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PowerBook Woes - Panasonic UJ-845E Superdive "Incompatable"

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I have PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz with Panasonic UJ-845E Superdive - running OSX 10.4.2 and Retrospect updated to 6.1.126.


On another machine (G4 Dual 1G with an external La Cie Drive) I have successfully been using Panasonic 8x DVD-R media and getting good performance (ie 8x). On my PowerBook though, this media appears to write OK, but then all media written is reported as "Incompatable" on verify and subsequent insertion.


I googled around and found an obsure reference that the UJ-845 is suitable for DVD+R only, and so I changed to Imation DVD+R 8x.


First off I had success and these DVD+Rs worked well and burnt about a dozen discs without drama - but today the same batch of DVD+R is returning "Incompatable" error again, and I have burnt 6 coasters.


When I search Dantz support base, I find UJ-845S is listed, but no UJ-845E. Is this significant?


What driver update should I have?


Also, when I Configure > Devices > Device Status > Configure, I am advised that I need to insert blank media and wait for 2 to 200 minutes. Each time I get a beachball and a day later I have to Force Quit - and this is whether I use DVD-R or DVD+R media.


So what's up - and why is Retrospect misbehaving on Apple's up to date PowerBook?


Please Help as I'm running out of HDD space here!


Justin Keen

Hong Kong

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Don't configure this device. If you find any .rdi files in the Retrospect preferences folder please delete them.


I think all of the UJ-845 drives should function in a similary way. Have you tried another brand of DVD+R media? I've had good luck with Mitsubishi Chemical DVD+R on my imac with a UJ-845.




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Same problem here with an iBook G4 1,44 Mhz Combo.


Backup data to just one DVD-R 4.7gb 1-8x (TDK), disc is fine. But once a second disc is needed, the first is listed as 'incompatible'.


Then removed the filesystem file, problem stays.


Configured the Combo drive within Retrospect, problem stays.


Hours of time lost and about 10 disc rendered useless. No reply from Dantz on a request for help.

I'm on the brink of returning the recently purchased Retrospect 6.1. And claim a new cakebox of DVD's!!!



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Thanks for your comments. I have removed .rdl files from Preferences and have also upgraded to OS X 10.4.3 (the notes had a reference to improvements in disc burning) but still no luck.


I notice that when I am burning a disc, then stop the back up but don't eject the disc, it is still listed in the directory. I can then resume the back up.


I can then again stop the back up and restore from that disc. And again I can continue backing up...


But once I eject that disc and then reload it, the disc becomes "incompatible" and thus the data is lost. Oh and just tried another 3 discs and one seems to work OK and the other 2 are coasters.


What gives?


I also note the comment about the media. What I don't understand is that the first 12 discs of this stack of 25 Imation DVD+R 8x worked fine, but now all (well almost all) subsequent discs from this batch are duds. Why is this performance inconsistent?


I am not (and do not want to be) a beta tester for discs, and DVD+R discs are more expensive than the DVD-R discs that work well enough here in other apps. In fact, all discs I have tested here are fine in all other apps from Disc Utility, Roxio Toast and iTunes. So why can't I use the DVD-R discs that are cheaper in this market, and work on all my other older machines (including with Retrospect) but refuse to work on my new PowerBook. It is only Retrospect giving me this grief.


The PowerBook with the UJ-845E drive is a major flagship product line from Apple, and all other apps seem to work with it, so where is the support from Retrospect?




Justin Keen

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"The PowerBook with the UJ-845E drive is a major flagship product line from Apple, and all other apps seem to work with it, so where is the support from Retrospect?"


I've said it before and I'll say it again...

Retrospect simply does a lot more than those other burning programs do. It is also _very_ picky about the integrity of the data stored on discs. It has to be , otherwise you risk losing data.


DVD media is cheap to produce and therefore quality (even on the same spindle) can vary widely. I use Sony DVD+Rs and Mitsubishi Chemical DVD+RWs with my 845-UJ. They work well. You might want to give them a try.




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


Hi, I am having trouble with the MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-846 in my G4 Powerbook 1.67GHz.




Retrospect says there are "No back up devices found" and if i try to configure the drive I get the spinning beach ball after inserting an Imation DVD+R.




Any help much appreciated.















Try removing any rdi files from the Retrospect Preference folder.




I have a new iMac G5 iSight with a Matshita-R UJ-846 firmware version FA0G and it works without configuring. I'm using Sony DVD-R media.




I hopes yours will also work.





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  • 3 weeks later...



I have the same problem.


The media I am using is the finest one can get:

Verbatim DataLifePlus DVD-R 1-4x certified.


The hardware is a PowerBook G4 Aluminium, March 2005 (the lastest 12").

The drive is the following:




Firmware Revision: GAN7

Interconnect: ATAPI

Burn Support: Yes (Apple Shipped/Supported)

Cache: 0 KB

Reads DVD: Yes

CD-Write: -R, -RW

DVD-Write: -R, -RW

Burn Underrun Protection CD: Yes

Burn Underrun Protection DVD: Yes

Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, DVD-DAO

Media: No


I observe that Retrospect 6.1 got it wrong, because it

reads this device as follows:


Panasonic DVD+RW


Can you spot the difference?


The problem is neither with the media nor the drive,

but with the backup program, that needs to be fixed.


> Try removing any rdi files from the Retrospect Preference folder.


I could not find any "Retrospect Preference" folder.


Could you please help? I am trying a demo, and if you want

to see my money, you know what to do.



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I observe the backup is writing directly on the media. This is bad,

for a number of reasons:


- the writing may fail on a DVD-R, and thus waste the media

- the writing on the media would be much faster if the iso/dmg

were prepared on the hard-disk first, then use osx's own

method for writing at once.

- by writing the iso/dmg first, the backup would focus on its

core duty of gathering and verifying, rather than messing up

with the hardware.


More comments will follow live, as the 10GB backup proceeds.



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... one more reason for not writing in the DVD directly is the wearing out


of the drive, with intensive stops and spins, etc. Apple's own writing is


more efficient, and thus faster, requires less energy (apropos of


energy efficiency), and it is less heavy on the hardware.




I am not sure whether I can work on this machine until the


backup is over. It is definitely true that I have to babysit


retrospect while it runs, changing media, etc, but can I


work in the meantime? If I do, some of the data will change,


and I am not sure if retrospect is robust to data changing


under its nose while it runs.





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The task is cpu intensive. The laptop is really hot.








Started at 18:06, now is 19:20, i.e. nearly 1h 20min running.


Remaining 8.8GB out of 10. Completed: 1.4GB, i.e. still working on the first disk.


Compression: NO




What the heck is doing?




At this rate, I predict the backup will be completed in... 7+ hours?


(10GB/1.4 = 7.14; 7.14 * 1.20 = 8.5h minus the above 1.20h)


[No, retrospect does not show an estimated completion time...]




Sorry EMC^2, but I am not going to babysit your program for


a whole working day, while it cripples my hardware. Should


I also pay for it? No, I do not think so.




I conclude I was right with the writing method. Writing the iso/dmg


file first, and burning it later, would have been much faster.




Retrospect -may- work faster with external hard-drive, or tape,


but is impractical with DVDs, at least using this writing method.




I shall try the next version, if you fix this problem.




By the way, you owe me two DVDs...







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  • 2 months later...



I have a recently purchased (January 2006) Mini with a Matshita DVD-R UJ-845, firmware revision D8PB.


I am using Retrospect 6.1.126 with driver update, device access version 1.0.107, under Mac OS X 10.4.5.


I have experienced all of the problems reported on this thread. Initial attempts to use DVD-R media resulted in the "incompatible" problem originally reported.


Per the advice in the thread, I switched to DVD+R media, and, like the previous poster, encountered initial success using FujiFilm DVD+R media. However, as I continued to use this media, I began encountering premature disc failures during backup - error 206 bad media or dirty heads.


Per the additional advice in this thread, I switched to Sony DVD+R media, with no discernible improvement. I can typically only get 100-700 MB burned per DVD+R before Retrospect reports a failure and demands another disc. This has been consistent across a box of 10 Sony DVD+R media and even in a different box of the same.


I used Retrospect 5.x for years on my previous eMac with DVD-R media and with no problems.


Is the UJ-845 drive just pretty crappy? Does anyone have success using Retrospect 6 on a Mini with UJ-845 with DVD+R media? What brand?


The only thing I haven't tried is Mitsubishi Chemical media, the other recommendation in this thread. I hope that is not my only option.


Any suggestions?




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  • 3 weeks later...

Call me an idiot....


I read a review about Retrospect saying it was a good program...blah, blah...and purchased the software BEFORE I got on this forum....what an idiot am I.


I'm using the same setup: Powerbook G4, same versions software as everyone else, updated drivers...and want to just use my reliable DVD-R media....not a bleeping chance. You see, a program should just work.....I don't have time to mess around and order "special" media hoping that might solve a problem only to run into more incompatibilities and wasted media...what a flipping joke. Look, if you can't support the media EVERYONE uses in a factory installed drive - then you might as well be honest and say:


Caution: Although the labelling on this software box indicates "Built for Mac OS" - it is in fact not anywhere close to being "usable" on a Macintosh computer. Therefore, your purchase really is just a donation to our programers - who can't program on Mac OS worth a damn but hey, we'll still take your donations.


The "software" is now in the trash. On to find an actual backup solution that doesn't waste my time and money.

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