A search of the following FAQ's listed belowHello Peter, I could not figure out why this Sony cdrom would not read the cd's correctly. So, I changed out the cd with another one. Later, I used the troublesome sony cdrom in an intel windows box. The cdrom worked there for a while and then it quit reading altogether. So, I bought a new scsi cdrom and threw away the sony one. For what its worth, I bought the sony cdrom on ebay in a used item sale. I think because the unit was used, there was something wrong with it. I don't think the problems were due to the debian install cdrom. On a related note, I purchased a sparc 5 with a built-in cdrom. I had similar errors with its cdrom. I sent the cdrom back to the dealer in exchange for a new cdrom. The new cdrom works flawlessly. So far, I have not had any errors. John
My work around found by accident and frustration after John's email I decided to make a HOT CHANGE of one external CDROM for another. All of a sudden the SUN would read the CD it had refused to read but had just booted from. I've experimented with about 15 installs in the last week and all I HAVE TO DO IS TURN THE POWER OFF THEN BACK ON on the external CDROM. Sometimes this takes a couple of cycles or ejecting the CD and a couple of times a shutdown and cold reboot. I assume this has the effect of SETTING THE MODE SELECT in the proper mode.
I guess this is not a major problem as most people are using newer CDROM's. The FAQ's list many other old CDROM's that have the same problem and solutions. Since a CDROM install is not needed very often I'll stick with turning the power off and on for now.
Hope this helps a few others, it has taken over two months to sort out!