Wierd Buffer behaviour

I posted about this in the Liteon forum but I think it’s more likely a software problem, so sorry for the cross-posting.

I’m seeing some wierd behaviour in ImgBurn (2.4.2.0) and Nero (7.7.5.1) with my Liteon LH-20A1L SATA burner (BL05 firmware). The only drive feature enabled is SmartBurn.

With ImgBurn the Buffer filled up to 100% (I set it to 80MB) but then as soon as the burn started, proceeded to empty out. The burn continued with the Device Buffer fluctuating all over the place until the burn got to about 33%, at which point it paused while waiting for the buffers to recover, when the Buffer filled up again and stayed full for about another 5% of the burn, at which point it emptied again. It repeated this process once more at 56%. Despite this, and the fact that the verify process slowed right down a couple of times, this disc scanned very nicely.

In Nero, the “Used read buffer” is only hitting 23-25%. The drives Buffer Level stays at 97% most of the time, occasionally dropping to 80%. The burns are fine are the log shows no problems. When verifying, again the read buffer is only going to about 17%.

I don’t think this can be a drive problem, rather it seems something is causing problems with Nero and ImgBurn’s buffers but I can’t think what, so if anyone can help I’d appreciate it. I’ve attached the ImgBurn graph (which only seems to show the Drive Buffer, not the software Buffer) and the log is below. I’ve also attached a picture of Disk Speed, which doesn’t seem to show any problems with my HD speed (NB it’s running at SATA150 speed as that’s all my motherboard supports).


; //\
; ImgBurn Version 2.4.2.0 - Log
; Saturday, 09 May 2009, 14:36:52
; \
//
;
;
I 13:30:27 ImgBurn Version 2.4.2.0 started!
I 13:30:27 Microsoft Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600 : Service Pack 3)
I 13:30:27 Total Physical Memory: 1,572,336 KB - Available: 1,155,836 KB
W 13:30:27 Drive P:\ (FAT32) does not support single files > 4 GB in size.
W 13:30:27 Drive S:\ (FAT32) does not support single files > 4 GB in size.
I 13:30:27 Initialising SPTI…
I 13:30:27 Searching for SCSI / ATAPI devices…
I 13:30:27 Found 1 DVD-ROM and 1 DVD±RW/RAM!
I 13:57:04 Operation Started!
I 13:57:04 Building Image Tree…
I 13:57:04 Checking Directory Depth…
I 13:57:04 Calculating Totals…
I 13:57:04 Preparing Image…
I 13:57:04 Checking Path Length…
I 13:57:04 Contents: 9 Files, 0 Folders
I 13:57:04 Size: 4,407,047,055 bytes
I 13:57:04 Sectors: 2,151,880
I 13:57:04 Image Size: 4,407,623,680 bytes
I 13:57:04 Image Sectors: 2,152,160
I 13:57:04 Operation Successfully Completed! - Duration: 00:00:00
I 13:58:59 Operation Started!
I 13:58:59 Building Image Tree…
I 13:58:59 Checking Directory Depth…
I 13:58:59 Calculating Totals…
I 13:58:59 Preparing Image…
I 13:58:59 Checking Path Length…
I 13:58:59 Contents: 8 Files, 0 Folders
I 13:58:59 Size: 4,418,289,231 bytes
I 13:58:59 Sectors: 2,157,372
I 13:58:59 Image Size: 4,418,863,104 bytes
I 13:58:59 Image Sectors: 2,157,648
I 13:58:59 Operation Successfully Completed! - Duration: 00:00:00
I 14:01:59 Operation Started!
I 14:01:59 Building Image Tree…
I 14:01:59 Checking Directory Depth…
I 14:01:59 Calculating Totals…
I 14:01:59 Preparing Image…
I 14:01:59 Checking Path Length…
I 14:01:59 Contents: 8 Files, 0 Folders
I 14:01:59 Size: 4,418,289,231 bytes
I 14:01:59 Sectors: 2,157,372
I 14:01:59 Image Size: 4,418,863,104 bytes
I 14:01:59 Image Sectors: 2,157,648
I 14:02:04 Operation Successfully Completed! - Duration: 00:00:05
I 14:02:05 Operation Started!
I 14:02:05 Source File: -==//[BUILD IMAGE]/==-
I 14:02:05 Source File Sectors: 2,157,648 (MODE1/2048)
I 14:02:05 Source File Size: 4,418,863,104 bytes
I 14:02:05 Source File Volume Identifier: Thriller
I 14:02:05 Source File Application Identifier: IMGBURN V2.4.2.0 - THE ULTIMATE IMAGE BURNER!
I 14:02:05 Source File Implementation Identifier: ImgBurn
I 14:02:05 Source File File System(s): ISO9660, UDF (1.02)
I 14:02:05 Destination Device: [0:1:0] LITE-ON DVDRW LH-20A1L BL05 (E:) (ATA)
I 14:02:05 Destination Media Type: DVD+R (Disc ID: MCC-004-00) (Speeds: 2.4x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x)
I 14:02:05 Destination Media Sectors: 2,295,104
I 14:02:05 Write Mode: DVD
I 14:02:05 Write Type: DAO
I 14:02:05 Write Speed: 12x
I 14:02:05 DVD+R Reserve Track: No
I 14:02:05 Link Size: Auto
I 14:02:05 Test Mode: No
I 14:02:05 OPC: No
I 14:02:05 BURN-Proof: Enabled
I 14:02:05 Book Type Setting: DVD-ROM
I 14:02:05 Advanced Settings - Force HT: No, Online HT: No, OverSpeed: No, SmartBurn: Yes
I 14:02:08 Filling Buffer… (80 MB)
I 14:02:41 Writing LeadIn…
I 14:03:20 Writing Session 1 of 1… (1 Track, LBA: 0 - 2157647)
I 14:03:20 Writing Track 1 of 1… (MODE1/2048, LBA: 0 - 2157647)
W 14:06:03 Waiting for buffers to recover… (LBA: 722688)
W 14:06:34 Waiting for hard disk activity to reach threshold level…
I 14:06:59 Writing Sectors…
W 14:08:35 Waiting for buffers to recover… (LBA: 1216352)
W 14:09:03 Waiting for hard disk activity to reach threshold level…
I 14:09:27 Writing Sectors…
I 14:13:19 Synchronising Cache…
I 14:13:25 Closing Track…
I 14:13:27 Finalising Disc…
I 14:13:49 Exporting Graph Data…
I 14:13:49 Graph Data File: C:\Documents and Settings\Main\Application Data\ImgBurn\Graph Data Files\LITE-ON_DVDRW_LH-20A1L_BL05_09-MAY-2009_14-02_MCC-004-00_12x.ibg
I 14:13:49 Export Successfully Completed!
I 14:13:49 Operation Successfully Completed! - Duration: 00:11:43
I 14:13:49 Average Write Rate: 7,216 KB/s (5.2x) - Maximum Write Rate: 11,762 KB/s (8.5x)
I 14:13:49 Cycling Tray before Verify…
W 14:13:57 Waiting for device to become ready…
I 14:14:09 Device Ready!
I 14:14:10 Operation Started!
I 14:14:10 Source Device: [0:1:0] LITE-ON DVDRW LH-20A1L BL05 (E:) (ATA)
I 14:14:10 Source Media Type: DVD+R (Book Type: DVD-ROM) (Disc ID: MCC-004-00) (Speeds: 2.4x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x)
I 14:14:10 Image File: -==//[BUILD IMAGE]/==-
I 14:14:10 Image File Sectors: 2,157,648 (MODE1/2048)
I 14:14:10 Image File Size: 4,418,863,104 bytes
I 14:14:10 Image File Volume Identifier: Thriller
I 14:14:10 Image File Application Identifier: IMGBURN V2.4.2.0 - THE ULTIMATE IMAGE BURNER!
I 14:14:10 Image File Implementation Identifier: ImgBurn
I 14:14:10 Image File File System(s): ISO9660, UDF (1.02)
I 14:14:10 Read Speed (Data/Audio): MAX / MAX
I 14:14:10 Verifying Session 1 of 1… (1 Track, LBA: 0 - 2157647)
I 14:14:10 Verifying Track 1 of 1… (MODE1/2048, LBA: 0 - 2157647)
I 14:23:59 Exporting Graph Data…
I 14:23:59 Graph Data File: C:\Documents and Settings\Main\Application Data\ImgBurn\Graph Data Files\LITE-ON_DVDRW_LH-20A1L_BL05_09-MAY-2009_14-02_MCC-004-00_12x.ibg
I 14:23:59 Export Successfully Completed!
I 14:23:59 Operation Successfully Completed! - Duration: 00:09:46
I 14:24:00 Average Verify Rate: 7,376 KB/s (5.3x) - Maximum Verify Rate: 19,080 KB/s (13.8x)
I 14:36:52 Close Request Acknowledged
I 14:36:52 Closing Down…
I 14:36:52 Shutting down SPTI…
I 14:36:52 ImgBurn closed!

I tracked the problem down to the BIOS SATA config.

It seems that if I put it in IDE mode, both my SATA ports share a channel (Master and Slave), which I recall used to cause problems with IDE HDs and burners, with not enough bandwidth being available for both at the same time.

So, I have to put it in SATA mode, which gives each port it’s own channel (Primary and Secondary). I thought SATA mode caused problems and required special drivers but it seems SATA mode on this board is not the same as newer boards.