All kinds of tips all around CD-ROM drives
Sometimes CD-ROM drives can be an awfully annyoing part of a computer. But they can also be extremely handy. The following article is trying to show you a few ways to avoid trouble with your CD-ROM drives and how you can exploit them even more.
CD-ROM sleep delays
Let me start with the annoying sides first. You all know it: There's that CD lying in the drive for the past 2 days, since you got that new game or application and now your Mac is spinning up the CD-ROM drive every time you open a save/load dialog or something similar. Of course the CD-ROM powered down and the spin up for the drive takes about 15 seconds, during which you can't do anything.
There are two ways how you
can avoid the wait:
B: For CD-ROMs that you actually don't need constantly, the easiest way is to simply eject it and only insert it when you need it again. Believe me, this can be as fast as the spin-up from a sleeping drive.
A: Scratches can sometimes be corrected to a readable level by using a very gentle furniture polish on the disk. Of course the liquid has to be translucent and may not contain any granlulates for improved "peeling" effect or so. Just an oily shine liquid may help though. Otherwise, there are also specialized tools to repolish scratched CDs, one known by the name of "GameDoctor". However these things are usually more expensive than buying two games again.
B: Bleached or slightly scratched CD-ROM and CD-R media can usually be read in old SCSI CD-ROM drives with low reading speeds. SCSI drives generally have better error correction than the cheaper IDE drives and the low spinning speed also further reduces read errors. You might also try to read such disks in your CD-Recorder, if you have one, as they also have better error correction and usually also lower speeds.
C: If you scratched a CD-RW disk, or if it isn't readable for any other reason, you'll most likely have to dump it. Old drives don't read CD-RW media, because they're not compatible, and the new ones who do, will most likely not read it either, if your CD-Rom or DVD-ROM can't read it.
This is oen of the real benefits
of the Mac: It can have mutliple CD-ROMs attached and installed, without
requiring more than one driver. What might an extra drive be good for
My main CD-ROM is a 32x IDE
drive that came out of a G4 (used to be the original 24x drive before),
I use this for installation, cd burning (mainly audio extraction) and
for the apps who actually need the disk to read data off (not the ones
who just check for the disk once and then forget it). My second drive
is a 4x/2x/6x SCSI CD-Recorder. This one is nice for reading disks that
have some trouble,as well as for CDs that have to be present all the time
(Unreal Tournament CD for example is required to play). Of course I also
use it to actually burn my audio mixes and to backup my data.
Selecting a removable
disk and pressing command-Y will put it away. For CD-ROMs this will eject
them, other disks may be ejected and only be grayed out, not removed from
Most of these tips also apply for DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM and DVD-R drives of course.
Well, that's it already, I hope you could use one tip or the other.
Text: © by G-News, Feb. 2001, all trademarks are property of their respective owners.