Getting an external CDR to work

Q I have started to migrate from Win2K to SUSE Linux 9.0, but can't start to install personal data in my partition until I'm able to back it up. Though I have tried to test the CD software K3B, I have an external HP 8200 series (8220e/8230e) USB CD writer, for which I need a device driver. I've searched the web and checked HP's website, but without success. Where can I get a suitable driver?

A There are two prerequisites for burning CDs under Linux: the device itself must be accessible, and the burning software must understand the protocols used by the drive so it can format the data to be written. In the case of an external CD drive, the first is taken care of by the USB mass storage driver. This will just work, in general, and Linux certainly shouldn't have any trouble recognising this device, which will be set up as an emulated SCSI drive. The second requirement is usually fulfilled with Cdrecord. It seems that your drive is supported with Cdrecord from version 1.10, so assuming you have that, it shouldn't be a problem. Tools like Xcdroast and K3b are merely front-ends to various tools, and will use the version of Cdrecord you have for actually writing discs. To check that your drive can be seen, open a terminal and type:

cdrecord -scanbus

You will hopefully see, among everything else, a line that begins with three numbers and includes some text identifying the drive. If K3b isn't recognising the drive, try running usbview to check that it is being picked up by Linux.

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