What is DMA on a CD-ROM drive and why won't DOS work?

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by DarkUnderlord, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 6, 2003
    Background:
    -----------

    A few months ago now, my motherboard died. All that happened is my computer just died. It was working one minute, then all of a sudden the screen went blank and I was left with a little orange hard-drive light on. The thing's a year old and is nothing flash (Duron 850, 256 mb RAM, 20 gig HDD, Win 98). Anyway, I took it down to the shop and after an hour mucking around, trying out various things looking for the problem, the guy at the computer shop sold and installed a new motherboard for me, an MS-6378 (My old one used to be an MS-6340, I think). Took it home, worked fine... However, ever since then, I've been having little issues with it.

    For example, after some time I found out that the in-built 3D graphics card in the old one was an S4 Savage3 with 32 meg of vieo ram shared with the computer. Nothing flash, it just did the job. However, the new in-built one was some cheap thing with a max of 8 meg of RAM shared with the comp. As a cheap cop-out (for a cheap card in the first place), I bought a Pine TNT2 (PCI slot, nothing flash). Now Need for Speed: High Stakes doesn't work. Anyway, that's the story, as the rest of this has happened since then.


    CD-ROM Drive DMA:
    -----------------

    If you look in...

    Control Panel --> System --> Device Manager --> CD-ROM --> (CD-ROM Drive) --> Properties --> Settings

    .. there's a little DMA tick box sitting there. What is it and what does it do? I used to have it ticked, only for some reason, my CD-ROM drive started playing up. Autoplay wasn't working and any game that used the CD-ROM drive took a while to kick in (with some games even freezing up for exactly 15 seconds whenever trying to access the CD-ROM). At first I thought I'd turned autoplay off somehow and that was the problem... So I spent a while trying to remember just how exactly you turned autoplay off and on again (With no thanks to the help files here)... To cut a long story short (and with a little help from Quake because it froze for 15 secs upon loading as it showed the words "DMA Channel"), I eventually unticked the DMA tick box, restarted my computer and all my problems were solved. Why?

    The fact that it works is great. The fact that I don't know WHY it worked, is somewhat annoying. Anyone have any clues?


    MS-DOS:
    -------

    Now, for some reason, I can't restart in MS-DOS mode. All I get is a blank screen after windows (Win 98) shutsdown. I'm figuring I might need to format and start again (about time I did that anyway I think, especially after changing motherboards). Any special reason that anyone can think off as to why this might be happening though?

    The computer used to be great, it did what I wanted and I never had ANY issues with it AT ALL. Now, ever since the motherboard change-over, I've had nothing BUT issues. I realise it's an old comp and is nothing flash (I thought about throwing in the towel when the motherboard died in the first place and getting a new comp, but was hopeful a new motherboard would be fine), but it would be nice if I could get the thing to work properly. I don't plan on buying a new comp until mid-way through next year.

    [link:users.senet.com.au/~dbschah/|DarkUnderlord]
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  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    >.. there's a little DMA tick
    >box sitting there. What is
    >it and what does it
    >do? I used to have
    >it ticked, only for some
    >reason, my CD-ROM drive started
    >playing up. Autoplay wasn't working
    >and any game that used
    >the CD-ROM drive took a
    >while to kick in (with
    >some games even freezing up
    >for exactly 15 seconds whenever
    >trying to access the CD-ROM).
    >At first I thought I'd
    >turned autoplay off somehow and
    >that was the problem... So
    >I spent a while trying
    >to remember just how exactly
    >you turned autoplay off and
    >on again (With no thanks
    >to the help files here)...
    >To cut a long story
    >short (and with a little
    >help from Quake because it
    >froze for 15 secs upon
    >loading as it showed the
    >words "DMA Channel"), I eventually
    >unticked the DMA tick box,
    >restarted my computer and all
    >my problems were solved. Why?

    DMA is "Direct Memory Access" which allows a device to send its data directly to memory without CPU involvement.

    Check if DMA is enabled in your motherboard BIOS. If it is, and it still doesn't work, don't sweat it, DMA is more important for your hard drives than your CDROM drives.

    >Now, for some reason, I can't
    >restart in MS-DOS mode. All
    >I get is a blank
    >screen after windows (Win 98)
    >shutsdown. I'm figuring I might
    >need to format and start
    >again (about time I did
    >that anyway I think, especially
    >after changing motherboards). Any special
    >reason that anyone can think
    >off as to why this
    >might be happening though?

    I bet if you hook up your monitor to your onboard video card that it will show up. MSDOS probably can't detect what card you're using, so it uses the first one it detects and that is most likely the onboard one.

    Disable the onboard on in the BIOS, if you can't, you're stuck using the onboard one for MSDOS.

    -Xotor-

    [div align=center][hr]
    [table width=200" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0][tr bgcolor=#000000] [td style=font-family: 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 8px]  [/td][td align=left" valign="middle" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 36px; font-weight: bold; color: #FF0000; text-decoration: none]PAS:[/td][td align=left" valign="top" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-weight: normal; color: #FF0000]  [/td][td align=left" valign="middle" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-weight: normal; color: #FF0000]People Against Stupidity[/td][/tr][tr bgcolor=#000000" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 8px][td] [/td][td align=left" valign="top" colspan="3] [/td][/tr][tr bgcolor=#000000" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: italic; font-weight: normal; color: #FFFFFF] [td] [/td][td align=left" valign="top" colspan="3]"Ignorance is excusable. Stupidity is not."[/td][/tr][/table][/div]
     
  3. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 6, 2003
    >I bet if you hook up
    >your monitor to your onboard
    >video card that it will
    >show up. MSDOS probably
    >can't detect what card you're
    >using, so it uses the
    >first one it detects and
    >that is most likely the
    >onboard one.
    >
    >Disable the onboard on in the
    >BIOS, if you can't, you're
    >stuck using the onboard one
    >for MSDOS.
    >
    >-Xotor-

    Yet to try the DMA stuff. But I had a muck around with the video. I restarted in DOS and plugged my video card into my onboard card. No luck. I checked my BIOS and it's already set to use the PCI slot first. I changed it to the other one (AGP, which I'm presuming is the onboard one) which knocked out my TNT. Restarted in DOS and it worked. So it's definately a video setting. I'll see if I can't find something somewhere to muck around with.

    [link:users.senet.com.au/~dbschah/|DarkUnderlord]
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  4. Briosafreak

    Briosafreak Lived Through the Heat Death

    Dec 18, 2003
    >But I had a muck
    >around with the video. I
    >restarted in DOS and plugged
    >my video card into my
    >onboard card.

    :o :o :o

    No luck. I
    >checked my BIOS and it's
    >already set to use the
    >PCI slot first. I changed
    >it to the other one
    >(AGP, which I'm presuming is
    >the onboard one)

    What?!....

    which knocked
    >out my TNT. Restarted in
    >DOS and it worked. So
    >it's definately a video setting.
    >I'll see if I can't
    >find something somewhere to muck
    >around with.


    Don`t please, i`m serious man, you really don`t have a clue of what you`re doing...

    Maybe this will help you, it`s basic stuff:
    http://www.everythingcomputers.com/troubleg.htm

    And please watch it, you`re dealing with sensitive materials, be careful man...
     
  5. Odin

    Odin Carbon Dated and Proud
    Admin

    Apr 2, 2003
    One of the problems you might have is that, it sounds to me, the new motherboard was installed onto an existing windows installation. Whenever I install a new motherboard, I also reinstall Windows. But it shouldn't make that many problems.

    I would advice you to disable the onboard graphics card
    (do this in the BIOS menu).

    Webmaster@NMA
     
  6. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 6, 2003
    [font size=1" color="#FF0000]LAST EDITED ON Dec-19-02 AT 02:52AM (GMT)[p]>Don`t please, i`m serious man, you really
    >don`t have a clue of what you`re doing...

    You really think so? ;)

    > Maybe this will help you, it`s basic stuff:
    > http://www.everythingcomputers.com/troubleg.htm

    > And please watch it, you`re dealing with
    > sensitive materials, be careful man...

    Thanks, I'll check it out.


    >One of the problems you might
    >have is that, it sounds
    >to me, the new motherboard
    >was installed onto an existing
    >windows installation. Whenever I install
    >a new motherboard, I also
    >reinstall Windows. But it shouldn't
    >make that many problems.

    Yup. So I probably need to Format.

    >I would advice you to disable
    >the onboard graphics card
    >(do this in the BIOS menu).

    How? I've checked through BIOS and the only thing I found was that AGP/PCI option. That's after crawling through the manual.

    Anyway, I'll format and re-install everything and see how that goes.

    [link:users.senet.com.au/~dbschah/|DarkUnderlord]
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  7. Odin

    Odin Carbon Dated and Proud
    Admin

    Apr 2, 2003
    [font size=1" color="#FF0000]LAST EDITED ON Dec-19-02 AT 07:29AM (GMT)[p]>Yup. So I probably need to Format.
    >
    I would advise it, anyway a fresh start is always good.

    >How? I've checked through BIOS and
    >the only thing I found
    >was that AGP/PCI option. That's
    >after crawling through the manual.
    >
    Well, I guess your card is the [link:www.msicomputer.com/product/detail_spec/product_detail.asp?model=KLE133|MSI MS-6378], so check out the [link:download.msi.com.tw/support/mnu_exe/E6378v3.1.exe|manual]. It should be under either advanced Chipset features or Integrated Peripherals..

    Webmaster@NMA
     
  8. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 6, 2003
    >Well, I guess your card is
    >the [link:www.msicomputer.com/product/detail_spec/product_detail.asp?model=KLE133|MSI MS-6378], so check
    >out the [link:download.msi.com.tw/support/mnu_exe/E6378v3.1.exe|manual]. It should
    >be under either advanced Chipset
    >features or Integrated Peripherals..

    Good guess *cough* seeing as I said it was in my first post :D *cough* And yar... Reading the manual is what I've been doing. Under Integrated Peripherals is the option I played with, which made Briosafreak live up to the last part of his name. :)

    *DarkUnderlord goes off to backup all his work*

    [link:users.senet.com.au/~dbschah/|DarkUnderlord]
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  9. Briosafreak

    Briosafreak Lived Through the Heat Death

    Dec 18, 2003
    [font size=1" color="#FF0000]LAST EDITED ON Dec-20-02 AT 00:51AM (GMT)[p]:D :D :D

    That was fun :-) but anyway have you found the AGP slot yet? Close to a PCI , but with another color? if so, it`s time to change to a better non-tnt2 world, now that the prices low, and after christhmas they will get even lower...
     
  10. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 6, 2003
    Okay, I've fucked around with my comp some more and successfuly achieved nothing, other than proving that Xotor was right. It is the video card. Basically, I have no option that "Disables onboard Video". All I have are PCI slots (No Brown AGP ones, just three white PCI slots on my board).

    Have a gander over here: http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=1172&page=3

    That's what's sitting in my comp. Now, I have heard that there *might* be a little switch or something that I have to move on the actual board itself so that I can disable the onbooard card. Anyone got any idea? I've checked BIOS through and read and re-read and re-read and re-read and re-read the manual, and found nothing about an option to disbale the onboard card. My TNT2 installation stuff says that doing it through BIOS isn't an option on all systems, but then doesn't tell me anything about disabling it any other way...

    Exact words:
    Your system with VGA onboard without AGP slot.
    1-2. Turn off comp blah blah
    3 Select Intergrated Peripherals.
    4. Select Init Display First.
    5. Press PageUp or PageDown to select PCI Slot
    ** My only other option here is AGP slot... Which I don't have. Which seems odd...
    6. Turn off On Board VGA (If BIOS has this option)
    7-10 Save, reboot blah blah

    Basically, I can run without the card but would like to get it to work. I've just formatted my comp and am now in a position to fuck around with any setting I need to (which might work or not), without fearing consequences. Soo... Is it a little switch on the board that I have to move, like I heard, to disable the onboard card?

    [link:users.senet.com.au/~dbschah/|DarkUnderlord]
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  11. Briosafreak

    Briosafreak Lived Through the Heat Death

    Dec 18, 2003
    You`re motherboard seems old, so maybe you do have to move a switch, but bormally that is BIOS stuff only. That`s where i turned-off my integrated sound, and my integrated ethernet card, when i had it turned-off. On board video always brings problems. The fact that you don`t have AGP is quite strange, how old is your motherboard anyway? And what model?
     
  12. Briosafreak

    Briosafreak Lived Through the Heat Death

    Dec 18, 2003
    Sorry i remember now it is a MSI MS-6378, but i`ll check to know more about it tomorrow, it`s 2:00 am and i`m beaten...
     
  13. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 6, 2003
    >Sorry i remember now it is
    >a MSI MS-6378, but i`ll
    >check to know more about
    >it tomorrow, it`s 2:00 am
    >and i`m beaten...

    Yes. I've said that several times in fact. :P

    [link:users.senet.com.au/~dbschah/|DarkUnderlord]
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  14. Odin

    Odin Carbon Dated and Proud
    Admin

    Apr 2, 2003
    If you don't have an disable onboard video options in the bios, you can usually flip a switch on the motherboard itself to disable it. There would be a jumper setting for it somewhere on the motherboard..

    Webmaster@NMA
    [link:www.nma-fallout.com|No Mutants Allowed]
     
  15. Johan

    Johan Guest

    A BIOS upgrade may add an option to disable the onboard video-card
     
  16. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 6, 2003
    Yeah, I'm looking into upgrading the BIOS at the moment. Any web-sites recommended that could help a technically illiterate fucktard such as myself?

    I've been trying to find some kind of diagram for my motherboard on the net too (seeing as the manual lacks one). I'm hoping that will show me the jumper I have to move. Or rather, where I have to move that little thingy to...

    [link:users.senet.com.au/~dbschah/|DarkUnderlord]
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  17. Guest

    Guest Guest

    >Yeah, I'm looking into upgrading the
    >BIOS at the moment. Any
    >web-sites recommended that could help
    >a technically illiterate fucktard such
    >as myself?

    Computer illiterate fucktards shouldn't try updating their BIOS without someone there; it can completely fuck over your machine if you botch it. Old motherboards are far less forgiving as well, and you will most likely not be able to recover from a botched BIOS update and need to get a new motherboard.

    >I've been trying to find some
    >kind of diagram for my
    >motherboard on the net too
    >(seeing as the manual lacks
    >one). I'm hoping that will
    >show me the jumper I
    >have to move. Or rather,
    >where I have to move
    >that little thingy to...

    The manual should include some sort of info on the jumpers, even if it doesn't show you where on the board they are. My motherboard manual is extremely complete, almost to a fault, and even tells me what each pin on the connectors is for.

    Check the manufacturer's website, they should have info on your motherboard, if nobody else.

    -Xotor-

    [div align=center][hr]
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  18. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 6, 2003
    [font size=1" color="#FF0000]LAST EDITED ON Jan-19-03 AT 09:53AM (GMT)[p]>Computer illiterate fucktards shouldn't try updating
    >their BIOS without someone there;
    >it can completely fuck over
    >your machine if you botch
    >it. Old motherboards are
    >far less forgiving as well,
    >and you will most likely
    >not be able to recover
    >from a botched BIOS update
    >and need to get a
    >new motherboard.

    Yeah, I'm getting someone else to do it now. I figure I'd probably fuck it up. It'd be fun doing it myself... But maybe when I've got my new computer and can afford to ruin it, rather than before.


    >The manual should include some sort
    >of info on the jumpers,
    >even if it doesn't show
    >you where on the board
    >they are. My motherboard
    >manual is extremely complete, almost
    >to a fault, and even
    >tells me what each pin
    >on the connectors is for.


    Yes, there's a whole lovely section on jumper settings. No mention of disabling onboard video though. I've got Clear CMOS jumper, Onboard Audio Codec, and USB jumpers. Then I have a section on slots which says:

    PCI Slots
    Three PCI slots allow you to install expansion cards to meet your needs. When adding or removing expansion cards, make sure that you u plug the power supply first. Meanwhile, read the documentation for the expansion card to make any necessary hardware or software settings for the expansion card, such as jumpers, switches or BIOS configurations.

    And before you ask, the manual (or more appropriately, three flimsy pieces of paper) for the TNT2 say:

    Piece of paper 1, the "User Manual", tells me how great the card is:
    The RIVA TNT2's 2D rendering engine exploits the internal wide cahce RAMs and 256-bit datapaths to deliver industry-leading rah rah rah

    Piece of paper 2, the "Quick Installation Guide", tells me how to install the drivers. Via their own already self-explanatory install program.

    And no, there is no "Slow Installation Guide".

    Piece of paper 3 says:
    Your system with AGP slot.
    Your system without AGP slot.
    (which I posted above).

    The CD doesn't have any documentation on it either. So, either I'm completely blind and after having read through the manual at least three times, still can't find the obvious, in my face answer OR it's not there. Either way, as you say, I'll be much better off getting someone else to do it. In the event that the information is NOT in the manual, someone else who knows what they're doing is a good alternative. In the event that I can't find what IS in the manual... Then I'm obviously too retarded to do it myself anyway, so someone else doing it would be better.


    >Check the manufacturer's website, they should
    >have info on your motherboard,
    >if nobody else.


    Yeah, I've been ferretting around there for about the past week or so looking for something... What I have found hasn't helped me.

    Anyway, thanks for trying everyone. I'll get it done by someone else before I completely destroy my computer.

    Oh, by the way, the format and re-install fixed the DMA problem. That's now back on and working again. It's good that I at least got something right.

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  19. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 6, 2003
    [font size=1" color="#FF0000]LAST EDITED ON Feb-02-03 AT 06:11AM (GMT)[p]Well, it went off to the shop and has come back, working reasonably well...

    I can restart in MS-DOS mode which is always a good thing.

    I did have issues in 800 x 600 resolution (63k/100hz Frequency out of Range) but that was easily fixed by dropping the refresh rate down from optimal (once I'd found out where the option was...)

    However, NFS:High Stakes still won't work... On my 15 inch monitor. Works fine on the 19 inch, but not the 15 inch. Damn I hate that.

    Anyway, I've now also got another hard-drive, which is also a good thing. (Why send it off to the shop just for installing a graphics card?)

    Downside is I don't know what they did to get it working... I did ask them to tell me but as usual "We don't know, it's the tech guys who did that" (They send the comp from the store off somewhere, the friendly people at the store are just that, friendly people). From what I can gather, it just seems to be a software thing they've done for it, as the BIOS hasn't been upgraded.


    EDIT: I just got NFS:HS working. I just dropped the refresh rate down and wallah! All is well. Woohoo!!

    [link:users.senet.com.au/~dbschah/|DarkUnderlord]
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