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Old 08-26-2011, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,604 posts, read 55,530,483 times
Reputation: 32496

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Looking for an inexpensive but reliable external CD/DVD burner. Do not need blu-ray, using it with XP (spare the comments). Tired of making coasters with this Dell TSST junk. Lightscribe enabled would be a plus.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:36 PM
 
10,756 posts, read 18,021,823 times
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Newegg.com - External CD / DVD / Blu-Ray Drives,dvd external burner

Pay attention to the user reviews, find something people like and order one.
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:04 AM
 
40,328 posts, read 41,865,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Tired of making coasters with this Dell TSST junk.

Could be the discs, some brands can have high failure rates. Also keep in mind there is only a few disc manufacturers and most are just rebranded.

digitalFAQ.com | Blank DVD Media Quality Guide

Use Taiyo Yuden or Verbatim. I usually buy a bulk lot of the unbranded TD's.

Other possible fixes include updating the firmware for the drive, different burning software like Imgburn or try burning at slower rate than maximum.

If the disc doesn't play in a standalone player it might be the player especially if it's older, ironically older high end players are particularly susceptible to failing to play discs. Some will only play +R, some only -R and others neither... You can look it up here:

DVD Player and Blu-ray Player Compatibility List - VideoHelp.com
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,604 posts, read 55,530,483 times
Reputation: 32496
Already tried all of the above except the firmware. Dell computer, yada yada, would rather just get a new external and have this one continue to be able to read and create a few data CDs than have it not work at all after messing with the firmware. Of all components in a computer, I've found the optical drives to be the parts with the shortest lifespans. The only thing that comes close are the old 3.5 floppy drives.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:59 AM
 
Location: Northeast NE
696 posts, read 1,519,809 times
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The optics that burn the disk wear out after so many cd/dvd burns.
A more expensive one may last longer, but will still die.

So it may be just a natural death instead being a bad dell unit.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,604 posts, read 55,530,483 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMe_T3K View Post
The optics that burn the disk wear out after so many cd/dvd burns.
A more expensive one may last longer, but will still die.

So it may be just a natural death instead being a bad dell unit.
Yeah, likely so. Took NHDave's advice and ordered a new one (with guarantee). FWIW, I NEVER have, over more than ten years, had spam in the mailbox I used in placing the order. It now has begun to have spam. Not saying positively that Newegg has been hacked, but I'm pretty suspicious.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,604 posts, read 55,530,483 times
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A followup - after following NHDave's advice, I received my new plug-in burner and doing burns perfectly, using the same programs that were making coasters on the old burner. Software is not always the problem.

I am having challenges converting Photo Story 3 stuff to full-screen DVDs, but that is unrelated and I already have a handle on how to do it.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:11 AM
 
40,328 posts, read 41,865,689 times
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I Haven't used it but I know it has great reviews for slideshows:

DVDslideshowGUI

By full screen if you're talking about 16:9 that gets a bit complicated if the software isn't designed to do it. The images are not the correct aspect so they have to be cropped or have black border. Also 4:3 and 16:9 on DVD use the same resolution of 720X480, 16:9 uses a technique called anamorphic.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:33 PM
 
16,308 posts, read 25,278,935 times
Reputation: 8302
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Looking for an inexpensive but reliable external CD/DVD burner. Do not need blu-ray, using it with XP (spare the comments). Tired of making coasters with this Dell TSST junk. Lightscribe enabled would be a plus.
Doubt your burner is your problem, but your burning software. I use Imgburn exclusively, and haven't created a coaster in years.

Oh yea, Imgburn is free
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,604 posts, read 55,530,483 times
Reputation: 32496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
Doubt your burner is your problem, but your burning software. I use Imgburn exclusively, and haven't created a coaster in years.

Oh yea, Imgburn is free
Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I have no idea how you came to this conclusion.

"A followup - after following NHDave's advice, I received my new plug-in burner and doing burns perfectly, using the same programs that were making coasters on the old burner. Software is not always the problem."


I was using Imgburn before and after. I was also using three other programs capable of different things. They all experienced the change. The ONLY difference was the burner. I guess you hit a hot button with me, because I have had various people tell me that software I wrote was buggy, only to find that they had (remembering off the top of my head) a Monkey B virus, a missing memory chip, a few dozen bad Seagate hard drives, a wonked network, and a bunch of other things.
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