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Does anyone have a working WORM drive for 130mm discs?


25k Member
Jan 11, 2007
Pacific Northwest, USA
I have a client who has a number (ca. 10) of Panasonic LM-D501W WORM optical discs that need to be read. These are the double-sided 470/940MB discs; my guess is there from a Mac, but the client has no real idea.

I've had terrible luck with WORM drives--when you can find them, they rarely work. For a small lot, I'd rather not endure the pain.

So this is a pay-for play job, so name your price. US only, please.

PM me with details.
I was going to say that most MO drives should still be able to read back from a WORM but the capacities you listed are really oddball.
There are a couple of drives on eBay, but at the ~$400 and $200 price range; for a one-off customer, buying a drive and hoping it works just isn't worth the risk for me. Note the one at applerescue--"Tested on a Mac 9600 with SilverLining, the drive is recognized, no problem, but the disk cartridge is bad. "

Or the laser is bad, or... The fact that the drive responds to a SCSI INQUIRY command doesn't tell you anything about the drive's mechanicals.

Getting a bit of equipment and maintaining it for me is a multifaceted prospect. (1) the size of the job, (2) the likelihood of successfully completing the job and (3) the likelihood that I'll receive requests for the same work in the future.

The calculus doesn't work for me, but it might for someone with a working drive.
FWIW, the compatible drives are Panasonic LF-5010, LF-7010 and LF-5090.

Said drives were packaged by a few third-parties; e.g. Micro Designs Int'l LaserBank 940.

The problem with a 470MB WORM drive is that MO read/write was just coming online with similar capacities and the ability to re-write a disk. Around 1994, I had a Pinnacle Apex 4.3GB MO drive. It worked for about the first month, then gave up the ghost. Since it was under warranty, I called PMC and was informed that they were so backlogged on warranty service is that the best they could do was send me a used, refurb replacement--in 90 to 180 days. I didn't bother; just wrote it off.
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The larger drives were buggy which is why they died out. I have half a dozen or more 1.2gb and 2.xGB drives around here and all work plus a HP MO jukebox. The drives I have seem reliable and so are the media.

I am kind of surprised my IBM WORM drives still work.

A new 4.3GB drive must have been expensive to just write off back then.
The only ones I can find no longer offer the service. (I don't think it was ever popular) I hate orphan media--I'm still waiting for a TakeTen to cross my desk so I can use my NOS drive. Given the 2007 date of the UK service page, I wonder if they really offer the service.

I think I've landed a drive, however. I'll keep you updated.
That was not a popular drive, one of the pitfalls of buying cutting edge tech only to see it fail in the marketplace. I have an IBM WORM drive I don't think anybody else used.

The 1.2GB (640MB per side) MO drives you could read and write multiple times to seem to have been popular because quite a few companies made them.