Ask Max: Macbook Pro burning problems
My Macbook Pro Failed to calibrate laser power level for cd media. What do I do ?
That MacBook Pro disk burning error message can cover a few problems. The "Failed to calibrate laser power level" message was meant to indicate that your CD/DVD burner was unable to find the right settings for the blank media you are using. So the first thing to try is different blank media. Do not test with other disks from the same group or spindle, but instead try different brands of CD-R banks. Borrow or trade some blank discs with friends for a good crosscheck of media. See if your blank discs work in your friends' computers and see if theirs work in your MacBook Pro. If you fail to burn any CDs in your MacBook Pro, regardless of how many different brand discs you use, it is probably is a drive or driver issue.
Some people who upgraded to Leopard have reported burning issues like yours. Also, some people just upgrading to 10.4.11 from another version of Tiger have had an unsolved problem where they get the error message "Failed to calibrate laser power level." It is not a common occurrence so I would not jump to the conclusion that this is an Apple update problem. Just consider it as a possibility. To see if this your problem, you should try an Archive and Install from your original gray OS X install discs. If it is a driver issue, then Archive and Install should fix it.
The last possibility is that the hardware has failed and the optical drive may need to be replaced. If you determine that the two possible culprits above are not to blame, take your MacBook Pro to a local Apple Authorized Service Center.