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SATA DVD-RW buffer not staying full?

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March 1, 2007 5:40:36 PM

Hey all,

Long time reader, first time poster...hoping someone has some advice for me.

I have a fairly decent PC. The applicable specs are below:

C2D E6600@3.2Ghz
1GB Corsair
250GB SATAII 16MB cache western digital (no jumper)
Asus P5B-E mobo

I *used* to have a samsung 16x dvd/dl burner that was on the IDE channel. I would burn dvds, cds, double layer dvds, etc without any problem what so ever, even while performing multiple other operations on the PC.

Recently, I upgraded to a SH-S183L (samsung sata burner). I burned a bunch of dual layer discs when I first got it without any problem. Just the other day, I was buring a data DVD disc, and the drive buffer kept jumping from 98% to 0 pretty constantly. By the end of the burn, I had avoided the buffer underrun something like 400 times. I defragged my HDD, stopped all background processes, even turned off several services, but from then on, I kept seeing the same results.

On my motherboard, there is a 2-channel sata and a 4-channel sata set of connections. I had the HDD and the burner plugged into the 2-channel. Just out of curiosity, I moved the burner to the 4-channel, and it *seemed* to fix my problem, as Ive been able to burn a couple dvds without an issue.

My questions are, what else could I check to pinpoint the issue? Is it true that the sata channels shouldn't be sharing the same bus, even on the 2-channel connections? Is anyone else seeing the same problem, and if so, what did you do to fix the problem?

Thanks everyone for your help, sorry for the long winded post!
a b G Storage
March 1, 2007 6:31:25 PM

You have two controllers on the P5B's for SATA: Jmicron (2 SATA ports, 1 IDE port) and the Intel (6 SATA ports). If you don't have any IDE drives, plug everything into the Intel SATA ports and disable the Jmicron controller which has been known to be buggy.

Now, what exactly do you mean by 2-channel and 4-channel SATA ports? It sounds like you're using the Intel controller, which has 2 black SATA ports and 4 red SATA ports. The red ports are bootable while the black ports are for data only. Could you please clarify what ports you have tried? They should be labeled SATA1, SATA2, etc.
March 1, 2007 10:28:35 PM

Thanks for the quick reply. I said a 4 channel and 2 channel because when I go into My Computer --> Properties --> Hardware --> Device Manager --> IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, it says Intel(R) ICH8 2 port Serial ATA Storage Controller, and also Intel(R) ICH8 4 port Serial ATA Storage.

There are 4 red SATA ports on the motherboard, and two black. The red ones are labled SATA1, SATA2, SATA5 and SATA6. The two black are labled SATA3 and SATA4.

When I was having the problems, I had the HDD plugged into SATA1 and the DVD-RW plugged into SATA2. They are both red on the motherboard. I moved the DVD-RW to SATA3 on the motherboard, which is black.

Unfortunately, I do still have one IDE drive plugged in, so I can't disable the JMicron controller, but I don't have any SATA drives plugged into the SATA ports on that side of the motherboard.

Thanks again for your quick reply, I hope this sheds more light on the situation.

Edit *clarified the colors on the mobo*
a b G Storage
March 1, 2007 10:51:37 PM

Do you have the controller set as IDE in the BIOS or AHCI? At least for the hard drive's sake, it should be set to AHCI. Also, in device manager, the SATA controllers should appear under the SCSI tree instead of the ATAPI/IDE tree. Have you installed the latest Intel drivers, BTW?

Hmmm... I'm not sure what effect it would have on a SATA DVD drive if you set the controller to AHCI in the BIOS since the technology doesn't apply to optical drives. Anyone have more info on this?

In order to be able to boot to your SATA DVD drive, it would need to be plugged into one of the red SATA ports but it should work just fine in either black or red ports. I noticed that you are running at 400FSB. Does the problem go away when you run at stock speeds? Funny things can happen under OC to the integrated hardware such as NIC, sound, firewire, etc.

Post back if any of this helps your troubleshooting.
!