Test DVD drive

I bought and installed a well recommended ASUS DVD drive on a desktop about two months ago. I don’t think it’s been used more than ten times. Yet an istallation DVD errored out on it. I attached another quite new Lite-On drive via USB and had no problems. So I assumed the ASUS is bad. Is there any software I can run to verify it’s bad before it greets the garbage? I have another new, unopened Lite-On drive that I could use to create a test DVD on another unrelated desktop.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Check cable and power, clean the lens with a lint free cloth and isopropyl alcohol… try again. When creating the iso image always use the slowest possible write speed.

Things I’d check/try before ditching the drive:

Is the DVD recognized normally (dmesg is your friend here)?
The installation DVD was burned in this same drive?
Did you try to read another DVD on it?
Also, if you try to burn a new one, do you get error messages?

On older drives is not uncommon that recording becomes flaky but not reading, they use different lasers. I believe that even DVD and CD writes use different lasers.

I’ve had a gazillion internal drives in the last decades, and I never had to clean the lenses. On external units they are more exposed, so it might be an issue, but I doubt that is your problem, and opening an internal drive for cleaning, although not too difficult, is not trivial either, so it’s something I’d keep as a last resort.

Also, did the install DVD got scratched?

To answer most of your questions…

  1. The DVD was burned in another desktop/drive Box1.
  2. It failed to install in Box 2.
  3. It worked when a different (third) DVD drive was connected via USB to Box 2. For me that would indicate that the DVD was good.
  4. I would not bother keeping a scartched DVD. I am very careful handling and storing.
  5. I don’t think a dirty lens could be the problem. I use compressed air to keep them dust free.
  6. No errors using dd to copy it in Box 2, Box 1, Box 3.
  7. Since the installation was successful via USB, I am not inclined to another attempt just to diagnose the problem. All other DVD’s read fine on Box 2.

Finally…yes, finally. I want to thank you all. Every time I ask a question I learn something new from your responses. Enjoy your Christmas!

Well, I’d still look at dmesg and try to read/write another disk.

OTOH, one of the three boxes with DVD drives I have just threw a read error during verification after burning a DVD. That’s why I (usually) have a new drive stashed in the cupboard.

Sometimes a scratch can be quite small but if on the index sectors at the beginning (inner circumference) of the disk, it can make the disk unreadable. But probably not your case.