Server slows down when copying from DVD disks

Posted on 2006-05-20
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a auto shop that gets monthly subsciption from auto parts for all domestic cars. This subscription update comes in 8 DVD discs each containing 5 Gig's of data on the average. The update is simply to copy the new data from the DVD's into a directory in my hard drive. The problem is when I do these updates, it takes 50 minutes on the average just to copy 1 DVD. It takes pretty much the whole day just to do the updates.

This is my system:

P4 3.0G Dual, 800 Mhz FSB,
4 Gigs RAM
3 HDD's all are SATA's at 7200 RPM
OS: Windows 2000 Server SP4 (all updates installed)
DVD - HP DVD+RW 16x dual layer

Can someone please assist me on this? I will check on replies by Monday, May 22. 500 Points to anyone who can help me speed this up.
Question by:amoray
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    This could be "normal" ... or your DVD drive could have reverted to PIO transfers.   Let's look at the two possibilities:

    (1)  If the DVD consists of a large number of small files, then it is normal for it to take a long time.  This is because the file system keeps the directories up-to-date after each file (in the interest of safety -- so if a problem, e.g. power failure, was to occur, you wouldn't have an inconsistent file system).

    (2)  If the files are relatively large, your drive may have simpy reverted to PIO mode transfers.   To check this, go to Device Manager, and look at the IDE/ATA/ATAPI controllers.  Under each of the Primary and Second channels, look at the Advanced Settings on the Properties page.   If any of the "Current Transfer Mode" settings indicates PIO, then this is what has happened.

    You can fix this easily by doing the following  (You can also just do this without bothering to check the above -- it's harmless; and will ensure your transfer modes have been properly detected):

    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 reboot your system.

    This will force the system to redect your transfer modes.
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    ... one other thought:   Be sure write caching is enabled on your hard drive.   If not, this will slow the writes down even further.    To do this, go to Device Manager  (right-click My Computer, select Properties, then click the Hardware tab, then click Device Manager);   click the "+" sign by Disk Drives;  highlight your hard drive;  right-click, select Properties; then click on the Policies tab.

    LVL 44

    Expert Comment

    Lets see -- 5 GB at about 8 mins ber GB, yes, that is 40 mins per disk, give or take, times 8 disks , that is just about 6 hours.  Yep, you are right in the "NORMAL" range.  Your system speed has NOTHING whatsover to do with the limitations of the DVD technology, the DVD drive is the limiting factor in this transfer situation.

    You can go into the DVD properties and make sure UDMA is enabled.  You can go into windows performance and make sure it is at max. acceleration.  Better still, make sure the DVD is set to MASTER on the secondary controller, not slave, slave is much slower with PIO mode.

    Your real solution here is to set up a DVD server which does not have to be fast -- a pentium 1.2GHz can outpace a DVD easily, this could be your OLD system for that matter, just put a DVD drive in it, and put the disks in that.  Then have it spend the hours downloading the data (even overnight if you are smart) and then copy the data over the network as you need it.  This will be faster than the DVD by a long shot.  

    Sounds like you are trying to make 1 system do everything all at once, add to that impatience of the user -- when you really need 2 systems -- one to download the data, and the other to let you get your work done.  If you dont understand the need for 2+ systems to speed up tasks, try music recording, that will teach you the need for multiple systems in a REAL hurry.

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