chef, I've just found out that firmware version 7.1F is a badly screwed up IBM OEM version of CD-W54E firmware. Read this:
(the thread there is about 8 years old)
Quote from a poster there:
OK dudes, I know this topic pretty well, as it has caused me frustration for weeks on end. The teac w54e comes in two forms. One is the proper teac version, which will have a firmware version in the 1.1 region. The other is a IBM ruined version with firmware 7.1f. IBM have put their own firmware on the drive, and the firmware sux.
Owners of the proper teac version can download the firmware from the teac site, and the drive will be 100% clonecd compatible. The other poor mongrels, like myself, are stuck with crap firmware that IBM seem unwilling to update. If you are unlucky enough to have firmware revision 7.1f, got to www.ibm.com/support and follow the links to the message forum (aptiva model 2196). Here you will find some messages already posted about the firmware. WRITE NEW MESSAGES TO IBM, on this forum, but be slightly polite as they delete anything they don't like.
If enough people shout, maybe we will be heard.
for those who own a CD-W54E drive with FW version 7.1F, THROW IT AWAY IMMEDIATELY AND REPLACE IT!