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Old December 27th, 2004, 12:03 PM   #1
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Hard drive performance problem

I'm new to video production. I just installed ADS Pyro A/V Link Pro with a suite of Adobe products. I also installed a Western Digital Caviar EIDE 160GB raid drive for video storage (http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=66).

System: Pentium IV, 2.8Ghz, 1GB RAM, Windows XP home, 40GB system drive + 160GB 2nd video drive.

Problems: Playback from the WD drive is jerky. Playback of the same file but from the older 40GB hard drive is smooth. Recording to the WD hard drive self-terminates after about a couple minutes. Recording to the older 40GB hard drive runs indefinitely.

Need: How to make recording and playback to and from the WD hard drive reliable and smooth like it is to and from the older Maxtor 40GB system drive.

Thank you in advance for you assitance.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 01:10 PM   #2
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How is the drive installed in your system? Is it on a "master, slave, or cable select" bus? Do you have the system (WinXP) using a portion of it for paging files or virtual memory?
It might help to know a little more about how it is installed because it sounds very peculiar. Also, you mentioned it was a RAID drive which implies there would be more than "one" drive. I certainly hope you didn't partition it and try to RAID the partitions (which I have heard of people trying to do).
Other than that it sounds like it might be a configuration problem somewhere.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 01:16 PM   #3
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It's only one drive, but internally there is more than one platter, so WD calls it a RAID drive. It is a slave drive. The 40GB drive is the master. The system is not using a portion of it for paging files or virtual memory.

It is installed internally and is the Secondary drive on one ribbon cable. The 40GB drive is the primary drive on the cable (on the end of the ribbon).
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Old December 27th, 2004, 03:32 PM   #4
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Do you have another bus you could put it on?
IDE doesn't really have the bandwidth to run this as a slave drive, at least not for your application. You should have another internal bus to plug in another drive cable. Even if you have to make your CD-ROM a slave.

I hope it helps.

FWIW- All hard drives have multiple platters, I think maybe Western Digital are either misleading with their advertising or they designed these specifically for RAID configurations.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 03:49 PM   #5
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My mistake. The RAID was a different drive that I had to return. Forget I said RAID.

How will I know if I have another bus I can put it on? Will there be another ribbon cable connector on the motherboard?

If there is no way to connect another bus cable would you suggest I make the 40GB drive the slave? In that case I would have to put the system on the 160GB drive since it will be the primary drive, correct?
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Old December 27th, 2004, 04:34 PM   #6
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Usually there will be another connector on the motherboard to attach Hard drives or CD drives. Sometimes the primary one is blue and the secondary one is white but they look the same and are typically right next to each other. If you have another one (most likely you do) it might already have your CD drive plugged into it. If it does you can do a little rerouting and place the 40Gig and CD-ROM (or DVD depending on what you have) on the same cable and add the new 160 gig on the other. BUT... when you burn something on the CD drive make sure the file is on the second larger drive. EIDE can't simultaneously read and write from the same bus. Hence your problem with video playback. (but it might still be more complicated)

OR... if you want to get really fancy you can buy a separate PCI card (like an ACARD RAID controller seen here http://www.mars-tech.com/aec-6880.htm and then add the one drive while you save up for another. Then you can actually RAID them together and have one BIG 320Gig FAST drive. That is what I have in my computer and I love it.

I am betting that's what you are having a problem with because the OS is running on one drive (master) and the video is running off another on the same bus (slave). Do you know what motherboard you have or what computer it is?
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Old December 27th, 2004, 04:44 PM   #7
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It's a Dell Dimension 8300
http://support.ap.dell.com/docs/systems/dim8300/en/index.htm
The docs say it has 4 buses, but I think that means two ribbon cables with two plugs on each cable totalling 4. Does that sound right? I won't know for sure until I go home and look at it.

If I did as you suggest, I assume I would make the 40GB system drive the master and the CD drive the slave. Correct? Let me know.
(Actually, since my DVD +/- R/RW drive is also a CD writer, maybe I'll just remove the CD drive. )

Wow, this is the most help I received from any source. Thank you.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 05:06 PM   #8
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Hi Will,

Hardrive performance problems on new machines generally have 2 causes:

1. You don't have the latest CHIPSET drivers for your machine ( they are available for download from Dell, just locate your service tag and enter their support/download page using the tag).

2. The drive hasn't got DMA enabled. You can verify this by right-clicking your icon "My Computer" -> Hardware -> Device Manager. Locate "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers". There you'll have a Primary and a secondary channel. Each channel can carry 2 devices. Doubble click the channel on which the new HDD is located - and check "Advanced Settings". It should say "Ultra DMA Mode 4 or 5". If not, try to change it. If you can't change it - go back to device manager and DELETE the channel with the device. XP will then re-discover it and hopefully it will say "Ultra DMA". ( You can force XP to search for new hardware by pressing the icon with a computer with a zooming-lens on it ).

(3). If the HDD is an ATA-133 drive and you have an ATA-133 controller onboard - then you need to attach the HDD using a ribbon cable that consist of 60 seperate cables ( a GROUND per data line ) else you won't be able to use the interface properly.

My guess is that number 2 will help you. Especially if you have installed SP2 for XP already - if you haven't I can recommend doing so.

Good luck!

// Lazze \\
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Old December 27th, 2004, 05:13 PM   #9
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I'll check Dell.

I already have "DMA if available" checked for that drive, but I don't remember seeing "mode 4" or "mode 5" as an option. I'll double check.

Here is the drive: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=66

I have not installed SP2 because Adobe says there are incompatibility problems with SP2 and Premiere.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 05:17 PM   #10
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Hi Will,

My guess is that is says "not available" - then try number 2.

I use PPro v1.5 with XP Pro SP2 - works like a charm!

// Lazze \\
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Old December 27th, 2004, 05:25 PM   #11
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I can't thank you enough for your time and effort. I'll let you know if it works.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 05:41 PM   #12
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You can remove the CD if you want or you can add this new drive to that cable. You just don't want both drives on the same cable or both CD/DVD drives on the same cable. When you get a bunch of equipment in there it can get a little tricky but you can sort it out. I don't think it's an SP2 issue because I just installed SP2 and my problem was sorted out LONG ago. (I had a similar problem a few years ago) It is good that DMA is enabled as well but I wouldn't expect that to be a problem either as it is typically enabled by default now.
Try the cable thing and go from there. Driver and OS issues could take some head scratching to figure out but I don't think that's the problem, Dell builds a pretty decent computer.

Glad you are finding help here.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 05:47 PM   #13
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Should I uninstall the hard drives and CD burner before moving the cables around or can I just open it up and switch the cables?
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Old December 28th, 2004, 03:18 AM   #14
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Goodmorning,

You can re-arrange the drives on the cables without uninstalling them first - they'll be re-discovered by XP when you start windows.

DMA -> I have recently helped 2 people with XP HOME edition that didn't get DMA enabled by default - so something is different between pro and home.

As Rhett said - this isn't a SP2 issue - BUT - SP2 will give you the latest drivers for lots of stuff - and that can be a good start. I run PPro 1.5 + Encore 1.5 + AE 6.5 + Photoshop CS on a Win XP Pro SP2 machine and everything works just fine.

// Lazze \\
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Old December 28th, 2004, 09:59 AM   #15
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It worked! I have the 160GB video drive on the primary bus by itself then I've got the system drive and the DVD burner on the secondary bus, and it's working beautifully! Yahoooooo!

It worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Yesssssssss!
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