Hardware Timeline > 2000s

DVD-RAM drives (1997)



DVD-RAM was collectively promoted by Hitachi, Toshiba, Maxell, LG Electronics, Matsushita/Panasonic, Samsung, Lite-On, Teac
as well as other partner companies. click for more info on the history of DVD-RAM technology.

--- Quote ---DVD-RAM drives, like iomega drives, are natively supported in Mac OS 8.6-9.x
DVD-RAM can be used very differently from how DVD-R/RW & DVD+R/RW are used,  DVD-RAM drives allow you to use the optical media in the same way as a normal hard drive... initializing(formatting) and copying on drag + drop....rather then burning only once.they may be used exactly as one would use a floppy disk or hard disk.
this type of drive is amazing for backing up documents which require updating which is why this is the media type used by hospitols + police + government
offices even to this day.. (which is why the media are still available, but sometimes hard to find as they arent sold in
"consumer" type stores, but are available via warehouse order. ***many of these drives are most likely discarded by
people who think they are defective because they will not burn normal CD-R/W or DVD-R/W media, and dont understand that
these drives will only burn DVD-RAM type discs, which are different from normal dvds.some burners require that they are in a containing cartridge in order to write to the disc!. DVD-RAM discs can easily visually identified by the pattern of rectangles on the surface. If your drive says "multirecorder" on the front (or "super multi") then theres a good chance that its compatible with dvd-ram discs, even if it only has the normal 'half height tray'loading mechanism found on most dvd drives (and not the cartridge loading mechanism pictured above).. it can probably at least use single sided DVD-RAM 4.7gb media, and double sided media would require physically flipping the disc over by hand
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--- Quote ---the "DVD Multirecorder" specification requires that the drive reads and writes DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW & DVD-RAM discs. Be aware that DVD Multi does not mean the devices will accommodate DVD-RAM cartridges or 8 cm discs.
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--- Quote ---DVD-RAM formatted with UDF 1.5 can only be read by Mac OS 9.0 (as at June 1, 2001)
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panasonic 958x drives are half height tray, 957x drives are cartridge compatible
collected drive models reference ids (For the purpose of finding which models accept cartridges):
LG Electronics GSA 4163B - IDE 5x DVDRAM *tray only
LG Electronics GSA-4082B - IDE 3x DVDRAM *tray only
Panasonic SW-9590-C IDE 12X DVD-RAM *tray only
Panasonic SW-9587-C IDE 5X DVD-RAM *tray only
Panasonic SW-9586-C IDE 5X DVD-RAM *tray
Panasonic SW-9585-C IDE  5x DVD-RAM *tray
Panasonic SW-9584-C IDE *tray
Panasonic SW-9583-C IDE 3X DVD-RAM *tray
Panasonic SW-9582-C IDE 3X DVD-RAM *tray
--- Quote ---Panasonic SW-9576-C IDE *cartridge
Panasonic SW-9574-C IDE 5X DVD-RAM *cartridge
Panasonic SW-9573-C IDE 5x DVD-RAM *cartridge
Panasonic SW-9572-C IDE (Apr 2004) 3X DVD-RAM *cartridge
Panasonic SW-9571-C IDE 2x DVD-RAM *cartridge
PANASONIC LF-D201 SCSI *cartridge
Panasonic LF D101 SCSI *cartridge
Panasonic LF D103 SCSI *cartridge
Panasonic LF D111 IDE front slot loading *cartridge (shipped with B&W and sawtooth)
Panasonic LF D211 IDE *cartridge (shipped with gigabit/mystic)
Panasonic LF-D221 *cartridge
Panasonic LF D291 SCSI
Panasonic LF D311 IDE DVD-RAM/R http://tinyurl.com/n9fav8q
PANASONIC LF-D321 IDE 9.4gb DVD-RAM/R *cartridge
Panasonic LF D521 IDE  *cartridge spec sheet
Panasonic LF-M621U IDE 3x DVDRAM *cartridge manual spec sheet
Panasonic LF-M721 IDE 5X DVDRAM *cartridge (2005)
Panasonic LF-M821JD IDE 5x DVD-RAM 
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Hitachi GF-1050 SCSI (march 1999)
Hitachi GF-2000 IDE (june 2000) 9.4gb document
Hitachi GF-2050 SCSI 9.4GB
IBM LF-D291 SCSI (same as panasonic)
IBM LF-D311 (same as panasonic)
IBM RS/6000 xSeries 810 4.7GB DVD-RAM (same as LF-D291?) manual *cartridge *8cm
TEAC PD-518E *cartridge
TEAC DV-W516GDM 5x DVD-RAM teac products
Toshiba SD-W2002 IDE *cartridge
Toshiba SD-W3002 IDE
Toshiba SD-W1111 SCSI
Toshiba SD-M1711 SCSI
Buffalo DVSM-CX516FBV based on the Panasonic SW-9576 http://tinyurl.com/o75mb9c *cartridge
Buffalo DVSM-CX516U2/V http://buffalo.jp/products/new/2007/000543.html *cartridge
Buffalo DVSM-CX516IU2/V *cartridge
Creative DVDRAM CD 1216S SCSI *cartridge
Creative DVDRAM CD 1220S *cartridge

NEC ND-4550A *tray only
pioneer dvr-110D *tray
LG GSA-4040B
LG GSA-4081B
LG GSA-4082B
LG GSA-4120B
LG GSA-4160B
LG GSA-4163B
LG GSA-4167B
LG GSA-5169D

Apr 23 1997 Hitachi to Ship Samples of World's First DVD-RAM Drive - GF-1000


Mar 12 1998 Hitachi's DVD Drives Win Honors From Top Industry Publications

May 25, 2004 5x DVD-RAM drives are here

using DVD-RAM discs
http://support.apple.com/kb/TA44310 mac

Power Macintosh G3 and G4: About the DVD-RAM Drive

dvd-rams formatted in mac os 9 must be erased + reformatted to HFS+ to use in mac os x

ftp://ftp.beckhoffautomation.com/Industrial_PC_Drivers_CD/OLD_Revisions/Industrial_PC_Drivers_017/DVD-RAM/Panasonic/SW-9572-C/XP/DVD-RAM_XP_En.pdf pc

--- Quote ---This manual contains the minimum information necessary to use DVD-RAM discs with the DVD MULTI
Drive under Windows XP.
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--- Quote ---The Speed of DVD-RAM
When choosing recordable DVD discs, consumers often go for the fastest option. 12X DVD-RAM was released in January 2006. Before that, in 2004, DVD-RAM was then the fastest Re-Writable DVD media available on the market with the release of 5X media. Additionally, 16X DVD-RAM format was approved by the DVD Forum in Sept. 2005 and could be available in the near future
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--- Quote ---    **9.4GB/4 hour storage capacity – up to 3X write speed
    Drag and drop storage – just like a hard drive
    **Write/re-write more than 100,000 times
    Compatible with DVD-RAM drives and recorders from leading manufacturers,
    including Panasonic, Toshiba, Hitachi, JVC, Samsung and LG
    Limited lifetime warranty

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dvd-ram drives can have either the rectangle tray top loading tray shown at the very top of this page or this slot loading mechanism (shown directly above) which accepts discs or cartridges

--- Quote ---A DVD RAM uses a type of technology known as phase change on the physical disc to store the data. The disc has a special layer of material made from a mixture of metals which is highly responsive to heat. When the laser makes contact with it, one temperature will cause the alloy to be crystalline, while a higher temperature will turn it amorphous. Thus, it is possible to record binary data onto the disc for playback, and to erase the data and write over it later.

If cared for properly, a DVD RAM is estimated to be able to last up to 30 years, and through at least 1,000 rewrites. The write speed for a DVD RAM is fairly high, and very accurate thanks to high quality disc defect management. They are frequently used in camcorders and digital cameras to house a high volume of data which can be transferred to another medium before the disc is overwritten.

If a computer user wants a highly flexible backup system which is capable of being rewritten numerous times, a DVD RAM is an excellent choice.
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--- Quote ---Advantages

    Long life — without physical damage, data is retained for an estimated 30 years. For this reason, it is used for archival storage of data.[5][6]
    Can be rewritten over 100,000 times for the lowest write speed discs (DVD±RW can be rewritten approx. 1,000 times). Faster DVD-RAMs allow fewer rewrites (3x speed: 100,000, 5x speed: 10,000)[citation needed], but still more than DVD+RW or DVD-RW. (These are theoretical numbers. In practice they could be smaller depending on the drive, the treatment of the disc and the file system.)
    Reliable writing of discs. Verification done in hardware by the drive, so post-write verification by software is unnecessary. Software verification is disabled in all current DVD Video Recorders.
    Disc defect management designed to safeguard data.
    DVD-burning software may not be required — discs can be used and accessed like a removable hard disk. Mac OS (8.6 or later) uses DVD-RAM directly. Windows XP uses DVD-RAM directly for FAT32-formatted discs only. Windows Vista is able to write directly to both FAT32- and UDF-formatted DVD-RAM discs from within Windows Explorer. Device drivers or other software are needed for earlier versions of Windows.
    Very fast access of small files on the disc.
    Small 2 KB disc block size wastes less space when writing small files.
    Finalization not necessary. For video recording use, other media such as DVD+RW (when used in DVD+VR mode) do not require a separate finalisation either as finalisation is automatic. The table of contents can be overwritten in this latter media.
    Media available with or without protective cartridges; can be used in the cartridge by many devices.
    In some video recorders DVD-RAM can be written to and read at the same time, allowing one program to be recorded and a different one, or an earlier part of the same one (time slip recording), to be viewed at the same time. DVD+RW recorders can achieve the same thing, and more recently some DVD-RW recorders achieve it as well (though only at the slower recording speeds).
    Usable with some high-end security digital video recorders, such as the Tecton Darlex, as a secure and long-lasting export medium.
    Holds more data when using Double Sided discs than dual-layer DVD+RW and DVD-RW - 9.4GB for DVD-RAM vs 8.5GB for DVD+RW DL and DVD-RW DL.
    Has write-protect tabs to prevent accidental deletion when used in a cartridge.

--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---Disadvantages
    High-speed media unavailability: 12x media is not available in the U.S., nor Europe, even though 12x drives are readily available, and 16x media may not be available anywhere except manufacturers' R&D laboratories.[citation needed]
    Higher media cost.[citation needed]
    A hazard exists with 16x RAM2 discs in non-RAM2 drives: the disc may be ejected while spinning. Either way it is not a problem of DVD-RAM media, but the drives that do not recognize them properly.[citation needed]
    Less compatibility than DVD+RW and DVD-RW, despite predating both formats (as noted above).[citation needed]
    In addition to most disadvantages of CD/DVD-shaped optical discs.

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a note on windows xp DVD-RAM drive usage.. CD burning services option enabled will block DVD-RAM use and vice versa

ibook g4 compatible dvd-ram drive supports 9.4gb double sided discs

--- Quote ---What is a MULTI Drive? Simply put, it is a SuperDrive with the additional feature of being able to read and write to DVD-RAM discs. The MCE DVD-R/RW/RAM Drive for the iBook G4 utilizes 4.7GB single-sided and 9.4GB double-sided rewritable industry standard discs and can record to DVD-RAM / DVD-R / DVD-RW / DVD+R / DVD+RW / CD-R / CD-RW media, and provide superior performance and reliability. Fully compliant with the DVD Forum's standards, the single-sided media is capable of storing a full two-hours of MPEG2 video. MCE's DVD MULTI Drive for the iBook G4 offers unprecedented media interchangeability and seven times the capacity of CD-R and CD-RW. The MCE DVD MULTI drive reads industry-standard DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD-R, CD-ROM, CD-R/RW, CD-DA, Photo CD, and Video CD media. The random-access, drag-and-drop DVD-RAM storage media provides in excess of 100,000 write/rewrite cycles and data life in excess of 30 years.
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Thursday, March 02, 2006
Maxell Unveils First 12x DVD-RAM Discs

January 2008 Usage Of 16 X DVD-RAM Disc (RAM2 Disc)

portable usb2.0 drives


--- Quote ---Update of the DVD-RAM device driver for
Windows 95/98/Millennium Edition
For DVD-RAM drive models:
December 13,2001

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forum post detailing the steps to hack the driver
not sure which one he used but theres only 2 listed for XP

apparently using this driver results in faster writing speeds with udf1.5,2.0


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