What a piece of crap! HP DVD Writer dvd630i (aka 630c) is AWFUL!


Categories: GeekStuff

Okay, this is just plain ridiculous.

I was having trouble with a DVD burner under FreeBSD - a Pioneer DVR-108. I finally got frustrated enough to stop by Circuit City and pick up a mid-range DVD burner. I bought an HP DVD Writer dvd630i, which appeared to not be one of the really cheap brands, so I figured it would probably at least basically work.

BOY, was I wrong.

Putting this drive in the FreeBSD machine made it kernel panic on boot, with errors about not being able to find a slave drive, even though there was no reason to expect one. If I put another drive in as the slave, I could get the HP to work, sort of.

So, I upgraded the machine from FreeBSD 5.2.1 to FreeBSD 5.3 beta 7. This made several of my other problems go away. So I tried the HP burner again. No luck, but now, I couldn’t even get it to burn CDs with another drive on the chain.

So I put the HP in my Mac. It took over 20 reboots to discover the magic: The HP drive simply cannot work as a slave drive with a Pioneer A104 as master. At least, not on the Mac. No combination of steps would make it work that way. So I set it up as the master, and the Pioneer as a slave. With this setup, I found that it couldn’t burn CDs or DVDs, because, even with third party software talking to it, it didn’t detect discs - the same behavior I was seeing with FreeBSD.

So, I went to check for firmware updates. HP’s page covers only their special Windows drivers. So, I take apart my Windows machine and install the drive there. What do you think happens? That’s right. It doesn’t work there, either. HP’s special drivers announce cheerfully that there are no HP drives in my system.

Well, after that experience, they’re right. The HP drive is not in any of the three systems it doesn’t work in. It’s in a box with a receipt on it. And later today, it will be back at Circuit City, where it will be returned as a defunct piece of crap.

Next time, I’ll get the extra-cheap model. It’ll work at least as well.

EDIT: I forgot to add: When I uninstalled HP’s software from my Windows box, it uninstalled PowerDVD… Which had been installed two weeks earlier. Because all it does is check for software packages it COULD have come with, whether or not I installed them with it. Oh, and it added a couple of ads to my desktop, in the form of shortcuts to “try out Wild Tangent games now” and stuff like that. At least they went away in the uninstall.

Comments [archived]

From: seebs_lawyer
Date: 2004-10-15 08:25:59 -0500

It appears HP has become “one of the really cheap brands”.

HP is not quite a zombie yet, but its soul is dead.

From: tubby
Date: 2004-10-15 09:59:14 -0500

Please help me with spam. i get ads everday I didnt ask for. Isn’t there a law?

What can I do?

From: seebs_lawyer
Date: 2004-10-15 19:02:40 -0500

Tubby -

Give me a call–seebs has my number.

From: Glenn
Date: 2006-01-06 13:04:30 -0600

Hmm…funny. I bought this burner and put it in my windows machine, it had no problems. worked even before I put the HP software on it. This machine is a dual boot between this and a version of linux, which worked quite well with K3B, burning both CD’s and DVD’s with no problem at all. Seems like a PEBKAC problem to me.

P.S. I’ve run it as master and slave on this same system without incident.

From: Anders
Date: 2006-01-07 13:43:28 -0600

No problems for me either, I got a HP computer as a fringe benefit from work and it has really never given me any reason to gripe, none whatsoever :) The DVD-burner - yes, a 630c - keeps on chugging out those DVD´s and I just keep on smilin´

From: seebs
Date: 2006-01-07 22:11:49 -0600

Well, it’s quite possible that they’ve replaced it with a totally different model in the intervening time. It could be that I just got a bad drive.

I’m just uninclined to spend much time debugging it.

From: freddy
Date: 2006-01-26 16:57:36 -0600

sounds like you are a clueless cunt, too stupid to burn DVDs anyway

From: Michael Skoworn
Date: 2006-12-30 17:19:12 -0600

I have a HP media center that I bought in May. My DVD burner has not worked for 2 months and all HP does is insist that the burner is fine. I gave it their own tests and the lightscribe passed the CD burner passed but the DVD burner failed repeatedly. Any thoughts?

From: Michael Skoworn
Date: 2007-02-03 13:25:06 -0600

Hp finally sent me a DVD burner and it works fine. Once they figured out that the burner was defective, they hopped right to it.

From: Viper
Date: 2008-03-31 13:53:02 -0500

Hello i have some problems with this HP DVD Writer 630c.

when i reinstalled my windows operating system (xp sp1)… i wanted to burn some dvds but it fuckin didnt work, i get this message when i want to burn a dvd or a image to a dvd:: Optimum Power Calibration Failed !! Reason: Power Calibration Area is full. anyone a idea ? somebody help me man … i wish it worked.