SOHW-1633S slower than it used to be?

Hi all, I’m new to DVD burning though I used to burn a LOT of CD’s back in the day.

I got a SOHW-1633S a few months ago. Didn’t use it much at first. Then I burned about 10-20 discs (data, DVD video, a few games). They were all Mitsui 8X discs, and they always took about 15 minutes to write in Nero (even though Nero said it was burning at 8X and would only take 7 minutes). It also took the same amount of time (15 minutes) to read a full DVD to my HDD.

Then, all of a sudden, it started taking 25 minutes to write a full disc, and it also now takes 25 minutes to READ a full disc (really weird that reading and writing would slow down at same time). I did not change media brand or anything. I also started getting coasters somewhat frequently which never happened before. I switch to Taiyo Yuden blanks, and the same thing is happening (very slow burn speed, around 2.4x by my mathm and very slow read speeds as well). CD’s still seem to read/write fast enough that I’m not trying to figure out what the numbers are, but all I know is 25 minutes is way too long to read or write a disc. I am also still getting coasters (~25% of the time) with the Taiyo Yuden blanks. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure this has nothing to do with the media I’m using. Something changed in either the drive or my PC. I do have a SFF (small form factor) PC that gets very hot and has been acting weird in other ways lately (I think I’m due for a reformat soon). My video card also stopped working recently, I think I fried it. Probably not relevant but just wanted to make it clear my PC is screwy in many aspects.

Any ideas? :confused: Thanks!

DMA enabled in your IDE driver for the burner?

Ok, I must admit I have no idea what that means, but I checked in the device managaer for the IDE channel that my burner is on. The “Transfer Mode” was set to “PIO only” and the “Current Transfer Mode” read “PIO Mode”. I changed “Transfer Mode” to “DMA if available”, then I rebooted. But the “Current Transfer Mode” still reads “PIO Mode”.

:frowning:

So which one should I be in? And how do I accomplish that?

Thanks for the quick reply!

try enabling it in the bios

the.one.eleven, welcome to cdfreaks :slight_smile:

If it’s enabled in the BIOS, try deleting the IDE channel driver the drive is on, using Device Mnager, and then rebooting.

Also check out [THREAD=101616]this thread[/THREAD].

Well, I couldn’t for the life of me find anything about DMA in BIOS (except in some PnP/PCI settings), but I tried deleting the IDE driver and it worked! Now a full disc reads in 12 minutes (was 25 before), and writes in 9 minutes (was 25 before)! I find it funny that it writes faster than it reads. Another thing that’s nice, before when I was reading a DVD, the rest of the computer would get very choppy (simple operations like scrolling an internet page or listening to an mp3). Now those things all go smoothly while it reads in the background!

Thanks again everyone for your quick help. Thanks to strangers in forums on the internet, I’ve never called a tech support line in my life! You freaking good Samaritans… :clap:

P.S. Any idea if this had anything to do with the coasters I was getting? Guess more time will tell. :slight_smile:

Pleased to hear it’s working now. Use Nero CD+DVD Speed to do a transfer rate test. This will tell you the true reading speed of your drive.

To make your drive read even faster check out the read speed patch in OmniPatcher (see my signature) ;).

Forgive my ignorance… I’ve never done a firmware upgrade before and I know it’s something that can have bad consequences if you fuckup, so I want to make sure I have this right.

I did the speed test you mentioned and my read speed is only 3-8x (quoted in specs as 16x max). Is this normal for this drive?

And, if I use your Omnipatcher to fix the speed, as you mentioned, I want to make sure I do that right. I understand that the Omnipatcher seems to let you customize various firmware files that are out there… but how do I know which file to choose? There are several files listed for my drive, and no descriptions to differentiate between them and what they do. If all I want to do is up the read speed, I want to make sure I don’t apply some other firmware that totally changes the drive.

Sorry if these questions are too basic… I browsed around for a while, checked out the Omnipatcher and both firmware library pages, and am still lost… :confused:

Usually, this is true. But LiteOn drives are special and are very hard to really kill; it takes a bit of effort to actually kill them.

I did the speed test you mentioned and my read speed is only 3-8x (quoted in specs as 16x max). Is this normal for this drive?

Yes. You have to look at the fine print. The specs say 16x, but that is only for commercially-pressed single-layer DVDs.

And, if I use your Omnipatcher to fix the speed, as you mentioned, I want to make sure I do that right.

Don’t be afraid of OmniPatcher; we took great lengths to make it fool-proof. It won’t let you do anything that you shouldn’t be doing. :wink:

but how do I know which file to choose? There are several files listed for my drive, and no descriptions to differentiate between them and what they do. If all I want to do is up the read speed, I want to make sure I don’t apply some other firmware that totally changes the drive.

Well, most of the firmwares listed on our site are stock (original/unmodified) firmwares. The only difference between them is the version and whatever LiteOn changed between their various versions. Generally, newer is better. Since you are going to be using OmniPatcher, you should just ignore whatever patched firmwares that we have, as that will help clarify things. (All patched firmwares on our site are patched by OmniPatcher, and are really intended for people too lazy to download OmniPatcher.)

In your case, you should either use whatever your current 1633S firmware is (if you are afraid of change and only want fast read but don’t want anything else) or the latest 1633S firmware (BS0S) or the latest 1653S firmware (CS0P, but this will require that tick OmniPatcher’s “cross-flashing” patch). It’s really just your personal preference which of those three you want.

Thanks for the awesome answer. I downloaded the unscrambled version of the unpatched BS0S firmware and opened it up in Omnipatcher… it seems the DVD-read speed is already set to the max. So I’m not sure I understand how Omnipatcher can make my drive read faster, which is how I initially got started on the idea of upgrading my firmware.

For the hell of it, I ran the file anyway, the firmware upgraded successfully, and I did another speed test and got exactly the same as I got before.

So if it really is possible to increase my read speed, what did I do wrong? I understand what you were saying about the “fine print”… that my drive will not get the quoted speeds on burnt media. So I’m still confused as to how changing the firmware can make it read faster.

Thanks again.

it seems the DVD-read speed is already set to the max.

You did notice the other 4 speed selection boxes, right? :wink: Yes, “DVD-ROM” should be already be to 16x, as “DVD-ROM” in OmniPatcher corresponds to single-layer pressed DVDs. “DVD-DL” corresponds to dual-layer pressed DVDs. And the other three control the read speed for DVDs that are burned and not comercially pressed.

Ok, you caught me. :o I’ll go check it out again. Thanks.

EDIT: Heh, I figured it out. When I saw DVD-R, etc, I assumed it meant writing speeds. :o

One last Q, and then I’ll shutup. I understand that I modify firmware at my own risk, etc, blah blah. But honestly, is there any real risk I am running by increasing the read speeds? Do you have any idea why LiteOn would have a lower speed set by default for reading burnt vs pressed discs?

But honestly, is there any real risk I am running by increasing the read speeds?

No. There’s the obvious, like it’ll make the drive’s motors work harder and wear them out a bit faster, but that goes without saying.

Do you have any idea why LiteOn would have a lower speed set by default for reading burnt vs pressed discs?

Noise is one issue (though I doubt that’s the reason behind it). The other is that not all discs will read at a high speed. If, for example, you have a DVD-R that was burned very badly, it might have trouble reading it at 16x but not at 8x. A poorly-pressed dual-layer disc might read just fine at 8x but might cause some problems at 16x. LiteOn is just erring on the side of caution. Try out the higher speeds and see if you like them. If you don’t, you can always set them back to 8x. It seems that 12x is a nice speed that works for a lot of people. And for a number of people 16x works nicely too, but I prefer 12x because it’s quieter.