How (maybe) to get you CDR working on a Mac

I recently bough a Philips DVD/CDRW combo drive. It was a gamble as to whether it would work on my Mac (B&W G3 350 with G4 500 Sonnect upgrade). When I plugged it all in it worked fine as a CDROM or DVD but Itunes didn't see it and nor did it like having blank CDRs put in.

Oddly in OSX "Disk Copy" would happily burn disk images to it (and fast) so I knew physically it could work - so I did some digging. These are the steps....

How to do it

First get the Product id using Apple System Profiler. Go to the Devices page and find your device and click the detail arrow to show somthing like this

The bit you're after is the Productid (in my case "CDRWDVD2010"). Note this down - including whether its upper or lowercase

For OSX details see below


Now for OS9 you're looking for files in "System Folder:extensions:Authoring Support Files"
See if you can find your manufacturer. In my case it was Philips and there was a PHILIPSCDR file. Take a copy of the file for safe keeping. Then use Hexedit to edit the "PhilipsCDR" file.

I Searched the file for the text "Philips" and found text like this :-

I made a guess that the devices were the text seperated by nulls (0) Eg "CDD4801 CDR/RW."

Note the "." is the null and then ZIPCD 650 is another...maybe. So I chose one with a name as long as or longer than my productid (thats the highlighted text) and replaced it with my product.

You MUST ensure that the overall text length ends up the same so to achieve this simply place some more nulls at the end. You should end up with something like this :-

See where I've inserted the CDRWDVD2010.... (Note the extra 4 nulls).

Now reboot and the drive may well work. The test is to insert a blank disc and you should be prompted for how to prepare the new CDR disc. Select a format and drag a few files onto its icon. Then control-click the icon and choose "burn CD" or something like.

Note it creates a disc image (Called discburnerimage) in your preferences folder which I think will be 650Mb. It then copies files there and procedes to make a copy of the iamge??? So you need twice as much free space on your system disc as cd disc space.

Itunes can also now see the drive and happily burn CDRs from a playlist (either MP3 or CD Audio).


For OS9 see above

The method is the same except that the file is on


Under OSX 10.1.1 it wont re recognise a blank CDR and prompt me for the format :-( But since Disk Copy under OSX can write images to CD thats not too bad. Just create an image first and then burn it.

However after upgrading to 10.1.2 it now all works ok under OSX. Now up to 10.1.5 and all still working ok. The default Phillips driver still does not recognise the drive so you still need the hack.

It will boot from an OS10 disc but not from the original OS9 cds.

I have recently moved the drive into an ADS Pyro firewire enclsure and put the

original dvd drive back in the case so I can alsways boot. The Phillips works fine in the firewire enclosure too.

Hope this all helps. Email me (though I'm no guru).

Some successes...

I just wanted to say thanks for your instructions! They got my QUE! Fire
24x10x16 FireWire CD-RW drive working on both OS 9 and OS X.

I was very cautious with the OS X side since you stated yours wasn't working
100% on X. I assumed that it was either an ownership or permissions issue so
I was careful to edit the file as root so the ownership nor group membership
would change. That may be your problem too. So I just wanted to offer that
piece of advice. The owner should be "root" and group should be "wheel."
Check you file to see if that is still the case for you file that you

I launched HexEdit as root by using the drag-and-drop OS X program called
Pseudo which is available at
http://personalpages.tds.net/~brian_hill/pseudo.html. I found out about that
utility by reading Rob Griffiths excellent "Mac OS X Solutions Guidebook"
which is available at his http://www.macosxhints.com/ web site.

I hope that helps you because I sure appreciate your help! Thanks again.

Michael W. Wheeler, mwheeler@tntech.edu, OpenVMS, Windows NT, and Macintosh
Systems Support, Tennessee Technological University

Thanks for the great tip on CD-Rs. I used it to fix the iTunes and authoring
support for CD's successfully under OS 9, and had mixed results under OS X.
The rest is FYI, no criticisms intended.

For OSX I used the SCSI helper form El Gato to get started.

In modifying the device file under OS 10 the Yamaha models (which I have a
SCSI CDR6416S) were separated by a single null, not padded out like they are
in OS 9, so it seemed that adding the extra 'S' to CDR6416 made no
difference to adding then deleting another byte to maintain file length.

This seemed to make itunes functional under OS 10.1.1, but upon upgrading to
10.1.2, any access to the device info, either by iTunes, System profiler or
disk utility brought and immediate quit with a crash log entry.

Replacing the original device file restored disk burning and eliminated the
crashes - go figure. Don't know what changed but I no longer needed to
modify the file. The original version of the device file was unchanged by
the upgrade.

Itunes works again for audio and cd. Disk burning in the finder does not but
at least I have Toast for that

Anyway, thanks again for the tip



I found your page on Macfixit (or macnn) and I thought I'd give it a
try. I have an old 7100, which I was able to get 9.2.2 running on
with the help of some excellent hackers (see the macfixit forum), but
I was never able to get my Cendyne CD-RW to be recognized by itunes
(toast uses it fine, as does the system).

Using your method was easy! I had to get hexedit, and research the
OEM manufacturer of my drive (ricoh). Once that was done, your
method worked excellently.

Alas, I do not have much free disk space on my drive for any burns to
work, but itunes sees my drive, as does the system in a new way.
When I place a blank disk in it asks me to prepare or send to toast.
Before it would just ask to eject or send to toast. sweet!

Good work!


Roy --tozzo

I have a Freecom Traveller II CD-RW (8x/4x/20x), which is a replacement
for my original Traveller 4x/4x/20 which developed problems.
Unfortunately, my new unit has stubbornly remained unrecognised by
iTunes and the Finder . . . until now, that is. I haven't tried in OS 9
yet, but I located the appropriate file following your instructions for
OS X, opened it in BBEdit, found what looked like a likely reference to
the drive, changed a single digit (the original file referred to
RW8040A, whereas I needed it to be RW8080A), logged back in from my root
session, launched iTunes, went to the CD Burning pane in Preferences,
and lo and behold, there was my drive!

I've just finished burning my first MP3 CD and everything works fine.
Indeed, this simple edit has also activated full functionality for disc
burning from the Finder! Now when I insert a blank CD-R I get the proper
dialogue asking me how I want to format the disc. (Before this I would
get an alert that the disc was unrecognised and asking me to initialise

So, what would you like for Christmas? I owe you, big time.

Sincere regards,

Jim MacCormaic
Dublin, Ireland


email me