My CD Burner has slowed down. Why?

My PC has a CD drive that burns discs at 52X. Rather, it used to. Now, I’m getting speeds around 15X. I use Roxio Easy CD Creator 5 and have used it since it became available however many years ago. It hasn’t had any new updates or patches released for a couple of years, so it’s up-to-date. I have swapped out drives and there was no increase in speed.

I am running WinXP/Pro SP2. The drive is on it’s own IDE channel. I haven’t made any changes in the way I burn Cd’s. I strongly suspect that some internal settings have changed, but I have no idea what to look for.

So, what’s behind this slowing down of my burner?

Is there a more technical forum out there that would be a better place to post this problem and getting it resolved?

It is possible that the internal settings have changed, but if you haven’t gone through the trouble of changing them yourself, that is probably not the case.

Have you changed the brand of discs that you are burning to? There is a difference between mediums. I have seen one brand of CD burn incredibly fast and another burn very slow.

No, I’m still using a 100-pack that I’ve had good results with in the past. And, I’ve tried other brands but have not had any better results.

Are there any registry keys I should look at or other hardware settings that might shine some light on the problem?

Only yesterday I visited my old pal Audio Phil. Phil complained that his CD burner, bought new in 2000, originally operated at 4x speed but will now only make 2x. He was mystified as to how this could be.

I said, “Phil, when you see a situation you do not understand, look for the financial interest. Either some component in your burner was not intended to last over 5 years, causing a reduction in speed via a seemingly innocuous burnout, or possibly a Planned Obsolescence Circuit was quietly built into the specs, silently ticking down the hours of use until it came time to put the hammer down.”

I mean, look. CD-R technology is so heavily user-proofed as it is, with audio decks that use only royalty-paid audio disc media, nth-generation copy-proofing, and the like. Would you put it past the industry to market a product designed to simply slow down, and perhaps, after a few more years, lock up entirely?

Can you clarify this? You swapped in a different CD-burner? Or you moved it to a different IDE channel?

(1) Check your BIOS and make sure that it is detecting the drive and identifying it correctly. If it’s not, Windows may be assuming that it’s a “generic” (slow) drive.

(2) Check out this FAQ on CD-ROM speeds, especially the bit about Dynamic Memory Access (DMA). If you have a VIA chipset this could be your problem. And yes, I’ve had my DMA settings spontaneously change themselves.

(3) Check that your IDE cables are good by swapping in a known-good cable, and try rotating through the “master”, “slave”, and “Cable select” settings for both plugs on your IDE cable. Yes, that’s six reboots – that’s why I put this one last. :frowning:

Yes, I swapped in a different cd-burner but on the same channel.

I’ll check the DMA settings tonight when I’m home. And, I think my motherboard does have the VIA chipset. Thanks for the help!

It’s possible your hard drive is going out. When mine went out, it didn’t give any error messages, even when running scandisk, but my whole system got slower and slower. I first noticed it when burning CDs.

I don’t worry about mine being slow. It has always been slow… 4X. If it got any slower, it would stop. I have been thinking for a long time about getting a 52X drive, but I just never get around to it. My drive is old, but it works like a charm and I have plenty of time on my hands.

I suppose that’s possible, but I don’t consider it likely as the system is only 8 months old. Plus, I’m not seeing any other symptoms of a bad hard drive. The system runs smoothly except for this problem.

Check the vents on the outside of the PC to see that they are not covered in dust. We had that problem once, and it caused a significant slow down of the CD speed. Check the inside as well - is there dust inside the cabinet?

I seemed to have solved my problem.

I first downloaded Nero Speed Check to get some accurate benchmarks on my drive. My 52X drive was definitely reading and writing at around 19X. I checked the DMA settings and DMA was turned on for all devices. I then downloaded and installed up-to-date drivers for my VIA chipset, including an IDE accelerator. After rebooting, I ran Nero Speed Check again and my read and write speeds are back up in the 40X+ range, so I’m happy.

Thanks to everyonefor the help, especially Jurph.