More DVD DMA Issues

I upgraded my kernel to 2.6.17 last week, and it’s reintroduced the DMA problems with the DVD drive – or rather it’s introduced new, subtle and annoying ones.

The drive mostly works fine, but when ripping CDs grip freezes the sytem with DMA timeouts – unless you poke the DVD drive with a

hdparm /dev/hdc

just as it starts to rip, in which case it decides DMA is working ok and proceeds to rip the whole CD?!

I tried patching the BIOS on the motherboard this time (just in case) – and that’s another non-trivial task when the BIOS flash program is another Windows only executable. Fortunately there’s plenty of advice out there, and I managed to burn a CD with a Windows 98 boot image and the appropriate update files on it.

A quick reboot and the BIOS was updated to the very latest version, but unfortunately despite now having a BIOS option hopefully entitled

IDE DMA Transfer Enable

it made absolutely no difference. I’ll just have to keep jumping through hoops until a kernel ships with a libata/sata_piix driver that actually works properly for my combination of hardware.

But I’m not holding my breath… 😦

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