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First Mac Tests on Yamaha 16x/10x/40x CDRW
First Posted: 11/7/2000
Last Updated: 7/2001

Note: This page was posted in 2000 to cover the 2100 drive, for links to firmware updates for later Yamaha drives (2200, 3200, F1 models) see the FAQ item on Yamaha CDRW Mac Firmware updates. (Firmware page links there revised fall 2003 for Yamaha.jp moved pages.) For the most up-to-date comments from Mac users with Yamaha (and other brands) of CDRW drives, search the Drive Compatibility Database.

How to Flash IDE Yamaha 2100 Drive Firmware: On the 7/2/2001 news page there was a reader tip (from the Drive Compatibility database here) that noted he was able to use the SCSI Yamaha 2001 flasher with the Firewire 2100 firmware file to update a IDE Yamaha 2100 drive in a Mac. Several readers replied to that post saying the tip worked for them also.

On August 31, 2001 there was a Toast 5.02 update released. Friday 8/31/2001 www.xlr8yourmac.com news page with a list of changes/improvements including some specific to the yamaha 2100 series drives. For Toast updates, see www.roxio.com support pages. (Update- As of fall 2003 v5.2.1 is the latest Toast 5 version and Toast 6 exists now.)

In late April 2001, Yamaha posted a page with Firewire and SCSI Firmware updaters (1.0n) for the 2100 drive. See this page for reader feedback on the updates (bottom of page has links to the update page).

(From the April 23, 2001 main www.xlr8yourmac.com news page)
Yamaha IDE 2100 CDRW and Toast 5 Owner Comments:

IDE Yamaha 2100EZ (16/10/40)
Beige G3, OS 9.1

"I have posted before regarding the problems using Toast and Jam with my IDE 16x lightspeed CDRW. The 5.0.1 update did not solve the sense error problem when burning audio. I have been in contact with the developers and I am now using an alpha version of Toast 5.0.2 and it solved the problem!!

While my drive is now fully functional, I must recommend users choose another 16x CDRW. The Yamaha 2100EZ has a numbert of problems: it is VERY loud. I don't know how other 16x drives from other manufacturers compare regarding noise, but when the 2100EZ spins up (ie, ripping audio), it sounds like a hovercraft is taking off. The worst problem has got to be the firm ware update support, or lack of it. This kills me: Yamaha markets the 2100EZ to Mac users, and then has the gall to not release mac compatible firmware updates. The advice they give when asked how a Mac user may upgrade their IDE CDRW? Put it in a PC and run the PC firmware update. Why market to Mac users if you will not develop Mac software updates?
Michael S. "

Note - In the March 30th news here I posted a note that Yamaha does have Mac firmware updaters for the SCSI and Firewire 2100 drives (see lower part of this page), but there are no IDE 2100 drive updaters there currently. The page with the SCSI and Firewire 2100 firmware updates is now listed in the FAQ's CDROM/CDR (page 2) section.

(From the 1/8/2000 main www.xlr8yourmac.com news page)
A reader sent a report on issues he saw with an IDE Yamaha 2100 (lightspeed) 16/10/40 IDE drive in his G4/AGP and swapped into a Yamaha 8824 firewire case.

" Mike,
I submitted my comments on the Sony firewire CDRW drive. [In our Mac Drive Compatibility Database-Mike] All positive. I do want to contribute a bit of 'new' information about my now discarded 'light speed' burner internal eide.

I had it originally installed in place of my DVD Ram drive on my G4/500 AGP. It was bootable. Worked well as a burner except for Toast 4.1.2 Disk at Once mode. Too many errors of many varieties in Disk at Once. There was a difference in reliablity of a Disk at Once burn if I dragged the CD icon to the Toast audio window as opposed to opening the CD music icon then selecting all the music files then dragging them to the audio window. the former worked more reliably. The light speed as a reader to replace the DVD Ram drive was too unreliable. Sometimes during say a boot of the G4 with the OS CD,the install would hang. I had a configuration of a Maxtor brand new 30 gig hard drive in the zip bay with the light speed added that I about lost the hard drive because of a hang in the OS install with the light speed. I had to do a cold reboot. Since then I moved the hard drive out of the zip bay. Too many bad thoughts go through me when I consider that crash. the light speed as a reader is too touchy about solid back ground colored CD disks. Even had trouble reading the Yamaha provided Toast disk!

I also swapped the 16x in place of the 8x in the Yamaha firewire case. All worked well except at Disk at Once. Today I really gave the light speed a workout. Soon to realize that supposed good burns in Disk at Once became 50% unreliable. My audio equipment and either of my Macs would not even recognize the CD. I originally had the 8x Yamaha firewire unit in the hands of my daughter at college. She complained that she could not burn audio CD's from store bought CDs. Disk at Once problem here also. Needlesss to say I am not at all satisfied with the Yamaha drives. Heck I owned two 4x Yamaha scsi burners and two 6x in the past. Still have the 6x, they were work horses.

Lastly the odd thing about the light speed in the Yamaha firewire case is that on some days it burns Disk at Once and other days it will not. This is with absolutely nothing changing except the date and time of the new day.

Hope this helps others from making the same costly mistake I did over Christmas.
Don Harris

ps One work around for the Disk at Once problem is to use Sound Jam to burn through Toast. It does not use Disk at Once it seems, probably track at once. But I never got a coaster that way. The other way I was getting 50% of my PNY carriers as coasters."

Yamaha has an updated firmware version for the drive, but I think it's a PC only flasher updater. I don't know if the update would resolve the problems Don saw however.

[Feedback from November 2000 follows.]

Note: As of early November 2000, the current version of Retrospect backup software does not support this Yamaha drive according to reader reports.

(11/24/2000) Included in today's Drive Compatibility Database entries was another Yamaha IDE 2100 drive report:

" First, I would like to take the opportunity to say thanks to Mike for creating and continuing what I and I am sure other Mac owners believe is the BEST site for info on upgrading a Mac. I have been an avid reader for 2-3 years now. Thanks Mike.

My system:
B&W G3 rev 1 with OWC Mercury G3 400
Maxtor 15 GB 7200 rpm HD(replaced original HD)
16 MB ATI rage pro video
256 MB Ram
Adaptec 2906 SCSI card
Apple CD/DVD 1.3.1
Toast Deluxe 4.1.2

I have been watching all the reviews and info posts on the Velo CD writer (12/10/32) and went to Comp USA to buy that drive. It is selling for 299.00 and I thought I would give it a try. While at CompUSA, I saw the new Yamaha Lightspeed 16x CDR-W. I was concerned about problems some users were having with the Yamaha drives and wasnt really going to buy it. Then I looked on the box and it said "Windows/Macintosh". I looked further and could see that Yamaha packages Toast 4.1.1 with the drive and I guess to them that makes it Mac compatible.

I began to talk to the CompUSA salesperson about the drive and he told me it is brand new and he hasn't heard much about it. He then told me if I do buy it, I should invest the 20 bucks in buying the no questions asked, 1 year return option. That way when and if it doesn't work properly I could return it. The CompUSA guy went so far as to tell me to step on the drive or drop it in about 9 or 10 months as he was sure there would be a lot better CDR-W's out by then and with the return policy I had pruchased I could bring it back no questions asked. I thought that was kind of extreme but I purchased the drive, a 50 pack of 16x CDR's(fuji) for 19.99 and took it home.

Install was straight forward. Take out the 5xDVD and slip in the Yamaha 16x. I also have a zip drive. As for booting, I don't really know. I don't have my original OS9 CD (using a backup copy made on a 2x CDR from LaCie). I tried to boot from a copy of my 8.1 and 8.5 and OS9 CD's and NO GO.

I was choosing this upgrading moment to also do a complete re-format and re-install of my system. I installed a system onto a zip disk and booted from that then was able to do a complete re-format of my HD and install OS9. I then pulled the Apple CD/DVD extension (1.3.1) onto the desktop and then upgraded to 9.0.4 then replaced the CD/DVD extension. I did not install Toast fresh so the Toast extension was not installed. I pulled Toast 4.1.2 over from a backup of my software and it ran flawlessly. The drive recognizes CD's when inserted and the door stays shut. However, every so often (twice in 2 days so far) the Yamaha's tray will slide out for no apparent reason. I push it back in and it stays. (I am baffled ). [Check the front bezel/cover - I seem to remember one other brand of drive owner reported his tray eject problem was due to the eject button being pressed on by the cover - I think he noted moving the drive back a bit solved it. May not be the issue, but since it's not frequent I'd check for contact with the cover. (Or tape the cover open as a test for a few days as a temporary test to see if the tray stays closed. If not, try the older tip here on using an OS 8.5 or 8.6 CD/DVD extension. -Mike.]

I first tried burning some files and folders on some old 650 MB Memorex (unknown speed rating) CDR I had laying around. Burned several CD's at 12x with no problems. I then burned several more, including the back up of my HD prior to reformatting, at 16x. No problems. I then tried to complete a DAO with one of the Fuji 16x CDR's at 16x. I got an underrun error almost at the end. I checked the CD and none of the data was usable. I have not tried to do another DAO as I cannot see the purpose of using this when it takes all of 3 1/2 minutes to burn a whole CD at 16x.

I then tried ripping some audio CD's into MP3's using sound jam MP3 2.5.1 I got an average of about 4x speed as indicated in the sound jam application as it is ripping. Seemed kinda slow as I think I was getting a lot better with the DVD drive. (I failed to test the DVD before removing it, sorry) [See what Toast's Audio Extractor reports as far as audio extraction rates. That may only be in the deluxe (retail) version of Toast however. Some of my CPU upgrade reviews have tests of SoundJam MP (G4 upgrade reviews, testing G4s vs G3s ). The overall rate is often in the 4x range I think, at least for a G3 CPU mac with the stock CD/DVD drives. Toast Audio extractor would be a good thing to test also for pure audio extraction speed from the drive.-Mike]

All in all, I am happy with the drive. I think eventually I will get a Firewire case for it and move it out of the tower. Then I can regain my DVD or possibly a faster CD as I dont really use the DVD anyway.

(11/7/2000) Included in today's Drive Compatibility Database were the first reports I've had on the new high-speed (16/10/32) Yamaha CDRW (IDE version):

Yamaha IDE CRW2100EZ (16x/10x/40x)
Beige G3 w/OWC G3/450 (running 500mhz)

" I bought the Yamaha 8x/8x/24x firewire external drive last week(see post) and decided to try this new 16x "Lightspeed" Yamaha internal IDE. This drive was about $100 cheaper than the firewire(drive + PCI card) so I was possibly going to return the firewire and save some money.

The 16x Yamaha is bootable while holding down the "C" key at startup. It has that annoying problem where the cd tray does not close with Apple CD/DVD driver 1.3.5. I used TomeViewer to extract v1.3.1 from my MacOS 9 CD and that fixed it. Burning audio was a pain as I could not get it to reliably burn at 16x and when trying to use DAO I would get errors every time using high speed 16x Verbatim CDR media. I used Toast 4.1.1 and tried using full and minimal extensions without luck. 12x would not work either but 8x and below seemed ok. I don't know maybe I'm doing something wrong. Also the drive freezes my machine while starting up again and again.

I'm going to keep this drive for a few more days and do some more tests. But it looks like I am going to keep the firewire model instead. Hopefully other users will have better luck than I did with this drive.
C. Arnedo"

I asked he test with the CPU/cache not overclocked, although that will not likely make a difference in this case I suspect.

An owner of a G4/PCI (yikes) system also reported on the drive:

Yamaha IDE CRW2100EZ (16x/10x/40x)
G4/PCI (Yikes model)

" I purchased this drive from frys for $299. The drive is the IDE atapi model. I installed the drive in my G4 PCI model and started my computer. The drive is BOOTABLE. I burned a few data cd at 16x (it's fast i'm use to a 4x). I had some trouble burning cd coverted from mp 3 files using toast ( i got buffer overrun errors tring to burn these types of cd's).

This model has the same conflict with the apple cd driver as the other yamaha do. I checked yamaha web site to check on the problem nothing was posted. The drive is not reconized under OS X (which is a big disappointment). I guess i can do without a cd drive in OS X. Yamaha is due to release additional software for this model (lightspeed) sometime this week maybe it solve some of these problems.

(The next day he later wrote) My computer just crashed well sending you a message. I wrote about the Yamaha 16X IDE yesterday and I stated it was bootable. I also reported I was having the same ejecting problem other Yamaha model do.

I found out through trail and error that if you do not have another drive on the same channel as the Yamaha is on it is not bootable with the apple CD extension. I also found out that if you put a space in front of the toast CD reader title It boot before before the apple extension curing the ejecting problem well still being bootable with the apple CD ext loaded. Note the Yamaha only works with apple ext. when another drive is on the same channel. If you don't have the extra drive, then you have to remove the apple extension and reley on the toast extension so your computer can reconize the yamaha.

(He later wrote)

UPDATE on the Yamaha 16X 10X 40X IDE drive on the a G4 PCI 400 overclocked to 450

I was the first to report that the Yamaha 16 X was bootable. I reported that I was have the same problem with the with the tray ejecting that others had with other Yamaha models.

So last night I started to experiment and troubleshoot the ejecting problem, I removed my orb drive from my mac and found out that if I didn't have a drive on the same channel that the Yamaha was on, it would not boot OS9, well the apple cd extension was in the extension folder.

The solution is to take out the apple extension and use the toast extension by itself so that your computer reconizes the drive. It cures the ejecting problem. But the toast extension by it self can not boot from a CD.

So This morning I put the orb drive back in my mac and the apple CD extension back in the extension folder to listen to some music ( the apple cd player does not work without apple CD extension loaded). I started my computer and the tray ejected. This time I had a hard time getting the cdrw to except a music cd, it kepted ejecting it.

Then I thought to my self . What if I put a space in front of the toast extension title making it load before the apple CD extension? I tried it, and it worked. It cured the ejecting problem, and now I can boot from a cd again with the apple extension.

So there it is, all my Problems are cured with the Yamaha 16 X

So let's review

1. Place a space in front of the the toast CD reader extension title (Making it boot in front of the apple extension)

2. You need to have a drive on the same channel as the Yamaha to use the apple CD ext. to boot from a CD.(With out the extra dirve, you can not use Apple extension at all, only the toast extension by itself).

I don't know what to make of this , I even trashed the orb driver. and it still works. So it fixed for now, hope I was of some help to people out their.
Chris "

Yesterday's news noted the Yamaha drive was reported as in stock at Best Buy (online and in stores) for $299. I welcome other owner reports (including anyone that tries one in a firewire case). Please post an entry in the Drive Compatibility Database.

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