Really bizarre semi-intermittent "cdrecord" problem

Really bizarre semi-intermittent "cdrecord" problem

Post by Chris Stasse » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00

The summary:  "cdrecord" quietly exits at random.  It doesn't report
an error, it just quits partway through writing (sometimes a few MB
into the disk, sometimes halfway through, sometimes near the end).  
I'm wondering if this is the cdrecord "timeout" behavior -- does it
just exit silently when it times out?

I don't think it's the system (hardware/software) configuration.  It
has worked before.  I had successfully written perhaps 50 CDs on the
same system, previously.  [FWIW:  Slackware Linux, Kernel 2.0.33,
Buslogic PCI SCSI card, Yahaha CDR400c (1.0j) external SCSI CD writer.
Using mkisofs and cdrecord 1.8.1.  P-II 233, 64Mb RAM, otherwise idle.]

I don't think it's the CD writer wearing out.  I can move it to a
Windows laptop (with Adaptec SCSI PCMCIA card) and write CDs using
Adaptec's Easy CD Creator, without ever encountering any problems.  In
fact, today... (1) it failed five consecutive times on the Linux box,
(2) wrote a CD without problems on the Windows laptop, and then (3) has
again failed three consecutive times on the Linux box.  (One the fourth
attempt, it actually wrote the entire CD!)

It's not related to the writing speed.  It has failed the same way at
every one of the supported speeds (1x, 2x and 4x).

I'm getting suspicious of three things:

(1) The SCSI cable.  (On the Windows laptop, the PCMCIA card has a
    special connector, so it doesn't use the same cable as the Linux
    machine.)  I'm buying a second cable today, 'cause I should have
    a spare sitting around anyway.

(2) The media.  Could be that I got some bum CD-R blanks?  But that
    doesn't explain why it works -- for blanks from the same stack --
    from Easy CD Creator (unless ECDC is less picky for some reason).

(3) The system's PCI bus.  Twice lately it has fallen off the LAN,
    coming back only when the 10BT cable was unplugged and re-inserted.
    And the ethernet card is also a PCI card.  (But this seems like
    really a stretch.  I figure it's more likely that the ethernet
    glitch is the hub's problem and unrelated to the CDs.)

Anyone out there have any other ideas?

Chris Stassen