Having Strange Issue w/ NEC3500A

Hello. I am new around here and I need a little guidance. I just installed a 3500A in my system.
When my NEC is active and the little green light comes on during any activity, my hard drive light seems to flicker in exact tandem with the light on the NEC drive. Is this normal? I am also having some intermittent problems where the system freezes and the green light on the NEC and my hard drive light just flash on and off in sync. On for 1 sec and then off, over and over. Can anyone help? I appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

I have the following:
MB Shuttle AS45GT non raid
P4 2.53 gig
1G DDR400 Ram
Win XP SP2
Nero Ultra
My system is set up with 2 Maxtor 80g hard drives on the Primary IDE channel.
My NEC3500 is on the secondary channel and is set up as master. It is the only drive on that channel. I have DMA enabled.

I would defintately change the master dip switch to CS (cable select)…also verify the switches on the HDD as well…

I havent tried switching the pin to cable select. I will try that tonight. The hard drives are on the primary IDE channel. The NEC is now alone on the secondary as a master. Could using the middle connector on the cable matter or do I have to use the end one?

Thanks for your help.

It is not recommended to use CS. See the NEC FAQ

RE LED, If your meaning the LED on your case, its active when the IDE channels are transferring data, and is normal.


When you only have one drive on the IDE chain you have to use the end connector, preferably as master.

About the HDD led, it’s active at the same time the Nec one is on. You can put it on a separate IDE card if you want to see the HDD activity at the same time the Nec is used.

off topic
The end connector is always master (also with two drives) if you aren´t using CS… :stuck_out_tongue:
BTW, what else as “a master” can a single drive connected at end of cable be…?
/off topic

You can run a slave with no master, but I don’t know why you’d want to, except for using certain DOS flashers on dead CDRW drives.

Thanks for everyones help and ideas. One quick question. I realize the hard drive light on the case goes on when there’s activity, but it used to never go on in exact sync with the cd rom/r drive. Once I installed the 3500, every time the light on the dvd burner shows any activity at all the case/hd light goes on in exact sync. It just doesnt seem right. Again, the hd drives are on the primary ide channel and the nec is alone on the secondary as a master.

Someone will correct me if i’m wrong here.
Although the HD LED on the case connects to HDD on motherboard and shows HD activity, does it not just monitor activity on the IDE bus? If it does, your ND-3500A is connect to the IDE bus so any activity on the ND-3500A will trigger the LED on your case.

It depends on the IDE controller, some do and some don’t. This is a common issue with burners on older MB’s. Updating BIOS can sometimes help. I’ve seen odd light behaviour when I’ve had the light leads plugged in backwards (reversed polarity).

If that was the case wouldn’t it have happened as well when my cd r drive was connected? It seems to have popped up with the NEC 3500 installation. It seems as something is not right and I’m concerned that I have a defective 3500 on my hands.

Thanks for the ideas.

No, it can be specific to the drive. Differences in UDMA modes can do it.

Thanks for your input. I appreciate it. I have to experiment a little more.

Well here’s an update if anyone is interested. I tried every possible configuration; updating my Sis IDE drivers, DMA, PIO, Master, Slave, New IDE Cables. It comes down to this. Everytime the NEC’s green light comes on the hard drive activity light comes as well, in perfect sync. Even when I just push the button on the NEC to open the tray, my hard drive activity light comes on as well. Other than that the NEC drive is working well. I can’t be the only one experiencing this? I guess I have to live with it but if anyone has any ideas please let me know.

Thanks for your help guys.

updating my Sis IDE drivers

This is not likely a driver issue, but hardware-based or BIOS. Still it would be worth a try to use the default MS IDE drivers.

I’ve just put the ND-3500A in my second PC, Asus A7N8X-X with Athlon 1900 XP 1 gig of ram. Low and behold its showing the problem Mzakos1 reports. (LED in tandem with HD LED) However the ND-3500A performs without any problems. :slight_smile:

It doesn’t do it on my main PC :confused: (spec in SIG)

PS Both m/boards have the latest BIOS

Hi all.

It seems to be a NEC thing. I have a NEC 2500 and the same thing happened here. I got tired of it and put the NEC on a separate IDE card (Silicon Image (SiI 680)). I also have a GigaByte INXP Motherboard (Intel). No problem now. It burns fine too. :slight_smile:

My NEC 3500 does this on Asus P4P800 too, regardless of position (master/slave) … with other DVD burner (Plextor 708A) IDE light comes as should…

I tried the MS IDE drivers and the same thing is happening. I’m glad I’m not the only one. It just doesnt seem right. Also wondering if the 3500 only has a green light and no red or orange while burning, just green.

It doesn’t depend on OS… even under pure DOS IDE light comes on with NEC 3500, seems that NEC uses some other implementation for bus activity signaling…