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DVR-117D and Retrospect 6

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I just got my new G5 and installed Retrospect 6, updated and the driver it to the latest version and...it doesn't know my Superdrive!


According to Apple Profile, it's a Pioneer DVD-RW DVR-117D, which is not listed at all on the compatibility page.


What's going on here? Isn't Dantz supporting Apple's current product line? It isn't like my machine is the first out of the block here!



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Having transferred nearly 400 gb of fairly valuable data to my spanking new G5 and sold my G4, of course the first thing I wanted to do was run a backup. When I discovered that Retrospect wouldn't recognize the DVR-117D and Dantz won't speculate on a release date for a driver, I searched for another backup application. None of them met my needs.


400 gb of data with no backup worried me enough that I began staying up late looking for a solution. As Retrospect just finished verifying and then accurately restoring a few test GB from a DVD, it would seem I've succeeded. But read on... Having done what I describe a few hours ago, I've no way of knowing if I'll live to regret it.


It turns out that the DVR-117D is actually a Pioneer DVR-108 with custom OEM firmware. Since the DVR-108 sports features that Apple has not mentioned with regard to the current crop of SuperDrives and the DVR-108 firmware is freely available, it seemed likely that some Übergeeks somewhere out there would be unable to resist the temptation of 16x speeds and 8.5 double-layer burns. And indeed, that turns out to be true. But more germane to this discussion is the fact that the current version of Retrospect for OS X supports the DVR-108.


In short, having flashed the DVR-117D with DVR-108 firmware, I now have what appears to be a fully functional (and complete acceptable to Retrospect) DVR-108. Nor am I the only one. The subject has been discussed in gory detail:




While the procedure is not for the faint of heart, if you're comfortable at the command line the instructions, script, and firmware work just as described. More importantly, not that THIS PROCEDURE IS NOT PRESENTLY REVERSIBLE. There is no publicly available firmware for the DVR-117D, but the speculations on what will occur with the release of Tiger make interesting reading (same thread as referenced above).


Of course the DVR-108 isn't supported by the iApps, but PatchBurn has a good rep and has worked perfectly for me. I've just finished a test burn of an audio CD in iTunes. It burned with gratifying speed, plays perfectly, and reripped in record time. I haven't tested any of the other iApps, but given the degree to which PatchBurn is discussed at


http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/ ,


I'm not worried about it.


The only differences I note are that the drive runs faster (nice, that), and consequently makes more noise (I can cope). But at the risk of belaboring the point, it's been all of four hours since I flashed the drive as a 108, there's no telling what I'll discover tomorrow, and THERE'S NO GOING BACK. Further, what I've done voids my warranty. It was worth it to me - the data I'm backing up is worth 10 drives - but you'll have to make your own choice.

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