Linux / slow burn / IDE setup recommendations?

Hello, I’m new here. :slight_smile: If you don’t want to read all of the rambling about my system and the issue, just skip down to the big italicized question. :wink: I want to be thorough, so that if this problem is deeper than I think, then you will hopefully have enough info to go off of to give a good guess at what the issue is.

Software: I run Debian Sid GNU/Linux exclusively, and currently I use dvdbackup to rip either the full disc (if it’s a single-layer) or the main feature (if it will fit on a single-layer disc). I also use DVD Shrink 3.2 in Wine (as much as I hate Wine, I have yet to find a native proper shrinking tool or script) to rip and shrink dual-layer DVDs. Some movies I rip to Xvid4 using dvd::rip. For burning, I usually burn ISOs with Nautilus or growisofs.

Hardware:
Athlon XP 1800+ / 512MB DDR
Primary IDE Master: Maxtor 5T030H3 30GB HDD (unknown mode)
Primary IDE Slave: Lite-on LTR-12101B CD-RW LS3I (MDMA2)
Secondary IDE Master: Maxtor 6B200R0 200GB HDD (unknown mode)
Secondary IDE Slave: LG HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-4163B A104 (UDMA2)

It is weird because when I check the output of hdparm -i, the two hard drives do not have an asterisk beside the mode that they are in. During boot, the BIOS says UDMA4 and UDMA6, if I recall correctly. In any event, all of the devices have 32-bit IO support, unmask IRQ, and DMA enabled.

The OS is installed on the 30GB drive, and all of my own data is stored on the 200GB drive. Everything that will be burned is stored on the 200GB drive.

Now, the issue is this:

Sometimes when I burn DVDs, it takes an hour or two, and other times, it takes only the expected 15 minutes (this is at 8X with 8X supported (but inexpensive) media. I’m not entirely sure why exactly that is, but I can sit here and watch the speed fluctuate from 7.8X and down to 0.9X… That’s not so good. Usually once it hits 0.9X, it doesn’t come back up. It doesn’t matter if I burn as a user or as root either, the same thing happens. Sometimes it starts off at only 0.9X and stays that low for the whole burn. Other times the average is somewhere in between. For an example log from growisofs, scroll down to the end of my post.

The question I have is this:

[size=4]Should I rearrange so that my main data drive and my DVD burner are on different cables, or is my current configuration fine? If I should re-arrange them, how do you suggest (keeping in mind that at least I prefer to keep my OS drive as the primary master)?

If you do not feel that this issue is related to the IDE configuration, I’m open to other suggestions as well. Any insight is appreciated.

digory:/home/dana# growisofs -dvd-compat -speed=8 -Z /dev/hdd=MYMOVIE.ISO Executing ‘builtin_dd if=MYMOVIE.ISO of=/dev/hdd obs=32k seek=0’
/dev/hdd: “Current Write Speed” is 8.2x1385KBps.
0/4681525248 ( 0.0%) @0x, remaining ??:??
17137664/4681525248 ( 0.4%) @3.6x, remaining 36:17
44859392/4681525248 ( 1.0%) @5.9x, remaining 18:56
72581120/4681525248 ( 1.6%) @5.9x, remaining 15:52
100302848/4681525248 ( 2.1%) @5.9x, remaining 13:42
128024576/4681525248 ( 2.7%) @5.9x, remaining 12:26
155746304/4681525248 ( 3.3%) @5.9x, remaining 12:06
183468032/4681525248 ( 3.9%) @5.9x, remaining 11:26
211189760/4681525248 ( 4.5%) @5.9x, remaining 10:56
232325120/4681525248 ( 5.0%) @4.5x, remaining 11:10
252215296/4681525248 ( 5.4%) @4.2x, remaining 11:07
289144832/4681525248 ( 6.2%) @7.8x, remaining 10:22
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builtin_dd: 2285904*2KB out @ average 4.5x1385KBps
/dev/hdd: flushing cache
/dev/hdd: updating RMA
/dev/hdd: closing disc
/dev/hdd: reloading tray
digory:/home/dana#

[/size]

In most cases it doesn’t matter what channel and or master slave setting you have for each drive. Occationally switching drives around can solve problems though. I would defanatlly keep your boot drive as primary master. Trying your lg burner as master on the second channel might be a good thing to try. I really don’t think that is your problem though. I would highly suspect that the media is the problem if you are using cheap no name media.
I don’t really know what tools you can use in linux but I’ll recomend some windows tools, maybe thety will work run under wine.
Find out what kind of disks you have (the true manufacture) using this free program
http://dvdidentifier.cdfreaks.com/
post the media/manufacture code from the top window. That way we will know if the media is suspect. Many drives can slow down burning if they detect that burning is not going well. That very well may be what is happening.
I cannot remember if the lg can do cdspeed scans but if it can, do a disk quality test in cdspeed (if it cannot, then do a transfer rate test).
http://www.cdspeed2000.com/
Also do a burst rate test, just to rule out dma, ide speed problems. The burst rate should be at least about 20. The transfer rate test should be a nice smooth curve. If it keeps dropping down, that means that the drive had to keep reducing speed to be able to read it, indicating a possible bad quality burn. If it can do a disk quality test (preferably performed at 4x if it will allow it), save the graph as a png and post it.
If any of these things will run under wine, that will help you trouble shoot burning. I am asuming that the problem is caused during the burning stage. Keep in mind that ripping and encoding times can vary quite a bit too, and may be part of the issue.

Thanks for your reply!

The media is TYG02 media, which I read was supported at 8X on this burner (I read it a few weeks ago, somewhere on this forum, I swear!).

The weird thing is that last night I put two full 4.4GB ISOs into /tmp (located on the 30GB drive) and they both burned in record time. I’m thinking that perhaps it is related to the IDE stuff, unless, of course, I just happened to have two good discs in a row, and sometimes there is a bad one in the same spindle.

I’m not sure about the other apps, but perhaps I will try them in Wine just to see. I might build a BartPE Windows XP boot CD and do a test there, but that’s a lot of work, and I’m lazy. Heh.

Here is the output of dvd+rw-mediainfo. I hope it has the detail that dvdidentifier has. It has been good for me so far:

digory:/home/dana# dvd+rw-mediainfo /dev/hdd
INQUIRY: [HL-DT-ST][DVDRAM GSA-4163B][A104]
GET [CURRENT] CONFIGURATION:
Mounted Media: 11h, DVD-R Sequential
Media ID: TYG02
Current Write Speed: 8.0x1385=11080KB/s
Write Speed #0: 8.0x1385=11080KB/s
Write Speed #1: 4.0x1385=5540KB/s
GET [CURRENT] PERFORMANCE:
Write Performance: 6.0x1385=8310KB/s@[0 -> 112639]
8.0x1385=11080KB/s@[112640 -> 2298495]
Speed Descriptor#0: 02/2298495 R@4.1x1385=5730KB/s W@8.0x1385=11080KB/s
Speed Descriptor#1: 02/2298495 R@4.1x1385=5730KB/s W@4.0x1385=5540KB/s
READ DVD STRUCTURE[#0h]:
Media Book Type: 25h, DVD-R book [revision 5]
Legacy lead-out at: 22984962KB=4707319808
READ DISC INFORMATION:
Disc status: blank
Number of Sessions: 1
State of Last Session: empty
Number of Tracks: 1
READ TRACK INFORMATION[#1]:
Track State: blank
Track Start Address: 0
2KB
Next Writable Address: 02KB
Free Blocks: 2298496
2KB
Track Size: 22984962KB
READ CAPACITY: 1
2048=2048
digory:/home/dana#

You should definitely consider moving your MUCH slower removable media to your second channel (burner is master, reader is slave) and putting your hard drives on the primary. It is my understanding that the whole IDE channel slows to your slowest device.

Also, what kernel are you using? If you have 2.6x, make sure you are not using SCSI emulation. If you don’t have 2.6x, get it. It handles IDE drives much better (faster).

Thanks for your reply.

Right now I am using 2.6.12 (with my own config - I just prefer not to use a packaged kernel), and that was the initial reason that pushed me to switch up (back in the 2.5, pre-2.6 days) because I hated SCSI emulation.

I have heard conflicting reports of the IDE bus slowing to the speed of the slowest device, but I will do it anyhow, and see what happens. My CD-RW drive is MDMA2, so perhaps I should swap it out for a DVD-ROM drive? Or remove that drive entirely?

Just an update, I’ve swapped so that my HDDs are both on the primary cable, and I now have a faster DVD-ROM (Pioneer DVD-106S E1.22) on the secondary with the DVD-RAM drive, instead of a slower PIO4 CD-RW drive.

So far, it seems like the right move. Haven’t seen any slow down, and I’ve burned a couple more DVDs. I’m going to keep my eye on it, and I’ll post back for more help if this didn’t solve it.

Thanks again guys!