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This is a considerable nuisance. I don't know if the drive has just packed up (it is quite old) or if something else is wrong. I haven't actually used it ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    [SOLVED] My external CD rewriter has stopped working


    This is a considerable nuisance. I don't know if the drive has just packed up (it is quite old) or if something else is wrong. I haven't actually used it for a long time and I've had quite a few kernel builds since then.The first symptom I noticed is that I can't open the tray except with a paperclip. If I do so, put a disc in and try to mount it, I get "no medium found". Also when I run wodim --scanbus, the drive isn't picked up. And when I try to do a dummy write, I get "Cannot open SCSI driver!" Yet /proc/scsi/scsi has it listed, so the kernel must know it's there:

    Attached devices:
    Host: scsi0 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
    Vendor: Verbatim Model: STORE N GO Rev: 5.00
    Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 00
    Host: scsi2 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
    Vendor: AOPEN Model: CD-RW CRW5224 Rev: 1.06
    Type: CD-ROM

    Obviously, I've tried pushing all my cables in hard but that didn't help. Besides, if it was just a bad connection, how come the kernel finds it and wodim doesn't?
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    It is connected via USB? What happens if you leave it plugged in and reboot (cold shutdown + restart)? Also, which distribution+version+kernel are you running?
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubberman View Post
    It is connected via USB? What happens if you leave it plugged in and reboot (cold shutdown + restart)? Also, which distribution+version+kernel are you running?
    Yes, it's a USB connection. When I posted this, I'd been trying to use it out of Debian Lenny but I've since tried with Crux 6 and got similar results, except that wodim in Crux gives a less consistent pattern of errors than wodim in Debian. Obviously, rebooting was the second thing I tried after pushing in all the plugs. I've booted many times since and the eject button doesn't work even during the boot sequence.

    My kernels are 2.6.30 in Crux and 2.6.26 in Debian, both hand-built. I suppose I could reinstall the Debian stock kernel and try with that, but I am more or less convinced now that it is the hardware that is busted.

    The annoying thing is that I can't easily get a replacement. I went into my local Maplins a few days ago and they have several different DVD writers but nothing on the box to indicate that they will write CDs as well. Even if they do, I resent paying twice as much to access a technology I don't use. Argos is the same. It seems CD writers have become obsolete.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"

  4. #4
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    FWIW, most all DVD-RW drives will also handle CDRW discs just fine. I use mine for that all the time on both my desktop and laptop (different drives and operating systems). I think finding a pure CD recorder will be problematic these days since DVDRW drives are just about as cheap - most of the $ goes into the mechanical components of the drive, and those are pretty much the same. In any case, you should be able to find a decent drive for a reasonable sum. I don't know what you would pay in the UK, but here across the pond you can get one online for about $50 USD (about 30 quid in the Queen's scrip I think).
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  5. #5
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    Hazel, I didn't like the idea of using DVD's either when I upgraded my machine but since I have gotten my DVD/CD burner, I love it more than just a CD burner. They hold a lot more data and that's a plus for anyone who distro hops because some of the new distros only issue a DVD download version. Oh and it makes backups that much easier when you need less burning media.
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  6. #6
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Just to update this:

    It was my birthday yesterday so I decided to splash out bought myself a new DVD writer as a birthday present. It cost about 40 and works just fine both for reading and writing CDs, so this was indeed purely a hardware problem.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"

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