does burner's laser "gets old" ? - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 09-13-2004, 02:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default does burner's laser "gets old" ?

I have an old TEAC, 3-year-old.. it is burning great, but I am wondering about the quality, I mean will the data last on the CD as if it was a brand new burner, or the laser "gets old" in time?
what I mean here is not burning or not, as I said it is burning well.. but I am talking about the quality (life of the CD data)..

should I buy a new burner? (speed is not a concern whatsoever)

thanks !
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Old 09-13-2004, 02:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wally,,, ever hear of clarity,,, you are asking two issues here,,

1) I would say to always consider that HARDWARE ( burner) will fail at some point .. "when" varies by more than just the namebrand(quality of parts within, workmanship, cleanliness of plant , etc),,, so I would say "YES" at "some" point in time it will most likely fail

2) On the quality of the CD,, they actually are NOT as durable as believed. The quality of the CD brand may come into play here with regards to the metal content in the CD and how well it is able to hold the "burned Image" upon it.
CD-RW actually have a longer shelf live due to the fact that a thicker gauge of metal is used within them to allow them to be 'RE-Writable"

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Old 09-13-2004, 02:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thank you !

What I was asking is: does the quality of laser burning decreases (laser becomes weaker) over time ?? or it is just a point in time where it will fail?

am not talking about media.. but the laser in the burner.

thanks again
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Old 09-13-2004, 03:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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No data quality losses. When your laser breaks down, the data will not burn properly. If your disks burn properly, the data is as good on your burner as it would be from a newer one. If you notice that the quantity of unwritable discs increases, this is a good lead to a decaying writer.
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Old 09-13-2004, 03:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you read your burner's specs, I'd be willing to bet you'd be able to locate the manufacturer's lifespan for the product, measured in hours of use. Most of them can operate for between 2 and 3 years continuously before they burn-out.

No pun intended.
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Old 09-13-2004, 03:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Nice points !!

The way a LASER wears is the tip of the lens,, If the lens tip becomes scratched, worn , or dirty,, the drive will fail to burn correctly,,

Great points on the number of failed discs, and Lifetime expectations,,

Good stuff!
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Old 09-13-2004, 05:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Funny, I could have sworn CD-RW's used dye.
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Old 09-13-2004, 06:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Some of them do. He's stating about burners, however there are some misconceptions here and some people dont know how burners/rewriters work. A CD-R literaly does BURN the data making the pits. Some read the pits and the reflected lazer, depending on if pit of not will either reflect back to the sensor or will miss the sensor. Others use it to "scorch" or burn. What happens here is the luminosity of the beam is not reflected due to the scorch. Scorched/non reflected would be say a '1' and the reflected would be a '0'. The rewriters come in a few different flavors (noticed by the color like blue, gold and silver). The blue is dye based, the gold is alloy based and silver is burned (I believe, but not sure.. it would be what was listed above.) What happenes is the dye or alloy in the cdrw is charged to a positive state depending on if data is needed there or not. So as data is writen, say, it will go through each bit and say... okay, nothing so '000' then itll notice a bit turned, SOOO it changes the state of the dye/alloy so when reading it sees 0001. To format/wipe a cdrw it just cycles through again and changes all back to a '0'. Then yet another way is through phase change (no not state) where heat reacts with chemicals in the cd to crystalize it and becomes reflective. Heated to a higher state, it becomes darkened. All in all, there are many different ways that media is being crafted.
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Old 09-13-2004, 06:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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oh yeah, you can burn out a laser (diode). If you dont believe me, find the potentio meter and crank down to, say, 50 and see how long that sucker will last (I DONT RECOMMEND DOING THIS!!!) Usually, the MTBF is due to scratches, focus lense being dirty or off track, or alignement being off.
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Old 11-04-2004, 05:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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A common indicator in a failed burner drive is called 'ghost writing'. This means that the drive reports a successful burn when in fact the laser has failed and has not burned anything to the disc. Standard troubleshooting and changing disc media applies, but your burner is kaputt if this happens all the time.
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