NEC 3540A Extreeeeeeeemely Slow - please help!



I apologize in advance if this problem has been addressed before, I’m not able to browse and search through the forums right now

Hey guys, I just purchased a burner for my computer at work (NEC 3540A OEM from newegg) and so far I’ve been running into problems. Ripping/Encoding a full DVD takes over an hour. Burning a full DVD on 8x media at 8x takes about 40 minutes. It also slows down my computer drastically.

I have a NEC 2500 in my computer at home and haven’t had these problems at all. My work computer is better than the one at home and has never given me any problems, I hardly have anything on it, and it’s stable enough that it’s given me a few 50+ day stretches without a reboot.

So anyways, the first thing I did after realizing something was wrong, was made sure that it was with all DVD’s and not just the one I was trying to copy. Then I tried encoding on my Dell DVD drive and it only took 17 minutes for the same disc that was taking an hour on the NEC drive. So I upgraded to the Liggy & Dee’s firmware (W5) thinking that all I need is a firmware upgrade. I did the upgrade and it made it veeeeeery slightly faster, but nothing significant.

I’m waiting for this burn to be done in Nero 6.0 right now so I can actually USE my work computer. It’s going to be a total burning time of over 40 minutes at 8x which is ridiclous.

I’m using:

DVD Shrink 3.1 for ripping/encoding
Nero 6.0 for burning
Princo 8x DVD-R’s
Computer has a 3.0ghz processor w/ HT and 1GB of ram

Any help will be greatly appreciated. I haven’t searched through the forums yet because I’m at work and can’t really browse plus I can’t even used the computer till this burn is done (I’m typing this in notepad), etc.



Try other media! :iagree:
Princo sucks!!!


Princo may suck, but I don’t think it’s the problem, considering it doesn’t have anything to do with encoding…


I think you need to be using a newer version of Nero. 6.0 is pretty old, and I have seen many posts about performance and functionality issues with older versions. 6.6.0.x is available.
Second of all I would update your chipset drivers and make sure that DMA is selected on all your drives.
Once you have done this, I would hope that things should look significantly better. :slight_smile:

Good luck,



My bad, I’m using Nero not 6.0

As for the chipset drivers, where do I go to update them? Also, how do I know if DMA is selected or not?

thanks for the help so far,


motherboard manufacturer site by model name of course ,but in many cases the chipset driver offered on the motherboard site isnt the latest (the driver itself is built by the chipset manufacturer not by the motherboard manufacturer) so its better to get it from the chipset manufacturer site cuz there youll always find the latest version

click here for dma guide , also its mainly depended on bios dma settings so i suggest youll have a look there and make sure its set to auto if you dont know where exactly to find that dma settings then tell me the motherboard model and ill tell you


use the nero toolkit.
open cd/dvd speed and run a burst rate and transfer rate test
if your burst is less than 25 MB/S then it is not dma and if transfer rate is less than 16x at the end again it is not dma


Ok, I used the Nero Toolkit and ran the test. It took 41 and a half minutes to do, slowing my computer down to all hell.

Burst was 2MB/sec
Avg. Speed was 1.53x

Where do I go from here? I don’t know exactly which motherboard i have, it came with my Dell…



Nero CD Speed Test results
General Information
Operating System Windows XP
Drive _NEC DVD_RW ND-3540A
Firmware Version 1.W5
Serial Number 56MFK50S112
Disc DVD-R
Capacity 4.36 GB
Transfer Rate
Start 1.46x
End 1.54x
Average 1.53x
Type P-CAV
Seek Times
Random 111 ms
1/3 140 ms
Full 234 ms
CPU Usage
1X 65 %
2X n/a
4X n/a
8X n/a
Burst Rate 2246 KB/sec
Spin Up/Down Times
Spin Up Time 2.57 sec
Spin Down Time 3.10 sec
Load/Eject Times
Load Time 12.26 sec
Eject Time 1.75 sec
Recognition Time 0.15 sec
Time Elapsed Action
[09:40:37] Starting Transfer Rate Test
[10:17:29] 36:52 Speed:1-2 X P-CAV (1.53 X average)
[10:17:29] Starting Seek Times Test
[10:17:41] Random Seek: 111 ms
[10:17:55] 1/3 Seek: 140 ms
[10:18:19] 0:49 Full Seek: 234 ms
[10:18:19] Starting CPU Usage Test
[10:18:34] CPU usage at 1X: 65 %
[10:18:54] CPU usage at 2X: n/a
[10:19:34] CPU usage at 4X: n/a
[10:20:53] 2:35 CPU usage at 8X: n/a
[10:20:53] Starting Burst Rate Test
[10:20:56] 0:03 Interface burst rate: 2 MB/sec (2246 KB/sec)
[10:20:56] Starting Spin-Up/Down Test
[10:21:01] Spin-up time: 2.57 seconds
[10:21:14] 0:18 Spin-down time: 3.10 seconds
[10:21:14] Starting Load/Eject Test
[10:21:16] Eject time: 1.75 seconds
[10:21:29] Load time: 12.26 seconds
[10:21:29] 0:15 Recognition time: 0.15 seconds


Then it’s in PIO Mode. You might want to check this thread to change to Ultra DMA Mode. You should get UDMA Mode 2 (UDMA2) with burst rate 22-24MB/s.


What system do you have
In Windows 98/98SE/Me you should enable the DMA transfer
go to manager arrangement and click proporties Burner .Then mark DMA :slight_smile:


this help you


Yep! Classic DMA/UMDA/IDE problem.

All great advice above :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: , be sure to do it all and add,if not already suggested, Bios update and check.
Your settings could be wrong in the bios for your IDE.
You are definately in PIO mode as stated/not good. Set everything to DMA/auto in device manager.
Clean your system good.
Reboot in safe mode and clean out old hardware. Clean disk in windows.
Do a broken links/system interval clean in Nortan or Spybot!
Windows update!
On and on!
Uninstall and reinstall.


Thanks everyone for the great advice. I was so busy for the rest of this week that I didn’t have time to do any burning, and didn’t actually have time to come back to this thread. I will try all of your recommendations first thing on Monday.

To clear up some of the questions, I’m running windows xp professional, fully updated, and fully spybot/adaware swept on a frequent basis.

I’ll let you know how it goes on Monday. Thanks again!



Ok, it’s definitely in PIO mode, and for some reason I can’t switch it. On the secondary channel (that my optical drives are on) I have “DMA if Available” selected, but it’s still running it in PIO mode. The other drive is in DMA mode just fine…

Any ideas?


Is the NEC the slave drive?

If so, try swapping it to master and the other drive slave.

I had a similar issue with my NEC drive and a WD harddrive on the same channel (NEC was master in my case) - WD didn’t like it.

Try the NEC on it’s own channel (as master) to rule out a motherboard issue.



yeah it’s the slave right now, i’ll try that tomorrow at work…


Swap cables next! Then check your connections and IDE drivers.