View Full Version : power PC G4 dvd ram drive "help"

Oct 3, 2003, 10:36 AM
hey, I'm kinda new to the mac platform, so I might not be intirely clear about my issue"please forgive me"... I know however that people who know things about things often times use forums such as this to greet newbs with great wisdom on things that they know... So if any of you guru's could find it in your wisdom to aid me in this issue, I would be greatly pleased and thankfull...

now that i'm done flattering you, here is the issue...

I'm running a "power pc G4 450 mhz" as the title indicates, with a superdrive"DVD-RAM drive" thats not being very productive... It does all of the normal DVD and CD stuff like; Audio, Data reading and DVD reading, but will not burn or store data on disk "DVD-R/RW or CD-R/RW".

The apple profiler indicates quote "Apple disc burning:Supported", yet it will not ever recognize a blank CD-R/RW, to begin to burn... now I remind you the drive does read both audio and data CD and DVD...

To my knowledge this machine previous to a format and re-installation, Did all of these things... So I know it has the capabillities, but figure it's missing some software or utillity driver(s)... Any help would be thankfull...<--(more flattery)

So please oh guru's of the mac aid me in my trouble. Thanks

Sun Baked
Oct 3, 2003, 11:28 AM
That because it needs...


It reads the other media but is designed to use DVD-RAM media, which is read/writeable on the fly. Like a 4.6GB floppy/zip drive. Though a bit slower.

Oct 3, 2003, 11:38 AM
it's supposed to be designed for both CD-R/RW DVD-R/RW and DVD-RAM, I know for a fact that the machine previous to the wipe and reinstallation burned CD-R/RW, because a co-worker used it to rip and burn hundreds of songs and data to none other than CD-R/RW... This says it works too...and that what I don't get...

But thanks for your post... I had thought that might be the case and that i was mistaken about the co worker untill I found the link above...

Sun Baked
Oct 3, 2003, 11:53 AM
If somebody replaced the factory drive with the new 4th generation DVD-RAM "Superdrive", then it should work.

However, the majority of the time Apple shipped DVD-RAM drives they only supported writing to DVD-RAM and reading of a bunch of other media.

Apple DVD-RAM drive (http://developer.apple.com/documentation/Hardware/Developer_Notes/Macintosh_CPUs-G4/PowerMac_G4_03Aug00/PMG4.35.html)


Some configurations of the Power Mac G4 have an internal 2x-speed DVD-RAM drive in
place of the DVD-ROM drive. The DVD-RAM drive reads DVD-ROM at 6x speed.

The DVD-RAM drive supports the following disc formats.

* Reading and writing:

o DVD-RAM media in Type 1 cartridge, one- or two-sided

o DVD-RAM media in Type 2 cartridge, one sided

* Reading only:

o DVD-RAM bare one-sided disc, reading only

o DVD-R (3.9 GB, disc-at-once only)

o DVD-ROM (One- or two-layer, one- or two-sided)

o CD-ROM (Modes 1 and 2)

o CD-ROM XA (Mode 2, Forms 1 and 2)

o CD-Audio (CD-DA data through IDE bus)

o Photo CD (single and multiple sessions)


o CD-R (fixed and variable packets)

o CD-I (Mode 2, Forms 1 and 2), CD-I Ready, CD-I Bridge

o Video CD (White Book disc)

o CD-EXTRA CD (Blue Book disc)

The DVD-RAM drive takes the place of the DVD-ROM drive and is connected in the same
way: as device 0 in an ATA Device 0/1 configuration on the ATA-3 channel of the
main logic board. To provide improved signal quality, the ATA bus has an 80-conductor
cable with ground lines separating the signals.

Oct 3, 2003, 01:23 PM
is DVD-ROM DVD-R... Because It doesn't mount those either...

Oct 3, 2003, 01:38 PM
I have the same drive in what is probably about the same machine, a "Sawtooth"... I was overjoyed to see the drive there, and rushed to get some media (5.2GB double-sided media, that is, 2.6GB per side). I was dismayed to find, however, that although the media acts like a big floppy, it's really, really, really slow. I've used MO drives before (e.g. Tahiti III), and the DVD-RAM drive is far, far slower. Yes, it stores 5.2 GB on a disk. It reads CD-ROM, CD-RW, CD-R; it reads DVD movies and DVD-ROMs. Haven't tried a DVD-R as I don't have any. It most definitely does not, and will not, burn CD-Rs or CD-RWs.

Also, if you're tempted to get DVD-RAM media, you have to get the 2.6/5.2 variety, not the 4.9/9.8 variety.

I'd suggest that you pull the drive out and put in a CD-RW drive. They're pretty cheap, you know.

Oct 3, 2003, 02:00 PM
Yeah, I got one of those DVD-RAMs in a G4 500 MHz.
This drive has terrible difficulty reading DVD-R's, which are burnt on my Pioneer A105 drive....
I can get a combo drive for free (yeehaa :) ), which I will definitely place in the 500 MHz, and take the DVD-RAM drive out.

Anybody want to buy a (not so many times) used DVD-RAM drive ? :D :D

Sun Baked
Oct 3, 2003, 02:19 PM
OK, I changed the pic to a Type 2 DVD-RAM to stop confusing people, and giving them hope that something newer will work. :p

If the new 4th gen DVD-RAM drive isn't too big a pig (in cost/speed), it would be a decent alternative to a "Superdrive".

Though it's still hard to beat MO for long-term reliability. Those long-term tests of the CD/DVD-R/RWs sort of sucked at the 2 yr point.

Oct 3, 2003, 02:56 PM
I'd suggest that you pull the drive out and put in a CD-RW drive. They're pretty cheap, you know. [/B]

This is indeed the plan...

Oct 3, 2003, 03:56 PM
Just to confirm what other people have said, unless the previous owner upgraded the drive, it's only going to write 2.6 or 5.2GB DVD-RAM media in a cartridge, absolutely nothing else.

I have a slightly newer G4 (DP533), but I bought an older Apple DVD-RAM drive (same era as your computer) for $100 and replaced my CD-RW. It reads professionally pressed DVDs (movies) just fine, and usually works with CDRs (a bit picky about the blue ones, though), but it certainly isn't capable of writing anything but an old-style DVD-RAM disc.

And I agree with other posters; the thing is dog-slow. I did manage to find 5.2GB Memorex media from Buy.com for under $10 which, a year or so ago, was darned cheap per MB.

I still use the thing for backup occasionally.

Nice side note: absolutely no drivers were required in OSX--just popped the drive in and it worked.

Oct 3, 2003, 04:05 PM
Here's an example of the media your drive is probably ok with:


Again, as pointed out before (but not in the above-linked picture), the DVD-RAM drives that originally shipped with the G4 450s were first-generation models; that means that they required the media to be in a cartridge, and can only handle media that is 2.6GB per side. That means that it can read and write to either 2.6GB discs (one sided; hard to find these days) or 5.2GB discs (exactly the same thing, but two sided).

Newer ones can handle media up to 4.7GB on a side, and don't necessarily need the protective cartridge.

Oct 3, 2003, 04:51 PM
right!... thanks everyone I've given up trying to get this thing running like that and am opting to just go buy a CD-R/RW instead... Thanks for all the affirmation...