Handy stuff
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Thread: Handy stuff

  1. #1
    Geezer confus-ed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    In front of my PC....

    Handy stuff

    One big sticky of useful for 'cd\dvd' issues - please pm me if you want stuff added


    Microsoft have produced an autoplay wizard which has proved effective for at least one member. It requires that you install the genuine windows validation activex control and that you submit to validation. XP and 2003 only.

    Firmware sites:

    Kenny's ODD Page

    Aspi Layer:

    ASPI is a black art ... It stands for Advanced SCSI Programming Interface and was developed by Adaptec. It is a convention which permits a PC and its operating system to communicate with certain hardware devices... 'unknown'

    Windows ASPI Package Downloads @adaptec

    About aspi & 'why' with links to useful utils :- Installing a working ASPI layer (also 'forceaspi' link), The ASPI Layer , Bart's page about ASPI

    Class Filter Drivers:

    Cd's /dvd's don't need drivers for most versions of windows, they do however use things called class filter drivers which add functionality say via some burning software... As far as Joe Average is concerned these are drivers, but note, you get these from your software vendor as part of some product that burns e.g. Nero, not your drives manufacturer

    Filter Driver load order tool useful for w2000/xp systems to see what any burning software may have added.

    (I know of no such thing for 9x - anyone tell me ?)

    General troubleshooting of class filter drivers is to remove all burning type software(including virtual products, like daemon tools & alcohol120), delete your cd/dvd drives in safemode & then add back the most uptodate version of your prefered software, repeat & test

    This Microsoft KB references the master registry key which holds all the info relating to 'class filter drivers' (take no notice of the fact that its all apparently about how to fix 'easy cd', removing this key will effect all 'burning s/w')
    Quote Originally Posted by M$
    Remove the Upperfilters and Lowerfilters values completely from the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
    NOTE: If you are getting a code 39 message, it may be that additional third-party filter drivers were added to UpperFilters and LowerFilters values
    Is dma on or off ?

    DMA (Direct memory access) mode is a high performance mode for transferring data to and from devices, in particular, to CD and DVD burner devices.

    The burner devices can function in either DMA or PIO modes. DMA mode allows the processor to transfer large pieces of data with very little software overhead - therefore requiring low CPU utilization. In this mode, high speed burning can be performed in background with other programs running.

    PIO mode requires CPU processing for every few bytes sent to the device, so that CPU utilization becomes very high when trying to burn at high speeds..
    How do I enable DMA mode on CD and DVD burner drives?

    Test your unit :

    Software has a big impact on whether your unit works or not, as can medium quality & error checking in the unit, so here's how you test it, minus as many variables as possible ..

    A very simple & effective way to test a cd unit for some level of 'working-ness' is to try & make it boot from cd, thus avoiding 'windozey-ness' (software madness) by simplyfying its software environment (take windows out of the equation) & making sure that we are doing only the units built in error checking (& not additional windows things which are software dependent).

    There's two variations of the test.
    1. Boot from cd - use some bootable cd\dvd medium such as a windows system disk. First ensure the pc is set to boot from cd by opening bios (generally press 'del' f1 or f2 or 'esc' immediately as the machine boots) & then set the boot order to use cd first. If that runs, the unit itself is ok - you have software issues (unless its dvd related, but at least you know cd function is there) - if the pc can't boot from the cd then it maybe broken, try test 2 to be sure.

    2. Boot from a 98 boot Floppy & then try reading any data cd : Repeat as above for setting bios boot order but this time from floppy (a: ). Use a 98 boot floppy by making one using a 98 machine, or get a image from say bootdisk.com which has generic dos drivers for your cd on it, once at prompt(A:\>)typing "dir x:" (no quotes & where x is your cd drive letter) will tell you if it works, what's on the disk, if it fails here, its almost certainly 'busted'..

    Of course (as someone very kindly helped me realise), you can also fairly easily test any unit, by transplanting it into a spare 'I know it works' machine, & this is very useful indeed for testing dvd function, (which is pretty tough in dos !) especially on any units described as 'dual laser' (one laser does cd writing, so it may well pass my 'boot test', & the other is for dvd writing, which otherwise is pretty tough to figure out for sure)


    A subject all of its own .. much confus-ed-ness ! - Storage review.

    Other :

    Introduction to formats & terms (lots of stuff here )

    If you need to post a picture as you are having trouble explaining ( I do lots ) try somewhere like this :- Tiny pc hosting
    (save locally & then use this site or similar to browse & upload your image, then you add that url to your post as the site hasn't the capacity for uploading images).

    Guides :


    Please note these sites raise copyright issues, please don't make your problems with this, ours ! The site can't tolerate certain discussions so threads may be shut. Please watch what you ask & how

    With thanks to : Techz, MacGyver, & My Favourite 'Aunty' NooNoo for contibutions so far .
    Last edited by NooNoo; November 5th, 2005 at 10:11 AM.
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