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device configuration for dvd-r drive ?

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I've got the new Plextor firewire and USB 16X external DVD drive and it's not on the compatibility list (yet) ... When I attempt the Configure routine, I'm asked for the fresh disc, the machine then says "checking writing method" and goes away to la-la land, never to return..........



What do I do now ???

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Hi again,


I did the updates , in the order you specified, and I even went down to 2x media, both DVD-R media and Verbatim DVD+R media. I get the same response when I try to configure the drive. The drive spins up and blinks, the message says "checking writing method", the drive spins down, and the spinning beach ball and brain death occur immediately.


I've waited as long as 7 minutes for the drive to spin back up to no avail. In the past, before your answers to my inquiries, I've walked away and come back hours later, just figuring that I might have been hasty in bailing out, but it makes no difference. Once the drive spins down, it never comes back.


I had this problem with the Memorex True 8X drive before, but Memorex support said that they did not support that drive on the Mac. I was hoping that the Plextor would be different, since it is supported on the Mac by Plextor out of the box. I at least thought that I could do an ad-hoc configure, since the older Pextor drives are in the Dantz Supported drives database.



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The only firmware updates I see at the plextor site are for the windoze OS......


iTunes, Toast, and DVD Studio Pro seem to work just fine (DVDStudio Pro needed a "push" from PatcBurn, but it's working just fine now).


I've tried the 16X Verbatim Disc that Plextor packaged with the drive, various 8X discs, Verbatim 4X and 2X discs, other 2X discs, as well as DVD-R and DVD-RW variants - and I've created about 14 to 18 coasters. Good thing I buy 'em cheap.


Is there any ETA for full support from Dantz for the Plextor 16x External DVD drive ?(Dumb question, I know).


I create many many Gigabytes of data that need to be backed up regularly, and the 2X Sony DVD drive works flawlessly - but the novelty of DVD backup has long worn off and I need speed.......


Thanks for your help,


Pete D.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I think that Retrospect saves a device config file somewhere on your hard disk, but not sure where exactly - I'm not at my own Mac at the moment. But what you can do, is to move the currect config file out of it's location, and put on the desktop or something. Then run Retrospect 6, and start the manual config routine again. This time you'll be starting from scratch, and this often helps Retro locate and configure new or unknown drives successfully.


Give it a whirl - although you should be very patient with the Config process, it takes absolutely ages to config DVD drives. It took 1-2 hours with my drive - I think it was doing a type of low-level format on the entire disk, I presume to discover it's total capacity, and drive characteristics!

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Thanks for the responses ... I have not been able to reply to any of the messages that have been posted here for about a month. Dantz was NO help, and I stumbled on a very obscure "cookies" page in the control panel for these forums, and after "expiring" those cookies, it looks like I'm back in business....... I HAVE been using the custom config panels in attempting to get Retrospect to recognize the Plextor 16x DVD drive. After the blank disc is inserted, one Packet is written, and then the spinning beachball appears and nothing happens after that, even after leaving the drive alone for 5 or 6 hours. In the past I have used the custom config process for a CDRW drive, and I know how tedious and protracted the exercise can be, this is just absurd and obviously is just not working for this drive.


The next thing I'm going to try is to look at the driver files and see if mucking with them helps....



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  • 3 weeks later...

It says on Dantz's how to config web page that it takes upto 200 minutes to configure a drive! So I wouldn't wait any longer than 3.5 hrs to configure the drive. Cancel the operation after this time has elapsed.


Oh, by the way, I highly recommend that you delete the RDI file that Retrospect creates for any unsupported drives. This is located in HD:Library/Preferences/Retrospect/ - as described in this web page on how to configure a device: http://kb.dantz.com/al/12/1/1023.html


Then reconfigure the drive again from scratch, hopefully it'll work this time round.


The list of compatible drives is on this page, sorry: http://www.dantz.com/en/support/compatibility_list_all.dtml

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I was having difficulty posting to the board ... I think I'm back now..

I am at the latest Max OS and Retrospect Version and Driver update. I also have updated the firmware for the Plextor-PX716UF to the latest and greatest.


Here is a question for you..... when I attempt the Custom Configure routine on the Plextor, the drive spins up, I get the "testing write method" screen, the drive then spins down after about 30 seconds. In a minute or two I get the Spinning Beachball and nothing after that. I remember that when I did this process to Configure a CDRW drive that there was a constant Back-and-Forth of inserting and RE-inserting the disc many times before the process was comlpete. How long should I wait before I know that the DVD drive just is "lost in space" and is never to return and ask for user interaction? I am comfortable with the idea that it will take a very long time, but at what point will I know that it just ain't happenin'? I certainly do not have to wait the whole 200 minutes to see activity, or do I ???


Thanks for all the help......


Pete D

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You should probably wait the 200 minutes and see how it comes out. You might just want to run it overnight.




If the drive configuration really does go off to "la-la land" there is either a problem with communication to the drive or the drive completely failed to execute/understand one of the commands Retrospect sent to it.




If you have another mac somewhere you might want to try running the configuration there.







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