New problem Pextor 708A, buffer bouncing around

I’ve had this drive since it first came out without any problems, and burned many hundreds of DVD and CD using it, but starting this afternoon the buffer is bouncing all over the place during burns causing the actual burn speed to be about 1.4X, now it worked this morning then I had the problem with a -R disk so I rebooted and had the same problem with a +RW and +R disk, so I deceided to ask here if anyone had a clue what could have caused to problem, I have not installed new software or hardware, at all so I do not think that is the issue, bt the only other thing I can think of is that the drive has gone bad.

Oh, I also checked that BIOS has not changed at all.


Have you checked the DMA settings of your drive? DMA should be on for optimal transfer rates (= no buffer under runs).

You can read how to do it here (courtesy of Womble)

I had simmilar problems, and found out that it was the dma. Also try to defract your hd, it helps. i had many problems when i had a p4 1.7 with 256. But since i upgraded at 3.0/512 my plextor seems like a new writer.

Yep, its no longer set to DMA mode, but the jumper is off, and was never changed, so I’m thinking its a software problem, or hardware failure, any way to fix such an issue, without reinstalling XP (I really do not have the 6 hours it takes to install XP to spare). Strange that it occured in the middle of a session, as I had burned a few disks in the morning then went to burn disks in the afternoon, without a reboot or anything and was unable to do so. I’m becoming afraid that the drive may be bad (boy would that suck).


Windows XP are known to lose the DMA settings for no apparent reason. Set it back to DAM if available (UDMA2) and your problems with buffer underruns will almost certainly disappear.

As far as I know (and tested) deleting your IDE controller fixes this problem for some time. It’ll appear again, but the procedure is simple, delteing your IDE controller from your Device Mangaer in winxp, and restarting fixes everyhting.

I’m having the same problem under Win98. I have a dual-boot machine (Win98 and WinXP). But my winxp desparetely needs a re-install, so I’m stuck in Win98 for a while. The same problem occures, but this time I don’t know how to chek my DMA settings, and I really don’t know if I remove my IDE controller from Device Manager would help… I would really appreciate some help.

forgot to tell you: I’m with PX-W5224A

Enabling DMA in 98 if memory serves me right is done through the properties of the drive itself. Go to system devices and right click on the corresponding drive and click on properties. There should be a checkbox somewhere where DMA in mentioned. Just tick that and DMA should get enabled :slight_smile:

Yes, now, thank you. It’s in the drive properties. Thank you vaery much…

Hmm, now I notice my profile is redistered before your’s and the again you’re a moderator, hehe…

Greetings from neighbouring Bulgaria!


Do you use CPUIdle? I had the same problems when using CPUIdle with the option “Optimize Chipset”. After disabling this option everything worked fine again.


Did you enable any kind of ‘autoprotect’ or ‘memory resident’ option in your virus scanner software?

I had the same problem until I turned the automatic scanning off.

Same thing happened to me. Plextor replaced and the replacement flaked out in a week or two. They replaced it one more time and it also lost DMA.
Putting it into select dma if available didn’t fix it.
Strange thing, I bought another 708a at bestbuy and haven’t had a lick of problem. (I also bought an extended warranty, prolly why it works)
Finally I upgraded the firmware which caused me problems in the first place and the problem was fixed. For now.
I don’t know what to make of these drives. Plextor support was very nice to me but ignore my emails now. I’m scum I guess.

They don’t like to hear the drives they are replacing are not working. You know… the truth. For now it works but each day I check to see if DMA is still enabled. The lead tech never suggested I delete the IDE cable in hardware management. (XP) I’ll remember that one.