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New Hd Install - No Udma Support, Dma 2 Only


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#1 Cheffy

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 10:39 PM

Hi all - first post. A bit of a doozy I'm afraid.

I recently purchased a diamondmax ultra 16 250 gb hd, and installed it as a second HD as a master on the secondary ide channel using the cable provided (80 wire) and the maxblast software. The drive works, but responds only in multi-word dma 2 mode.

My boot drive, a 20 gb maxtor fireball, functions fine in UDMA 5. I have a 1.5 GHz P4, SiS motherboard, running win XP pro. My AMI bios sets and recognises the 250 gb hd as UDMA 6, but windows only allows multi-word dma 2, despite the other HD set as UDMA 5. It would appear that a miscommunication between the bios and XP is occurring. Contacting maxtor gave no useful info.


I've tried uninstalling the primary and secondary channels and letting windows reinstall it, updating my IDE drivers, altering registry values to force it into UDMA ( and under device manager dma if available is selected. NO dice. I have AMI bios that autoselects for UDMA so it cannot be manually adjusted, but udma is recognised.

The 20 gb drive under the primary ide channel as a master, and the 250 gb drive as the secondary master. Changing the 250 gb drive to the primary slave or master still keeps the multi-word dma 2 mode. Changing cables makes no difference.


I tested the HD using the powerblast software, no problems, used other freeware, no problems noted. But the transfer rate remains consistently low at 16.4 mb/s, no ups, no downs. It's obvious that the restriction in performance is due to it's inability to use UDMA instead of multi-word dma 2.

I don't want to do a clean install of XP because of the time involved with updates and making configuration changes. I've read in forums the problem may be linked to the ESCD and that clearing it may solve the problem, but I'm not certain about doing this. Would installing an additional IDE controller card and forcing a new channel help? This is very frustrating, because there appears to be NO good reason why it does this. I've found two other people through usegroups that have had the same problem, but the posts were old and no solutions noted other than a clean install of xp for one person. If a clean install helps, there must be a way to change the configurations somewhere.

I am out of ideas. PLease help!

Cheffy

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#2 Enthusiast

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 01:19 AM

Do you have SP2 installed?

#3 HitSquad

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 08:00 AM

Hi cheffy, welcome to BC.

SiS motherboard


SiS does not make motherboards, that's only the chipset. :thumbsup:
You've already been through almost everything there is to do.
I really think this is a board limitation and your only workaround would be a pci controller card.
As you've found out, what the bios says and what XP says are two different animals.
Could you please post the motherboard maker and model number or make and model number of computer if it's an OEM system?

#4 Cheffy

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 08:36 AM

I do have sp2 installed, updates all in place. Mobo AMIBIOS #:

62-1107-001437-00101111-040201-SiS645

Mobo Manufacturer: Hsing Tech - ECS M930LR (yes, not SiS :thumbsup: )

This web page has my nearly identical MOBO - except the SIS chip near the pci slots is labelled XP4 HT7961 instead.

http://www.ikonpc.com/pmoreinfo.asp?iid=1917

PCchips doesn't list a bios update for my model M930LR that I could find.

I have no problem with adding a pci IDE card, but wonder if it would help given that the system has no problem recognising my other HD as UDMA 5. Unless something about the UDMA 6 signal is throwing it off?

Thanks!

Edited by Cheffy, 11 July 2006 - 09:30 AM.


#5 HitSquad

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 10:07 AM

Hsing Tech - ECS M930LR

Oh boy, one of those. :thumbsup:
In order for full compatabilty with UDMA6 mode, your mainboard must support UDMA 133, which it does not.
Max is UDMA 100 (UDMA5)
Even if you could change the mode via the bios, you're still losing out on drive performance.
Also, you wouldn't want to configure these two drasticly different drives on the same IDE either.
A supported controller card, such as this one, will work around the limitation. You might want to look at the Promise line of cards which are the most popular today. I only posted the above example because I have to jump a plane in a couple hours and it was right there. :flowers:

Edited by HitSquad, 11 July 2006 - 10:10 AM.


#6 Cheffy

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 11:31 AM

Thanks much for the advice. Been spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to find a way to update the BIOs - hard to be 100% certain. The Mobo itself has been great no problems at all until now, and great upgradability should I desire it.

My IDE drivers from SiS state they recognise ATA133, but who knows. I have no problem running under UDMA 5, I'll never see transfer rates that high probably anyway. But since I can't get UDMA service period, well...

Good luck on your flight!

#7 Cheffy

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 01:23 PM

I've come to the conclusion that I will not find my exact MOBO on the net due to certain peculiarities. It is almost identical to the PCCHIP M930LR. Mine is red too, but noted the southbridge chip as XP4 ht7961 - the SiS 961 chip.

http://www.ikonpc.com/pmoreinfo.asp?iid=1917

However this model is not mentioned on the PCCHIP website, next closest being this set:
http://www.pcchips.com.tw/PCCWeb/Downloads...=35&LanID=0

It is also almost identical to the ECS P4S5A - exact same layout, but different colour.

I'm not convinced flashing the bios would help anyway, it already recognises it as a UDMA 6 device there. I was thinking of clearing the CMOS and or ESCD - what are the problems associated with this?

#8 Cheffy

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 11:44 PM

Rambling away, but here I go.

Well, I downloaded the newer drivers the other day but it didn't seem to help. I just tried something to see
what would happen - I removed the primary and secondary channels in device manager as well as the ide controller. I then shut the computer down, and cleared the cmos. I figured this should clear the bios and
windows of hardware info, and start everything fresh. Well, I reconfigured my bios, reloaded windows, and winxp reloaded all the hardware and my SiS drivers. I tried loading them manually, but windows says the current driver are already updated. Now after loading this hardware win xp wanted to restart. Before that, I took a peek at the devices on the channels. For the primary channel with my boot drive it noted DMA enabled, but did not list a current transfer mode and showed "Not Applicable". But for my 250 gb drive it showed "Multi-word DMA-2"! As always. It's as though it is hard wired in, simply bizarre.

I did try the drive on another (older) system, but it was using win 2000. It showed the transfer mode for both the boot drive and my drive as "Udma Mode". No listing of UDMA type. The mobo probably only
supported UDMA-66 anyways. Not sure what to make of this.

BTW, my IDE drive version is:

5.1.1039.2041

The one from that package. The drivers for the primary and secondary
channels are from microsoft \system32, version:
date: 01/07/2001
ver:5.1.2600.2180

I'm assuming that this is for the channels themselves.

My next step is that I'm installing winxp temporarily on the new drive. I will remove my current boot drive and set up the 250 gb as the master. Then I will install WinXP (with SP2) and see if the drive is
recognised as UDMA-5 or 6. If it still says DMA-2, I plan to return the drive. Might just be my hardware, but I'm not taking any chances. Besides, the drive is supposed to be "whisper quiet", but when under
heavy use makes a racket compared to my older 20 gb. Probably nothing, but better safe than sorry.

What do you think?

#9 HitSquad

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 05:23 AM

Hi again Cheffy.
I see you're still at it. :thumbsup:
From your original post, I would have thought that setting it up as a master on the primary by itself was something you already did.
As you found out, your board is a clone. It was manufactured for pcchips.
I don't believe the drive is defective. Your bios is identifying the correct UDMA setting, which is correct for the drive. Keep in mind that just because the bios is identifying the drives default UDMA mode, it does not mean it is capable of handling it correctly. I think this may be throwing some confusion in to your diagnosis. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I still think it's a bios and\or chipset limitation and the only solution (outside of a controller card) are updates for for both that specifly address the issue.
Maxtor use to make a drive utility that would let you reset the UDMA mode on a drive to workaround this issue in the past. But again, it really defeats the purpose of having a faster drive by using a lower UDMA mode. If you decide to return the drive, don't replace it with the same one. :flowers:

Good Luck.

#10 Cheffy

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 10:48 AM

Thanks for the reply- Hope your trip went well.

So are you suggesting that while the BIOS recognises the UDMA mode, this confuses it to the point where it won't use UDMA at all and instead reverts to the highest normal DMA mode? If so, would adding a separate controller card help, or would it run into the same problem? Does it circumvent this? If so, I'm definitely game! I'd like to hold off on purchasing a new computer just yet.

EDIT - I think I found the answer to my question:

http://www.dslwebserver.com/main/fr_index....-vs-ata133.html

I suppose what confuses me is the fact that it won;t run in UDMA at all. If it simply didn't run in UDMA-6 and in 5 instead, I'd agree it was a bios/driver issue, and be fine with this. But it doesn't default to the next supported UDMA at all, and is automatically reverted simply to DMA-2. But, perhaps the built-in logic on the HD confuses the heck out of my bios (AMIbios version 1.12.06 updated november 2001).

Thanks again,

Cheffy

Edited by Cheffy, 13 July 2006 - 10:58 AM.


#11 HitSquad

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 12:55 PM

I think there's still some confusion here. :thumbsup:
The HD's UDMA mode is preset at the factory. There is nothing you can do to change that unless the drive maker offers a utility or jumper to do so. The drive will not just "fall back" to the next UDMA mode, that's not how it works. :flowers: A controller card uses it's own built in bios to workaround any mainboard and bios incompatabilities. Your motherboard's bios and chipset are out of the picture completely. It's foolproof but you must match the card to the drives specs, such as the example I left in an earlier post.

Edited by HitSquad, 13 July 2006 - 12:55 PM.


#12 Cheffy

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 04:47 PM

I see... this makes a lot more sense to me now. I was under the impression Win XP would simply "fall back" on UDMA modes as per

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/storage/ide-dma.mspx

"For repeated DMA errors. Windows XP will turn off DMA mode for a device after encountering certain errors during data transfer operations. If more that six DMA transfer timeouts occur, Windows will turn off DMA and use only PIO mode on that device.

In this case, the user cannot turn on DMA for this device. The only option for the user who wants to enable DMA mode is to uninstall and reinstall the device.

Windows XP downgrades the Ultra DMA transfer mode after receiving more than six CRC errors. Whenever possible, the operating system will step down one UDMA mode at a time (from UDMA mode 4 to UDMA mode 3, and so on)."

However, perhaps this only occurs when support for the device is there initially and other errors occur. Maybe it's actually running in PIO-4 mode, and for some reason is noted as in DMA-2. The data transfer rates are the same (max 16.7 mb/s). Oh well, I'm going to pick up the controller card regardless tomorrow. I live in a small town and decent computer hardware is a 40 min drive away. :thumbsup:

Thanks for all the help!

EDIT - After looking over the pdf manual I downloaded from the maxtor site, it states that:

"The maxtor diamondmax 10 hard disk drives support all ultra DMA data transfer modes (0-5) defined in the ATA/ATAPI-6 standard. In addition, these drives support Mode 6, and can send and receive data at the full 133MB/s transfer rate."

???? So it should be able to run at UDMA 5, which I know my mobo definitely supports. Now I'm confused again.

Edited by Cheffy, 13 July 2006 - 05:35 PM.


#13 HitSquad

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 06:29 AM

So it should be able to run at UDMA 5, which I know my mobo definitely supports. Now I'm confused again

You would need to be able to make that change in the bios, which you said is locked and will not let you reset it. (from udma6 to udma5). If you could, then you would be ok, follow?
For windows to correctly handle the drive, it needs to be first set correctly in the bios.
Me thinks your still in "fall back" mode. :thumbsup:
I really have no other suggestion then a compatable controller card that would put an end to your problem. It will also allow for future storage expansion. They're really very nice to have and don't cost much $$.

#14 Cheffy

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 02:05 PM

Thanks for the clarification, sometimes me brain no work good. :thumbsup:

I picked up an adaptec controller today, will try it out. Yeah, not a promise card, but around here choices are limited and I'm too impatient to wait for online delivery. The nearest shop is 40 min away! The guy there gave it to me 40% off, not too shabby.

I'll report back tonight!

Incidently, I think I found an update for my bios, which is supposed to have a fix for ata 133 support. But because my board is a clone, I'm a little concerned about it being the right one. The guys down at www.wims.com basically said there's almost no chance it's the wrong one though.


Update - Success! The card works!! I had a bit of trouble at first, as the card kept stopping right as it loaded its own BIOS, forcing me to restart. I eventually determined that it had to be in the 1st PCI slot, my Mobo BIOS must shut the other 4 PCI slots down after loading until the OS is open. Now I attained an average 54.1 mb/s transfer rate, with bursts up to 110.4 mb/s, or about 3.24 times as fast as previously. The average seek time was 14.4 ms.

I'll not bother updating the bios then, if the only problem it gave me was a lack of ata 133. For $45 (cdn) with tax it was an okay price for what seems to be good performace.

Thanks again for all the help!

Edited by Cheffy, 14 July 2006 - 03:57 PM.


#15 HitSquad

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 07:45 AM

You're welcome Cheffy.
You are correct about the bios update. There is no need to "experiment" with it now.
You'll find the controller card is sweet when you want to add more drives too.
I have a Promise card in one of my older systems handling 4 HD's. Works great.




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