760A Burn Speed

I continue my journey to get a 760A running and up to spec. I had to give up on Plextools so that is not an option to check on anything here.

My question is this. I have the drive installed and it looks like it is running UDMA5 as the master on the secondary channel. My older reader must be the one running UDMA2 -it is the slave.

Anyway, did a few CD burns with Roxio EZMC9 just to test it out. And the program reported a target speed of 48X but it only achieved around 17X although that number jumped around?

Is this just some funky calc that the Roxio software does or is my drive really burning slow for some reason?


Try using CD/DVD Speed. The utility can be downloaded. The interface is similar to PTP and you can graph responses to read and write, and ID the media. The check will tell you if the problem is the media or the interface. BTW, the drive cannot do UDMA5, so there could be some misidentification. Try removing the slave drive and run with just the 760. This gets rid of a lot of stuff that could be confusing the system. Verify you’re using the 80 conductor cable. Most systems can ID the cable and will run in UDMA2 if it sees the 40 conductor cable. Those that don’t will ID the setting as UDMA4 because of the drive, but may have transfer issues. The 40 conductor cable may not allow full speed operation if there is too much crosstalk due to the higher transfer speeds of UDMA4 vs UDMA2. CRC errors will cause the system to step down the transfer rate in an attempt to reduce the error rate.

The drive can decide to burn slower if the discs are not up to par, but I would try again with the Slave disconnected (they may not get along together). The Plextor should be in UDMA4, not 5.


Thanks. Using Cable select, 760A master, DVD reader Slave on secondary IDE channel. I show 2 “secondary IDE channels” in control panel. Never could figure out how you know for sure which is master/slave…

But one says Device 0, DMa if available current mode UDMA 5. Device 1 says N/A in current mode.
The plextor says it is device zero in DM so I assumed that was it.

The other Secondary IDE channel says Device 0, DMA if available and current in PIO mode. Device 1 says DMA if avail, current transfer UDMA2. MY DVD reader says it is Device 1 in DM so I assumed that was it. I do only have 2 drives connected… Not sure what device it is seeing as another Device 0 in pio mode?

I’ll have to download that utility and try it tomorrow.
I am absolutely using that 80 wire cable that came with the plextor. I am using Verbatim media which has always been good to me. And again, it could just be how Roxio is reporting the speed. I read that it reports current not average, faster at end of burn, etc. etc…

I do have a primary IDE channel open but I am running 2 SATA hard drives with 3 drive letters and I did not want to mess with any possible drive letter issues…



The UDMA5 drive has to be a hard drive as the Plextor doesn’t go that high. In all likelihood the Plextor is device 0 on the secondary IDE channel that shows two devices, and it’s running in PIO mode. Screenshots of device manager would be helpful here, of all of your IDE channels.

Yes, 17X CD-speed sound suspiciously like PIO Mode.

Dells can be difficult in this respect, recent proof here:

Thanks for both tips. I will do a screenshot of the listings when I get home.

There is definitely NO hard drive on any IDE channel. All I have is 2 SATA hard drives and once in a while, a USB or Firewire hard drive is connected but I do not leave those on. Both optical drives are on one cable attached to Secondary IDE. Primary IDE has nothing connected to it.
There is a floppy drive connected to a floppy connector on the motherboard which is in addition to the two mentioned (I almost forgot about that!). Not sure if that is listed there somehow. Sigh…

It looks like I should have only one secondary channel listed in device manager but even with my old config, I also remember having two? One for each drive, and valid data appeared to be on 0 for one and 1 for the other.

Would it be worthwhile just uninstalling “both” secondary IDE channels in control panel and let it re-install them? I saw that in a couple of the posts referred to.

Cressida, thanks for the post on Dells…not sure if it points me in a direction other than cable select seems to be the way to go? And I am already using an 80 wire cable.

Only other thought I had is make them both masters, one off each channel. But not sure what else I have to flip in the dell to make it happy not being cable select. And as I said, not real sure on the SATA/IDE interplay on drive letter assignment and I would have to be before trying that.

Thanks again…hopefully I will get there and actually be able to USE this drive soon!

If the SATA controller is set to IDE mode, then it will appear as an IDE channel.

Yes, there will be one Primary and one Secondary IDE Channel shown each for PATA and for SATA. Put the burners on separate cables by all means (I never use two of them on one).

The referenced thread shows there’s a problem combining a Plextor and a Lite-On, even using Cable Select, on the Dell in question (as the Lite-On doesn’t seem to run in its native UDMA4 mode).

I hope this paste of my primary and 2 secondary IDE channels from Device manager helps. I really appreciate the assistance. I would not want to delete the channel that represents my SATA drive(s) by mistake!!! I am guessing the image in the lower section of the attachment are my two optical drives.

I am all for making each of these masters of their own domain on each channel…but I need to understand how XP will assign drive letters then between my SATA drive 1 © and drive 2 (D and E) and the 2 optical drives. I am concerned if I make one of the opticals a master on IDE 1, XP will throw it a drive letter before SATA 2. I think I even need to change the boot order if I enable IDE primary. My sense is that is why it was not used. But I am sure someone knows that answer better than me.


Try attachment again…

There’s your problem: the Plextor is in PIO Mode :sad: . Enabling the Primary PATA Channel shouldn’t change your hard disk drive letters (and even if it did, you can manually reassign them under Disk Management in Windows).

Also, it’s easy enough to check the boot priority before exiting the BIOS. For me the choice is clear: optical drives on separate channels (80-wire ribbons, MA or CS, whichever works with the Dell). :slight_smile:

Sorry, went on vacation!

Thanks for the advice, is this a reasonable approach?

1.In device manager, delete the IDE channel with the PIO mode and my ultra 2 entries. Hopefully these are my 2 optical drives.
2. Delete the 2 optical drives.
3. Shutdown, use 2 cables and reset jumpers so the Plextor is primary master and the old read-only drive is secondary master.
4. Reboot to bios and enable primary IDE.
5. Reboot to windows and hope all goes well.

Sound like the right plan?


I tried both ways.
Got to UDMA 4.
How does this sound off the speedtest?

CD Avg 37
Start 22
End 49

DVD SL Avg 12.4
Start 7.2
End 18.2

Looks good,[B] BJB[/B] :iagree: . Keep the Plex in UDMA4 and it will be a happy camper :slight_smile: .

Thanks for all your help through all this… :slight_smile: