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Weird Lite-On LTR-52246S problem - 800+ ms seeks

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Hello!

One of my optidrives is a Lite-on 52x24x52 IDE CDRW. I was using it to install XP on a machine a while ago, and I noticed how slooooow it went. To check whether I was going nuts or not, I tried installing Windows off the other drive in the system, a Benq 16x DVD-RW drive, and the process went much faster.

I tested both drives using Nero CD/DVD Speed, with surprising results.

The drive tested FINE for transfer rate (rotation speed stays the same as reading speed grows smoothly, just how a full-CAV drive should behave)

The drive tested fine for burning (again, full CAV)

However, seek times are about 800ms for 1/3 seek, and over 1000ms for full disk seeks. Also, the CPU utilization reaches about 50% (Pentium 4 2.0ghz) at 8x speed.

Has anyone ever had this problem, with a Lite-On CDRW or another drive? Is it just a matter of a lens being dirty, or could it be mechanical or electrical damage? I realize that CDRW's are a dime a dozen nowadays, but I don't like breaking things, and I don't like throwing something out if I can fix it.

Any opinions and help will be much appreciated :)

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I have the exact same drive, but can't say I've ever come across that problem. I'd suggest, if you havn't already, to try another disk, and to try updating or re-flashing the firmware to the drive. If that doesn't help, I'd assume it's some problem with the servo mechanism. Whether you can or can't fix it depends largely on the specificity of the problem and your electronic skill.

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I tried a few different disks, and access times are very high for all of them.

I've fixed a Plextor 8/20 with a "derailed" head, and I've cleaned out an Aopen in which a cracked CD exploded, so I figure I can't hurt things too badly if I do take it apart.

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That is strange, because since the transfer rates are up to spec, that pretty much rules out any DMA problems. However, I believe the high CPU usage often point to DMA not being enabled. I dunno if a firmware update would fix this either. Check the BIOS settings & the chipset drivers. Also, remove the other drive & see what happens with just the problem drive on the cable. Other than that, it sounds like she's on her way out.

Edited by Ron_Jeremy

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