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Absolute newbie DMA question

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Absolute newbie DMA question

Postby alphawoolf2001 on Fri Nov 29, 2002 1:23 pm

Hi all. I just purchased and installed a Norcent RWJ-401S CDRW drive. Based on what I can tell, this a rebadged Liteon unit. This is my first ever CDRW drive.

My question is this: Should I have DMA capability with this drive? I'm running Win98SE with the correct AMD Irongate chipset drivers for my PC. I have my HD alone on the primary IDE channel, a Samsung DVD-ROM drive as secondary master, and the CDRW is secondary slave. The Samsung DVD drive has a DMA checkbox (in Device Manager) and it is checked, but the CDRW does not have the DMA checkbox at all. Is this because the CDRW is the slave and not the master? Should I be worried about this at all? I've heard that DMA is crucial to getting good performance from the drive. Note that I haven't actually tried to burn a disk with it yet; I'm just a worry-wart. :)

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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Nov 29, 2002 1:35 pm

welome to CDRLabs forums, alphawoolf! :D

you are quite right, you should have DMA enabled to get the best performance out of your drive. performance will not be very good without it.

are you sure your drive is RWJ-401S ?
looking at Norcent's website http://www.keymoo.com/norcent/english/p ... ptical.htm i don't see such a model.
could it be RWJ-481S ? if so it is a Lite-On, see the discussion on Norcent drives here: http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=7654

in any case you should be able to enable DMA.
maybe try reversing the drives, having the CDRW as master, the DVD-ROM as slave.
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Postby alphawoolf2001 on Fri Nov 29, 2002 2:51 pm

Thanks for the links. I skipped the deal at Best Buy. Fry's Electronics had this drive for $39.99 with $39.99 mail-in rebate. :D

Yes, it is a RWJ-401S. This is a 40x12x48 drive, but it does look like the 48x model listed on the website. Strange that this one is not on their website - the sticker on it says it was manufactured this past June. The box specifies Smart Burn technology and the firmware reads as version ZSE2.

I'll try reversing the master/slave relationship as you suggested and let you know what happens. I'm not eager to start a coaster collection. :)

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Postby alphawoolf2001 on Sat Nov 30, 2002 12:30 pm

Alrighty, I've got everything working, but it wasn't simple.

Firstly, no matter what combination of master/slave, alone/together, or cable position the option to activate DMA never appeared for the Norcent/Liteon drive (LTR40125S, I figure based on the Liteon website). As a matter of fact, in all this drive-juggling the DMA option disappeared for my Samsung DVD drive. :(

Well, I might be new to CDRW, but Windows I can generally deal with. A not-quite-as-recent-as-I-would-have-liked registry backup restored the DMA option to my Samsung drive. From there, I poked around with REGEDIT to find the DMA setting on the Samsung drive. Once I found what I thought was it, I recreated an identical entry under the CDRW key. I rebooted to get the changes to "take" and *TA DA*, the CDRW drive now has a checked DMA box in Device Manager. :)

For those that might be interested, the entry was as follows (this is Win98):

My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Enum\SCSI\NORCENT_RWJ-401S_______Z\MF&CHILD0001&PCI&VEN_1022&DEV_7409 etc, etc, etc (really long key)

DMACurrentlyUsed 01 (Binary Value)

That should likely enable DMA on any drive(?).

I shouldn't have had to do that but I'm glad it worked. I've burned two audio CDs so far at full speed (40x) with no problems at all on some generic media. The Smart Burn feature activates quite a bit during the process, but the disks themselves are fine. It really seems like my HD (Seagate Barracuda IV) can't keep up, but I'm thinking a defrag will help.

Oh, and I was thinking of flashing this drive with the latest Liteon BIOS but I'm guessing I won't. The Nero software that came with the drive says it will only work with the supplied drive. If I flash it then the drive identity will change, correct? And then the software won't work?

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