Win XP keeps dropping me back into PIO Mode

I have had my system running without any discernable problems for the past couple of years, burning as I see fit. However, in the past day I have developed a problem and I wanted to see what you guys here thought might be the most likely cause before I start tearing the whole thing apart:

Here are my system specs:
P4 2.8 GHz
2 Gig RAM
NEC ND-3520A burner
AOPEN 1648 AAP Pro
2 Western Digital ATAPI drives, a 200 Gig and 250 Gig

Today, while running Decrypter I noticed that discs which used to rip in about 6-7 minutes were taking about 45-60 minutes. I thought at first that something had gotten installed lately which was causing the problem, so I uninstalled a few things, but that did not solve the problem.

Next, I checked in my Device Manager, and, sure enough, the 250 gig HD was set to PIO mode. I reset it and got back to work, hoping that this would fix the problem.

It did, for about 5 minutes. As I was ripping another DVD I noticed that the data would pause for a second or two some times, then resume at 1x or below ripping speed. I checked again and, yes, it had reset the D hard drive to PIO mode again. Yes, the D drive was the one I was ripping to.

I copied everything off the D drive onto the C drive and formatted the D drive with a thorough format, but it did not fix the problem. Right now it is ripping to the C drive at 1.1x speed instead of the 6-10x which I should normally expect, even though the device manager is reporting that it is still set to UDMA 5 for both drives, oddly enough. I fully expected it to say PIO mode when I just checked it now, especially due to the tremendously low speed.

So, what are your thoughts? Hard drive? Controller (on the Motherboard)? Cable? One of the two DVD drives? I know that I can start ripping everything apart, try a different cable, try it with only one DVD drive and one Hard drive and see if it starts showing up, but I was hoping one of you had encountered this before.

Apparently, MS knows that if CRC errors or timeouts start showing up on the bus, ATAPI.SYS cuts back to PIO mode all by itself. Now I need to find out the culprit.

Sad part is, I was planning on upgrading the whole thing in three weeks, but I can’t let this persist until then.

Thanks a bunch,


Replace the IDE cables and check all connectors & jumpers.

what I did for this problem go to your device manager to “IDE” uninstall the ide devices
all of them and reboot.When you get rebooted you should have dma again.

yeah that is correct the first thing you should do is to check the cable… replace it when necessary :iagree:

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