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Buffer = 0 - NEC 3540A - Ultra DMA - DMA and Img Burn


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I changed my motherboard and reconnected my drives to it. The system (win xp) selected as IDE controller mode transfer Ultra DMA2 - Ultra 33 for both my master and slave DVDs.


I use my master NEC 3540 A to burn DVDs and use ImageBurn, however something was wrong: the buffer was always at 0, while device buffer was fine, and the burning was really slow, barely reaching x5 or x6 toward the last part of the burn, while the disc could -and did -accomodate x8 (which was the setting I had indicated) (verbatim)

checking went fine, and the movies were fine, apparently...


I checked the ImgBurn forum and they mention something like make sure you choose DMA, so I changed my settings manually and selected this time Ultra DMA 0 for transfer mode with this device. It works now, but I'm not sure why or if it's the best setting for my system.


So, before I begin using this x16 DVDs (which worked on my previous system) I would like to understand why (optionally) and if I did change to the best transfer mode with this drive: here are my current options from top to bottom


Ultra DMA2 - Ultra 33

Ultra DMA 1

Ultra DMA 0 (current)

Multi-Word DMA 2

Multi-Word DMA 1

Multi-Word DMA 0

Pio Mode (I know i have to avoid this one)


As for my HD, here's the setup: LBA (from bios), from computer management: transfer mode: Ultra DMA 5 - Ultra 100 (options checked: let bios select transfer mode, enable read caching and write cahcin)


i have 1 gig of RAM, Athlon 60 3000+


motherboard k8 triton series GA K8NF-9


i have 80-conductor cable for my HD and DVD drives


any thoughts? thank you

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I guess the 'Buffer' is at 100% when the burn starts, yes?


So up the buffer to 256mb (for testing purposes) and try again.


Does it then just slowly return to 0 as the burn progresses? (after leadin has finished).


If so, it would appear the program can't read from your hdd quickly enough.


Check your CPU usage during the burn. It should be very low. If not, DMA may still be a problem for you somewhere along the line.


If it were a DVD drive DMA problem, you wouldn't get over 2x, so the problem is with your hdd - or wherever you're reading from.


You could just be suffering quite badly from a problem with Windows caching that was introduced in I guess only time will tell.

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-the buffer is at 100% at the beginning


-with the buffer to 256mb (and both my IDE channels at the max chosen by the bios) the buffer slowly goes down to 0 at 31% - same results basically


-CPU usage during the burn is very low


What's annoying is that with my previous motherboard (3-4 years old) and exactly the same drives, same win XP, I had perfect results, even at x16, now I don't even dare try these discs...


So what i'm trying to find out is which IDE channel should i lower the transfer rate so it doesn't affect my overall system? any idea?




My master HD:

Seagate Barracuda ST3160023A 160 GB

Interface Type: Ultra ATA/100

Data Transfer Rate: 100 MBps

Now set by bios at Ultra DMA 5 - Ultra 100


My master DVD:

Interface IDE / ATAPI

Burst transfer rate PIO mode 4 / Ultra DMA 33

now set by bios at Ultra DMA 2 -Ultra 33 (i know it works fine for x8 if I put it at Ultra DMA 0 - tho not the last time :( )


I also tried with the previous version of imgburn so i guess that's the transfer between my HD and my DVD


thank you!

Edited by kinghu
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So in the buffer still goes down?


It's got to be something hdd related then.

Is that a Via chipset on your motherboard? Have you stuck the latest drivers on for it? Maybe with/without the IDE driver.


Try some different cables too incase yours is messed up somehow.


Also give the drive a good defrag. There is no way on earth your hdd would only be able to do 10mb/s if it was running properly.

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I updated IDE drivers and chipset from the GA website (my motherboard is a NForce 4 GA-K8NF-9 rev 1) to no avail


so i switched to the standard miscrosoft drivers (which set Ultra DMA 5 for HD and Ultra DMA 2 for DVDs) and it seems it's working now. I wonder why the actual motherboard drivers wouldn't work...


I guess I should stick with these drivers now -


thank you!

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i never install the nvidia ide drivers anymore never had any of the nvidia ide drivers actually work the way they are supposed to , they suck, classes some sata maxtor drives as removable and give you the safe removal icon, just let xp sp2 pick up your devices (looks funny in device manager when using ms drivers with a few sata and pata hard drives etc) get nero,s info tool to give you a summary of dma etc,or expand the many primary and secondary in device manager and make sure to keep using an 80 wire ide cable.

Edited by dontasciime
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