An open community 
of Macintosh users,
for Macintosh users.

FineTunedMac Dashboard widget now available! Download Here

Topic Options
#4517 - 09/30/09 03:08 AM G4 CD drive problem URGENT
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
The CD drive in one of the G4s appears to have packed up - at 3 a.m. this morning. This is absolutely vital to our business.
We prepare our work on PDFs, burn them to CD, send CD to outside printing firm for large-scale print-run. This is a weekly production.

The other G4 I now discover does not burn disks, it only reads them.

Symptoms when I came in this morning: the drive opens, will take disk on tray, closes. Disk mounts on desktop.

Do you want to format this? happens as usual. Drag and drop folder of PDFs to disk, ok. Click on burn CD, ok.

Then it goes away and makes a lot of clonking noises, nearly gets to the end (verify disk) and then gives up, saying the disk is unreliable. Have tried three different brand new CDs, same result each time. The clonking noises make me think it's the drive not the media.

Now, my idea is to source an external CD drive for this G4 and get it here within the week. At first glance there appear to be a few on the market which would do the job.

HOWEVER, I have since learned that you cannot boot from a USB powered disk! Therefore whilst we would be able to carry on production as usual, in the event Heaven-Forfend, of needing to emergency boot this old G4 from a CD.....without the built in CD drive we're stuffed, right? Or do you think that it's just the "burning" function which doesn't work now? I have no intention of trying to boot from that drive as an experiment!!!

ALSO, this old G4 runs under OS9. So, even if I can find an external CD drive which is *not* USB-powered, would there be an OS-compatibility problem? I really do not know if the software/drivers work on any Mac OS or not, since I've never bought one before.

-----------
There are work-arounds. We can simply email the printing company our PDFs, which is what happened at 3 a.m.

We could put the PDFs on a memory stick, then put that memory stick into one of the iMacs here, and burn a CD from there.
-----------

Either of those work-arounds, however, still leave a malfunctioning/dead CD drive in the G4 with potential unbootability-issues in the future.

I hope I have not muddled any of you helpful people. I need to get a solution fast - as I said, we're in weekly production.

Many thanks

Top
#4520 - 09/30/09 05:53 AM Re: G4 CD drive problem URGENT [Re: Bensheim]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
There is no reason to think only USB with peripherals. In fact, there is every reason to think multi-interface (USB, FireWire, etc.) peripheral, particularly if the item can be used to boot Macs. That way your drive can be used on both old and new Macs, and you've got the 'insurance' that you have more than one connection option to get at your data should one or the other port type on your multi-interface Mac go south. To name just a couple of examples (there are others): LaCie and OWC

Btw, why do you need to use a thumb drive to walk your files over to a Mac with a working disk burner? Isn't a network a lot easier and more efficient?
_________________________
alternaut moderator

Top
#4521 - 09/30/09 06:12 AM Re: G4 CD drive problem URGENT [Re: Bensheim]
...JER Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
I replaced the internal CD drive on my G4 last year with a pioneer DVD-RW DVR-110D. Seems like it was less than $100.
_________________________
...JER (-: >

Top
#4524 - 09/30/09 08:45 AM Re: G4 CD drive problem URGENT [Re: alternaut]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: alternaut
There is no reason to think only USB with peripherals. In fact, there is every reason to think multi-interface (USB, FireWire, etc.) peripheral, particularly if the item can be used to boot Macs. That way your drive can be used on both old and new Macs, and you've got the 'insurance' that you have more than one connection option to get at your data should one or the other port type on your multi-interface Mac go south. To name just a couple of examples (there are others): LaCie and OWC

Btw, why do you need to use a thumb drive to walk your files over to a Mac with a working disk burner? Isn't a network a lot easier and more efficient?


Hi Alternaut and thanks for replying.

The G4 in question is a PowerPC G4 quicksilver like this one:

here

The CD drive sits in the top slot on the front. There's nothing in the lower slot. It's a CD drive not a CD/DVD drive.

I hadn't realised that this Mac has firewire connectivity, but it does. Firewire's a great idea, much better than USB. But can I find a Firewire drive on the internet? All the ones which came up on my searches this morning were USB only.

The two sources you sent me, are in the USA. I'd rather buy something here in the UK. The last time I bought something from the US it took literally weeks to arrive.

I've had a look at installation instructions for replacing the internal CD drive completely (i.e., not firewiring an external one) and to be honest, they scare me. I'm no computer engineer. The only time the doors have been opened on both G4s was when I installed more RAM. Sure, that worked fine, but <wrings hands>.

Why use a memory stick? Well, the two G4s run on OS9. The two iMacs run on Tiger. There is a network: all four Macs use the same printer, but if there's a way to get the G4s to talk to the iMacs over the ethernet hub, I didn't find it yet!

Another idea which has come up over lunch is to email the finished PDFs to ourselves; collect the email on a new iMac and burn the CD from there. But the PDFs are pretty big, it would take ages for the email to arrive, I think. Seems kinda clumsy anyway. I'd rather go the hardware route.

Thank you so much for replying, it is much appreciated.


Top
#4525 - 09/30/09 09:04 AM Re: G4 CD drive problem URGENT [Re: Bensheim]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
OK I've found a Firewire DVD/CD drive on Amazon, in stock, £60.

It's a

http://www.amazon.co.uk/DVD-Multiformat-...5870&sr=1-1

Will it work on a Mac?

Box Contents
# DVD Writer
# USB2.0 cable
# 6-6 Pin FireWire cable
# Power Supply
# Burning Software (for PC's). <-------- ???

Sorry to be a nuisance. Thanks again.

Top
#4552 - 09/30/09 06:15 PM Re: G4 CD drive problem URGENT [Re: Bensheim]
dianne Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Bensheim,

If you have not already done so, you can review additional product information at the manufacturer's site: Storage Depot.

The Storage Depot "Contact Us" option includes phone and fax numbers as well as an email address for technical support.

If I am understanding correctly, you want a replacement optical drive which will do two things for a Macintosh running Mac OS 9:
   A. boot from an operating system installer when necessary.
   B. burn CDs.
Quote:
I have no intention of trying to boot from that drive as an experiment!!!
I have some sense of your hesitancy. Nevertheless, I am not sure why you have no intention of pushing the hardware to its limits to determine what your current situation is.

In addition, I am not sure what your options are for burning a CD in Mac OS 9 using another optical drive. As far as I know, PatchBurn and Toast are not options in Mac OS 9.
_________________________
dianne • moderator

Back up everything you can't afford to lose – documents, mail, movies, music, photos, and other data and settings.

Top
#4560 - 09/30/09 10:00 PM Re: G4 CD drive problem URGENT [Re: Bensheim]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I personally prefer external firewire burners. In particular for anything high volume, and most certainly for any high volume on a slot loader. Lots of businesses are burning (sometimes several) cds/dvds on their imacs every day, and they can wear them out in sometimes under three months flat.

Also if that drive does die, you just walk out and buy another one and are back up in 30 minutes, no need to check it in for service even.
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

Top
#4569 - 10/01/09 09:45 AM Re: G4 CD drive problem URGENT [Re: dianne]
bob82xrp Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Tucson
Originally Posted By: dianne
As far as I know, PatchBurn and Toast are not options in Mac OS 9.


Toast through version 5.2.3 burns CDs and DVDs under OS 9. It had System Extensions for Firewire and USB support for external drives, though some research would be necessary to determine compatability/user experience with specific models (I had no problems using Toast 5.2.1 with my Quicksilver's internal SuperDrive, a Pioneer 103).

There was no PatchBurn for OS 9.
_________________________
MacBook Pro, 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i7, 4GB RAM, 500 GB HD, OSX 10.6.8

Top
#4571 - 10/01/09 10:55 AM Re: G4 CD drive problem URGENT [Re: dianne]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: dianne
Bensheim,

If you have not already done so, you can review additional product information at the manufacturer's site: Storage Depot.

The Storage Depot "Contact Us" option includes phone and fax numbers as well as an email address for technical support.


Thank you Dianne, this note is very helpful....

Quote:
If I am understanding correctly, you want a replacement optical drive which will do two things for a Macintosh running Mac OS 9:
   A. boot from an operating system installer when necessary.
   B. burn CDs.


That would be correct....

Quote:
Quote:
I have no intention of trying to boot from that drive as an experiment!!!
I have some sense of your hesitancy. Nevertheless, I am not sure why you have no intention of pushing the hardware to its limits to determine what your current situation is.


Because it's a busy working office, and that particular G4 is in use for 18 hours a day? Would you push it to its limits as an experiment, when only one part of it won't do only one function? shocked

Quote:
In addition, I am not sure what your options are for burning a CD in Mac OS 9 using another optical drive. As far as I know, PatchBurn and Toast are not options in Mac OS 9.


This is a terrific note! I am so grateful to you for thinking of this. You've just saved us over £60 on a piece of kit which wouldn't work anyway without some extra spend on software, which is now unavailable (I just checked the Toast-provider site).

The options which remain seem to be:

(1) Buy a CD burner which can be installed internally, then the Mac will use it's own software to burn. I'm reluctant to do this because as I've already said I'm no computer engineer, I just do whatever is necessary to keep the show on the road and learn as a I go along. Getting out screwdrivers and dismantling innards scares me, to be honest.

(2) Use a memory stick to transfer the PDFs to an iMac for burning.

As I said yesterday somewhere else here, if there is a way to get old Macs to communicate with new ones, I have not found it yet.

Note: I really do not expect everyone to remember everything I've posted, so to ward off further questions on my last paragraph, we have two G4s running OS9 and two iMacs running OSX. The G4s share files the two iMacs share files. G4 to iMac, no way other than memory stick.

Many thanks again for your help, it was invaluable.

Top

Moderator:  alternaut, dianne, MacManiac