Sign in to follow this  
pacnw

Stuck in PIO Mode .... sort of

Recommended Posts

Hi Folks,

I've been experiencing a perplexing problem this weekend and I was wondering if someone can help. Here's my set-up:

Asus P2B-VT Mobo - (it's an old system) - On Board IDE Controller (Max: Ultra DMA Mode 4 / 66)

Windows XP Home

Primary IDE Channel - Seagate 120GB HDD (Max: Ultra DMA Mode 5 / 100) as Master (via Jumper)

Secondary IDE Channel - NEC DVDRW as Master (Max: Ultra DMA Mode 2 / 33) (via Jumper)

Here's the problem:

When the primary channel is connected with a 80-conductor cable, Windows sets the HDD to PIO Mode. The secondary channel is connected with a old 40-conductor cable, Windows sets the DVDRW to Ultra DMA Mode 2 (which is as expected).

* Uninstalling the Channel and/or Controller and letting Windows redetect has no effect.

* Modifying the registry settings (removing Checksum for those of you familiar) has no effect.

* Thiink it might be the channel, switched HDD to secondary channel, DVDRW to primary channel. PIO follows the HDD. DVDRW still in Ultra DMA Mode 2. No effect.

* Thinking it might be the cable, I changed the cable to a dfferent (and new) 80-conductor cable tried all of the remedys, still has no effect.

* Thinking it might be the HDD, changed the HDD to a new, but identical Seagate 120GB and reinstalled XP, *still* has no effect.

Now ... here's the odd part:

I unplugged the 80 conductor cable from the primary channel and HDD and unplugged in the 40-conductor cable from the secondary channel. Then put the 40 conductor cable on the primary channel and HD and the 80 conductor cable on the secondary channel and DVDRW. Basically switched the cables.

Reboot. Uninstall the Primary Channel. Reboot again. Presto! The HDD is now in Ultra DMA Mode 2 (not the Mobo or HDD Max, but the Max of the 40 conductor cable). The DVDRW is still in Ultra DMA Mode 2.

So ... the HDD will only work in DMA if it has a 40 conductor cable, not an 80 conductor cable. This seems really odd ... not to mention that i'm now limited by the maximum speed of the cable which is Mode 2 instead of the speed of the controller which is Mode 4.

Any ideas as to how I can get the speed up? Try yet another 80 conductor cable? Third time's the charm?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are putting the Master drive at the end of the cable [usually the black connector], right? Some IDE controllers don't play nice unless the cabling rules are followed exactly.

I'd also try setting the drive to Cable Select (CS) along with an 80 conductor cable; attach the drive to the end of the cable so that it is detected as master.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since it's a Seagate drive you have the jumper set to pins 7/8 which is good for Master or Single? CS mode may also work depending on the cable (pins 5/6).

Secondly, have you installed all the chipset/mobo drivers, updated if necessary, etc? Frequently XP install has enough to make them function somewhat without, but not fully.

If that's all good (which I assume it is) take a look at these.

DMA Mode for ATA/ATAPI Devices in Windows XP

IDE ATA and ATAPI disks use PIO mode after multiple time-out or CRC errors occur

In case these don't help, is this an existing install that developed this problem but used to work, or is it a fresh install that has never worked?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume you are using standard cables. Rounded cables and cables longer than 18" have given me grief on a number of occasions in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the replys and suggestions! I appreciate it.

sdbardwick - Yep, I did plug in the HDD to the Master end. The Slave connector is not connected. For both primary and secondary channels. I did try setting the HDD to CS and connecting it to the end of the 80 conductor cable, but unfortunately that resulted PIO also.

ashmedai - Yep, I did set the jumper on the HD to Master. And I did try setting it to CS and connecting the HDD to the master end of the 80 conductor cable. Still reverts to PIO in both instances.

The BIOS is current and I installed the latest Via 4in1 drivers for the VIA Apollo Pro 133 chipset that's on the Mobo. So I think I'm good there. This is a fresh install of XP Home actually so I guess it's never worked. Although the system originally had Windows 98 and the orginal HD was ATA/66. With the HD, i restored Win98 and the upgraded to XP Home with complete install (choosing the install option that wiped out Win98 completely).

bennt - The two 80 conductor cables I have are standard ones (flat ribbon, 18 inches). I just borrowed a third 80 conductor cable (rounded, 24 inch) and ... same results ... PIO mode.

It's really frustrating ...

Am I correct to assume with a VIA Chipset / IDE Controller (that supports ATA/66), a Seagate HDD (that supports up to ATA/100), and an 80 conductor cable (that supports up to ATA/100-133) ... that this should result in ATA/66 (UDMA Mode 4)? That's what I thought, but I'm certain that it shouldn't be PIO mode.

I'm not really sure what to try next ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, you should end up with ATA 66 / UDMA 4. It's only bumping back to PIO mode because it's got some sort of problem somewhere (I really was thinking drivers, since that's what it was when I had this problem) and everything speaks PIO so it uses that, same as windows going down to 256 or 16 colors if it has a graphics issue.

Try this registry patch, looks like it might help.

http://www.tweak3d.net/tweak/win2kmem/udma66on.reg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot find any reference to the P2B-VT on Asus' website; it appears that model was an OEM build for HP and perhaps others. On that note, did you update the BIOS with an ASUS (if so, where did you find it?) or HP BIOS?

If BIOS is indeed current, what does it report for the parameters of the HD? Does is correctly ID the size and UDMA capabilities?

Can you force the drive to UDMA Mode 4 (or any DMA mode) in BIOS?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah ... ATA/66. That's what I though ... makes sense. Right, PIO is sort of the least common denominator.

In the meantime, I tired a 4th 80 conductor cable ... a brand-new one fresh out of the package. Again PIO mode. So I'm pretty convinced at this point that the cables are fine.

i'm just perplexed as to why the old style 40 conductor cable would allow UDMA mode when the 80 conductor won't.

I dunno .. maybe I need to get a PCI controller ... :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes sdbardwick, the P2B-VT was an OEM for HP. A while back, I updated the BIOS to latest version (Pavilion Kestral BIOS Update 1.16 dated 5/2000). This was sourced from the HP site as the ASUS site doesn't appear provide BIOS updates for OEM mobos (at least I couldn't find it).

The BIOS reports the following for the HD

Cylinders = 1024

Head = 240

Sector = 63

CHS Capacity = 7927MB

Max LBA Capacity 120034MB

This appears to be correct for the my HDD which is a Seagate Barracuda ST3120026A. I have the drive configured in the BIOS as type Auto.

Multi-Sector Transfers = Maximum

SMART Monitoring = Enabled

PIO Mode = 4 (set by Auto)

Ultra DMA Mode = 4 (set by Auto)

I tried to set the Type to User Type HDD, but the Windows didn't like that and it wouldn't boot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three final (one good and two scraping bottom of barrel) thoughts:

1. There can be problems with drives reporting higher UDMA modes than the IDE controllers can recognize. Seagate has a tool to reset the UDMA reporting of their drives to force UDMA33 or UDMA66 in those cases. Read the FAQ and warning before proceeding. Here's a link to the utility page: Seagate Disc Tools Ultra ATA Mode Switching Utility

2. [Longshot]Did you try both the current Hyperion (4.55) and the Retro (4.43) drivers?

3. [Even less likely]Maybe this is one of those rare cases where the VIA IDE Miniport driver actually helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good suggestions ... I have run the Seagate ATA Switching Utility and changed the Drive Speed to ATA/66 (UDMA Mode 4). Unfortunately ... you guessed it ... still PIO. Changed it back to UDMA Mode 5 ... of course still PIO. I tried the Via Hyperion 4in1 after the Retro 4in1 driver ... and of course still PIO. *Sigh*. I have not tired the VIA miniPort as I've read that some folks have had problems with it. I suppose I could try it, but just a little worried about compounding my problems.

I hate to be defeated here, but I'm beginning to think something is hinky with either the BIOS, Controller, or perhaps the Mobo itself. Given that the Mobo is so old, last BIOS update was over 4 years ago ... anything could be the matter. If the controller isn't correctly senses that it has an 80 conductor cable (i read somewhere that pin 34 or some such is supposed to identify the cable type as an 80), maybe it's reverting the whole channel to the "lowest common denominator". Perhaps with the 40 conductor it doesn't need to sense the cable type and goes for it up to the cable max (UDMA Mode 2).

Like I said I hate to be defeated, but in all seriousness, I'm considering going the PCI ATA route. I could make the system boot from there. Concievably, I can get an ATA/100 controller fairly inexpensively. Over the PCI bus, it should be faster .... perhaps a lot faster than UDMA Mode 2 (ATA/33). Any downsides or things i should consider going this route?

Thanks again for all of your help! B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this