Why do some DVD-Rs have a high failure rate?

A while back, I needed some DVD-R’s and someone picked me up a TDK 50-pack. Out of the first 10, I had 8 fail to burn.:mad: So, later, I went and bought a Sony DVD-R 50-pack. Out of that pack, I had 3 fail to burn. Since DVD-R’s have been around for quite a while, what would cause such a high failure rate?

DVD burning is a harsh mistress. There are a myriad of factors that could cause a high failure rate. Usually brand name discs like TDK and Sony (as opposed to more generic ones like Staples brand) are pretty good. The worst ‘name’ brand I’ve used is Memorex.

Before throwing away all those DVDs, do a firmware update on your DVD recorder.

Go to my computer, right click on the DVD recorder icon and select properties, and click the tab Device or Hardware. There you can see the exact model of your device. Put that in Google and you will find the firmware updates.

ain’t that the truth, i picked up a 100 spindle, i had failures part way through it, spot checked them off the spindle and stopped checking after more than a dozen were bad. burner worked fine before and later with TDK, Sony, HP.

You get what you pay for. There is a reason why Memorex are cheaper than TDK. I too buy them, and about half the time they are all (50 or 100 pack) junk*. I guess I’ll never learn.

ETA—I’ve had numerous problems with HP as well
*sometimes they will work in my computer DVD writer, but not my DVD recorder—I usually buy them for the stand-alone so using them as data discs is a waste (especially as I use RWs for the computer)

yeah i do think sometimes you need to buy for the machine.

i have had a few failures with HP for data on one computer drive but OK on others. HP works better than TDK in a video DVD recorder, the HP video discs play in that device and all computer drives.

I have found the greatest number of failures in the name-brand blanks like Memorex, Sony, TDK, etc. but have had very few problems with the high-quality house blanks from diskmakers. No, I don’t work for them or hold stock, but I think they are a reputable company.

8 out of 10 failure rate for TDK? I’d be concerned that the discs weren’t necessarily the problem.

Back when I ran in such circles, Taiyo Yuden’s Japanese-made discs were the “go to” discs for quality at a decent price.

In the last 5 years, I have not had one disc failure when burning DVDs using all sorts of media (although I never buy the cheapo stuff). I burn easily over 100 DVDs a year.

Some thoughts:

-Make sure you have a decent, recent DVD burner. They’re dirt cheap these days. Make sure its firmware is up to date.

-Make sure your system is stable and there’s not a bunch of crap chugging in the background slowing your system.

-Do not ‘overburn’ your media

-Use reputable DVD burning software

-Don’t burn discs at max speed

I’m burning on a DVD/HD video recorder. How many are using this setup and not a PC?
I had several failures recently using some old DVDs of mixed manufacture that I had lying around, but usually new Memorex work great.

Do you verify each burn? If you don’t, you may not know if a disk wasn’t written properly, and you may assume that it is.

How does one overburn the media?

I verify that each DVD burned on the DVD/HD recorder will play on my cheap ass laptop. The acid test. :slight_smile:

First, you cannot tell by brand alone the absolute quality of a disc! They often farm out to different manufacturers, so that for two spindles of TDK (or whatever), one might be made in India, and one in Taiwan, which might give a clue they were not made by the same people.

I mostly use TDK or Verbatim, and for both get 2 coasters/spindle of 100 MAXIMUM. Usually it’s much lower. So no troubles with these. Taiyo Yuden is the gold standard but they’re also expensive.

That’s when you try to fit more data than the disc can technically hold, innit? I think there’s a little extra reserved, and you can access it if you know what you’re doing.

Every burning software I have used prohibits burning more than the disk can hold, so I don’t see how that can happen.

Yes, I verify, as in I use the discs regularly and am able to get my data off of all of the discs that I’ve burned.

Some CD/DVD writer programs will let you try to put more data on the disc than the disc is rated for. Sometimes this works, but often it does not and turns your disc into a coaster. I learned my lesson years ago and have not even tried using this in a long time.

Both. I record off the air TV on the stand-alone, and data and a few VHS movies that the stand-alone can’t do on the PC.

Well, I’ve never tried it. But I believe it was/is possible in Nero, one of the most popular burning programs. You have to take a few steps to do it. Some of the other ones may restrict it further.

A few points.
The the more you record DVD-s the less faliures. The points concerning how to make a good copy are of high importance. Updated firmware, a quality burner and good burning software are important. Most people today are using laptops to burn media. Desktops are pretty much dead.

The points concerning brand preference are not rally important.

4 major factories in the World

CMC- Taiwan
MBI- India
Yaiyo Yuden-Japan
Major Brands and ownership or factory relationship

Imation owns or manages the following Brands
Purchases from CMC or MBI

It all comes off the same production lines no matter the brand

Sony -MBI


Verbatim- CMC-Ritek-MBI

JVC Taiyo Yuden

Philips - CMC

Due the the low costs of DVDs Taiyo Yuden only sells for duplication. If you can find JVC expect to pay more.

  • The blank media’s “media ID” code may not be contained within the firmware of your burner. As mentioned a few times, updating your firmware can resolve this. If the mfg site for your device does not have an update, or if the update doesnt help, search for a un-official firmware update and look at the changelog to see if your media was added. Always, Always, Always back up your original firmware before updating.
    To determine your media ID, get ImageBurn(free) and read this at DigitalDigest (they’re like the StraightDope of Multimedia)

  • You absolutely cannot determine ahead of time if media will have a high success rate based on branding. Quality varies from factory batch to batch, and many big named companies outsource their product line to 2nd rate shops who have inconsistent quality. I’ve bought Ritek’s, BeAll, Taiyo Yuden, and Princo and just because a stack of them worked great didnt mean I’d get the same quality next time I ordered.

  • I suggest visiting Videohelp.com (no affliation whatsoever) and check the reviewer’s comments before deciding on what to buy. They dont sell anything, it’s a consumer driven site.
    http://www.videohelp.com/dvdmedia: Search, sort, filter, and will put in a nice list which media are reported best, which types work with which burners, all that stuff. I’ve been going here about 10 years for anything related to help with video conversion, freeware, media, hardware, manuals/how-to’s, etc.

One more thing…

Cheap dye used in some blank media can deteriorate within just a few years. If you’re burning movies now that seem to play fine, they can all turn into coasters all by themselves no matter how well you take care of them. Do not believe the 100 year longevity claim (or whatever it is), I got boxes of useless video discs from only 5 years ago. Data discs seem to fair better for some reason.

I do everything streaming now, sometimes thumb drives, and never even mess with dvds.