Problems burning from my hard drive



I have a 250GB Western Digital HD that I use as my primary HD for storing data.
Recently, I’ve been having problems with the HD.

For instance, when I try to burn a disc (DVD or CD) using this HD as the source burn times take much longer.
I notice then when burning using either NERO or DVD Decrypter that the read buffer does not stay full anymore, and at times it is completely empty!

In NERO I’ve seen messages like:
“Can only write at 2x instead of 4x, because the speed of the source is too slow”

My DVD/CD devices all are using DMA mode, but it looks like my HD is using PIO.
Following is a snip from my NERO logs:
=== Scsi-Device-Map ===
DiskPeripheral : WDC WD1200JB-00EVA0 atapi Port 0 ID 0 DMA: On
CdRomPeripheral : _NEC DVD_RW ND-2510A atapi Port 3 ID 0 DMA: On
CdRomPeripheral : SONY CD-RW CRX195E1 atapi Port 3 ID 1 DMA: On
DiskPeripheral : WDC WD2500JB-32FUA0 15.0 ultra Port 4 ID 0 DMA: Off
DiskPeripheral : WDC WD2500JB-00FUA0 15.0 ultra Port 4 ID 2 DMA: Off
CdRomPeripheral : Generic DVD-ROM 1.0 d347prt Port 5 ID 0 DMA: Off
CdRomPeripheral : Generic DVD-ROM 1.0 d347prt Port 5 ID 1 DMA: Off

I don’t know if this is the issue, since I never examined the logs before.

The 250 GB Western Digital HD is connected to my machine via a PCI WinXP Promise Ultra133 TX2 ™ IDE Controller.
Due to this, I can’t seem to access the individual HD via the IDE ATA/ATAPTI Controllers section from the device manager to set it to DMA.

I tried uninstalling the WinXP Promise Ultra133 TX2 ™ IDE Controller from the device manager and reinstalling the device, and even tried changing the PCI slot.
Nothing seems to work.

I did verify though that I can burn from my main 120 GB HD (which according to NERO has DMA on) without issue.

I’ve also freed up over 100GB of space on the HD as well as defragment the HD.

I’m at a loss as to what my next steps should be.
Any help is much appreciated.



Can you not move your 250gb drive to one of your motherboard IDE channels. It looks like you might have a spare channel (slave on primary). This might not be ideal but it may get you around this problem temporarily.
The problem might be that you have an incorrect driver for the Promise controller as you should be able to see it in device manager. I can with my additional IDE controller albeit not a Promise controller.

I got this off the promise web site although it might not be quite relevant:-

Why does the Ultra100, Ultra100TX2 and Ultra133TX2 detect my ATA/100 (DMA Mode 4) HDD as ATA/33 (DMA Mode 2)?
Solution: There are only two reasons why the Ultra BIOS won’t detect an ATA/100 capable HDD as such. Some HDDs (many WD ATA/100 HDDs) require you to run a utility to enable the ATA/100 feature. These utilities can be obtained from the HDD manufacturer. In addition, only a certain type of IDE cable can support data transfers of up to 100MB/s. These 80-wire/40-pin cables (the Ultra100 or most recent comes with one) have twice as many grounding wires as traditional IDE cables. This dramatically decreases the debilitating line noise that a 40-wire/40-pin IDE cable would produce when attempting ATA/100 transfers. The biggest problem line noise creates is data corruption. This is why the Ultra controller BIOS will downgrade itself to ATA/33 transfers when it detects the use of a traditional 40-wire/40-pin IDE cable.


I was going to try and switch it over, but the cables are a mess to try and set up that way :frowning:

The wierd thing is that this was working perfectly fine until a few days ago so I don’t think it’s the cables, but I can definitely double check that too.


I finally resolved my problem :slight_smile:
Don’t know what happened, but let me walk you through my steps and my findings.

Based on several people’s suggestion that the problem was that the HD was not in DMA mode I tried to research how to change this. Googled for days could not find anything so I switched my setup for my HD to just run off my mobos ide channel. Now it say’s it’s in DMA mode but I still have the same problem as before and my read and device buffers don’t stay full.

So I try the registry hack, uninstalling the IDE device from the device manager, and also install XP sp2. None of these do the trick, UG!

So know I think maybe something is wrong with my WD HD. So I run a Windows Check Disk, Defragment my HD again, did a virus scan with updated defs, ran WD Data Diagnostic Tools, and bought new rounded IDE cables just in case. Still not working!

Then while searching the boards for a possible solution I ran across They do an online check of your system and determine the health of your machine. One test they run measures your HDs uncached disk speed. For all my HD’s I was getting around 50 MB/s, but for my 250GB WD HD it was around 15 MB/s. Eureka, looks like that is the problem but what is causing it? Their site also mentioned that maybe it might no be running in DMA mode, but I tried all the tips and tricks already so I knew that wasn’t the case.

So then I figured oh well let me just start fresh, so I removed all my data off of the HD. Ran WD Data Lifeguard tools to completely wipe out the hard drive and write 0s. Destroyed and recreated my primary partition. Then I reran pcpitstop’s test and low and behold my HDs uncached disk speed was now 55 MB/s. Looks promising!

Tried burning a couple disks, SUCCESS :slight_smile:
Moved the HD back to the PCI IDE Controller (still says DMA mode is off in the Nero logs), burned a couple more discs, SUCCESS :slight_smile:

Don’t know what happened to my HD, but it looks like it had nothing to do with DMA mode being on or off (at least in respect to what the Nero logs were saying).