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New Plextor 48/24/48A CR-RW Hangs System

By rovoco ·
I have installed a new Plextor 48/24/48A CD-RW
drive and updated the firmware as recommended
by downloading from the Plextor site. The drive will autoload and read most CDs. It autoloads but
fails to install applications from certain other CDs, however, and the system locks up, requiring
a cold boot. These CDs install fine on other PCs.
I am running Windows 98SE on an Anthlon 1600XP,
with 512 MB DDR memory. Device Manager indicates
that the CD-RW is working properly. Using standard
40 wire ribbon cable with CD-RW set as a master
and an HP Colorado 14 GB tape drive on the same
cable set as a slave. Both devices are ATAPI,
fed from the secondary IDE controller on an Asus
A7V266-E motherboard. The ribbon cable is 24 inches long, due to the case configuration. This
same cable was used with an HP CD-Writer Plus
8200 for more than two years with no problems.
The new Plextor does not indicate any problems
(blinking green or amber faceplate led) while
running. This one has me stumped. Just to add to
the mystery, the Windows dial up networking connect panel keeps popping up at random times
for no apparent reason! This may be unrelated to
the CD-RW problem or it could be a clue. Any help would be much appreciated.


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by dmiles In reply to New Plextor 48/24/48A CR- ...

This problem could be due to the media being,most likely the speed may cause this problem due to the fact the the Plexor is a newer model and canot read the older media disc

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by rovoco In reply to

I thought this might be the cause of the problem, but the
drive reads the original Windows 98SE disk and several other older ones. All are commercially produced. Plextor units do
check the outer tracks for errors, assuring that files are
read properly. Other drives do not do this. If it detects
errors, might it stop reading and cause the system to hang?
This assumes the CDs I'm having problems with are bad.
Any other ideas?

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by Jim Brubaker In reply to New Plextor 48/24/48A CR- ...

Lets assume that something went wrong on the install. Normally that dial up window reapearing is a sign that some piece of software was trying to register itself on dialup and there was a panic shutdown of the operation. then it pops up all the time.

Zone alarm did it to me--I panicked and killed the dial up, but the program was persistant. (I had a hot kazaa copy)

Since you're running 98, boot into DOS (F on boot and type in "scanreg /restore" without the quotes---.pick a registry date that worked AOK and hit enter. Reboot and see if the system reconizes the cdrom drive--the driver could be part of the problem, but I rather suspect a failed install of the orginal program. Reinstall and it should work

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by rovoco In reply to

Dear Jim,

The scanreg/restore routine did not solve the problem. I did
try installing a new Sony 52X CD-ROM drive and it had the same
problem with certain CDs, even though those CDs will load on
another PC. Changed the ribbon cable, no joy. Will try a new
software program install of the applications that came with
the Plextor, to see if that will solve the DUN pop-up problem.
I'm beginning to suspect that the answer might be memory/bug
related as THECHAS suggests in Answer 3:, below.

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by TheChas In reply to New Plextor 48/24/48A CR- ...

While Microsoft only admits to issues with W98 and more than 512MB of RAM, I have seen numerous systems have problems with 512MB installed.

The 512MB bug is VERY configuration dependant. The new drive could well have triggered the bug.

Try reducing to RAM to 256MB or 384MB, and see if things work better.

If you have a single 512MB RAM module, experiment with the 'fix' posted in the MS Knowledge Base article:

Also make sure that your IDE driver has been updated with the latest 4 in 1 driver form VIA. (I think that the A7V series uses a VIA chip-set)

I have read that some of the newer faster CD-RW drives have problems with older CD-R disks.
If the software that you are having problems with are on recorded and not commercially pressed CDs, that could be the problem.

I have 3 optical drives on my system to deal with compatibility issues.


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by rovoco In reply to

Dear Chas,

Thanks for your suggestions. I have updated the Via 4-in-1
drivers, but have yet to mess with the memory modules. Plextor
says the unit should work with the Windows 98 default CD ROM
driver and it should not be necessary to load any other real
mode driver. They did not supply one with their program CD
that came with the drive. I also run some older DOS games
and have noticed the "DOS configuration" warning in Control
Panel with regard to speed limitations. How do you edit the
registry to remove old real mode CD ROM driver lines? Could
they be loading and running in the background, conflicting
with the Windows driver, even though they are not in my
config.sys or autoexec.bat files? Will try removing one of
my 256MB memory modules to see what happems. Thanks!

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by rovoco In reply to New Plextor 48/24/48A CR- ...

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