Possible cause for bad burns - memory leak

411S with FS0F firmware. Problems with CD-R media as many have reported. Often a burn would hang at x% completion.

Obtained (free) FreeRam XP Pro 1.40 from www.yourwaresolutions.com. It is a RAM memory manager that works on Win 95, 98, ME, 2000 and XP. Got it on general principles for overall system efficiency.

Using Intervideo DVD Copy,
tried copying a DVD movie to DVD-R (Maxelll). During the burn phase, noted the system memory steadily decreasing. At the 32 Mb level, FreeRam automatically reclaimed the memory, and the burn never stopped. Result: A perfect DVD that plays in my Apex 1200 standalone player.

Gonna do more testing, but until I had FreeRam running to prevent an observed memory leak during DVD burning, got nothing but coasters on DVD-R media. DVD+R and +RW was successful about 90% of the time.

Maybe someone with the tech knowledge or tools to diagnose memory leaks can confirm my findings.

Hope this helps those of you who are having DVD-R or other burn problems with the LDW-411.

System: Athlon 1.1g CPU
Maxtor 160 g hard disk
Liteon LDW-411 on motherboard IDE
Win XP Pro, SP1

  • Bill

how much ram do u have xactly?

Sorry I failed to mention, running 512 megs of EDO ram. At the time I installed the LDW-411s, was running a pagefile min 766 and max 800 megs.

During the burn phase of DVD copying, I watched the free memory rapidly shrink from around 350 megs to 32, then FreeRam kicked in and reclaimed memory on the fly before things locked up as they had done previously. It was the first successful DVD-R burn I’d had after a large stack of coasters.

Are you sure you have edo ram?That`s really old ram used for older pentium and amd k5-6,newer ram is sdram and ddr sdram.

Probably sdram then. I know it’s not DDR. I got it along with the Athlon 1.1 gig CPU and KT7-A motherboard, a couple of years ago. The previous K6 system I had did have EDO ram on it.

Anyway the main thing is that my failed DVD burns seemed to be caused by a lack of available memory. Not sure if it is Intervideo’s DVD Copy doing it or some other bug in Windows XP. I’m curious if anyone else has experienced similar situations. When the burn failed, the whole system would lock up - no mouse, no keyboard response, had to hard boot to get out of it.

Sounds like one of the programs is eating up all the ram instead of caching the memory as you describe,try another program such as dvdshrink with nero 5.10.54 to rip and burn and see if the memory stays at the same level.

I’ll keep testing - I have dvdshrink but no Nero.

I’m not saying that memory depletion is the only cause for coasters, just bringing it up as something to look at when trying to figure out why burns fail.

I could spend hours trying to locate the actual processes causing the memory leak, or I can run FreeRam or an equivalent program to prevent exhausting the memory available.

The only thing I know for sure is that since running FreeRam, I can burn DVD-R media to completion.

There’s no bigger waste of time and effort than trying to use a memory management utility in Win2K or XP. Most of them do nothing, and some of them actually slow you down. In any case, low memory resources will not stop a burn, Windows just uses the pagin file instead, and speeds should be more than adequate even for 52x CDR burning.
Bad memory can cause the program to crash or error, but low memory will not. Unless you have 5GB of RAM, it’s perfectly normal to see your available memory drop during a burn.
I can’t stress enough how useless it is to use those utilities in 2k/XP, and potentially harmfull.

rdgrimes,i tell that message to people but they just seem to like those helpful cough,cough apps.Sometime its just bad ram or faulty programs that need to be looked after or chucked away.

I made 7 DVD-R burns yesterday without any problems on my 411S w/FS0F using cheap CMC media @ 2.4x. So far, this drive has been great for me. I upgraded to FS0G today and burned a DVD+R and it came out fine for a RICOHJPN 4X media. I’ve definitely been reading & following up on the 411S drive before I bought it, and even with my slowarse Celeron 533 w/512MB PC100 SDRAM, and WD 200GB 8MB drive, using WXP Pro, all the burns have been flawless, within the specified time frames too. It just strikes me strangely that others with a much better & faster computer than mine have had some issues. :confused:

if you have misbehaving applications that seem to magically start behaving properly when using one of the many magic ram freer/defragger utilities then you should probably try running memtest86 on that machine, as all that is probably happening is you’re avoiding a bad bit or two in your ram by sheer luck when you’re running the mem util. All memory utils designed to free up or defrag ram are completely bogus in their claims, all they can do in reality is request x amount of memory for themselves. You can accomplish the same thing with an incredibly small .vbs file:

a nice value for a 512MB example machine. Open
notepad, save as memdefragrocks.vbs and double click to enjoy the benefits
of free and defragmented ram!

strMsg = vbCrLf & “Click OK to defrag memory.”
MsgBox strMsg,“Defrag Memory”
Dim strMSG
MyString = Space(469762048)

Seriously, there is nothing any of those utils can do besides the exact same thing this .vbs file would do. The only thing different is they might use a dynamic value rather than the constant value you’d have in this .vbs file. Unless an application developer has marked their memory as allowed to be messed with by other apps (and what do you think the chances of that are?) then no other app can touch its memory. The only thing you can do that comes close to touching another app’s memory is what this .vbs file does, request a shitload of memory for itself and hope windows pages every little thing out that it can.

The only thing apps like this accomplish is forcing way more pagefile activity (and you want the LEAST pagefile activity you can possibly get, if you care at all about performance) than there normally would be. Lots of times people cite how much faster application ‘X’ starts up after they use such a util. Well, sure, because you just freed up a whole crapload of ram. Did you remember to start timing startup time from the moment this utility forced an insane amount of pagefile activity? Or did you run the util, and then time it from when you clicked the other application’s shortcut? Guess what? Insanely good bet it took longer to run the util and start the app then it would have taken to start the app without the util, since the util forced way more pagefile activity. In other words, you aren’t gaining anything by using these utils, you’re just forcing windows’ memory management to do a LOT more work than it would otherwise have to do and you’re hurting your overall performance in the process.

edit - whoops, forgot this…go read up here if you wish to learn why the mem utils (very, very likely) can’t touch other apps’ memory, because the app would have to be written to allow that to happen http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/memory/base/memory_management_reference.asp

Well, ideally XP should handle its own memory allocation, and it does it quite well compared with Win 95 + 98. But errant applications and other bugs can breach the safety barriers which supposedly keep things from stomping all over each other.

Supposing that the system RAM tests OK, and there exists some rogue process that continues grabbing more memory than it releases, eventually your system will crash.

Would jacking up the page file size to some humungous amount accomplish the same thing, at least until the burn finishes?

what I don’t understand is what made him think it’s a memory leak. When I copy a multi-gigabyte file through explorer either locally or over the network my system eats up all the ram too, and as soon as the process is done the memory’s freed. That’s not a memory leak. That’s utilizing your hardware.

edit - did you try memtest86 on your machine?

eventually your system will crash.

No, it will not. That’s Win9x you’re referring to.
2K/XP will simply free up RAM when it’s needed, or use the paging file. If you run out of paging file, you get a nice pop-up message and everything stops, but no crash.

Thanks for all the info. I suppose I got conditioned by Win 98 to expect crashes from running out of memory. As for MemTest, I ran it briefly (been pretty busy with Christmas stuff), going to let it crank longer to see if I have any bum memory.

Memtest86 should run overnight. Most errors will occur in test 5 or 6, so some peopl ejust run those. But no errors are acceptable. If you want a good system torture test, Prime95 torture tests are excellent at finding an unstable system.

I’d just like to reiterate what other people have said; those “memory reclaiming”, etc. utilities are USELESS, at least under Win2K/XP. If a program was really leaking memory, these programs could not reclaim it anyway because they don’t have control over the address space of other programs - it is not possible for them to force other programs to give up RAM because they don’t know what is used and what is not.

This type of software provides, at best, a placebo effect. If they provide some beneficial result, most likely there’s some other problem it’s covering up.