General discussion

iMac CDRW mystery

I have two Rev-A Bondi iMacs, both pre-owned by different users. Their spec is identical, and all the components are original.

So why is it that one CD-ROM drive will recognise CDRWs, but the other won't? CDRs are no problem, and it doesn't make a difference if it's Mac OS standard or ISO 9660.

I've checked the extensions, software, control panels, everything I could think of! What am I missing?

Thanks for your help so far!


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Reply to: iMac CDRW mystery
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A mystery

Well, My Dear Watson, this may be a case of dwindling Laser Power. As the optical device gets older, it is not unusual for the laser to loose its original "brightness". It could also be that the lens is dirty. I have a G3 that will NOT read Gold colored CD's! You have not mentioned if the non-reading iMac can read commercially produced CD's. You only mentioned CDRWs so the assumption is that it can. Commercial CD's use a different technique in production, they are not all burned, many times they are either "stamped" or Layered. If the CDRW is produced using a laser which is "not up to spec" there is a possibility that the "pits" are not being burned deep enough to register with another "not up to spec" CD reader. A replacement CDROM can be had on eBay for a small(ish) sum and are quite easy to replace.
Hope this helps


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Ooops, My Bad

Sorry, you did mention that CD's were not problem.
That just leaves the underpowered laser in the iMac or the underpowered CD burner making the CDRW's.
Could you try a CDRW from a different source?
I would still lean toward the iMac CDROM though


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That's brilliant, Holmes!

I tried a CDRW from another burner, so that wasn't it. But waning laser power on the iMac, makes sense - considering its age and the previous owner's frequent usage, deduced from clues he left on the hard drive ;0)

I don't need it to read CDRWs, as I only bought it to fix the other iMac (failed power supply). I just couldn't work out why they behaved differently, given that they were the same spec.

Many thanks!

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(NT) (NT) Elementary, My Dear Watson

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