Thanks for the CD Text info. I'm starting to learn more about it. I thought that adding artist and song title info which appears in Nero would come up in Winamp when playing my disks, but I see it's not that simple.
Also, you wanted to know where I read about the F1 creating bad sectors. Actually, it was in another topic in this forum: http://www.cdrinfo.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8463
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions. I certainly appreciate any and all comments which are all helpful.
However, I think it would be much more productive for us all if everyone were to take a few moments to read the topic from the beginning (or at least scan) before you make your comments.
First off, to all of those who told me (including Sony Tech Support) that my old laptop (400MHz/128MB/6GB/Win98SE) could not handle a high-performance drive like the CRW-F1....
...guess what? They were all wrong. All I had to do was pick the right combination for my interface: the external Firewire card worked like a charm and gave me 44x burning no problem! (please read earlier posts) And yesterday I added 64MB of memory (now maxed at 192MB) and my machine is running even better. I've been burning all kinds of things with Nero and no matter what I do, I haven't gotten a single error. So it certainly seems to be suitable. Of course a brand-new screaming computer (laptop or desktop) would be a nice thing, but it wasn't essential for me to get fast burning out of my drive.
Please do not disparage my laptop. I do not do heavy burning and am not running a commercial enterprise. It is simply for my own uses and enjoyment.
As far as your question about what I'm trying to achieve, the answer is two-fold: 1) to get as much of the performance out of my new drive as it can offer (I've now done that!) and that I paid for ($240); 2) to gain a better understanding of CD-R knowledge so I can better utilize my tools. Plus, I'm one of those people who is more comfortable learning as much "behind the scenes" info as I can handle. It takes time to absorb it all.
With regards to software updates, I did all the ones that were possible: 1394 drivers for Win98SE had already been updated, ASPI layer was updated. New drivers for the iLINK were not available and wouldn't have helped anyway. And it turns out that actually I do have my Win98SE installation CD. But.... in the end, it turned out that there was NO problem with my software, once I had the right card.
As helpful as some of your suggestions were, nearly all had already been addressed prior:
2. No BIOS updates were available. The 1394 drivers that came with my OrangeLink Firewire card worked just fine.
3. Yes, I have already stated that the built-in Firewire (Sony iLINK) would not work. This has already been established.
4. Suggesting that I use a FW or USB2 card. This has also already been addressed. The USB2 card didn't work right (I tried everything to fix it) but the FW worked just fine.
7. Suggesting I try the FW card... Already did and I said it works great.
8. Turns out that I have my Win98SE installation CD, but that had nothing to do with the problem.
9. Buying a modern desktop might be nice, but my current financial situation cannot support it. Just a note that Sony's tech support strongly suggested I buy one of their newer Vaio laptops.
10. As far as your comment about valuing the time of people I'm requesting assistance from, I think you would be wise to read the topics thoroughly before you waste your time to comment on issues and suggestions that have already been covered.
I'd like to think that this forum supports the dissemination of knowledge. There are those of us who know much and others who are still learning. The funny thing is that the mfr's tech support really had no clear idea of what was wrong. Nobody could give me an answer that worked. Funny that they all said that it was the other guy's fault. It was very disorienting. I really appreciated the down-to-earth, friendly help I received from people in this forum.
Thanks to those of you who have supported me through my initial obstacles and prevented me from throwing my CD-RW into the trash.