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Solved: PCI IDE Controllers and two DVD RWs????

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jazz3000, Oct 30, 2007.

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  1. jazz3000

    jazz3000 Thread Starter

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    I'm fixing a system that has two DVD-RWs. The Primary DVD is on second IDE and the second DVD slaved to that. When it boots one is identified as a DVD-RW Optical the other is only recognized as a CDrom. I've read that a PCI IDE Controller Card has solved a lot of problems with these types of issues. Anyone know if this is the circumstance?
    Thanks for your help...Jazz
     
  2. PuppyLinux

    PuppyLinux

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    Just off the top of my head, one (or both) of those optical drives MIGHT need a firmware update to eliminate this problem, but you've probably already covered that angle, so let's look at some other ways of addressing this...

    First of all, you might want to be SURE the jumper settings are correct on both drives; that is, check to be sure that the drive at the END of the IDE cable is jumpered as the Master, and that the drive attached to the middle of the IDE cable is jumpered as the Slave. If the jumpers are not set correctly, you could encounter some really bizarre problems, maybe even THIS problem. Remember to enter the CMOS Setup program during bootup to verify that both drives are properly detected as Master and Slave on the Secondary IDE channel. Save your settings on exit, then reboot the system and check the Device Manager to see if the problem has been resolved.

    If you're SURE that everything is already set up correctly, switch the drives AND the corresponding jumpers, then re-enter the CMOS Setup, to be SURE that the CMOS detects the changes you've just made. If the CMOS can't detect the drives properly, there's a good chance that Windows won't be able to, either...

    Again, save the settings as you exit the CMOS, and once you've booted back to the Desktop, check the Device Manager again to see if the changes you've made show up there.

    If you STILL can't get everything working properly, shut down and disconnect one drive COMPLETELY. Remove BOTH the power cable AND the IDE cable, then retore power, make sure the new configuration is detected by the CMOS, and reboot. Open the Device Manager...

    Do that for EACH optical drive individually. If the Device Manager can see each individual drive as a DVD/RW device, you'll probably have to connect at least ONE of them to a PCI IDE controller card to get full performance from both of them. If the Device Manager does NOT recognize one of them properly, you might want to move it to another system to see if the problem moves with the drive. If it does move to the next system, you MIGHT want to find out if you can flash the firmware on the drive (check the maker's website)...

    You know how it is; sometimes you CAN correct these problems by applying a little cable- or jumper- swapping logic, and sometimes, you can't. Windows has ALWAYS had problems with optical drives, so this is really nothing new. You might be able to avoid the expense and aggravation of adding a PCI controller card, and then again...

    Adding the PCI card will increase the bootup time; to make it as fast as possible, make SURE that the CMOS is NOT trying to find a BOOT device on the card. IOW, do NOT let the CMOS attempt to boot from the card; those PCI cards often have a bootable HDD attached, and the CMOS will wait (usually 30 seconds or MORE) for a response from the PCI card, which can REALLY slow down the bootup...

    I'm not trying to overload you with information here; I just want to get you pointed in the right direction and help you get this resolved quickly.

    Good luck; let us know what you find...
     
  3. jazz3000

    jazz3000 Thread Starter

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    Hey Puppy -
    Thanks for such a solid reply. I really appreciate the time you've taken and descriptive you given. I think I can step by step it at this point. Will let you know....Jazz
     
  4. PuppyLinux

    PuppyLinux

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    Hey jazz3000 -

    You've obviously been around here a while now, and we're all in the same boat trying to solve the stupid problems that Windows ALWAYS has, so I tried to give you several options to address this, without overloading you... Of course, I also try to keep in mind that others who read the thread might not know as much as the person who wrote the original question, so I try to give detailed answers when needed, for the benefit of those who will be reading this sometime in the future. I'm sure you'll knock this out pretty quickly, unless that Windows system is missing some obscure update I'm not aware of...

    Anyway, you're on top of this, and others who read this should be able to follow along without too much heartburn, so beat this thing into submission, and please don't forget to let us know how things turn out...

    Keep punching, and remember, Windows is ALWAYS "broken"... which is why I love Linux... :D
     
  5. Soundy

    Soundy

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    A BIOS update for the motherboard may help, as well.

    This should not be necessary - if you're setting the Master/Slave jumpers, it should not matter which connector each is on (unless there's something else really strangely wrong).

    The other option is simply to set both to CS (Cable Select).

    On the other hand, if both are set to the same thing, most BIOSes won't detect either, or it will hang for a long time and eventually only detect one drive before continuing.

    There's something the original post didn't mention: does WINDOWS see the two drives properly? If this "problem" is confined to the the BIOS detection, it may not really be a "problem". I've seen a couple of machines that behaved similarly - including one with a DVD and a CD drive that BIOS saw as both being CD - that worked fine nonetheless. I could even boot a bootable DVD from the DVD drive, despite the BIOS only thinking it was a CD.

    ...or if available, connect one to the primary IDE ribbon. Again, the original post leaves out a lot of potentially helpful information, including how many hard drives there are, what motherboard it is, whether there are one, two, or more IDE channels available, etc.
     
  6. PuppyLinux

    PuppyLinux

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    Though I TRULY don't like to contradict advice posted in what must be good faith, I feel obligated to address some SERIOUS flaws in some of the advice recently posted within this thread...

    1. I considered that the motherboard BIOS might need updating, but since only ONE optical drive is being mis-identified, I chose to focus on updating the optical drive firmware instead. An unsuccessful flash of the firmware will only cause problems with a single optical drive; having a motherboard BIOS flash go haywire can bork the entire board, and by default, screw up ALL of the hardware, to the point that the system could become unbootable. I suggested attempting to work with the individual components as the safer choice, all things considered... I think that if the BIOS were ACTUALLY at fault here, it would probably identify BOTH optical drives the same way, IOW, as CD-ROM drives... HOWEVER, if all else fails, updating the motherboard BIOS would certainly be an option worth considering... if an update that addresses this issue is in fact available...

    2. Master and Slave attachment points DO matter with 80-conductor IDE cables; for more information, read this article:

    http://www.storagereview.com/guide2000/ref/hdd/if/ide/confCable80.html

    Pay close attention to THIS section:

    * Connector Assignments and Color Coding: For the first time, the 80-conductor cable defines specific roles for each of the connectors on the cable; the older cable did not. Color coding of the connectors is used to make it easier to determine which connector goes with each device:

    * Blue: The blue connector attaches to the host (motherboard or controller).

    * Gray: The gray connector is in the middle of the cable, and goes to any slave (device 1) drive if present on the channel.

    * Black: The black connector is at the opposite end from the host connector and goes to the master drive (device 0), or a single drive if only one is used.

    3. The "Cable Select" setting is problematic, especially when the older 40-conductor cables are used, because standard 40-conductor IDE cables DO NOT SUPPORT and ARE NOT DESIGNED for Cable Select usage. For more details, read this article:

    http://www.storagereview.com/guide2000/ref/hdd/if/ide/confCS.html

    Pay close attention to THIS section:

    "To use cable select, both devices on the channel are set to the "cable select" (CS) setting, usually by a special jumper. Then, a special cable is used. This cable is very similar in most respects to the regular IDE/ATA cable, except for the CSEL signal. CSEL is carried on wire #28 of the standard IDE/ATA cable, and is grounded at the host's connector (the one that attaches to the motherboard or controller). On a cable select cable, one of the connectors (the "master connector") has pin #28 connected through to the cable, but the other (the "slave connector") has an open circuit on that pin (no connection)."

    Note that one point in particular: A SPECIAL (40-conductor) IDE cable IS REQUIRED for Cable Select, which is one more reason why CS failed to work properly for countless thousands of people. Read that again; Cable Select REQUIRES a special cable, one DESIGNED and constructed to properly handle the CSEL signal on Pin #28. Countless THOUSANDS of desktop systems were built using the CS settings on the IDE drives, but the builders did NOT install the special cable CS requires, so the systems had to be repaired (usually under warranty). I know this for a fact, because I spent more than three years (moonlighting) under contract to a MAJOR US computer retail outlet (which sold buyers EXTENDED THREE-YEAR WARRANTIES!), in the middle - to - late '90s, changing untold THOUSANDS of systems over to the Master / Slave configuration, because it was too difficult to get the stupid (special) CS cables. That extra income paid for my Ford F-350, my Suzuki Bandit 1200, various guitars, and a whole PILE of computer equipment, some of which I still own to this day... My co-workers estimated that we'd converted somewhere around 40,000 units to the M/S configuration over the life of that 39 month contract; it was extended for three months (from the original 36 months) because we did ALL needed repairs while we had those systems in-house, and we often had to wait for replacement parts. The extra time was used to clear the backlog of systems that had not been returned for service during the original time-frame...

    Follow that with these points:

    "Unfortunately, regular 40-conductor IDE/ATA cables don't support cable select. (Why this came about I do not know, but I suspect that some bean counter determined they could save five cents on each PC by doing this.) So to use cable select you need a special cable, and these are of course non-standard, making them a special purchase. Also, many people don't understand cable select, nor do they realize it needs a special cable. If you set both drives to "CS" and then use them on a regular (non-cable-select) IDE cable, both drives will configure themselves as "master", causing a configuration conflict.

    "Making matters worse, the 40-conductor IDE/ATA cable select cables have the "master connector" as the middle device and the "slave connector" as the device at the end of the cable, farthest from the host. For signaling reasons, it's best to put a single drive at the end of a cable, not put it in the middle leaving a "stub" of wire hanging off the end of the channel. But if you do this, that single drive sets itself as a slave with no master, a technically illegal configuration. Worse, suppose you do this, and your hard disk sets itself as a slave, and the system boots from it without problem, as most would. Then, you decide to add a new hard disk. You set it to cable select and attach it to the middle connector. The new drive then becomes the master, and thus moves ahead of the old drive in precedence! The system will try to boot from it instead of your old drive (which some people might want, but many do not.)"

    And these points:

    "As you can see, the traditional way of doing cable select was a total mess, which was why it was never widely adopted. The key reason for this mess was--once again--lack of standardization. I rather expected cable select to eventually wither away. However, when the 80-conductor Ultra DMA cable was introduced, the cable select feature was much improved, changing the potential of this feature. The two key changes were:

    * Drive Position: Unlike the old cables, with the 80-conductor cable, the master connector is at the end of the cable, and the slave is in the middle. As I explained above, this is a much more sensible arrangement, since a single drive placed at the end of the cable will be a master, and a second drive added in the middle a slave.

    * Universality: All 80-conductor IDE/ATA cables support cable select (or at least, all of the ones that are built to meet the ATA standards). This means there's no confusion over what cables support the feature, and no need for strange "Y-cables" and other non-standard solutions.

    "These two changes mean a world of difference for the future of cable select. Since these cables will eventually completely replace all of the 40-conductor cables, all systems will be capable of running cable select without any special hardware being needed. As I mentioned before, you can still explicitly set drives to master or slave if you want to, and the CSEL signal will be ignored by the drives. So the bottom line is that these cables work either way, cable select or not. What will finally make cable select catch on? If drive manufacturers and systems integrators widely agree to use it, and the manufacturers start shipping drives with the "CS" jumpers on by default. We'll have to see if this happens."

    Clearly, that did NOT come to pass... The MAJOR point here is this; Cable Select is still an option NOT worth considering, and I don't know ANY certified technicians who install IDE devices using the Cable Select method, and I'd FIRE any tech who started using CS to repair any system. I REFUSE to even open that can of worms; I educate customers who inquire about it, and if any of them ever insisted that his/her system be constructed that way, they'd be an EX-customer pretty damn quick... which I'll admit isn't likely these days, because IDE devices are quickly falling by the wayside, superceded by their SATA/eSATA equivalents...

    The introduction of the 80-conductor cable actually SOLVED the problems inherent in the ORIGINAL design of Cable Select, but it was a solution no one wanted or needed, because SATA was ALSO introduced while the 80-conductor cable was being phased in, eliminating any real need for choosing a Cable Select configuration at all... The cure worked, but the patient already had one foot in the grave by the time it arrived...

    I'm pretty sure that falls into the category of "bizarre problems"...

    Soundy makes some good points there; the BIOS doesn't actually need to identify the device beyond recognizing the BASIC function of it, which IRQs the device requires (if any), and where in the polling order it should be addressed. ALL of that information is contained in the BIOS chip of ANY device the SYSTEM BIOS is expected to manage. An obvious example is the videocard; it has the HIGHEST hardware priority (the LOWEST number), and is therefore polled FIRST, because if it wasn't, you wouldn't see any display on the monitor during bootup. You could have a problem with some other device, and you'd never see an error message if the videocard wasn't activated first...

    Again, good points; obviously, I was working on the information available, since I didn't want to concern myself with information I didn't NEED at the time. It would have been nice to have more details, but I'm accustomed to working with very little input from clients, and I'm willing to make a SWAG or two in the course of a repair. That doesn't ALWAYS work, but I can ballpark most problems without the minutia, and usually get the OP pointed in the right direction fairly quickly, as long as I can understand what they've written, and then decipher the basic problems from OP hieroglyphics...

    Anyway, I hope this LONG post clarifies the issues concerning the SERIOUS drawbacks to using the Cable Select settings nowadays, and the importance of using proper drive positioning for Master / Slave devices with 80-conductor IDE cables. The information I've posted (and linked to) here has been available for YEARS, and I guess I was somewhat surprized that a self-proclaimed "Omnigeek" would pass along such obviously flawed information...

    Well, we have nowhere to go but UP from here...
     
  7. Soundy

    Soundy

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    Yeesh, no need to be a condescending prick.

    FWIW, across literally HUNDREDS of machines I've built and serviced over the past, oh, 18 years of working on PCs, NEVER have I had issues with using CS (fine, I'll admit, I left out the distinction between 40/80 wire cables), I've only ONCE seen an issue with master/slave jumper settings and which end of the cable the drives are connected to (and in fact, have used 80-wire cable reversed when the two drives were too far apart for the regular connectors to reach, using master/slave jumpers as appropriate), and you'll note, nowhere did I even suggest any of these steps were the be-all, end-all solutions, merely other things to try.

    IMHO, YMMV, NAIQOWPBL, OMGWTFBBQ, and get over yourself.
     
  8. jazz3000

    jazz3000 Thread Starter

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    We have DVDs !!!! I eventually had to pull the cables and start over with everything. I added each DVD one step at a time making sure the cable connections were set to Master/and then Slave. With the last reboot I found both in the Bios, both in My Computer, and both in the Computer Manager under Library. Tested them by burning a CD and DVD after installing the Firmware and the Software. Thanks so much for your input and assistance. I appreciate all the information shared and want to thank you for taking the time to help....Jazz
     
  9. Soundy

    Soundy

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    Good to hear!
     
  10. fairnooks

    fairnooks Banned

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    WOW! I got lost (or lost interest in the codpiece battle) somewhere during the second paragraph of post 6. For those of us who will never know how many angels are on the head of a pin, I have 2nd CD and DVD drives that are misidentified by Windows ALL the time. Guess how many times I've had problems (other than mechanical failure of course) using them to the extent of thier capabilities? One goose egg or two?

    I guess if one used the software that came with Windows there could be problems but all the software I use identifies the drives each and every darn time I point it at an optical drive. Turns out computers are good at that repetitive sort of thing. Who knew!!

    Anyway, its fascinating to know there are people who get so uptight about such trivial issues. I just watched The War, episode 2 so maybe this is even more emphasized in my brain and my brain alone right now.
     
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