Pioneer 109 / Shuttle problem

I have just purchased on of the “limited edition” DVR-109s (actually marked DVR-109XLA1). My friend got one at the same time, and his works perfectly. However, mine does not!

My problem is that in Nero, I cannot burn at anywhere near maximum speed! It tells me (both with a disc and if I just run Nero with an empty tray) that my maximum DVD writing speed is 2.4x, and CD speed 40X.

My computer is a Shuttle SS51G, the original verson. Yeah, that is a SiS chipset! The board is an FS51, with a 651 Northbridge and 962L Southbridge. Oh, and the writer is on the Secondary Master on its own, with an 80 pin cable. It shows up as UDMA mode 4. I am running Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 - the machine was only just installed.

Here are some steps I have taken:

[li]Updated Nero to the latest (
[/li][li]Flashed the firmware of the writer (with the XLA1 firmware)
[/li][li]Removed all IDE drivers, rebooted
[/li][li]Checked for drivers from Shuttle - none exist (default windows drivers)
[/li][li]Downloaded SiS IDE driver, installed that

Nothing has worked! I have also tried it in my Firewire enclosure, with the same results.

Incidentally, before this I had a 104. Nero froze at 10% writing (the light went off on the writer, Nero was none the wiser so just sat there) on DVDs, and at around 65% on CDs. It had been fine with my 48X CD-RW drive. I resolved this by putting it in the Firewire caddy. Indeed, the same problem appears to exist with my 109, too. Yes, this particular SiS chipset SUCKS!!!

I have tried writing to Pioneer who haven’t replied, so I would appreciate any assistance anyone could give me!

Either you have to enable DMA or you should trash the SIS IDE driver and install the normal one from m$.

If only you could try another high-speed drive than the Pioneer on your machine, and the Pioneer on another machine, this would definitly help in understanding what’s the culprit.

“I have tried writing to Pioneer”

Wouldn’t it be a better idea to write to the mainboard/PC manufacturer?

If you get no help from the company, maybe you’ll have to buy an IDE add-on card… :frowning: but you first have to be sure that it’s really the chipset, no a defective drive…

Thanks for the replies.

As I mentioned in my post, the Pioneer is in DMA Mode 4. Should this not mean DMA mode is enabled? If not, how do I enable it?

What do you consider to be the normal one? When I installed the PC, it automatically found an IDE driver… there was Primary, Secondary and SiS IDE. This was a Microsoft driver. That didn’t work, so I installed the one of the SiS website. Is there a different MS driver I could try, then?

I could possibly try an ASUS drive if my friend has one in stock at his shop. I’ll get the Pioneer checked in another computer.

I do suspect the chipset, as both writers burn fine on Firewire, but not IDE.

“Should this not mean DMA mode is enabled? If not, how do I enable it?”

It does. I think Chef merely didn’t notice this in your post. :slight_smile:

“I could possibly try an ASUS drive if my friend has one in stock at his shop. I’ll get the Pioneer checked in another computer.”

Great, when you’ve done that you’ll know for sure if the chipset is the issue.

Good luck,

Hehe, probably I was partly blind that day…
Now I’m warned, I’ll buy the ASUS Pundit coming not with the SIS chipset.

I hope you can figure it out anyway. Good Luck!


I too am having a similar problem with my SS51 and a Pioneer 109 drive.
My specs are SS51G v1 (yep the original version), P4 2.4Ghz (533Mhz FSB), 1gig of DDR333mhz ram, 80Gig Seagate 7200rpm disk and a Pioneer 109.
I am using WinXP Home with all the latest service packs applied, the latest version of Nero and the 1.57 firmware.

My burner manages with alarming regualrity to produce coaster after coaster.
So far I have only got a few disks to pass the verification test in Nero.

I have tried burning some home movies to DVD, with DVD+R’s (MID CMC MAG E01) you watch the movie and after about 1/2 an hour everything goes really pixelated andthe movie freezes. The only didsks I can get to work are some DVD+RW’s that I can burn at 1x or 2x anything faster simply doesn’t work.
I have also tried RITEK G05’s and they seem better but still have errors.

I also went the firewire/usb route and bought an enclosure for the drive (Prolific 3507 based) and tried both with USB2 and Firewire (not at the same time:-)) but generally the drive performed worse when in the enclosure (the transfer rate graphs and test I did after burning something this way were considerably worse in the enclosure)

I have read a few threads in the forums at that this model (the SS51G V1) has this problem due to the revision of the Sis651 chipset that is uses :frowning:
At the moment my only choice seems to buy a new SFF, Its a pity really as this has probably been one of the best machines that I have owned.

At irst I thought my media was bad, until I took it to work and tired it in a PC there (intel chipset with a sony dvd burner). I am tempted to take my burner in to make sure that its not the problem …

Cheers, Mark

How should this be possible? DVD+RW media lowest burning speed is 2.4x.
Anyway, you should check the RAM using a tool like memtest.
For the drive, it would be the bes to test it in another computer. That way you can see if it’s the drive or not.
The drive is connected using a 80wire IDE cable and set up as MASTER device? Is DMA activated?
That pixellating problem can be due to bad quality media, bad burn (in case eg the PSU is too weak or damaged) or a damaged drive.

Hi again folks,

Not meaning to hijack the thread although my problem appears identical, I just thought I would followup on my progress …
I checked my original post and do stand corrected about my DVD+RW, from the logs I have they were burning at 2.4x these were the only disks that I had previously got to burn ok.

In the last week, I have verified that the drive itself is good as I have tested it in another PC (a P4 2.8Ghz, 512MB RAM, Intel chipset motherboard running WinXP pro), I created an image of the home video I wanted to burn (which filled a DVD) and as a test burnt 6 copies in total on a variety of media at different speeds. The media I mentioned before, CMC Magnetics +R’s, Ritek -R’s and the TDK+RW’s I have all burnt ok and verified ok in nero. I also used some tools like DVD InofPro to scan the disks in both my Pioneer109 and the Sony DVD burner that I have in my work PC.
The only difference that I did discover was that my work PC only had a 40pin IDE cable, which forced the drive to run in UDMA2 mode.

This got me thinking and I tried an old 40pin cable that I had at home, in preference to the 80pin shuttle cable that came with my PC.
Surprisingly, using this cable I have had quite a number of successful burns at home (say one in 5 or so have failed so far).

Next time I go shopping I will prick up another 80pin cable and try it, but I think for the moment I will leave the drive as it is.

In answering the other questions, yes I have previously run memtest-x86 (v3.2) on my PC to test the ram and let it run for 30 minutes or so to verify that everything is ok.
My drive is configured as MASTER on the second IDE controller, and prior to my latest testing I was using the 80pin IDE cable that came with my PC, for those of you that don’t know shuttle XPC’s ship with 2 80pin cables for the IDE controllers on the PC, the one for the second controler is a rounded 80pin cable. I have also checked the cable to make sure that it didn’t have any nicks or anything in it, inase I had inadvertandly got it caught when closing the case.

thanks, Mark

An IDE cable, especially an 80 conductor one, can easily have damage that isn’t visible to the naked eye. The blue connector penetrates all 80 conductors, where the other two use the even or odd conductors. Using the cable itself to pull the connector can easily tear these fragile connections and create shorts between similar lines, appearing to work correctly while improperly combining signals from both devices.

The only real test is to try another cable. If that solves the problem, don’t satisfy the urge to hold onto the old cable as a “spare.” Cut it up and throw it out!

Hi Everyone.

I’ve been searching High and Low and it sounds like you folks are having the same problem, however I’ll throw in something new…

I too have a Pioneer DVR-109…

BUT, I have an MSI 865PE NEO2 (P4 2.8) running NERO and I can only burn DVD’s at 2.4x.

Oddly, I have a Pioneer 106d in my other Machine (Athlon 64) and it runs GREAT at 4X (plenty fast for me).

I’ve tried just about everything, from driver updates and uninstalling of drivers, to chipset updates. If anyone discovers anything, please do post. I’ll keep you posted as I go through the basics suggested here again (Cables, etc).

Put the 109 in your other machine and tell us how it performs there.

Hi again folks,

Just an update on where I am at with things, I have still yet to try a new 80 conductor IDE cable, but will try to this week when I pick one up.

I originally thought using a spare 40 conductor cable with the drive running in udma mode 2 fixed at least part of my problem as the first few burns that I did were ok (the first 5 or so).
Lately though I seem to be back to getting quite a number of failed burns (failed as in nero reports verification failures). I have also scanned these disks in the same drive and PC with DVD Info Pro and they don’t look overly impressive, they seem to have quite a large count in terms of PIF errors. I am not sure how much use these scans are when done in my pc which appears to have the problem!

I have tried using the Microsoft IDE drivers as previously mentioned in this thread but this ddin’t appear to make any noticable difference.

I have noticed that I can burn successfully some data DVD’s, the one I was testing with had about 3.6gig of files which I was using as a backup. I seem to be able to reliably burn these ok when running at 2.4x with the DVD+RW disks that I have.
I then have some home video that I was trying to burn to dvd, for this I I burnt a 4.3gig image to my hard drive woth Nero and then tried to burn this to disk (defragging my disk before doing the burn). This repeatedly fails, I think my next step will be to try a full data disk and see what happens in addition to trying a new cable.

I did think at one stage it might have been my +RW media but I also tested in on the weekend in my bother in laws PC (an Athlon64 based shuttle XPC also with a Pioneer 109) and all burns in his PC were ok.

the frustration continues …


fyi, i have the pundit-r and am having a terrible time trying to get dma to stick. i’m pretty sure at this point that the bios doesn’t like my nec 3540a…

There are different Pundits availableat least 3 I think…