This is a matter regarding the use of the external, USB-interfaced, Iomega CDR/W "Panther" cd writer (their newest one on the market) with the "Hotburn" software that comes with it and my Dell Inspiron 3800 portable's internal CD-ROM (which is not a writer).

From day one, I have been having freeze-up problems when booting/using the drive/software (by "drive/software", I meant that, even when the CDR/W is not connected to the USB port, I'm getting conflicts). I've spent NUMEROUS hours on the phone with the technical support departments of BOTH Iomega and Dell. They seem to be "passing the buck" back and forth regarding who's to blame.

"At one time", I was able to get the software to work okay with both the internal CD-ROM and the CDR/W, but had to avoid installing the "Drag n' Drop" "UDF Packet Software" (using the "Custom" install option, and unchecking its box). I was able to make copies of CD's.

However, in trying to get EVERYTHING to work (INCLUDING the UDF Packet Software), I tried a number of installation attempts, safe mode bootups (looking for and removing "ghost devices", even "Windows Updates", which screwed up my modem configuration and wasted more of my time in my getting that fixed). By the way, everything except the Windows Update was done while an Iomega support technician was on the line--for two hours.

Now, I find that I am unable to even get the software to avoid hanging and/or freezing up my internal CD-ROM even without Drag n' Drop enabled.

Regarding proposed solutions, the ones that seem to make the most sense were that

A. There could be a bug in Iomega's Hotburn software that's causing the conflict. (As was told to me by a Dell Technician)


B. I might not have enough RAM in my laptop to accommodate both CD drives. (which was told to me by a Dell Technician who seemed EXTREMELY certain that that was the issue)

Incidentally, I have also spoken with a technician who told me that the laptop's controller cannot support multiple CD drives, and kept re-iterating that "we do not support external devices". To me, that sounded like a cop-out.

Some system details: As I mentioned before, it's a Dell Inspiron 3800 with a P3/600 processor. I'm running Windows 98 SE with 128mb of memory (2 64mb sticks), and have approximately 250-300mb of available hard disk space.

Does anyone have ANY experience with this type of situation? and possibly how so resolve it?

I've been grieved by this for a couple of weeks (and have spent enormous amounts of time on the phone with technical support)

Thanks so much,
Steve Weber
Please note: When sending an email to either of these address, please cc: the other address, as I don't necessarily know when I'll be able to retrieve my emails, and don't have access to the first one from home.