New SATA DVDRW = read erros & lag

Lg : dvd rw drive / Gh220ns50
May 13, 2011 at 06:13:00
Specs: Windows XP, AMD XP 2Ghz, 1.5Gb RAM
I just installed a new Via VT6421-based SATA expansion card, in conjunction with an LG DVDRW (it shows as a HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GH22NS50 in Device Manager) and I have hit a bit of a snag...
I can get it to recognize CD/DVDs, I can even explore them, and open index .html pages (albeit very slowly).
But whenever I attempt to run a program, I either get a '<program> is not a valid Win32 Application' error, or install dialogues will start but fail immediately after. I have tried disabling the secondary IDE channel in the hope that that might have been the cause, but no joy.
The DVDRW is apparently running in UDMA Mode 5 (according to the Via-Raid program which was the only control panel the drivers installed), but other than that I can gain no other information about what might be causing the errors, nor can I access any settings...
Help in this would be greatly</br> appreciated!

See More: New SATA DVDRW = read erros & lag

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#1
May 13, 2011 at 09:19:37
Why did you need to install a third party controller card?

What is the exact model of the card?

Is there another SATA drive connected to the controller card?

"But whenever I attempt to run a program". Do you mean run a program from a disk in the optical drive in question?


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#2
May 13, 2011 at 10:21:28
The concise version of a reply:

1. I have an old Asus A7V8X-X KT400 mainboard - no native SATA

2. It's an... A-Power. That's all it says on the package; the card itself has no model number whatsoever, just the VT6421A on the controller chip

3. Nup. My other drives are IDE.

4. Programs such as setup files run from CD or DVD will run sometimes, when they do they run very, very slowly, when they don't, I either get the 'Win32' error, or I get file read errors that abort installs.

The entire system slows down when the optical drive is being accessed, and transfer speeds are down, both on optical.AND on my IDE drives.
edit: CD benchmark results
Raw CD Read speed average: 0.54Mb/s
Win32 API (cached/uncached) ave: 0.015Mb/s


Passmark crashed while trying to bench my HDD tho...
Could this hint to a solution to the problem? I'll perhaps try running my IDE of the other channel and see if that resolves it...


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#3
May 13, 2011 at 10:30:49
There is NO advantage regarding an optical drive being SATA connected vs. IDE connected, other than convenience (you have a spare SATA data header connection but not a spare IDE data header connection to connect it to). If the specs are otherwise identical, an IDE (EIDE) connected optical drive has exactly the same max burst data transfer speed as a SATA connected drive. That's determined by the max speed current disks can be spun at without risking them flying apart, which is currently near or at it's maximum, and by the max data transfer speed that can be achieved according to the way the data is, or can be, recorded on the disk, NOT by the max burst data transfer speed of the EIDE or SATA interface.

"Via VT6421-based SATA expansion card"

If it's a PCI card.....

Don't install that PCI card in the last PCI slot closest to the center of the mboard - usually that PCI slot shares it's IRQ with the video and you are likely to have problems with a card installed in that slot unless it's a PCI video card. If you have a generic system, the info about which PCI slot shares it's IRQ with what is usually stated in the manual for the mboard model.
.....

Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)
.......

"But whenever I attempt to run a program, I either get a '<program> is not a valid Win32 Application' error, or install dialogues will start but fail immediately after. "

If you are trying to read a burned disk, it may NOT read properly in a drive it was not made in, especially if it's not a CD-R or DVD-R disk.

LG drives are pretty good but they do have one weakness - they are not as good at successfully reading badly scratched disks as some better optical drives.

"....install dialogues will start but fail immediately after. "

NOTE that sometimes the resident module(s) of anti-malware programs - a part that runs all the time scanning for suspicious activity - will interfere with the proper installation of third party software, the software will not install properly, and you may get no indication of that at all while installing the software.
To avoid that possibilty, you should always DISABLE the resident module(s) of anti-malware programs, BEFORE you install third party software (software other than most Microsoft Updates, etc., that did not come with Windows ), especially when it's a major or complicated software package.

E.g. if you are using the free or paid version of AVG, you should disable the Resident Shield in AVG's 's settings in Windows.

If you don't know how to do that, tell us which anti-malware software you are using.

When you are sure the software has installed correctly, re-enable the resident module(s).
.......


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#4
May 13, 2011 at 10:58:25
"Asus A7V8X-X KT400 mainboard "

"Via VT6421-based SATA expansion card"

If it's a PCI card.....

Don't install that PCI card in the last PCI slot closest to the center of the mboard - usually that PCI slot shares it's IRQ with the video and you are likely to have problems with a card installed in that slot unless it's a PCI video card. If you have a generic system, the info about which PCI slot shares it's IRQ with what is usually stated in the manual for the mboard model.
........

"My other drives are IDE."

"Programs such as setup files run from CD or DVD will run sometimes, when they do they run very, very slowly,....."

"The entire system slows down when the optical drive is being accessed, and transfer speeds are down, both on optical.AND on my IDE drives."

It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittent, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.

Try another data cable if in doubt.

80 wire data cables must have the proper end connector connected to the mboard IDE header - usually that's blue, but in any case it's the one farther from the middle connector on a 3 connector data cable.
......

The Via main chipset drivers for the mboard must be or have been installed in the operating system in order for the operating system to be able to run the drives as fast as they are capable of. They're NOT built into XP.
If you're not sure whether they have been installed, it does no harm to try installing them again, even if they have already been installed.
The newest Via Main chipset drivers are available at http://www.viaarena.com - you need the Hyperion drivers, formerly known as the 4-in-1 drivers.
......

"Passmark crashed while trying to bench my HDD tho.....
Could this hint to a solution to the problem? I'll perhaps try running my IDE of the other channel and see if that resolves it...."

"I'll perhaps try running my IDE of the other channel and see if that resolves it...."

It makes absolutely no difference on moderrn mboards where or how you connect an IDE drive to it's onboard drive controller - that only applies to ancient mboards with main chipsets much older than yours.
However, you must use an 80 wire data cable for drives that require one to achieve their maximum speeds - hard drives capable of UDMA 66 or greater, or combo CD/DVD burner drives capable of burning a DVD-R or DVD+R disk at 16X or greater.
.....

If the info I already supplied doesn't help you improve things....

- Try a different benchmark.

- See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:
http://www.computing.net/hardware/w...

- test the ram with diagnostics.

If you want to try a memory diagnostic utility that takes a lot less time to run a full pass than memtest86 does, this one is pretty good - Microsoft's
Windows Memory Diagnostic:
http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag...
Windows Memory Diagnostic is limited to testing only the first 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM.
It can be toggled (press T) to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the default 6 test one first - if it passes one pass of that, use the latter one. A few of the tests in the latter set are intentionally slower.
If you don't have a floppy drive, see the Quick Start Information at that Microsoft link for how to make a bootable CD of the Windows Memory Diagnostic (you need Windiag.iso - you don't necessarily need to use the program they mention to add it to the CD).


- test the hard drive(s) with diagnostics

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
http://www.computing.net/windows95/...

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.

E.g.
Seagate's Seatools will test any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.j...

The bootable Dos versions of SeaTools can be used even if Windows is not working properly.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.

NOTE that if you want to make a bootable diagnostics floppy, I have found that ONLY the last version Seagate lists -- the text version - has worked with ALL systems I have tried it with. Some of the other versions will freeze or not load properly on some systems.



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#5
May 13, 2011 at 12:28:23
whoo, 5am and I'm still scritching my head...
The hard drive access only slows down when the system is trying to access the optical, I found that other than the optical problem the system runs fine... this would include the 80-pin cable my IDE drives are attached to. I'll run the Sea-tools test to see if it truly was a drive glitch or just a dodgy benchmark. My Spybot SD wasn't in the way, I disabled it and that did nothing either.

The advantage of SATA/Expansion over native IDE was pricing, and the ability to add a SATA HDD later on without needing to upgrade an entire subsystem. My IDE's are kinda full :p

Card is in a valid slot, has one empty PCI slot either side.

DVDs are brand-new and store-bought, also tried some older (also store-bought) CDs that used to work in the burner I just removed (because it wouldn't burn) - regardless of CD or DVD the transfer rate is almost nonexistent. For instance, trying to open the setup.exe on the Orange Box dvd makes for 30 secs of super-unresponsiveness - then nothing. Other discs will even get as far as starting to install, but at extremely low speeds (which I think was triggering the read errors previous installers were giving).

edit: the chipset drivers are up-to-date, and the sata datacable is (a) brand new and (b) appears to be seated firmly both ends.
Also, I noted 2 LEDs on the card, SLED and PLED,.. neither of which are lit. The card itself appears to otherwise be working fine.

Thanks for your help with this, it's much appreciated :)


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#6
May 13, 2011 at 14:43:55
It sounds like either the card is not working properly, because of a hardware resources conflict or a driver problem, or it's defective.

If it's defective it won't work properly in any PCI slot in any computer.

Make sure the card is all the way down in it's slot.

Look in Device Manager to see if the card's controller is flagged with a red X or a yellow ? It's listed as a SCSI device.
However, sometimes you don't see that even when it's not working properly.

(E.g. Right click on My Computer - Properties - Hardware - Device Manager)

Consult the Asus manual to see if it states which PCI slot shares it's IRQ with what.
You DO NOT want it in a slot that shares it's IRQ with the video.
If there is any PCI slot that does not share it's IRQ with anything, that's probably the best slot for it to be in.

If the manual doesn't have that, try it in different PCI slots.
The last one next to the center of the mboard is the one most likely to be sharing it's IRQ with the video.
.......

VT6421A card would not work properly until it was installed in a different PCI slot
http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_...
......


The VT6241A controller chip t is a relatively old one - first released in 2003.
It CANNOT run SATA II drives at their full max burst speed ! (300mb/sec)
All new and older fairly recent SATA hard drives support SATA II specs.
A few new ones support SATA 3 specs.
It supports the original SATA specs - max burst speed 150mb/sec

You need a card with a NEWER chip in order for it to be able to run SATA II drives at their full burst speed.

A side note.
A SATA hard drive may be rated as having a max burst speed of 150mb/sec or 1.5gb/sec .
A SATA II hard drive may be rated as having a max burst speed of 300mb/sec or 3.0gb/sec .
They're the same thing.
It's actually 150mbytes/sec or 1.5gbits/sec,
or 300mbytes/sec or 3.0gbits/sec .
All SATA controllers use 10 bits per byte, not 8 per byte, when transferring data.

VIA VT6421A Serial RAID Controller
http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/p...

Drivers
http://www.via.com.tw/en/support/dr...

Microsoft Windows

Windows XP

IDE RAID and SATA

Discrete Serial ATA RAID controllers VT6420,VT6421, VT6421A etc.
........

I found nothing that confirms who made your card or it's model when I searched with a-power sata drive controller VT6421A or similar.

If it has a FCC ID number printed on it, tell us what it is - that can be used to attempt to look up who actually made the card and possibly it's model.

If it has jumpers on the card, this may be of help....

VIA VT6421A SATA PCI Card Jumpers
http://club.myce.com/f7/via-vt6421a...

Excerpts:

My VIA PCI 6421A card was bought off ebay. It came with no manual.

This is what it looks like:
http://www.amazon.com/eSata-Sata-RA...

Does have a manual that explains how to set the jumpers ?

I can only use 1 of the internal SATA ports and im sure the jumpers enable the other ports.

Response 10
There are 2 jumper blocks J1 and J2 with a pair of jumpers in each block. Initially from the factory all jumpers are set to connect pin 2 to pin 3 - all up. This sets all SATA connectors to be internal and eSATA is disabled. To enable eSATA port, change all jumpers to be down, shorting pin 1 to pin 2 (on all 4 jumpers). This will disable the internal SATA connector closest to the eSATA connector.
......

eSata / Sata / IDE PCI RAID Controller Card VIA VT6421A Chip Set
http://www.amazon.com/eSata-Sata-RA...

Technical Details

* 1 eSata ports + 2 Sata Port + 1 IDE Port, PCI Interface. Not bootable.
* SATA port trans speed can up to 1.5G (150Mbps). Supports Windows 98 SE, Me, 2000, XP, Vista
* eSata port and left upper SATA port is shared, control by onboard jumper (Instruction is on CD).
* Complies with Serial ATA specification Revision 1.0, not for SATA Version 2.
* Ultra ATA-133 IDE interface Extension to Ultra DMA-133 interface for up to 133MB/s transfer rate.

"Not bootable"

Huh ?

You should be able to boot from a bootable partition on a hard drive, or from a bootable CD or DVD in an optical drive when the drive is connected to the card

However...

- You MUST be able to select SCSI as a boot device in the mboard's bios Setup Boot Order or similar settings, and it must be listed BEFORE any hard drive

- If you want to install XP on a hard drive connected to the card by booting the computer from an XP CD in an IDE drive, you MUST supply the SATA controller drivers for the VT6421A on a floppy disk after pressing F6 near the beginning of Setup.
(the Via download info above has info about the drivers needed on a floppy.)



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#7
May 13, 2011 at 15:05:20
Your motherboard is based on a VIA chipset and I suspect that is a problem. If you Google VT6421 you will find many hits with speed issues.

If you can, I suggest you just pull the controller card and install an IDE burner. If that is not an option then get a card with a different chipset. See the links below.

http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCate...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...


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#8
May 14, 2011 at 04:27:56
ok...
I shifted the card into another PCI slot that isn't shared (turns out my mobo shares 2 slots around not just 1) - upon restarting I got a device detect/installation notification for the controller card, which was successful. No irregularities in device manager.

After having done that, I noticed 3 things:
1. the green LED on the card now lights up when I open the optical drive in My Computer or otherwise access the drive
2. The drive letter for the optical has changed (it now detects before the removable drive in my USB modem)
3. drive access is faster/more responsive than previous, but still causes system slowdown

both the controller and mainboard chipset drivers are the latest available.

@OtheHill: after doing a lot more wading through reams upon reams of mostly irrelevant information, it seems that there was a batch of these types of cards that was defective when it came to reading optical drives...

so perhaps it is a partially defective card after all :(

Thanks for the help, all very much appreciated :)


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#9
May 14, 2011 at 08:33:12
Did you use the Via supplied drivers ?
Did you try disabling your anti-malware resident module(s) BEFORE you installed the drivers ?

We're glad to hear you found a partial solution, but if you want to be able to run SATA II hard drives at their full max burst data transfer speed, you need a card with a newer (first released later) chip in any case.

One like the one at the second link OtheHill supplied should be fine.
I, and my brother, have a St Lab PCI EIDE controller card with a Silicon Image chip and we have had no problems with them with older mboards, some mboard models have a second SATA controller that has a Silicon Image chip, and I have a PCI-E X1 card on one newer mboard that has a Silicon Image chip for both EIDE and SATA and that works fine.


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#10
May 14, 2011 at 08:55:51
Yep, the drivers came straight from the website. Tried uninstalling them completely, disabling the anti-malware, and re-installed, but no luck.

At this rate I think I will just cut my losses, and buy an IDE drive to tide me over until such time as I start building a new system.

Again, your help in trying to resolve this is much appreciated :)


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#11
May 14, 2011 at 09:08:44
One thing just came to mind. I haven't used a VIA chipset board in years but I seem to remember an issue with some conflicts. May have been with WinXP, can't recall, but the solution was to not install all the 4&1 components.

Not sure if this still applies but have a look at the link below which is installation instructions. Notice is mentions ATAPI drivers (optical).

http://downloads.viaarena.com/insta...


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#12
May 14, 2011 at 09:34:42
"The IDE Filter driver enables the performance enhancing bus mastering functions on ATA-capable Hard Disk Drives and ensures IDE device compatibility. (Also known as the ATAPI Vendor Support Driver)" - this driver, you mean?

How would I go about uninstalling it?


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#13
May 14, 2011 at 10:13:28
I have used many mboards with Via main chipsets and am still using one.
I've never encountered any problem like OtherHill mentioned.

The info OtheHill pointed to is outdated.
Via replaced the 4-in-1 drivers with Hyperion drivers after that, and that's what are available now.

When you install the Via 4-in-1 or Hyperion drivers, you can choose which drivers you install, but you may need to choose a custom installation rather than an express one. If there are already drivers installed, you can choose to NOT install one or more of the drivers when you run the installation, which will probably un-install existing drivers for that.

However, I don't think that has anything to do with your problem.
If you were having a problem with the IDE filter driver a.k.a. ATAPI driver, you would be having the problem with your IDE optical (CD or DVD) drives too. ATAPI support/drivers applies only to optical drives.


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#14
May 14, 2011 at 11:27:58
"If you were having a problem with the IDE filter driver a.k.a. ATAPI driver, you would be having the problem with your IDE optical (CD or DVD) drives too. ATAPI support/drivers applies only to optical drives. "

would those problems include an IDE burner being able to:
* read game discs
* some (but not all) movies
* fail to burn data/audio discs??

Those were the symptoms that saw me swap out my IDE Asus optical in the first place...

If that is indeed the case then I may try uninstalling the 4-in-1 drivers, or at least the ATAPI one, and refitting my IDE burner.


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#15
May 14, 2011 at 15:47:18
Aethir

I am too lazy to review this whole thread. What service pack are you running? If not SP3 then install it.


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#16
May 15, 2011 at 00:31:28
heh yeah it's getting a fairly long thread...

XP Home SP3 - this particular OEM version has SP3 already incorporated.


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#17
May 18, 2011 at 08:20:12
If the IDE optical drive worked fine previously with the Via main chipset drivers that were installed, then it doesn't make any sense that your problems with it were caused the Via drivers.

It's extremely likely your problems with the IDE optical drive were caused by something else.

See response 4 regarding checking the IDE data cable connection.

Optical drives do not remain 100% usable forever.
Sometimes they have become defective and you need to replace them.
If you weren't having problems with it's data cable connection, if the rest of the following info doesn't help, then replacing the original IDE drive with another IDE drive would have solved your problems cheaply.

No modern optical drive has a warranty of longer than a year.
The primary reason for that is they all have cheap sleeve bearings in the motor that spins the disk that develop too much friction in them as they wear, and eventually the motor can no longer spin a disk at even the minimum 1X speed - the original audio CD speed - or it won't spin at all. In that case, the optical drive will no longer read any type of disk, and Windows, and the mboard's bios while booting, will not detect that a disk has been inserted .

After the drive has been used a lot.......

- The laser lens may be "dirty".

The first thing you should do when you have problems reading an optical disk is to....

Try using a laser lens cleaning CD in the drive. If you don't have one you SHOULD have one. Most places that sell CDs or DVDs sell them, and even some "dollar" stores have them for a buck or two.

If the drive can read some disks fine but not all disks...

- all optical drives are somewhat - or very - particular regarding which media - types and brands of optical disks it can read or burn properly. It should read "factory" or "original" disks fine if the drive is capable of reading that type of disk, but you may have problems reading or burning burnable disks if you don't use a type and brand recommended for the optical drive model.
E.g. The only brand recommended for ALL types of burnable disks for LG combo DVD burner drives is Verbatim. Other brands may or may not work properly with the drive if they are not one of the other brands recommended by LG for individual types.

- Combo DVD burner drives - drives that can read and burn both CDs and DVDs - have at least two lasers and associated circuits - sometimes one of those malfunctions after the drive has been used a lot. In that case the drive won't read any CDs, or won't read any DVDs, or it will read the disks but cannot burn any of the type (CD or DVD).

- An optical drive may not read a burned disk properly if it was not made by the drive it is being read in, especially when the burned disk is not a CD-R or a DVD-R . Personally, I've seen that sometimes a CD-RW disk will read fine in a drive it was not made in for a while, then reading it in the same drive becomes unreliable after time has gone by.


- you MAY need to install specific video codecs in Windows to read some types of data on movie disks, or disks with video files on them, because they're not built in by default.


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#18
May 18, 2011 at 09:20:58
Tubes, How can you say the VIA drivers have nothing to do with it? The problems started when the expansion card was installed. I don't know if this is the problem or not but I can't discount it either.

Back when that motherboard first came out there were issues (conflicts) when installing the VIA drivers. The default was to not use all the VIA drivers but let Windows install them.

Aethir

If you know how, look, see what drivers are in use for the IDE controllers and post that information here.


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#19
May 22, 2011 at 03:06:21
grr, my previous reply must have been eaten.

Via IDE Bus Master Controller driver version: 5.1.3597.0
atapi.sys version: 5.1.2600.5512
pciidex.sys version : 5.1.2600.5512
viaide.sys 1.00.01.01

VIA V6421 RAID Controller driver version:(viamraid.sys) 5.1.2600.542


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