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LG GCE 8400B -- speed issues

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LG GCE 8400B -- speed issues

Postby woofb on Thu Nov 07, 2002 7:38 pm

I went and got this drive after reading the in-depth review by Ian (and a few other reviews, all of which seemed to imply the thing was fast), and don't seem to get anything like the performance he had. Am really scratching my head about this. I wasn't too bothered about getting a 48x and shaving a quarter of a minute off, but I wanted a faster drive than my 12x, and was just hoping for 3 minutes instead of 7 minutes for a full burn.

All the unbranded ones I tried gave something between 5 and 6 minutes.

Today, I went and got some Verbatim DataLife 40x discs in case the quality of the media was affecting the speed. These give me 4 mins 55 secs.

The reported speed is 40x, and it's using whatever BURN-proof stuff LG has.

I used to use Nero, which the version of Nero I got with this drive (I'm a Brit so get Nero) detected and uninstalled before installing itself. It seems to recognise the drive perfectly.

Apparently because I use W2K Pro I don't need to worry about DMA, and anyway both the hard drive things in Device Manager say 'use DMA if available', and the CD drive doesn't seem to have an option for it. I looked in the Bios, which has all the DMA vs PIO things set to auto.

My machine is an Athlon 1600 with 200ish megs of memory and several hard drives. I don't think it should have any performance issues.

Am I doing anything stupid, and if so what?
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Re: LG GCE 8400B -- speed issues

Postby cfitz on Thu Nov 07, 2002 8:10 pm

woofb wrote:Apparently because I use W2K Pro I don't need to worry about DMA, and anyway both the hard drive things in Device Manager say 'use DMA if available', and the CD drive doesn't seem to have an option for it.

No, you still need to worry about DMA settngs in W2K. Open up computer management->device manager->IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. Right-click Secondary IDE Channel (or primary if you happen to have your drive there) and click properties. Then select the Advanced Settings tab and tells us what the transfer modes are.

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Postby woofb on Thu Nov 07, 2002 8:35 pm

Damn, thought I'd cracked it there for a moment. The Secondary Channel was set to PIO, so I set it to DMA mode. All the others say Ultra DMA mode.

Have now rebooted, but drive still burns slowly.

Am confused.
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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Nov 07, 2002 9:44 pm

check out these FAQs:
How to enable DMA in Windows XP (with pictures)
How to enable DMA?
Problems enabling DMA in Windows XP
(win2K is similar to winXP in these matters).
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Postby cfitz on Thu Nov 07, 2002 10:26 pm

woofb wrote:Damn, thought I'd cracked it there for a moment. The Secondary Channel was set to PIO, so I set it to DMA mode. All the others say Ultra DMA mode.

Have now rebooted, but drive still burns slowly.

Am confused.

Now that you have rebooted, what is the data transfer mode? I know you set it to DMA, but sometimes it doesn't take. Also, what is the CPU usage when you are burning at the unacceptably slow speeds?

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Postby woofb on Fri Nov 08, 2002 6:40 am

Alas, am really tearing my hair out now.

The mode thing is definitely set at ordinary DMA for the Secondary Channel 0 and Ultra DMA for Secondary Channel 1 and Primary Channel 0 and 1.

I don't know where the CD writer is because I just got my boyfriend to help me put it in where the other one had been. I have 3 hard drives. The CD writer is presumably on the same controller as one of the other hard drives. I didn't do anything with the jumper, as I would probably only have to fiddle that if I was keeping more than one CD drive.

Looking at CPU usage on Task Manager, it stays at between 0 and 6%, so there can't be a problem there. I have noticed that it stays at 5 minutes plus to write a full disc whether I am using the computer or not.

I have just run Nero's CD Speed utility to test transfer speed. I may be doing something wrong there, as it doesn't have a manual, but it consistently reports 16X CLV. On the plus side, this probably means I am not imagining I have a problem.

Help!
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The thick plottens...

Postby woofb on Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:10 am

In an attempt to speed the burner up, I decided to try flashing the firmware (not something I like to do). I have not managed to do this, because W2K cannot reboot to Dos, and the help page I managed to find on how to create a boot disc for this makes a W95 boot disc, which is not a lot of use to me because all my file systems are NTFS, and the suggestions on the firmware page say the flash can't be run from a floppy drive.

I did manage, when fiddling with the Bios, to see where my CD burner is: the startup hardware message reports the drive on Secondary Master in PIO mode. However, Control Panel thinks it's in DMA (although not UDMA) mode.

I am confused and annoyed...
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Postby cfitz on Fri Nov 08, 2002 12:02 pm

The CPU usage you report makes it sound like DMA is enabled, but the 16x CLV transfer rate you report for all media you test makes it sound like PIO is enabled. Run InfoTool from the Nero Toolkit folder, select the configuration tab, and tells us what you see:

Image

Here is another test. Find a large, pressed data CD (preferably >= 600 MBytes), put it in the drive, and in CDSpeed select Run Test->All. Tell us everything you see. I know you have tested writing transfer speeds, but I'm not sure whether or not you have tested transfer speeds for reading.

I am not recommending flashing your drive at this point, but out of curiosity where did you read that the drive shouldn't be flashed from floppy?

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I wish I knew why it was still doing this...

Postby woofb on Fri Nov 08, 2002 1:25 pm

Thanks for all your help, but it still isn't going properly (I haven't dared mess about with the firmware yet).

The advice not to run the firmware things from a floppy was from a user on the forum on this page:
http://forum.firmware-flash.com/viewtopic.php?t=7574&highlight=8400b

Nero Infotool reports DMA on for all three hard drives and the LG-8400B (which is Secondary Master). Windows Control Panel reports ordinary DMA on for the LG8400B and UDMA for the hard drives. The info screen on boot-up reports PIO4 for the LG-8400B (but if Windows and Nero don’t it’s probably wrong).

The system ASPI (whatever that is) reports 4.57.

Firmware 1.01. Buffer 8Mb (yes, I’d be one of the lucky ones. If the damn thing wrote at 40x the way it says it does on the box).

Have been looking into CD speed again now.

Can’t find an option on CD speed for all so tried all the options except audio-CD with a written data disc in

Seek test: Random seek 94 ms, 1/3 seek 104 ms, Full seek 173 ms
Burst rate: 2Mb/s
CPU utilisation: 9%
Spin up time: 3.60 sec
Spin down time: 4.08 sec
Disc recognition time: 7.76 secs

Transfer rate previously tested with an empty disc, as had no help with this tool at all. Testing it with a full disc I made earlier I get the green line climbing up the chart steadily to end at 41x. That took 3 minutes to test. It now reports speed 19-41X CAV (31.96 average). If that was the
writing speed I wouldn’t have any complaints (although PCAV is presumably better for a reason).

In case you mean a factory-pressed CD I have just tried with the Nero CD. This reports speed 16-35X CAV (26.98X average). The green line climbs to between 32x and 40x, while the yellow line stays flat on 16x.

Alas, having tried to test it again with a blank, I get the green line, whatever that means, sticking consistently to 16x while the yellow line curves down to 8x by the end. It reports speed 14-16X CLV (15.94X average).
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Postby cfitz on Fri Nov 08, 2002 2:05 pm

Okay, that is actually progress. You clearly have DMA enabled and working. All the settings you have reported say that it is, but more importantly the ability to read at 40x proves it. So, we can rule out the IDE interface as the source of the problem.

Quick aside on CDSpeed - if you put a blank CD in and run the transfer test it checks the write speed. If you put a non-blank CD in and run the transfer test it checks the read speed. Also, the run all tests option is found under the "Run Test" menu: "Run Test->All" (the hotkey is F12). Finally, the green line is the transfer rate and you read its value off the left hand scale while the yellow line is the spindle RPM and you read its value off the right hand scale (in thousands of RPM).

What version of Nero are you running?

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Postby woofb on Fri Nov 08, 2002 2:31 pm

5.5.7.0 bundled

Would have tried my old version of roxio to see whether there's some sort of software problem, but it doesn't like my drive.

Damn. At least if it was the DMA there would be something I could do about it.
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Postby cfitz on Fri Nov 08, 2002 3:49 pm

woofb wrote:5.5.7.0 bundled

Would have tried my old version of roxio to see whether there's some sort of software problem, but it doesn't like my drive.

Damn. At least if it was the DMA there would be something I could do about it.


Well, I would say it is worth upgrading Nero to the latest 5.5.9.17 version ( http://www.nero.com/en/content/download.html ). If that makes no difference I was going to suggest you download a trial version of the latest Roxio, CD-Mate, etc. and give one of them a go. How old is your Roxio version? According to Ian the drive ships with Roxio Easy CD Creator 5.1 in the U.S., so even if your older version of Roxio isn't compatible, a newer version should be. Any chance your older version of Roxio qualifies for a free upgrade to the latest?

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Still wrong

Postby woofb on Fri Nov 08, 2002 7:36 pm

(sigh). First did a clean install of Nero (uninstalled, cleaned out old files, cleaned out registry keys mentioning Nero, installed again). Same problem.

After ludicrously long time chasing up a temporary version of EasyCD (which I didn't want to do because I like Nero, which has always worked for me before), I've discovered that it must be some sort of hardware problem.

Can't be the OS as other people have reported using 2K/XP with it without a problem, can't be the DMA as it's reported running in everything but the boot message (and the drive doesn't want UDMA, does it, just the ordinary sort?).

Roxio too now detects the drive as 40x. While it's writing it, the reported speed flashes between 15x and 17x (so it's 16x just like before).

Can an old cable cause problems? I'm probably using a fairly old data cable as I've upgraded the CD-Rom a couple of times (from read-only to 12x, and now to this).

Can there be a fault with the drive? I'm loth to assume this because no software detects a fault (including infotool) and I don't want to replace it with another same model that does the same thing. Nor do I want to try to replace it with a Lite-On, which the shop also does, and then find there's a problem with my hardware not the drive (again).

You've been very helpful in helping me narrow it down (at least now I know I'm not imagining it or being unreasonable, there is a performance issue with my drive). Let me know if you can come up with any other possible clues.
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Postby cfitz on Fri Nov 08, 2002 8:06 pm

Very frustrating. I wish I had the direct answer for you. In the meantime...

1. No, it neither needs nor supports UDMA, just Multi-Word DMA mode 2 and PIO mode 4 ( http://www.lgeus.com/Product/CD/GCE_8400b.asp )

2. It isn't likely to be the cable, since the drive reads at high speeds without problems. But if you have spare cable lying around, it is easy enough to change out.

3. Yes, there certainly could be a fault with the drive. I purchased a LiteOn LTD-166S DVD-ROM drive a month ago and eventually determined, with the help of forum members, that it had a mechanical defect. It can happen - I've been there. :( :) LG has a decent reputation, but no manufacturer is perfect. If you are leary about taking it back to the shop for a test to see if the drive itself is actually faulty, how about installing it into your boyfriend's computer? That will give you a clean test on a completely different platform (including the cable you were wondering about).

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Postby woofb on Fri Nov 08, 2002 9:10 pm

Boyfriend says it's because I'm not using particularly fast hard drives. The 10Gb is quite old (Fujitsu MPF3102AT, 5400 RPM, access time 9.5ms), and the 2 40Gb hard drives are new but not good (both Seagate ST340810A, 5400 RPM, access time 8.9ms).

Didn't think of this as the reports from CDSpeed are uniformly dreadful, and AFAIK that's not testing a dataset from any of the hard drives, just looking at the CD drive.

Disappointing if true. Aaaargh.

Not sure if can reasonably test on boyfriend's machine as worse than mine (500Mhz, not much memory, hard drives as slow).

Have been mainly testing on not-necessarily-very good media (Ritek cheap blanks, rated 24x), but had a disconcerting experience a few minutes ago. Got out one of my quality blanks (Verbatim Datasafe 40x, which I got particularly because Ian said they work well w this drive) and ran a full disc through at 3:30 minutes. While not a stunningly good result for a quick 40x burner, I'd regard this as acceptable when 5:30 minutes isn't. I know the other quality blank I tried yesterday took 4:55 minutes, because I was watching it carefully to see if the media was the problem, and the only difference I noticed was that the el cheapo discs took 5:30 and the Verbatim took 4:55.
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Postby cfitz on Sat Nov 09, 2002 5:20 am

woofb wrote:Boyfriend says it's because I'm not using particularly fast hard drives. The 10Gb is quite old (Fujitsu MPF3102AT, 5400 RPM, access time 9.5ms), and the 2 40Gb hard drives are new but not good (both Seagate ST340810A, 5400 RPM, access time 8.9ms).

The MPF3102AT is rated for transfers at 21.4 to 37.8 MBytes/sec with UDMA-66 enabled. Even if your computer only supports UDMA-33, that still works out to 21.4 to 33 MBytes/sec. Seagate doesn't list the ST320810A transfer rates, but they ought to be comparable. Either should easily support the 6 MBytes/sec maximum 40x transfer rate of the 8400.

Of course, these figures assume nice continuous data transfers. Your drives aren't horribly fragmented and almost full are they? If so, you might want to try cleaning them up. Still, I don't think this is it. This kind of problem would manifest itself as irregular writing speeds depending on what sections of the hard disk are being accessed.

woofb wrote:Didn't think of this as the reports from CDSpeed are uniformly dreadful, and AFAIK that's not testing a dataset from any of the hard drives, just looking at the CD drive.

Stick to your guns on this.

woofb wrote:Not sure if can reasonably test on boyfriend's machine as worse than mine (500Mhz, not much memory, hard drives as slow).

Well, that's easily rectified - get a new boyfriend. :wink: :) Seriously, if it isn't much trouble, why not give it a try? It will give you another data point. (The computer, not the boyfriend :wink: )

As for good media to use with the 8400, check TheWizard's media compatibility thread data ( http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic. ... 05&start=0 ):

Code: Select all
LG GCE-8400B............Acer Gold/AC 80min 24X..................40X
Firmware: 1.02..........Acer Gold/AC 80min 32X..................40X
........................Acer Gold/AC 80min 40X..................40X
........................Fuji/TY 80min 24X.......................40X
........................Fuji/TY 80min 32X.......................40X
........................HP/TY 80min 16X.........................24X
........................HP/TY 80min 24X.........................40X
........................Imation/TY 80min 32X....................40X
........................Memorex/RTK 80min 24X...................32X
........................Princo/PC 80min 48X.....................32X
........................Sony/SN 80min 16X.......................40X
........................Sony/SN 80min 24X.......................24X
........................Sony OEM/SN 80min 24X...................32X
........................Verbatim DataLifePlus CD-RW/MC 10X......12X
........................Verbatim Super Azo/MC 80min 24X.........32X


As you can see, all of the CD-R media burn significantly faster than 16x.

woofb wrote:Got out one of my quality blanks (Verbatim Datasafe 40x, which I got particularly because Ian said they work well w this drive) and ran a full disc through at 3:30 minutes.

That's getting close to 40x. What sort of graph does CD Speed show when you put one of these blank discs in and run the transfer rate test? Have you tried any Fuji branded Taiyo Yuden made media? They are one of the gold standards in CD-R media.

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Sorted!

Postby woofb on Sat Nov 09, 2002 12:08 pm

Seriously, thanks for all the help! I did get there in the end.

There were in fact two things going wrong. At first, I used one Verbatim quality blank in order to discover if the media were the problem, and found everything took 5 mins just the same as if I was using the poor-quality blanks.

After I changed the settings so that DMA was on, I used my cheap crap blanks for testing (because keeping the quality ones for best). The cheap crap blanks are rated 24x, but don't seem to make even that on my drive. One of the utilities I used to test them said they were Riteks.

What should have occurred to me is that I should have retested with the high-quality blanks after setting the DMA. I have tried two branded discs (Verbatim Datasafe 40x and TDK 48x), and both of these now consistently give a time of between 3 and 3:30 minutes. So the first time I tested the Verbatim disc, I wasn't using DMA, and all the rest of the testing was done on less good media.

Eventually it also occurred to me that if the hard drives are slowing the system down it might be a good idea to do 2-pass saves that write the image file to the hard disc and then to the blank so the burning process has less to do. With this, I get 3:30 out of the cheap crap blanks. Not using that process, I still get 5 minutes plus.

I have never defragged my drives (the 10mb programs drive is always too full, and the others are newish) -- would this be useful? Actually now I think of it, one of the 40Gb drives is probably old/full enough to need defragging by this point. Doesn't help that programs (incl Nero and presumably its cache) are on the older/smaller drive, probably. Boyfriend suggests I should do heavy file-copying as defragging since I have the room (move everything off the G: drive onto the newer F: drive, delete everything off the G: drive, put it back).

Meanwhile, do you know of a way of batch-processing Nero image files? I have loads of hard-disc space, although it isn't fast. It would actually be feasible for me to set it copying lots of files out overnight so that there were 10 or 15 cd images "stacked" in the hard drive ready for writing, and then even using the cheap crap discs I would be able to burn those comfortably fast.

Glad I got there in the end. The bottom line I checked out before buying this drive was: "I know this won't be as much of a speed increase as it was from 2x to 12x, but I should be able to halve the 7 minutes to 3 minutes-ish." Somehow 5:40 really didn't seem worth it somehow.

Incidentally, testing a TDK 40x blank instead of the Riteks with CD-speed, I get 29.72x average.

Again, thanks for all the info!
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Re: Sorted!

Postby cfitz on Sat Nov 09, 2002 2:37 pm

woofb wrote:Meanwhile, do you know of a way of batch-processing Nero image files?

You will find a program called nerocmd.exe in the nero folder. It is a command-line interface to nero, and supports a wide range of functions including creating images. Just type nerocmd and hit return; it will print the usage information. Combine this with your favorite scripting or batch environment, and it should do what you want to do.

woofb wrote:Incidentally, testing a TDK 40x blank instead of the Riteks with CD-speed, I get 29.72x average.

Again, thanks for all the info!

Glad to hear things are all straightened out now.

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Frustrating

Postby dentarg on Sat Nov 16, 2002 8:08 pm

I have the same problem :evil: :evil:

Only get a 16x CLV in the nero info Tool

Please help me :roll:
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Postby dodecahedron on Sat Nov 16, 2002 10:52 pm

make sure you have DMA enabled.
try using other media. better media - good brand names. Fuji (made by Taiyo Yuden), Verbatim, TDK...
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Postby dentarg on Sun Nov 17, 2002 7:06 am

dodecahedron I will try other media and I will inform you :)
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Postby eranros on Thu Nov 21, 2002 7:56 am

There is a new firmware available 1.04 . The firmware updates usually solve some problems of cheaper media. Fuji x24 media burn at x40 on this drive.
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Postby dentarg on Fri Nov 22, 2002 6:48 pm

Thanks all for the replies.

The problem was only a bad or low quality media. :-?
TraxData x48 CD-R really suck, because I could only wrote at 20X :evil: :x

I did many other tests on other media and had success with at 32X and 40X with:
Acer Gold/AC 80min 24X..................40X
Acer Gold/AC 80min 40X..................40X
HP/TY 80min 24X.........................40X
Princo/PC 80min 48X.....................32X

Cya all :wink:
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Postby vqkin on Fri Dec 06, 2002 4:14 pm

Got a Good one for you. I bought the LG GCE-4800b and used it great for about a month on my home computer. After that time, it suddenly started recording slower than usual, going from 40x to 8x approximately. I didnt change the media or did nething weird on my computer. Thinking it was a defective drive, I bought a Plextor 48/24/48 and decided to take this one in for check up. I brought it into the office and one of mycoworkers suggested I try it on one of the computers at work. I did so not only in one but on 3 computers, using same programs and different ones to be sure. In every single one, it burned at the expected speed of 40x or 30+. Believing it now to be a problem with my home computer, I installed the drive on my work pc and started using it for some time. It was working great. Using any sort of media I burned at around 30-40x, nething under 3:00 mins. I was greatly satisfied and just about to regret having bought the Plextor. Just 2 days ago, about one month since I installed it on my computer, the damned thing started presenting the exact same problem of recording slowly. Using the same media that I used to burn about 60 CDs. (Benq by the way 48X certified since i got the Plextor). All of a sudden, nothing having changed, not even rebooting the computer or anything I'm back to 8-12x recording. Any ideas, comments ?
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Postby eranros on Sat Dec 21, 2002 6:07 am

I have seen this before. I don't know the reason, but a system restore to the time it still worked fixes the problem, so it seems to be a windows problem.
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