Burning Slowdowns PC and mp3s skipping

Hey guys
I posted this here cause I don’t know where else to put it.
I have 2 problems:

Lately my computer has been suffering from a HUGE Slowdown when I am burning a disc.
I have tested this with Nero Burning Rom and SONIC. Before all this I could be burning a disc while I was working in Photoshop, now all I can do is sit and wait until the disc is finished burning. The mouse pointer movement is very, very choppy, and opening a folder would take ages. Everything is fine, the second the disc stars burning, everything slows down terribly at once.

Besides all this, I have CDs with MP3s I listen to now and then. I was used to opening the MP3s on Windows Media Player and listen to them without having to copy it to my HDD, now doing this is buggy…
If I open an MP3 file directly from the CD, every 2 seconds or so the sound is slightly cutted off (It’s somewhat like an Audio CD would be skip on an audio system when the disc is scratched. I’ve noticed that every time the music “skips” the LED in the DVD/CD-RW drive flashes.
I usually could open MP3s directly from a Data CD and listen to them with no problems at all, now I encounter this type of skipping problem.
Just in case… this thing is DMA Enabled… so no idea.
Somebody know what would be going on?
(BTW, This problem persists either I use Winamp, WMP, etc.)

Help would be really appreceated!
Thanks a lot!

Dan

What are your computers specs that would help. When was the last time you defrag’ed your hard drive? How much free space is on your hard drive?

It hasn’t been long since I defraged it. I analyzed it a few days ago and it said it didn’t need to be defragmented…
I have a partitioned 80GB HDD, 1 is the WindowsXP Recovery partition and the main partition with 66.3GB of space.
I have 26GB Free.
My computer is a Compaq Presario C300 laptop.
Windows XP Service Pack 3
512MB RAM
Intel Celeron M @ 1.6GHz

This problem is completely not normal. I could use heavy applications like Photoshop CS3 and Sony Vegas while burning a disc and now I have to sit and wait until the burning is done! This is really weird…
And the mp3s skipping if I run them from a CD-ROM, thats weird too… It looks like it’s buffering all the time, turns out to be annoying because i have to copy everything to my HDD in order for it to work fine =\

512 of ram is your problem, it will take 2gbs. You are tying up your hard drive swapping what your memory will not handle. I would get more memory.

Yo-

Yup-eh!! :iagree:

If you do more than an occasional disc burn you are honestly best with as much RAM as your machine will support.

I’m basing my choice for my next mother board on how much RAM the chipset and processor will utilize.

Some of the current Socket 775 MoBo’s intended for use with
either single core (P4) or dual core processors will use 6Gb
for 32bit operating systems or 12Gb with a 64bit OS.

The only thing better than a lot of RAM is even more RAM.

Now, for best playback of mp3’s the fragmentation state of the HDD while important isn’t THAT important, frankly in my “new” laptop I’m not actually planning on putting my media on the HDD.

As far as I’m concerned that’s what the Compact Flash socket is there for:)

what makes the worst fragmented mess of a HDD is usually e-mail.

Lots of small files with some of them deleted (Can you say SPAM?)
and then OTHER stuff gets written across the gaps.

AD

Well this doesn’t solve my problem at all…
There must be a reason why this thing worked flawlessly before and now it doesn’t. I mean… seriously, it worked perfect before.
I got my computer taken care of pretty good, defragmenting or deleting spyware or stuff like that isn’t an issue.
What does upgrading to more RAM have to do with doing absolutely nothing while the disc burns??? I mean it’s just weird =
I was thinking of upgrading to 2 GBs, but I’ll have to wait a few months for that… I need to fix this problem now, not when I get the RAM.

The only other thing you can do is stop all running processes that you do not need in the task manager or in services to free up as many resources as you can. The more ram you have the more tasks you can run at once.

O.K. Have you checked the task manager to see what’s eating up your processor cycles? Do the old alt/ctrl/del and see what’s running. Also check your startup programs. If everything worked fine at one time and you haven’t changed any hardware or system settings, then some process is now running that wasn’t before (this is my guess). You say you’ve defragged but have you run anything like CCleaner to remove all the garbage files on your disk?

It looks like Jethro beat me to it. :slight_smile:

I’ve used Windows tools and Advanced System Care. I will try checking some stuff in msconfig and killing some processes.
Thanks for all your help guys, I’ll try.

Installed any new AV programs lately?
You sure the UDMA is on for your HDD?
Turned System Restore or indexing on for your HDD lately?

Installed anything new lately?

Made any other changes, like Overclocking in the bios lately?

IF you have more RAM it becomes more or less irrelevant what software is “Resifdent” (RUNNING) even if you aren’t actually using it…

There is a bunch of stuff sitting in the background.

On my own computer with 2Gb of RAM (all my MB will accept) I can tell you that just sitting and idling “the system” is using ~600Mb of my available memory. That leaves me 1300-odd Mb for whatever I might actually want to do…

Do remember that a CD only has 702Mb of data (presuming that it’s full).

Now understand if your disc drive is frequently accessing the disc
there is something else going on because in theory your drive should spin up and read that data, store it in RAM and play it back from your RAM, not from the physical disc.

Another issue is if you HDD is nearly full or that you simply don’t have “contiguous” available space? this will create other problems with the way the system allocates memory

“Defragmenting” your drive isn’t only about having fragmented files but how the empty available space and your “Paging file” or “Reserve system space” is on the disc.

A Paging file, swap file or reserve system space that is not in a contiguous block of system space will often not work right
or will sometimes not work at all!

And when that happens the symptoms sound remarkably like what you are complaining of.

More RAM is not a panacea, but does a damned nice job of hiding "other"
problems… and frankly a problem you don’t
know that you have is a problem you wouldn’t be trying to fix.

So your saying that your HDD was defragged recently probably means
something different than what I think of when I say “recently”

To me recently means in the last 48hours.

AD

Well I just defraged the drive. It only took a little while… It didn’t have much work to do lol.
What worries me the most is the mp3 playback directly from a Data CD because I don’t burn discs very often, though the burning can be a big bother if I suddenly have to burn a few CDs at once.
What caught my attention is that I went to Windows Media Player, and went to -> Play -> DVD, VCD or CD Audio -> CD Drive (E:) and it just started playing an mp3 flawlessly… what I did notice is that the Drives LED was flashing just like if it was playing an Audio CD. When I nexted the track, it started playing a second mp3 but this one was skippy as usual.
This is just weird to me XD I mean… it’s a Data CD… the LED on the drive shouldn’t be flashing as if it were reading an Audio CD’s Track. At least it’s weird to me… since I never had this happen.[QUOTE=debro;2206032]Installed any new AV programs lately?
You sure the UDMA is on for your HDD?
Turned System Restore or indexing on for your HDD lately?

Installed anything new lately?

Made any other changes, like Overclocking in the bios lately?[/QUOTE]

The only change I have done on my computer lately was installing WinXP Service Pack 3 along with other Windows Updates and changing the paging file maximum size 3x the size of the Initial size, so right now Initial is 756MB and Max is 2268MB.
I think it was set to 1132 as Max before I did any changes (I have a screenshot of the window before I did any changes).
The only reason I made my computer eat so much Windows Updates was beacuse I had a serious problem with svchost.exe along with DEP and couldn’t find a solution at all… after all the Windows Updates, that issue disappeared completely.

svchost.exe is commonly used to execute (& hide) virii and malware.
You really need to fix that issue before upgrading top Sp3.

Regardless,the light WILL flash when playing MP3’s from a CD/CDR - it’s still required to read the CD, even if there’s not much -May I suggest you increase the players buffer size if it’s constantly accessing the drive.

If there is a problem with the CDR, or the CDR has degraded to barely recoverable, or even unrecoverable, MP3’s will often have a hiss/crack/pop/stuttering.

Worse is that your entire system comes to a crawl while it’s attempting to re-read the unrecoverable CDR.

My first suggestion is to copy the MP3’s from the CDR to your HDD, and burn a new CDR - or better still, just leave them on your HDD, and don’t wear out your CD Drive to play MP3’s.

Well defragging on modern XP/NTFS systems is rarely needed. I always let XP handle paging file size.

Assuming your changes, which seem significant, are not the cause it may be as simple as getting a new burner. They are cheap.

[QUOTE=debro;2206405]svchost.exe is commonly used to execute (& hide) virii and malware.
You really need to fix that issue before upgrading top Sp3.

If there is a problem with the CDR, or the CDR has degraded to barely recoverable, or even unrecoverable, MP3’s will often have a hiss/crack/pop/stuttering.

Worse is that your entire system comes to a crawl while it’s attempting to re-read the unrecoverable CDR.

My first suggestion is to copy the MP3’s from the CDR to your HDD, and burn a new CDR - or better still, just leave them on your HDD, and don’t wear out your CD Drive to play MP3’s.[/QUOTE]

I did deep research and checking of the svchost.exe problem… I had no viruses or any type of malware AT ALL. It was a Windows XP bug that made svchost screw up, and my PC was really outdated (Got tired of windows updates making up trouble). There was an update for Windows that fixed this problem…
And the CD-R is in perfect state, I don’t think there is any need of re-burning it. I just burned a disc with MP3s the day before yesterday and I still encounter these problems.

[QUOTE=debro;2206405]Regardless,the light WILL flash when playing MP3’s from a CD/CDR - it’s still required to read the CD, even if there’s not much -May I suggest you increase the players buffer size if it’s constantly accessing the drive.[/QUOTE]

This didn’t happen before - I was used to opening an mp3 directly from a data CD and the LED didnt flash at all. If the CD wasn’t accessed for a long while, the led would flash once and the disc would spin to access the file and then never to happen again during the playback…
This also bothers me when I have to run applications that use mp3s too because the mp3s and the application is stored in the disc, so each time the mp3 “skips” the app also freezes for a few seconds, and this causes the application to have a real choppy performance… It’s something I don’t use very often, thats why I store it into CD-Rs. They would function with no problem at all back in time.
And what do you exactly mean with changing the buffer size on the player? You mean on the drive or the media player? (Whichever media player I use, it’ll do the same)

Well, I’m using a laptop… so it’s a little more complicated.
If I had a desktop I would of probably bought a new burner already just to get my doubt of why the hell this is working choppy :stuck_out_tongue:

Seriously, there must be a solution for this, this isn’t something that was always present, this is something that showed up recently.
Some words that come to my head are: read buffer…

[QUOTE=AntiRellik;2206521]I did deep research and checking of the svchost.exe problem… I had no viruses or any type of malware AT ALL. It was a Windows XP bug that made svchost screw up, and my PC was really outdated (Got tired of windows updates making up trouble). There was an update for Windows that fixed this problem…
[/quote]
Yep, there was a problem with this SVChost a while back. Just pointing out that it’s also common for virii to use SVChost (which bundles/schedules many small low-CPU requirement programs under a single service) to hide themselves.

[QUOTE=AntiRellik;2206521]And the CD-R is in perfect state, I don’t think there is any need of re-burning it. I just burned a disc with MP3s the day before yesterday and I still encounter these problems.
[/quote]
What CDR are you using? Also when was the last time you ran a cd cleaner , or better yet cleaned it yourself, through the drive?

[QUOTE=AntiRellik;2206521]This didn’t happen before - I was used to opening an mp3 directly from a data CD and the LED didnt flash at all. If the CD wasn’t accessed for a long while, the led would flash once and the disc would spin to access the file and then never to happen again during the playback…
This also bothers me when I have to run applications that use mp3s too because the mp3s and the application is stored in the disc, so each time the mp3 “skips” the app also freezes for a few seconds, and this causes the application to have a real choppy performance… It’s something I don’t use very often, thats why I store it into CD-Rs. They would function with no problem at all back in time.
[/quote]
Have you changed any Drive related buffers lately? Or changed the power settings/profiles for drives? Laptop drives can take a long time to spin up & the system halts while waiting for it - and if it’s powering down between use (which is possible since MP3’s are small, and commonly last for 2-5minutes) it can pause the entire computer for a moment.

The Players Buffer :wink:

You can try either of the following:
Increase the buffer so it buffers an entire song to minimise accesses (and hence pauses).
Decrease the buffer to increase the qty of CD accesses so the drive doesn’t spin-down.

[QUOTE=AntiRellik;2206521]Seriously, there must be a solution for this, this isn’t something that was always present, this is something that showed up recently.
Some words that come to my head are: read buffer…[/QUOTE]
Decrease the size of the read-ahead buffer (don’t disable it though - that’s really slow).

I used to have a problem with the game “Grim Fandango” under WinXP for a similar reason. The game would pause for 10seconds and then leap ahead (and I’d miss some of the wonderful cut-scenes) because the drive would spin down between read accesses - which were few & far between - and usually only present at cutscenes, or moving between areas, and the drive would halt the entire system while it was waiting for the drive to spin up.

So:
Set your windows virtual memory/pagefile to use a constant size (upto 4095MB)
Check your Windows Power Management profile, to stop the drive from spinning down so early (similarly for the HDD).
Decrease the Windows Read-Ahead Buffer for the CD/DVD drive to prevent spin down.
Experiment with the Players Buffer (increase or decrease).

Big Buffers [I]usually[/I] increase performance.*

I’m using HP CD-Rs. I’ve never cleaned my drive… it looks too delicated so I never cleaned it :P. It’s not something that I use excesively, and It doesn’t look dirty so I haven’t tried cleaning it.
I haven’t changed anything of the drive buffers… I’ve changed the power settings when running on battery so the battery doesn’t get sucked up fast… I only use it on battery when I’m chatting or browsing the internet randomly.
About the pagefile…I think the recommended was using 3x the initial size and not more than that, Correct me if I’m wrong :slight_smile:
I don’t have anything on my Power Management to prevent drives from spinning down.
And… umm :S I have no idea how to increase/decrease the size of the read-ahead buffer XD.
Is there a guide for that anywhere?