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Very "not good" cdr/software issue

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Very "not good" cdr/software issue

Postby Diogenes009 on Thu Aug 28, 2003 9:12 pm

Here is my personal hell: I have an ECS K7S5A PRO MoBo w/ AMD 1700+ based system running 512 mb DDR PC2100 mem on Windows 98 with an Optorite CW4802 CD-RW and a Toshiba SD-M1202 DVD installed. I have been trying to copy cd's to my HD. I've tried Real and several other freeware media programs. It is not working very well.

I notice that the CD-RW seems to be slowing and speeding up randomly while the files are being recorded, this is right before I get an "Illegal Operation" message for the media program. I've got one, QCD, which runs fine playing the disc but instantly locks the PC when I try to record to HD. I also had to download a freeware DVD veiwing program to watch movies on the DVD because the software on the movie disc said there was a problem with the system, but didn't say what. And during audio playback straight through the sound card the music sometimes garbles (For what thats worth) Also, running Sandra, she can see the CD Drives and ID them but cannot run a benchmark, claiming there is no disk in the drives. I don't know if this is driver, hardware, software or what. I flashed the CD-RW this morning using the firmware from Optorites site, no improvement.

Sorry to write war and peace but I want to provide as much info as possible, hoping that one of you kind souls will help me out.
Be courageous and of good cheer.
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Postby CDRecorder on Thu Aug 28, 2003 9:18 pm

Welcome to CDRLabs, Diogenes009! :D

Is DMA enabled for all of your drives? Instructions for checking if DMA is on (and enabling it if necessary) can be found here.

P.S. Thanks for providing all of the system details! That is always very helpful. :D
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Postby Diogenes009 on Fri Aug 29, 2003 4:58 pm

Thank you.

DMA is was already enabled.

Did a little more work on the system. The CD-RW is set as master and the DVD as slave, but the CD-RW was hooked up to the end of the ribbon cable. I may be wrong, but I thought, "Hmm, isn't the slave supposed to be last on the cable?" I swapped the cable connections and rebooted. The Blonde (Sandra) still doesn't like the drives, says no suitable audio tracks found on disc, but I can now rip from the DVD, which is an improvement. I downloaded a patched version of QCD which had been debugged for a Win 98 lockup problem. It works fine, with the DVD not the CD-RW.

The CD-RW still goes into a speed flux after about three or four songs, then I get "Illegal Operation" and lockup. I'm really wondering if the CD-RW is screwed. I just put the system together in March, everything new but the DVD.

So what next? You lead, I'll follow.
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Postby CDRecorder on Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:15 pm

I think that the CD-RW drive is probably bad, but there are still other things to check.

First, are you using the Windows IDE drivers, are you using drivers supplied by the motherboard manufacturer?

Second, are you using a 40-wire or an 80-wire IDE cable? You might want to try an 80-wire cable if you aren't already using one.
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:44 pm

with an 80-wire cable, the Master should be at the end connector of the cable.
i'm not sure but i think with a 40-wire cable it's the other way around (and not as good).
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Postby CDRecorder on Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:48 pm

Actually, it doesn't matter where on the IDE cable the drive is if it is set to either master or slave. It only matters if you are using Cable Select.
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Aug 29, 2003 6:14 pm

not quite accurate.
for 80-wire cables, the specs say that if you have only one drive, it should be Master and set on the connector at the end of the cable.
it's better in terms of electrical siganlling stability etc.
for 40-wire cables, the specs had the Master on the middle connector (again, i'm not 100% sure about this). not so good which is why the specs were changed.

agreed, the drive will work if set as Master and connected to the middle connector, but that's not as good an arrangement.

as for Cable Select, you must have a cable that supports Cable Select. if you don't, neither correct jumper setting nor correct cable placement will help, it very well might not work.
AFAIK, not all 80-wire cables are Cable-Select compliant (again not 100% sure on this last point).

here http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=3032 you can find some links to the PCGuide at storagereview.com, you can look up some more details there.
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Postby CDRecorder on Fri Aug 29, 2003 6:31 pm

That's interesting. Thanks for the clarification, Dodecahedron; I didn't know that! :D
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Postby Inertia on Fri Aug 29, 2003 6:51 pm

dodecahedron wrote:for 40-wire cables, the specs had the Master on the middle connector (again, i'm not 100% sure about this). not so good which is why the specs were changed.


This is incorrect. Excluding cable select, either connector on a standard 40 wire cable can be used for master or slave. If only one device is connected, it is recommended be connected to the end connector of the cable.

See Standard (40-Conductor) IDE/ATA Cables. As a single device is usually connected as master, a single master is recommended to be connected to the end of the 40 wire cable.
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Postby Diogenes009 on Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:46 pm

Curiouser and curiouser...

I failed to mention that I've been getting occasional "Bad Checksum" messages on bootup requiring me to, sometimes, correct the bios settings. So, I picked up a new CMOS battery today and when I got home I replaced the battery, reset the CMOS and booted up...

I did not have a chance this morning to go beyond a quick try to rip from the CD-RW, which did the same thing as it had been. I managed to rip a cd with the DVD, though.

Now that I have replaced the CMOS battery, and probably more important, reset the CMOS, I can rip from the CD-RW. I'm figuring the cable (40 wire)setup and/or the weak CMOS battery caused problems with the bios controlling the CD-RW. But, since the CD-RW has done the speed fluctation thing since new, I figure it has a lot to do with the cable setup.

I just ripped all of my CD's to the HD using the CD-RW while I polished my boots, no speed fluctation, no errors and, I hope, no polish on any of the discs. (Small CD collection, but I did polish four pair).

Now I need to burn some discs to see if that works OK. I've only burned a couple since I put this box together, and during burn it did the speed dance. The discs were data discs which may be why they came out OK.

Having solved this, any guidance on media players? QCD is the easiest one I have used so far, but I'm real green. Win Amp has me completly baffled.
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Postby Diogenes009 on Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:42 pm

Successful burn, DVD drive to CD-RW. No speed fluctuation. We have a GO at this station.
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Postby CDRecorder on Sat Aug 30, 2003 1:12 am

I'm glad to hear that it's working as it should! :D
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Postby pranav81 on Tue Sep 02, 2003 4:15 pm

Dear all,
Hi.I have a Compaq and when I opened it I saw that the CD-ROM is connected as Primary Slave at the end of the 80-wire cable and the jumper set to slave and a HDD connected to the middle connector.The HDD works at UDMA 5 and the CD-ROM at MWDMA2.
The CD-ReWriter is connected as Secondary Master.It works at MWDMA2.I contacted Compaq regarding this connection of mine and was told that it doesn't matter where and how the IDE devices are connected.
See ya all later,


::Pranav::
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Postby Inertia on Tue Sep 02, 2003 10:47 pm

pranav81 wrote:.I contacted Compaq regarding this connection of mine and was told that it doesn't matter where and how the IDE devices are connected.


"Compaq" doesn't create the ATA/ATAPI standards, and the information that "they" have given you regarding 80 wire cables is incorrect. 80 wire cables are color coded, and a single master device or a single drive if one is used should always be connected to the black connector at the end of the cable.

If this specified standard is ignored when two devices are connected it may work, but it is still a violation of the ATA/ATAPI standard for 80 wire cables. Compaq may have violated the standard for convenience or because it was easier to connect, and it shows their build techniques and advice to be sloppy and innacurate.

See Ultra DMA (80-Conductor) IDE/ATA Cables for technical information and proper installation order with this cable.
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I really dont know....

Postby pranav81 on Wed Sep 03, 2003 1:48 am

Dear Inertia,
when I read your post I opened up the case and saw that at the end of the cable,near the connector,it was printed Master and at the middle connector it was printed Slave.I had noticed this before but had not given it a second thought.
By the way how can I connect the CD-ROM and the HDD according the standards,because the cable lenght is not so long.
See ya soon,


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Postby Inertia on Wed Sep 03, 2003 3:17 am

Pranav,

The important issue is that a high speed UDMA drive be connected to the end of the cable if it is the only connected device. If a single device is connected to the middle connector, the electrical characteristics of the cable are degraded due to reflections from the unterminated end of the cable. The faster the connection speed, the more critical this issue. Normally when only one device is connected it is set as master.

Even though your hard drive and CD-ROM are not connected in the configuration indicated by the standard, if your PC is working OK you have the option of leaving well enough alone. It sounds from your description that Compaq may have used a custom short cable for your setup that won't reach with the hard drive connected to the end of the cable as master. If the current configuration is not causing a problem, but you want to adhere to the standard you can buy a cable to fit as long as it is no longer than 18" long. Overall, if you have a cable shorter than 18" connected to both drives now, you may be better off to leave it alone. A short cable has better electrical characteristics that a longer one.

Again, the main issue (and the reason for my contention with the Compaq statement) is that single high speed UDMA devices must be connected to the black connector at the end of the 80 conductor cable.
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Postby pranav81 on Wed Sep 03, 2003 2:25 pm

Dear Inertia,
Wow!You have explained this perfectly.Thanks a lot.
See ya soon,


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Postby pranav81 on Fri Sep 05, 2003 2:27 am

Dear Inertia,
After reading your post once again I thought of posting this post.Do you think that I should make the CD-ROM a master drive as it is connected to the end of the cable and the HDD as primary slave as it is connected to the middle connector.
No I dont have any problems regarding my box now.It is working almost too perfectly :lol: .
See ya soon,


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Postby CDRecorder on Fri Sep 05, 2003 4:31 am

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


I'd say that if it's working, there's no reason to change it! :D
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