[rescue] ultra 60 cdrom problems

Bryan Gurney arb_npx42 at comcast.net
Fri Jul 7 18:23:40 CDT 2006

On Fri, 07 Jul 2006 18:42:42 -0400, Lionel Peterson  
<lionel4287 at verizon.net> wrote:

>> From: Dimitar Vasilev <dimitar.vassilev at gmail.com>
>> Date: Fri Jul 07 15:41:07 CDT 2006
>> To: The Rescue List <rescue at sunhelp.org>
>> Subject: [rescue] ultra 60 cdrom problems
>> Hello again!
>> I have problems with my workstation - ultra60 with toshiba
>> XM-5701TASUN12XCD2395  - today I tried to boot off from the cd-rom.
>> When I pushed the button to insert my solaris express, to my suprize a
>> solaris 2.6 cd appeared on the caddy from out of the nowhere.
>> With the opening the cd started to squeak which for me indicates that
>> something is wrong inside and may need a closer look.
>> Before that the CD was empty - I have opened it couple of times w/out  
>> problems.
>> Today I tried to insert  my cd's to install the machine, but the cd
>> holds them for 2 seconds and then ejects the caddy.
>> Symptoms looks like this:
>> http://forum.sun.com/jive/thread.jspa?threadID=94842&tstart=45
>> I would like to ask someone to give some tips on this.
>> I have not yet opened the box, have system handbook handy and will
>> wait for tomorrow - now it's too dark here and my fingers are not of
>> the merciful ones.
>> Thanks!
> Dimitar,
> It sounds like a CD-ROM was left in the drive prior to packing the  
> system up for shipment, and that the CD-ROM finally wedged itself loose.  
> Since you have never seen the drive work (you've seen the tray work,  
> based on your description), I'd seriously consider getting a replacement  
> CD-ROM drive, as there is no telling what may have gotten messed-up  
> inside the CD-ROM drive. There really are no user-serviceable parts  
> inside a CD-ROM drive, IMHO...
> A new drive shouldn't be too expensive - $10 or so, with around $5-7  
> shipping (check eBay)...

For my UltraSparcs, I went for the gold and replace the Toshiba drives  
with used Plextor CD-ROM drives (my U60 has a 40X CD-ROM reader, and the  
U2 has a 8/2/20 CD-RW drive).  I've found that the Toshiba CD-ROM drives  
on the older UltraSparcs tend to flake out and die from mechanical  
failure, optical issues, or just plain not reading right.  Maybe I just  
have bad luck with them or something.

For the U5, it gets a bit harder since it's IDE.  The GoldStar that was in  
there was completely dead, so I had replaced it with an old Afreey drive  
that I bought back in 1999.  Then that drive started to not read  
correctly.  There's no store that has a simple CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive  
because there's no margin in them, and most of the cheap ones stink (tried  
the two lowest price DVD-ROM drives in Worst Buy; both were made by some  
obscure Chinese company; the second one was basically the first one  
rebadged as a Sony for $15 more).  I'm still debating whether to get a  
known brand drive from Newegg or Jameco, or to get something decent like a  
BenQ (rebadged as a Plextor; how the mighty have fallen!).

I bought my first Plextor 40X SCSI reader back in 2000 for my Windoze PC  
because it was the same model the author of Exact Audio Copy used for the  
C2 error checking feature in CD ripping.  That thing absolutely screams at  
ripping CDDA (about 20 X average with error checking and correction, so  
you don't get random pops in the output files), and the seek time is very  
fast (other drives, especially the 1/2 height Toshibas that Sun uses, tend  
to spin down when seeking to another location on disk, or take forever to  
move the optical head).

Hopefully things got better when Sun started using the laptop-style slim  
drives for the servers.  And most CD-ROM manufacturers finally upgraded  
their designs from the bad old days of the late 90's.  But still, CD-ROM  
drives have some of the zaniest failure modes of computer hardware.  I  
remember seeing a Pioneer DVD-ROM drive from 2000 working perfectly fine  
one night last November, and then the next night, it was dead (Windows  
would detect the drive, but it wouldn't read or recognize any disks).   
When that happened, I was effectively locked out of Quake 4 until Raven  
patched away the CD check (some games with CD checks are keyed to read  
 from one specific drive letter, or worse, one specific device GUID in  

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