View Full Version : Problem 2 of 3: external CD-RW drive runs slow-to-stop

05-04-2003, 06:43 PM
Following problem #1 (total disappearance of internal CD-RW drive), I brought from work my external USB RW drive - an Iomega "Predator" (quite what it predates or pre-dates, I'm not sure :-) ), plugged it in (XP detected it automatically) and went through the installation of the Iomega Burn software.

While it writes with reasonable speed, allowing me to resume the archiving exercise I was doing when Prob #1 occurred, it reads abysmally slowly, keeps winding up to full speed, then cutting out and slowing to a standstill again (it has also been doing this at work on the rare occasions I've used it in the office recently; though it started out working fine when I first installed it).

I was trying, as is my usual practice, to run Duplic8 across the RW drive and the hard drive folder I'd dumped from, to check that I'd erased everyything that had been copied onto the CD. The drive keeps slowing and coming up with messages saying there is no disc in the drive, or not the right disc, or behaving as though I'd just inserted a disk ("what do you want to do: display the files (do other things) do nothing...")

I'd plugged the CD-ROM into a USB socket that had previously held a scanner, and maybe didn't clear all traces of that history, because sometimes it fires up the "Scanner and Camera Wizard".

My original ambitious idea, once I'd completed archiving and backing up, was to refresh the operating system and see if it found the internal CDRW drive again (the external one has taken over D:) But damned if I'm going to try doing that when the drive is behaving in such a flaky way.

Any answers or hints?


05-04-2003, 08:13 PM
It may not be getting all the USB Bandwidth that it wants, so try unplugging anything that may be plugged into the other USB slots.

Also, try removing the device from the Hardware Manager or Device manager

Unplug the hardware

Install the drivers again


plug it back in

add the drivers for the hardware

hopefully that'll pick it up fine :-)

06-04-2003, 04:32 PM
> hopefully that'll pick it up fine

Well no, but at least this time I got a comprehensible warning message, to the effect: "This is a fast USB device. You are attempting to run it on a slow USB port. It will therefore run slowly."

"Slowly" I could accept; it's "erratically including the occasional dead stop" that's the problem.

The similar symptoms imply that the same problem exists on my office PC, which is, admittedly, nearly three years old, and could probably be expected to have "slow" USB ports. Which means it was something of an error of judgement for my employers to choose that particular CDRW drive. Far from the "Predator" predating, it seems to post-date the rest of my hardware :-)

Still, it's mostly used for archiving and it seems, as I said, to write well. It's just that I'm awkward enough to occasionally want to access something that I've archived :-)

And when it's the only CD drive I've got at home for the present (see prob 1), it's a very awkward situation.

This PC Company PC, unlike the no-brand 2000-vintage office one, is just over a year old, and I have the feeling Everyone's Favourite PC Supplier may have skimped.

I take it changing slow USB to fast USB is a hardware, not a software upgrade?