Has anyone managed to get an LG 4163B to write to DVD-RAM discs in Windows 2000 (Service Pack 4) ?
I can write to DVD+R discs no problem, but no joy with DVD-RAM. The drive seems to detect the DVD-RAM disc OK (tried a couple from a pack of X3 speed non-cartridge Panasonic discs) and the motor spins up. However double-clicking the drive letter in Windows displays “R:\ Is Inaccessible, Invalid Function”.
This evening I tried downloading and installing a few different DVD-RAM drivers for Windows 2000. I think a couple of these may have been designed for Panasonic DVD-RAM drives. Once meiudf.sys is on the system (24/10/2003) the drive name changes to MEI_UDF and Windows then correctly displays 4.26GB for the inserted blank DVD-RAM disc, so something is working …but attempting to copy a file onto the disc gives “Cannot Copy … : Invalid MSDOS function”. I guess I need a Windows 2000 DVD-RAM driver from LG (?) …but I can’t find one on their web site.
This is all a bit of a surprise. I wasn’t expecting to need drivers… Any ideas how to get it working?
Someone tell LG - they just replied to my request for help saying: native drivers exist in all versions of Windows so no special driver is required. Maybe that’s why they haven’t made a DVD-RAM driver available on their web site - if they don’t realise one is required…
What they meant was that you can format a DVD-RAM using FAT32 with Windows. The panasonic driver formats the discs with UDF. The problem with FAT32 is that it isn’t so good for large files as compared to UDF.
Actually, early versions of the 4163B used to come with that Pansonic driver included in the install discs. The later ones don’t have it. I am guessing they expect you to use Nero InCD which does come with most boxed versions of the 4163B.
I’d been wondering if that was normal. My system is also using Windows 2000 Professional with Service Pack 4.
The drive letter for the DVD-RAM read/write function is now “G:” which is the same drive letter used by that drive (a Pioneer DVR-111D cross-flashed to DVR-111L with the Dangerous Brothers RPC1 8.19/8.29 INT firmware) before installation of the Panasonic software, except now the description is “Removable Disk”. The old function and description of “Compact Disk” has been bumped down to a new drive letter of “I:”. (Drive “H:” is an old SCSI CD-ROM reader, and was unaffacted by this drive letter shuffling).
Interestingly, DVD Region Killer says that drive “I:” is “region free” (thanks to the Dangerous Brothers firmware). You’d think it would refer to drive “G:”, since that’s the DVD-RW function, but apparently not.
Still more interestingly, taking a peek at Device Manager shows that Windows 2000 now thinks there is an additional disk drive with exactly the same name as the Pioneer DVD-RW listed under DVD/CD-ROM drives. The same hardware is appearing twice in Device Manager.
Ah, well. It all seems to be working so far … I just tested it again by copying a couple of large files amounting to a bit under a gigabyte, briefly playing one of them (an MGEG2 video), then deleting them. Earlier, I’d formatted the diskette as FAT (for some reason, FAT32 didn’t work), then again as UDF 2.0. The UDF 2.0 reformat took an hour.
I’d thought the DVD-RAM writing would be unbearably slow, but it was all right for routine backup, even with the terrible bogging down of the file manager (EIDE really sucks for multitasking). I’ve placed an order for another twenty-four of the same Panasonic (probably single-speed) DVD-RAM diskettes that they sell for a dollar each with free shipping on their Website.
I guess that extra drive stuff is a W2K issue only as it’s certainly not like that in WinXP.
The RAM writing is rather slow but it depends a lot on the disks themselves. Mine are only 2-3x. Never seen any 5x in the UK & the latest 12x are pretty expensive and again I’ve not seen any yet over here.
I use the drag and drop method with no problems in XP Pro. In usa i order my 5X discs from panasonic but i haven’t seen the 12X there yet. Not sure about the UK or any where else to get them. I’d sure like to have some though I have 3 12X DVD-RAM writers here.
the additional drive is created on W2k and on Win9x/ME. This due to the additional device driver that has to be installed.
It is not created on XP, as there is already a DVD-RAM driver included. Panasonic’s DVD-RAM driver for XP just adds UDF file system capabilities to the built-in driver.
That’s good to know. I shall stop fretting about the weirdness of the same drive appearing twice.
Would you know of a good FAQ or thread or wiki to read, perhaps, about how to use a DVD-RAM optical diskette properly for data backup? I’m still learning, but two matters leap to mind. First, write distribution across the diskette to avoid excessive wear on specific sectors, and bad sector remapping as needed (if that’s the term to apply for phase-change optical diskettes). Second, assuring that write verification is in force. I gather that this may be a built-in function of the hardware, but it’s been hard to find good information on it, particularly for this specific drive (Pioneer DVR-111L). All I can find within Windows 2000 itself is a little checkmark for a write cache (the checkmark can be seemingly disabled, BTW, but pops right back on every time after leaving the relevant screen).
Panasonic’s DVD-RAM drivers create an extra drive letter purely for accessing DVD-RAM discs and that alone. Do note that once installed, your normal drive letter for the drive will give you an error if you try to use that to access DVD-RAM discs. Trying to access other types of discs with the specially created DVD-RAM drive letter will also result in error messages.