iBook Only Burns At 4x

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Yep. I'm using Toast too. I have to back up my files to reinstall OSX. My iBook has been behaving badly (see my thread about it) and the store I bought it from says they think its a software problem. So I have to reinstall the OS. I already did a clean install, but they said I have to do a complete reinstallation. Great. This is going to take forever. If the computer continues to act up, then they'll look at the hardware to see if my iBook is defective.

This is ridiculous. I have a feeling this isn't going to fix anything.


  • Reply 1 of 12
    trebuchettrebuchet Posts: 176member
    My computer is still slow and the spinning beach ball of death still lurks. This computer is a big ol' P.O.S.

    I'm calling the store tomorrow.

    Oh yeah, lost Appleworks 6 in my reformat. What the hell is up with that? I had homework saved in that format. A lot of good its doing me now.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member

    Originally posted by trebuchet

    My computer is still slow and the spinning beach ball of death still lurks. This computer is a big ol' P.O.S.

    I'm calling the store tomorrow.

    Oh yeah, lost Appleworks 6 in my reformat. What the hell is up with that? I had homework saved in that format. A lot of good its doing me now.

    Trebuchet, you have one of the Nov 2002 rev iBooks right?

    It should come with 3 software restore CDs (I think this holds for older iBooks also)... pop in the first CD.

    Open up a terminal window, and do the following

    cd /Volumes/"iBook Restore CD"/.images

    cp Appleworks.dmg /users/[yourusername]/desktop

    where [yourusername] is your user name (i.e. the name you see when you click the home icon in the finder, mine is markchenquee). that part is without the brackets.

    so mine looks like: cp Appleworks.dmg /users/markchenquee/desktop

    Hopefully that helps.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Thanks. When I loaded the CD's once, the wording confused me and I thought it only restored OS 9. After closer inspection, I realized I could restore my OS X applications. I guess my tired eyes and tired brain aren't fucntioning well. I've been at this computer, reinstalling and backing up for almost 2 days now... I can't believe I'm having to do this still. I'm now reinstalling apps and mp3's, photos, etc.

    Thanks man. Now my homework is not in limbo anymore.

    Now if I could get this burner to actually burn at 16x, I'd be a bit happier.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    i know this is a stupid question, but those aren't cd-rw disks, are they? if they're cd-r, they are rated to go over 4x, right?
  • Reply 5 of 12
    Yes, they're CD-R's, not CD-RW's. From time to time, my machine will burn at 16x, but not often. Its pretty random when it does.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    I think it may be an issue with the new combo drives, I'm not sure. I know of people complaining about it in other forums (possibly here too, I think people over at MacNN have complained). I don't know what problem it would be though, and I haven't burned a CD yet on my iBook so I don't know if mine has the same problem or not.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    trebuchettrebuchet Posts: 176member
    Its very common from what I've heard so far. I know iTunes won't burn past 4x for me ever and thats pretty common with other iBook owners.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    der kopfder kopf Posts: 2,275member
    I think, in my experience anyway, it depends on the cd-r media you use. I have a bunch of cheapo cd-r, which claim to go up to 32x, and my burner goes up to 8x, but half of the time, I can only burn 4x on them. I just have that problem with these cds, and you can just see, looking at them, that my burner is plain insulted when I put one in, they're really that crappy. So, if I were you, I'd check your media, and maybe try another brand/type (I severely recommend Verbatim - they've never failed on me).
  • Reply 9 of 12
    I have the same problem on my iBook 800. It is definitely the CD-R Media. I have a pack of CD-Rs that burn at 8x and another stack that burns at 16x. My friend's iBook does the same thing (I've tried my CDRs in his iBook, same thing happens). I believe Apple put up a tech document that states that if the media is "bad" or "not up to standard", it will burn it slower to ensure a "complete" burn. (Apple making up their own rules again). My solution to the problem: I purchased a 20x FW burner before I got my iBook, so I just hook it up to that. If you aren't able to get a FW burner, I guess the only solution is to live with it until Apple fixes it.

    I found the article:


    Combo drives included with iBook and PowerBook computers can detect imbalances in the disc that are caused by poor production quality or the presence of labels and ink on the disc's surface. These imbalances can cause write errors. When blank discs are initialized, if imbalances are detected the writing speed is slowed to between 4x and 8x write speeds (depending on the magnitude of the imbalance) in order to reduce the potential for write errors.

  • Reply 10 of 12
    trebuchettrebuchet Posts: 176member
    Hmmm... Funny thing is, it will burn one or two discs at 16x, then discs at 4x (never had a burn at 8x), then randomly burn at 16x again... all from the same spool of discs. So maybe there are supposed differences between the individual discs? Well, I guess I'll keep another log of burn speeds along with my crash log. I'm going to have a pile of paperwork if/when I exchange my iBook.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Apple has their heads up their asses on this one. I have a slow-burning iBook and the only way I can get it to burn fast is to buy 48x-rated Verbatim media. Then it'll burn at 8x-16x (varies over the course of the burn, 16x is the max speed). But on cheap media, no way. The iBook's current CD drive is really touchy about CDs apparently. Try heading over to www.xlr8yourmac.com and check out the various reports. I found mine works best when I insert the disk and wait for it to spin down and then back up - first the initial spinup, which is loud, then it gets quiet, and then it'll either spin up slightly or stay really quiet. If it spins up slightly, it'll burn normally but if it stays quiet, it burns slowly. YMMV always.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    that tech article reminds me of what my friend used to say (who was a programmer)

    if you document it, it's a feature, not a bug.
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