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PIO Mode

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by NightmareXX, 21 May 2006.

  1. NightmareXX

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Aug 2005

    Posts: 1,025

    Location: Team 10

    For some obscure reason, 2 of my 4 IDE devices are in PIO mode.

    A 60GB HDD and my CD-RW. I thought my 60GB HDD was dying coz it was taking forever to write to it or read, by on closer inspection, its in PIO mode.

    Now I know its not supposed to be coz with my old mobo (ECS K7S5A), it was in UDMA5 :confused: Why is it now PIO?

    BTW my motherboard is Asus A8R-MVP BIOS revision 0402

    Edit: Updated BIOS to 0502 and no difference
     
    Last edited: 21 May 2006
  2. [email protected]

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 7 Dec 2005

    Posts: 7,769

    Location: Wiltshire

    you got any starforce protected games installed, this is typicle sighns of starforce having its way with your hardware.
     
  3. Werewolf

    Commissario

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 30,175

    Location: Panting like a fiend

    It's quite possible a dodgy cable if they are on the same lead, or if you've installed any games with "star force" copy protection that can cause problems.

    Normally (if memory serves), XP turns down the speed on the drives if it gets too many errors, the errors themselves can be due to
    Faulty media/drives
    Dodgy cables (interference/bad connection etc)
    Driver conflicts - Starforce copy protection apparently sits between the data as it comes off the drives and when it's passed onto the system (I think) and that causes problems.

    My recommendation would be to update/reinstall your IDE drivers.
    Try a difference cable if both drives are on the same cable (it's very unlikely you'd have two dodgy cables).
    Check for starforce (IIRC you may need to boot into safe mode and tell device manager to show all hidden devices and look for it then).
     
  4. NightmareXX

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Aug 2005

    Posts: 1,025

    Location: Team 10

    Lol I do have starforce 'installed' but I've no idea where its come from. AFAIK none of my games come with starforce :confused:

    Even if they did, my 60GB HDD worked perfectly fine on my old computer and that had even more games installed then my new one!

    I suppose the HDD could be faulty but TBH its been working perfectly fine for the last 4 years without any problems. Surely it shoiuld still be working as HDD's don't just suddenly die.

    How would XP know if my optical drive was faulty?! Sure it'd be the media thats in it, not the drive its self? (I aint sure if its my DVD or CD-RW)
     
  5. NightmareXX

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Aug 2005

    Posts: 1,025

    Location: Team 10

    Update:

    STUPID STUPID [email protected]#{>{*@ STARFORCE. Uninstalled the SF protection using a tool I found on the 'boycott starforce' website. That didn't work at first but then I found this website (http://winhlp.com/WxDMA.htm) which was extremely useful. I followed its advice, uninstalled the IDE Secondary Channel device and hey-presto, UDMA Mode 5 is back :D :D
     
  6. CurlyWhirly

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 May 2003

    Posts: 1,429

    Location: UK

    I make a point in not buying games which contain the Starforce routine which is why I haven't bought TOCA Race Driver 3 because AFAIK it has it.

    I would rather go without the game than have to deal with Starforce :mad:
     
  7. Mr Mag00

    Hitman

    Joined: 23 Mar 2006

    Posts: 960

    2 questions, sorry to hijack. Whats pio mode and whats starforce?
    :)
    Mr Mag00
     
  8. Werewolf

    Commissario

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 30,175

    Location: Panting like a fiend

    PIO = Programmed Input Output (if memory serves), it's one of the older IDE data transfer protocals used by the drives/controllers.

    It's only used now as a fallback when higher speeds are causing problems as it's both slower (by far) and much more CPU intensive when transfering data than any of the DMA (Direct Memory Access) modes.
    I don't think there have been any PIO drives made for about 10-12 years (I know my 486 had a DMA33 controller and drives and that was 10 years ago).


    Starforce is a copy protection method that works by installing drivers that help with the copy protection, unfortunately it's buggy, has multiple versions (which all install their own drivers) and can/does cause windows XP to think drives are having problems transferring data at their normal speeds, and thus causes XP to slow the drives down in order to try and stop the data corruption.
     
  9. meaz

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 12 Jul 2005

    Posts: 336

    PIO Mode is programmed input/output mode, needed to use the CPU to get data transfer to an IDE Device, rather than direct memory access modes that dont use the CPU as much.

    Not sure what starforce is, sorry.

    edit, well done werefolf sums it up well
     
  10. Mr Mag00

    Hitman

    Joined: 23 Mar 2006

    Posts: 960

    Thank you :)
    most replies are as quick as a google search on 56k dialup!! :)