Some tech items for sale simply defy belief as far as their shoddy quality is concerned, and believe me when I say this is not dictated by price alone whether the cost of the item is high or low.
There have been some out there (maybe you’re one of them) who have spent $300 on a graphics card only to receive it and it doesn’t work. Or maybe $400 on a monitor only to discover a lone dead pixel on something labeled as ‘premium quality’. Or heck, there have even been $50,000 cars that leave the assembly line with a left blinker that doesn’t work.
The examples above however are singular instances. With DVDs and Blu-ray discs, we have successfully proven that it is possible to make a mistake 5, 10, 25, 50 or even 100 times in a row.
Yes, I’m talking about the bad spindle of discs. You go to the store, plunk down some cash for a spindle, take it home, open the package, pop in a disc to burn something and it doesn’t work. You try another disc. Doesn’t work. Try a 3rd disc. No-worky. Now you think your drive might be bad. It probably isn’t. What happened is that you just bought a whole bunch of shiny coasters.
Tip before continuing: Don’t wait until you run out of discs before you buy a spindle. Always save one for a test-burn before you buy a new lot so you know if your drive is working properly. This allows you to rule out the "Is the drive the problem?" question.
What really gets me is that it’s literally a crapshoot these days on whether you’ll get a good or bad spindle of discs – regardless of brand. Think Verbatim is immune to this? They’re not, and you can find stories on the ‘net of people who have bought bad spindles.
There are a few hard fast rules when it comes to buying spindles of discs.
- Never buy the discs that are discounted (like Sony brand always is).
- Never buy the discs that come in "fun colors".
- Never buy the discs that come bundled with anything (ex: buy X spindle, receive a free USB stick).
- Always burn one of the discs you just bought the moment you get home, and operate on a three strikes rule. If 3 discs won’t burn, take ‘em back and get a refund, and don’t take a replacement spindle because it’s most likely true all of that particular brand of disc is bad for that month at that store.
Yes, it is rather amazing that something can be manufactured 100 times in a row the wrong way, but it does happen. And this is not something where I can say, "Don’t let it happen to you" because sometimes you draw the short straw and end up with bum discs regardless of how smart of a shopper you are.
If you do happen to buy an entire spindle of bad discs, don’t get mad because it sometimes happens.
The PCMech.com weekly newsletter has been running strong for over 8 years. Sign up to get tech news, updates and exclusive content - right in your inbox. Also get (several) free gifts.