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A possible solution to an invisible external DVD writer System
I bought a new PowerBook G4 15in with a combo drive. I also had a Pioneer DVR-107D DVD-RW, which I put into an external FireWire/USB 2.0 enclosure. Unfortunately, my shiny new PowerBook would not recognise this external device when connected to the FireWire port. I tried Disk Utility, and the iApps, but nothing would see or mount the drive. I even trolled though macosxhints.com to see if there was some Terminal hack I could apply ... but since the PowerBook could not 'see' the device, there seemed nothing I could do.

On a whim, I powered down and changed the connection from FireWire to USB. Bingo!

Up came everything. I was able to install iDVD and Garage Band from my iLife 05 DVD with no problems at all. Toast 6 Titanium recognises the DVD writer, and now Apple System Profiler does as well, with the rather cryptic message Burn Support: Yes (Apple Shipped/Supported).

And guess what? After a restart and swpping of cables back to FireWire, the external device is now recogised equally as well. FireWire mystery No 211105...
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A possible solution to an invisible external DVD writer
Authored by: BigMac2 on Nov 28, '05 07:52:18AM

I've got the same with my one of my external optical drive in a MacAlly FW case (PHC-500BC). I've got other FW Case (No brand, Prolific chipset) that working well. I suspect something about some ATA-FW bridge.



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power management
Authored by: Gerk on Nov 28, '05 08:06:24AM

Sounds like a power management issue to me. I've seen this happen before where if the external firewire device is not in the assumed state at power up it causes the powerbook to NOT power on the firewire port.

I suspect had you booted with the device unplugged, and then plugged it in after the fact you would probably have been ok as well. I've seen similar behavior on my new powerbook as well.



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A possible solution to an invisible external DVD writer
Authored by: hifi on Nov 28, '05 09:46:19AM

how is switching from FW to USB a hint? i think this post is completely innapropriate for this site, i see no reason why FW shouldn't work. seems like this should go in a support forum or be sent to apple care, FW should work and if it doesn't someone might want to know why.



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A possible solution to an invisible external DVD writer
Authored by: ofermod on Nov 28, '05 09:55:33AM

On the other hand...

thanks to this hint, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a Pioneeer drive myself. It may seem off-topic to you, but somewhere someone has derived some value.

Thanks.



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A possible solution to an invisible external DVD writer
Authored by: boredzo on Nov 28, '05 02:40:13PM

the hint is that switching back to FireWire 'fixed' it.

I'm not sure how either, but whatever works…



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Target disk Mini?
Authored by: lullabud on Nov 28, '05 10:04:59AM

I was hoping that this hint would solve my issue of being unable to burn discs with my Mini in target disk mode hooked up via firewire to an iBook. Since USB doesn't work in target disk mode (yet, though I suspect it will in the x86 models if target disk mode makes it through the migration) it obviously doesn't. Anybody have a trick for that?



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Reversing the FW cable
Authored by: demikl on Nov 28, '05 03:23:57PM

I had a similar issue with my Pioneer DVD burner in a Firewire/USB2 enclosure. The problem was due to the firewire cable itself : switching the extremities from the powerbook to the enclosure and vice-versa resolved the problem. No explanation about this strange fact.



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A possible solution to an invisible external DVD writer
Authored by: macuidhir13 on Nov 29, '05 12:33:24PM

Accelerate Your Mac has updated/specific drivers for just about every drive availible. OS X 10.4 has a lot, but not all, built in.

http://forums.xlr8yourmac.com/faq.lasso

click on 'DVD'.

they also mention Patchburn, a universal cd-r/dvd±r driver availible at http://www.patchburn.de/download.html

Which version you need depends on which version of OS X you're running.



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