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07 April 2006 @ 10:08 am
More computer stuff  
I've been trying to deal with a minor computer issue for a little while.  It seems my 8x DVD burner only burns at 0.4x or so.  It also is supposed to read at around 36x, but only reads at about 8x.  I finally got fed up with it, and tried to figure out what's going on.

A couple possibilities:
1.  It seems there are two speeds of IDE controllers nowadays, and it's possible mine's the slower one (100 vs 133).  Edit:  doesn't look that way - when I boot up, the card's BIOS says 133.  That doesn't mean much, but it does mean some.

2.  With the two speeds of controllers come two speeds of cables - and I've been using these cables since I got my first Pentium.  The good news is that the new cables come in a much easier to maneuver round casing, so working inside my case should be easier.  Edit:  Went to Fry's and picked up new cables.  Speed improved -- now I'm at 0.6x.  Better, but not by enough.

3.  When I was at Fry's, the guy I spoke with said something about DMA.  Make sure DMA is enabled.  I went into my system management tab and found DMA -- but not on this card.  The option simply doesn't exist there.  I may try switching things around to see if plugging the burner into the motherboard directly will help (since that's where the DMA option seems to exist).

4.  My card's drivers could be out of date.  Since they came from 2003, that seems reasonable.  The problem is that I can't seem to find a place to download updated drivers for it anywhere.  I can see that some places used to have a driver from '04, but nobody seems to have the file itself.  Anybody know where I might find a new driver for an Intel 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controller?

5.  My DVD burner is defective.  Not a possibility, since I've switched it out for a 16x and had the exact same results.  In fact, all my current testing is being done on the 16x, 'cause it'll be more of a dramatic change if it gets fixed.

6.  My software is bad.  Reasonable assumption, except that I've been switching between Roxio and Nero, and everybody pretty much agrees that one of those should oughtta work fine.  Certainly better than 1/2 speed.

7.  I'm using a bad system altogether, and should switch to Mac.  I mostly threw this one in here 'cause I expect it from some people.  I wouldn't give them a response to it, and I won't give myself one either.  Suffice it to say I disagree.

Not sure what other options I'm looking at.  If you got some notions or suggestions, I'd love to hear 'em.
Fred 2.0lqc on April 7th, 2006 06:00 pm (UTC)
Okay, step one is to catalog the system. What are all the drives and what are they hooked up to and with which cables. I say this 'cause while replacing the IDE cable, hopefully you went from an old 40 connector to a modern UDMA 80 connector, but even if you did its important to note what the other drive on that controller is if any sharing the connection with the burner.

Obviously the best place to download drivers for the Intel card in on intel.com (http://downloadfinder.intel.com/scripts-df-external/Product_Search.aspx?lang=eng&Prod_nm=82801&pagelang=eng&x=16&y=2)
unfortunately I think the controller might not be worth keeping if its the source of this issue http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/iaa/sb/cs-009284.htm
Idtechnomonkey on April 7th, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
How would I tell the difference between a 40 connector and a UDMA 80? I picked up the cheapest ATA133 round IDE cables I could find at Fry's, but the guy who was helping me (who was a rarity - a Fry's employee that seemed to know what he was talking about!) indicated it was the cable I'd want.

Sadly, I've tried the Intel site for drivers, and can't find one that seems to be for the controller. I see a sound card that must use the same chipset or something, and I see an accellerator of some kind that scares me because I don't know what it's actually for. Other than that, I'm not seeing anything for the Controller Card.

I suspect the controller is the issue either way, though. I've had this thing for a long time and probably didn't pay more than $20 for it when I got it, like, six years ago or something -- chances are, the ones that are out now are of higher quality (I see nothing less than $40 at Fry's that does what it looks like I need, and while it's true that cost isn't anything, it's also true that you get what you pay for).

Thanks for the help... I'm gonna switch my wires around so the drive is plugged directly into the MB now, and when that doesn't work (if! I mean IF it doesn't work!), I'll probably hit Fry's again and pick up a new Controller.
Fred 2.0lqc on April 7th, 2006 08:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks!
Actually the accelorator whatever I think is exactly what you want, its like a hybrid between a driver and software to help the OS interact with the chipset, as far as I can tell. I'd say give it a shot.
Idtechnomonkey on April 7th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
Worth a try.
If I'm looking at replacing the thing anyway, it's not like installing this software can really mess anything up.

I'll give it a shot. Thanks again!
Fred 2.0lqc on April 7th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Worth a try.
Well as always, installing anything is always a piece of risk. But you can hope that a major piece of software from a major vendor won't be much of an issue.

Of course I would have said that last year too, before I tried to install the official Microsoft copy of the update for Windows Media Center Edition as supplied to me by HP the manufacturer, and consequently crashed my whole system and spent the next 48 hours salvage what I could.
So basically nothing anymore is without risk.
Nentikobe - a work in progress: say what?nentikobe on April 7th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
Number 7 nearly made me drop my coffee.

I'm glad you were kidding.