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Hi all, I am a Linux user for about 2 1/2 years now, currently using openSUSE 11.1 with KDE 4.2. I also dual boot with Windows XP. I have an ...
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    DVD+-RW drive stops after 15 minutes of use


    Hi all,

    I am a Linux user for about 2 1/2 years now, currently using openSUSE 11.1 with KDE 4.2. I also dual boot with Windows XP.

    I have an Optiarc DVD super-multi drive, works flawlessly on my Win XP partition. On Kubuntu and openSUSE, the drive will work fine for about 5 to 15 minutes, and will then stop working completely until I reboot. The light turns off, the disc stops spinning, and you can't even get the drive open.

    I have tried finding someone else with the same problem on all of the forums, but can't find anything. As I said, it works 100% fine in Win XP, and it writes fine as well. I have even tried to replace the drive cables, still nothing. This leads me to believe it may be a kernel problem?

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Lounds like it is either a driver, bios, or drive firmware problem. Is this an IDE or SATA drive? Bear in mind that drivers for Windows OEM systems will often have work-arounds for BIOS issues that the generic Linux drivers don't. Sometimes getting a bios firmware update from the manufacturer helps, as does getting a firmware update from the drive or system manufacturer. Both need to be investigated. I know that I had a DVD-DL burner on my old Dell 8400 that would not play back double-layer DVDs that it burned until I installed a drive firmware update.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Thanks! I didn't even put thought to the bios. Though, I have never flashed a bios - so I'm a little weary. It's an IDE drive, and it's a PC that I built myself. Is there a way for me to flash bios on linux, or must I use Windows? Is there an advantage to doing it on either operating system over the other?

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    You can check the motherboard manufacturer/vendor's web site for bios updates. Ditto for the DVD drive manufacturer to check for the driver firmware update. In any case, from what you have said, I'd rank the bios and then the driver at the top of the list of probable culprits. Certainly check on the driver. Run the lsmod command to find the driver being used for the DVD player and validate that with the actual drive type, bearing in mind that a lot of 3rd party drives use someone else's drive mechanism that they rebrand.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Alright, so... I have reflashed my BIOS with the newest version, checked all of the BIOS settings, and set everything according to both the motherboard and DVD drive manufacturer's reccomendations. I have even reflashed the drive with the latest and greatest firmware...

    I booted back up after spending two hours flashing BIOS/firmware, changing settings, etc. - popped in a DVD movie to test it out. No change! I just don't understand! The drive worked great - and then stopped a good 15-20 minutes into the film. No drive light, no eject function (via manual push or click-to-eject), nothing.

    I wanted to check my sanity, so I booted into my Windows XP partition, and watched the entire 2 hour film - not a single problem. I also tried constant use of data DVDs, CDs, just about anything that fits in the drive - and same issue.

    Could it still be an IDE/RAID issue? Or does this mean something else?

    Thanks,

    Carl

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    Hopefully, BIOS gives you some insight into DVD drive usage beyond bootability. Check the BIOS again for settings on the DVD that Windows might override when it is using the drive and Linux doesn't...
    Alternatively, have u tried mounting the drive in question (via "mount" command) after it stops responding?
    Or restart the process that represents the DVD? it may be that some other process sends term/hup/quit signal to your dvd after said amount of time...
    Check the /proc directory also, after DVD stops responding. Do you see your DVD in the list of subdirectories?

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Another datum - how consistent is the time-to-failure? If you play 10 minutes of the video, stop the player, then start again, is the time still 15-20 minutes, or is it less? What if you play 10 minutes, eject the disc, insert it again, and restart the video?

    I ask these questions in order to get a better idea of the physics of the problem. Sometimes this could be caused by a lost interrupt, or assuming this is an ide device, it might be the slave instead of the master device, or vice-versa, or possibly the jumper settings on the drive are incorrect. Given that XP shows the video ok, the latter issue is likely not the problem, and I don't honestly know if Windoze uses/enables the drive interrupt or if they use polled I/O.

    FWIW, I have two ide dvd recorders in my CentOS system. One is the master, and the other the slave. I can reliably record audio CD's only on the master, and dvd's only on the slave. Go figure...
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Well, from what I think is going on - it seems the DVD drive will stop within the same use time, even if I decide to stop it myself. For example, if I play a film or copy a large file from the drive, and about 9 minutues in I stop the process/open the drive - it continues to work for only about 5-6 additional minutes.

    @Rubberman: That is an interesting about your two DVD recorders, I wonder if that could be part of my issue. Also, my drive is an IDE device. I did try switching master/slave - didn't really work before - I will give it another shot.

    @varelg: Oh yes, I have tried killing the processes, restarting the processes, mounting/unmounting, restarting the x-server (just for the hell of it) - just about every command available for the issue. The /proc directory never has DVD in the subdirectories.

    But, it appears there is a light at the end of the tunnel - just recently (a while after updating the BIOS/Drive firmware), I noticed it is failing on Windows now. Maybe the drive is overheating, but Windows has a better driver control to combat this? Could it be that since I didn't upgrade the driver in Win, the problem is now more apparent?

    Either way, I almost hope it is becomes a problem in Win, because then I'll have an excuse to throw it out! I'm almost ready to buy a new drive from tigerdirect of something of the like.

    Thanks again

  9. #9
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Given that good CD/DVD recorders cost less than $50 USD these days, unless your finances are very constrained then you really don't have much to lose to try a new one. I've generally had good luck with major brand devices, such as Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, et al. Just be sure that the drive you purchase supports buffer underrun protection. Most decent drives will these days, but it does greatly reduce the number of "coasters" they produce. FWIW, I am using Lite-on drives. I think that the actual device manufacturer is Panasonic, but I'm not sure about that.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    I will be researching and (hopefully) ordering a new one today.

    Thank you so much for the help and advice! I'm now inspired to try and help someone else on these threads out before the day's end! Thanks Rubberman and varelg!

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