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HELP: NEC optiarc dvd rw ad-7170a power calibration error


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I'm getting this error "power calibration error" while trying to burn dvd's lately.

i understand that it has somthing to do with failure to write the lead-in part in the process.

The weird thing is that i CAN burn regular CD's but not DVD's anymore..


I HAVE TRIED the following steps with no luck:


I've tried different medias for burning

I've re-installed the software in the windows device manager.

I've updated NERO and IMGBURN to the latest version.

I've flashed the FIRMWARE to a later version (from 1.3 to 1.5)

from liggy dee's firmware update page.

The IMAPI cd-burning COM service is off in the managment tools.

I've tried burning in lower speeds (x4) and without multissesion.

I've cleaned the lense with a cleaning disc.


PLEASE i need your help! i'm desperate with this one!

I don't have money right now for a new burner and i'm using it frequently.


BTW i'm using windows XP and i will put the log error here for your professional eyes...



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I 15:29:31 ImgBurn Version started!

I 15:29:31 Microsoft Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600 : Service Pack 2)

I 15:29:31 Total Physical Memory: 2,078,620 KB - Available: 1,397,992 KB

I 15:29:32 Initialising SPTI...

I 15:29:32 Searching for SCSI / ATAPI devices...

I 15:29:32 Found 1 DVD

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Have you tried making a new, clean install of Windows XP?... I think that's the first thing I would have done before even attempting to update the Firmware of the ODD, or wasting my money on new and more expensive optical media.


I don't remember what "CMC MAG. AM3" exactly means. I understand that it's the manufacturer of the DVD dye, but don't know how good or bad they are. Virtually all CD and DVD discs get re-branded, which means that one company puts it's name on the disc while another supplies the dyes for them, which in turn results in very different quality levels of optical media. But from my own experience, I know that Verbatim are among the top five best optical media manufacturers. Verbatim, TDK, Maxell, Sony and Philips. Those are my preferred optical media brands.


I think Traxdata and Imation may be worth trying as well. I believe Imation is the current owner of both the Traxdata and TDK brands. I don't know how bad or good they are today, but I had bad experience with Traxdata in the past, as well as some Fuji-Film media I purchased in high volumes which was basically waste of money, so I don't dare to try any of these two today. But that's another rule of thumb to remember, don't buy high volumes of a product you're unfamiliar with!


As your ODD failed to write your image-files to a Verbatim DVD disc, then you have no further discs to buy and test. Verbatim, TDK, and Maxell are the best you can get. If the burning process fails with any of these, then it's very unlikely that it will succeed with a lower quality optical media. You could try with a TDK or Maxell media if you haven't tried these, but I would have stopped after testing Verbatim media.


Instead, what I would have done as the next step would be to format the system HDD and make a clean install of Windows XP (i.e. not upgrading). Actually that would have been my first step before ever spending my money on additional optical media. Why? Because, since you can burn CD but not DVD, I have a feeling your problem is somehow related to Windows itself. How? I don't know the details, but this reminds me of a similar experience I had with my DVD burner (Nec ND-3520A).


The first image-file I burned with Img Burn was an image-file of Ubuntu Linux 8.0.4 LTS. The Linux community recommended the use of Img Burn for burning the image-file. This was probably the first time I ever used Img Burn, even thou I was familiar with the software from before since many use it for their image-file burning needs. However, I burned the Ubuntu image-file to a DVD-RW from Verbatim. The operation succeeded and the disc was bootable, and I was able to open it in Windows Explorer as well. Several weeks passed after that day and I am assuming that at some point some change must have been done to the operating system (Windows Vista 64-bit) because I found out my ODD was unable to read Data discs. I was unable to open neither a DVD or CD disc if it was written as Data disc. Also, opening a Data disc in Windows Explorer caused it to crash and restart. But I was able to open Audio CD discs. I was also able to open CD Data discs if I entered the Windows Safe Mode, but I was not able to open the above mentioned Ubuntu Linux DVD while I think it was still possible for me to open other DVD Data discs if in Windows Safe Mode. It turned out that the problem with reading Data CD and DVD discs in the normal Windows mode was caused by a service called "Shell Hardware Detection". If this service was inactivated I was able to open Data discs in the normal Windows mode as well, of course. I don't remember the exact details about this problem since it was like three months ago or so. But if you want I can post my notes about this problem.


Even thou my problem was related to reading Data discs and or the Shell Hardware Detection service under Windows Vista, the solution for this problem may be applicable for your problem as well. I never tested writing new discs actually, if I did I may not have been able to do that. I wish I had tested that, but the more important thing for me at the moment was to make the ODD read Data discs. If you want to try the solution anyway, then follow the instructions below.




  1. Press Win+R key to open the Run prompt.
  2. Write msconfig in the text field.
  3. Press Enter key to open MS Config (msconfig).
  4. Click the Service tab.
  5. In the list that appears, find the service called Shell Hardware Detection and uncheck the checkmark for it on the left side to inactivate it.
    As this list may be very long, here are two tricks to find the right service fast and more easy.
    Option 1
    Click the Service column to sort the services by name. That should make it more easy to find it. You can combine this option with option 2 if you like.
    Option 2
    Click on the name of any of the services in the list to make the list in focus, and then press the keyes S, H, E, L, L on your keyboard in a fast sequence. This should make the right service found and marked "semi-automatically". Oh, by the way, this little trick is applicable with any such list in any version of Windows, i.e. you could use it when looking for a specific file in a folder that contains many files in Windows Explorer. :thumbup:
  6. Click OK to save the settings.
  7. Click OK once again to restart the computer when prompted, or restart the computer at a later time when you're ready. Just remember that you need to restart the computer for the changes to take affect.
    After restarting the computer, the Shell Hardware Detection service should be inactivated.
  8. Try burning a image-file to a DVD disc with Img Burn.
    It's preferred to use a DVD-RW or DVD+RW disc when experimenting, since DVD-R discs will become unusable if the operation fails, while it's more likely that DVD-RW discs can be re-used. Remember to exit any unnecessary applications running on the computer before you proceed with Img Burn!
  9. If the burning operation still fails, then repeat steps 1 to 4.
  10. Check the checkbox "Hide all Microsoft-services".
  11. Click the "Inactivate All" button and repeat steps 6 to 7.
  12. If the burning operation still fails, then repeat step 9.
  13. If checked, uncheck the "Hide all Microsoft-services" checkmark. If not checked, then proceed with the step 14 below.
  14. Repeat step 11.
  15. Repeat step 8.
  16. If the burning operation still fails, then repeat steps 1 to 3.
  17. Click the "Inactivate All" button and repeat steps 6 to 7.
  18. If the burning operation still fails, then backup your data from the system disk drive.
  19. After backing up your important data from the system disk drive, restart your computer with the Windows XP CD disc inserted in the ODD.
  20. When the "Press Any Key To Boot From Cd..." or similar message shows do as it says and press any key to start the Windows XP installation guide, and follow the on-screen instructions. I recommend to format and choose the same disk drive partition for installation of Windows XP as the one you had before. If you don't know which one that is, you may want to note down the drive letter of the system partition where Windows is installed by opening the Windows Explorer before actually entering the Windows XP installation guide (before step 19).
  21. If the "Press Any Key To Boot From Cd..." or similar message doesn't appear and the Windows XP installation guide doesn't show, then you may need to set your ODD as the first boot device in your motherboard BIOS program. Refer to your computer or your motherboard manual for instructions on how to enter the BIOS program and how to set the ODD as the first boot device.
    The BIOS is usually entered by pressing and holding down the DEL key on the keyboard while the computer starts. This may be another key for your specific motherboard. And the "Boot Sequence" settings are usually stored under the section "Advanced CMOS settings" (applies to Award BIOS). This is where you must set your ODD as your first priority boot drive. This may also differ for your specific motherboard, therefore: refer to your computer or motherboard manual in first place for the exact BIOS information before you try with the DEL key.
  22. After successfully installing Windows XP, install Img Burn and repeat step 8.
    If you don't have the Img Burn binary file available locally on your computer, you will have to download it from this Web site. But before you connect to the Internet for the first time, you may want to install and configure your firewall and or anti-virus software, especially if your computer is directly connected to the Internet and does not go through a router with firewall. You should also install your hardware drivers before installing Img Burn. If you want, you can download the Img Burn binary file and store it on a secondary disk drive or disk partition (other then system partition) before you install Windows XP.
  23. If the burning operation still fails, then you can be pretty sure that your ODD is malfunctioning. Power off your computer and disconnect the ODD, and if you have a spare ODD try connecting it instead and repeat step 8.
    You can uninstall the old one completely and install the new one and fasten it with screws if you want, but if possible you can just place it on top of the computer or other stable place in like in the bottom of the chassis and just connect the data and power cable temporarily while testing it. If so, remember that the tray needs to be accessible so you can insert a DVD disc in it!
  24. If the new ODD works fine, then your old ODD is malfunctioning. Send it in for warranty repair or just buy a new one, since at least DVD burners are cheap today (the same can not be said about BLU-RAY burners).

Good luck!



ODD = Optical Disk Drive; I use this term to refer to the DVD burner.

HDD = Hard Disk Drive

Edited by ElectroGeeza
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