RM found that in very rare circumstances, some
high speed CD ROM drives (48X or higher) can become dangerous
when used with CD ROM disks with small cracks.
Our further research confirmed that the risk of CD ROM
fragments being expelled from the computer is small, and our
ongoing analysis shows that there is a very low risk of a user being
injured - there have been no reported injuries to date.
Our research also shows that all of the computers that we
have manufactured are safe if uncracked CD ROMs are used.
RM worked with the CD ROM drive manufacturer to
make available a protective metal shield that users could
into the drive. This is designed to reduce the risk of
pieces of disk escaping from the front of the drive in the
rare event of a CD ROM shattering. RM
distributed CD ROM shields to our customers at the end of last
shields come with a very simple instruction leaflet (this can
be seen as an Acrobat file below). By January 2002, each
affected customer had received
a letter explaining the issue along with a list of all
affected machines that required a shield to be fitted, the
shields themselves, a label to help identify computers that
had been updated, and
a confirmation form to be sent back to RM by fax or freepost.
A specific support call was automatically opened on Support
Online for users to confirm successful completion by closing
A Shield was intended for use in both types of affected CD
ROM drive, however RM found during field trials that
the shield is unsuitable for use in 52X drive due to the
tighter engineering tolerances used within these drives.
Therefore RM made available
a firmware update
solution for these drives . This update was in
the form of a floppy disk, and required users to
place the floppy disk in the 3.5" floppy drive of the affected
machine and then reboot the machine. The software makes a permanent change to the
firmware used by the
CD ROM drive, by restricting the
operating speed of the CD ROM drive and as a consequence
greatly reduce the risk of damaged CD media shattering.
If you received one of these notices and have not already
taken action, you should do so immediately. You may check affected
computers in case you are unsure whether you computer ever
needed a shield or new firmware. Shields and firmware
update packs are still available, by following
or by mail to
|How to install the CD ROM Shield
Please see the ‘CD ROM drive shields’ section of the
Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.
RM continue to strongly advise that users should carefully
check all CD ROMs before each use, by holding them to the
light to ensure that they contain no cracks, scratches or
defects near the inner rim of the disk.
Even after updating your computer, RM recommend
that you consider whether you can reposition any affected
computers so that the CD ROM drive is not positioned at
the face level of the users. For example, moving a computer
from the top of a desk to stand it sideways under the desk (CD
ROM drives can be used horizontally or vertically). As this
issue affects computers manufactured by a number of companies,
you may wish to consider your actions for other computers with
high speed CD ROM drives.