HELP! Dell Dimension 8400 & NEC3500A


I just installed my 3500A in a Dell Dimension 8400 and when I try to burn a DVD it is really slow and the device buffer keeps going up and down. It will only burn at about 1.4x.

I’ve checked the DMA and it appears to be okay and my DVD-ROM works great ripping to the hard drive.

I also have the Windows XP 64bit version with dual boot and it works fine.

If anyone has any thoughts on this it would be greatly appreciated.

BTW, I have tried several firmwares and I am now using the NEC 2.19 with RPC1/RL.


Check the ide drivers

I’m running the latest chipset drivers from Dell. Are there updates on the atapi.sys pciide.sys or pciidex.sys that will make a difference?


Boot into BIOS and verify that all hard drives and optical drives are seen and set to use AUTO detection. Save and exit. Reboot and go to Device Manager and remove the Primary and Secondary IDE channels. Reboot and verify that devices 0 and 1 in Primary and Secondary IDE channels are set to use DMA mode. Save and Reboot. Verify that all devices connected to Primary and Secondary IDE channels are running in DMA mode. Make sure the jumpers on the hardware are set to Cable Select OR Master/Slave if there are two devices connected to the IDE channel.


That was it!

Don’t know why but the Primary was set to off in the BIOS and when I set it to auto so it would detect it everything works great now. My question is why did it work in XP 64bit but not XP 32bit?

Another Microsoft quirk I guess.

Thanks again!

Nope problem. Common issue with DELL 8400 series.