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Strangest Problem I've Ever Had...Ever...Seriously

Last response: in Storage
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March 12, 2002 6:09:55 AM

Ok to preface this, my computer is an AMD TBird 800 w/ over 300MB of PC100 SDRAM, 2 7200RPM Hard Drive (IBM & Maxtor). Using the lastest version of Nero. All CDs attempting to be burned are between 650-700MB.


1) Now I bought a new TDK Velo 32x burner today. I installed it with the following specs:

IBM HD = Primary Master
TDK Burner = Primary Slave
Maxtor HD = Secondary Master
CD-ROM Drive = Secondary Slave

With this configuration I failed at half a dozen 32x burns at 3% completion. Dropping to 20x I get to 28% and fail.


2) I switched things around to look like this:

IBM HD = Primary Master
Maxtor HD = Primary Slave
TDK Burner = Secondary Master
CD-ROM Drive = Secondary Slave

With this configuration I failed at 32x at 58% this time and was successful at 20x. I wanted 32x so I did some tweaking in Nero.


3) In Nero I manually changed the Cache from my boot partition to a faster partition and upped the Minimum Disc Space Reserved from 16MB to 100MB.

I then manually changed the Buffer settings from Auto of 46MB to a manual setting of 80MB.

With this setting I burned 3 CDs with no problem at 32x. I thought my problems were over...they just begun.


4) The 4th CD I try at 32x burns ok and I test it. (The CDs all have an HTML auto-starting interface on them with some video links) The CD auto-starts & will switch between pages but once a file link is clicked, the browser crashes.

Even though the previous 3 burns worked & tested fine I figure i'd go back & re-test. Same problem occurs.

I test an older 20x burn I did...and a really old (previous burner) 6x burn. They both work.

I scrap all of my 32x burned CDs and try again.


5) On the next 32x attempt the buffers in Nero go crazy. They are dropping to very low levels and then popping back up. The CD takes MUCH longer than normal to burn and still has problems.

I try 20x and the same thing happens, and it too takes MUCH longer than normal to burn. Should burn at 20x at 4min. 30sec. (roughly). Instead it burns at 5-6min. However the final burns work.


6) I restart Nero, reboot, change my Nero Cache & Buffer settings back....

All of this didn't fix anything. As of right now I STILL have massive buffer flucuations at 20x, but thankfully CDs succesfully burn (albeit around 5 to 6 minutes)


7) I am at a complete loss for how the [-peep-] everything went down hill so fast. I have no idea why my buffers are so unstable now. I have no idea why 32x burns all of a sudden won't work.


I doubt any of you came across all this bullshit but maybe SOMEONE can possibly shed some light on things. Because I give up.

More about : strangest problem

March 12, 2002 2:31:58 PM

Have you tried changing your DMA settings and/or drivers?

You know...every time I get a new piece of hardware (cept memory or hard drives), I completely reinstall the system(s), as I have found it to cut down on problems such as these. Takes a little time, but I still think it's easier and less painful, and I've done so many builds I could do it with my eyes closed (though not many people have their data backed up and don't like this option).



If I don't get my 90THz AMD Quadraplex system soon, I'm afraid I may just combust right here.
March 12, 2002 8:49:17 PM

Checked DMA in the BIOS and it's enabled. And on the drive it's set to auto. So i'm all set there.

As far as drivers, do you mean CD-RW drivers? Cause there are none for the TDK 32x so far.
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March 14, 2002 3:08:16 PM

Will your OS let you enable DMA? If so, be sure it is checked there as well. And as for drivers, the DMA drivers would be for the motherboard, so you may want to check for updated drivers for it. You may also need to update you BIOS, perhaps it has a funtionality problem that has been fixed with a new BIOS release.

Also, I have seen problems similar to this when someone installed the drive, they forgot that the Master location changes on the ribbon when going from one drive to two, as with one drive, the master is the last spot on the IDE ribbon, whereas with two, it moves to the closest [to the motherboard] channel. You may also want to try a different burning software, as what you are using may just not be compatible with that burner. You said there were no drivers for that burner? Did it come with an install disk?

If I don't get my 90THz AMD Quadraplex system soon, I'm afraid I may just combust right here.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by siliconjon on 03/14/02 12:13 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 14, 2002 3:22:52 PM

I'm running Windows XP. There really is no "enable DMA" feature. You just set it to "auto".

As for the mobo drivers, that's something I'll check into. It's an ABit KT7A and I never updated anything for it since I first got it.

As far as the cabling goes, I have my 2 HDs on one IDE channel and the burner (as Master) & CD-ROM (as Slave) on the second IDE channel. While I still have the middle portions of each IDE cable attached to the Slave drives, that's not an issue since I didn't choose Cable Select on anything. The BIOS confirms that I setup the drives properly, with the burner as the Secondary Master device.

I'm using the latest version of Nero & did some searches for possibly conflicts with the drive, and came across none.

And yes there was a CD included....and on the CD it lists what the contents are and burner drivers are not listed. And TDK's website doesn't have any for this drive. XP did detect it properly.
March 14, 2002 4:54:49 PM

Duke,

I have had very similiar problems with my Plextor 16/10/40 drive. At first I thought it was a software issue. I was using Roxio 5 standard so I tried Nero 5.5. Was able to make a few audio cds but still was disatisfied with performance of drive. I had already changed the burner from slave to master then back again and still had problems. Then someone suggested it was a heat issue so I opened up my case and then attempted to burn. Still sporadic results. I am at a loss as to why I am having these problems. My power supply is only 145 watts so maybe that is it. If you figure it out let me know so I can fix my system. Thanks. jcz65@yahoo.com
March 14, 2002 5:05:02 PM

JCZ65,

I am 99.9% positive that your problem is unrelated to my problem. I'm able to burn at 20x with my 32x drive without any coasters....still not perfectly fast on every burn, but it works. If I drop to 16x (like your drive) it will most definitely work. My main problem is buffer instability & 32x burning.

I don't know everything about your system, but that power supply issue seems major. 145 watts is an extremely small amount of power, and is more akin to very low spec systems.

So it could be your power or maybe your system is so low spec, the 16x drive is having problems with the other components.
March 14, 2002 9:00:12 PM

Maybe its the cdr media your using that is not certified at 32x.

<i>It is not illegal until you get caught! :wink: </i>
March 14, 2002 9:02:05 PM

Orbz,

Sorry I should've mentioned this in my initial post. I'm using a 50 cake of 32x certified TDK media.
March 15, 2002 1:40:34 PM

<font color=green>"I'm running Windows XP. There really is no "enable DMA" feature. You just set it to "auto".</font color=green>

That's incorrect.

The DMA/UDMA settings are enabled in the Device Manager under the properties of the individual IDE channels.

The chipset drivers for the mobo should have been updated as soon as the operating system installation was completed.

Have you checked to see if there is new firmware available for your optical device?

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
March 15, 2002 2:33:26 PM

Toejam31,

I'm at work right now, but I'll forward what you said back home to check tonight. (about the DMA settings thing).

Yeah your right, when I first popped that thing in I should've checked for updated mobo drivers. My bad.

And yeah I checked on what was available for the burner, but there is nothing on TDK's site for the 32x Velo. Firmware or Drivers.
March 15, 2002 3:24:00 PM

You might be interested in checking out this article:

<A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/tech/storage/IDE-DMA.asp" target="_new">DMA Mode for ATA/ATAPI Devices in Windows XP</A>

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
March 15, 2002 3:41:35 PM

Your cable position may very well be your culpret. Yes, your mobo will detect them just fine in either combination, but windows handles data much more smoothly if your middle channel is your Master when using two drives. I would seriously consider using that channel for your master drives and see if your problem disappears.


If I don't get my 90THz AMD Quadraplex system soon, I'm afraid I may just combust right here.
March 15, 2002 3:45:26 PM

Something is very underpowered in your machine. 145Watts is not enough to run a 16X burner and a processor that is fast enough to use a 16X at full throttle, especially if you're burning MP3's to a CD with on-the-fly encoding.


If I don't get my 90THz AMD Quadraplex system soon, I'm afraid I may just combust right here.
March 15, 2002 3:48:44 PM

Siliconjon,

I didn't know that extra length made such a difference. I'll add that to my list of possible fixes.

Now I just have to backup my hard drives so I can make all of these attempts safely :) 
March 15, 2002 3:53:11 PM

If you have two hard drives, back one [your system/boot drive] onto the other, and just boot with the one until you get your system fixed (if you have the capacity to do so).

This will also eliminate the channel conflict on your primary IDE, as you will then only have one option for where to put that HD.


If I don't get my 90THz AMD Quadraplex system soon, I'm afraid I may just combust right here.
March 15, 2002 3:57:01 PM

Thanks for the suggestion, but I'll just do the CD backup...only comes to a few CDs total. I like to do this semi-frequently anyway and it's been a while since my last backup :) 
Anonymous
a b G Storage
March 18, 2002 11:20:40 PM

I had exactly the same problem with a 24x TDK writer and that same mobo until I installed the latest 4 in 1 drivers which allowed me to enable DMA mode. I also got the latest firmware for the CD writer (try a google search for firmware, there are a few sites that specialise in posting hard to find firmware) This allowed me to run at 20x but still couldnt do 24x until I swapped my 750MHz Tbird for a 1.2GHz, for some reason the drive really needed a lot of juice to get it going!!??
Anonymous
a b G Storage
April 18, 2002 12:27:47 AM

You know im having the same exact problem wiht my TDK 32x. The most noticeable issue is the 10 minute burn on 32x and the "jumpy" buffer. I have a dual P3 GHZ with a Gigabyte board, 512mb ram. Anyone have any luck with a solution?
April 18, 2002 12:36:03 AM

I just bought a tdk 40x but nero only goes to 24????

The burner is 12x rw but nero only goes to 2x rw wtf?

Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
April 18, 2002 3:00:32 AM

Quote:
Your cable position may very well be your culpret. Yes, your mobo will detect them just fine in either combination, but windows handles data much more smoothly if your middle channel is your Master when using two drives. I would seriously consider using that channel for your master drives and see if your problem disappears.

Do you have any manu/industry links to back up this opinion? Every mobo/drive/etc. manu or document I have seen on this issue states that master should always be the last drive on the cable for ATA-66/100/133 devices - regardless of whether or not you're using cable select or manual configuration and regardless of whether or not a slave drive is present. I have used this configuration in 100+ installations without difficulty.

Usually this kind of problem occurs when the DMA mode is not set correctly in Device Manager - IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers - Primary/Secondary IDE Controller - Advanced Settings.

I thought a thought, but the thought I thought wasn't the thought I thought I had thought.
April 19, 2002 9:08:35 AM

<< I have used this configuration in 100+ installations without difficulty. >>

I think he is right to an extent. I have worked on some older pentium systems and i've ran into problems where the master had to be on the middle slot or it wouldn't work at all. It took me FOREVER to figure this out cause I am so used to having the masters at the ends as well. Not sure if it has something to do with older mobos or not...(or possibly win95? that was the OS on these systems.)
April 20, 2002 8:18:13 PM

The long recording problem is the direct consequence of disabling the UDMA mode (either in BIOS or the OS - And sometimes the OS can't enable it for no good reason) for your writer.
Check your BIOS and set all the UDMA settings in it to Auto. Then check your primary and/or secondary IDE controller under device manager and make your OS use 'DMA If Available'. Then after a reboot check that place again to see if DMA transfer is enabled. (Where Windows reported 'PIO Mode' it should now say 'UltraDMA')
If it wasn't enabled automatically, try installing chipset drivers [generaly needed only for non-Intel chipsets] and/or deleting the IDE controller that is causing the problem. After a reboot Windows will identify it again and may be able to enable DMA mode.
April 22, 2002 11:20:33 AM

Quote:
I have worked on some older pentium systems and i've ran into problems where the master had to be on the middle slot or it wouldn't work at all.

Anytime I've run into this kind of problem it is usually because the system expects "cable select" (a lot of old HP Vectra systems) or the cable being used is a "cable select" cable (hole in one of the wires between the two HDD connectors). Newer ATA66/100/133 systems seem to ALWAYS want the master at the end - no matter what.

I thought a thought, but the thought I thought wasn't the thought I thought I had thought.
April 24, 2002 7:45:10 AM

Now that makes sense. I'll make sure to remember that. Luckily, the people who owned these pcs I worked on have since upgraded, thank god!
Anonymous
a b G Storage
April 24, 2002 8:12:08 AM

Now I would like to know where on the ribbon I could connect god! Man that would be a significant improvement to IDE. :wink:

<A HREF="http://www.herveybayqueensland.com/whalephotos.html" target="_new">My backyard </A>
April 24, 2002 8:27:49 AM

How to connect god to your IDE cable.
1.) Play your favorite cd of misc. praise and worship song in your cdrom.
2.) Copy the entire New Testament into Wordpad adn save it as godconnect.txt.
3.) Turn on the TV and pledge $500 to the first televangelist you see.
4.) Pray for god to bless your IDE.
5.) God will appear and strike you dead because you are a retard.
April 29, 2002 6:34:26 AM

I thought you could enable GOD in the BIOS? :smile:

<font color=purple>Win ME Slayer. And PROUD of it!</font color=purple>
May 1, 2002 11:38:04 AM

yeah, but that just causes your via 4in1 drivers to commit suicide due to an extreme inferiority complex, being that god is so great and they are so very very bad...
May 10, 2002 1:30:54 AM

Dont know if someone lese has allready suggested this or not couldnt be bothered reading all the other posts, but if you run XP you can set a processes prioirty to max so that it si the onlything getting resources.

<b>What was that!</b> :eek: 
!