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tweak\'e
18-09-2002, 09:38 PM
How to activate the Redeemer in UT2003 Demo
The BeyondUnreal Forums (http://forums.beyondunreal.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=130929) and Infogrames Forum (http://www.ina-community.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=204893) have posted details and screenshots on how you can enable the Redeemer in the UT2003 demo. As an added bonus this (http://forums.beyondunreal.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=131025) over at BeyondUnreal has word on how to call in an Ion Cannon blast which is pretty damn spectacular when watched from a distance.

Pioneer DVD drives too hot to handle
Pioneer Electronics has issued an announcement on the possible overheating of it's DVD-Rewritable drives when using some new format high-speed blank disks that will go on sale in October. Pioneer said that writing to these new blank 4x DVD-R and 2x DVD-RW discs can cause its DVD-Rewritable PC drives and DVD recorders to freeze and if the drives or recorders remain frozen for longer than five minutes, the optical lens, which writes to the discs, can overheat and render the hardware inoperable. Pioneer also says that the new 4X DVD-R and 2X DVD-RW discs are not the cause of the problem, it is the Pioneer hardware. All existing DVD-R and DVD-RW media will continue to work as normal.
To fix the problem a firmware upgrade is needed from here (http://www.pioneeraus.com.au/multimedia/dvdrrwfw.htm).

VIA announces Quad Band Memory
VIA and S3 have made announcement that they have licensed Quad Band Memory (QBM) from Kentron Technologies in a continued move to push forward the boundaries of memory bandwidth speeds. Here's the official PR:
VIA Technologies, Inc. and S3 Graphics, Inc. today jointly announced the licensing of QBM technology from Kentron Technologies. The adoption of QBM technology reflects the continuation of VIA's industry defining strategy of driving evolutionary memory technologies into the market in order to deliver higher system performance with a minimal cost penalty, as demonstrated in the successful transitions to PC133 SDRAM in 1999 and DDR SDRAM in 2001.

The QBM controller interface license provides VIA and S3 Graphics with the necessary IP coverage to incorporate QBM into their line of core logic chipsets. QBM technology doubles the speed of Double Data Rate (DDR) memory devices while maintaining the existing 64-bit bus structure common in today's general purpose computing systems and meeting market requirements for low cost memory modules."
You can check more out on this in an article at Anandtech (http://www.anandtech.com/chipsets/showdoc.html?i=1709).

New Intel Chipset Driver
Intel has released a new chipset driver, version number 4.10.1012 for all OS's. The chipset driver allows OS's to correctly identify the Intel chipset components and properly configure the system. The INF files installed with the driver tell the OS how to properly configure the chipset for specific functionality, such as AGP, USB, Core PCI, and ISA PnP services. The new version supports the following Intel chipsets:
810/815/820/830/840/845/850/860 and Intel FWH i82802 430TX/440EX/440LX/440ZX/440BX/440DX/440MX
New Intel Chipset Driver (ftp://ftp.asuscom.de/pub/ASUSCOM/TREIBER/CHIPSATZ/INTEL/iim_410_1012.exe)

Western Digital feeds Drivezilla steroids
Western Digital has released it highest performing hard drive yet with their "Drivezilla" hard drive getting a good dose of steroids and now has a capacity of 200GB and an 8MB Cache. Here a quick clip of the specs:
Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) today announced the addition of its 200 GB capacity "Drivezilla" hard drives to its WD Caviar® Special Edition product family. Western Digital's Special Edition hard drives feature an 8 MB cache size, which is four times larger than the industry standard 2 MB cache size. The Company's 200 GB capacity WD Caviar 7,200 RPM hard drives, nicknamed "Drivezilla," are the largest IDE and fastest spinning desktop hard drives currently shipping in the industry
You can read more here (http://www.anandtech.com/news/shownews.html?i=17239&t=pn).

NOLF 2 demo released
Sierra has released the demo for No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way. The demo is a rather large 158MB and offers four levels from three of the game's 15 chapters. The locations include Japan, Siberia and the Underwater Base. grab it from the links below:

Fileconnect (http://www.fileplanet.com/files/110000/113061.shtml)

Fileshack (http://www.fileshack.com/)

3D Gamers (http://www.3dgamers.com/dl/games/noonelivesfrvr2/nolf2_demo.exe.html)

NForce 2 samples released
Engineering samples of nVidia's nForce 2 motherboard have started leaking out which means that the boards could be starting to reach the market by the end of October. Engineering samples are used by manufacturers to help iron out any problems that may arise with a given product. The nForce2 has been the focus of much discussion due to the troubles that nVidia have experienced just getting the boards to work. The chipsets will integrate GeForce 4 MX graphics with support for AGP 8x graphics cards, Firewire 1394 and USB 2.0, an ATA/133 interface, high-speed HyperTransport and an extension of the original nForce's dual memory controller technology known as TwinBank, that will support DDR 400. You can read the full story on the engineering samples at the The Enquirer (http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=5439).

Program to allow Playstation 2 to play DivX video
DivXNetworks and BroadQ have announced (http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/020916/160274_1.html) the development of a program called QCast Tuner that will enable the PlayStation 2 to playback DivX files. The program will play any video file encoded in DivX 5.xx at resolutions of 720x320 and below. What a boon this could be for the home movie maker who doesn't want to sit in front of a PC screen to watch a movie for two hours. Read the full story at CD Freaks (http://www.cdfreaks.com/news2.php3?ID=4752).

ATi and nVidia Video Card Tweak Guide
SharkyExtreme (http://www.sharkyextreme.com/) has posted up a combined ATI and nVidia Video Card Tweak Guide (http://www.sharkyextreme.com/guides/hwGuides/article.php/1463741). The guide will guide you through the process of achieving high framerates by tweaking the BIOS of cards and getting the best out of those Coolbits and Rage3D Tweak tabs. Here's a slice of the action:
One of the most widely overlooked areas of video card tweaking has nothing to do with the 3D card or the drivers, and is located deep within your motherboard's BIOS. These settings are universal, and will work with most major graphics chipsets regardless of make or model; that is, as long as they are AGP-based and have been made in the last few years.

Usually, the BIOS can be accessed by pressing the delete or F1 key during the boot process. If you've tried those two, and still can't get into your System BIOS, then check your motherboard user manual, or check the system while it boots. There will often be instructions right on the screen, as to which key to press.

Sony unveils its Blu-Ray disc recorder for consumers
Sony has officially unveiled its next-generation, DVD recorder based on the new Blu-ray Disc format which takes advantage of blue-violet laser beam technology. The new recording format can accommodate a single-sided single layer media with a capacity of 23.3GB, 25GB or 27GB, with a data transfer rate of 36Mbps, or x1 speed of the specification.
CDRInfo (http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/News/Details.asp?RelatedID=2752)has the full story.

Intel Processor Frequency ID Utility version 4.61 released
Intel have released a new version (4.61) of their Processor Frequency ID Utility. This new version adds support for the new Intel Xeon Processor, Pentium 4 processors, Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processors, Pentium III processors, Mobile Pentium III processors with Intel SpeedStep technology, Pentium III Xeon processors and Intel Celeron processors with 66, 100, 133, 400, and 533 MHz system memory bus products, as well as adding new processor identification functionality (CPUID).
The Intel Processor Frequency ID Utility was developed by Intel Corporation to enable consumers the ability to identify and, in some circumstances, determine if their Intel processor is operating at the correct and rated frequency intended by Intel Corporation. Beginning with the Pentium® processor, this utility provides consumers with the ability to determine standard CPU identification of Intel processors. In addition, supported processors can utilize the Frequency Test feature of the utility to help determine if a processor has been overclocked.
This version is for all OS's and is available from the link below.
Intel Processor Frequency ID Utility (http://support.intel.com/support/processors/tools/frequencyid/download.htm)

WindowBlinds version 3.41 released
WindowBlinds, the program the lets you change the GUI of Windows XP/98/ME/NT/2000, version 3.41 has been released for download. There is no word on what has changed in this version as yet.
WindowBlinds (http://www.windowblinds.net/default.asp?page=download)
The 3.40 link will redirect you to the correct version until the site has been updated.

New Ogg Vorbis Audio Codecs
Media Twins have updated their range of audio codecs to add support for Windows Media Player 9. The new codecs and version numbers are listed below:
Ogg Encoder Decoder v.1.2.5
Advanced Encode Decode Tools v.1.059d
Advanced Audio CD Ripper v.1.047c
WMA Encoder Decoder v.1.4.5d
AC3 Decoder v.1.2.1
You can download each of these from the Media Twins homepage (http://www.mediatwins.com/).

New KYRO drivers
Some new WHQL certified KYRO drivers version number 1.06.16.0051 have been released with no word on changes. If you have a KYRO based card, download the drivers from the following link.
Scyphe
New KYRO drivers (http://home.swipnet.se/scyphe/driver/3dpks_xp_16051.exe)

New Windows XP drivers For Realtek's RTL8139(A/B/C/D/8130)/810X Series
Realtek have released new Windows XP drivers version 5.04 for Realtek RTL8139(A/B/C/D/8130)/810X network cards series. Dated: 2002/09/16.
Mirror 1
(ftp://152.104.125.40/cn/nic/rtl8139abcd8130810xseries/winxp-8139(504).zip)
Mirror 2
(http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/downloads1-3.aspx?series=16&Software=True)

Windows XP SP1 CPU usage fix
Another new problem with Windows XP SP1 has surfaced with people suffering from CPU usage problems after installing the service pack. It seems that with the problem your CPU will use about 56% even at idle. The HardCoreWare forums have posted a fix for this problem, which is available here (http://www.hardcoreware.net/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3436).

Tomb Raider: Angel Of Darkness preview at Video Game News
Video Game News has posted a preview for Eidos' Lara Croft: Angel of Darkness (http://www.videogamenews.com/wconnect/wc.dll?wwdemo~REVIEWLEFT~0000001398), due out later this year on PC and PS2. Here's a snip for all those lusting after another chance for Lara to strut her stuff:

The vastly enhanced engine allows her to look vastly more realistic since she now consists of 5,000 polygons, instead of the 500 or so utilized in previous titles. Her animation and movements will likewise undergo a thorough revamping, to make her seem even more alive. Lara’s environments will also showcase more variety because she won’t just be running around tombs. More open, urban and underground levels will make up the majority of the game. AOD will take players to Paris and beyond with a more interactive, alive world to explore. With all these changes, it’s obvious that this Tomb Raider isn’t going to be another mindless sequel, and seems to have been redesigned from the ground up to fully exploit the power of today’s systems. It seems that the designers have taken a good, long look at what worked, what doesn’t to create what amounts to a fresh start for the legendary gaming vixen.

UT2003 Demo update and patch released
The Unreal tech (http://unreal.epicgames.com/)page has been updated with a bit more news on the upcoming patch for the UT2003 demo and other points of the demo. Here's a bit:
You need to have DirectX 8.1b installed to play the game successfully. If you get a crash on startup or at a random time during gamplay, this is likely to be the cause. Download it from Microsoft's DirectX site (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/downloads/drx81.asp).
We'll be releasing a small patch tomorrow. This will fix a number of reported bugs, and also serve as the first public test of UT2003's new auto-update feature.
There was a bug in the server browser that caused it to crash frequently under heavy load. This wasn't triggered until thousands of servers came online. We found a master server-side fix for this so the problem should be gone now. Sorry for the inconvenience!
If you are having a few problems with the demo, Infogrames has put up a FAQ (http://www.ina-community.com/forums/announcement.php?&forumid=214) to help sort through the problems to make your experience that much better.
*UPDATE*
The 3MB patch is out and available from the following links:

Mirror 1 (http://ut2003master1.epicgames.com/ut2003-demo-patch-1rc4.exe)

Mirror 2 (http://paradox.daug.net/ut2003-demo-patch-1rc4.exe)

Mirror 3 (http://www.acktifujit.net/ut2003-demo-patch-1rc4.exe)
The patch is version 1080, with the original demo being 1077. So far the only two fixes/updates known is that 3dfx Voodoo compatibility is in, and they're testing the new auto-updater utility.

Unreal Tournament 2003 tweak guide at TechSpot
What's a game without a Techspot tweak guide to go with it and in true to form, they have pumped out and Unreal Tournament 2003 Tweak Guide (http://www.techspot.com/tweaks/ut2003/index.shtml). Here's a clip:
Begin by downloading the latest Drivers for your Graphics card & Soundcard. This should solve (most) Graphics, Input or Audio problems you may be having. You can find links to various manufacturers on our Drivers page (http://www.techspot.com/drivers.shtml).
Install that latest version of DirectX (http://www.microsoft.com/directx/homeuser/downloads/default.asp) on your system. Similar to Drivers, this can also fix problems with sound, graphics & input devices. If you’re still experiencing lockups & such they might be caused by overclocking, if so try lowering the Memory/Core speed of the overclocked device to see if it resolves the problem.
Still having problem? Check the Unreal TechPage (http://unreal.epicgames.com/) for FAQs & other information.
The guide takes you through all aspects of setting the game up for the best visual, audio and performance experience.

Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo Tweak Guide at TweakTown
Following in the footsteps of Techspot, TweakTown has run up their own Tweaking Guide for UT2003 (http://tweaktown.com/document.php?dType=review&dId=361) that takes you step by step through the settings of this new demo. Here's the intro to get you going:
It’s finally here! The eagerly awaited evolution of the classic Unreal Tournament experience has been released in demo form and it's every bit as exciting and graphically stunning as the original was for its time. Judging by the difficulty most of us have had trying to find a fast stable mirror to download the demo, and the numbers of servers already up to play online, it's proving to be a hugely popular game already and will pave the way for the epic release of the final version. In the meanwhile, we've put together a very brief guide to run through the essential tweaking options for the demo.

Unreal Tournament 2003 Special Movements
3DGpu have put together a page with all the special movements that are available in the Unreal Tournament 2003 demo. The page shows you Adrenaline jumps and moves and all those impressive things that once mastered will make your friends go wow. Here's an example of one of the moves:
Adrenaline Moves (When Adrenaline Is At 100)

BERSERK: Fwd, Fwd, Back, Back
INVISIBILITY: Right, Right, Left, Left
BOOSTER: Back, Back, Back, Back
SPEED: Fwd, Fwd, Fwd, Fwd
Check out all the moves here (http://www.3dgpu.com/index.php?category=all&id=971).

What is wrong with the UT2003 benchmark
A lot of people are somewhat confused with the UT2003 benchmarks as they seem to be all over the place with the game seemingly dependant on all aspects of a PC for it's figures. G256 has been looking at the benchmarks and to prove a point on it's inconsistency they have posted up some figures obtained from different cards. here's a clip:
UT2003 seems to have some kind of coding problem. The benchmark numbers do not add up. UT was a CPU dependant game, and Quake3 was a graphics card dependant game. UT2003 seems dependant on everything: RAM, Video, and CPU. But, it's framerate results are highly inconsistant. One thing I know is, Mark Rein is no John Carmack. I think the EPIC boys are pushing the limits of what they can handle.Take a look at this mess of benchmarks run on multiple cards. It makes absolutely no sense that at 1024x768x32 a GeForce3 TI-500 and a GeForce4 4600 get identical benchmark results.
All the results are available for viewing here (http://www.g256.com/). Meanwhile Warp2Search say that they have the benchmarks all figured out. read this:
Benchmarking

The Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo comes with a large variety of benchmarking functionality. The easiest way to utilize it is by starting Benchmark.exe in the System directory of your Unreal Tournament 2003 installation directory. This will bring up a dialog box asking you to pick a resolution and when you press okay, it will run 4 consecutive tests (two level flybys and two botmatches). It is important to not touch the mouse before the final dialog with the results pops up. The result dialog displays the average framerate of the two flybys and the two botmatches.

The benchmark will always try to run at the highest detail settings so results will not be directly comparable with cards on which the game can't render at the highest detail level (e.g. TNT2 and Kyro I/II cards).

For the botmatches the Benchmark.exe is running a game with just bots, with the player in spectator mode. In case the engine can't run at the highest detail settings the outcome of the botmatch might differ leading to a different botmatch and therefore numbers not comparable to other results. This could also happen when comparing different kinds of CPUs. So either watch the botmatches carefully when benchmarking to ensure that they are the same every time or compare the number in brackets in benchmark.log. If the number is the same, the exact same sequence was rendered.

In the Benchmark directory you will find a couple of batch files which can be used to run individual tests and to create a big batch file for automating the whole process of running at multiple resolutions.

The game will log a lot of information and stats while in benchmark mode and the results can be found in the subdirectories of the Benchmark folder. Of the most interest is the CSV folder, which contains the myriad of stats the engine collects on a per frame basis in the form of a "comma separated variables" file which e.g. can be opened in Microsoft Excel.
Judge for yourself, but it seems awfully screwy to me.

NOLF 2 demo tomorrow
Sierra has announced that the No One Lives Forever Demo is due out tomorrow. Here's the announcement:
Sierra and Fox Interactive have just announced that the official No One Lives Forever®: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way® Demo will be released in less than 24 hours! The NOLF2 demo will include four levels total from three of the game's 15 chapters. The locations will include Japan, Siberia and the never before seen, Underwater Base. Make some room on your hard drive for this one!
The game itself will be out for sale starting early October.

nVidia says Detonator Drivers will be supported in Windows 9x
nVidia has been receiving a lot of mail recently, criticising them for their apparent lack of support for Windows 9x in its latest Detonator Drivers. In response to this, they have stated that a new version of the driver is on the way which will have full support for Windows 9x and that the driver released recently was beta only and this was the reason for Windows 2000 and XP support only. Read the full story of the drivers over at The Inquirer (http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=5422).

Windows XP Corporate files, the revenge
Winbeta (http://www.winbeta.org) has produced a new scheme to bypass the Microsoft Windows XP SP1 anti piracy protection. Here's their words on the files:
Just when you thought we were done with Service Pack 1 for XP, Think again!

WiNBETA proudly presents SP1-Corpfiles!

As the name suggests, this release is the updated set of corpfiles that you have all come to know and love.

They have been specially formulated with new and updated files, fresh from the WiNBETA kitchens. In truth, if you already have an ISO with the corpfiles, or a real VLK edition of XP, these are of no use to you.
This is a 12MB download that will change your XP retail CD to a corporate or volume license version. Read the full story here (http://www.winbeta.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=237&mode=&order=0&thold=0) and download the files from the link below.
Windows XP Corporate files (http://www.fileconnect.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1863&mode=&order=0&thold=0)

Netscape and Mozilla leak Web surfing data vulnerability
It has been discovered that there is a vulnerability bug in Mozilla-based web browsers such as Netscape and Mozilla, that allows servers to discover where visitors go after they leave the site. The bug reveals the URL of the page a user is viewing to the Web server of the site visited last. This allows a Web server to track where users go after they leave the site, even if the next Web address comes from a bookmark or is manually typed into the browser. Here's a bit from the full story at ZDNet UK:
Researcher Sven Neuhaus, who published a security alert about the issue to the Bugtraq mailing list on Wednesday, said he had confirmed the bug in Mozilla 1.0, 1.0.1 and 1.1, though it probably also exists in older Mozilla versions. It also appears in browsers based on Mozilla's technology, including Netscape 7 and Galeon, a Linux application, he said.
You can read the full story here (http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2122261,00.html) and grab the patch to fix the bug from the link below.
Netscape and Mozilla leak (http://members.ping.de/~sven/mozbug/refcook.html)

Seagate Barracuda Serial ATA Drive review at Lostcircuits
Lostcircuits has posted up a review of one of the first mass marketed serial ATA drives, the Seagate Barracuda V. With the Barra V Seagate is promising new unparalleled levels of performance from the way of the future. Serial ATA or SATA as it's known support a transfer rate of 150Mbps, has a thin round cable for connection instead of the current flat big parallel cables. Here's a clip from the review:
After over 15 years, internal storage media such as hard disk and optical drives finally meet the limitations of the currently used parallel interface. Parallel interfaces, in particular, the advanced technology attachment (ATA) standard have evolved since the mid 1980s from transfer rates of 3.3 MB/sec in ATA-1 to currently 100 MB/sec in ATA PI-6, also known as Ultra ATA 100. Contrary to common belief, Ultra ATA133 is not yet fully standardized, however, finalization of the standard is well on its way and will be listed as ATA PI-7 or UATA PI Mode7 in the future.
For a bit of background information, you can check out the full product specs at Seagate (http://seagate.com/cda/products/discsales/marketing/detail/0,1081,564,00.html).

EAX drivers for ALC650 integrated sound
A new driver has been released for the ALC650 integrated sound chip that is commonly found on the MSI KT3-Ultra motherboard and any other board with 6 channel sound from Realtek. The new driver adds EAX support and 3D hardware sound support.
EAX drivers for ALC650 integrated sound (http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/downloads1-3.aspx?software=True&spec=True&refdesign=True&other=True&compamodel=ALC650)

Windows Media Player Series 9 Fix
Windowsxpstuff has posted a forum (http://www.windowsxpstuff.net/forums/index.php?s=2835011a354fca142e77b84cb4b19a69&act=ST&f=26&t=1624) notice on a fix for problems Media Player 9 has with playing certain MP3 encoded files. Here's the post with it's explanation of the bug:
Many people have upgraded to Windows Media Player Series 9 only to find compatibility problems. Blistering-Games is the only known place that provides a fix to the wmadmod.dll error and also improves the speed of MP3 playing in the player.

Blistering-Games is the first to release a fix for the Media Player Series 9 bug whereby Media Player errors when playing certain MP3-encoded files." Certainly worth checking out if you've got the new Media Player 9.
If this affects you then grab the fix from the link below.
Windows Media Player Series 9 Fix
(http://www.blistering-games.com/dlcentre/wmp9fix.exe)

New Windows XP Update available
Microsoft has released a new version of their Windows Update page titled Windows Update V4 (http://v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/en/default.asp) to resolve the Java Applet vulnerability in Microsoft virtual machine.

Updated Asus Motherboard Tools
Asus has updated its motherboard tools PCProbe, the program that monitors the computer's vital components: fan rotations, voltages and temperatures and Liveupdate, the program that will let download and install BIOS upgrades off the net.

PC Probe (ftp://ftp.asuscom.de/pub/ASUSCOM/UTIL/PC_Probe/probe21801.zip)

LiveUpdate (ftp://ftp.asuscom.de/pub/ASUSCOM/BIOS/BIOS_FLASH_UTILS/asusupd33201.zip)

FlashFXP version 2.0 RC3 Build 878 available
Not 24 hours after build 877 was released, out comes build 878 with the following changes:
- Fixed FlashFXP sometimes randomly crashed on exit.
- Fixed The transfer complete status message wasn't always displaying the exact file size.
- Fixed A couple minor bugs.
- The status window now supports ANSI codes by default.
- The bookmark list can now span columns.
FlashFXP is a FTP and FXP Client for Microsoft Windows 9x/Me/NT/2000/XP, loaded with features for the power user, but has an intuitive user interface that takes only minutes to master. Using the FTP protocol, you can transfer files from remote servers to your computer, or even to another remote server. FlashFXP makes it easy to update your web site, download files from the company server, or even download files from the internet that always seem to FAIL using your web browser. It allows you to transfer files between two sites (FXP), resume incomplete downloads, synchronize directories, schedule multiple tasks, and much more.
FlashFXP version 2.0 RC3 Build 878 (http://www.flashfxp.ws/zip/rc/FlashFXP_2_rc3_setup.exe)

eVGA nvDVD version 1.71 update
eVGA has posted an upgrade for NVDVD. The patch is version 1.71 and includes the following changes:
Added Video CD (VCD) support.
Added Karaoke support.
Added Audio calibration controls for optimal sound quality.
Changed hot key mapping (see NVDVD Help File).
Improved auto-play and resume functionality for disc inserts.
Improved seek for VCD and DVD discs.
Fixed "Unable to find NVIDIA Audio Codec" message during startup if NIMO codec pack installed on system.
eVGA nvDVD version 1.71 update (http://www.husbandd.clara.net/NVDVD171.EXE)

thx monty

Graham Petrie
19-09-2002, 12:15 AM
can cause its DVD-Rewritable PC drives and DVD recorders to freeze and if the drives or recorders remain frozen for longer than five minutes, the optical lens, which writes to the discs, can overheat and render the hardware inoperable.

Sounds like what happened to my acer cd writer as it melted a small spot on the CD. ie the disc wasn't spinning, but the laser was going meaning that it got really hot.

G P