First a quick thanks for hosting one of the most informative CD-R forums on the web. Great job! Tried to search to find my answers, but couldnít find what I was looking for.
I've got an older Sony Vaio laptop (PCG-F360: 400MHz/128MB/6.5GB/Win98SE) that works fine for most of my applications, albeit a little slowly. I decided to join the CD-R Generation since my 100MB Zip disk just couldn't hold the goods. Thought it would be a simple switch, but alas, Iím finding that thereís a bit to it. I've spent hours with Yamaha Tech Support and also with Sony and have not found a way to make this work. Here goes:
I decided to go with the Yamaha CRW-F1 and picked the CRW-F1ZDX external model (dual USB/Firewire, firmware 1.0c) to take full advantage of the 44X write speed because my laptop has an Ilink port (Sonyís IEEE1394). I found out that the port is only S200, i.e. speed is only 200 Mbps, vs. current standard of 400 Mbps. I was told by the store (J&R in NYC) that it should still be plenty fast enough to work with this drive. After all, 44X writing is only at 6.5 Mbps so certainly 200 Mbps should be plenty fast to make this drive scream. Right? Well, it turns out that that Sony port may only be able to handle digital video in and not CD-RWs.
Hooked up the CRW-F1 to the Ilink port using a 4-pin to 6-in Firewire connector. The OS seemed to recognize it fine. I could read disks no problem. Then I installed all the software that came bundled with the drive. I figured I had the room so why not?
Then I tried to do some on-the-fly 44X data writing. I had Nero 5.5.9.? burning to TDK 48X media. Got errors: (SCSI timeout, SCSI/ATAPI timeout error, SCSI/IDE error, Could not perform end of Disc-At-Once, Burn process failed at 44x (6,600 KB/s.) Also got freezes where the drive would keep spinning but I couldn't stop it. Had to completely power down.
Called up Yamaha and they said at first that the drive was bad, so I exchanged for a new one. Same problems. They also suggested I uninstall all the programs (including the Nero that came with the drive) and then upgrade to the latest Nero. I downloaded 22.214.171.124 from the Ahead site and put in a Yamaha-supplied serial number to get a full version with working DiscT@2. One helpful guy there suggested I try to hook up to my laptop using the USB connection to see what happens. I tried that, and everything worked fine, but very slow since Iíve only got USB 1.1 built-in. Thatís really slow (4X writing, max). Also, I couldnít use my USB mouse which Iíve really grown to love since the laptop has only 1 USB port and Yamaha doesnít suggest connecting their drive to a hub. I also tried uninstalling my Zip drive, associated Iomega programs and its Parallel Port Interface. But to no avail.
So, has anybody had any experience with this problem? Is there any way to make my Firewire port work happily with the drive? (USB 1.1 is such a drag.) Or do I have to go out and buy a USB 2.0 or Firewire Cardbus to plug in (Yamaha suggested I get an externally powered one)? If so, which is better, USB or Firewire? Remember that Iíd like to be able to use my Sony USB mouse if I can, since itís small and the wheel works properly to scroll windows (wheel has not worked properly when I plug in a standard PS/2 mouse). Would upgrading the firmware fix the problem? Also, ripping audio CDs is sooo slow, as well.
Hope this isnít too much info, but I wanted to see if anyone could help me before I get rid of the drive. Iíve started to learn about all kinds of neat things making compilation disks, learning about mp3 vs. wav and other things. But the speed issue has made using my CD-R a very frustrating proposition. I don't want to have to give up on CD-R's!!!
Right now, I've installed it via USB 1.1 (slow!) but my Winamp player won't play any audio CD's. I've done all kinds of things to help fix the audio, but nothing has helped.