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under-performing USB2/firewire 16x burner on P4 3.2GHz notebook .. running 4x??

A plextor 716UF, an external combo DVD-CD burner, is not burning at even 8x reliably.  The Win XP Pro NTFS single HD is fully defragged, there is 512 megs of ram, 30 gigs free space, there are no other applications using CPU, Nero is updated, notebook bios is updated, plextor firmware is updated, and using 8x media recommended by plextor

And yet the burner frequently times out -- not coasters mind you.  It burns, pauses, burns some more and averages 45 minutes to burn a full DVD when at 16x burns should average 6 minutes, and at 8x should average 12 minutes.

The 716UF can connect either via USB2 or Firewire.  The laptop supports both USB2 and firewire.  Neither connection mode seems to effect a speed improvement.   Various forums suggestion solutions to sluggish *internal* burners by verifying DMA is enabled and such... BUT this is an external drive and therefor DMA, AFAIK, is not a factor.  No discerable difference whether HyperThreading is enabled or disabled.

What tuning options are availble?  How can more than 4x be coaxed out of this 16x burner?
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paradoxloss
Asked:
paradoxloss
2 Solutions
 
paradoxlossAuthor Commented:
No discerable difference  ==  No discerNable difference

please excuse my atrocious spelling :D

(I think it's time I investigate those spellcheck firefox extensions)


additional:  Various high quality media has been tried, in addition to El Cheapo media.  Still stuck at 4x AT MAX  :(
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paradoxlossAuthor Commented:

Does this have something to do with   SBP2 vs AVHDD?
http://www.edn.com/article/CA323016.html

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onedeejCommented:
are you burning large or small files?
if you burn large files, it should be faster, similar to a hard drive when you access multiple small files it takes longer to process or copy, but if you get one large file, then it will have a faster thorough fare, this is because the drive does not have to stop and search, then begin again.

Also, Disc At Once may help.
Try and update your chipset drivers for the Laptop (Use the intel drivers if the manufacturers dont help)
And one final thing, the data transfer rates for USB or Firewire are not a constant, again the large vs small file thing.
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MrBillisMeCommented:
What you describe may an overheating problem, is the laptop getting very hot?
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mysticaldanCommented:
I would be very very tempted to ask you to try FAT32 instead of NTFS but that wud be out ofthe question i guess. SOmetimes NTFS can be a pain with the last accessed features enabled. DOes ur hard disk keep getting accesed rapidly while ur burning? Have u disabled any programs running in the background? Antivirus etc can be a source of problems lilke u mentioned.

I would reccomend Black Vipers Super Tweaks: http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/supertweaks.htm and see if shutting of a prticular service might help you out. Many a times its been able to save the day for me.

Its very much possible you have a memory problem or one where u have a memory leak and RAm is being wasted.

Have u check the system and event logs?? Control Panel >Admin Tools > Event Viewwer and chekc for any suggested problems. I am sure there wud be a bunch of them listed there.

Try changing the cable of the writer. Sometimes a faulty cable can cause rerun errors after a certain limit is exceeded. This might be hapening to you also. Have u attached this writer to another system and checked if it goes Ok there? I am sure though that it would.

Dan
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paradoxlossAuthor Commented:
@ onedeej

Multigig files, a single gig, collections of hundred meg files... it doesn't matter.  Same bizzard speed limit of 1x - 4x.  :(

" update your chipset drivers for the Laptop"  well toshiba hasn't provided any updates so that could be exciting

"the data transfer rates for USB or Firewire are not a constant" -- what did you mean?  Ony one device is using USB2 (the burner) and this is the only firewire device.  It seems silly for plextor to offer a 16x burner if the conduit isn't capable of a steady bandwidth to a demanding device.  ;)

@MrBillisMe
"is the laptop getting very hot" -- nope.  Actually I don't mean to sound flippant.  Thanks for the suggestion :)

@mysticaldan
" but that wud be out ofthe question i guess" -- you guess correctly :)

" Have u disabled any programs running in the background" -- all that can be.  For kicks I turned up the process priority of the burning application to "real time" and gained nothing.  One burning app defaults to normal priority and the other to high priority with no burner speed difference.

" Event Viewwer"  no problems of any kind listed.  this game is getting old  :(

"Try changing the cable of the writer."  Plextor's in box notes VERY clearly warn not to use any cable other than the one's provided by plextor.  So I'll pass on that one.

"Have u attached this writer to another system" -- four.  Four FAST systems and still the same limit USB2 or FireWire





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mysticaldanCommented:
Ok lemme see here. We see a lot of problems cropping up for USB and firewire with SP2. Are u on SP2? If so i have little hope from my side for you. In that case no matter how hard it is to install windows that might be the only way out left for you.

Since urs is a alaptop so i cannot ask u to switch hard disks and try installing onto another one but then i see little chance of this getting sorted out on its own here.

Its one of those things where windows has gone wonky and there is little u can do to sort things out for urselves.

Dan
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paradoxlossAuthor Commented:
@mysticaldan

no, not SP2.  We avoid SP2 for systems that use P2P, or other large volume of connections.
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mysticaldanCommented:
Did u try the Balck Vipers tweaks i posted above? SOmetimes services can cause problems and shutting them down can solve those problems in a jiffy.

I would still reccomend a reinstall of windows since somemtimes windows can have its own corruptions which wud be difficult to sort out.

Also is there any way u can disable firewire from the BIOS? Maybe there is a conflict with hardware componenets causing this problem. In this case windows via PnP can sort it out but not that well so a little push helps.

Try setting PnP settings in the BIOS to manual and check if that helps. Optionally disable Power Management from the BIOS and see if that helps. Power management can cause a lot of USB and other system related problems and turning it OFF might help.


Dan
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paradoxlossAuthor Commented:
@mysticaldan

No because the domain has expired.  Only today was I able to find this:

http://web.archive.org/web/20041128084144/www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm

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paradoxlossAuthor Commented:
I replaced the drive.  In all fairness I split up the points.  Thanks all.  :D
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