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Almost there with SonicStage 4.3.... buuuttt....

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So very kindly, a member of our forum, Ralph, sent me the Data Cable i needed for my MZ-NH1 recorder! Woo!

I've been playing and recording (via optical in from my MacBook) for a few weeks now, and there's nothing up with the player. Even the battery is in pretty good nick. 

I followed the guide on the forum regarding SonicStage 4.3 Ultimate V2 and installed it on my MacBook using Parallels.  [Please Note: I've run XP on Parallels to use several pieces of software for about 3 years now, very successfully.]


The Good News

Both Mac OS and Window XP can see the Hi-MD recorder, XP can see the files on it, delete them, add to them and tell that it's a 290mb disc.

SonicStage can see that there's a player connected. 

This leads me to believe that all is working well in many respects. 


The Bad News

Well, it tells me that it can't transfer to the disc, because it's been initialised by another device. Ok, sure, lets go to the Device properties and clock that Initialise button...

"Initialization of the media failed. (Error Code: 0000662e)"


So I uninstalled SonicStage, reinstalled and nope, same thing.

If i delete the system files on the MD directly via file explorer, they delete fine. It will then say it's a 290MB disc, but when i try to transfer, it says that it cannot transfer, because the group number is set to -1 ?

If i try to format the disc directly via file explorer, it gives a blue screen and crashes windows. 


Now I know that running it on Parallels adds a level of uncertainty about this issue, but it seems to me that the issue had something to do with SonicStage. I can import CDs to it perfectly fine, set all the options, nothing else is a problem, just formatting the disc. 


To Confirm: I can Format the MD on the MZ-NH1 fine, I also have a MD Deck that doesn't take Hi-MD and can also format the MDs. Whether the MD is formatted as Hi-MD (290mb) or MD (170mb) the result is the same...




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Set the DISC MODE on the unit to Hi-MD. Now it won't try to change to MD (NetMD) every time you insert or eject a disk. Parallels will definitely have trouble with that. It's a USB problem. Listen to the sound made when a USB connection goes up or down.

You have to use the menu on the device itself. There is nowhere else you can change this parameter. However anything you were doing that depended on a default of NetMD (MD) will no longer work.

And... you need to make sure the NetMD driver is installed. Since that is very likely impossible in Parallels, the system will crash every time it tries to switch to MD mode, for whatever reason.

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Thanks for the input - the unit is set to Hi-MD mode all along. 

Ah, now a NetMD driver - that's not something I've come across yet. Any idea where I can download this? 



[Update] I've found a Hi-MD driver from 2006, so I'm going to give that a go PA_Driver.exe is the file

[Update] It was already installed, no change.

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No special driver is required for Hi-MD. Hence you can see the standard Microsoft drivers that treat it as a standard disk. Check the dates, manufacturer and version numbers of those files if you don't believe me. Did you change DISC MODE? Or did you look to see what the display says? You need to make sure it says Hi-SP inside the Menu setting DISC MODE. If it says "Hi-SP" (and "Hi-MD" in a different place, I just checked) on the display during playback that proves nothing.

The NetMD driver should have been installed during SS installation. The fact that it is not (even presuming that parallels gives you a 32-bit environment) means you cannot access any of the NetMD verbs during operation. Hence the crash. The problem is that Parallels takes the USB connection down at the slightest provocation (after all it does have charge of the native USB port). It IS possible there's a way to make the USB connection "dedicated" (I have no idea what that would be in Apple lingo). This might solve your problem.

I do NOT expect parallels to support Minidisc (esp. legacy formats MDLP and SP) natively. The same problem exists with Windows XP virtual box running under Windows 64-bit. However we have a 64-bit NetMD driver which allows SS to talk directly to 64-bit windows. I don't think that would work with parallels (which I am sure will be 64-bits) but you can always attempt to figure it out. I cannot - I don't have a Mac to work with. Sorry.

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I'm still not sure about parallels as I have no way of testing it. However I did confirm that if you install Sonic Stage on 64-bit windows, and plug in a Hi-MD recorder whose DISC MODE is set to MD (ie NetMD) then what appears to happen is the USB subsystem gets messed up and won't transfer Hi-MD stuff, probably because the 32-bit NetMD driver is being invoked.

So, FWIW, UPDATE the NetMD driver (look in Device Manager and you will see it!) to NETMD760.* (see the instructions everywhere for NetMD under 64-bit Windows in our downloads section) to be the 64-bit driver, and magically the Hi-MD transfers will work too. This is preferable to setting the DISC MODE, in a way, because if you put a non-HiMD disk into the unit, it can still appear to the computer as a NetMD disk and will load the WRONG driver.

And one more tip for all you with battery problems, don't even think of trying to do transfers without a battery in the unit. The presence of the battery (preferably with a little charge in it) stabilises the power supply and makes it immune to the power fluctuations which occur mid-transfer from unexpected seeks and the like.

Update: it looks like you have to go in and search for windows\inf\oem*.inf where the file contains the phrase NetMD and delete them. I think there are routinely 5 after a standard Sonic Stage install.

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