PIO Mode

I bought a DVD burner recently, and that has been my primary burner in my new Dell machine.  However, just the other day, I realized it doesn’t have the ability to burn from cue files.  This, unfortunately, is a problem, since that’s how I backup all my CDs with flac.  Thankfully, my trusty old LiteOn 52x burner that I got for like $20 after rebate does. 

So, I throw in the LiteOn in addition to the DVD burner, and start burning.  However, during the burn process my computer starts acting very slow.  Thankfully, I know that the problem is that the burner is in PIO Mode.  Usually, this is an easy fix; you just go into device manager, and then hit up the disk controller and change the pull down from PIO Mode Only to DMA Mode if Available under advanced settings.  I do this, restart, and STILL in PIO Mode.

Now, I know that this LiteOn works in DMA mode, because that’s the way it used to be in my old machine.  So I check out google, and one of the first links I get to talks about enabling the drives in BIOS.  It also mentions seeing if there are events in the logs about it timing out in DMA mode.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, so BIOS here we come.

Now, this seems a bit odd.  I mean, if it’s not enabled in BIOS, how the hell can Windows even see the drive at all?  Well, I figure it’s worth a shot.  I head into BIOS, and sure enough it’s disabled.  I enable it, boot back into Windows, and low and behold, works like a charm.  This may also explain why the DVD burner was having such a hard time while the CDROM drive the machine came with was plugged in too.

I guess you do learn something new every day.