Enable DMA?

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andyAA

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Dec 28, 2004
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Hi, pcpitstop says my pc has unusually low disk performance and has a cache speed of 3MB/s. Ran scan disk & defrag [no bad sectors]. Trying to enable DMA: for generic disk type01 when I check the DMA box, get a warning message; "changing this setting may have undesirable effects with your hardware" will it be ok to check that box or not? A previous pitstop check-up had noted that the DMA was enabled. Recently had the hard drive reformatted and windows reloaded. Thank you.
 

Rache

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I've never heard of any issues when DMA is enabled. It cuts out putting a load on the processor and speeds things up.
 
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It's all right to check it. If it is unchecked after the next reboot, you may need to switch to a UDMA cable. Win98 often says that DMA is enabled when it actually is not. You will get better DMA performance if you get the actual 80-conductor, 40-connector shielded UDMA cable and replace your 40-wire one.

Also check that it is enabled (or set to "auto") in the BIOS setup.

And a word of caution---
Though PCPitstop is a useful test and gives useful information, the results need to be taken with a grain of salt and interpreted in context. You will get much lower performance ratings for your drives if you have other programs running, for example. And it's just not possible to turn everything off for the tests. Shut down all non-essential programs and revert to the classic theme to minimize CPU and disk usage to get results that are closer to correct for your machine.
 

andyAA

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Dec 28, 2004
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Thank you to both Rache and Elvandil!
Please excuse a nervous nellie here---when I checked the box to enable DMA, got this message and did not proceed; "you have made changes to your hardware settings, b/4 your device will work properly, you must stut down Windows, turn off your computer, and then change the settings on the hardware device to match the settings you selected. For information about changing settings, see your hardware documentation". So what does that mean??? And Elvandil not at all sure about BIOS set up, did look for info. and seems a-bit over my head?
 

andyAA

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Dec 28, 2004
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Could someone please explain what that means, as far as enabling the DMA?
:confused:

I had to have my PC reformatted twice in the last 3 months and I would like not to goof things up again!
 
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DMA

"Short for direct memory access, a technique for transferring data from main memory to a device without passing it through the CPU. Computers that have DMA channels can transfer data to and from devices much more quickly than computers without a DMA channel can. This is useful for making quick backups and for real-time applications.

"Some expansion boards, such as CD-ROM cards, are capable of accessing the computer's DMA channel. When you install the board, you must specify which DMA channel is to be used, which sometimes involves setting a jumper or DIP switch."
 
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