Choppy DVD Playback / Long Burn Times

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operating_system: Windows XP Pro
System_Drive: C
32bit or 64bit: 32 Bit
motherboard: Equium P200-178
processor: Intel Pentium Dual-Core Processor T2080
ram: 2 GB
Video Card: Intel 945 Express
sound_card: Intel GMA 950
Hard_Drive_Capacity: 1160 GB
Location: Birmingham UK

Choppy DVD Playback / Long Burn Times

Post by sjj1805 »

Apparently this fault is quite common with XP and is caused when a fault disc is inserted in the DVD Writer. The cure is not so obvious.

Hard drives and DVD drives can work in 2 modes
DMA - Direct Memory Access
PIO - Programmed Input Output.

DMA is the fastest mode and so gives the smoothest results. If Windows detects a problem with a device such as a DVD Writer - often caused by a fault disc, it will automatically switch the writer to PIO mode. Suddenly you find that a disc is taking an age to burn something that normally takes a fraction of the time. For instance burning a 4.3 GB DVD at 4x should take about 15 minutes, if it starts taking a hour or more it is a strong likelihood that the device has been placed into PIO mode.

Once the device is in PIO mode it can stick in that mode and not revert back to DMA. The next time you come to play a DVD suddenly the Video is very choppy and seems to be struggling. You are likely to think that your device has dirty heads or is broken.

How to check if you are in DMA mode or PIO mode.
Go to Device Manager and look for IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers.

Right click and select properties.

Use the drop down lists to select DMA Mode.
If for some reason it refuses to change and remains "stuck" in PIO mode then simply delete that channel


Either right click and select uninstall or simply press the [DEL] key on your keyboard. Restart your computer and windows will automatically re-install the channel.