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Conflicting DMA report on LTD-166s & can't upgrade firmw

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Conflicting DMA report on LTD-166s & can't upgrade firmw

Postby Optical Disc on Sat Mar 15, 2003 7:41 am

Hey guys, I just install a Ltd-166s dvd-rom drive in my system. What is so strange now is that the system bios reported it is running in dma-0 mode while windows xp says it is running in dma-3 but the powerDVD software diagnostic says that dma is not enable at all.

I also can't seem to upgrade the firmware for this drive. Whenever I try to flash the drive, the flash utility hangs at the very beginning.

Any ideas?
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Postby cfitz on Sat Mar 15, 2003 1:00 pm

What IDE controller does your system use? Do you have the BIOS set to auto-detect the IDE transfer mode? What transfer rates are you able to achieve when testing the drive with CD Speed?

I wouldn't worry too much about XP reporting a different mode than the BIOS. I believe XP will pick the transfer mode if it feels there is most suitable, within the constraints you give it (i.e. it choose among DMA modes if you select "DMA if Available"). I know it will sometimes knock a drive down to PIO mode if it is having problems, but in your case the mode reported by XP is a better mode.

I would worry even less about Power DVD's System Diagnostic report. It doesn't seem to be too reliable in my experience.

As for upgrading the firmware, are you sure you have the right update program? Also, you might want to try setting the drive to PIO mode while doing the flash.

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Postby Dartman on Sat Mar 15, 2003 1:15 pm

I believe the update info says to use PIO mode when updateing. In my case so far all of my drives have been OK leaving DMA on but maybe for him PIO would work.
You might also want to check if your IDE drivers for your chipset are the latest ones.
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Postby vbl117 on Sat Mar 15, 2003 2:04 pm

Cfitz have you forgotten the DMA 0 issue when LTD-166S is plugged with an UDMA 66/100/133 cable to a motherboard using VIA KT133/133A chipset ?

http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic. ... c&start=25

This issue was solved by a bios update : www.jlms.com.tw
I trust more the bios info than XP info . which chipset use your motherboard ? Have you tried to use software like Nero Infotool to check DMA ?

After upgrading your firmware ( like Cfitz said set your drive in PIO mode before and be careful to flash this drive and not your CD-RW drive ) your drive should be able to use DMA mode 2 ( the production bios with DMA mode 3 was useless and could be a programmation error ) .

I had always flashed my LTD-166S leaving DMA enabled too even in worse cases and i have win XP ( but set your drive in PIO mode before flashing ) .
My thought : perhaps your system hangs because a software is running and causes a compatibility issue with the windows flash utility . BE CAREFUL , close all applications even antivirus programs when flashing your drive ( i always do like this and it works FINE ) .
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Postby Optical Disc on Sat Mar 15, 2003 2:11 pm

I was finally able to upgrade the ltd-166s firmware by choosing PIO mode. Downloaded it off the jlms site but did notice anything about setting it in PIO-mode first before flashing. Hehe...guess it was a oversight by me. :oops:

What is even stranger now is that the situation is now reverse. After the firmware upgrade, the system bios now detected the drive correctly as ata-33 but WinXP says it is in dma-0. PowerDVD software diagnostic now says dma is turn on.

Here are system spec:
Mobo is Abit Kr7a-raid with latest bios
OS is winxp prof. with SP1a
Using default Via 4in1 chipset drivers in winxp
Ltd-166s is on primary ide as master
Ltr-52246s is on secondary ide as master
hard drives is on raid channel in raid-0

Edit: Both my lite-on drive is connected using ata100/133 cable. Could that be the problem?
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Postby cfitz on Sat Mar 15, 2003 2:20 pm

vbl117 wrote:Cfitz have you forgotten the DMA 0 issue when LTD-166S is plugged with an UDMA 66/100/133 cable to a motherboard using VIA KT133/133A chipset ?

http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic. ... c&start=25

To be honest, I didn't have that particular thread at the top of my mind, but I was suspecting a controller related issue which is why I asked. Thanks for reminding me.

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problem solved

Postby vbl117 on Sat Mar 15, 2003 3:42 pm

The problem is solved . XP shows wrong info . You should uninstall your DVD-ROM drive in peripheral list then uninstall the IDE channel on which it is plugged . Reboot the computer . at reboot XP will reinstall the IDE channel and the DVD ROM drive . the DVD ROM drive will be in PIO mode .
Set "enable DMA mode" then reboot . At reboot drive should be detected/showed in DMA mode 2 by XP .

Cfitz that does not matter . To be honest "Optical Disc" , most people flash their drives in DMA mode but i have seen somewhere ( i don't remember :oops: ) advices saying to use PIO mode ( perhaps it is because it is more compatible ? ) . You don't have to blame yourself .

The KR7A uses a VIA KT266A chipset ( Northbridge ) . VIA Southbridges which controls IDE channels are the cause of the DMA 0 issue because it cannot recognise an DMA mode 3 tranfer mode for optical drives ( only Lite-On used it for the LTD-166S by mistake ) .
It is not a VIA's fault because no manufacturer had ever planned to manufacture optical drives using DMA mode 3 and VIA knew it .
Now we know there is a problem with VT8363/VT8363A Southbridges ( used with KT133/133A Northbridges ) and VT8366 Southbridge ( used with
KT266A Northbridge ) .

http://www.viaarena.com/?PageID=14


When you plug an optical drive to an ATA 33 cable , the cable LIMITS the drive transfer rate to DMA mode 2 because the cable cannot handle more , so in this case even with a VIA Southbrige there is no issues .
When you use an ATA 100 or higher cable ( 133 ) with a VIA Southbridge , the cable does not limits anymore transfer rate . So the drive tries to use DMA mode 3 but the VIA Southbridge fails in recognising DMA mode 3 and instead set it in DMA mode 0 ( which exists for logical reasons but is not used too ) for unknown reasons .
Lite-On has solved this issue easily by setting the maximum LTD-166S transfer rate at DMA mode 2 instead of DMA mode 3 in DSOF Firmware and later .
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Postby Optical Disc on Sat Mar 15, 2003 4:27 pm

"You should uninstall your DVD-ROM drive in peripheral list then uninstall the IDE channel on which it is plugged . Reboot the computer."

vbl117 - I love you man!!! :D Uninstalling the the dvd-drive and then uninstalling the ide channel did the trick. Now the dvd-drive is now detected correctly as ata-33 in the bios and in WinXP. Problems is now solved!

A big Thank You to everybody who has help!!!
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Postby vbl117 on Sat Mar 15, 2003 6:37 pm

I only share my own experience/tricks . I am happy to be useful :D
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