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ATA Problems with CD-ROM Drives.

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a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2007 7:48:56 PM

So I just installed a new video card and re-formatted my PC yesterday. Now all the sudden my two CD drives will only connect to the motherboard at ATA-33. Being thoroughly confused by this, I swapped the Master/Slave between the two, and even tried replacing the 80-pin cable. Now one connects at ATA-66 and the other at ATA-33. It took me about 2 hours to install World of Warcraft from 5 CDs, and then the Burning Crusade Expansion CDs (4). I have not seen a CD-ROM this slow since my old 486 computer.... lol

Anyhow, I'm not quite sure what to do about this. My understand is this should not have anything at all to do with software right? I made no BIOS changes of any kind. Simply just used my Windows XP Pro x64 cd to format the harddrive, put in my new video card, and installed windows again.

Only thing I can think of as a possibility, would be that my new video card required that I plug in one of the PCI-E 6-pin power cords into it. My previous GeForce 6800 did not. Would the extra power draw prevent the CD drives from getting faster ATA connections? They run fine, just slow.. so I'm guessing that's not the case.

Here are my system specs:

Windows XP Pro x64
200GB EIDE Harddrive connected at UDMA 6
120GB EIDE Harddrive connected at UDMA 5
Lite-On Litescribe DVD-RAM drive connected at ATA-66
Sony 52x CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive connected at ATA-33
Asus A8N-SLI Motherboard
Sapphire ATI X1950 PRO 512MB PCI-E
Corsair 1GBx2 XMS PC-3200
Sound Blaster Audigy 2
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+
480watt Power Supply (not at home, but I think it is an Antec).


Any help you can give me is great. The whole PC runs great, just the ATA speed on my CD drives I can't figure out.
July 20, 2007 11:25:56 PM

The first thing I'd do is uninstall the drivers and let them reinstall on Windows start up. Check your DMA settings for each of drives. If you haven't done so, check your BIOS as well
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2007 11:31:28 PM

I initially let Windows install its own drivers when I reinstalled. Having noticed the CD drives were connected so slow, I then installed the nForce drivers (which include EIDE drivers) for the motherboard. I have checked the BIOS several times trying to play the settings for each CD drive. No matter what changes I make I cannot get it to let me manually select the ATA/DMA speeds for either CD drive. Thus I've left everything on 'Auto' so that the BIOS decides how to set things.

I also double-checked with the ASUS website to make sure I had the most current BIOS version as well, which is 1014 for the A8N-SLI. But like I said, nothing changed in my BIOS when I put in new video card and formatted, and the CD drives connected a lot faster before.

Not really sure what to do...
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July 20, 2007 11:56:57 PM

If the video card has a power connector, then connect it. If that doesn't fix it, make sure you have the latest video drivers, if you do, reinstall them if not, update. If all else fails, try a Windows repair off the CD Is the firmware the most recent for each drive?
a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2007 1:18:40 AM

The video card does indeed have a power cable hooked to it, as I stated in a previous post. I have actually (by coincidence) reinstalled the video card drivers a couple times. But that was due to a .NET 2.0 issue regarding the ATI Catalyst driver. That is completely resolved.

Though I'm not sure how either of those would affect my CD-ROM drives.

I have not checked the firmware for either CD-ROM drive. DIdn't think about that. However, not sure how that would help considering they both connected and worked without any issue before. Why it would be a problem now, with only a video card change, boggles the mind...

I'll look around for firmware I guess, just to rule that out.
a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2007 1:43:16 AM

Well this is quite interesting.

There are no Firmware updates for either of my CD Drives. However, upon looking up both models on their respective websites the Sony is listed as having a Transfer speed of UDMA 2 (which it is set at) and the Lite-On drive is listed as UDMA 4... which it is currently set at.

In one way I feel really stupid, finding out that they are both running at max speed...

Yet I'm not quite sure why it took so ungodly long to install off a CD. Seems like they ran faster before. But, according to the manufacturers they are working at their max speeds.

I think in the future I'm not going to buy another single EIDE device again. Guess I'm going SATA from here on out...
!