The big external enclosures thread

[i]Moderator’s note: It looks like that external enclosures are getting to be very popular these days. I’ve lost count of the number of new external enclosure threads that I’m seeing. And with people posting a lot of external enclosure threads in the subforums (even though 90% of all issues with external enclosures are not specific to some brand), I’ve decided that it’s time to do a bit of consolidating. :wink: Oh joy. :stuck_out_tongue: Well, here’s my attempt…

I don’t think that a big thread merge would be a good idea here because nobody will want to read through a thread with a zillion posts. And besides, merging threads is easy, but un-merging them if I ever change my mind isn’t. Plus, I don’t want to be the one to deal with all the dead links that would result from merged threads. :wink: Hence this thread…[/i]

[B]1/ Please refer to the following list of major external enclosure threads to see if any of them is of any help.

2/ Please post all new external enclosure issues/questions/etc. here, in this thread!

3/ Any new threads about external enclosures created from this point on may be merged into this thread, if appropriate, at the discretion of the moderation staff.[/B] Existing threads will remain separate (but closed). (There may be times when keeping a thread separate would work better, so if you feel that an external enclosure thread merits being separate, create it as a separate thread, and if we agree, we’ll keep it separate.)

Existing enclosure threads (sorted by thread creation date) (list may not be 100% complete):

[ul][li]Ext. Enclosure Burn Tests on Nine Drives (thanks chas0039)
[/li][li]Firmware for Prolific PL-3507 USB2/Firewire to IDE Bridge (thread at
[/li][li][thread=101100]1213 external enclosure issues; looks like the days of externals… [are numbered][/thread]
[/li][li][thread=101416]External Enclosure recommendations in the US[/thread]
[/li][li][thread=103470]External enclosure[/thread]
[/li][li][thread=107497]Best External Enclosure[/thread]
[/li][li][thread=110460]External Enclosure recommendations please ? for DVD Burner / HDD[/thread]
[/li][li][thread=112185]1620 [problems] with external enclosure!![/thread] (thread left open for now)
[/li][li][thread=116637]3500 in external enclosure, firewire not working[/thread]
[/li][li][thread=117914]16X on External Enclosure![/thread]
[/li][li][thread=118342]Can’t open Norcent enclosure (Plus, write speed / transfer rates of enclosures)[/thread]
[/li][li][thread=118407]External Enclosure: NEC 3500a - Likes DVD-R INSIDE, but not OUTSIDE (USB)[/thread]
[/li][li][thread=118465]Very Good External Enclosure.[/thread]
[/li][li][thread=118764]External Enclosures…[/thread][/ul]
I am very sorry for any inconvenience this cleanup is causing, but I feel that it is for the best in the long run to not have a dozen different threads about external enclosures all saying the same thing. :stuck_out_tongue: Thank you for you understanding. If you don’t think that this is really working well (maybe a big mega-thread-merge would be a good idea?), PM me, as I’m open to suggestions if you have any good ideas. Whew. Do I talk too much? :wink:

You could put links to NEC enclosure thread, BenQ enclosure thread…etc.

I was in the process of doing that… takes time to dig… still working on making the list more comprehensive. Gimme some time. :wink:

Most of those threads really contain virtually similar posts.

I’m trying to find out what I can do for my external enclosures. Maybe I should someday visit Sarotec tech-support center and LG service center in Seoul. BTW, LG released an update for GSA-5160D on Dec 7, 2004. Probably something related to the PCB in the enclosure.

Tnx dishinit - That worked. This brought my burst rate up from 20 to 22.

I’m still not getting 16X but it’s close at 15X. My burns look like michaelc’s. I expect my 3507 needs the firmware update since my firewire can do 35Mbp with my external HDs.

Where did you see the “C” or “B” identification on your plumax chipset? Because it looks like you have “A” chip ID, which requires some sort of hardware to flash the chip. I saw a post somewhere about this, let me look and see if I can find it for you to read.

Thank goodness the numerous threads have been merged. :slight_smile:

From the yesterday’s recap. I was able to get 24 MBps with both Benq 1620 and NEC 3500 using the 1394 port in my Plumax combo enclosure. Someone had asked how are the qualities from each drive burning externally. Here are the KProbe and Nero’s Disc Quality results. I used a 812S@832S CG3E to make “unbiased” scans, since the Benq can do quality scan as well. However, the Benq only used 12x PCAV while the NEC got up to 15x CAV, then throttled there until the end. Had the Benq got up to 15x or the NEC used 12x, I believe the results would be closer. In looking at both results, there just doesn’t seem to be a defining line as the “better” one. Both are remarkable in their own respects.

  1. KProbe of NEC 3500A using 2.C8 externally through 1394.
  2. Disc Quality Scan of 1).
  3. KProbe of Benq 1620 using 47L9 externally through 1394.
  4. Disc Quality Scan of 3).

KTL, thx for showing us the qlt scans comparing the NEC to the BenQ. Even though the NEC burned at a faster speed, it seems like the BenQ did a better job with the quality scan. Personally, I rather take a 12x write w/ very good test results over a faster burning w/ an ‘average’ quality scan.

I agree with you, given that extra 20-30 seconds difference is negligible. Now that both drives are internal again, I find that the 3500 has an easier time reaching up to 16x CAV whereas the 1620 has a harder time. But at this point, it’s not a limitation of the burner, I believe my computer now is the limiting factor. When I get to Athlon64 939, I think that symptom will go away. :slight_smile:

wolffman, More questions:
What model Plumax case did you get? From where?
I ask this as I suspect that you have a PM 37LV512 flash chip (as opposed to the PM 39xxxxx) These don’t flash with the programers available ie: Rom Updater 2.04, 2.14 & 2.2. Although there is a version 2.21 that will read your chip & on a long shot, might flash, but no guarantee.

How are you getting the 22 MB/s? Connected to what (laptop/desktop) & how, via an integrated 1394 or a 1394 PCI board? What chipset is your onboard or PCI 1394 controller? Different onboard chipsets will give different results when combined with the PL3507 chip.

I bought the Plumax PM-525C2-PPB (black) USB 2.0/Firewire enclosure from Dealsonic.
The PL-3507 chip says 04133C.
The flash is an EON EN29LV512 which is one of 8 or 10 compatible flash chips I saw in a PL3507 FlashList pdf on the Prolific site. Can’t find it today.

I’m started getting 22MB/s after flashing my 1620 to 47L9. I was getting 20MB/s before that. I have a toshiba laptop (5205) with integrated 1394 and hd tach says that it can do 35MB/s with my external firewire drives (oxford).

I’m not sure how to find out what chipset my 1394 controller is. Device manager says “Texas Instruments OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller” and I don’t see anything in Toshiba docs.

Do you have access to the Rom Updater 2.21? I can give it a try.


wolffman check you PM

Hey, where did you get that list of flashable chips? Could you pm me if you can and how do you flash that chip? I tried to flash it with ROMWriter ICP 2.0.4 and 2.1.4. Version 2.0.4 does not even read the ROM and version 2.1.4 says “can’t access. be rejected” (very funny :(). I am having problems with my Benq1620 if I try to use FW. Right now I am using firmware 4L79 with my Benq and getting 22 mb/s burst on USB and 23 mb/s burst on FW. I can use my drive fine on USB; the only thing I can not test the disk after I burn it. (says unsupported drive or something). However, when I use FW it has trouble detecting the drive – I have to turn it on and off several times, etc. And then it only shows up as a PL3507 IEEE3994 interface (or something like that), not Benq1620 DD 47L9 (the way it does when I hook it up via USB). And even then it does not really burn. It is makes coasters when I back up data. It is also not recognized with DVDXCopy. Ma-a-an, this Benq 1620 is a pain in the a** externally :sad: I hope I can flash my prolific chip or something. I have the same chip as wolfmann (EON EN29LV512).

Kworm, Welcome to the club.
At 23 MB/s over firewire you can burn at 16X with the right media. At 22 MB/s over USB, your are just shy of that 16X ability so stick to 12X burns.
12X usually gives me better quality burns on the same 16X capable media, and is sometimes as fast as a 16X burn.

I am not clear as to why you get the drive not supported message when attempting to test a burned disc? What testing program are you using?
If you are using QScan, that program is for testing blank media only. QScan will also sometimes give a “firmware not supported” message when trying to scan a blank disc using the 47L9 firmware. Just clear the message box & re-try scan, it will then run.

Use CD Speed or DVDInfo Pro to scan your burned disc. Links to these apps. can be found by doing a search on this forum. By the way I found that DVDInfo Pro will not scan a burned disc when attempting to run the disc quality test program via firewire-it will work fine when connected over USB 2.

When your BenQ is connected via firewire, it will show up as a
“PL-3507 1394 Storage Device (1394 ATAPI_Rev 1.00)IEEE 1394 SBP2 Device (drive letter) at Lun 0”, This is what it is suppose to show!

When connected by firewire and your drive is not recognized is a symptom of the Plumax firmware----Win XP conflict. I also had this problem. Have you upgraded to SP2? That may fix the conflict.

PM me the read of your ROM. You may be have an unflashable chip.
You do know, that in order to flash your Plumax firmware, you must be connected by USB 2, Have a HD or DVD burner installed and, have no disc in your burner.
Let me know whats up.

I use CD Speed within Nero to test my burns. I haven’t tried DVDInfo yet… have to look through my program collection to see whether I have one :slight_smile: When connected through FW Benq shows up as what you wrote (PL-3507 1394 …) I have windows XP SP2 installed. The ROM when read with ROMWriter 2.1.4 RS32R program reads: ROM size: 32(KB), FW ver. 2004.02.12.062, Vendor ID: 0X7F, Chip ID: 0X6F. Then I try to load the firmware (PL3507-0907B.hex file) and press update and it says: “can’t access the chip. (Be rejected!)”. This is using USB2 with Benq installed.

The only problem I have with USB2 is that it supposedly uses more CPU power and also I have a lot of other USB devices which I am guessing can interfere with the burning process. I don’t actually have the media fast enough for a 16x burn. And, also I would like to be able to test my discs. And it irks me that Benqs are not very good at external enclosures. Thanks. Sorry for rambling.

kworm, trying using 2.0.4 to flash the 0907 firmware. I had the same problem when I tried to use 2.1.4 with the PL3507 chip, despite the read me text indicating otherwise.

Lastly, this is a FYI for all. I couldn’t understand why my CPU usage was 100% all the time, until I found out that a particular file/folder was hogging up all the resources. This ended up being iosdt.exe, which was a hidden virus. Following the advice from a site after a search, I booted into Safe Mode, enabled all the hidden files and folders, found the iosdt folder under Windows/System32, and deleted it permanently. I’m sure this contributed to why I couldn’t reach 16x burn with both the 3500A and 1620 mounted internally and externally.

Interesting… I was able to flash the drive with 2.0.4 “succesfully”. However I get the same read when I try to read the ROM as indicated in my post above. Do I still have the February 12, 2004 version? Also the CD-DVD speed program is still not working through USB2. I don’t actually have a high CPU usage, but I just know that it takes more CPU usage to burn through USB and I think by decreasing the CPU usage you run a smaller risk of getting a coaster. Thanks.

Where can we get the 2.0.4 firmware? I have the 2.14 at the moment and haven’t seen the 2.0.4 anywhere here before.

Uh, I found it somewhere in these forums, there was a link. I can email it to you if you really want to.

So with ROMwriter214, the enclosure with a Prolific chipset CANNOT be flashed? I would have thought a newer version would be able to compared to an older version. Kworm & KTL, after you used the 2.04 version, did the date 9/7/2004 show up when viewing the enclosure stats on your computer?