Sense Key = Medium Error

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Kelstar007, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Kelstar007 macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2005

    I keep getting this error when I get to the stage where either iPhoto, Toast or just the Finder start to burn a CD.

    " The Drive reported an error:
    Sense Key = MEDIUM ERROR
    Sense Code = 0x73, 0x03 "

    I have turned off & removed my external FW Drive, just in case that was the cause. No luck.

    Where can I reference such a code or better still does anyone have a fix?
    I am hoping it is not a hardware issue.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

  2. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    This Big List Of Sense Codes says that's a "power calibration area error" which means that the drive attempted a small write on a reserved test section of the disc, and wasn't convinced that things were working correctly.

    Are you using a brand and type of disc that has worked well in that drive before?

    Here are some sense code lists for future reference. You can always google the error text in the right-hand column to find a better explanation, if these documents are unenlightening in that regard.

    As text, as PDF.

    The left-hand column, SK, is 3 in this case, which is why the Mac told you "medium error". Since they seem to be omitted from those lists, the common sense keys are:

    0 no sense info available
    1 recovered from an error
    2 drive is not ready
    3 medium error (i.e., "bad" disc according to the drive)
    4 hardware error
    5 illegal request (invalid command sent to the drive)
    6 unit attention (disc was changed, power switch flipped, etc.)
    7 write protected
    8 blank check (tried to read an empty or unrecognized area)
    9 manufacturer-specific junk
    A copy interrupted
    B command interrupted

    (and more codes really meant for SCSI)
  3. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2004
    I find with certain types of media, one needs to turn down the burn speed to something around 24X to get it to burn consistently. Yes, logically using "Fastest Possible" should work, but a manual slowdown often fixes such issues for me.
  4. Kelstar007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2005
    X4 seems to work

    Thanks for your guidance.

    Cheap discs from Aldi may be the fault after all, but the Verbatim 52X I have used before and also react in the same way. Do drives become a bit dodgy after a certain amount of mileage?

    Thanks I'll be able to get those Holi pics of to Mum after all.

  5. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    In short you need a new drive... I had the same error on my PowerBook's SuperDrive several times, I'm now on my 3rd SuperDrive in less than 3 years. :rolleyes:
  6. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Yup, they can get tired, sometimes dirt/dust/gunk can be a problem too. If you have a tray loading drive, you might try one of those cleaning discs as a last resort if things get worse. They aren't recommended for slot loaders though.

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