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UDMA Hard Disk and DMA Access

Posted on 2000-04-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-04
Hi,
I recently put togehter a system with an Asus K7M with an Athlon 700Mhz CPU & 128Mb PC100 SDRAM. The BIOS has UDMA support and I moved an "old" Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 5120 series UDMA66 HD to use with it. Though the system "seems" quick enough I was disappointed with the throughput and felt I should be getting quicker disk access. While checking around I noticed that there is NO DMA button in the device manager/ disk drives/ maxtor/ properties/ settings tab of the Maxtor drive. It is my understanding that if the drive is using DMA access (which it should) there should be a DMA button checked. I'm using Win 98SE, the latest BIOS v.1008 (downloaded and flashed) and the latest IDE drivers (downloaded). The list of used DMA channels does not show that the HD is accessing any channel. Is it possible for the BIOS to have access to the HD in UDMA mode without a dedicated DMA channel?  Only DMA2 (FD) and DMA4 (DMA access controller) show as being used at all.

Thanks, Rich
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Question by:Jammin
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by:jiler
ID: 2693348
First, when you have a hard disk with RPMs less than 7200, you're not going to see any significant increased throughput. Why? Because the technology was hyped and there are other bottlenecks. Second, ATA-66 drives need to be "set" to run at that level through software that comes with the drive. If you had it in another non ATA-66 system, it was undoubtedly set for ATA-33. Finally, you need a 40-pin 80-conductor IDE cable. It's more expensive and has a blue primary connector.
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by:jiler
ID: 2693380
I see your disk is a 7200 RPM drive. Check out http://www.maxtor.com/library/ide.html for the software you'll need to check the ATA 66 status, etc. Cheers and good luck!

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by:jiler
ID: 2693388
jiler changed the proposed answer to a comment
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by:SysExpert
ID: 2693641
Did you use the new BLUE cable ( 80 wires instead of 40 ) ?
without this, you can not use the full UDMA 66, but should get UDMA 33.
I hope this helps.

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by:igor3063
ID: 2694513
When your machine starts up, right before starting Windows 98, after the BIOS memory count, you have a screen telling you what kind of CPU, how much memory etc. is installed in your PC. It also tells you if the drive is in UDMA/66 mode (UDMA4)...

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by:1cell
ID: 2694633
and if it is, you'll notice about a 2% increase in boot time and opening programs.  Until you approach the 9600 RPM range, the bandwidth is just not used.  Jiler's info is on the money.  I've proven it in a test with two identical systems only using different cables with the help of Quantum and Seagate.
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by:igor3063
ID: 2694876
which udma66 drives have 9600 RPM? I would like to buy a few....
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by:1cell
ID: 2694898
IBM has a few and even one or two above that but they are pricey!
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by:igor3063
ID: 2694906
ok thx i'll go and have a look...
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by:igor3063
ID: 2694910
do you know the typenumbers?
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by:1cell
ID: 2694922
not at all, but honestly, if you're dying to spend the money go scsi
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by:igor3063
ID: 2694951
I can only find 7200 RPM UDMA drives on IBM's site....

I know someone who recorded 200 audiotracks (datarate is about 1000 Mb/ minute) on an Promise UDMA/66 raid... These were 7200 RPM drives....
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Author Comment

by:Jammin
ID: 2695177
Hi All,
Let me see if I can answer all your questions:
1. The drive is a DiamondMax Plus 5120 series #92048U8, 20.4Gig.
2. It is a 7200 RPM drive.
3. I am using the 40 pin 80 conductor IDE cable. (With only 1 drive attached)
4. I'm still checking on the "software". It did come with a disk but I did not pay it any mind since the Asus K7M BIOS was UDMA 66 aware.
5. The boot screen shows the drive in UDMA mode 4.
 The thing is that I've never doubted that the drive was not actually recognized by the BIOS as a UDMA4 (66) drive. My concern is that the Control Panel/ System/ Device Manager/ Disk Drive/ (drive)/ Properties/ Settings..does NOT have a DMA button checked by default. Not that it is greyed out...It does not exist in that dialog box at all. Where as, I think that if it was actually using DMA for access it would indicate it and even list it in the resource dialog as being used/ assigned also. So, the question still remains, can Win98 and the BIOS use UDMA4 without a DMA channel being dedicated to the UDMA 66 hard disk?
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by:Jammin
ID: 2695180
Adjusted points from 200 to 300
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by:Jammin
ID: 2695223
Hi,
I just visited Maxtor's site (www.maxtor.com) and as far as I can tell, there is no real "driver" for the UDMA66 hard drive. (Except for Win 3.x that needs a Win32 driver). Just a note. I have an IBM DeskStar UDMA33 drive (a real screamer even at UDMA33) and that does show a DMA button and has a DMA assigned to it!
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igor3063 earned 900 total points
ID: 2695450
this is normal jammin... i have that too... with udma66 drives its impossible to disable dma from device manager...
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by:Jammin
ID: 2695554
Thanks, I can rest a little easier now!
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Expert Comment

by:devrizz
ID: 5574639
ok, i know nobody will read this as this is an OLD question, but........
the reason there is no DMA box listed in the drive properties is that you have installed the "latest drivers" from asus.  only the IDE drivers from microsoft, supplied with win98, will show the box.  third party IDE drivers, whether VIA, or AMD, or whatever, just don't show the box, but as they say (or claim) "are configured to run the drive at peak settings") or something like that.....
jeez, and you guys call yourselves experts.....    
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