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Yamaha 8X SCSI CDRW Owner Feedback
Published: 3/17/2000
(Last Updated: 3/29/2000)

After a reader reported that Yamaha 8X SCSI CDRW drives had serious problems with Macs (his post in the first in the problem list below), I asked for other feedback from owners of the drive. Due to over 200 emails yesterday, I am not able to answer (or say thanks!) to each person those that wrote with their Yamaha 8X reports.

FYI: I noticed Bottom Line has a Yamaha 8X toast file (link from 2000 removed as it no longer worked) at their ftp site. There's also links below to the patch at Yamaha's site.

[From the 3/28/2000 main news page]
Toast Extension Tip: This owner reports an earlier Toast reader extension version solved a problem:

" Re: Yamaha 8424 CDRW
Although I've downloaded the latest firmware for the drive, my problems did indeed stop earlier when I connected the drive to a wide Ultra SCSI-3 card.

There is still a problem with the Toast Reader Extension however. Toast Reader 4.0.1 freezes the computer at startup when the init icon appears. Toast Reader 3.5.7 does not however, so I have been using this older extension to use the drive to read CDs.
Steven Varner"

[From the 3/24/2000 main news page]
Reader's Driver Hack Fix for Yamaha 8X SCSI CDR & Retrospect: [Update - on 3/29/2000 a reader notes that Dantz is now send a updated driver to Yamaha 8424 owners that inquired for an official fix.]

I think your page is the right place to let Mac Users know about the fix I have applied to the "Retrospect 4.2 Driver Update" to make Retrospect 4.2 work with the Yamaha CDRW8424.

I own this drive (external SCSI unit) since mid December and have not spoiled a single CD so far. Even though I hope that the recent firmware update fixes the rare hang-ups on my beige G3 using internal SCSI.

Retrospect obviously is lagging behind on supporting the newer CD burners. So I used ResEdit to look into the "Retrospect 4.2 Driver Update" file and found several Yamaha CD-R entries in resource SDid 11730. I simply changed the identifier of one of the Yamaha CD entries to CRW8424S (the SCSI response of that drive), without increasing the length of the resource.

It works !

The Yamaha CDRW8424 is now recognized by Retrospect as CD-R output device and I successfully backed up smaller sub-volumes (my 200 MB System Folder e.g.) onto CD-RW. Because the CD has a special format (like tapes) you need that same drive and Retrospect to make use of those CDs and recover from them.

I don't know what all those entries (besides the name) for each 44 byte block in the SDid 11730 resource mean, but the difference between the newer Yamaha CD-burners doesn't seem to matter too much.

If other users can't wait for the update from Dantz, I can mail them my hacked version of the "Retrospect 4.2 Driver Update" to try out -- no guarantees of course.
Jorg "

Jorg later reported his Retrospect 4.2 patched driver worked fine in two systems he tested. My contact at Dantz requested I not post the patch here, saying it may not be 100% reliable with all systems and that they were working on an update now (testing with the latest Yamaha firmware). Here's Jorg's report on tests with his patch:

here is the "Retrospect 4.2 Driver Update" including my Yamaha CDRW8424 fix. I also changed the version number from 1.9 to 1.9j, so there's no confusion between the two versions.

I tested the burning of a CD-RW with Retrospect on a G3/233 using the internal SCSI. I was able to recover files from the CD on the same Mac. In addition I was able to re-create the catalog from this CD on a B/W G3/350 with an Advansys Ultra SCSI card (using the same Yamaha drive of course). I did not, however, try a large backup spanning several CDs.

[From the 3/23/2000 main news page]
Yamaha Comments on New 8X SCSI CDR Firmware: Here's a mail Mike Morse of Yamaha USA sent me regarding the updated firmware noted here earlier:

"Yamaha has released new firmware for the CRW8424SX and the CRW8424S models. The new firmware addresses the "lock up" situations that customers were experiencing with the onboard SCSI busses. Please visit our YSN (Yamaha Solutions Network) to download the latest firmware, version 1.0j. Click on this link to enter the YSN:

Firmware for all models and platforms can be downloaded from this location as well. From here select 'CDR/CRW Recorder' select 'Firmware Upgrade Information and Download'. Next select your drive model, then operating system. You will be taken to the firmware upgrade instructions, complete with screen shots. Please take the time to let us know if this information has helped you by clicking on the 'Yes!' 'No!' or 'Not Yet' buttons at the bottom of the page. All feed back is welcome, simply select 'Feed Back' and let us know how you feel.

The YSN can address issues other than firmware. From the YSN link type in a brief description of your problem and select search. We are striving to provide the highest quality of service possible. If you have comments or suggestions please select the 'Feed Back' button at the bottom of any YSN document.
Mike Morse
Application Specialist
Yamaha Corporation of America

[From the 3/22/2000 main news page]
Yamaha 8X CDR Firmware Update Due: A reader replies to the feedback page on the drive posted recently here (see storage area sidebar or page for link). One early user of the update said that it helped the problems he was having with the drive as a reader attached to the onboard scsi.

"I thought you [might like to know] Yamaha will be releasing a firmware update for their 8424 CD-RW drive to fix the SCSI freeze problem. See the email below that I got from Mike Morse at Yamaha. I thought you may want to update your Yamaha 8424 page.

    Subject: Firmware
    Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 08:43:54 -0800
    From: Mike Morse

    Yamaha will be releasing a new firmware to solve these problems. It should be released Wed. Visit the Japan firmware site at:

    I have heard many positive results from customers that have installed the beta version.
    Mike Morse
    Application Specialist
    Yamaha Corporation of America

John Salmento "

One reader said that the 8X Yamahas only work if connected to a SCSI3 (UltraSCSI) bus, but as you'll see - that's obviously not true from the reports below from some Beige G3 and older Mac owners using the onboard (5MB/sec external or 10MB/sec internal) SCSI without problems. Some of the problems sound like they may be due to terminator power not being enabled. This may vary depending on the external drive brand (if they've set the drive to supply terminator power). Just a guess as to why some external drive owners report all OK, and others not.

Success stories are in blue text, problem reports are farther down in maroon.

Success Stories:

"I have a nice new OWC Yamaha 8x4x24, worked perfect right out of the box, burning my first CD in just about 4-1/2 minutes(not a full partition). Excellent quality unit!

I am using a Beige G3, with a OWC Mercury G3/450 running perfectly at 466. Gotta love those Motorola aluminum processors!!!
See ya,
Jamie Dresser

I assume Jamie is using the onboard Beige G3 SCSI port.

"I bought one of these drives from APS just a few weeks ago, after my old Yammi drive went south on me. I had some initial driver trouble with Toast (fixed by going to, instead of to look for a driver file), but other than that it has been fast and totally trouble free.
Nik Friedman
Effective Computing

Nik didn't mention his Mac model, Toast version or SCSI controller used (onboard or PCI SCSI card)

"I'm currently using a Yamaha 8424S Magic (Bottomline Distributing's house brand) Ext. CDRW with a Sawtooth G4 400, 192meg RAM, OS 9 and using Toast 4.0 Deluxe. I've burned about 10 CDRs as Mac Volumes and haven't had a problem yet. Can you provide more info regarding the types of problems people are running into with the drive and I can check to see if I can reproduce the problem.
Tet Uemura

"I have recently used a Yamaha Magic CRW8424 External (Bottom Line) on both a Beige G3 333 (rev?), and a G3 333 PM 8500 (Carrier ZIF, OWC 333 G3). After downloading a patch for the drive from the Yamaha site, I had no problems burning CDRs up to 6X, I didn't try 8X just due to any stability problems I might have, and my limited number of media. I had difficulty writing one CDRW, but it was very cheap media, I didn't try again. All Cds are working beautifully.
Hope this helps
M. Hildebrand
Trozzolo Creative Resources Inc.

"Hi. I am using a PowerTower Pro, not sure what motherboard revision. It was a 250mhz computer, but now is upgraded with the XLR8 OWC 400mhz G3. I replaced the original CD-Rom drive with the Yamaha 8424 recorder. I use Intech's CD rom utility, and Toast 4.0. I have had no problems of any kind with the drive, either reading or recording. I have recorded both audio (mainly) and data cd's, at 4x and 8x speeds.

My computer has 412mb of ram, and two ATI RagePro 3D+ cards, as well as a Keyspan serial card, and a ProMax 33 IDE card. My internal hard drive is a Seagate 20.7 gb. I also have a Jaz drive and zip on the internal scsi, along with the Yamaha Recorder.

The only minor complaint that I have with the yamaha recorder, is that when I eject a cd, the drawer struggles out. Somehow it makes me feel that it's about to give up, but it hasn't yet. It just doesn't inspire me with a lot of confidence in its durability. Especially as compared to my other computer and recorder set up, which uses a Plextor 4220.

I hope this is some help...
patrick scott vickers

"Hello Mike,
I own a 450 Mhz B&W G3, 128 MB RAM, 9 GB IBM DDRS HD and IDE CD-ROM with:
- Adaptec 2940U2B
- Rage 128

Added cards:
- Voodoo 3 2000 with 3000 ROM
- Second Adaptec 2940UW SIM version 4.1

I have also a Griffin GPort serial port.

My external Yamaha CDRW 8424 (1.0d) is connected to the second SCSI card. I had no problem burning ANY type of CDR (ISO, HFS, Audio) or CDRW using Toast 4.0 Deluxe. MacOS 8.6 US, virtual memory ON, some non-apple extensions...

I'm a little bit surprised to see that users may have had problems. I had problems with another SCSI card, a Grappler 930U which would not accept to toast some ISO CDs (Playstation), swapping with an Adaptec 2940 solved ALL my problems.
Hope it helps...
Philippe Borel

"I currently use it with my Blue&White G3 equipped with an Adaptec 2906 SCSI card. I haven't experienced any problem, but I think Toast 3.5.7 with the patch works a lot better then the new I use MacOS 9.0.4f3

"no problems here.
500mgz G3
OS 9
Toast 4.0.1

Apparently Beige G3 since he later noted using onboard SCSI.

"I've had a Yamaha CRW8424S (Rev. 1.0d) for about three months now with over 150 successful burns on TDK and SONY blanks all at 8X speed (data and audio) and not a single error using Toast 4.0. I have an external version (actually an internal version installed in an old AppleCD 150 case) hooked up to my B&W G3 450 running Mac OS 9 through an Adaptec 2906 card. I also use it to extract audio since it does it faster than the DVD-ROM drive in the Mac.
Hiroshi Nishimura

" I am successfully using a YAMAHA CRW8424S Rev 1.0f 4mb cache. It's connected to a Adaptec PowerDomain 2930CU, SIM version 4.0, HBA version 1.0.4a88. I also have a 2940u2b in another slot but that is a lvd controller for my raid.

I am using Toast 4.0 on a Apple G4 400 Sawtooth AGP DVD with 256mb ram and 100 gb in disks(ATA and SCSI) and OS 9.0.2.

I also downloaded this patch for Toast:
I guess that helps.

I don't run the Toast extension to use the drive as a CD reader, I think that extension doesn't like me turning on and off the CD after it has recognized it on boot. I think it may freeze the computer if you turn off the CD and the extension crashes the system.

I've burned CD-R and CD-RW at 8x and 4x respectively. No failures! :)
...Joe Ward.

"I have a Yamaha 8424 SCSI CDRW burner, and I have used Adaptec Toast v4 with no problems. I can burn at 8x speed just fine. Not sure about Retrospect, have a DAT tape drive that I use for backups rather than the CD burner, so haven't tried it.

Here are my system specs:
Beige G3 (rev 1) with 384 meg RAM. No IDE devices present in this G3 StreamLogic Jackhammer UW SCSI card and two Quantum Viking II UW SCSI drives connected internally to Jackhammer card. Using FWB's Hard Disk Toolkit on these 2 drives, several partitions, one RAIDED in a mirror (startup partition), other partitions are striped for speed. Apple 24 SCSI CD ROM (ID 3) drive and SCSI ZIP (ID 5) drive connected internally to Apple SCSI chain.

Externally connected is Canon FB1200S scanner (sweet scanner) is connected first (ID 6), then to a dual bay enclosure (internal cheap cable replaced with a Granite Digital Teflon two narrow device SCSI cable) with a Quantum Atlas II UW SCSI drive converted to narrow (Granite Digital UW to narrow adapter) (ID 2) (this drive is the drive I use for the CD images to burn from), and the Yamaha 8424S burner (ID 4). Then connected last is the APS DAT drive (ID 1). I use Granite Digital cables exclusively on all external hookups as well as a Teflon Granite digital cable internally on the two Viking II drives. Termination is a Granite Digital Active Diagnostic Terminator. Maybe my setup works well because I use high quality SCSI cables. I can leave the DAT off, or have it difference in burning...the scanner is always on...the Canon does not have a power switch, just goes into energy saving mode.

Also present in the machine is an Orange Micro PC card and a Micro Conversions Voodoo 2 video card.
Michael Pifer

"I'm using an APS Yamaha 8x4x24x SCSI external CD-RW with a PowerTower Pro 250. Everything is flawless so far, a few dozen disks later. I suggest you give toast all the memory you can afford and extract files for best performance. Don't forget to get the proper Toast driver file that need to reside in your Toast folder, it's called "Yamaha CRW8424" and is available online. [] The one that came on the install CD with my drive is called "CDRW-12432S" and I wasn't sure if this is the right one (although both are in my Toast folder just in case)
Larry Peters

I bought an external Yamaha 8/4/24 CD-RW SCSI drive and put it in an external two bay case to use with my B&W G3 450. Initially I bought a the Grappler low end card (I already have a Miles UW card) to use with the drive, but although it seemed to burn disks fine, when verifying, my computer would lock up. After reading comments on Macintouch about the Grappler card, I send it back and exchanged it for the Adaptec 2906.

Since using the Adaptec card I have had no more problems. I have burned many CD's and everything is great so far... I haven't tried to burn any CDRW's yet - only CDR's.
Jeff Caldwell

I have an APS 8424 external CD-RW unit. I use it with my PowerCenter 150 (w/ PowerLogix G3 220/110/512K upgrade running at 292MHz). Mac OS 9, tons of extensions. I've used both the OEM Toast and the retail Toast 4.0. In all cases I've had no significant troubles. The only coasters I've burned were my own fault -- powering down the drive in mid-burn generally messes things up!

I've had many successful burns of Audio CDs at 8x, even with all my usual extensions running. I haven't ever needed to reboot with minimal extensions to get a good burn. Overall, it's been smooth sailing all the way! I've burned hybrid ISO/Mac disks, Mac files & folders, Audio... I was quite worried when I began seeing problem reports -- of course that was AFTER I ordered the drive, but BEFORE it arrived. No problems so far.
Dean F. Sutherland

I've installed the Yamaha 8/4/24 in my UMAX S900 without any difficulties. I purchased and installed Toast 4 Deluxe and it recognized the drive without problems. I'll report any further findings as they come up.
Dave Anderson

I'm using a 7500/G3 220 running at 320, 192 megs RAM and a Yamaha 8424 burner. It's the internal model but i have it slid inside of an old Apple external case- so it's plugged into my external SCSI port. Haven't had any problems or any bad burns using Toast 3.5.7 or Adaptec Jam burning audio and data CDs at 2-8X.
Jay Craft

"Hi Mike,
I wanted to send along my experiences with the Yamaha 8/4/24 CD-R drive. I got mine from Bottomline the end of Dec. or early Jan. So I've been using it for about 3 months now. I'm extremely pleased with mine. Using the drive, I've made SCSI direct copies, audio CDs, Mac/ISO mixed format CDs as well as a few other variations. It has worked great. Of the 60+ CDs I've made so far, I only had one failure and that was my own fault. I was using a Zip disk as the source and trying to burn at 8x. The Zip drive can not read the data fast enough to sustain the 8x write speed.

I've also used CD-RW discs successfully.

Here's my setup:
-PowerMac 7600 w/NewerTech G3 400Mhz/1MB backside cache
-USB card
-ATI Rage 128
-Mac OS 9
-Toast 3.5.7
-Yamaha 8/4/24 connected to external SCSI port
-lots of other peripherals, I will not bore you with the details.

My only complaint about the Yamaha is that the external case has a noisy fan.

I have a Yamaha CRW8424S internal CDRW drive installed in my 9600/200 (275/275/1MB RailGun G3). I'm running OS 9 and using Toast 4 Deluxe. So far, I have had no problems with the drive. I've made a couple of CDs that are just files from my HDs (one multi-session), and a few music CDs with many tracks taken from my collection of vinyl albums. The only thing I don't like is that the shape of the tray, as viewed from the front, is such that I can't use the bezel that came with the stock CD player.
Jeff Gay

Proline and dealers like Macgurus and Bottom Line sell the Proline bezels that are totally open face and should work with any CD drive. I'm using one from Macgurus in my Beige G3 now with a Phillips 2X CDR.

"Have been using the Yamaha 8424s with few problems for a couple of months now. Using the internal model in a G3/266 desktop w/ Initio Miles scsi pci card, Toast 4.0. The only serious problem I encountered was the mysterious disappearance of Apple Sound Manager extension, which prevented me from recording through the built-in sound input. Once discovered, fix was easy, although discovery took 2-3 days. The small handful of coasters I've burned have been because of my own screw-ups, not the equipment.
-Bill Wareham

I have had no problems whatsoever doing anything I want with it. I use Adaptec Toast 3.5.7 with the Yamaha CRW8424 updater and an Adaptec 2930U SCSI card. It vibrates a lot, though.
Pascal Meunier

(this is a StarMax 5000 upgraded with a Newer L2 card, it seems to confuse the Apple system profiler)... "

"I don't have any problem with the Yamaha 8x4x24 CDRW of using Adaptec 2940UW SCSI card for the Beige G3. I can burn CD at any speed that it offers.

This 2940UW owner commented he had to disable wide negotiation on the SCSI ID for the CDR:

"Mike, I've been using a Yamaha 8x4x24 SCSI CD-RW with my B&W G3 for some time now, connected to an Adaptec 2940UW.

The problem I've experienced with it is that if the CD-RW is turned on while I power up the computer, I get a freeze while scanning the SCSI bus, before the boot process has really started.

I have discovered a simple workaround: disable wide negotiation for the Yamaha's SCSI ID using Adaptec's control software. I have to use v3.0 of the 2940UW firmware and control software, because the later versions took away that capability. The downside is that v3.0 cannot boot a B&W G3 or a G4. Fortunately I happen to not need to boot off that card.

I'm not sure this is the Yamaha's problem, as the exact same thing (with the same workaround) happens with my old Panasonic 7502b (4x write CD-R). I don't have any other CD-R or CD-RW drives to test.

Outside of the boot freeze, the Yamaha works flawlessly. It hasn't burned a single coaster. It doesn't care what kind of media I use (the old Panasonic was kind of picky and only really worked right with TDK). It even writes audio CDs at 8x that play in my car stereo.
Tim Seufert

A mixed report - problems with a 6400 but OK with a 6100. (Again I wonder about terminator power - since the 6400 doesn't supply it I don't think. Not sure if LaCie sets the drive to provide it.)

"I had problems getting the Yamaha (in form of a La Cie) to work on af 6400, (i think this is because the scsi at the 6400 is not to reliable) but when i moved it to a 6100 I had no problems. Here at xlr8yourmac I found a little archive specific for the yamaha drive and when i put that in the Toast deluxe folder, everything just worked perfect. i can copy tons of formats etc. One peculiar thing is that it Toast only think the Yamaha drive has 2 mb of ram cache, but as far as i know it actually has 4mb. However this doesn't affect anything.

The software Direct CD doesn't work with the [8x] Yamaha drive... This was confirmed to me form LaCie support.
-Peter, Denmark

I have few problems with the 8x4x24 drive with my Blue&White G3/500MHz. My source partition(s) are on my 6-drive RAID that I sent you info on a long time ago and a Maxtor 20GB diamond max plus.

The source partitions are on an ATTO dual channel ultra-wide card. The drive is hooked up to an Adaptec 2940uw card.

After installing the yamaha patch with Toast 3.5.7 (I think that's the vers. number, I'm away from my computer so I can't check), I had no problems with Toast seeing the drive.

I DID, however, have problems when I used a Western Digital 20.4 GB hard drive (with FWB's HDT used to fix the corruption problem) as the source for my records (my system would freeze in the middle of a burn once in a while). Switching to the Maxtor or recording from my RAID fixed this problem.

I don't use the 8x4x24 as a cd-rom drive - meaning, I leave it turned off unless I'm recording, so I have not installed the toast reader extension nor do I use a hacked cd/dvd rom extension to use the drive as a reader.

Let me know if you want any more details about my setup - I've probably left out some important details since I'm not near my computer...
Kent Kanja (MiM)

This owner reports Intech's drivers solved his problems:

"Hi Mike,
I can confirm problems with this drive. My system is a 8500/120 at G3 454/181, Expert 17GB with TurboMAX, Proformance III, system 8.6. After installing the CD-RW and Toast, I got frequent system crashes. I figured out the culprict was the Toast driver. I then tried the Intech driver. Since then trouble free operation.
Best regards

"I have one of these drives in an external case, attached via an OEM ATTO express UW card. no problems whatsoever in the past month that i had this drive. I recently updated the firmware from 1.0d to 1.0g, but have had no problems before or after the update. I had to do a little bit of resediting to get the drive to work with directCD, but after a simple drvID change in directCD, it works well with packet writing. i remember reading somewhere that the firmware of this drive has problems falling back from an ultra scsi (scsi3) interface to a fast or scsi1 bus. I think macfixit had an entire section on it.

System Specs:
B&W G3 550mhz
384mb ram
ATTO Express U/W scsi card(latest firmware)

The SCSI3 issue doesn't seem typical - evidenced by the many success stories above with onboard SCSI (which isn't UltraSCSI of course).

Speaking of onboard SCSI working, here's another report:

"No problems burning CDs at 8x using a 7300 with 350mh Zif card and OS 8.6. I use Toast 4.01 and get no underruns as long as I use a 64mb cache.

"I have a one week old yamaha unit from APS. This drive is running off an apple supplied 2906 card in a G4 450. Using toast there has not been a single coaster yet. Burning with 8.6 base extentions set, performance has been flawless. This is my first experience with CDR and it's been a wonderful intoduction.
—Jerry Douglas

In case anyone doesn't know, the 2906 isn't an UltraSCSI card (only 10MB/sec max).

Yes, I too have that YAMAHA drive from LaCie (Blue Casing). Well actually it was a 6/4/16 but it died so I had to send it back for repair but since it was discontinued, they gave me the upgraded 8/4/24 model instead!.

It works fine connected to my "stock" Lombard 333, 64MB RAM etc. etc.

I have an external SCSI ZIP drive daisy chained onto the PowerBook which then connects the CDRW. When LaCie sent the drive back, They also included a different version of Toast, I think. So far no hiccups, works wonders although it humms a lot probably due to the fan. Also it seems that Toast (or whatever version it was) has fewer options. i.e. doesn't allow you to make VCDs or Enhanced CDs.
James Aceret

"I just bought a LaCie CDRW which includes a Yamaha engine and everything works fine for me. I wrote 6 CD at 8x without verification and I got zero problem. The disks were Kodaks and the included LaCie disk. I didn't try to record an audio CD yet, only backup.

I have a PM g3 266 w/ 192 megs of RAM and Mac OS 9 US. Toast version 4.01.1
William R.

"Hi Mike,
We picked up a half dozen of these drives when Bottom Line recently had the Magic Yamaha 8x4x24x External w/o Toast for $275. (even though BL generally tries to make it back on shipping & profit, we worked out a deal to ship them cheaper)

So far, these drives have behaved flawlessly, mostly using Toast 3.5.7 and the 'Yamaha CRW8424' drive definition file.

Most of the time, these drives are attached to older Macs dedicated to auxillary use, so the System/Extensions can be trimmed to a bare minimum.

Macs used with 8424 extensively:
(2) x100/G3-240/104RAM/OS8.6 (internal SCSI 1)
(2) '98 G3-300MT/96MB -256MB RAM/OS8.6-OS9 (internal SCSI-1)
(1) '99 G3-350/128MB RAM/OS9 (Grappler 930U in slot 3)
(1) 7500/G3-300/256RAM/OS9 (integral SCSI-2)
(1) 9500/G3-400/224RAM/OS9 (integral SCSI-2)
[the last two I assume are internal, since the external scsi on 75-9600s is only 5MB/sec SCSI-Mike]

They also work fine on the G4 Sawtooth's we've tested, using the Grappler 930U in slot 3, but we've not done an extensive amount of burning from these, instead using the G4 to generate the data, then transfer it to a dedicated burn station. We've also used them with perfect success backing up several Lombard and Wallstreet 'books, and two 1400/G3 'books.

Some things that we do to insure good burns are:

a) Use quality media. Our best success is using Memorex and Maxell brands at 8x, though we have recently also had good success with PNY 12x 80min disks (at both 8x on the Yamaha, and 12x on the Lacie 12x4x32)

b) whenever possible, use a dedicated, defragged volume to burn critical data, such as creating an audio CD, or a multimedia/hybrid CD. (i.e., prep your data wherever you want, but prior to burning, copy the files to a fresh scratch volume, so that all files will be written in a contiguous fashion prior to burn)

c) Max out the RAM cache. We never try to burn above 2x unless we can have a full 64MB RAM cache setting in Toast.
[I've never had a bad burn in Toast with an 8MB cache setting but I also burn CDs with only the CDR on the external SCSI chain, using good cables/termination (active term. APS case) and VM Off.-Mike]

d) Dedicated Virtual Memory. As long as VM is dedicated to a volume other than the data volume (unless freshly *optimized*, not just defragged), we've had absolutely no problems running with VM on.

e) Use Apple's 'UDF Volume Access' instead of the 'Adaptec UDF Volume Access' extension. Whatever you do, don't use both.

f) Do not have scanners or *especially* Zip drives on the same cable/chain, and use an *active* SCSI terminator to end the chain.
[ZIP drives are infamous for their lack of proper termination and noise.-Mike]

g) If you intend to do a number of sessions in a row, or the burn integrity is critical, we suggest a dedicated (and locked ) 'CD Burn' Extension set. Here's the typical extent set we use:

Control Panels:
BeHierarchic (or AppleMenu Options)
Extensions Manager
General Controls
File Exchange
Kensington MouseWorks [if you're using a Kensington controller]
Memory (VM 'On', Disk Cache 'Default', RAM Disk 'On')
Monitors & Sound
Net-Print Settings
Startup Disk

EM Extension
Display Enabler (--if required)
ADBReInit (only required with MouseWorks 5.0, gone in 5.1+)
Apple CD/DVD Driver
(ATI video drivers if required)
Audio CD Access
AudioTuneUp (--if required)
Find By Content
Foreign File Access
High Sierra File Access
I/O Filters 68k
I/O Filters PP
Indeo® Video
Intel Raw Video
Internet Config Extension
ISO 9660 File Access
(iXmicro video drivers if required)
Kensington Startup
Kensington Startup ADB
Scripting Additions
SystemAV (--if required)
Text Encoding Converter
Toast CD Reader
UDF Volume Access


(Of course not all the extensions listed are needed for bare-bones CDR burning.)

Problem Reports:

The original problem report I received that resulted in my request for other owner feedback (Chris copied me on a mail to a dealer selling the drive:

" I'm writing to inform you of a problem with ALL Dynatek SCSI CD-RW drives that are based on the Yamaha 8/4/24 CD-RW for Apple Mac.

Every one of them causes the computer to have an instant SCSI lock. You can move your mouse, but do nothing else, not even 'click'. The computer will carry on and work fine if you then switch the CD-RW off. I bought one a few days ago from Mac Supplies and will be informing them tomorrow, and asking for replacement by a different manufacturer. Everyone in the USA seems to be advising people to return the drives, and I advise you to withdraw the product from sale, immediately.

This is not a problem that only happens under certain Mac OS or an Extensions conflict, it is a fault with the drives themselves. Yamaha have no solution to the problem.
Mr Chris Graham

[He later wrote the following when I asked for more info:]

Hi Mike, thanks for your reply.
The patch is just used so that Toast will recognize the drive (I have the patch and it came with the drive). Unfortunately , the problem is unrelated. Apparently Yamaha are aware of the problem, but as yet don't have a way of solving it. I've spoken to Mac Supplies today and they are going to speak to Dynatek (I'll let you know what happens). The only way you can get it to record is by removing the extensions that enable you to read from a CD-Rom This means you can't verify what you have recorded, or read from either your internal CD-ROM, or the Yamaha. Even then it usually crashes when you try and write something and you get a ' -17 error'.

The problem everyone seems to be having is a SCSI lock, whereby everything freezes except the movement of the mouse. If you switch the drive off you can carry on working as normal. The problems are the same on a large variety of Mac systems using various OS. I have a Paris Clone 48mb, 200khz, OS 8.1, and have never had a SCSI problem with other devices. The firmware for G3/G4 would not solve the problem. Apparently there is a firmware solution posted on a site in Japan that 'might' work, but everyone who has tried it reports that it does not work. Many people have tried other makes of CD-RW on their Mac's and they work fine. The problem is specific to CD-RW drives using the Yamaha 8-4-24 engine, which includes the Dynatek I have.

There are several sites where people are expressing the same problems. Yamaha have said they don't yet have a solution, so many people are sending them back and/or claiming from their credit card company. Whilst a few brave souls are hanging-on in the hope that Yamaha will soon find a solution (but feel Yamaha have buried their heads in the sand).

For some more info try the link below.

I find it amazing that a company as well known as Yamaha can release a product that has clearly not been properly tested.
Chris Graham Norwich

I work for an Apple reseller in New Zealand and we no longer sell the Yamaha SCSI CDR drives you referred to as we have had an almost 80% return rate (over approximately 60 units sold). The reliability seems appalling, and we now recommend the Ricoh SCSI CDRs as although they are more expensive the have so far proved totally reliable with no one unit returned.
Kind regards
Tim Benson
Sales Consultant
MagnumMac Wellington
New Zealand

I wonder what BLOL or OWC reports as their 8X Yamaha return rates? Or Lacie?

Other problem reports received after the news page request for feedback:

This one is a mixed report - OK for burning CDs, but problems as a regular CD reader:

I use an external version of the SCSI Yamaha CRW8424 drive on the built-in SCSI chain of a Beige G3 DT 266 rev B running system 9.0.0 (details: 256 meg memory, internal Maxtor 20gb/OEM Zip and OEM WD 4gb/CD-ROM in master/slave config on the internal IDE buses). I have two other SCSI devices on the bus: an external Jaz drive and an Epson 636 scanner. The drive was purchased from Essential Data as one of their OEM packages (came in their external SCSI case with C50 interconnects and with Toast)

In general, I have had little difficulty with the drive as a burner. Toast 4 deluxe (commercial not OEM), B's Recorder Gold 1.08, and Jam 2.5 have worked without a hitch (the Adaptec software needs the patch posted on Yamaha's site ( the patch is placed into the folder with the Toast/Jam application). Adaptec's DirectCD and CDR Access Pro do not yet support the CRW8424 drive.

I have had some difficulty finding a driver for the drive that will allow the drive to function as a CD-ROM without causing random crashes. I've tried Toast's CD reader 4.0 as well as CD Speedtools 4.5's driver and, although they allow the drive to work well as a CD-ROM (tried with data (no problems with HFS, HFS+, or ISO 9660), audio, CD extra, and VCD without problems), they cause lockups with the finder at an approximately 5-10 minute interval after startup (not sure if this is a conflict with one of my other extensions, but removing the specific driver and re-enabling the Apple CD/DVD 1.3.1 driver stops the lockups-- C&G's Conflict Catcher was great for this). If anyone has been able to find a working driver, I would be interested to know what driver/setup they are using.
Thanks again for the great site,
James J. Lu

Another report of burning CDRs OK, but problems as a reader:

"Biege G3 400, system 9.0. Have both Yamaha and original CD ROM drive installed. With Toast installed there were many crashes. Remove TOAST'S extension and no more problems. Just can't use the Yamaha drive to read, only to write without extension. System works great. Burning about 5 CDs a day without problems.
Steve Weintraub

"I have a 9600/300 (Powerlogic 300/150 G3 card) with 256 megs ram, zip drive, 4.2 gig SCSI Seagate st34572w drive, 10 gig Maxtor 91024u3 IDE drive, 4 gig stock drive, Turbo max card, 12 meg game wizard 3dfx card, stock ATTO SCSI card preinstalled, and a Techworks USB card. About 2 weeks ago I bought a Yamaha 8/4/24 internal SCSI CD-RW drive. After installing it, my computer crashed constantly. I called Yamaha and was told to download SCSI probe 5.1.2 which helped, but I still have problems with Internet Explorer crashing.

Also my stock CD-ROM seems to have problems now; I don't know if it is just a coincidence or not. Maybe my CD-ROM is just old and was getting ready to go any way. After getting things running I am happy with the CD-RW, it is bootable and much quieter than my stock CD-ROM. The only thing I have not figured out is how to hook up sound to both. Also, if this is a SCSI 3, drive how do you attach it to a SCSI 3 card?
Brian Guffey

There's no benefit to running a slow device like a 8X CDR drive on a PCI UltraSCSI card. An 8X CDR only burns at a 1.2MB/sec max rate (far less than even the external 5MB/sec SCSI). Even if the 24X CD speed was accurate (most ratings aren't) - that's still only 3.6MB/sec max.

Another report I'd classify as mixed results (if the CD with file system problems was not a fluke):

I have the APS version of the Yamaha 8x4x24 SCSI CDRW. The one annoying thing about the APS drive is that the door on the front pretty much covers up all the status lights on the CDRW drive. I have burned two CDs with Toast The seemed to burn OK. Later, one of the CDs had file system problems.

First of all, Retrospect 4.2 does not support this drive. I have contacted Dantz about it and they are testing the drive now. As far as I know, Toast is the only the software that supports the drive. DirectCD (Adaptec) and DiskScribe (CharisMac) do not support the drive. I have used DirectCD on Windows boxes and I would prefer to use it since it should support the disks at a file system level. If and one DirectCD is supported, I intend to check it out.

For configurations, I am using a PowerMac G4 450 MHz (AGP) with an Adaptec 2940UW SCSI card. For the sake of posting, I am running Mac OS 9.0.4. I am a Apple Select Developer under an NDA, so I can't really say much about Mac OS 9.0.4. The Adaptec card is using firmware version 4.1.

What kind of problems are you talking about? I have not seen any big problems with the drive. FYI, the revision number for the drive is 1.0d.

This owner reported problems reading some Toast images and with Retrospect (backup software):

"Hi Mike,
I'm using the Yamaha SCSI 8424 cdrw drive.

Toast 4

8600/G3/400/OS 8.6
Toast 4
Retrospect 4.2

The drive is fast and works well, except...
It has problems reading Toast disc images. You can get around this by using another program to mount the image. Also, make sure you have the Yamaha Toast patch (available on the Yamaha site). Otherwise, the Mac won't recognize the drive.

Retrospect is another matter. Dantz has confirmed that there are issues with the 8x drive. They have released a beta firmware driver for the 6x but not the 8x.
Hope this helps,

This reader reports changing to a Initio Miles SCSI card helped with some of the problems he originally had (almost sounds like a Terminator Power issue):

" My system is a Beige G3/233 (Rev. 1) with 224MB RAM. I installed a Yamaha CRW 8424S as the only CD Drive in my system. I immediately had SCSI bus freezes that essentially locked up the whole system. Changing termination, parity, block size, etc. didn't help. Info in the Macfixit forums lead me to a solution. I bought an Initio Miles card (BLOL, $98) and solved the SCSI problem. The final jumper settings on the drive are: parity - on, termination - on (only drive on the bus), block size - 512K. Frankly, having to buy a SCSI card to get the drive to work is unmitigated [bleep], but I didn't want to wait for Yamaha to fix the driver.

I still had a problem reading CDs on the drive, but I found the solution on Yamaha's support page. The toast CD Reader extension that comes with Toast 4.0 doesn't work. Use the extension from the Toast 3.5 to 3.7 upgrade. Put two blank spaces in front of the extension name so that it loads early. Most all problems seem resolved now.

I used Toast 4.0 to convert and burn 14 MP3 files (50 minutes of music) to a CD at 8x; it took six minutes and the CD works in all CD players in my house and car.

I haven't tried to make a bootable CD yet and I still have to make VirtualPC recognize CDs in it, but I'm making progress.

Thanks for your great site! The info you provide has helped make me the local Mac guru. I'm starting a second career helping people upgrade older Macs. What fun!
Thanks again,

"Hi Mike,
I have been having problems with this drive as well. Toast Deluxe doesn't support this drive so you must get a patch from Yamaha's web site. Next, when burning data CD's, verification fails when writing a CD unless it is a small session. I have used this drive with an Adaptec 2930 and an Initio Miles Bluenote in a yikes G4 400. Same problems exist. Secondly, to avoid buffer underruns, I usually set the Buffer in Toast to 32MB!!! It also doesn't like being connect to a USB-SCSI adapter. Buffer underruns occur even with a 64MB buffer at any speed!!! I miss my CD Rocket SE.

Almost sounds like a terminator power issue as well (required for the device to supply term. power when using a USB/SCSI adapter) As noted in the USB section of the FAQ, I had to use USB port 2 on my B&W G3 for a 4416S CDRW to work with the Adaptec USBConnect2000 USB/SCSI adapter. I wonder if some brands of external drives are not set to provide terminator power? (This might explain why some owners report no problems, while others do.)

Just to pass on, there is a pretty good page summarizing the problems with the Yamaha CRW8424S drive in various configurations.. Most of the problems seem to be with using the drive as a reader-- it seems that SCSI bus locks causing crashes occur when reader extensions are used (i.e. Toast's CD reader, Intech's CDST control panel). This has been verified in OS 8.1, 8.6, and 9.0 (my situation). Most feel it is a firmware problem.

The address is

"S900 w/G3 upgrade, using Intech for CD reader, Toast reader disabled. Installed as sole CD on the internal bus. System consistently freezes *unless* there is always a CD disk kept in the drive! Yamaha support rep told me they cannot duplicate this problem but that they are aware of it and working on it.

Consensus seems to be that it will work fine on faster SCSI cards, but not on a SCSI-1 or SCSI-2 bus. We'll probably have to wait months for a firmware update.

Again, based on the many onboard SCSI (SCSI-1/SCSI-2) success reports above, it doesn't seem to be a SCSI bus interface speed/type issue.


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