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CyberDrive CW-088D, cdrecord and 2.6.x kernels

This is just a short note for the benefit of anyone trying to use a CyberDrive CW-088D (CyberDrv CW-088D) CD writer with cdrecord under a 2.6.x kernel. The intent is that anyone googling for Linux compatibility issues with the CyberDrive CW-088D and 2.6 kernels will find this page, and either avoid wasting their money or at least find confirmation that the problems they are experiencing are due to the drive, not the software.

It is well known that there are, or have been, problems with CD burning under 2.6.x kernels using ATAPI CD writers.

Supposedly, after 2.6.8 the problems were resolved, not completely AFAICT but sufficiently to allow CD burning to work. This certainly seems to be the case for the majority of CD writers. However, there is some bug in the CW-088D which means this particular drive still does not work with cdrecord.

Upgrading to 2.6.10 cures the problem with most CD writers, but the CW-088D still produces the same flood of errors and system lockups that were experienced with earlier kernels. The workaround is to ditch cdrecord and use cdrdao, which does work with this drive (strange, but true). The cure is to ditch the CW-088D and get a different CD writer.

Note that while cdrdao is oriented more towards audio CDs, it is still possible to burn data CDs with it. First make your image file foo.iso with mkisofs as normal, then create a text file foo.toc containing the lines:

DATAFILE "foo.iso"

Then issue the incantation:

cdrdao write --device /dev/hdx foo.toc

where x is your CD writer device.

It would appear from this thread on debian-user that the CW-078D model is similarly afflicted, though I have no personal experience of that model.

I have just installed a Philips PBDV1640B CD/DVD writer as a replacement for the CW-088D which recently suffered some malfunction that prevented it from writing CDs properly (the burn process (using cdrdao) appeared to work, but the resulting CD could not be read on any drive, producing input/output errors after some indeterminate but large number of sectors). The new drive works a treat burning CDs with cdrecord, and DVDs with growisofs.

The correct setup is:
- CD writer NOT a CyberDrive CW-088D (or, apparently, CW-078D)
- Kernel 2.6.10 or higher
- cdrecord/growisofs must NOT have the setuid bit set
- the "dev" parameter is specified as "dev=/dev/hdx", NOT "dev=ATA[PI]:x,y,z"

I am told that Nero for Linux does work with the CW-078D. It is not free in either sense, but might provide a useful way out of a hole if you don't want to replace the drive. I don't know if it works with the CW-088D.

Rant about the general crapness of CD drives here :-)

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