Ultra DMA/ATA133?

Ecs / M830lr...
May 3, 2010 at 10:42:22
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 1.659 GHz / 1023 MB
When I run PC Pitstop it always shows my disks as being really slow. It tells me that I should be running in DMA mode, which I am as far as I know. My BIOS has the automatic configuration setup. There is no way for me to tell it anything else. I have bought and installed the 80 pin interconnect cables. I can't find any info on the IDE controller onboard to see if it is Ultra DMA or ATA133, etc. I plan to purchase a separate IDE controller that will give me the ATA133 spec. so that SHOULD take care of it. According to PC Pitstop my drives are running at less than half the bit rate they should be running at. It's funny, though, that when I used to run it on this system it never said that before. Nothing has changed. Does anyone have any input for me on this? What should I be specifically looking for in a controller? Are there any brands to look for or avoid? Thanks for any help.

A positive attitude won't solve all your problems, but it will annoy just enough people to be worth the effort.

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May 3, 2010 at 11:17:51
ATA133 is the theoretical max data transfer rate. You probably won't even see 1/2 that speed...that's normal. Obviously you need an ATA133 controller on the motherboard, the correct IDE cable & a HDD that supports ATA133.

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May 3, 2010 at 12:55:03
Right click on my computer icon, click on properties, hardware tab, device manager button. Expand ide ata/atapi controllers. Double click on primary ide channel, select advanced setting tab. What does it say under current transfer mode? Check secondary ide channel as well. If it shows POI then try enabling dma. If the settings revert to POI after a reboot, reply back for further instructions.

Frank Pepper: “Professionals built the Titanic, amateurs the ark”

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May 5, 2010 at 15:46:31
Sorry I didn't get back with you sooner, Trek. I was working on a reply when I had to do an emergency reboot. Some strange program was installing and I couldn't make it stop any other way. It turned out to be a Microsoft thing, but I didn't recognize it and was getting a little nervous, anyway.

I did some more research and found out that my disks wil run in Ultra DMA mode. I have tried using Block Mode and not and that doesn't make any difference. I bought 4 sets of 80pin cable. Here is what my Devices says:

Primary Device 0 DMA if available Ultra DMA Mode 5
Device 1 Not applicable

Secondary Device 0 DMA if available Ultra DMA Mode 5
Device 1 DMA if available Ultra DMA Mode 4

On my bootup screen it says:

LBA 32Bit Block PIO ATA
Mode Mode
Primary Master LBA ON 16 sec 4 100

Seconday Master LBA ON 16 sec 4 100

Secondary Slave DVD-ROM 4 66

It looks like it's all setup for Ultra. I went to the WD site and asked how to set the drive for DMA. I never got a live person, but it told me that all their drives are really fast and wonderful and tried to make me feel silly for even asking. Never got an answer. I think the SCSI drives (or RAID?) have the ability to turn off DMA. My next step is to order an add-in controller to make SURE I have an Ultra controller.I can then put my DVD drive on one of the on-board IDE channels, and keep the HD's each on their own dedicated channel. I would like to contact someone at PC Pitstop to ask them how they do their testing and exactly why they think my drives are so slow. All their comparisons show my old system as being faster and higher rated than their benchmark systems. Except for the hard drives.

Question for anyone: Is there a better FREE test for your system performance than PC Pitstop? I have been using it for years, but I wonder if it is keeping up with the technology. Once in awhile I like to run it just to make sure my system hasn't slipped in any way.

Thanks for all the good help and info! You guys are top drawer!

A positive attitude won't solve all your problems, but it will annoy just enough people to be worth the effort.

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