If a DVD drive is on fritz, can it damage DVDRs?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Will_B, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    My laptop's internal DVD+/-R burner is acting skittish lately, burning speed has dropped from about 8-10x down to about 4x. Once or twice the speed dropped down to 1x and couldn't finish.

    I'm thinking about replacing it once I figure out whether it is really failing or whether it is just a hiccup, but in the meantime I am wondering if there is any danger in playing back DVD-Rs in it? Could it accidentally erase a finished disc as it is playing back, or something?

    Also just as a related note, I think I'll try replacing it myself because CompUSA's $29.99 hardware upgrade only applies to desktop computers. For laptops, would you beleive they charge $160? Shocking bait and switch. Though I grant, this laptop (a Gateway NX250) looks a lot trickier to take apart and put back together. But still, that price difference is huge.
     
  2. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

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    If the R disc is finalized, there's no worries to my knowledge. RW's might be a different matter if something is really screwy with the drive.
     
  3. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    i wouldn't trust it with writing important data, but it couldn't harm an R disk. it won't harm an RW disk unless the write laser is acting up.

    don't pay someone else to replace it, replacing it yourself is very easy.

    CJ
     
  4. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Let's say that a DVD-R represents a 0 by a non-burned spot, and a 1 by a burned spot (wild guess). Now suppose that a rabid DVD-R drive comes along, firing write-level laser beams at the disc.

    It can't change the 1s to 0s. But it CAN change 0s to 1s. So strings of 0s and 1s (good data) become strings of all 1s (garbage). Not something I'd expect a drive to do but conceptually within its capabilities.
     
  5. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Good question, as Thomas states, it's not like tape where you'd physically have to push down the record button to get the record head to touch the media...So in that sense, I can see where a malfunctioning DVD player might engage the burning laser (while playing).


    But what are the chances of that happening? 1 in a million? Considering DVD burners are fairly cheap to replace, perhaps it's not worth taking the chance.

    Will, I was going to suggest a cheaper external firewire burner (instead of the $160 for the laptop install), but I just found that it's kind of hard to find one under $100, so maybe it is best to go for the new burner.

    Are you positive it's the burner? Maybe the laptop processor is being bogged down during the burn, maybe it's the discs, etc.?

    Try keeping the CPU usage (control + alt + delete and click the "Performance" tab) opened during a burn and see if it maxes out.
     
  6. Rommel_L

    Rommel_L Second Unit

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    If the DVD burner is just used a reader it WILL NOT damage the media (cd or dvd) or the data it contains. Burning one however, might leave you with a lot of coasters.

    If you're really not that confident in replacing the DVD drive yourself, Mark's idea sounds more plausible...
     

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