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I have a 16x DL DVD burner in my work machine (XP SP3). I'm using 8x TDK DVD+R media. The first dozen or so disks burned fine using Nero, but after that I started to coaster every disk. I asked Nero to calculate the maximum speed, and it calculated it at 4x. This worked for a few disks, then the same issues. I'm currently burning at 1.2x. I've since tried other brands and full 16x compatible disks, I can't get my burn speed to be recognized as any faster than what it's currently at. I've tried uninstalling Nero. I've tried burning directly in Windows, and also tested an MP3 CD in iTunes, and no luck. Any suggestions, short of reinstalling Windows, would be great!

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Burning DVD and CD media is a complicated process, involving targeting a laser on a tiny little spot of a disc spinning at a very high speed. To further complicate things, each manufacturer uses a slightly different chemical mixture in their products, so the beam has to be adjusted to compensate.

All that was a prelude to understanding what a "burning strategy" is. Each media you have ever used has a series of media codes embedded in it, and the disc-burner reads those codes to figure out how to burn data to the media. That "decision process" is run by the firmware (like Nifle said). So updating your firmware might help.

I've usually had good results with community-created firmware, since sometimes your burner will have some hidden features that the manufacturer didn't expose with the default firmware. At the very least, it will update the burning strategies of your burner.

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Cleaning it may help, there's an active question concerning that here:

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