I have been having a lot of trouble with the Plextor 48/24/48A CD-RW drive. The first drive I sent back because it was a TLA #0000 that sounded like a jet engine. Now I have a Best Buy purchased TLA #0001 October 2002 Assembled in China 48/24/48A drive. This one also has a major problem. It does not properly erase/write to Ultra Speed CD-RW discs. I have tested it with the Verbatim DataLifePlus 74 minute 16X-24X Ultra Speed CD-RW discs recommended by Plextor for this drive. Originally, I purchased a 10-pack of the Verbatim media for this drive. After having trouble with this 10-pack, I purchased a 5-pack from *another* vendor. Both packs of media, bought from **different** vendors, fail with erasure/write problems. Here is what happens: initially, when the discs are new (never used before), they *usually* work. Then, as they are written/erased to as little 2-3 times, they fail. For most discs, the failures don't begin until the discs have been written or erased at least twice. Here is an example: I put a brand *new* never used 24X Ultra Speed disc in my CD-RW drive and erase it the first time before writing to it. No problems erasing it--the erasure takes about 3 minutes and 47 seconds, which is *normal*. Then I write 620 MB of data to it, and no problem. Then I erase it again, and the erasure takes the normal amount of time, about 3 minutes 47 seconds. Everything is fine so far. Now, I write 500 MB of data to the same Ultra Speed disc, and no problem. Then, I erase the disc again. Then, it happens! The disc, after 40 seconds, says it has erased itself successfully. That's a load of crap. The same thing happens regardless of what CD software or operating system I use. Well, it takes a lot more than 40 seconds to erase one of these discs! After this *obviously* failed erasure, I examine the disc in Windows Explorer and verify that the data is *still* there--the erase didn't work! So, after 2 successful writes, and 2 successful erasures, the disc fails to erase itself after the last successful data write. After the erasure failure, I have tried repeatedly to erase the disc again, without success! These discs are supposed to be rewritable up to 1000 times! Some of the discs I tested failed the very first time I tried to erase them. My Plextor 48/24/48A drive has no trouble with CD-R media or normal speed (4X) CD-RW media or high speed (10X) CD-RW media. The problems are only with this *recommended* media. Since this media is one of the biggest reasons I bought this drive, I am quite ticked.
Since I have now tried two packs of this media bought from different vendors, I am inclined to believe it is the CD-RW drive. The drive is setup properly and runs in Ultra DMA mode 2. I have tested the drive with 3 different IDE data cables. The drive has no trouble reading discs, and performs the way it should. I have verified that the drive is set to UDMA mode 2 in the BIOS. The only thing left is to try the drive's diagnostic test--which I will do as soon as I feel like taking apart my computer *again*. I am fed up with the problems I have had with the 48/24/48A drive. And, since I am beyond the 30 days allowed by Best Buy to return the drive, I must now fight Plextor to get this problem fixed. Does anyone reading this message know of problems with the Verbatim 24X CD-RW media or problems with the TLA #0001 drive's interaction with this media? Is there anything else I can do to fix this problem? One final thing: I am using the new 1.04 firmware for the drive, and it does *not* fix the problem. Neither does the old 1.03, 1.02, or 1.01 firmware. I am ready to get Plextor involved with this problem. Any advice on additional things I can do to troubleshoot the problem or advice on how to deal with Plextor is welcome. I do not want refurbished junk. I should have stuck with Plextor SCSI CD-RW drives--this drive has been non-stop hell. I bet the people who pay for the pricey 40/12/40S SCSI CD-RW drive will not have any problems at all because apparently Plextor puts all their quality into SCSI drives. In short, you get what you pay for! My trusty Plextor 12/4/32 SCSI drive never gave me any problems. And I paid $300 for that drive when I bought it in 2000. Thank you to everyone who replies.