I use multi-session CD’s to store software updates in case I need them again in the future. I was checking one to see what patches and updates I had stored on it using my Mac Pro. The CD slipped into the drive (a Pioneer DVR-112) and then spun and spun, never appearing on the desktop. I popped it out and then slipped into the SuperDrive on my MacBook Pro, and it read the CD without a problem. I then transported the CD back to the Mac Pro, inserting it in the machine’s second optical drive (a Pioneer DVR-111), only to find it wouldn’t read the disk, either. That made me think I had some kind of problem with that media, which were Maxell CD-R’s. To verify that, I put a Verbatim printable CD-R in the MacBook Pro, burned the same files to it as I had on the other CD, and then popped it into the Mac Pro. It read the disk. That confirmed it was only a media problem, I thought, right up to the point where I tried to burn a disk (using Toast 8) and the DVR-112. Toast quit before writing, giving me a “0x00008” error code. I began to suspect the drive itself was having a problem.
To verify both drive and operating system operation, I inserted both a Maxell CD-R and a Verbatim CD-R into the DVR-112, let it spin up and mount each CD on Leopard’s desktop, and dragged several folders to each one. When I tried to write using Leopard alone, the drive wrote a little and then issued a “media sense error”; and this happened with both types of media used. When I repeated the steps using the DVR-111, it burned the Verbatim media without a hitch but then couldn’t verify the disk and spit it out. The drive choked altogether on the Maxell CD. Was there nothing that worked?
I decided to reinstall the OS 10.5.1 update to see if it might help straighten out things, so I surfed over the Apple site and downloaded it. Once I had installed it, I tried burning a mini-size TDK CD using both drives. The 112 choked again, but the 111 worked just fine. That convinced me the 112 was having some kind of problem under Leopard, even though it had performed a test burn under Windows XP without a problem. Powering down the Mac Pro, I replaced the 112 with the 111 and put a Pioneer DVR-107 in the 111’s old slot. Using some TDK CD-R’s I bought to try, I performed test burns in multi-session mode and all drives and they all worked fine.
I’m using the TDK CD-R’s now for storage. The Maxell’s have been relegated for use only on my MacBook Pro and when I’m going to “close” the disk. (Every machine can see them, then.) It’s a shame I can’t tell you I haven’t seen this problem before, but I have and on both Mac and Windows’ platforms. You would think at this stage of the technology that all burners and media would be compatible, but that’s just not the case. Additionally, I suspect that the firmware in the Pioneer DVR-112 (V 1.29) has some problem with Leopard it doesn’t have with XP. Hopefully, I won’t have any more problems like this for a while. God save me when it’s time to cut a DVD…!