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Is three optical drives a Problem?

Discussion in 'DVD±R for advanced users' started by amaze122, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. amaze122

    amaze122 Member

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    I have been told that my having a dvd burner and separate dvd player, in addition to my cd rom player/burner was a problem. I was told this by Ibuypower.com's computer staff, when trying to get tech support. They said that since optical drives can only be installed parallel ATA, (slave and master type setup), that one drive, being odd man out, has to be either slaved or mastered to the floppy drive, which causes problems. I guess what I am looking for here is a second opinion, having learned the hard way never to trust tech support... [;-{0
     
  2. Last2Know

    Last2Know Guest

    I have a sony dvd rom and a sony cdrw on the same line no problem I have a sony dvd r dl hooked up on a different line no problems. my cdrom is master my cdrw is slave and my dvd r dl is master.
     
  3. Jerry746

    Jerry746 Senior member

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    The only problem I have heard of is with a dvd rom and dvd burner made by the same company on the same IDE channel. On some systems they will conflict with each other. By installing them on different IDE channels the probelm usually goes away. All depends on the system.

    Jerry
     
  4. Nephilim

    Nephilim Moderator Staff Member

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    Good old worthless tech support. Floppy drives use a different data cable so there's no way to slave a standard drive to one even if it would make a difference.

    I've run three opticals for quite a while with no problems whatsoever. If you have the available data connections for three opticals then go for it. I always recommend setting the DVD burner as Master on it's respective IDE then place the other drives wherever you see fit. Here's my configuration:

    Primary Master: Plextor PX-708A DVD/RW
    Primary Slave: none

    Secondary Master: Plextor Premium CD/RW
    Secondary Slave: Lite On 167T DVD-ROM

    I never do any sort of on-the-fly copying so none of my drives are running at the same time - just the way I like it :)
     
  5. sergiofar

    sergiofar Guest

    I used to have a dvd rom, dvd burner, and a cdrw. I got rid of the cdrw since the dvd burner does the same plus some. The only issue would be where to connect the extra optical drive, since most motherboards only come with two ide hookups. If for example you have two hard drives and 3 opticals you are out of luck (which was my setup) I use an ultra ata pci card, that solves many issues including the 132 gb barrier for the hd. If you only have one hd then you can technically hook up one of the optical drives to the hd ribbon, but my question is why. Just dump the cdrw, or if you dont want to use your dvd burner to copy cd's (my old rationale) just get a DVD/CDRW drive, my 2 cents.
     
  6. pulsar

    pulsar Active member

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    I've got 4 burners in my PC & 3 hard drives. Never had a problem with either.
    Customer support sounds like they need support!
     
  7. EightPaws

    EightPaws Member

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    I am running 4 hard drives and 1 optical reader and 2 DVD burners. No problemo! Tech support should go to school.
     
  8. amaze122

    amaze122 Member

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    The reason that I was contacting tech support in the first place was: I have five hard drives in a hot-swappable configuration. For some reason, I have had 3 failed drives in a period of 2 yrs. That is way too many. Tech support at the respective drive's manufacturer (2maxtors, 1 western digital)always replaces the drives, but who cares? The data is lost and is priceless, and irreplaceable. I don't know anything about Maxtor, but I swear by Western Digital, and if one of their drives failed, it is a problem with the computer. Tech support is trying to say it is my fault, since I specified that I wanted three optical drives installed in the machine. (By the way, I have a Promise ultra 100 controller installed, but heaven only knows how these idiots have it hooked up)...
     
  9. pulsar

    pulsar Active member

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    Tech support needs napalming. 3 optical drives should pose no probs, unless you have a crappy m/board!
    Time & time again it is proved that you should just build your own! Lot cheaper, get better parts, don't have to deal with a bunch of no-hopers who have no clue as to what they are talking about!
    I would love to hear their explanation!
     
  10. Nephilim

    Nephilim Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you running a good quality PSU with ample wattage to feed all those drives? A crappy PSU that doesn't provide it's rated wattage at real world temps (most on the market) can wreak havok on any and all components that require juice. I'll tell anyone who'll listen that a quality PSU is the single most important component of any system.
     
  11. forkndave

    forkndave Member

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    The only problem I see here is that you will have to run something as a slave to your hard drive (assuming you have an IDE hard drive). The only problem this causes is that it will slow down your hard drive somewhat. When you have a DMA 2 device (CD ROM , etc) and a faster DMA 4 or DMA 5 device on the same IDE channel, it will default to the speed of the slower device. Device Manager will indicate the correct values, but I found out by running a SiSoft Sandra hard drive benchmark that the hard drive did considerately better with the DVD ROM disconnected. However, in real life using it I couldn't tell any difference.
     
  12. Mort81

    Mort81 Senior member

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    The only thing I've ever been warned about having 3 optical drives is what Nephilim said. Make sure your power supply will handle the additional load otherwise you could starve some vital components of the power they require to run efficiently.
     
  13. amaze122

    amaze122 Member

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    I have an Abit IC7(-G) motherboard. I have an Enermax EG651P-VE 550 watt power supply which comes with two fans of it's own, and is supposed to be adequate even for the five hard drives.
    I have three other fans, so cooling is not a problem. All in all, I rather like this computer (Pentium 4, 3.21GHZ, 2gig ram), except for the fact that it is consuming my hard drives at an alarming rate. Whoever designed the warranty deserves a raise. After the main part expires, (which it has), I have to ship the entire unit back to Cali(fornia) for repairs (I live in Houston), and they say to give them up to five weeks. I would take it to a local CompUsa or MicroCenter, but the last time I did that, they formatted the "C" drive (their answer to almost every problem). I won't have the confidence to take it for repairs to any local until I can back up all my data, and that will require yet another hard drive purchase, affordable sometime after income tax. I just hope my data lasts until then. Meantime, I'll stop hogging the forum for this, and just cross my fingers and assimilate the responses I have received to this problem.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2005
  14. amaze122

    amaze122 Member

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    You know, I have one more note concerning this problem. I was talking to the coordinator who handles the Pyxis floor stock machines for the many floors of the hospital where I work, when I noticed a Maxtor hard drive (Pyxis uses them as the "brain" of their machines) with the word "bad" written on it. Before I could even inform her of my own problems with this company's drives, she began telling me how every few months, another of these drives fails (she had a whole big box of them ("bad" drives), in the corner). In fact, the one that I had noticed had failed right out of the original packaging. I asked why then, did they continue to do business with this company, instead of a company known for reliability, such as Western Digital or Hitachi. She said that they get the 40gig drives cheap, and usually, when they fail, they just throw them away. Isn't the business world funny?
     
  15. Grampaw

    Grampaw Regular member

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    Nephilim and Mort81 are so right about upgrading your power supply if you start adding drives to your system - I know from personal experience.

    Four years ago I put together a bare-bones system with one HDD and a CD writer. It was quite stable. Over time, I added a second HDD and 2 more optical drives, and dumbly kept the existing, now undersized power supply. System was rather unstable.

    Then one day, when turning the computer on, flames shot out the fan on the power supply as the power supply circuit board melted. That was exciting - it even scorched the wall behind the computer.

    I figured that system was a history, however, replacing the power supply with an adequate one, and replacing the one fried DVD-RW, was all it took. I'm still using this computer - and it is quite stable now.
     
  16. amaze122

    amaze122 Member

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    Guys, I just gotta ask this last question, cuz I just thought of something; If these idiots configured my drives in a raid configuration, wouldn't each two drives paired together have to be exactly the same? See, cause that's when I started having my problems, when I introduced other drives into the system, and none of them were the same capacity as the ones already there. The system when I bought it, came with 5 western digital drives, 180 gig. I then swapped three of them for two maxtors, and 1 western digital, all 230 gig, and they all failed, one after the other, within a 1 1/2 to 2 year period. I didn't know anything about Raid at the time that I ordered this system, and so I had specified that I did not want it, I wanted cable select configuration instead. I still don't know anything about Raid, but I think I read somewhere that the paired drives have to be either the same capacity, or the exact same drive, or something like that. Maybe the consequences for not meeting this criteria would result in failed drives...
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2005

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