CharlieSummers

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About CharlieSummers

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  1. (*sigh*) No, I don't, "think (I) don't need help," which is why I came here. I came here knowing nothing about MiniDisc (although I did use a 128MB Magneto-Optical SCSI drive on my Macintosh back in the late-1980s so I understand the concept), hoping to learn. I have learned. I sincerely appreciate your replies, but they tended to assume I knew more than I did at the outset, which consistently lead me to confusion. That's ok, since it forced me to research on my own, discovering that one isn't supposed to be able to digitally copy standard MiniDiscs - my first posts here pretty clearly show that I didn't grasp that at all. I got lucky that all but one disc were HiMD (naturally, though, the first one I picked up was the standard which caused all the consternation), so I could transfer them digitally once I got SonicStage to work (thanks to the universal binary found here). I sent the one standard disc (hell, I even misunderstood what NetMD means!) to a friend with a deck that has line-out. After all that was finished, I was curious to know if I could repair the playback-only deck, and discovered it is way more trouble than it's worth...can't imagine I'll ever record anything to an MD, and the damage doesn't prevent recovering data from one. And even if it did, I have the undamaged deck. So thank you for the help, but I've accomplished what I had to do. I wonder if Sony has any more abandoned audio media formats out there...after ripping roughly 400 DATs and 20-ish MDs, I wonder what else someone will bring me?
  2. Yes, I know. What I don't know is where you thought I mentioned the mechanical write lock, or what that would possibly have to do with the overwrite head. Not even anywhere close to each other.
  3. All I can reference is the MZ-NH700/MZ-NHF800 service manual, pp. 12 which clearly suggests a collection of diagnostic software. While I didn't find it here, I did notice later the service manual is in the archives here. I tried using an AA battery, the 3v power supply, and both; used switches on the unit, tried switches on the remote for giggles as well. There's something else going on...an intermittent button press maybe, a weird short caused by the damage to the overwrite head mount, something. Has to be; like I said, the good unit went directly into test mode. (The three-screen rotation is pretty unmistakable.) Possibly, although not sure how you'd wedge something that far back just to open the unit, but maybe. I have noticed the door is not as solid as the door on the good unit. Still, it's a simple solder bridge at SL894 that defeats the door open sensor, so trying to force the thing open doesn't seem so smart when a drop of solder lets you open the door with the switch. On the good unit, the overwrite head is held in place by a grey plastic mount snapped into the metal arm...this plastic is missing on the unit that has only playback. So the overwrite head is just...hanging there. It can't heat the MO surface pointing gawd-only-knows-where when the disc is in place, the write heads can't remag the surface, so no recording. Playback is unaffected, as is using SonicStage to pull HiMD files from the discs, since the overwrite head isn't required. Replacing X-2021-785-1 OP SERVICE ASSY which includes the overwrite head (pp.50 of service manual shows replacement head group) is way more than I'm prepared to do even if I could acquire the parts group, especially for an obsolete format that I'm unlikely to ever record to anyway. The original purpose for the devices was to recover data, which I've done. I think these two units and associated remotes, power supplies, etc. will be stored in the basement next to the XP machine that contains the Sony DDS drive I use to recover audio from DAT, just in case I'm ever brought additional MiniDiscs in the future.
  4. Um, yeah, nevermind. I am pretty sure I know what's wrong. A physical examination shows the enclosed photo - while the camera insists on focusing on the back wall, you can clearly see the overwrite head hanging down instead of being snugly housed in its little plastic bed. Pretty sure this is way out of my league.
  5. Well, that's a thing... Does not work at all on the unit that will not record. Tried with battery, power supply, using the remote buttons, everything short of standing on my head. Tried it with the one that does record...immediately sent it into test mode. I suspect the method using the diag software is more...persistent, since again according to the service manual the only way out of it is using the software again. It specifically says after test mode is set to remove the battery, and power-on the unit to enter test mode. But it seems pretty clear the playback unit has more wrong with it than just the inability to record...while it's possible I screwed up the combination every time I tried, it's pretty unlikely since setting the "good" unit into test mode took all of one try. Not sure where to go next...
  6. Um, no, not at all, according to the service manual, page 12, Section 4 Test Mode: And in the Note below the window dump: The service manual makes it clear that to get to the self-diagnostics result on the MZ-NHF800 (Sec 4 #7) you use the software provided by Sony to the tech to kick the machine into test mode - soldering is only required on SL894 for killing the Open Door sensor. I never suggested the software was an audio file, nor did I suggest it was copied to the device, rather the computer being used to control the device. There are screen dumps of the windows used to set the device into test mode in the service manual pg. 12. Again, I am wondering if this software (which I assume contains diag software for a large number of Sony devices, as it tells the tech to copy only the folder "TestMode_Enter_For_900_800_700_600_600D_Ver***.exe" to the Windows XP machine from presumably the monolithic distribution CD) made it into the wild?
  7. Adventures in MD, continued. I was able to pull the audio from every disc but one using SonicStage (clearly most were HiMD format); since the MZ-NHF800 doesn't have a line-out, and the headphone-out was pretty noisy, I sent that one disc to a friend with a player. So the discs from the cancelled satellite radio program have been salvaged. Not sure this is the right place for this, or even if it's a question I should be asking, but hey, the format has been long abandoned by Sony, so what the hey... I'm wondering if the test software ever "escaped" from Sony. The service manual to the MZ-NHF800 references copying over a specific folder to the Windows XP machine (!) and using it in conjunction with SonicStage to put the machine into test mode, which has a self-diagnostic test. I now have two MZ-NHF800 decks, one of which can only playback but not record (and read HiMD data via SonicStage but not write). While I'm relatively confident I won't be able to fix the thing, it would be nice to be able to run diagnostics just to see if it can identify where the problem might be. Searches on the Net were not successful, so I thought I'd take a shot here since y'all seem to know a whole lot more about this stuff than anywhere else...
  8. I sincerely appreciate the offer, but if there are only even a handfull of discs in this format, I can pull out the external sound converter and run analog copies. This seems to be what they did originally anyway...bring the discs back, and play them into the board. Makes me shudder... Which keeps making me wonder why the devil radio stations would bother with the things. If you can't get the file out of the device (other than using analog), what's the point? (Of course, I know people who think Dalet stores files uncompressed because it uses WAV containers for its MP2 files, too. Maybe they just don't know any better.) But the datastream speed is irrelevant. Once the file is recorded, USB 1.1 would just mean the file would take longer to transfer...there's no reason a closed file would need a specific speed to travel from the device to the computer. This would only be an issue for real-time transfers (recording on the device but storing immediately on the computer), which this isn't. Heck, I can transfer a 1080p video transport stream via USB 1.1 - I'd just want to start the transfer before I left for vacation. DAT was surprisingly so much easier to directly transfer.
  9. I can only report the error message SonicStage is throwing. That was a copy/paste, so that is exactly what SonicStage reports when it refuses to copy the audio. No. I assume, but cannot guarantee (I wasn't there) this disc was recorded directly. As I mentioned, this is from the salvaged archives of a long-running Satellite Radio program, and I was never an employee. I'm just trying to salvage all of the audio and paperwork possible for donation to a national archive. I do know what's on the disc, since I listened to the beginning of it with headphones; it is the remote half (interviewee only) of an interview with Dr. Gordon Williams on August 30th, 2005 for a series on U.S. Veterans. I have no idea what may or may not have happened, but I can't imagine the file would have been copied to a computer than back to a disc...it would be more reasonable that this disc is the original recording made by the producer in the field. (Funny thing is, I have a file from DAT which contains both halves, Williams a phoner, so this disc will "complete" this particular interview source.) This is part of the stalled linux MiniDisc project, yes? So far, only the one...the other discs I've ripped thus far (even the 80s) are formatted Hi-MD. Haven't gotten through them all yet, though.
  10. I remember it well...I'm an old guy, who has roughly five hundred beta tapes in the basement I need eventually to transfer to digital, and so know well Sony's eventual win there gave us the, "right-to-copy," that the DMCA did its best to destroy. Still, that's no excuse for wonky software and draconian (dare I say idiotic?) copy protection... I still can't transfer the Net MD disk...I continue to get that "Unable to transfer the following tracks to My Library because they are recorded by Net MD or another computer." error. I've been focusing on the Hi-MD disks, which I have been able to transfer and convert, and so long as I don't find many Net MDs, I'm willing to transfer them analog just so this part of the project can complete while I still have a little hair left. (Frustrating that the DATs were easier to directly transfer than something basically designed for recording and moving files.)
  11. Excepting the past week, I have managed to live my entire life without being frustrated by Sony's pesky MiniDisc. So I am archiving the work product from a now-defunct satellite radio program. Most of the audio was on DAT; researched, purchased a Sony DDS drive and used SCSI board, installed in a spare Windows XP machine, installed Silicon Graphics firmware to the DDS drive, and almost immediately started ripping DATs to WAV files directly without a D-A-D cycle at double-speed. Some of the audio, particularly remotely-recorded stuff, is on a pile of Minidiscs, which should also remain in the digital world without a D-A-D cycle. Start the same process; research, gather required hardware/software, and... Utter frustration. First, I plugged the MZ-NHF800 into my 64-bit Windows 7 desk machine. After some driver hocus-pocus, the disc appeared on my desktop,showing a bunch of .HMA files in the \HMDHIFI directory. Ok, pretty good; installed the SonicStage software (iTunes earlier and uglier but equally bloated stepfather) from an ISO of the 4.3 version I found...well, nevermind where, rebooted the machine, and...still can't run it, since it must be run from the Admin account. Seriously? OK fine, reluctantly switch user to wear the "magic hat," jump through all of the insane hoops required to transfer/convert the files on this disc to PCM in a WAV container. Insert another disc, second verse same as the first. Switch disks again, machine plays unhappy noise, disc not recognized, SonicStage can't see anything, I get annoyed. So to eliminate "modern" operating system versions as a cause, I installed SonicStage to a Windows XP machine, since this always works (sarcasm mine). The machine refused to recognize the MZ-NHF800 I have for the transfer. Headscratching ensued, grumbles occurred. Tried another disc (the one that failed in the Win7), and HEY! I can see the file on the MD in SS! I attempt to copy the Net MD disc, and...can't, "Media Write-Protected." I assumed (pretty sure you can see this one coming) it meant there was an issue with the write directory, so I assumed the software wasn't installed properly - especially since it couldn't read what I assume were High-MD discs at all. So back to the desk machine. Find (here, in fact, thank you very much) Net MD drivers for 64-bit Win7, connect the player with the apparent Net MD-formatted disc, experience failure, update driver in Device Manager, and Bob's-your-uncle I can see the thing in SonicStage. Attempt to copy, and...same error. Wait a sec...it can't possibly mean the MD itself is write-protected, since I'm not writing to it but reading from it...but ok, let's unlock the disc anyway, and...different error! This time: Other than despising everyone at Sony, vowing never again to buy anything with that logo, and using some words I had forgotten I knew, I am about this close to chucking it all, using line-out->line-in and just recording the d*mned things in real time before smashing every bit of MiniDisc material here, extra digital-analog-digital cycle be d*mned. Then I calmed down, had a cappuccino, and decided to ask you folks for advice. Is it standard for these things to be so asininely touchy? Or am I just doing everything wrong?