I’m now at my 3rd LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray drive. The first one had its Blu-Ray laser die and the second one began having issues reading Blu-Ray discs. The 3rd one reads them faster. But what if I could have fixed the 2nd drive? That’s what we will be looking here.
This drive is not one of my favorite writers. It is not a good writer. Most of the discs I burn with it ends up having the so called “donut rings”, and some double layer discs are not burned correctly. However, this drive is a good reader and is why I use it, that is, when it works.
When I got my 3rd drive, I opened it along with the 2nd drive, and tried to see the distance between a disc and the laser:
My 2nd drive had the laser more close to the disc itself, which may be why it was failing to read discs or take some time to read it. It was also making the grinding noises this drive is known to do.
The drive motor has 2 screws on the side which can lower or increase the distance between the disc and the laser, so by adjusting it, I was able to get the 2nd drive to successfully read a disc on its first try without the noises:
This is a trial and error process. I recommend having a disc inside and move the optical pickup unit all the way to the back so you can have a better look. The optical pickup unit and the disc should have a distance approximately to this:
Keep in mind that if the disc is too close to the laser, it may scratch the disc and you may hear loud noises when it spins the disc, as it may be making contact with it. Just try to make it look like the above picture and it should proceed to work right away. Of course, each optical pickup unit has its own calibration data, but this seemed to work just fine on my drive and has not had any issues ever since.
Now, my 3rd drive is only used just as a backup, for when this 2nd drive starts having issues all over again. It has to be noted too that this 2nd drive has lasted way more than the 1st one did.
If it still doesn’t work, or you prefer to get another one, you can get it on Amazon at the following link:
Burning the PlexDisc DVD+R Disc on the Optiarc AD-7561A
We will be using ImgBurn again to perform the writing and verification. It reports the media code to be OPTODISC-R16-00 and supports writing at up to 8x here.
The drive burned the disc using a Z-CLV strategy, starting at 2.4x, and jumping to 4x, 6x, and 8x:
The disc appeared to have burnt fine, but the quality results seem to point out the drive is unable to burn a reliable disc at 8x:
It seems to be able to burn fine at the 2.4x and 4x regions, but once it goes to 6x and 8x, the burn quality is bad. Surprisingly, however, the disc was able to be read on the burning verification stage.
Burning at 4x
I retried burning the disc at 4x to see if it would produce a better burn, given that the 2.4x and 4x regions scanned well.
The disc burned in Z-CLV at 2.4x and then at 4x. It verified properly.
We’ll now see how well the disc burned in this drive at 4x by doing a surface quality scan on several drives.
The disc was scanned at 4x:
The disc was scanned at 4x:
The disc was scanned at 4x:
As we can see, the burn quality is definitely better.
The Optiarc drive seems to be able to burn these discs reliably at the 2.4x and 4x speeds. Burning at 6x and 8x produces a bad burn at those regions.
You can purchase these discs on Amazon at the following link:
Burning a Verbatim CD-RW on some old Slim IDE drives
In this post, We’ll be looking at some Slim IDE drives and how well they work with a Verbatim CD-RW disc. The drives we will be seeing are the Optiarc AD-7561A, Teach DW-224E-C, and the Toshiba SD-R6252.
I started first with the Toshiba SD-R6252 which is the drive with the oldest manufacturing date:
This drive was manufactured on July 2004. In my tests, it seems to read DVDs fine, but it fails to read CD-Rs, often with an “Unable to Recover TOC” message in ImgBurn. This drive supports CD and DVD writing.
The drive detects the disc and gives us burning speeds of 4x and 10x:
I initiated the burning process at 10x. It was able to erase the disc, but was surprised at the following message it gave me:
For some reason, it thinks the disc is 0 MB. However, pressing OK makes the disc burn successfully, or so I thought. Turns out this drive seem to ignore ImgBurn’s request to cycle the tray, and when the verification starts, it just freezes and starts making seek noises. This drive was also the noisiest drive. It seems the laser makes some noises when burning. Ultimately, I ejected the drive manually by disconnecting and reconnecting the USB cable. Then, ImgBurn somehow say the disc is “empty” yet it shows the old Table of Contents of the disc:
Maybe the drive couldn’t handle burning at 10x, so I restarted it at 4x:
But again, it froze at verification:
The disc seems to be lightly burned:
The result is a failure for this drive. It isn’t able to correctly burn these discs. But maybe it’s the drive that’s somehow dead for CD’s, since it has issues reading most of them but reads fine CD-ROMs.
My next attempt is to use my TEAC DW-224E-C. Here, initially the drive is unable to read the disc as the Toshiba drive corrupted it.
It does not let me do anything as it doesn’t read it. I had to jump to the Optiarc drive which was successful at detecting the disc and allowing me to burn it.
This unit was successful at burning and verifying the disc.
You can see that the lighter burned area is now darker.
I then placed the disc in the TEAC drive where it was able to read and verify it successfully too:
It also allows us to burn the disc again, so even when it was written, I performed an erase operation first, which blanked the disc:
From the above drives, only the Toshiba SD-R6252 failed to burn it. Both the TEAC and Optiarc drives were able to burn and verify it fine. Maybe the Toshiba drive is bad, as it fails to read CD-Rs correctly, sometimes unable to read the Table of Contents and sometimes failing to properly seek. However, that same drive is able to read DVDs without any issues, so maybe the CD laser is bad.
For the TEAC and Optiarc drives, the final result is a working, playable disc. The Optiarc drive is able to burn these discs at 4x and 10x. I didn’t test burning it at 4x. The TEAC drive does not show the supported burning speeds on ImgBurn like it did for the other 2 drives, but in reality, it burns it at the expected 10x.
Philips BD-R DL 50GB burned at 6x on Pioneer BDR-2212
Overall, it is a good burn. As we saw in the previous post, it seems the drive manages to burn the second layer better. The LG drive, however, seems to have some spikes at the end while the LiteOn drive had more spikes on the first layer. The discs were all readable on both drives.
The burning took about aproximately 30 minutes, meanwhile the 8x burns takes about 25 minutes.
Today, we will be looking at the Philips BD-R DL White Inkjet Printable Blu-Ray Recordable media:
These discs were at a surprising price of just $9 dollars on Amazon, so I picked up 5 spindles of these.
These discs holds up to 50GB and are rated to be burnt at up to 6x. Let’s take a look at the disc surface and label sides:
The discs have the Philips brand at the center of the disc. Also, we can see that the discs have some sort of tint on the data side. Hopefully, these will not affect the recordings. Or will it? Let’s find out how my burners handle these discs.
Burning on Panasonic UJ-260
My first attempt to burn these was with my old but trusted Panasonic UJ-260 drive. It has been successfully burning discs with media codes RITEK-BR2 (25GB), RITEK-DR3 (50GB), CMCMAG-BA5 (25GB) and VERBAT-IMk (100GB).
The disc was recognized as CMCMAG-DI6-000 and can be burnt at up to 4x in this drive:
The disc was able to burn fine, but unfortunately failed verification. Let’s see the disc burned surface:
We can see that there are burning issues. The Panasonic UJ-260 writes double layer media in two zones. It starts at 2x, and then burns at 4x. On the 2nd layer, it goes from 4x to 2x. The red zones are when the drive spins down to 2x to burn the final parts of the disc.
Still, out of curiosity, somehow this disc was readable on the LG drive when I did a ScanDisc run on Nero DiscSpeed:
I burned another disc, this time at 2x. The burn again went fine, but the verification failed on the 2nd layer again.
The disc looks awful. You can see the rings in the recording surface. The scans also points this issue out:
Both drives agree that something is wrong at the end. The disc should technically be looking darker like the rings look, which would explain why the second layer was scanning properly until the rings started to appear.
Few days later, I burned another one at 4x using ImgBurn. The previous 2 were burned with Nero, but that shouldn’t had be an issue. This time, the disc burned and verified fine, but it still did rings at the disc surface:
Scans looks better, but I wouldn’t trust the disc in its condition:
It’s still clear that the rings are affecting the burn.
Burning on the LiteOn iHBS112
I burned another disc on the LiteOn iHBS112. This drive is able to burn them at 4x and 6x:
The disc burned and verified fine, but the drive produced rings on the disc surface too.
This burner also burned this disc in 2 zones, one at 4x and the other at 6x. The first layer burned fine, but we can see it struggled on the 2nd layer at the 4x zone:
Regardless of the scans, the disc was completely readable.
This drive is interesting in that if I burn with Nero, it fails immediately with “Write Error” and closes the disc, effectively not allowing us to retry burning anything since it changes the book type to BD-ROM somehow. I tried with ImgBurn at 6x and it managed to burn and verify the disc, but again, it came out with rings:
The drive did seem to produce a better burn except at the layer break. Also, the several rings do have an effect too:
I burned another disc, but this time it failed verifying:
It seems this time the issue is mostly at the layer break.
I have this slim drive, and surprisingly, it did not produce any visible rings in the disc surface. It is also able to burn it at 6x:
The disc was verified successful too. Let’s see how it performs at the graphs:
The LG seem to tolerate the disc better than the LiteOn. The first layer scanned fine. In both cases, the disc was completely readable without errors.
Pioneer BDR-2212 (BDR-212ULBK/BDR-212M)
I recently got this recorder to try burning these discs and see if it would offer a better burning experience. It is able to burn these discs at up to 8x on this drive.
I burned some discs with Nero 2017, which I haven’t upgraded since that version since every version is essentially just the same, and it burned the discs fine at 8x.
The disc surface looks very good. No rings are present either. However, when I first scanned the disc with my LG drive, it gave a really bad result:
So I re-ran the test again and got a way better result:
The LDC numbers may look high but the BIS numbers are almost within the standards. High, but the disc works fine across all my drives. The above scan was also performed at 8x. Below, we have the scans from my LG and LiteOn drive, from the same disc burned at 8x:
As we can see, the LG drive scanned the disc better than the LiteOn drive, but it was read without any issues there.
This drive seem to have better results when writing the 2nd layer, which is unexpected. Usually, the 1st layer is the one that gets burned the best. I did noticed that this drive seem to do a power calibration when switching layers, which can explain why the LDC/BIS numbers are low at that point. I think of this because the drive seem to slow down and pause when it reaches the layer break. The drive then proceeds to burn the disc as usual. My other drives would just keep burning immediately at this point.
These Philips BD-R DL use discs from CMC Magnetics with media code CMCMAG-DI6-000. These discs seem to have compatibility issues with some drives. In fact, go to Amazon and read the reviews and you’ll see some people are also having issues when burning these discs. Unfortunately, drive vendors that update their firmware are low. LG and Pioneer seem to keep their drives up to date, but the LG doesn’t seem to have the best luck burning them, as some discs may come fine and some may fail. The Pioneer seems to handle them the best and can even overspeed it to 8x. I think the investment on the drive paid off. Considering these discs spindles can be found cheap now, I think I’ll keep purchasing them for my archival needs.
Before attempting to open it, we must open the disc tray, so we’ll be able to remove the front faceplate:
We will now flip the drive and remove each screw:
And viola! We now have opened the drive:
Its internals are very similar to most drives. You’ll find 2 small boards: One which holds the drive controller and EEPROM, and one that holds the tray loading mechanism:
Here, you can take a closer look at both boards:
Now, lets take a front look:
The internals are also very close to other Blu-Ray drives. In this case, the DVD and Blu-Ray optics are side-by-side, while other drives have this arranged in an up-down position. The LG drive, for example, have the Blu-Ray and DVD optics in an up-down configuration while the Panasonic drive also has a very similar side-by-side setup.
On the left, we have the DVD optics while on the right, we have the Blu-Ray optics. The Optical Pickup Unit looks of very high quality. The motor is similar to other drives.
I hope this drive lasts a really long time. Internally, I would say each component looks very well designed, especially that Optical Pickup Unit. I’m still not sure whether to use this drive for CD and DVD burning, since that honor would go to my LiteOn iHAS524. It is, after all, capable of burning DVDs at up to 24x but burns most media at 20x when its OverSpeed setting is enabled. The Pioneer is able to burn up to 16x on DVD Single Layer media. I’m also not sure if the BDR-2212 is able to set the booktype on DVD+R and DVD+R DL discs, something that my LiteOn drive is able to do.
Another day, we’ll talk about how this drive handles BD-R DL media.
You can get this drive on Amazon at the following link:
This last week, I ordered the Pioneer BDR-2212. It is a Blu-Ray burner capable of burning up to 16x on BD-R, 14x on BD-R DL, 8x on BD-R TL (BDXL TL) and 6x on BD-R QL (BDXL QL). My reasons to get this drive are the following:
Curiosity: Pioneer has been a maker of high quality drives, but comes with a high price tag. I already own an old LiteOn iHBS112 and LG WH14NS40 that I’ve crossflashed to the WH16NS60 and WH16NS58 (Which enables quality scanning).
Problems burning and reading on the LG drive: The LG drive is probably the cheapest drive you can get now, but my first unit failed, so I ordered another one. The drive is also unreliable at reading and burning, sometimes making weird noises and burns have failed too.
My Panasonic burner failed to burn CMCMAG-DI6 discs properly: The Panasonic UJ260 has been the drive I’ve been using to burn my discs and it has been working great, altough very slow sometimes, and can only burn BDXL at 2x. The drive works fine except for the CMCMAG-DI6 discs, which fails. We’ll talk about this on another post.
The Pioneer will be my main burner (assuming it can burn the discs fine) and reader from now on, and I’ll use the LG exclusively for 4K discs, since the BDR-2212 cannot read 4K Blu-Ray discs.
Let’s start with how the box look:
Opening the box, we can see the drive:
It came with a 100GB BDXL M-Disc:
Taking the drive off the box:
It also comes with the manual, Cyberlink suite and the mounting hardware:
Once in Windows, it is detected as a Pioneer BD-RW BDR-212M:
I’ll be testing this drive and see how well it performs. In my next post, I’ll perform a unit teardown.
You can get this drive on Amazon at the following link:
On Saturday, I received the LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray Writer Drive. This is my 3rd Blu-Ray writer and it will replace my LiteOn iHBS112 which was causing several bad burns. The other drive is the Panasonic UJ-260, which is a slim drive that burns discs successfully.
This drive is one of the cheapest Blu-Ray XL writers available on Amazon. It is also able to read and burn CDs and DVDs.
Here, we will see the drive unboxed and teared down.
The drive came in this simple box:
There’s no branding. Just a box with the part number printed on a label.
Opening the box we see the drive:
Just the drive. No cables or software are included.
The drive is protected in bubble wrap:
Also also comes inside a plastic bag:
Taking it off we see the drive itself:
Now, let’s take a look at the top, where we will find some useful information:
The drive is the WH14NS40, with SVC code NS50. It was manufactured on January 2020 and comes with firmware 1.04:
Finally, this is the drive with the tray opened:
We will begin the teardown by removing the 4 screws on the bottom:
We can then remove the bottom cover:
Let’s take a closer look at the drive chipset:
It is using a MediaTek MT1959HWDN chip.
Let’s now see the Eject Button, LED and Tray Motor board:
A look at the bottom tray mechanism:
The internal tray loading mechanism and Optical Pickup Unit:
A closer look to the Optical Pickup Unit:
And finally, here’s how the drive looks in my Desktop PC:
This Blu-Ray writer can be crossflashed to the WH16NS60 16x variant. In fact, that was the first thing I did.
The drive is identified as HL-DS-ST BD-RW WH16NS60.
Here is the drive capabilities according to ImgBurn:
So far, I was able to successfully burn a BD-R with media code RITEK-BR2-00 and a BD-R DL with media code RITEK-DR3-000. Both discs were burned with ImgBurn and verified successfully.
Look forward as I test Blu-Ray media with this drive!
This is a slim external CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo drive that can read and write CDs but can only read DVDs.
Let’s begin with the teardown.
First, we must remove 2 screws that are found on the back to open the drive enclosure:
We can then open the enclosure:
We can see the DVD drive along with the board and USB Cable. We can also see that it seems that the USB cable is not actually soldered to the board.
Removing the DVD drive from the enclosure, we can see that the cable is in fact a Mini USB cable. This means the cable is not an actual USB 3.0 cable:
The fact that the cable is not soldered to the board is good news for us since we could replace it if the original cable goes bad or we want to use another cable.
On the back of the drive, we can take a closer look at the USB board:
Taking it off reveals a nice surprise:
The board is a USB to PATA/IDE adapter. This is interesting and somewhat makes sense, since the drive is just a CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive, and back in the days, we could see tons of CD writers for laptops. It uses the Initio INIC-1511 IC.
Here, we can see the PATA/IDE conector of the drive:
I decided to take off the sticker that it has on the top, revealing something more:
The included TEAC DW-224E-C drive was manufactured in November 2005. This could mean they are recycling old DVD drives or using refurbished drives. If this is true, this is good news for the environment, since they are repurposing drives that are in working conditions.
Here, I have the original drive connected to my computer without the enclosure:
Because the drive is basically an internal drive on an IDE to USB enclosure, we should be able to use it with other drives. I tested it with an old Optiarc AD-7561A drive. This drive is a CD/DVD writer with Lightscribe technology, which I haven’t used it for years:
When I connected the drive to the board, and to the computer, it recognized it without any issues:
And here we can see its capabilities as reported by ImgBurn:
The Optiarc drive still works after a lot of years of not using it. This also means that we should be able to use other PATA/IDE drives with this particular USB board and exchange the original drive if it ever goes bad.
That’s basically it for this teardown. If you’re interested in getting this CD-RW/DVD drive, you can get it on Amazon here.
This is a slim External CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo drive, which is quite interesting, given that most units today are DVD writers. This one just reads and writes CD-R/RW, and reads DVD’s, but can’t write them.
The brand is unknown, too, but it was on sale a few days ago and decided to get one, just to have just in case one of my other drives goes bad. While CD/DVD usage has degraded over time, I do have music CD and I listen to them sometimes, so having a drive is handy to listen to them.
Let’s start with the box:
It is pretty colorful, and has a description of what it contains, as well as its features.
Opening the box we find the drive inside a bag:
We then find that the drive is wrapped in bubble wrap, and that there are some cards inside:
We can see that the faceplate of it is generic, with no CD or the actual DVD logo.
Taking off the bubble wrap, we see the DVD drive:
On the back, there is the USB cable:
The USB cable contains a USB-A 3.0 plug as well as a USB-C plug. Both can be used depending on the device you wish to use this DVD drive.
The documentation included is a manual, a thank you card, and another card telling to send an email to get a free 32GB USB drive.
Once the drive is plugged in the PC, I’m able to open the tray:
The drive is detected as a TEAC DW-224E-C drive:
The following is a screenshot of the capabilities of the drive as shown in ImgBurn:
As we can see, it reads most major CD and DVD formats and can write CD-R and CD-RW. Interestingly, it reports that it can’t read double-layer DVD+/-R. I’ll need to test this to confirm if this is in fact true.
I tested the drive with my Music CD collection and it reads and plays them fine. This is really great, and will be my main usage for it.
You can get this External CD-RW/DVD Combo drive on Amazon here.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.