Very slow to read Audio CDs (everything else seems OK)


I’m new here and my first post is a question…

I’ve recently got a new VGN-FE11H laptop with a Pioneer DVR-K16M optical drive (dual layer DVD-R etc).

Anyway, it seems to run VERY slowly with audio CDs. For example, I can do a speed test on a data CD and it reads at the full 24x. Pop in an audio CD (original or CD-R) and it fails to get above 8x. It does this consistently.

Data CDs/DVDs etc it seems to get pretty much upto max quoted speeds.

Audio CDs (not MP3 - they’re data) it’s dog slow. It takes 12 mins (!!) to rip a CD to MP3 or to create a hard disk image of it!

If there are some helpful owners out there with this laptop/optical drive, could you download the Nero CD/DVD speed test app from (it’s free and doesn’t need to be installed - just a single, standalone executable, no need for Nero or anything else) and run a few tests on your drives and see what results you get?

As an aside, if I go into Device Manager, it appears I have 2 primary and only 1 secondary IDE controller. They are all running in DMA mode btw. I thought IDE controllers should be in pairs - one primary and one secondary?

Any help/support with this will be very much appreciated.


Sounds like some kind of riplock. If it is, possibly there may be some modded firmware to get rid of this.

Unfortunately, I don’t own that drive, or I’d carry out the tests you ask for. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your reply…

I’ve tried to find out if the drive has riplock (with no results) and I’ve only found one firmware update for it. Not sure if it did anything though as it’s still showing the drive to be region 2 (as I’m in the UK) and with only 1 more change allowed.

Any suggestions how I can determine if the drive does have riplock…?

More news…

Following more research it seems that the Pioneer DVR-K16M is speed-limited for audio CDs.

I spoke to Pioneer themselves who tell me this drive is limited to 8x when reading audio CDs. This is “designed-in” behaviour and cannot be bypassed.

This is VERY annoying as all the other CD/DVD drives I have can rip/read audio CDs at pretty much their max rated speed. The Pioneer drive is sold/marketed as being a 24x CD reader/writer. But it’s not. It’s only an 8x reader of audio CDs.

I buy 100s of CDs and rip them all to MP3 to listen to while away from home and this limitation is a massive annoyance.

Be warned - if you want to read/rip audio CDs the Pioneer DVR-K16M is a VERY slow drive…