[conspire] Re: CD-RW laser going into failure?

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Thu Feb 2 00:46:13 PST 2006

On Thu, 02 Feb 2006 00:07:23 -0800, Eric De Mund wrote:

> Daniel, All,
> Eric De Mund <ead at ixian.com>:
> ] My 12-18-month-old TEAC CD-W552E CD-RW is having trouble burning low-end
> ] CD-Rs these days. Is my laser just getting old and hence weak? Or do I
> ] just need to go out and get a CD cleaner disc?
> ]
> ] The offensive behavior is: I burn a CD (under Nero; this is under
> ] Windows and not under Linux) and the burn, itself, seems to succeed, but
> ] the data verification fails with e.g.
> ]
> ]     Read error at sector 252281
> ]     Read errors from sector 252300 to 252321
> ]     Read errors from sector 252340 to 252341
> ]     Read errors from sector 252360 to 252361
> ]     Read errors from sector 252380
> ]
> ] Now, I've stuck a nozzle of a can of air in the drive-with-ejected-tray,
> ] and some dust did come out, but the read errors persist. Need I get a
> ] cleaner disc? Or does this CD-RW, after having burned discs at the rate
> ] of approximately 1 CD-R per day for the last year, now have a laser
> ] that's not capable any longer of writing at full strength?
> Daniel Gimpelevich <daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us>:
> ] At what speed are you burning? Does the same problem occur with CD-RW
> ] media? Did you flash the firmware to version 1.14? Changelog:
> ] 
> ] http://www.teac.co.jp/dspd/download/firmware/cd-w552e/fwcdrome.html
> Thank you for the TEAC firmware upgrade pointer; I appreciate it. My
> unit did have firmware version 1.09, and now it has version 1.14. Sadly,
> though, the upgrade didn't do the trick.

Oh well, it was worth a shot. It may also be possible that burning 300-400
CDs using 1.09 may have had a negative effect upon the drive.

> I'm burning at 16x and 12x. And in an attempt to "not miss any bits", I
> even attempted a burn at 8x. No luck. I still received read errors
> approximately 2/3 of the way through the data, which is the 694 MB
> strong <KNOPPIX_V4.0.2CD-2005-09-23-EN.iso>.

8x is still faster than some media can handle well. Do you know the specs
of the media you are using? Can the drive query the media for specs?

> And that fairly consistent position of the first read errors (2/3 to 3/4
> of the way through the disc/data) leads me to wonder, naively, "Can the
> laser no longer sustain sufficient burning strength after it's been on
> (burning) for a certain number of minutes?"

If that's true, then you want to burn at a higher speed, not a lower one.

> Tell me more about CD-RW versus CD-R discs. I don't believe I have any
> CD-RW discs here with which to perform a test. What's your thinking
> here?

I still use my first burner, which I obtained used. You can smell the
burning plastic when it writes to CD-Rs, but not CD-RWs. I thought this
was normal until I tried to burn a CD-R in the combo drive that used to
belong to Ross. It was successful, but the disc was not visibly etched the
way it would be if done in my old drive. Evidently, needed laser power is
quite variable.

> Finally, a five-brush laser lens cleaner disc failed to have any posi-
> tive effect upon this post-burn data verification. I still get read
> verification errors at 65% of the way through the data. I'm thinking the
> drive may simply need to be replaced. Do others here get more use out of
> a CD burner than the 12-18 months of heavy use I seem to get?

Brush? AFAIK, the lens must never come into contact with anything at all,
meaning that cleaning is limited to compressed air. Maybe someone with
experience in cleaning lasers outside of CD/DVD products can chime in?

> Cheers, and thank you for your help, Daniel,
> Eric

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