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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was all excited to install my new dvd burner (NEC 1300A) in my htpc. What I have been using for years is my first generation Toshiba dvd-rom (maybe 1302?). This dvd-rom is ancient (in computer industry baselines at least). What I can't figure out is why this NEC drive is so darn slow compared to the old dvd-rom. First, it takes like 8-10 seconds to read any dvd I put in the new drive. I can't even see what is on the dvd until I wait for this huge pause. Also, I am having real issues using dvdshrink. The time it takes to actually rip a dvd is almost twice the time it took my old dvd-rom! Say 28 minutes or so in some cases as opposed to 13 by my old drive (and yes I have taken into account different ripping sizes :) ).


Other than the two issues mentioned above I love this drive. It plays dvd's flawlessly and it burns 4x dvd media at around 10-14 minutes depending on the size. I am impressed in the burning department.


Can anyone comment about my negative issues though? Does this sound normal?
 

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Your older DVD-ROM probably doesn't have the restriction in the firmware to limit DVD ripping speeds to 2X. That seems to be built into the firmware of the newer DVD drives these days.


You might visit http://forum.firmware-flash.com/dl_all.php to see if the 1300 has a hacked firmware version that will remove region and\\or ripping speed limitations. Proceed at your own risk though. I understand you can ruin your drive with a failed flash attempt, although it hasn't happened to me (yet!).
 

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And check to see that your DVD drive is actually running in DMA mode and not in PIO. In many cases the DVD ROM is not firmware locked, but rather just running in the wrong mode. Go to device manager and take a look at the properties of the IDE controller that controls your DVD ROM drive. Switch to the advanced settings tab and you should see "Transfer mode: DMA if available" and then check the Current transfer mode to make sure that it is actually using one of the DMA modes. If you see "PIO Mode", then you will need to delete the controller from Windows, reboot, and let Windows rediscover the controller as new hardware. Once installed, reboot again and check to see that you are now in DMA mode and your drive will now rip much faster. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey Bob. Thanks for the reply. I did check that initially and it is set to DMA if available. I am still surprised it takes 25 minutes to rip a single dvd. I'll follow up with Schud's recommendation and see if that helps.


Does anyone know how to check and see what firmware version you have on a dvd-r?
 

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Central Scrutinizer
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Quote:
I did check that initially and it is set to DMA if available.
JP, that is not the important setting. It always says "set to DMA if available". The important box is the one marked "Current transfer mode". It is sometimes grayed out, but you can still read the mode. Mine says "Ultra DMA Mode 2", though I believe there is room for variation here. If you see "PIO Mode" then that is probably your problem, regardless of the fact that the Transfer mode says "DMA if available". Please let me know what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Bob. Thanks again for the guidance. It was indeed selected as Ultra DMA Mode 2. Schud hit the nail on the head with this one. I cannot believe these manufacturers are releasing there hardware so inhibited. I just flashed my dvd drive with some "created" firmware and the difference was more than dramatic. A 4 gig dvd backed up to my hdd via dvdshrink took around 22 minutes before. After the flash it ripped a 4 gig dvd in 8 minutes and 7 seconds! Needless to say I am happy now :)


Thanks to you both for your input. It is appreciated.
 

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You're welcome!
 

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Central Scrutinizer
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JP, I'm glad to hear that your problem is solved! :)


David is a pretty sharp guy, so I'm not surprised at all to find that he hit this one on the head for you. I'm sure you'll be a lot happier with your new ripping times. :)
 
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