Monday, February 28, 2005

DVD Burned

As I'd mentioned in February (see "Backwards and forwards in tech" and "Yer lyin'" here), the combination CD/DVD writer on my main PC Desktop machine was playing up. I could write to CDs, but re-writable CDs and DVDs gave me weird burn errors.
There were three possible reasons for this.
The first being a hardware problem on the CD/DVD writer, especially since the machine was no longer under warranty.
The second, and one I initially thought was more likely, was a conflict in drivers.
I had a problem if that was the case - I'd lost my original Restore CDs, so I had to order them from support (for $20!).
That was well and good, but I really don't want to restore my PC to it's original out of the box state, and then re-install all the software. I could apparently restore the original OS to another partition - but that wasn't foolproof. I needed a backup first...Catch 22.

Then I tested writing to a DVD from a clean Windows 2000 partition with Nero, and it failed. This was on media recommended by the DVD drive manufacturer (up until now I didn't realize there was such a thing as recommended media lists). That meant one of two things - the hardware was failing, or the firmware needed updating. I looked for firmware upgrades, but there weren't any official ones. For a while I limped along with a DVD writer which sometimes could write CDs.

Then I began thinking of replacing the DVD writer. An Internal one would be cheaper, but would only work on the machine I installed it into. Why not an external DVD writer, which could work with both my desktop and Notebook. Why Not!

After looking at the Mad Dog MegaSTOR 7-in-1 8X Dual Layer DVD Writer (which was on special at CompUSA for $99, but was a NEC drive like my current one and had a so-so review in, the Lite-On SOHW-1633SX External Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer, and then the Plextor PX-708UF External Multi Format DVD Burner. Based on the review of the Plextor PX-708UF, I bought the I bought the Plextor External Dual-Layer DVD Burner:

Plextor PX-716UF DVD±RW DL Writer

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