To anyone with Nero lead-out hanging and/or erratic drive buffer problems

I have had the same issues as many of you, that problems being Nero hanging at the end of the burning process and a buffer that constantly went up and down. I have a LiteOn LTR-48125W drive (OEM) with the VS06 firmware, which I upgraded to. I have come to the conclusion that there is no single solution. There are, however, several common solutions, and I’d like to list them now, in no particular order. Use any combination you’d like. I would recommend starting with the easiest steps - not just easiest to implement, but easiest to undo, like the BIOS options. Well, here are my solutions:

  1. Go through your BIOS settings meticulously. When I built my machine, I thought I went through it carefully, but I missed several key options. The BIOS should give you DMA options, including the various DMA modes. Yes, there is more than just On and Off. You can disable it from here, or you can set it to a mode from 1 to 5, 5 being the fastest. My PC didn’t boot after setting my DVD-ROM and CD-RW to 5, so I left it at 2. You should also try the Plug and Play OS option. Enabling it may give you more control in Windows over DMA modes, and more.

  2. DMA. In Windows 9x/ME, DMA I believe can be set on or off from the Properties box of the relavent device, through Device Manager. In 2000/XP, it may be different. Even Microsoft’s own site has info on how to change DMA in 2000 and it can be wrong, depending on your hardware and other things. The DMA option may not be in the Properties of the drives at all. My drives had no Resources tab when I went to their Properties. I instead found the DMA options in the Properties boxes of the various IDE controller channels (IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers \ Primary (or Secondary) IDE Channel).

  3. Maybe DMA is the issue. Try turning it off.

  4. It seems some people had problems burning under DAO/96 mode. Unless you are doing a disc copy of a copy-protected disc, DAO/96 really isn’t necessary. If you need to do such a copy, go get CloneCD. That hasn’t given me any problems with DAO/96. You could also try BlindWrite, a lesser-known, but no less effective tool for making 1:1 copies.

  5. Try switching the hardware positioning. Make the CD-RW master of its channel (if separate from the HDD channel). Try the CD-RW on its own channel (disconnect other drives on that channel). On that note, even if you don’t want to swap the drives around, just open up the computer and give the jumper settings a good look. There are instances where things appear to be working, but they can work better if the jumper settings are correct. Keep in mind, some devices have a different jumper setting if the device is alone on a channel than if it is a master of that channel.

  6. I believe there are some issues with a motherboard using the VIA chipset. If this describes your motherboard, get the most up-to-date 4-in-1 drivers.

  7. Try burning at lower speeds, like 40x or 32x.

  8. Try other media types.

  9. Try older/newer firmware versions. The newest as of this posting is VS06. You could try VS02. I heard some people had better luck with that than with VS06 and other firmware versions.

  10. Getting back to BIOS settings, Ahead (developer of Nero) has a page on recommended BIOS settings for Nero:
    http://ahead.de/en/content/helptool/908.htm
    If I were you, I wouldn’t put TOO much faith in this document. Ahead doesn’t update their info very much and the info they do have tends to be ambiguous and you end up more confused than before.

  11. I used to update Nero constantly, but the new versions are really annoying me. For example, Nero Express is embedded in the new versions (5.5.9.x) (maybe just the web download version). Nero Express is horrible, and if you accidentally click the button in the Nero toolbar, you’ll switch the interface to that of Nero Express, regardless of what you do at the subsequent dialog box. And there is no way to switch back, unless you uninstall completely, then reinstall. The point is that unless you have very (and I do mean VERY) specific needs (check the Nero history page to see if you need the new fixes and features, http://ahead.de/en/content/c1002822806430.html) you won’t need anything above 5.5.8.2.

That’s all. I hope this helps someone. I spent hours pouring through these forums for an answer. I eventually found them, and the above is to help other people to not have to use up their valuable time like I had to. Oh, also, the solutions that eventually did it for me were solutions 1 and 2. After using those to turn DMA on (mode 2) for both my optical drives, everything was fine. No erratic buffer, no lead-out hang. And I am using DAO/96 and my burner is set to slave.

  • Mike

One more note. I don’t remember what my original firmware version was, but Nero reported my drive buffer size as 1984K. After upgrading to VS06, that became 2048K. Just a note.