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Thread: DVD RAM Drive Replace, Repair or Upgrade?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default DVD RAM Drive Replace, Repair or Upgrade?

    Can anyone make a recommendation as to whether I should attempt to replace, repair or upgrade to another DVD RAM drive? I currently have approximately 60 DVD RAM disks (both 4.7GB and 9.4GB). My system is a G4 500 MHz Power Mac with an original Matshita (Panasonic) LF-D211A DVD RAM internal drive. My drive no longer appears to be functioning in that I can no longer read or write to my disks. The drive attempts to read the disks and then spits them back out again.

    My fear is that if I spend the money to purchase a new or refurbed unit, that I may be throwing good money away. Someone suggested to me that it is also possible that since the optics on the unit may have become uncalibrated over a period of time, that even a new unit might not be able to read my old archived disks due to writing errors or a misaligned laser. Many of the companies I called regarding a new DVD RAM drive have a no return policy and most could not even suggest or tell me if the units that were offered were compatible with my Mac. I was using Mac OS 9.2 with my DVD RAM drive but also have Mac OS 10.3.9 loaded on a separate external drive.

    I have also not had much luck in getting anyone from Panasonic to respond to my questions regarding repairing the old unit. I just cannot afford to lose the data on these discs. If anyone has any suggestion as to how they think I should proceed, I would be much obliged.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default I 'think'..

    I cannot confirm this while sitting here (G5 not in front of me) that the Pioneer DVD 110(not D) reads and even writes DVD RAM. Am sure someone here knows the answer, if not I will check this evening.

    My 110 was a Pioneer 110D drive which started out as an OEM from Newegg $44, then flashed to 110 w/ RAM support "i believe".

    Read up at accelerate your mac Database, I think the answer is there somewhere.
    MacBook Pro Uni 2.4GHz with express card slot

    iMac G5

  3. #3
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    Mar 2006
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    Default DVD RAM Update

    I also wanted to mention that I tested this DVD-RAM drive's ability to read DVD movies and also CDs. It does both, but will not read any of my DVD RAM disks. Does anyone have a clue as to why this would occur? Could it be software or firmware related? This is the same drive that all of the DVD-RAM disks were recorded on. I am totally baffled. Anyone having a suggestion as to where to go from here would be extremely appreciated.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I have never even burned a DVD but... In OS X are your permissions set to "ignore" and/or both "read and write" - highlight one and select the "Get Info"
    Read the different articles and forums here a ton of info over there on drives. - Randy
    Last edited by rwm; 03-08-2006 at 07:44 PM.

  5. #5
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    Wink xlr8 Outcome

    rquising and rwm - Thank you for responding. Some of other forums have totally ignored my post/plea for help. I took your advice and visited the xlr8 site and found some interesting dialog, but am still uncertain as to which direction I need to take. Considering that many of the posts applicable to my situation were written several years ago, I almost wondered that if I was to try and reload an older version of the Mac OS system, perhaps 9.0 or 9.1, would this essentially "restore" my Mac G4 (and the DVD-RAM drive's functionality) to what it once was. Could it be that newer drivers, etc. may have rendered my drive's ability to read DVD RAMs useless? Does this theory sound plausible? I know I am a newby to this forum, and probably do not have a great deal to contribute at this time, however, I would appreciate any assistance anyone might have to offer. Thanks, in advance.

  6. #6
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    Default I have never owned the original G4 Ram Drive you speak of

    My understanding is that the Pioneer drive does Read / Write DVD-Ram. I do not think its a driver issue, as Apple has not discontinued it in the software (at least it appears like it still does work).
    MacBook Pro Uni 2.4GHz with express card slot

    iMac G5

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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    Concord, CA
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    Default

    Interesting. In my G5, it sez:
    PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-109:

    Firmware Revision: A912
    Interconnect: ATAPI
    Burn Support: Yes (Apple Shipped/Supported)
    Cache: 2000 KB
    Reads DVD: Yes
    CD-Write: -R, -RW
    DVD-Write: -R, -RW, +R, +RW, +R DL
    Burn Underrun Protection CD: Yes
    Burn Underrun Protection DVD: Yes
    Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, CD-Raw, DVD-DAO
    Media: No

    So I guess mine will not write DVD-RAM, only read. k

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    NW Montana
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    Default

    My DA with a 103

    PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-103:

    Firmware Revision: 1.90
    Interconnect: ATAPI
    Burn Support: Yes (Apple Shipped/Supported)
    Cache: 2000 KB
    Reads DVD: Yes
    CD-Write: -R, -RW
    DVD-Write: -R, -RW
    Burn Underrun Protection CD: No
    Burn Underrun Protection DVD: Yes
    Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, DVD-DAO
    Media: No

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    1hr N/W of LA LA Land
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skyblue
    The drive attempts to read the disks and then spits them back out again.

    <snip>

    also wanted to mention that I tested this DVD-RAM drive's ability to read DVD movies and also CDs. It does both, but will not read any of my DVD RAM disks.
    Just to clarify this happens only with DVD-RAM disks that you have burned previously, or with any DVD-RAM media? Have you tried burning/verifying any new disks?

    That would go a long way toward determining if it's the drive or the media. I hope if the stuff on you're disks is important that it's the drive. Optical media is not the most robust format for archival storage especially with cheap disks that are stored in a less than ideal environment.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    on the landline, Mr. Smith
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    Confused

    I have access to quite a few different DVD drives in Macs at work, from a new Pioneer 110 I installed the other day to a still functioning OEM DVD RAM drive in a G4 400.

    But no RAM disks anywhere to test with....so I don't know what I can do to help. Not to mention the problem of not knowing if your media would even work with any of these drives.....if there is calibration issues, etc.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  11. #11
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    Jan 2001
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    Lightbulb Dvd-ram

    From AYM today:

    ... new Pioneer DVR-111 model. (16X DVD, 8X Dual Layer DVD, and 40X CD Max rated burn speeds) which also supports DVD-RAM.

    (The previous DVR-110 model also supported DVD-RAM, although the 110D didn't unless cross-flashed with 110 firmware.)

    MacSales - SuperDrives

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