I just got a 3520A as my first DVD burner. First thing I did was flash it to 3.04 using NEC's download and then try to make a data CD with Deepburner (first time with that also). Drive would make a loud noise and give a power calibration area error using my Verbatim CDRs (rated either 48 or 52) at MAX, 48, 32 and 24 speeds. I didn't try 16 and it finally burned fine at 8 (lowest available) though it still made some shorter loud noises at the beginning. I verified I'm running UDMA Mode 2 and use only MS IDE drivers.
Now I'm just listening to a mass-produced CD and 2 times it has done that really loud noise while listening, causing it to stop one of those times. Thankfully I've made it about 20 minutes now with no noises. Maybe it needed to break in. Spoke too soon - it's doing it again.
I don't even want to try burning a data DVD (what I bought the drive for along with faster CDRs) until it can burn and play CDs. My Verbatims should be pretty decent and I can't believe they wouldn't be in the firmware table as I've had them a while. They have always worked fine on my Sony 24x though it was almost always noisy though nothing like the hideous sound the 3520 has made at times. It's similar to the chattering a hd makes when it's died.
What else should I be looking for??? I wasn't expecting all this trouble from all I've read. I'm thinking an RMA may be in order.