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Old 05-01-2004, 01:30 AM   #1
xanas3712
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Major Stability Issue when using DVD drive


My system seems to have serious problems whenever I am using the DVD drive either with dvds or cdroms (not writing just reading). It's a serious pain because the system stalls out, and I'm really wanting to install ut2k4 because I got the radeon drivers working now

But, as usual there is a problem and I'm trying to figure it out.

First of all, it's not that the hardware is bad. I've used this drive extensively in windows for just about everything (creating large images, burning dvds) and I don't even have a coaster to show for it.. everything has been grand (NEC 8x dual format.. 2500 model.. highly recommend it off newegg).

Anyway, does anyone know why this might be happening or point me in a direction so that this won't occur. The times it's happened are when I've tried to install ut2k4 (at some point during the installation, usually early, sometimes it doesn't even get to the setup wizard just stalls whenever I try to run the installer). Also it stalled whenever I was trying to install my kernel source package so I could install the radeon drivers. I rebooted and tried again and it worked the second time, but ehh.. not good.

Thanks for any help.
 
Old 05-01-2004, 02:04 AM   #2
salparadise
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you don't say which distro you are using

but, just on the off chance,
have you got DMA switched on?
 
Old 05-01-2004, 02:05 AM   #3
Qucho
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You might have some library out of date or sumting like that. (this is just a guess)
I saw some wierd behavior in my system once I updated it, so I waited for a day... update again my packages.. and everything was stable again :P
 
Old 05-01-2004, 02:06 AM   #4
xanas3712
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I have no idea.. how do I check that in linux? It doesn't by default use dma.. or are you saying I shouldn't use it?
 
Old 05-01-2004, 02:17 AM   #5
salparadise
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as root

hdparm -d /dev/hdx

where x is appropriate letter

if you get "no such command"

try

/sbin/hdparm -d /dev/hdx

if this returns DMA = off

then

hdparm -d1 /dev/hdx

to make it switch dma on at boot
add the hdparm -d1 blah line to the end of /etc/rc.local
 
Old 05-01-2004, 02:21 AM   #6
salparadise
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hdparm has other options

-c1 to switch 16bit support to 32bit support

-k1 to keep settings after drive reset

most Linux distros do not switch DMA on by default for hard drives or cd drives

although Mandrake 10 now does this automatically and SuSE 9 has dma enabling settings in Yast
 
Old 05-01-2004, 02:26 AM   #7
xanas3712
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thanks, just did a search and found that somewhere else also.. will having it on make things more or less stable.. though I'll probably know if that worked as soon as I reboot now..
 
Old 05-01-2004, 03:02 AM   #8
Electro
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Any distribution that comes with kernel version 2.4 or later should automatically enable DMA for IDE devices if possible. I have used Mandrake since version 8. It does enable DMA. In Mandrake and other distributions that are based on Redhat, theres a file you can edit that make sure DMA and other settings are set during boot up. Its located at "/etc/sysconfig/harddisks". For my DVD drives I had to use the buggy SCSI to IDE module to minimize the seeking and reading for DVD movies. It could be the program (mplayer) that I am using is not programmed well for slow systems. My DVD drives works flawless.

When you set the parameters for your IDE devices through hdparm, they will not be set after you reboot or start up the computer. You have to put the commands in one of the runtime scripts. Either in rc.local or rc.sysinit. In my system, it seems that rc.sysinit resets hdparam parameters that was set in rc.local. I had to put my hdparm settings in rc.sysinit
 
Old 05-01-2004, 03:05 AM   #9
xanas3712
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Thanks, actually I think you are right about dma.. that makes sense.. well anyway, comp crashed again this time taking mandrake down with it. It corrupted the installation so I have to start over again.

Do I blame this on mandrake or linux in general? Because my hardware works absolutely perfect in windows and I've had no problems with it. It's just a bit frustrating to have those kind of stability problems, and even worse to have them screw up an install. Don't get me wrong, I've had my fat table get corrupted by windows crashes also.. but it takes a heck of a lot longer. I think this crashed a total of 3 times and now it just is trashed.. straight up rediculous, lol..

EDIT: Installs were taking about an hour to complete.. I'm pretty sure I know what could be my problem now. It wasn't a problem in windows but mandrake may be pickier. Basically my hard drive cable was backwards. I have an 80 pin cable and the blue end was plugged in the hd and the black end in the mobo.. reversed and things are much better now..actually I might have to thank linux for stalling so that I fixed that.. I'm pretty sure that's why ut2k4 was loading so slow in windows....lol

Last edited by xanas3712; 05-01-2004 at 03:16 AM.
 
Old 05-01-2004, 03:29 AM   #10
salparadise
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"Any distribution that comes with kernel version 2.4 or later should automatically enable DMA for IDE devices"

explain why redhat9 has to have dma set manually

explain why every version of mandrake except 10 has to have it set manually
 
Old 05-01-2004, 03:52 AM   #11
xanas3712
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Ahhhk.. This SUCKS! I'm now counting Mandrake 10 as the most unstable OS since windows ME. Actually I've reinstalled it about the same amount of times thanks to this stupid stupid problem. Windows hasn't even glitched a bit and Mandrake, even after figuring out what was making my hd so slow.. it still crashes when I'm using the stupid dvd drive to install anything. This is sick.. absolutely pathetic.
 
Old 05-01-2004, 06:04 AM   #12
Electro
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Quote:
Originally posted by salparadise
"Any distribution that comes with kernel version 2.4 or later should automatically enable DMA for IDE devices"

explain why redhat9 has to have dma set manually

explain why every version of mandrake except 10 has to have it set manually
I thought by now you have compiled the kernel and saw an option to automatically set DMA turn off by default. Redhat turned it off because setting DMA to all IDE devices can corrupt data. Mandrake 10 right now is in community edition. Do you think that Mandrake wants complaints about having DMA turned on and corrupting data. Whats so hard setting it?

LINUX controls everything at ground level (lower than low leve) but in Windows everything gets passed to the BIOS to do the dirty work.

I am waiting for Mandrake 10 to try out. Though I might switch to Slackware for a try.

xanas3712, use Mandrake 9.2. Mandrake 10 right now is in beta stage.

Last edited by Electro; 05-01-2004 at 06:10 AM.
 
  


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