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  #1  
08-24-2012, 02:12 PM
darthpotato94 darthpotato94 is offline
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I have a Lite-On USB 2.0 8x Slim External Optical Drive with a Mediatek chipset and I'm not sure how reliable it is. I read on the forum that it is recommended to avoid any type of slim drive. Any thoughts?
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  #2  
08-25-2012, 10:49 PM
Billbob Billbob is offline
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Yes, avoid any type of slim drive if possible. I haven't seen anyone raving about how great these are, but I find one useful to use with our 11" netbook to load software. I get the general impression from the forums that they are not the ultimate dvd burner.
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08-25-2012, 11:04 PM
darthpotato94 darthpotato94 is offline
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yeah that's what I figure. I ordered a samsung drive with a Vantec enclosure. I hope it works as it should.
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  #4  
08-26-2012, 05:24 PM
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Much of this is addressed in our mini-guide here: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/medi...html#post14250

Note this text:
Quote:
Additional Warnings

Do NOT buy the "slim" version drives.
Note that this is not the same as "half height". A slim drive will be called a "slim" at all times, from what I've seen these past few years. These are generally very slow drives, locked at 8x max write, and a 2x read. These drives typically have a much higher fail rate with media, too, including even the best Taiyo Yuden and Mitsubishi/Verbatim blanks!
A quality drive in a quality enclosure is always a good solution. Avoid going too cheap on the enclosure, or in using a no-name/off-brand model. You want a good chipset in the enclosure, otherwise transfer may be too unstable.

A Samsung drive in a Vantec enclosure should be fine.

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  #5  
08-26-2012, 06:47 PM
darthpotato94 darthpotato94 is offline
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There don't seem to be many choices in enclosures, except for some obvious cheap ones. Are there any more reliable brands besides Vantec?
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08-26-2012, 07:00 PM
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There are less choices now that there were 5 or 10 years ago. Far less. These days, you're left to pick from Vantec, Sabrent, StarTech, or Bytecc. Each of these is available from Newegg.com or Amazon.com. Even Lacie doesn't make 5.25" bay enclosures anymore (with the Oxford chipset).

As another option...

Go to Meritline.com and search for "Oxford Deluxe Aluminum External 5.25" and they have some on clearance for $25 -- get that! Of course, it's Firewire, not USB2. For optical burners, that's better anyway -- the best external 5.25" enclosures were always the Firewire models.

The Oxford chipset is what matters most. In the past, only the better name-brand ones had it. The cheap ones used VIA.

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  #7  
08-27-2012, 09:58 PM
darthpotato94 darthpotato94 is offline
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Thanks for your knowledge. I received my Vantec and Samsung and they seem to work pretty well. Off topic, but I noticed some really tiny black dots on a few dvds after I burned them. Is this something to be concerned if the TFT scan is perfect? I've had dvds with way more dark blemishes because of dust or scratches before I burned them, but the ones I'm talking about were perfectly clean and brand new.
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  #8  
08-27-2012, 10:08 PM
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Are these DVD+RW or DVD-RW with the problems?
DVD+RW have chronic issues with craters like this, and are signs of the disc dying.

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  #9  
08-27-2012, 10:10 PM
darthpotato94 darthpotato94 is offline
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Verbatim DVD+R DL. Is it serious? Will it affect the quality or longevity - which I doubt - of the burn? I'm only asking cause you are the expert. In fact, almost half of my Verbatim disks (50-60) have some tiny dark spots on them on the edge; others are much worse because of my fault. I left them unprotected. I don't think the dvd drive is the culprit cause I have burned with Liteon internal, external and now with this Samsung. I don't believe I'm the only one who has these spots. Probably others have them too but haven't noticed.

Last edited by darthpotato94; 08-27-2012 at 10:22 PM.
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  #10  
09-06-2012, 05:36 AM
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Spots in the dye are generally NOT a good thing. I would like to see a photo of it, if that's possible.

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  #11  
09-06-2012, 01:32 PM
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I dont think I have a good enough camera to capture the spots. They are extremely small - and only one or two - but I can definitely notice them. The discs were immaculate before I inserted them in the drive; I inspected them carefully.

Could it be the drive's fault?

I know what bad spots look like because I - stupidly - burned discs that were left out of the case, with dust all over them. They look bad but they still play fine; they even pass the TFT flawlessly.
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  #12  
09-07-2012, 05:37 AM
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Spots caused by dust/debris are where data was not burned. The laser was blocked. Information is missing. It's highly likely that the DVD is relying on error correction to recover data, if it's at all recoverable during a read. Those are essentially bad burns -- coasters due to user error.

If you had dusty discs inside this drive, then there's a chance that dust flung off of your dirty discs and then settled -- and then it gets blown/moved around when the drive is active! So you may need to clean out your drive with a quick and gentle puff of "canned air".

TFT is merely one test. It's not 100% reliable taken alone. Physical inspection has failed here, and it's just as important as a TFT.

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  #13  
09-07-2012, 08:37 AM
darthpotato94 darthpotato94 is offline
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Oh wow, thanks for the tip. The dusty discs were burned with an older drive, so fortunately I don't have to clean off the one I have now. I'll be much more careful how I handle my discs now.
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  #14  
09-14-2012, 09:57 AM
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I inspect discs before even putting it into a burner.
  • If I see lint or whatnot, I'll blow some "canned air" (duster) across it.
  • If it won't come off, I may wipe it was a soft rag I keep in the office. Then follow with air.
  • If it's still dirty, it goes in the trash.
And again -- USE GOOD QUALITY BLANKS! See the guide here: http://www.digitalFAQ.com/reviews/dvd-media.htm

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