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error -206

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Can't seem to get past the dreaded error -206.


The unit writes/burns OK using Nero Burning, both on 'R' and 'RW' media, so I see difficulties in persuading my vendor that it might be a fault with the unit.


I have the latest drivers in place for Retrospect (rdu31.exe).


Four 'greens' on the ASPI check.




Any ideas would be most welcome.












Computer info:


custom built PC


Athlon 550 Mhz


Physical Memory (K): 580Mb


Gigabyte GA-71X motherboard.


BIOS Version: Award Modular BIOS


IDE Primary Master IBM IDE hard drive


IDE Primary Slave Aopen CD-940E CD ROM


IDE Secondary Master Aopen CD-RW CRW2440 CD-R/RW


IDE Secondary Slave Old hard drive unit (hidden)










CD burner:


Aopen CD-RW CRW2440 CD-R/RW


Firmware version 1.53 (the most recent version)


Retrospect v 5.6.132

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Retrospect writes using packet-writing. 'Burning' software uses the drive in an 'at once' mode: track at once, session at once, or disc at once. Data is cached until it is ready to be written, then it is written all at once.




Retrospect uses the drive in packet writing mode. Why don't we use 'at once' mode? Because if the 'at once' operation doesn't complete, the disc is a coaster. Suppose that last week you'd successfully backed up and verified some critical data, and then today attempt another operation which fails. If last week's successful backup was now gone, you'd be, er, unhappy.




Packet writing and 'at once' mode use quite different parts of the drive's built-in software, and that firmware is responsible for a great deal of how well the drive works. In some cases a drive may work with 'at once' software, but fail with packet writing or vice versa. This would explain why Nero may be working, and you are getting errors with Retrospect.




To further troubleshoot this issue:




Try *temporarily* uninstalling any other CD-writing utilities, in case extraneous drivers are conflicting with Retrospect. Also uninstall any drivers Windows may have loaded.




Try a different disc in your drive. If you're trying discs of the same brand, try at least one of a different brand.




Try straightening out the internal ribbon cabling.




Try switching master and slave settings.




Try new internal cabling.




Are the drivers for the IDE controller current? Try updating them with an approved update from your PC vendor.




Finally, try bringing this drive to another PC and trying the backup. If it works here, you could be having a problem with either the ATAPI bus on the original machine or with the PC itself.

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OK thanks for the response.


I'm not sure what to do about 'uninstalling other CD-writing software'.


How would I identify such stuff. Uninstalling (temporarily) would I suppose amount to changing the .exe or .dll suffix ???




Same applies to *any windows drivers*.




Meanwhile, the ribbon cabling is pretty straight (no - not pretty - but straight as I can make it). On boot up it displays 'Primary IDE channel no 80 conductor cable installed' which I interpret as 'You have 80 conductor cable installed'. This is true of both IDE channels.









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