Slow DVD Playing, CD Burning - Cant enable DMA

I just installed Linux around Halloween, but I am trying my best to learn. However, I've run into a few problems that I couldn't fix by reading the documentation, and I was hoping that someone could give me a few pointers as to the correct course of action to take.

First, for DVD playing. I've installed mplayer, totem, and gxine, and they all are having problems playing DVDs. Mplayer just doesn't work - sometimes it'll play the movie trailer (quite smoothly actually, but without sound), and sometimes it won't play anything. Totem and Gxine both play the DVDs fine, but with a huge amount of skipped frames. I tried using hdparm -d1 /dev/hdd (my dvdrom drive), but it said:

root@nebula dev # hdparm -d1 /dev/hdd

setting using_dma to 1 (on)
HDIO_SET_DMA failed: Operation not permitted
using_dma = 0 (off)

Also, when I boot up, I receive an error about DMA on my hard drive. It tells me that DMA is not enabled on my hard drive, and that the fsck process would be slow. DMA can't be enabled on my hard drive either (with the same error). I've done some reading, and I've found out that if dma can't be enabled, then there is likely a problem with kernel settings. I've checked them over, and I can't seem to find anything wrong. Here are the settings I'm using: (this is kernel 2.6.0-test9-mm2)

<*> ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL support
<*> Enhanced IDE/MFM/RLL disk/cdrom/tape/floppy support
--- Please see Documentation/ide.txt for help/info on IDE drives
[ ] Use old disk-only driver on primary interface
<*> Include IDE/ATA-2 DISK support
[ ] Use multi-mode by default
[ ] Auto-Geometry Resizing support
<*> Include IDE/ATAPI CDROM support
<*> Include IDE/ATAPI FLOPPY support
<*> SCSI emulation support
[ ] IDE Taskfile Access
--- IDE chipset support/bugfixes
[ ] CMD640 chipset bugfix/support
[*] PNP EIDE support
[*] PCI IDE chipset support
[*] Sharing PCI IDE interrupts support
[ ] Boot off-board chipsets first support
[*] Generic PCI IDE Chipset Support
< > OPTi 82C621 chipset enhanced support (EXPERIMENTAL)
< > RZ1000 chipset bugfix/support
[*] Generic PCI bus-master DMA support
[ ] Force enable legacy 2.0.X HOSTS to use DMA
[*] Use PCI DMA by default when available
[ ] Enable DMA only for disks
[ ] ATA Work(s) In Progress (EXPERIMENTAL)

Following the ATA Work(s) in Progress item, there is a list of different chipsets to support. I couldn't find mine in there. Just in case though, my motherboard is the EPoX 8KHA+. Also, I noticed while I was looking this over that I had mistakenly overlooked a default chipset choice - the Intel PIIXn was checked. Could this be what's causing the problem? It wouldn't be a huge deal for me to recompile my kernel to remove support for this chipset if that's all that's wrong.

On a somewhat related note, I'm also having problems with CD-burning performance. when trying to use xcdroast, I'm experiencing much lower transfer speeds than my drives can support. It says that I shouldn't be using ATAPI; that I should be using SCSI Emulation. However, I've read somewhere on the internet that the new 2.6 series of kernels includes ATAPI support (and I guess it does -- it works, but much more slowly). Should I remove ATAPI Support from the kernel and add SCSI Emulation (the docs say they are mutually exclusive)? Or is this just a fault of xcdroast and/or a problem due to the above DMA problem? Any suggestions?

Thanks so much in advance for any help!
Who is Participating?
amp072397Connect With a Mentor Commented:
PAQed, with points refunded (500)

Community Support Cleanup Moderator
I would disable:
< > Include IDE/ATAPI CDROM support
and enable:
<*> SCSI emulation support
A link you may find this link useful:
cloud1086Author Commented:
I was able to fix this problem by enabling VIA chipset support in the kernel, although the exact chipset model number does not match mine.
Karl Heinz KremerCommented:
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
Please leave any comments here within the next four days.


EE Cleanup Volunteer
cloud1086Author Commented:

Sorry.  I meant to post a request for a refund but it looks like I totally forgot about it.  My apologies for causing extra work. Will post one right now.
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