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Failing Plextor PX-716UF

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Failing Plextor PX-716UF

Postby JJR512 on Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:06 am

I got my PX-716UF from my brother-in-law several years ago. He had bought it new because his computer didn't have any DVD burner at all, but shortly after that, he bought a new computer that did have an internal burner, so he wasn't using the PX-716UF anymore. So he gave it to me.

Ever since I've had it, there has always been a very faint noise that comes from it while it's just sitting idle. It's a vibration noise, and I always assumed it was from an electric fan. Anyway, although it's faint, it is noticeable, and it gets to be annoying after awhile. You know how once you notice something, it's hard to ignore it...Anyway, so I got in the habit of just turning it off when I wasn't using it.

For over a year, sometimes when I turn it on, it makes a loud noise. It sounds sort of like an electric motor that is straining very hard. It starts off quiet and at a low pitch, and quickly increases both pitch and volume. After a few seconds, both pitch and volume step down a bit, then a bit again, and so on, eventually fading away altogether. This entire process takes about 15 seconds or so. When it first started doing this, it was only once in a while, now it's almost every time.

It also will not recognize certain DVDs. I hear the internal mechanisms working, but about ten seconds later, it just ejects these discs. This happens with certain discs, but for those, it happens all the time; in other words, this isn't something that happens just randomly with any disc. For the discs it doesn't read, it never reads them. Some of the discs appear to be perfect, some show minor scratches. All of the discs that my PX-716UF work just fine in my father's external HP DVD burner (not sure of the exact model number on that), and they also play fine in regular set-top DVD players. One odd thing, though, is that all four discs from the first season of Lie To Me have this problem of not being recognized by my PX-716UF. The fact that all the discs that the PX-716UF wouldn't play worked just fine in another drive and another player originally made me think the problem was with the PX-716UF itself, but when I realized that all the discs of a particular series didn't work, I began to wonder if maybe there was just something peculiar about these particular discs that the PX-716UF just has trouble with for some reason. So I wonder if anyone else has had problems with certain commercial DVDs consistently being unrecognized by their own PX-716UF drives?

Also, one other note... Today was the first time I tried to burn a DL disc (a Memorex 8X DVD+R DL) with the PX-716UF. I used Roxio Toast 9. The burn process appeared to get almost to the end, when Toast said there was an error writing the lead-out. I put the disc in a set-top DVD player, which simply said "no disc". I didn't think at the time to test another DL disc that I had burned earlier with my father's HP drive, so I don't know for a fact if this set-top player can even play DL discs to begin with, and I also didn't think to put the apparent coaster back in the computer to see if it was recognized there at all. I'll check both of these later today. I should also note that some non-DL discs, also from Memorex, burned just fine recently and were playable in a set-top player. So the drive isn't completely failing to write correctly; so far, it's just had trouble with the one and only DL disc it's seen. I hope to determine later if it was just a one-time fluke, but DL media is kind of expensive to just experiment with. Anyone else ever have any trouble with DL media in their PX-716UF drives?

Given everything I've said, does it sound like I should be seriously looking for a replacement drive? I'm a bit disappointed with this Plextor. I don't use it frequently. I've ripped maybe 100-200 audio CDs and a few dozen movies, and I've only burned a handful of discs. I know some of you here swear by this drive and have probably used yours ten times as much as I have, or more. It sometimes sounds as if the 716 series was the last great Plextor. But mine hasn't been so great for me, unfortunately.

I suppose it would just be more cost-effective to simply buy a new drive rather than having this one fixed or even looked at, right?
-Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert
No matter how fast light can travel, it always arrives to find the dark is already there, waiting for it.
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Re: Failing Plextor PX-716UF

Postby Ian on Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:38 pm

Yeah, its probably not worth trying to fix it. DVD writers have come a long way since the PX-716 and are now pretty cheap.
"Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt." - Steve Jobs
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Re: Failing Plextor PX-716UF

Postby JJR512 on Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:25 pm

Just in case anyone was curious, here's a sound clip I just recorded of my PX-716UF. The first click is me flipping the power switch on the back. For the next few seconds, the only sound you hear is the normal background noise that it makes, and you also hear that again for a few seconds at the end. It's around 6-7 seconds when the bad noises start...

http://web.me.com/jjr512/media/PX716UF.mp3

(If you hear a ticking noise, that's a cuckoo clock that I should have stopped. I apologize for that.)
-Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert
No matter how fast light can travel, it always arrives to find the dark is already there, waiting for it.
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Re: Failing Plextor PX-716UF

Postby JJR512 on Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:40 pm

So I guess nobody's ever heard that sound before?
-Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert
No matter how fast light can travel, it always arrives to find the dark is already there, waiting for it.
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Re: Failing Plextor PX-716UF

Postby Ian on Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:45 pm

Nope, can't say that I have. I have no idea if drives even have them, but it sounds like a bushing or bearing is giving out.
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Re: Failing Plextor PX-716UF

Postby Justin42 on Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:57 pm

I was really disappointed by the lifetime (or lack thereof) of my Plextor 716UF, I have a number of Plextor's older drives, like a 10 year old SCSI 12432 CD-RW, that lasted forever (I still have the 12423 hooked up and use it to burn CDs). The 716UF lasted just a tad over 2 years-- granted, it got pretty heavy use, but so have my other Plextors. It seems like the 708 (and MAYBE the 712s) drives were really the last drives Plextor built to last like tanks (and some would debate if ANY of their DVD burners were built as well as their CD burners were) I also have had Plextor Premium CD-RWs fail on me which is disappointing for how much they cost. When my 716 failed I did some searching and it seemed pretty common that the drives just didn't last too long.

I don't think my 716 ever made weird noises but it just quit recognizing any disc, burned/pressed/blank/etc. I ended up taking the unit apart and swapping in a bare drive Plextor 760 burner into the 716UF's case (since I needed it to be external) and it's been going now for 3 or so years of lighter use, but I think it's slowly dying too as it gives me the 3 blinking amber lights meaning unrecognized disc more than I'd care to admit.
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