Originally Posted by samijubal
I just picked up an XS54 that seems to be in great condition but the DVD drive is slow reading blank media, I haven't timed it but I'd say 30-45 seconds to read a disc when my other Toshibas take around 10 seconds. Is that normal for this recorder? When I first powered it up it had the dreaded "ERR-14" code of death before I even put a disc in it. The owner swears he never had any problems with the recorder.
I've serviced the burner and it got slightly better, the first time I tried it must have been a minute or so to read a disc, I thought it wasn't going to read it at all. The burner doesn't look like it's had much use, the spindle was clean and the dvd laser transverse motor shaft looked like it had little to no wear unlike most of them I've seen.
The burner in the RD-XS54 is . . . . drum roll please . . . . a Panasonic burner, but it's the less durable ones with the metal case. I know the RD-XS32, even with a new burner, is slow to read discs, but I don't recall the RD-XS54 being too slow (I only use this unit once a year). I don't feel the RD-XS54 burners are very robust either. The used unit I got off Ebay lasted maybe 3 months under heavy use before giving up the ghost.
The ERR-14 message may mean a bad burner or bum Digi PC board, but most likely your burner is on it's last legs.
I'm currently using a refurbished Panasonic SW-9585-C on my RD-XS32. It's a PC-type burner with the metal case, made in China or whatever. The advantage of this burner is it will work with both DVD-R and DVD-RAM, with minor workarounds. After about a year, it would fail to dub the 2nd title to DVD-R, or it would fail to initialize a few thumbnails for finalizing. However turning the recorder off and on would cure the problem. As I had nothing to lose, I took it apart, blew it out with compressed air, and cleaned the laser with a Q-tip moistened with alcohol. So far no problems, and if I can get another year out of this refurb that's fine since it only cost $19.
I'm thinking the early 2004-2005 Panasonic burners with plastic housing were made in Japan and are very durable, but the later burners with metal housing and made in China/Thailand need to have done what DigaDo recommends. Panasonic quit making stuff in Japan like VCRs around 2002-2003 or so. In fact I still have two Panasonic VCRs made in Japan. At the time, I switched to the Toshiba 6-Head DNR units which had better image quality.