I finally resolved my problem
Donâ€™t know what happened, but let me walk you through my steps and my findings.
Based on several peopleâ€™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 sayâ€™s itâ€™s in DMA mode but I still have the same problem as before and my read and device buffers donâ€™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 http://pcpitstop.com/. 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 HDâ€™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 wasnâ€™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 pcpitstopâ€™s test and low and behold my HDs uncached disk speed was now 55 MB/s. Looks promising!
Tried burning a couple disks, SUCCESS
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
Donâ€™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).