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  1. Member bmwracer's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I've had this Samsung SH-222L DVD writer for a little over two years and it's been fine until yesterday: Now it only burns DVDs at 1X... Why?

    Is it possible the writer has failed (any way to verify this?) or is it possible that my PC has been compromised (virus, etc.)?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Frank Zappa: "People wouldn't know a good movie if it smacked 'em in the face."
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    Are you running XP by any chance? if so then your burner has most likely gotten itself into PIO mode through God knows what reason. The "geniuses" (not really) that wrote XP decided that if certain "errors" (they're not really as horrible or bad as that name sounds) occurred, the device would panic and fall back from DMA mode (very fast) to PIO mode (very slow) to keep it functioning. The problem is that it's a lot easier to get the kind of errors that cause this than you might think and the error counter is insanely low, making it relatively possible to happen.

    There are a lot of different ways to deal with this. The most reliable way I've found is to make a registry change. I prefer the method described here by "Anonymous" about halfway down.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/147161-45-forcing-mode-primary-hard-drive
    There are other ways in the registry to attack this problem. And Microsoft claims that this issue is fixed by SP 3, but I have my doubts. They suggest another way to fix it via the registry here:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/817472
    There are other methods to try that don't involve the registry but they are less likely to work.
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  3. Member bmwracer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    Are you running XP by any chance? if so then your burner has most likely gotten itself into PIO mode through God knows what reason. The "geniuses" (not really) that wrote XP decided that if certain "errors" (they're not really as horrible or bad as that name sounds) occurred, the device would panic and fall back from DMA mode (very fast) to PIO mode (very slow) to keep it functioning. The problem is that it's a lot easier to get the kind of errors that cause this than you might think and the error counter is insanely low, making it relatively possible to happen.

    There are a lot of different ways to deal with this. The most reliable way I've found is to make a registry change. I prefer the method described here by "Anonymous" about halfway down.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/147161-45-forcing-mode-primary-hard-drive
    There are other ways in the registry to attack this problem. And Microsoft claims that this issue is fixed by SP 3, but I have my doubts. They suggest another way to fix it via the registry here:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/817472
    There are other methods to try that don't involve the registry but they are less likely to work.
    Yup, running XP SP3.

    I'll check my PC.... It's bizarre that it would just switch into PIO mode for no reason... I'll try out your suggestions.

    Thanks for the speedy response.
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    Originally Posted by bmwracer View Post
    I'll check my PC.... It's bizarre that it would just switch into PIO mode for no reason... I'll try out your suggestions.

    Thanks for the speedy response.
    You're welcome.

    It happens all the time. Basically, Microsoft designed it that way, thinking that all their users are stupid and nobody would ever complain. In hindsight it was really stupid of them to do this, but at the time they were convinced that if they didn't fall back into PIO mode for the least little problem, they'd likely have more problems if the burner really had an error. They thought this would actually prevent support calls, but they were quite wrong.
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  5. Member bmwracer's Avatar
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    Hmm, the first suggestion didn't work... Went through the entire process suggested by Anonymous, but I'm still stuck in PIO Mode.

    Trying the Microsoft version next...
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  6. Member bmwracer's Avatar
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    The Microsoft fix didn't fix anything... BUT...

    I uninstalled the DVD drive and its associated IDE controller, rebooted, and it re-detected the hardware and rebooted again... Problem solved.

    Not sure if it was a combination of the Registry change and the uninstall or just the uninstall itself...

    But there's no arguing with the results... But will it work again the next time it happens?
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  7. Member [_chef_]'s Avatar
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    Probably some quirk 3rd party driver(s) installed by some nasty tools?!
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  8. Member bmwracer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by [_chef_] View Post
    Probably some quirk 3rd party driver(s) installed by some nasty tools?!
    Possibly, but the drive worked perfectly the day before and I didn't install any new software during that time... Total mystery.
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  9. Member [_chef_]'s Avatar
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    You never know, even some updates running in the background can rip off such as upper&lower filters which are necessary to use optical drives properly.
    Maybe check the event viewer to see what happened.
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  10. It is not the drive stuck in PIO mode.

    It is the driver get stuck in the PIO mode. It happened whenever XP detect a error that it can't/don't want to deal with.

    So, look for information how to change the driver back to DMA mode.
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    Originally Posted by bmwracer View Post
    Originally Posted by [_chef_] View Post
    Probably some quirk 3rd party driver(s) installed by some nasty tools?!
    Possibly, but the drive worked perfectly the day before and I didn't install any new software during that time... Total mystery.
    Again, Microsoft DESIGNED it this way on purpose. Whether that was really a good idea is a great question to ask them, but it's doing EXACTLY what the programmers wanted when this happens. It's not mysterious at all. I told you that Microsoft's definition of an "error" is pretty loose and just burning one disc successfully (yes, successfully) can generate enough "errors" to make this happen.

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