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Weird AVI playback on 200 GB HD

Posted on 2003-11-11
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I just swapped a maxtor 120 GB HD to a western digital 200 GB HD in my video edit system.  So here is the weird behavior: Avi's will not play back from this drive. All I see is colorful pixilated snow. No matter whether I capture direct to the drive (via Matrox RT.X100) or simply copy a working file over from another drive (drag and drop), the AVI files all look exactly the same. Now check this out: If I take that same "pixilated" file and copy it back to a different drive, it plays just fine. So the file itself isn't corrupted. All other types of files play back fine, including mpeg's.

My original setup which worked perfectly was:
Controller 1: System Drive, 40 GB, Fat 32, Master
                   Export Drive, 80 GB, NTFS, Slave

Controller 2: A/V Drive, 120 GB, NTFS, Master
                   DVD Drive, Slave

My new set up is:
Controller 1: System Drive, 40 GB, Fat 32, Master
                   Export Drive, 120 GB, NTFS, Slave

Controller 2: A/V Drive, 200 GB, NTFS, Master
                   DVD Drive, Slave

So I did not really change anything in the "system"...I just "upgraded" the HD capacity. It is only the 200 GB drive that is problematic. (Note that I tried partitioning and formatting the drive in every possible combination with the same results.)

Anyone got a clue?

Steve
--------------------
Motherboard= ASUS P4PE
Processor= P4 2.4
Ram= 1 GB
OS Type= XP Pro
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Question by:steve_videoguy
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by:speyfisher
ID: 9721313
The DVD and 200GB on the same ribbon is not ideal.  Try your 200GB alone (no DVD attached) set at CableSelect.  Make sure the 200GB is connected with an Ultra IDE/ATA 100 ribbon w/80 wires.

Is your BIOS version 1006 or later?
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by:kronostm
ID: 9721479
Well, this can be called at least one of the strangest issues I saw on this forum  ...  hmmm  ....

First of all try rebooting in safemode and remove from device manager all drives and controlller.
Reboot and let windows redetect them.

VERY STRANGE !!  COPYING WORKS BUT PLAYING DOESN'T !!
stumping ...
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Expert Comment

by:Luc Franken
ID: 9721624
I really agree with kronostm, this is the strangest thing i've ever seen.

Can you try swapping your 120Gb and your 200Gb drive just to see if it's really the drive, and not the controller?

LucF
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by:kronostm
ID: 9721675
Luc ...the problem can't be either the drive nor controller since the data actually is being copied ok. (steve tested and proved that)
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by:Luc Franken
ID: 9721709
I think you're right on that one, but as you said above "VERY STRANGE", so just let him test every combination possible. I don't think the controller is faulty, could be a driver problem, I don't think his drive is faulty.
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Author Comment

by:steve_videoguy
ID: 9721790
Have already tried 200GB alone on the ribbon.
At the risk of sounding ignorant...how does one tell if the ribbon is 80 wire? What would the alternative be?

Re: the BIOS...this is what "sys info" reports:
BIOS Version/Date:    Award Software, Inc. ASUS P4PE ACPI BIOS Revision 1002, 10/28/2002
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by:kronostm
ID: 9721819
The 80 conductors cable has a more compact distribution of wires on the cable. To have a standard look at the density of wires on floppy's cable. Not that's 40 wires. The other one is 80 wires.
But that's not important here in my opinion.
Please try what I told you to do.
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by:Luc Franken
ID: 9721823
>At the risk of sounding ignorant...how does one tell if the ribbon is 80 wire? What would the alternative be?
It looks like a 80 wire ribbon, older IDE cables had only 40 wires. They're pretty easy to recognize.

>Award Software, Inc. ASUS P4PE ACPI BIOS Revision 1002
That bios version shouldn't even be able to see your 200Gb drive, don't know why it does, but I suggest you upgrade to at least 1006

LucF
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by:Luc Franken
ID: 9721826
I have to learn to type faster.
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by:steve_videoguy
ID: 9721829
Luc...as I noted on the original post, the 120 definitely worked...and I swapped the 200 in its place. I think the question is do I have to change some other parameter in my system to support proper functioning of a HD above xGB? We know 120 worked...and 200 doesn't.
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by:chicagoan
ID: 9721834
Have you tried
turning off A/V software?
Formatting a small partiton on the drive? (as a test)
Changing to a larger sector size?
Checking for IRQ sharing between your video card and secondary controller?
Changing the DMA settings on the secondary controller?
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by:Luc Franken
ID: 9721853
The 1006 bios update should give support to drives bigger than 137MB

LucF
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by:kronostm
ID: 9721856
<<Checking for IRQ sharing between your video card and secondary controller?>> Seems to me a good ideea
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by:chicagoan
ID: 9726083
ty - i always liked you kronostm

DMA is starting to appeal to me as a potential problem tho...
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by:Luc Franken
ID: 9726100
Just a little question, it could mean nothing, but what kind of program did you use for partitioning your drive? Does it have some drive overlay??
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by:chicagoan
ID: 9728938
Can you verify that the version of Atapi.sys in your \system32\drivers folder is version 5.1.2600.1135 or later?

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Author Comment

by:steve_videoguy
ID: 9730122
Hi all!
Sorry I haven't been so responsive in the last bit...I really appreciate the input and hopefully we will soon iron this thing out. What has happened in the meantime is that due to my queries and complaint to the vendor that sold me the HD...and after having followed whatever tests and tweaks he put forward...he has taken back the HD and is due to give me a different one...probably a Maxtor this time. So I don't have a 200 GB to test on at the moment. Admittedly I am reluctant to change/update much before seeing if a change of HD doesn't just solve the weird AVI problem...I could always try to further "optimize" the system after that.

In answer to some of the questions you posed:
<Have you tried turning off A/V software?> Not sure what you mean by turn off?  
<Formatting a small partiton on the drive? (as a test)> Yes
<Changing to a larger sector size?> Always used "Auto"...what would be the larger size? How would this affect me otherwise?
<Checking for IRQ sharing between your video card and secondary controller?> Not shared. I will post all IRQ settings on separate post.
<Changing the DMA settings on the secondary controller?> I remember playing with this to no avail. I recall reading somewhere that ideal would be DMA 5, but I think it showed DMA 2. I guess I'll have to wait for the HD to check again. Is the DMA totally configurable by me or does something else determine the options available?
<what kind of program did you use for partitioning your drive?> XP's Disk Management
<version of Atapi.sys in your \system32\drivers folder > 5.1.2600
<1006 bios update should give support > downloaded it, but did not yet install.

Thanks.
Steve

 
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Author Comment

by:steve_videoguy
ID: 9730168
IRQ settings:

IRQ 0      System timer                                                                      OK
IRQ 1      Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard      OK
IRQ 3      Communications Port (COM2)                                              OK
IRQ 4      Communications Port (COM1)                                                      OK
IRQ 6      Standard floppy disk controller                                             OK
IRQ 8      System CMOS/real time clock                                                      OK
IRQ 12      Microsoft PS/2 Port Mouse (IntelliPoint)                                 OK
IRQ 13      Numeric data processor                                                      OK
IRQ 14      Primary IDE Channel                                                            OK
IRQ 15      Secondary IDE Channel                                                        OK
IRQ 16      Matrox Millennium G550                                                    OK
IRQ 16      Intel(R) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C2       OK
IRQ 17      SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio                                      OK
IRQ 18      Intel(R) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C7       OK
IRQ 19      Intel(R) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C4       OK
IRQ 20      ASUSTeK/Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Controller           OK
IRQ 21      Realtek RTL8139 Family PCI Fast Ethernet NIC                      OK
IRQ 21      Matrox RT.X100 Flex3D Accelerator                                      OK
IRQ 21      Matrox DV/MPEG Codec Driver                                             OK
IRQ 21      Texas Instruments OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller      OK
IRQ 21      Matrox Video Bus                                                                OK
IRQ 22      Microsoft ACPI-Compliant System                                         OK
IRQ 23      Intel PCI to USB Enhanced Host Controller                             OK
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by:chicagoan
ID: 9730972
><Have you tried turning off A/V software?> Not sure what you mean by turn off?  
Disable anti-virus software

><Changing to a larger sector size?>
>Always used "Auto"...what would be the larger size?
8K - 64K
 >How would this affect me otherwise?
You would be unable to use compression on the drive (would wouldnot affect using winzip, rar, etc)
For a file system with large files it generally increased throughput to the drive. There is more wasted space or 'slack' but for AV editing, databases, etc. it usually helps.

><Changing the DMA settings on the secondary controller?>
>ideal would be DMA 5, but I think it showed DMA 2.>
>Is the DMA totally configurable by me or does something else determine the options available?
The maximum DNA is detected at installation.
After the Windows IDE/ATAPI Port driver (Atapi.sys) receives a cumulative total of six time-out or cyclical redundancy check (CRC) errors, the driver reduces the communications speed (the transfer mode) from the highest Direct Memory Access (DMA) mode to lower DMA modes in steps. If the driver continues to receive time-out or CRC errors, the driver eventually reduces the transfer mode to the slowest mode (PIO mode).
A caviar XE is rated at:
Mode 5 Ultra ATA  100.0 MB/s  
 Mode 4 Ultra ATA  66.6 MB/s  
 Mode 2 Ultra ATA  33.3 MB/s  
 Mode 4 PIO  16.6 MB/s  
 Mode 2 multi-word DMA  16.6 MB/s  
Your P4PE is capable  UltraDMA 100 / 66 / 33

If the drive ended up at Mode 2 Ultra ATA  33.3 MB/s, it's a pretty good indication of a problem.
This can be due to resource conflicts, using an old 40 wire cable, chipset or atapi driver or a flaky device on the bus with the hard drive.

If you right click on /system32/drivers/atapi.sys select properties>version do you see: 5.1.2600.1106 (xpsp1.020828-1920)?
If you've done all windows updates that should be the version, otherwise see http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;331958


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by:andyalder
ID: 9746922
Have you tried using a different AVI player?
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by:steve_videoguy
ID: 9747876
Ok guys...I have received and installed a new "Maxtor Diamond Plus 9"  200 GB HD...and guess what? NO more weird AVI playback problem!!

I did not yet update BIOS or ATAPI driver or anything. Interestingly enough, with the drive set to AUTO is the BIOS setup, the DMA still reads DMA 2. I see that when set to Manual configuration, I am given the option to change it to DMA 5...I guess I will give it a try, even though I understand that it should automatically kick in to the highest setting. What else can I tell...Oh yeah, I formatted the drive as a Dynamic drive...not sure if that is better than Basic, which is what the others are and what I've used until now (I am not planning on a RAID array right now). I know that I want to retain the possiblity of pulling the drive and installing it in a firewire enclosure from time to time to hook up to other systems directly.

So I guess there must have really been some compatibilty problem with the Western Digital over a certain size capacity. I am just happy to be able to be back to the same work level I had previously. Now, of course, after being exposed to all of this expert advice...I am going to have to start trying all of the tweaks and updates suggested to see if they will help optimize my system. Never a dull moment!

Btw, I am totally new to the exchange and this was my first question...so over the weekend I'll look all this stuff over and try to figure out how to "close" the question. In the meantime, I'm really appreciative of everyone's input...it gave me hope and I definitely learned a thing or two...although I still can't tell if the ribbon is 40 or 80 conductor ;-) .

Respectfully,
Steve

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by:kronostm
ID: 9748174
<< although I still can't tell if the ribbon is 40 or 80 conductor ;-)  >>  Com'on ... well...now I seea typo ...here :
The 80 conductors cable has a more compact distribution of wires on the cable. To have a standard look at the density of wires on floppy's cable. Now that's 40 wires. The other one is 80 wires.

I'd be VERY curious to find out what the problem really was. It's very strange that the data COULD BE COPIED OK but not played. This means the drive, controller, even the player (it could play from another partition) were ok.
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by:SirHaakon
ID: 9830759
I am now currently having the EXACT same problem as the original poster was, with a 250 GB Western Digital Drive.  Nearly the exact same setup with the same problem.  I can't return the drive because the barcode was mailed in for a rebate, so I can't "swap" it for a Maxtor (or other brand) to see if that's the issue.  To steve_videoguy: did you change ANY settings at all that may have caused the "new" drive to work, and the old one not to?  The sole use for this new drive is for video capture/storage, and if AVI files don't work, it's basically useless.

These drives don't come cheap; I'd really appreciate some help.

Thanks in advance.
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Author Comment

by:steve_videoguy
ID: 9844579
To SirHaakon:  Sorry to disappoint you...but just swapping the western digital to a maxtor is what solved the problem. I still don't understand why, but I'm just happy to be up and running!

Steve
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by:chicagoan
ID: 9844603
Be interesting for you to run this thread past Western Digital and see what they have to say.
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