Allocate Cache to CD/DVD drive?

Posted on 2006-05-08
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a good decent laptop 2GHz, 700MB memory, and a puny 30 GBhdd.  The only problem I am having with it is that I am trying to run a series of video training in the cd/dvd player.  I can allocate all the memory I want to the C drive but not the D drive.  The audio skips and since this is going to be about 20 hours of training, it's going to get annoying quick.  Is there a way to allocate cache to the cd/dvd player?  thanks.

Question by:texastwostep
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    What exactly do you mean by allocate memory? What memory are you allocating to "C"?
    Are you talking about Virtual Memory? Because thats not really how it works...

    You could try making sure DMA is enabled, if supported this can speed up transfers between storage drives and memory. I assume you are running windows xp?
    Open Device Manager
    Expand the "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers" section
    Double click the "Primary IDE channel"
    Click the "Advanced Settings" tab
    Set both transfer mode dropdown boxes to "DMA if avaliable"
    Repeat for "Secondary IDE channel"
    Restart the PC

    Hopefully this should speed it up a bit and stop the skipping.

    On the other hand it is possible that the 20 hours of video is just too much for the system/codec/playing software you are using. This could be the case especially if the video is one huge file which is the size of the cd/dvd and highly compressed. Either way, I dont think you can "assign" RAM to a cdrom OR a hard drive.

    Hope this helps.
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    XP automatically allocates buffers for all read/write operations; and the optical drive has a small buffer of its own.   Your audio should NOT be skipping -- so I'd look for the cause of that rather than worrying about how the I/O is being buffered.

    Check to see if the DVD player may have reverted to PIO mode transfers.   Look in Device Manager at the IDE/ATA/ATAPI controllers, and right-click "Properties" on each of the IDE channels.   Click on the Advanced Settings tab and see what the "Transfer Mode" (should be "DMA if Available") and "Current Transfer Mode" (should be "UDMAx" where x is a number) indicate.

    If one of these shows "PIO" as the "Current Transfer Mode" then that's what's causing your skipping.   If that's the case, just do this (this is a harmless registry mod that simply causes transfer modes to be redetected on the next boot):

    Load RegEdit (Start - Run - Regedit)

    Go to the following keys:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ Class\{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\000x

    The last four digits will be 0000, 0001, 0002, 0003, and so on.

    Under each key, delete all occurences of the following values:


    Now just reboot.
    LVL 47

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    Author Comment

    I'll look at both these when I get home, back to my laptop and get back on this post.  Thanks for the timely responses.

    Author Comment

    Unfortunately none of this worked.  Neither did simple maintenance like downloading patches, defragging or cleaning to DVD drive..... apparently I have all the proper specs...memory, hdd space, quick time version, etc."  Any more ideas appreciated.  Obviously the DVD works find in my desktop.
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    Did you make the registry modification I suggested above?   ... it never hurts to force a mode redetection.

    ... are the DVDs you're having this issue with commercially pressed ?  ... or burned DVDs?

    If they are burned DVDs then these can make a big difference:

    (1)  Use the highest quality blank media ==> personally I only use Taiyo-Yuden DVD "+R" blanks.

    (2)  Burn at a conservative speed -- never faster than 8x

    (3)  Try the "opposite" media type => if you're using "-R" try "+R" & vice-versa

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