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caution with new media in old drives

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caution with new media in old drives

Postby MediumRare on Fri Nov 14, 2003 8:21 pm

A couple of weeks ago, I tried some modern 48x-rated disks in a 3 year old drive that seems like something from the Pleistocene by today's standards:
Code: Select all
LITE-ON  LTR-0841, Firmware MS84, Speeds: 32/8/4

The disks were readable, but a surface scan with CD-Speed showed a lot of errors:
Samsung/Plasmon 48x: 30% damaged, none unreadable
TDK/Ritek 48x: 20% damaged, none unreadable

It's becoming increasingly difficult to find media that performs well with these old drives. It's probably best to replace a drive like this, since it doesn't have any buffer under-run protection either. Otherwise, it may be worthwhile looking into audio disks (despite the pound of flesh for RIAA/GEMA or whoever) because these have to do well at low speeds for standalone recorders.

Indidentally, C1 reporting in CD-Speed (mostly) didn't work with this drive, even though it's a LiteOn: The scan "completed" immediately. In one try, it did start reporting seemingly realistic values, but the speed shown was negative. I couldn't reproduce this though.

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Postby Ian on Fri Nov 14, 2003 9:13 pm

You bring up a good point. The firmware on these older drives probably haven't been updated in ages so they don't have writing strategies for new media. On top of that, many of them can't modify the writing strategy on the fly like modern drives can so the results aren't very good.
"Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt." - Steve Jobs
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Postby CDRecorder on Sat Nov 15, 2003 1:32 am

Actually, a newer firmware for this drive is available at Lite-On's web site. Here is a direct link to the firmware. It adds buffer underrun prevention to this drive, and I wouldn't be surprised if it improves the recording quality, too.

It seems strange to me that this drive wouldn't be able to write to current media well; my LTR-12101B (LS38) burns 40x TY and 48x CMC media just fine. The recording quality isn't as good as the recording quality of my 52327S, but it's just fine.

I tried using the C1 error reporting function of CDSpeed on my LTR-12101B. It works when the drive is attached to the motherboard's onboard IDE controller, but it does not work when the drive is attached to a Silicon Image-based PCI IDE controller. In contrast, the C1 error reporting function does work on an LTR-32123S attached to a similar Silicon Image-based PCI IDE controller in a computer with an identical motherboard and OS.
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Postby MediumRare on Sun Nov 16, 2003 6:26 pm

CDRecorder wrote:It adds buffer underrun prevention to this drive, and I wouldn't be surprised if it improves the recording quality, too.

Interesting that this is possible per firmware upgrade. I'll have to tell my uncle about this (he owns this drive). I'm not sure if he'll be able to upgrade it himself, though. I may have to visit again. :-?
As to C1's, the drive is connected to the onboard controller, but the installation was messed up a bit- DMA was not enabled, which (coupled with unfamiliar burning software) is how I found out about the missing burnproof.

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Postby CDRecorder on Sun Nov 16, 2003 6:31 pm

MediumRare wrote:Interesting that this is possible per firmware upgrade.


Yes, that is interesting. It has been done before though; Philips did it with their PCRW1208 (a drive which I own). Mine didn't have Seamless Link (buffer underrun protection) when I bought it, but a firmware update added that feature. I did test the Seamless Link feature, and it worked fine.
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