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Old June 23rd, 2004, 08:01 AM   #1
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Faulty Harddrive for Video Capture Only?

I have a Western Digital 80 gig, 7200 RPM internal harddrive as my media drive (Drive F). There is less than 1 gig of information on it. Iíve never been able to capture video to it (Iím using Vegas 5.) without experiencing about 10 dropped frames per second. I can copy to and from Drive F, save to it, and print from it, but I cannot capture video to it without getting dropped frames. The first 2 seconds of video are captured okay, then the dropped frames begin. After 10 seconds, Iím at 100 dropped frames. This happens on all my tapes, whether Iím at the beginning, middle, or end.

I can capture the same video clips to my C drive (which I would never do, except as a test) without any dropped frames.

Can there be something wrong with my harddrive connection or setup that would make it okay for other things but not okay for capturing video?

Thanks for your help.
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 08:06 AM   #2
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I would check to verify that DMA is active on the F Drive.
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 12:52 PM   #3
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DMA is active (Ultra DMA mode 2).

My problem may have something to do with how the harddrive is connected (the same controller as my CD or DVD drive?). I guess I'll crack my computer open and see.
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 01:15 PM   #4
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might be a bad sector run scan disk
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 01:32 PM   #5
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Philip: 90% sure you just described your problem. DO NOT mix
a harddisk with a slower device on the same channel. Better yet
don't mix a harddisk with anything else at all, not even another
harddisk, unless they are on a recent model Promise controller.

With two devices sharing the same channel the slowest will
determine the maximum transfer speed. Besides that another
device can really wreck havoc on your harddisk. I've had slow
drives, drives not wanting to do DMA and drives that didn't
show up at all due to another device (CD or harddisk) present.

Promise controllers circumvent this and allow multiple speeds to
be mixed on the same channel. But if you put a controller in
(either from Promise or for example Adaptect) you will have 4
channels. If you put two optical devices on one channel you have
3 left... for 3 hours harddisks for example.
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Old June 24th, 2004, 12:28 PM   #6
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The problem persists.

My media drive is set up as a slave to the master hard drive. It was set up as cable select, but I switched to slave/master to see if that would make a difference. It didn't. The slave drive is on the same connector as the master, which is a 120 gig, 7200 RPM drive.

I'm running scan disk now to see if that helps.
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Old June 24th, 2004, 12:49 PM   #7
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Scandisk won't help. Do a test where you have each drive
on a seperate channel without any other devices present.
See what that does.

I'm not 100% sure how it works these days. But in the old
days the master harddisk controlled the slave. This resulted
in lots of problems back in those days.

Test it with one harddisk on each channel and nothing else
on it. See what that does.

Does your bios lists the drives as UDMA as well?
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Old June 28th, 2004, 10:17 AM   #8
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There's also a setting to enable DMA for the hard drives in the System settings. Just the motherboard bios reporting the drive interface as UDMA DMA mode 2 doesn't mean Windows is actually using DMA mode.

Go to Control Panel.
Select System
Then select Device Manager
Select and expand Disk Drives
For each IDE device, select Properties then the Settings tab
Verify the DMA box is checked.

If that is ok, and the problem still exists, a tool to help at least see if you're making things better or worse comes with VirtualDub.

It's in the AuxSetup.exe program, a cool tool that checks hard drive ideo streaming performance with and without windows buffering.

Straight 720x480 RGB video, uncompressed (no DV compression) , requires a sustained write speed of more than 40 megabytes per second. Almost no common harddrives can maintain that.

DV compressed video streams only need about 8 megabytes per second, and most IDE hard drives can do that with DMA enabled.
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Old June 28th, 2004, 10:40 AM   #9
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DV is only 3.6 MB/s, not 8.
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Old June 28th, 2004, 11:03 AM   #10
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True.. but I like to double speeds for inevitable system overhead nastiness, just to have a margin. :)
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Old June 28th, 2004, 04:38 PM   #11
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Okay, that's a good idea. Just be sure to inform others so they
know you are doing this with the numbers! <g> Thanks for
explaining!
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Old June 30th, 2004, 06:50 PM   #12
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a drive like that shoud run at dma4...or maybe even 5.

like someone else suggested, check in windows make sure DMA is enabled.

also, this is kinda cheesy, but goto pcpitstop.com and run a test, i think you can do just the HDs, and see what the throughput is, etc. its not completely rocksolid testing, but maybe it will help unearth something.
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 01:05 PM   #13
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Problem Solved

I finally found my Western Digital Data Lifeguard Tools disk and used it to check the hard drive. It said that the drive had Ultra DMA support of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, but that the Ultra DMA Active was 0. I restarted my computer and ran setup (F2). I went into Drive Configuration, Primary Slave Drive. The drive type was set to Off, so I changed it to Auto. When I restarted my computer, DMA was running at 5 and Iíve been able to capture with no dropped frames.

Thanks for your help and suggestions.
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 02:52 PM   #14
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that means you were lucky if the drive was transferring at a max of 16.7 MB/s

now you are at 100MB/s

jsut a LITTLE bit of a difference eh?!

;-)

glad you got it figured out!
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 07:36 AM   #15
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Well that's not exactly true Trey, since the drive will not do 100
MB/s. As you probably are aware that UDMA 5 supports 100 MB/s.
This ofcourse does not mean the drive actually does this (it won't).

I'm glad it is all working well. It is weird though since 16.7 MB/s
should be enough to capture. Oh well. As long as it works now!
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