see what happens.
The bottom line here is if burning at slower speeds resolves the verification errors, then there most likely isn't a mechanical problem with the drive itself and we can stop looking at that.
Let me know what you come up with. I also need to know which firmware version (BA or TU) you upgraded from and to.

#12 xelaw

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 01:19 PM

Hello, Hitsquad, it's me again. Thanks for your patience

I'm afraid that I'm a little impatient, so I didn't follow your instructions to the letter, but anyway, here's what I did and here's what happened:

1. I took a CD and burned it at the maximum (32x) that was available from Nero, with the same wmv files that didn't burn correctly when added to the DVD previously (almost the full CD). It worked fine - data verification passed, and I could read the files without any problems.

2. I then took a DVD, and burned all the files that had been on the previous DVD that the firmware update had revived, and the added files which hadn't past muster before (about half a DVD). I burned this also at the Nero's maximum rate for DVD's (8x). It also worked fine - data verification passed, and I could read the files without any problems!

Could it be, as usasma implies, that there is a problem trying to add a second session to the DVD? Or it could also be that sometimes a particular DVD can be written to at maximum speed, and sometimes it can't. Like you, I have a suspicion of media quality, and it could possibly vary even within a batch of disks. What do you think?

As for the firmware upgrade, it was either TU11 or TU12 before (I'm not sure which), and it's TU15 now.

#13 Walkman

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 10:09 PM

Sorry for re-replying to this thread so late. But I just noticed something else that could be causing many problems,, and if they're not causing them now.. they probably will later on... just give it time.

Any time you're burning any movie, the movie should ALWAYS be burned at 4X. Not higher... Not lower. I can guarantee you that any site on the Internet that focuses on burning movies will tell you that 4X is your best performance.

I've read plenty, of plenty of posts where people talk about how their movies come out perfect using their dvd's highest speed. All I'm saying is this... burn it at the correct speed and you'll help eliminate any possible problems that may occur.

To be honest with you, .... if you do a speed test with a DVD-RW in the drive and burn a move at the speed you use (max).. and then the 4X... you'll soon see that there isn't much of a time difference in the burning process. So you may ask... "So what's the difference?"... the difference is that at 4X you are guaranteed the perfect quality/speed to burn the movies, and you reduced the process of elimination, if there should happen to be a problem with the video.

Trust me on this one..... Max speed isn't much faster than 4X... remember.. you're burning, not reading. Even if it is faster... you'll really need to watch the movie to see if there are any problems.... because if there aren't any now,,,, you'll start to get them soon enough.

Edited by Walkman, 23 November 2006 - 10:14 PM.


#14 xelaw

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 11:51 PM

Thanks, Walkman, for the re[ly, even if it came late. I'll burn movies at 4x from now on. Does the same apply to data dvd's? Here, it seems to me there will be a significant difference in burning time.

#15 usasma

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 12:36 AM

This is a trade-off. Speed vs accuracy. Modern hardware and software is pretty good at coping with this, but (as with movies) slower is generally better. Although I will mention that I frequently burn data CD's at 52x without any problems (YMMV),
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

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