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  1. Hi guys,

    in the last few days I got a couple of nice coasters. ImgBurn gave me this error



    I am using Verbatim DVD-Rs (made in Taiwan) and I am almost at the end of a 50-discs spindle (no problem until now).
    Could it be a faulty disc issue or after more than 8 years of service with honor my Pioneer is passing away?

    In the sad case, could you please suggest a valid candidate to replace it?
    I don't need anything fancy, just a workhorse, reliable and robust (possibly not too picky).

    Since I am in Italy I'd like to be able to find it at least in the E.U..
    Oh, yes... I don't use BDs so please don't suggest BD writers.

    Thank you.
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  2. Member
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    You should try cleaning the lens of the drive first. You'll need to remove and disassemble the drive. Clean the lens with a very small amount of alcohol and a cotton swab.

    If that doesn't help, you can find lots of good, used drives on the market these days. Your 111D is an IDE interface drive. If you need a direct replacement, look for a used Pioneer 115, or Optiarc 7200A.

    If you can use a SATA interface drive, you can buy a new one, but none of the available DVD burners are particularly outstanding. If you insist on buying a new one, there isn't much to choose from between the current LG, Samsung and Lite-on models. The last time I replaced a drive, I ignored the new ones and bought an Optiarc 7200S on Ebay.
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  3. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    I would first unplug and replug the IDE cables. If they seem OK, try a new cable. If that fails, you can try cleaning the lens, but with a lens problem the drive usually won't read very well either. You should also try different DVD media on the off chance you have some bad discs.

    You may have a hard time finding IDE (PATA) DVD drives. One option if your PC doesn't have a SATA drive connection is to add a inexpensive SATA PCI card and use a SATA DVD drive. This may be cheaper than just a PATA DVD drive. SATA DVD drives here are usually less than $20 US. But be aware that not all SATA PCI cards work with the slower optical drives.
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  4. @Kerry 56

    Thanks for replying.

    I could try to clean the lens but I'd like to avoid the disassembling. I remembere to have seen some "cleaning kit" around. Aren't they good?

    As for the replacing, I am not so much into used stuff (generally speaking).
    I think I've never bought anything used, as far as I remember.
    Just out of curiosity I tried to search: a used one would cost me more than a new one.
    I can go with IDE or SATA, that's not an issue. The issue seems to be there is nothing but low-quality DVD burners available (if I understood it right).
    I have had Asus, Samsung and LG in the past, they didn't impress me (and they didn't last), so I would go for a Lite-on if I had to.
    I see some Pioneer and Plextor models, aren't they good?
    E.g. Pioneer DVR-221 LBK or Plextor PX-891SAW, are they in the same league of the others?

    @redwudz

    Thanks to you too.

    You should also try different DVD media on the off chance you have some bad discs.
    Uhm... I don't think this is a good idea. A while ago I got a 25-discs spindle of Verbatim DVD+R (made in India or China, don't remember) and I threw half of them in the trashcan. Then I returned to Verbatim DVD-R and everything was fine again, 1 disc 1 successful burning.

    I have burned about 50 Verbatim CD-R (made in India) in the past few months with no problems.
    Go figure!
    Last edited by Instant Martian; 20th Jun 2014 at 13:52.
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  5. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    I have probably five different brands of DVD burners and three different brands of BD burners and BD ROM drives. Truthfully, they all work about the same. No problems with any of them
    Some are three or four years old, a few are PATA. Personally, I still like Pioneer drives, but I have several models of Sony DVD drives that all work very well. LGs seem OK also.

    There aren't that many DVD burner manufacturers. More than a few burner brands use other manufacturers drives internally. Yes, they are all cheap and may not last as long as older drives, but they are better designed and some newer media may not work with older drives, something to consider, especially with used drives.

    I would go with a bare DVD drive. You will need a SATA data cable as they don't come with them. The bundled DVD drives do come with a cable and generally come with crappy software that you don't need anyway.
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  6. Member
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    If you have Taiwan made Verbatim DVDs, then your discs are fine. I guarantee it. Your drive is dying. If you try to burn at a lower speed you might prolong its life a little, but after 8 years you have gotten more from your drive than you had any right to expect and it's time to get a new one. You can try to clean it as suggested, but don't be surprised if it doesn't help.
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    Plextor quit making their own drives years ago. Many years ago. Like Asus, they rebadge drives from various manufacturers. So that Plextor is probably an LG or Lite-on.

    The Pioneer 221 uses a Mediatek chipset, so it probably isn't much different from the Lite-on.

    As far as media id changes, there simply haven't been very many in DVD's and CD's over the last six years, so burners from the 2008 era do just fine with virtually any discs on the market today. And if you stick to high quality discs like Verbatim and Taiyo Yuden, you would have NO problems with compatibility. But you don't seem to want an older drive, so that is academic.

    So buy the Lite-on or Pioneer, whichever you can get at a lower price. They won't differ much in performance, though Pioneer, through the years, has a far better reputation on writing quality and durability. This doesn't hold true all the time however, as all the manufacturers occasionally produced an outstanding drive, or improved a slow start with good firmware.
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  8. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    I would try a dvdrw to see if they burn ok before you replace your drive,I've had where i was down to my last few verbatim mcc and got illegal burn errors,tried it in my other burner and got the same message,was a bad batch at the end of the spindle.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  9. Thanks to all for the replies.

    @redwudz
    In other words I can blindfold myself, pick up one and hope.

    @jman98
    I rember to have read somewhere that the Pioneer DVR-111 is considered one of the best DVD burners ever made. Probably true.
    I know that it has given me more than I could reasonably expect but it seems the modern drives are all of the same quality (and not a good one) so I am having a little trouble in choosing one.
    BTW, I have always burned at 4x (sometimes 6x). Maybe it lasted so long for this reason too.

    @Kerry56
    I could want a "new" old drive. Used stuff is not my cup of tea (I usually have enough troubles even with new items).
    If I have to buy a new drive I will go with Pioneer probably (though I know modern Pioneer drives are not like the old ones).

    @johns0
    The last time I burned a DVD-RW (a couple of months ago) I dind't have any problem. I can try (but honestly I don't understand the purpose).
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  10. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    The purpose is to not waste discs if the error persists hence using dvd-rw.If the dvd-rw burns ok then you could possibly rule out that the burner is dying and that it might just be a batch of discs that remain.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  11. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Cleaning the lens never really does anything.
    The IDE cable issues happens, but is very uncommon. In 13+ years, I've only seen it once.
    The burner probably is dying after 8 years. Most do not last that long.

    Pioneer is the best burned, period.
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  12. Member
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Cleaning the lens never really does anything.
    The IDE cable issues happens, but is very uncommon. In 13+ years, I've only seen it once.
    The burner probably is dying after 8 years. Most do not last that long.

    Pioneer is the best burned, period.
    Over the last decade and more, I've seen people clean the lens and completely solve their issue many times. Just because it hasn't worked for you doesn't mean it hasn't worked at all.

    IDE cables...ok, I have to agree on that.

    But Pioneer being the best? Not even when they were making their best drives does that hold true all the time. Some of the all time great optical drives were made by Plextor (the "real" Plextors), Optiarc and BenQ. Pioneer made good drives, certainly, and I'd recommend anything from the 111 to the 117/217 lines for most people, but once they shifted production over to QSI, the quality of their drives dropped through the floor and became decidedly mediocre.

    The wonder is that their Blu-ray burners have stayed so good. But even there, the latest 209/2209 series is getting much poorer reviews from users than earlier ones.
    Last edited by Kerry56; 21st Jun 2014 at 12:40. Reason: clarity
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  13. @johns0
    Oh, I didn't get it.
    Well, it wouldn't be of any help in my case I think, the issue is pretty random. Last night I burned another DVD (from the same spindle) and it worked flawlessly.

    @lordsmurf
    Thanks for your contribution.

    @Kerry56
    I have seen some Sony Optiarc drives around. Are they the Optiarc(s) you are talking about?
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  14. Member
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    Yes, Sony and NEC combined forces to produce the Optiarc burners. They started out using the NEC chipsets. Then Sony bought out NEC, and later got out of the optical drive business altogether. Optiarc is now a dead line of drives, though you can still find a few models for sale. The later ones were sometimes just rebadged Lite-on drives however.

    The best Optiarc drives were the 7200A (IDE) and 7200S. This was probably the apex of all the drives using the NEC chipsets, though some would say the contemporary Pioneer drives using the NEC chipset were just as good. Those who wrote custom firmware for the NEC chipset drives, like Liggy over at MyCE, support the 7200S as the best drive of that line.
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  15. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kerry56 View Post
    But Pioneer being the best? Not even when they were making their best drives does that hold true all the time. Some of the all time great optical drives were made by Plextor (the "real" Plextors), Optiarc and BenQ. Pioneer made good drives, certainly, and I'd recommend anything from the 111 to the 117/217 lines for most people, but once they shifted production over to QSI, the quality of their drives dropped through the floor and became decidedly mediocre.
    - Optiarc drives had lots of media issues. It was very picky,

    - BenQ drives were great for reading discs (scanning), but not really the best at burning discs.

    - Plextor was overrated. Neither the reading/scanning or the burning was reliable. I never understood why this drive got high praise. LiteOn drives had the same issue, but was rightfully panned after a few years.

    - Trivia: The best drives to read discs were the BTC, but sadly could not scan.

    - The Pioneer 103 to the 110 were all great drives, but the 111 was indeed the start if REALLY good drives. However, everything up to the final (?) 119/219 was fine. The chipset changes were fine, contrary to lots of initial scaremongering.

    - While Pioneer is not an ideal BD-R drive, every drive out there is worse.

    These days, you're more likely to get a Pioneer BD-R, if you want Pioneer, as the only active manufacturer of DVD burners is LG (yuck!) and TSST/Samsung (okay). I almost never see anything else, and haven't in 2 years now. There's a few other oddballs out there, but it's mostly LG or Samsung now.
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  16. @Kerry56
    Thanks for the additional info.

    @lordsmurf
    Could you please make a list of all Pionner drives (the good ones) from 111 on, so I can keep an eye on the Net?
    Maybe some will pop-up, sooner or later.
    Thanks.
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  17. Member [_chef_]'s Avatar
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    Regarding Pioneer DVD±RW drives:
    111 is good.
    112/212 is good.
    Scrap 113/213 because they all were China drives. :-C
    115/215
    116/216
    117/217

    I have/had them all from the 104 onwards to the 117/217 plus some externals and the DVR-S201 except the terrible 113, the old 101 and 103 and some slimtypes.
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  18. Thanks for the list, [_chef_].
    Now I can start the quest.
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  19. Member [_chef_]'s Avatar
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    Some prefer the *15, others the *17.
    Depends on what you can get these days.
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  20. I haven't found anything so far, *15 or *17.
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  21. Member [_chef_]'s Avatar
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    If you were in the states I'd recommend you that: ebay no. 390848337257
    (a bunch of 70 drives including "DVR-111DBK x6" & "DVR-112DBK x2")...
    or see 360939846784 ...

    Last week I saw a 216 for sale in europe. Actually only some "bochum_m" wants to sell his old crap for insane prizes. He already tried to sell his stuff via cdfreaks in the past in a disguise, and failed.
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  22. I hope some new drive will pop-up, sooner or later.
    Unlikely, but who knows.

    I just gave a look on the Bay, the guy must be joking!

    Btw, my computer seems to be falling apart lately (hard disks or motherboard issue) so I am not completely sure I have a dying drive.
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  23. Member [_chef_]'s Avatar
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    Do you prefer IDE/ATAPI or SATA?
    I know you wrote "I can go with IDE or SATA, that's not an issue.", but I thought asking again might be a good idea.
    So, in every case, I could give you a hint when a drive pops up......
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  24. Asking again was a good idea indeed.
    I wrote that before my computer entered in its "self-destruction" mode.
    It's highly probable I'll have to buy/build another machine soon so I don't know if IDE is an option anymore.
    On the other side, I think all of the "vintage" drives are IDE, so... I don't know.
    If you spot one make a whistle, I will decide at the moment.
    Thank you.
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  25. Member
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    If you are looking at Pioneer drives only, the 215/216/217 are all SATA.

    You might also step up to a Blu-ray burner, since Pioneer is still making some good ones there. The BDR-208 series should be fine for burning DVD's as well as Blu-ray. And the latest ones are the BDR-209/2209 line.
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  26. Member
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    Going with IDE is a bad idea as the only remaining drives will be "vintage" ones and you can't do BluRay via IDE. If you can go with either IDE or SATA then go with SATA as it's the only realistic option any more. IDE is dead. There's some minimal support for it in some better motherboards just to support legacy hardware but if you have a choice and can live without it you should do so.
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  27. Thanks guys.

    I would like to stay with Pioneer, unless some other good drive is available. But if I understood right the previous posts it isn't.
    If I dump this machine I will give a look to BD drives naturally but I really would prefer to have a DVD burner anyway to burn DVDs.
    As jman98 says, IDE is not available in many modern boards so the ideal would be a 215/216/217.
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  28. Member [_chef_]'s Avatar
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    Found 2 burners, check your PM!
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  29. Member
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    Originally Posted by Instant Martian View Post
    As jman98 says, IDE is not available in many modern boards so the ideal would be a 215/216/217.
    Well, that's not really what I said and it most certainly wasn't what I wanted you to take away from my comments. I said "some". "Some" motherboards do indeed still support IDE for legacy hardware, but I can't even guess as to whether "some" means 20% or 50% or 90% or some other percent of motherboards still have legacy IDE support. If you spent, say, $60 for a motherboard then I wouldn't expect it to support IDE, but if you spent $200 I would think it probably does support it.

    If you can possibly leave IDE behind, you should do so, sooner rather than later.
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  30. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    I would say at least 95% of motherboards do not have IDE support.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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