Encoding and burning suddenly taking twice as long

Howdy. Just looking for some random thoughts here… Something unusual (and frustrating) has started happening to my computer.


[li]3GHz, Intel Pentium 4 Dell with 1.5GB of RAM
[/li][li]Windows XP Home SP2
[/li][li]TEAC DV-W58E (D.0J)
[/li][li]BenQ DW1620 (B7W9)
I use DVDShrink (with Quality setting Deep Analysis and Sharp for error compenstation) or DVDFab Platinum. Program doesn’t really matter…problem follows… My typical disc requires 55-60% compression to fit onto a DVD-5 disc. This normally takes about 1 to 1.5 hours and about 8-10 minutes to burn on YUDEN000 media on the DW1620 (always at 8x).

About a week ago, the times have roughly doubled. It’s now taking about 3 to 3.5 hours to encode. And the 8x burn is now taking about 25 minutes! Ugh! I haven’t changed anything on my computer. All I do is burn discs and browse the web. I keep my firewall/virus protection up to date and the computer seems to perform normally in all other modes except with the encoding and burning taking sooooooooooo long.

Anyone have any ideas why my computer is suddenly taking so longer to encode and burn? What can I check to see what the problem might be? Any suggestions appreciated.


Check your DMA

[QUOTE=tgidday;1892406]Check your DMA[/QUOTE]

Indeed, correct you are. Something wacky is happening with DMA. Looking for additional advice…

Finding a post online somewhere about DMA problems, I tried a work-around and it worked. Kind of. Before I burn a disc, to get my burns to return to their normal/quick speeds, this is the process I have to follow now:

[li]Go to Device Manager
[/li][li]Via IDE Controllers Transfer Mode, toggle from “DMA if available” to “PIO only” then back to “DMA if available”
I then encode (using my TEAC DV-W58E drive), save files to hard-disk like normal and burn to my BenQ DW1620 using Nero. If I don’t seem to do this DMA -> PIO -> DMA toggle, then my computer takes foreeeeeeeeeever to burn. What might be happening that is causing my computer to keep going into some funky mode mode forcing me to toggle between DMA -> PIO and back to DMA? I have to do this each and every time, it seems, before I encode and burn.

Some other info about my computer…

[li]I have two HDs inside, one 120GB SATA and one 80GB IDE which I also save files to (though I haven’t been saving them there lately).
[/li][li]My DV-W58E and DW1620 are also IDE controlled
[/li][li]For some reason, via Device Manager, I am seeing two “Primary IDE Channel” controllers. See pic:
[/li][li]Frequently, when I press the button on the front of my DVD drive, the tray will attempt to eject, but act almost like it was blocked/stuck (it will pop out just a millimeter or so, stay there for a few seconds and then pop itself back in). Pressing the button a second time, always ejects the tray normally. This behavior is seen for both DVD drives.
[/li][li]Frequently, when my computer is working hard encoding a disc, if I move my mouse around too much, it will causing the mouse cursor to disappear. The cursor and mouse still function (I can tell my hovering over hyperlinks an such), but I cannot actually see where the mouse pointer anymore…it’s gone. Very annoying! The only way to fix is to reboot.
Any thoughts? I really appreciate the help!

Ohh hardware knowledgeable types… any thoughts? I would appreciate any pointers. Thanks!

Apologies if you’ve already tried this:

Check the IDE channels your optical drives are on to see if the Current Transfer Mode reads “UDMA Mode x” (where x is a number) and not PIO Mode.

If one of your IDE channels is in PIO mode, right-click the channel in Device Manager and click Uninstall.

Reboot, and let Windows re-detect the channel (and drive(s)).

Re-check it and see if it’s now in DMA Mode.

If that doesn’t work I’d suggest changing the IDE cable for a new one.

Take a look at the link in my sig for more detailed instructions and info :slight_smile:

Thanks, Arachne. I tried the resetDMS VB script (that you had in your .sig) and that seemed to help. I also noticed a pattern that whenever I accessed my second 80GB IDE harddrive (Western Digital WD800JB), it was then that I ran into problems and needed to toggle PIO/DMA. I swapped the drive with a new one (a 120GB Seagate IDE…no SATA) and it seems to have cleared up my problem.

While my case was open, I also reseated all my cables, cleaned all the fuzz and junk out of my case and fans, etc, so who knows exactly what solved this, but all looks good for now. Thanks for your help!

PS - I notice that the transfer mode for my DVD optical drives are “Ultra DMA Mode 2”. Is that ok/expected? (vs Mode 5)?

You’re welcome :slight_smile: - the .vbs script is the quickest and easiest way to do it, I’ve had to use it on my mum’s PC.

It could have been the HDD - Windows tends to drop into PIO Mode for a device if it encounters x amount of read errors. I’d be interested to see what WD’s diagnostic software shows for that drive :wink:

Yep, UDMA Mode 2 sounds right - my own BenQs are the same, only my Litey drive is UDMA 4.