Darn This DMA!

Welcome to Just Ask Matt! Today, Mark writes:

Matt, I have just installed my DVD-ROM into my old PC. It has both a board that will support it and cables that are supposed to be correct for ultra-DMA. The problem is that every time I go to play a DVD, it seems to freeze up. I talked to a tech here in town and was told that I need to make sure the drive is set to DMA mode. I looked in the device manager under the drive, but it’s not there! I am running Windows XP.


Well, Mark, you have a better handle on this versus most people. Still, you are likely looking for this setting in the device manager under the drive. What you need to do is look under the IDE controller. Most likely under your secondary you will find the setting for both DMA and PIO in a pull down tab. If you are sure that your drive supports it, the motherboard’s IDE controller is set right (sometime there may be a BIOS update needed on old boards), and you have the right cable… then set that bad-boy to DMA. Hope this helps!

Do you have an IT-related question? Perhaps you are just burnt out on writing on the walls with crayons? Whatever the comments may be, drop me a line, and you too can “Just Ask Matt!”

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