The Dreadful LG Burner Strikes Again

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20760 As I’ve blogged about before, the DVD writer I bought from LG last year was giving me nothing else but coasters and headaches. But now I suspect I have some clues about the problem.

With this LG GSA-H22N DVD WRITER, I’ve encountered writing problems mostly burning to Sony and Nipponic media. (I’ve also had reading problems when I was using Windows XP x64 Edition, but they seem to begone since I’ve installed the common 32-bit version of Windows XP Professional with SP3).

Usually, the problems occur when the media is recorded using anything more than 4x, even if the media supports higher speeds. But it takes roughly 40 minutes to record a DVD, which is unacceptable in most ocasions. After I insert one of these coaster discs I receive the "X:/ not accessible – Incorrect Function" error under Windows Explorer.

 

 

But yesterday, my brother popped up one of those coasters on his notebook and -  guess what – it worked! It hasn’t worked even on my other desktop, which has a respectable Pioneer DVR-110D, but worked on his notebook, and also on a friend’s notebook. I suspect its either the way discs are hold in notebook drives that is enabling them to be read, or their drives have a higher error tolerance than my other desktop drives. Maybe my LG recorder fails to write a proper DVD-R Lead-In on those media and perhaps that only the Toshiba internal optical drives from their notebooks were able to read. In either case, I think it’s still LG’s fault for producing such crappy hardware.

GSA-T20N_HITypically, in the notebook kind of optical drives the discs are hold tightly through a small clip in the center of the tray, rather than loosely attached to the rotor like in conventional drives. I’ve noticed the discs also make a noise, like if they are unbalanced or something. The disc holder could be misaligned, and some media may aggravate the problem making burning (and/or reading) unreliable. Since the discs cannot be read from the start (isn’t like some files are corrupted), the problem must certainly be occuring during the writing of the Lead-In section of the disc.

 

 

While I can’t discover the real source of the problem, I think I will keep writing in painful 4x speeds.

 

Tips

Below are some other tips I found around to try to avoid the problem (I don’t know if they really make a difference, but nearly anything is worth trying at this point)

1. Disable Built-In Windows CD Burning

The original burning method that comes with Windows (the one that lets you drag and drop files directly to your DVD Drive under Windows Explorer) was not really meant to work with DVDs. It works, but I would not advice you to use it. Instead, grab some specialized media burning software like Nero or CDBurnerXP (I’ve been using the former lately, and it has been doing its job well).

  • Go to Start Menu > Run, type gpedit.msc then press Enter
  • Go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer
  • Find "Remove CD Burning Features", double click it, click "Enabled" then press OK. This will disable the built in CD Burning on Windows (remember you will no longer be able to drag and drop files to your media from explorer, but will have to use a third part media burning software instead).

2. Disable Digital Audio Output for your Drive

Some people reported the digital audio output was causing problems for some drives. I’m bit skeptcal about that, but since disabling it has no major drawbacks, this tip is worth a try.

  • Go to Start Menu > Control Panel > System > "Hardware" Tab > Device Manager.
  • Now find your optical drive on the device tree, double click it, then go to the Properties tab and uncheck the box "Enable digital CD audio for this CD-ROM device".

3. Update your firmware

I’ve updated the GSA-H22N firmware to the 1.02 version already; but it didn’t help. New LG firmwares can be downloaded from http://ca.lgservice.com. But be sure to select the right one for your drive or you may cause irreversible damage to your writer.

 

Links

Some useful links to continue reading.

http://club.cdfreaks.com/f105/sh-s182d-dvd-r-lead-217594/
Thread depicting a similar problem with Lead-In writing with some burners.

http://www.dvdinfopro.com/
A commercial software which can read data outsite the Data Zone of DVD discs and can be used to debug the problem.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=dvd+incorrect+function
Similar entries on Google about the "Incorrect Function" problem.

http://www.fixya.com/support/t244977-lg_gsa_h22n_dvd_rw_dual_layer
Nice thread depicting all the love customers have had for this drive.

2 Comments

  1. I had problems with the same writer model, but, in my case, It was an incompatibility with Daemon Tools, more specifically SPTD Driver. Uninstalling SPTD (Uninstall DaemonTools doesn’t uninstall SPTD) solved the problems immediately).
    Abraço.

  2. I’m glad you could solve your problem. However, tinkering around with the drive I found that some media are more much more error prone than others with this drive. While I haven’t got any issues with virtually any media using my Pioneer, Verbatim was the only brand which worked flawlessy everytime I tried.

    But the strange part is, everytime my LG wrote a damaged cd/dvd, both the LG and the Pioneer failed to read it. But the notebook could read them perfectly, everytime!

    That’s why I’m wondering what is really happening to those media. Also, I have never installed Daemon Tools before, so I don’t think this is the cause. But it may very well be the cause for other people who are experiencing problems with this same drive.

    Thanks for sharing the tip,
    Cesar

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