Secondary IDE Channel missing

By mort
Feb 3, 2007
  1. I have searched TechSpot and the Internet, and haven't been able to find an answer to this problem.

    When I tried to play a dvd on my laptop, picture and sound was stuttering. This has never happened before.

    The dvd drive plays audio cds without any problems, but all the dvds I tried had stuttering.

    When I checked "control panel/hardware/device manager/ide ata atapi controllers" I found that the secondary ide channel was missing. It used to be there.

    Do I have a hardware problem (dvd driver or motherboard)?

    The laptop is an Acer with a Mobile Intel Pentium M 760J, 2000 MHz (15 x 133) and a PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-K16RA. I have klmcodec installed, and the dvd plays without any problems on my other computer.

    Thanks in advance for any help and advice.
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Uninstall the IDE controller in Device Manager and reboot, letting Windows reinstall the drivers.
  3. mort

    mort TS Rookie Topic Starter

    There are two controllers listed. The "Intel(R) 8280....Storage Controllers" and the "Primary IDE Channel". Should I uninstall both or only the Intel one?
  4. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,383   +105

    I wouldn't recommend uninstalling those drivers.. Instead to to the ACER site and get the drivers from that site. Or just get a Maxtor external drive big enough to back all your important data from the laptop HD. Download the Wipe it program from sourceforge to do a good measure wipe the HDD. Re-install a fresh copy of Windows XP Pro or if you want Vista.
  5. mort

    mort TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks. My data are safe (frequent backups). So, what kind of driver should I be looking for to get the "secondary ide channel" back?
  6. mort

    mort TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I did a restore to factory settings, but the secondary ide channel didn't return. However, the DVD drive seems to run on the primary channel, and the DVDs now plays again. Maybe there never was a secondary channel? Who knows. Problem solved. Thanks.
  7. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    secondary IDE channel is dependant on your motherboard. Most newer motherboards only have the primary (1) ide channel installed, while others can turn off one (or both) ide channels when specified through BIOS.
  8. mort

    mort TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Some further reading made me realise this. Initially, I was convinced that the laptop had a secondary ide channel, but clearly that wasn't the case. My other laptops do, which is the reason for the confusion.
  9. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    I was about to say... Laptops aren't guaranteed a second IDE controller. It's common to have both, but certainly not unlikely to have just one.

    Your DVD drive is running in PIO mode, which is very slow. Rather, it is supposed to be in DMA mode. Uninstalling the "Intel(R) 8280....Storage Controllers" will fix your issue. You may also have to reboot twice once you do this to complete the process.

    Keep in mind, this problem may come back. If you have a removeable DVD drive and take it out, on certain systems, XP will make the drive run in PIO mode. There's no fix for this behavior (as far as I know). So everytime you remove and insert the drive, you may have to uninstall the IDE controller again and reboot.

    The second reason this happens is a bad DVD or CD. If the optical media has 'bad blocks', Windows interperets this as a possible drive incompatibility issue and forces the drive to run in PIO mode. Again, uninstalling the controller is the solution here.

    And again, keep in mind that uninstalling the "Primary IDE controller/channel" won't fix your issue. You need to uninstall that "Intel(R) 8280....Storage Controllers". There are no harmful effects and your data is not in danger. Also, upgrading your drivers may not fix the issue and the problem will very likely come back no matter what version you have. I've noticed this particularly on Intel-based laptops.

    Installing XP from scratch again will give you the same problem. The PIO problems I mentioned above are by design and a good, fresh install of Windows XP will have the same results. Perhaps Windows Vista (and I'm hoping it does... :)) handles this PIO crap differently, so maybe that could be a consideration if it seriously bothers you and you were thinking of upgrading anyhow...
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