Blonde Guy

How to use a CDWriter with OS/2

I am only going to cover RSJ CD-Writer in this article. The cdrtools package is free, as is CDRecord, but I have preferred RSJ.

In 2000, I bought a new Yamaha 4416-EZ at Fry's Electronics in Sunnyvale, CA. I bought RSJ CD-Writer software at Indelible Blue. I bought a box of CD-R discs at Office Max. The total came to $400 plus tax. When I purchased my most recent CD Writer in November, 2003, it was a 52/32/52 drive for $35. I'm leaving the instructions I wrote in 2000 for installing the drive. Nothing has changed.

Before installing the CD-RW in the computer, decide which IDE configuration to use. I used the first channel of IDE for my hard drive, and I decided not to mix hard drive and CD-RW on the one channel. So I needed an extra IDE cable for the CD-RW, and further, I made sure that the CD-RW was configured to be the only device on the IDE. For drives which do not have a special setting to be the only device, I recommend setting the drive to be a master.

The Yamaha drive is a standard CD-Rom as far as installing OS/2. Installation is a follows. Open the computer case. Place the CD-Rom in a vacant drive bay and screw it into place. Get a spare IDE cable, and connect the second IDE channel to the CD-Rom. Be sure to get pin 1 correct at both ends. Most IDE cables will fit even if installed backwards. Replace the computer cover.

When I powered the computer, I saw the icon of a standard CD in the Drives object. The bios on my motherboard supports booting from CD, and my bootable install CD for OS/2 Warp Server for e-Business boots fine from this drive.

I then installed the RSJ software. Before starting the install program, I copied the key code from RSJ into the same directory. This allows the install program to register the software at installation time.  I already use the DaniS506.ADD and DaniATAPI.FLT drivers, so I did not let the installation program update them.

The install requires a reboot because config.sys is modified. When I reboot, I can see that the CD-Rom object is missing from the drives folder. I activate the RSJ CD-Writer Control panel, insert a CD-Rom, and press the attach button. The CD-Rom icon returns to the drives folder, and I have normal CD-Rom access. When I want to eject, I have to press the Detach button on the Control Panel and select "eject the CD, no changes".

The OS/2 Warp 4 CD-Rom cannot be read by RSJ. Once attached, the OS/2 Warp 4 DC appears blank. RSJ Technical support claims that it is not an ISO format CD.

I put in a CD-R (a write once CD) and press attach. The CD-Rom icon again appears in the Drives folder. The properties show an empty CD ready for writing. I dragged the contents of a folder I wanted to the CD Icon and dropped. A standard copy dialog appears, and the writing appears to be a slower copy than to the hard drive. When the copy completed, I pressed the detach button on the control panel. This time I selected "close the session", and had to wait for a minute before the CD ejected.

The CD reads fine in the 16x CD-Rom drive in my older OS/2 system.

I have used CD-Rom software on Windows NT, and I am more used to that. Both Adaptec EZ Creator and Sony Hot Burn are easier to use, and do not require manually mounting and finishing the CD. Neither makes the CD-RW available to the network as RSJ and OS/2 WSeB do. RSJ's OS/2 driver does not support extended attributes, but does support long filenames. I wish RSJ automatically attached the CD when it was inserted. I wish it had eject on the context menu of the CD icon.

Getting my CD-Rom icon back

RSJ removes the CD-ROM icon from the drives folder. I wanted to be able to use the CD-ROM as before, but also to be able to run RSJ. The method to use may depend on the IDE hardware and the CD-ROM, but this is what I did to achieve that.

First, I went to the RSJ CD-Writer Control Panel and looked at the System tab. Under LOCKCDR messages, there is a string describing the CD-RW drive in the upper back window. I copied that string to the clipboard. Then I opened the CDDRV.INF file in the RSJ directory and added that string. This allows RSJ to automatically identify my drive.

Next, I edited config.sys. I changed the following lines:
BASEDEV=OS2ASPI.DMD
BASEDEV=LOCKCDR.FLT
BASEDEV=RSJIDECD.FLT
The lines I now use are as follows:
BASEDEV=OS2ASPI.DMD /ALL
REM BASEDEV=LOCKCDR.FLT
REM BASEDEV=RSJIDECD.FLT
I saved config.sys and rebooted, and then I had my CD-Rom icon and also had RSJ working as before. I've been warned that if  I access the CD-Rom icon while burning a CD, I will spoil it, so I'm passing on that warning here.

CD View

I put in a music CD, and I was able to play tracks with CD-View. I am also able to grab tracks and write CD's with the resulting  tracks. This is handy if you  want to mix your own CDs. RSJ now identifies the songs on the CD when you insert it.

CD-RW

I tried CD-RW media in the drive, and it appears to work well.

Last Modified: 18 Dec 2003
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Copyright 2003 by Blonde Guy