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ASUS Blu-Ray Writer BW-16D1HT


dbminter

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I've never posted a drive review thingy here before, so bear with me.  :)

 

 

Unfortunately, I don't really have any graph data because of the nature of the drive destroying rewritable media.  This post is more of a warning for people to be wary of this drive.

 

 

I've had 2 of these drives and they both suffered from the same problem of destroying rewritable media.  So, it's not that I just received a bad drive the first time.  It's an inherent design flaw in the drive.

 

 

I've thrown about half a dozen Ritek 8x DVD+RW (Disc ID: RICOHJPN-W21-01) at it.  After each write completes in ImgBurn, this drive would render the disc empty.  Verifies never start because the drive is constantly attempting to recognize it.  The drive lights flash infinitely.  Windows will not recognize a disc has been inserted but File Explorer will list the disc as empty.  I tried the same on a Verbatim BD-RE DL. It did the same thing.  So, this drive destroys rewritable media.  I could never fully erase the discs and try again because no drive, even my other Pioneer and ASUS USB, ever recognizes a disc has been inserted. 

 

I inserted 2 Verbatim BD-RE DL that had been formatted by Windows as giant floppies.  I copied over files to them and on random files, Windows would return the "error" Cannot read from source file or disc.  Immediately selecting Retry resumes the copy.  It did this once on the first disc and twice on the 2nd.  However, the real killer is the files actually written to the media are not written correctly!  I copied over many parts in a chain of a file backup from Macrium Reflect to these discs.  Reflect would load the last file in the chain to get the list of files from the archive.  However, on Verify, the first file would fail to read from the first disc!  It would cause Reflect to Not Respond and eventually return the "error" Verification failure Read error - permission denied.  So, this means the drive wasn't even correctly writing to the BD-RE DL media.  Even after I replaced the destroyed disc with a new one.

 

 

This drive definitely is worse than the ASUS USB one I had.  I went with an ASUS internal because of my good experience with the ASUS USB.  However, the internal USB drive appears to be junk.  It destroys rewritable media.  Not just one kind, but at least 2 different disc formats.  So, it seems that all rewritable media would probably suffer.  This isn't a firmware issue, unfortunately, because there are no firmware updates for this model or the model that preceded it.

 

 

What few DVD-R and BD-R I burned were apparently fine.  So, WORM media seems to be no problem with this model.  However, since this rewritable issue happened on 2 different samples of this model I received, it's an inherent design flaw in the drive itself.  Because it destroys rewritable media, I cannot recommend this drive.  I can say you shouldn't try it because I've already tried it for you.  :)

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  • 7 years later...

I tested a 3.10 firmware updated drive back in 2019, but never updated this post with my results.

 

The 3.10 firmware seemed to fix the DVD+RW and BD-RE destruction issues.  I did not encounter that with the 3.10 firmware.  However, the drive was still borked.  This time, it was a test of MKM-003 Verbatim DataLife Plus DVD+R DL.  Burn completed correctly but failed Verify at the Layer change.  I took the next disc in the cake stack and burned the same image with my LG WH16NS60 and it was fine, so I laid the blame on the firmware.  It COULD have been a simple bad disc in the cake stack, but I highly doubt that.  Could also have been a bad CD/DVD laser in the BD unit I got, but, again, I highly doubt that.

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There is a 3.11 firmware available for this drive, however it is only available on units that ship directly from ASUS factories.  There is no firmware update package for 3.11 and there won't be.  ASUS informed me this drive has reached the end of its product support life.  Which means it won't receive any more firmware updates.  So, it will probably be unavailable at some point in the near future.  Here's the precise quote from ASUS:

"This unit is end of life, which means there will be no future updates for this device bios or firmware."

 

Here are my test results under 3.11 firmware, in no particular order:

 

MKM 8x DVD+R DL: Firmware 3.11 fixed the MKM Verify failure at the Layer change that made 3.10 a deal killer!  Both branded and inkjet discs tested.  A note on the write rate.  The max was 8.1x but the average was 6.3x.  This ASUS unit writes slightly less efficiently to 8x DVD+R DL.  The LG WH16NS60 writes them first at 4x for 2 and a half minutes, then at 8x for most of the rest of the time, then 4x for the last 2 minutes.  The ASUS writes at 4x for the first 2 and a half minutes, then at 6x for another 2 and a half minutes, then at 8x for most of the rest of the time, then drops to 6x for some of the end time, before dropping to 4x for the last 2 minutes.

 

The drive does appear to have one problem.  It ejects discs too forcibly.  Meaning if the drive is on its side, this is a big issue because the discs fall out onto the floor!  :o  2 out of 3 burns resulted in the disc on the floor, either before Verify or after it completed.  Which means you must place this unit flat, so it can't be used in a PC case where the drives are placed on their side or if you're using a USB enclosure, you cannot put the drive on its side.  It MUST be flat.

 

Both types of 8x DVD+RW from Ritek, RICOH and the Imation ones, still are good in 3.11.  3.11 doesn't destroy the discs anymore.  I also performed formatting tests on these 2 discs.  Formats, writes, and Verifies passed for both discs.  As did writing a 2nd time to each disc after the first formats and writes.

 

Data write to BD-R passed.

 

Verbatim DataLife Plus/AZO inkjet 16x MCC DVD-R.  Write test passed.

 

Memorex Ritek 2x Data BD-RE write test passed.

 

Verbatim DataLife Plus/AZO 16x branded MC DVD-R write test passed.

 

CD data read and image copy test passed.

 

Audio CD disc read test passed.

 

Memorex branded CD-R Audio CD write test passed.

 

Inkjet Verbatim DataLife Plus/AZO Audio CD CD-R write test passed.

 

Branded Verbatim DataLife Plus/AZO Audio CD CD-R write test passed.

 

Memorex Mitsubishi 24x Ultra Speed CD-RW Audio CD write test passed.

 

So, I'm fairly confident this drive is FINALLY read to become my new go to BD drive after 3.11 firmware was released.  I still need to perform the playback tests on DVD Video and CD Audio discs to be sure, though.  However, I don't generally encounter problems with those tests, but they have resulted in bad playback before.  And there are a few other read tests I haven't tried yet, but they're so uncommon I don't know when I'll even come across the possibility of testing those.

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More test results:

 

Playback test of inkjet printable MKM Verbatim DataLife Plus/AZO 8x DVD+R DL passed.

 

CD Audio disc read to image test passed on the following media:

Memorex CD-R

Verbatim DataLife Plus/AZO inkjet printable CD-R

Verbatim DataLife Plus/AZO branded surface CD-R

Memorex 24x Ultra High Speed CD-RW

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More test results:

 

CD Audio disc playback tests passed on the following media:

Memorex CD-R

Verbatim DataLife Plus/AZO inkjet printable CD-R

Verbatim DataLife Plus/AZO branded surface CD-R

Memorex 24x Ultra High Speed CD-RW

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I did find one drawback.  Like with the LG WH16NS60, 16x Verbatim BD-R only write at 12x max.  Now, 12x was the maximum set write speed.  Actual write speeds may get to 16x, but I doubt it.  This BD-R I wrote didn't even get to 10x because it was less than half capacity.

 

Now, this isn't the same as a BD Video disc test, but what I did was I had 2 DVD+R DL's of DVD Video of some home movies.  I copied the VIDEO_TS folders of both discs to a temporary location and burned them to a BD-R.  I then used DVDShrink to read back in the VIDEO_TS contents from the BD-R and write new VIDEO_TS outputs.  No visible errors and no write abends.  Write operations completed okay.

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I do feel the need to pass this along.  It appeared to be a fluke, but it did happen, so it's worth noting.

 

I had a DVD-R of home movies converted to DVD Video.  I know this disc was playable because after I created it just the other day, I read it to an image file with ImgBurn, loaded the image file in DVDShrink, and wrote a new VIDEO_TS output to test it.  It passed.  Sunday, I put the same disc back in and copied the VIDEO_TS folder in File Explorer, but it would not play or load in anything, even DVDShrink.  I put the disc back in today and read it back into an image that did read properly in DVDShrink.

 

So, I haven't quite figured it out yet.  It may have just been a fluke.  It may have been a issue with the USB enclosure.  On the LG WH16NS60, you have to sometimes turn off the enclosures and turn them back on before Windows will recognize data from DVD's.  Some kind of Windows bug.  A similar one may have happened in this case.  Plus, I've been unable to reproduce the issue.  Sunday, I copied another DVD-R of home movies the same way without issue just before the one I described above.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thought I'd better pass this along.  I had an audio CD where when I inserted it into the ASUS, ImgBurn got stuck in an infinite loop of Adding Devices and Removing Devices attempting to read it.  When I put the disc in my Pioneer, it was fine.

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It happened a 3rd time.  All these discs were in the same boxed set from BBC Audio.  So, it could be isolated to just this boxed set.  I have another boxed set coming up BUT it's ALSO from BBC Audio.  Plus, there's no guarantee this incompatibility is limited to JUST the ASUS drive.  It may be a case of incompatibility between the ASUS and the OWC enclosure it's in.  With a VanTech enclosure, this issue may not be present.

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It appeared to be a fluke centered on the authoring of those 5 discs on which it ultimately happened to.  I then processed 3 more BBC Audio CD's followed by 5 more and then 5 more again, all 10 also from BBC Audio.  No issues with those.

 

Of course, the only discs it happened to were 5 of the 14 discs in the boxed set that I bought the set for!  The story of my life...

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Just had my first write failure.  On Layer 0 of an MKM 8x DVD+R DL.  And it wasn't even a full Layer 0.  The failure wasn't at the layer change.

 

Could be a fluke.  Won't know until 2 more failures in a row followed by swapping in the known working LG WH16NS60 and a disc from the same cake stack.

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Hopefully, it was just a fluke.  The next disc in the stack was fine.  And the previous disc was one of 3 at the bottom of the stack.  And this was a newer stack.  I won't know for sure unless it repeats with regularity.

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