dvd recorder not reliably working

Kristian Rink kristian at zimmer428.net
Mon Mar 20 07:37:38 UTC 2006

Hi all;

running a recent installation of Dapper Drake on my desktop machine, I am experiencing strange problems with my DVD recorder. 

-nForce2 - based mainboard, AMD Sempron 2800+
- 2.6.15-18 kernel from Dapper

- The device works well writing to CD media of all kinds (be them -R, -RW, no matter which brand or size). 

- writing DVD-R media works most of the time

- writing DVD+RW - media basically works -the recorder is able to format and fill a DVD+RW with data in a way that some other drive can read.

Unfortunately, writing DVD+RW media with this device is some sort of challenge each time I try it as there are several things most of the time keeping me from just recording data straight away:

- Whenever I try asking the recorder to write at a given speed ("-speed" option of growisofs) with DVD+RW media, the recording process will unsuccessfully stop.

- Usually, formatting an empty DVD+RW works well using dvd+rw-format. Sometimes, however, the drive seems to lock up doing right that. In those situations, though dvd+rw-format still might be killed and the media might be ejected, I know I will be unable to write anything useful in the next time.

- Sometimes, growisofs seems to start well but finally ends up with an error message like that before actually having written anything (this is the error that most commonly occurs when using the device with DVD+RW media):

/dev/hdd: restarting DVD+RW format... 
/dev/hdd: "Current Write Speed" is 4.1x1385KBps. 
 unable to WRITE at LBA=0h: Input/output error 
 write failed: Input/output error 

Note that that is basically it - no messages in syslog or dmesg, no other error output to give me a clue what is wrong - recording just terminated. Sometimes, running growisofs another time finally works, sometimes it doesn't. I tried several kinds of DVD+RW media as well as recording using ide-cd and ide-scsi drivers (using the latter ones seems to be a little worse). Sometimes powering down the machine and starting over again helps to get the media burned, sometimes it helps goin' to sleep in the evening and trying to record the media the next morning.

Overally, I feel clueless, as there doesn't seem to be any sort of error that is reproducible about that. Can anyone enlighten me what _might_ be the problem here? Could it be a thermal issue? Broken drive firmware? Bug in the recording software? Strange interactions between the nForce - IDE -controller and the drive? 

TIA and bye,

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