AVS Forum banner
  • Our native mobile app has a new name: Fora Communities. Learn more.


443 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  karos
DMA is important for smooth DVD playback.

RAID is important for smooth video capture.

So, I need both in my HTPC.

I am using an ABIT TH7II-RAID mobo wih RAID stripe 0 to 2 IBM 60GXP drives. The regular primary master IDE controller is connected to a plextor wa2410 CDRW and the secondary master is a hitachi dvd. (This mobo has FOUR IDE headers! 2 are controlled by the highpoint 370 RAID controller).

NO DMA checkboxes anywhere. (You know, device manager-> cdrom, or device manager->hard disk, settings tab)

Why no DMA? The same version of windows (a norton ghost clone in fact) running on a P3 8850mz on CUSL2C mobo with an ibm 60gxp ide as primary master and hitachi dvd as secondary master show DMA checkboxes in device manager.

Why does this happen? The ABIT mobo actually has a bios setup where a choice for udma 5 is selected for the raid array.

How do I know if I am in DMA?

Not open for further replies.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
BTW, I am running Win98SE. From what I have read, RAID always is DMA. But why would there be no checkbox for DMA on the CDRW?

Just because you don't have check boxes for DMA doesn't mean the controller isn't using it. I'm sure it is. Raid controllers like this usually don't have a check box to select DMA as they do this by default. In fact, I believe most of the IDE raid controllers probably require a drive to support DMA in order for it to work on the controller. Only really old harddrives don't support it. So, you don't have to worry about any check boxes for DMA mode as the driver will do this automatically.

Anyway, you should probably connect your DVD-rom drive to the regular IDE channels on your motherboard and only connect your harddrives to the raid controller. Some raid controllers only allow harddrives connected to them and don't support ATAPI devices, like DVD-rom, Cdrom, CDRW, ls-120, or zip drives to be connected to them at all. I think the highpoint controllers may have allowed this with earlier bios and driver revisions, but I believe that even on the highpoint controllers ATAPI device support was removed with the latest drivers.
See less See more
Indeed, I have done this - the hard drives are on the raid controller and the cdrw is on the primary ide channel. But the device manager does not show any checkboxes for the cdrw. Interestingly, plextor makes an information utility. This utility indicates that dma is on for the cdrw but that burnproof is off (this cdrw has burnproof technology - model wta2410). The drive has a dma jumper on the back. Even when i pull the jumper off, the utility says dma is on. In either case, the device manager does not show dma checkboxes.

Thanks for your reply, Stefan.

if your mobo uses VIA chipset, than the latest VIA IDE busmaster drivers do not have these checkboxes. There is a program that is included with them called IDETOOL. This program would be used for disabling DMA, and setting drive modes. Otherwise, DMA is enabled automatically.

Power DVD and Power VCR come with a system diagnostic feature. Try that if you have it. It tells you if DMA is enabled.

I agree with the four primary channel setup. Very nice feature.

Also, when using a RAID stripe 0 drive I would advise that you backup your files regularly. There is an increase in the chance of losing your data when you use a striped set.
The TH7II-RAID mobo uses intels 850 chipset, not VIA. I am using the intel inf file drivers and the application acceleratpr drivers as well. Since this is at the chip level, I guess DMA would be on for ALL devices. It's interesting that I can flash update the firmware of the plextor because the literature says this can only be done with DMA disabled.

So what app will tell me if DMA isREALLY on or off, Sandra?


When you flash the firmware Update for your plextor just how do you go about doing that? Do you do it from windows or do you boot to a floppy or to Ms-dos command prompt mode? If your booting to Dos mode or only to a command prompt under win9x then it will be different and DMA mode may indeed be off at that time. When you boot to Dos mode your accessing the drives and controller through bios calls. When windows loads and loads the 32bit drivers for your chipset and controllers all disk access then goes through the device drivers and this is what the listings in device manager apply to.

As for the burnproof, I don't really know much about that, but I would think that it would either be controlled by a utility included with your drive or perhaps more likely by the CD burning software your using. It may even be that the burning software has to support it. Anyway, I don't think the IDE controller really has anything to do with that.

Also you might try looking at the IDE channels listed under Ide ATA/ATAPI controllers in device manager. On my system this is where these settings are listed at and not where the disk drives are listed. Of course I'm on win2k. So, that may make a difference. Also, I'm using the 860 chipset which is likely very different from 850. Anyway, I can access these settings listed under the controller channels, but they were already set correctly by default when I installed the chipset drivers. I suspect that yours are probably already configured correctly too. Nowadays usually the drivers are smart enough to enable these settings by default as long as your drives support them.
See less See more
I figured that might have been an Intel mobo.

In windows explorer, right click on the plextor drive There should be an option there installed by plextor which configures advanced settings. Don't know if that will help you.

I'm going to get out of the conversation though because my name isn't Stefan.
Thank you for your thoughts. The plextor drive was flashed directly from windows 98se. Plextor got back to me to say that the DMA jumper on the back of the cdrw sets it to udma. Without the jumper it's in PIO mode. I'll check the hard disk controlllers in device manager tomorrow when I'm at the machine again. That's a thought.

Regarding burnproof, plextor said it was a function of the particular software, so the plextor info utility returned the 'disabled' flag because it doesn't use that function.

1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Not open for further replies.