LTR-48125W Weirdness

Sorry for the length of this post, but this problem is really irritating me. I’ve posted the following at the MSI and Tech Report fora, hoping for answers:

just posted this on MSI’s forum site; hoping that more eyes come up with more answers:

ystem Specs:

CPU: XP2000+
Motherboard: MSI KT4 Ultra SR (MS-6590-020) KT400 Chipset
RAM Slot-1: 512MB Corsair XMS2700 CMX512-2700C2 set by SPD
RAM Slot-2:
RAM Slot-3:
Display card: MSI GF4-Ti4200 128MB (MS-8886) no O/C
IDE-1M: Western Digital WD800JB Mode 5 Ultra ATA
IDE-1S:
IDE-2M: Lite-On LTR-48125W Mode 2 Ultra ATA Firmware VS08
IDE-2S:
IDE-3:
SER-1:
SER-2:
PCI-1:
PCI-2: USR 5610B Modem (not sure of slot assignment)
PCI-3:
PCI-4: Microsoft MN-130 10/100 Ethernet adapter
PCI-5:
PCI-6:
PSU: Antec TruePower 330W, 310W combined 3.3/5/12
BIOS revision: 1.0
Operating System: Win XP Pro and XP Pro SP1
VIA 4-in-1 drivers : 4.42, 4.43, 4.45 Hyperion
WPRCEDIT/SET mod to fix/remove Cooler XP (tried both with and without PCI register modifications, STPGNT enable and HLT enable)
Burning Software: Nero 5.5.8.3 bundled, upgraded to 5.5.9.17

Here’s the rub. When I built this system 2 months ago, I could burn CDs at 48X no problem. I’ve shown upgrade paths above, CD burning not affected by any upgrade/update. Last weekend I hosed the system and had to reformat/reinstall. All specs are at latest shown above. Since then, any attempt to burn faster than 32X fails at the 96%/97% area in Nero’s progress bar. 32X works sometimes, but I usually have to drop down to 24X to be safe. I’ve tried all 3 sets of 4-in-1s listed above, disabled WPCREDIT mods, run both versions of Nero, set BIOS to setup defaults, Hi-perf defaults, and run each change incrementally and in combination with others. All to no effect, I’m still maxed out at 32X. The part that burns me is that NOTHING HAS CHANGED from the system that worked at 48X for the past 2 months. Help please (DEATH TO VIA); as Darth VIA strikes again.

Replies telling me to buy an NForce 2 aren’t helpful, as The Boss (A/K/A She Who Must Be Obeyed) has put a big cap on my computing budget. It will be my next purchase, but I want to get the current rig working at top speed again.

This next bit is in response to a less-than-helpful idea:

The point I’m trying to make is that the system worked fine and burned at 48X even with WPCREDIT/SET modifications prior to my reformat/reinstall. Since then, I’ve tried any and all combination of 4-in-1s, Nero versions, default BIOS settings; nothing works. Burning speed is still limited to 32X. Using Nero’s Speed Determination and Simulation setting, I get an error message saying that the burner was not being fed data quickly enough to burn at 48X and 40X. Since the data is coming from the hard drive at IDE Primary Master, through the southbridge and back out to the CD-RW drive at IDE Secondary Master (and this has not changed since I built the 'puter), I don’t see how it can be anything other than Darth VIA.

What I’m missing here, and trying desperatly to discover, is what the crucial difference is between pre-crash and post-crash configuration. When I reinstalled after the crash, I did so in the same order I did when I built the machine (us anal types keep checklists and change logs). All updates post-rebuild were applied in the same manner as pre-rebuild. Since all the players are the same and the names/slots/configs haven’t changed, I’m at a total loss to explain the observed behavior.

Is DMA enabled?

Have you changed the type of cd-rs you used? Perhaps smart-burn is limiting your speed.

It may be possible your HD is fragmented, but Idon’t think it is as u just did a reformat. Might try defragging though.

Are you running other stuff while you burn?

Can you be more specific as to what you mean by “failed” burns?
Are the buffers emptying, and if so, what happens then? Buffer under-run protection should be handling that. Have you benchmarked the HD?

kwkard:

Haven’t changed media. Still working off spindle of generic white-top Memorex 700MB. I got 48x from them pre-crash, 32x post-crash.

DMA enabled. HD reads UDMA Mode 5, CD-RW UDMA Mode 2

Not running anything else (even down to 18 running services) post-crash. Pre-crash I had ZoneAlarm, NAV, PopUpStopper running all the time and still got 48x.

rdgrimes:

Using Nero 5.5.8.3. Attempt simulated burn (I’m plum out of room for more coasters) at 48x. Read buffer goes to 100%, slides down to 0%, goes back up to 100%. Every time it hits 0%, recorder buffer goes from 98% to 21%, drive stops, and red LED goes completely out. When read buffer recovers, recorder buffer refills and drive restarts. Recorder state indicator remains green at all times. When overall progress bar reaches 97%, read and recorder buffers both empty out, recorder state indicator goes red. Nero returns 2 messages: “Invalid Writestate” and “Could not perform EndTrack”

Just benchmarked HD using Sisoft Sandra 2003 Standard. Got 21000 MB/sec. Well below what a UDMA Mode 5 drive should be pumping out (welcome to Darth VIA), but more than enough to keep both the 80 MB Nero read buffer (tried to set higher but Nero wouldn’t allow) and 2 MB recorder buffer more than full at a write stream of 7200 KB/sec.

Tried EAC’s burner at 48x. The buffer indicator stayed pegged at full until final track finished and drive started to write lead-out. Simulated burn cratered there.

Just re-installed 4-in-1 4.45 Hyperion. Was able to coax both EAC and Nero to 40x; Nero no longer had wildly fluctuating buffer indicators. Nero still shows drastic drop in read buffer at 97% mark, but 7-10% of buffer still full at 100% mark and recorder state indicator remains green. Red LED on drive stays red until drive spits out disk. This is improvement, but still not what I used to have. I wonder if it’s time to use that new Win-based firmware overwrite tool I read about somewhere 'round here and step through firmware versions from VS01 on up and see how that goes. One thing’s for sure; the identical results between EAC and Nero tell me (I think) that the “problem” lies in the drive or Darth VIA. However, since I’m using Nero’s ASPI layer in EAC (dragged copy to EAC folder), this may not be a valid observation.

yes, i would definatly upgrade firmware from vs01 to vs08. They don’t release new f/w’s just for the hell of it;)

I have had two of those same WD HD slow down to a crawl, they slowed done enough to make Pinnacle Studio 8 not use the HD’s to transfer video too. I sent them back reguardless of what their diagnostics say.

kwkard:

I’m currently running VS08. I’ve seen some threads centered on LTR-40125W o/c attempts that tell me the LTR-48125W is nothing more than a factory o/c and that the new VS08 firmware and WinXP may not cohabitate well. All I was planning to do was to try each firmware in turn until I was happy with the results.

kamikaze:

After reading the www.StorageReview.com review of the WD 800JB, it’s sure not the drive that’s the issue. Even with the new Hyperion line of 4-in-1s, the fact remains that VIA’s PCI/IDE implementation sucks pond water. I see an NForce2 mobo in my near future.

sorry, thought you meant you currently have vs01. I’ve got vs08 loaded in mine and running xp and curretly have no problems. I also have VIA chipset on my mobo. Have you tried any other programs besides nero and eac? What about clonecd?

I suppose you could “underclock” your ltr-48125w to the ltr-40125w if none of the 48x firmwares help you. It probably won’t work, but its worth a shot.

Perhaps your burner is dying. Have you tried another 40 or 48x burners in your system? Also, if you can, put your burner in another system and see if it burns fine. That would tell us if its your computer or the burner.

Never got around to the firmware project, as the release of Nero 5.5.10 appears to have solved my problems. I can now write those crappy CMC/Memorex blanks at 48x without errors.