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Gigabyte 965P-DS3 and optical drives erratic

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April 25, 2007 12:36:48 AM

Greetings:

My DIY system has had problems with the 2 Lite-On optical drives almost since I built it several months ago. I did repeat the problem with a new HP drive, so I think they are OK. Here's my setup:

MB: Gigabyte 965P-DS3
BIOS: Award F3 07/17/2006
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 6600 not overclocked
HD: 2 Seagate SATA ST3250 250GB
Optical Drives: 2 Lite-On DVDRW SHM-165H6S IDE, both connected to the single IDE slot on the MB
RAM: 2 GB - no apparent issues here

Problem is that many times (not always) if I put a disc in either optical drive, it starts to read it for at most a second, then the system freezes with no error message and needs a reset. After reboot with the disc in the drive, no problem reading or writing.

I've checked the Device Mgr - no conflicts, but it does show 3 primary IDE channels and 3 secondary IDE channels(!). Near as I can figure, both opticals are using PIO transfer mode on one of the primary channels. When they work, they seem sluggish for such a fast system, slower than my previous DIY 3GHz Intel system built 2+ years ago.

I'm guessing a BIOS setting isn't right, but I just exceeded my level of competence. Help would be MUCH appreciated.
a b V Motherboard
April 25, 2007 12:45:42 AM

Quote:
Greetings:

My DIY system has had problems with the 2 Lite-On optical drives almost since I built it several months ago. I did repeat the problem with a new HP drive, so I think they are OK. Here's my setup:

MB: Gigabyte 965P-DS3
BIOS: Award F3 07/17/2006
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 6600 not overclocked
HD: 2 Seagate SATA ST3250 250GB
Optical Drives: 2 Lite-On DVDRW SHM-165H6S IDE, both connected to the single IDE slot on the MB
RAM: 2 GB - no apparent issues here

Problem is that many times (not always) if I put a disc in either optical drive, it starts to read it for at most a second, then the system freezes with no error message and needs a reset. After reboot with the disc in the drive, no problem reading or writing.

I've checked the Device Mgr - no conflicts, but it does show 3 primary IDE channels and 3 secondary IDE channels(!). Near as I can figure, both opticals are using PIO transfer mode on one of the primary channels. When they work, they seem sluggish for such a fast system, slower than my previous DIY 3GHz Intel system built 2+ years ago.

I'm guessing a BIOS setting isn't right, but I just exceeded my level of competence. Help would be MUCH appreciated.


Have you tried using a new IDE cable?
April 25, 2007 12:56:24 AM

Yes, I did, both with the Lite-On drives and the HP. Same problem.
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a b V Motherboard
April 25, 2007 12:57:54 AM

Are you using Vista? Some of the burn programs appear to work, but don't function properly.
a b V Motherboard
April 25, 2007 1:00:28 AM

I know you mentioned your RAM. If you have some other RAM you might just give it a try and see if the symptoms continue.
April 25, 2007 10:08:00 PM

Hi Badge,

Oops, I should have said I was using Win XP Pro SP2; no real need for Vista yet. The OS ain't broken, so I'm not eager to fix it. :) 

Regarding RAM - no, I don't have any other compatible sticks. I'm using Corsair XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) and haven't seen any other problems indicative of faulty RAM, assuming this could explain what's going on.
a b V Motherboard
April 25, 2007 10:25:07 PM

What power supply do you have? How many watts?
April 25, 2007 11:17:51 PM

It's the 450W Antec Model SP-450 - the one that came with the Antec Sonata II case.
a b V Motherboard
April 25, 2007 11:30:35 PM

So you have two HD's, two optical drives, 2 GB RAM, A C2D dual processor, and what video card? The PSU could possibly be the problem. Does you system run hot or is the case near the PSU hot? Is a lot of heat being omitted from inside the case?
April 25, 2007 11:47:59 PM

The video card is a PNY NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT w/256MB.
a b V Motherboard
April 26, 2007 12:12:39 AM

Unless youe PSU is running noticeably hot it should be able to power your system. If the system hangs loading software it could be the RAM. The drivers for the IDE device are installed properly. The hang up happens with either of the drives and randomly. Could be a little of everything and a lot of nothing. :D  Maybe try another IDE cable or try hooking just one drive instead of two and running it. See if still hangs. You could unplug some case fans and any unneeded power unsing devices to lighten up the load on the PSU and try. Annoying ain't it!
April 26, 2007 4:22:43 PM

Hmm, good thoughts.

Never had a problem loading software. The freezing just happens when it tries to read a CD.

I'll try some troubleshooting this weekend with one drive disconnected, etc. So far I've not noticed any overheating problems; I forgot to mention I'm also using a Thermaltake Golden Orb II CPU cooler.

I've wondered if buying a PCI IDE controller card and connecting one or both optical drives to it would be a possible solution. I see that Newegg has several for sale starting at about $10. Intuitively, I can't see how an add-in card would be faster than a motherboard IDE connection, though.
April 26, 2007 5:09:26 PM

Which SATA connectors are you plugged into? I recall reading an issue about the DS3 about combining SATA and IDE if you are using the two purple SATA ports.

I have a DS3 with SATA harddrives and an optical drive, but I have my HDDs plugged into the yellow ports. (not using RAID, so the yellow ones are fine for me)

*EDIT* (Here's what I was talking about...)
http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.cfm?catid=29&th...

"1. don't use sata ahci or raid mode
- put your sata drives on the yellow intel sata ports
- don't enable AHCI (for f10 only)
- don't enable AHCI for on board sata devices (this controls the purple gigabyte ports)
- setup windows normally (DO NOT install the sata driver from gigabyte) and your computer will work"

That's what I did and it's working fine. AFTER I had my computer all setup, I realized that my external hard drive with eSATA port would not be recognized when I plugged it in after my computer was already running. I found out this is because I didn't have AHCI enabled in the BIOS. I enabled AHCI on the purple ports, and plugged my external drive into them, and it worked for the hard drive. Unfortunately, I started having read/write issues with my burner. I disabled the AHCI, and my burner worked fine again. I've gone to USB2.0 on my external, cause I don't want to have to reinstall windows again just to hotswap on the eSATA.

Hope this helps.

-TyShoe
May 10, 2007 9:12:07 PM

Thanks a bunch TyShoe! You nailed it.

Both SATA drives were plugged into the yellow ports. Just lucky on that, I guess.

Here's what I did:

Changed ONBOARD SATA/IDE CTRL MODE from AHCI to IDE. I found I had to leave the ONBOARD SATA/IDE DEVICE setting to ENABLED. Otherwise, it disables the CD/DVDRW drives completely.

I've checked it about four times and the problem hasn't recurred.

Well done.
May 11, 2007 1:48:05 AM

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then... glad to hear your problem has been fixed.

-TyShoe
!