Learning to Adapt(ec) in Windows 2000
August 7, 2000
If you're in the market for a CD-RW, try out the TEAC USB CD-RW device. Our local Fry's had a good deal on this device and so I grabbed it quick. We had been using the Smart and Friendly CD-R for several years, but the device was getting a little long in the tooth, was only a 2x write and would only work with Windows NT 4.0. Since we are moving all of our machines to Windows 2000, we decided to get a new burner.
The burner comes with a plain power cable, so there are no bricks that take up three spaces on your UPS. They also included a USB cable, which was pretty nice, since I've found a few vendors that aren't kind enough to include the cable.
I plugged in the power, plugged the USB cable into the burner and the computer, and POW!, Windows 2000 finds the device, adds a drive letter for the burner, and we're just about ready to rock.
The next step is to install the software. TEAC includes Adaptec EZ CD Creator and Adaptec CD Direct. This software allows you to use all the capabilities of the CD-RW device. I had no fear of "breaking" the system because of Windows 2000's ability to prevent unsigned drivers from whacking my configuration.
I install the software, and reboot. After the reboot, all my CD-ROM devices disappear! A quick check the Device Manager shows that the devices are not working properly. Looking at the properties of both the CD-ROM and CD-RW, I note that there is an "Error Code 31". I check the hardware wizard help. Help says to uninstall and reinstall the devices. I do what the help file tells me and the system finds the devices and restarts.
After restarting, the devices still do not function properly. I spent the next six hours messing around with possibilities such as removing and reinstalling the software, removing the devices together and then separately, removing only the CD-ROM and reinstalling the CD-RW software, etc. Needless to say, it was a long afternoon with little to show for it.
What should I have done first, before wasting all this time? Well, the first thing you should do is check the hardware integrity. Since Windows 2000 successfully installed the CD-RW and stated the "USB Mass Storage Device was working properly" and all the cables were in tight, I figured the issue was not layer 1 related.
No, what I should have done was check USENET. Apparently, there is a problem with the Adaptec software and Windows Media Player 7.0. If you have both installed on the same machine, you can lose access to all your CD-ROM devices. In my circumstance, I already had Windows Media Player 7.0 installed, and was trying to install the Adaptec software afterwards.
Here is the fix:
Voila! Everything works great now.
Moral of the story:
Always check USENET before committing more than 30 minutes of your time. Answers to just about any computing question you have are there, if you spend just a few minutes to look for them.