DMA reverts to PIO

Wed, 2007-07-11 08:30 by admin · Forum/category:

The stuttering DVD drive or the lame hard disk

Table of contents

for this article

Quick solution

This is the recommended solution. If you're not interested in the details, but just want to fix this problem as quickly as possible:

  1. Internet Explorer: click, Firefox and other browsers: right-click here.
  2. Internet Explorer: Despite any warnings click on the [Open] or [Execute] buttons as required to execute the file resetdma.vbs.

    Firefox and other browsers: Save the file resetdma.vbs to your hard disk. Double-click on the file in Windows Explorer and allow it to be executed.

    (If you fear that this web site could be malevolent, you could use the manual method instead, which is described below. You can also download, save, and inspect the program with an editor like the Windows Notepad. It is a script text file.)

  3. If the program found any ATA or SATA channel to reset, reboot your computer and test all drives.
  4. If the problem is still not solved, set the offending channel to PIO manually, reboot your computer, set the channel back to DMA, and reboot again.
  5. Please report your results here. Thanks!

Please note that this works only with the Windows drivers. If your device had its own manufacturer's drivers installed, this program cannot fix the problem and will not do anything to them. Instead it will report that no resettable DMA channels were found.

Note also that many CD and DVD drives only use UDMA-2, because their data rate is much lower than that of a hard disk. This is normal and no reason to worry.

If you are interested in the details, read on.

The program tries to reenable DMA in the registry exactly as described below, for all suitable (S)ATA channels. Windows then redetects the DMA status after the next reboot.

If you use the program again after a short while, it may again report that it has reset the channels. This is normal behavior and not a sign of any problem.

General description

This article also applies to Windows 2000. (Peter Frank reported successful application on Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4.)

DMA is an abbreviation for Direct Memory Access, an access method for external devices where the data transfer is not done by the central processor, but by a small special processor called DMA controller. It uses a procedure called cycle stealing, where the central processor memory access cycles are delayed for very short times to intersperse DMA controller memory access cycles. Some newer, faster DMA modes are called UDMA (Ultra DMA).

The alternative, slow and inefficient data transfer mode is called PIO, Programmed Input-Output, where the central processor transfers data byte for byte or word for word. This requires many processor commands for each data word and therefore causes a high and unwanted processor load.

A typical symptom of PIO mode is slow data transfer, accompanied by high processor load, leading, for example, to a choppy video display.

Possible causes for falling back to PIO mode

The most frequent use why a CD or DVD port falls back to PIO mode is a scratched or otherwise unreadable CD or DVD. For example, some newer DVDs, initially from Sony, carry a copy protection scheme that relies on defective sectors. If you try, without using special software, to copy such a DVD (which doesn't work), then this can already trigger the problem.

However, there are a few reasons why a computer may use PIO instead of DMA, particularly when it's the hard disk port that falls back, not a CD/DVD drive port. For example, David Duberman reported in 2005 that some Dell computers have DMA disabled in their BIOS by default for the second hard disk. So it is a good idea to check the BIOS settings first.

2007-05-13 – Jason Paquette confirmed that the BIOS setting in his Dell computer was wrong too and prevented DMA mode. Correcting the BIOS setting immediately enabled the DMA mode.

A not so rare hardware problem is a bad or too long IDE data cable. You need 80-way cables, not the older ones with only 40 wires. With poor cables the device may work, but Windows will probably step down to lower DMA speeds or even to PIO.

A further cause may be waking from standby mode, if one of the involved components does not perform this process correctly.

2007-02-20 – Stefan Welte wrote that on an Elitegroupsystems K7S5A computer all IDE hard disks ran in PIO mode, because automatic device recognition was disabled in the BIOS. (The computer booted from a SCSI disk.) Enabling device recognition solved the problem without any further measures.

2009-06-27 – markvm confirmed again that the BIOS in a Dell computer prevented DMA mode. Please see his comment below. In his case a hard disk was not recognized by the BIOS. After enabling and starting the automatic recognition, everything fell into place nicely, and DMA was automatically enabled by Windows.

2009-11-19 – flemur13013 mentioned again in this comment that setting the disk recognition to "Auto" in the BIOS settings solved his problem of a slow, CPU-gobbling secondary hard disk.

Occasionally a chip set or controller driver is buggy, so check with the manufacturer for updates.

2007-03-01 – Francois Eraud reports one such case in a Sony laptop, regarding an ALI M5229 chip set controller, solved with driver version 4.008.

2008-03-30 – Arran located the elusive drivers for this ALI M5229 controller chip. Please read his comment For those with the ALi M5229 IDE Controller in the comments on one of the next pages.

Other reasons can show up in the event log, so check this first and see if you can find repeated Atapi errors recorded. If so, you likely have a hardware defect. You can use the procedures described on this page, but your computer will probably fall back to PIO mode again and again, until you solve the underlying problem, which may be located inside the device, on the motherboard, or in the IDE data cable and its connectors.

A dramatic example was reported on 2006-12-29 by David Hähningen:

If you (half asleep in the dark and with considerable force) try to put the ATA plug on the hard disk the wrong way around, the gap called "KEYPIN" (pin 20 on the plug) pushes pin 21 of the hard disk socket and bends it aside. (This pin is responsible for DMA requests of the hard disk.)

As the disk can no longer reach the host with its requests, there is a communications problem, and Windows XP switches into PIO mode. A blessing in disguise: You can still save the data, though slower than usual. ;)

Few will succeed in repairing the disk. Just pulling the pin straight may not quite cut it, as the connection to the printed circuit board is probably broken.

2007-02-07 – Carl Kaufmann wrote that he looked for a solution for a computer with an Intel chip set and found the Intel(R) Application Accelerator. As instructed, he first installed the Intel Chip Set Installation Utility, which already solved the problem (as observed in Task Manager). He went on anyway to install the accelerator. After that there was no longer any DMA/PIO choice in the controller options, but everything now works right automatically.

2007-05-15 – John Schumacher confirms:

I thought I was having this problem, but that isn't the case. My BIOS listed Ultra DMA as being disabled on all my drives. I looked for the Advanced Settings tabs for the IDE channels in Device Manager, but the tabs were no longer there. I ran Nero InfoTool, which confusingly listed DMA on for primary and secondary masters, but off for primary and secondary slaves. After doing some more searching, I found out that the Intel Application Accelerator I recently installed is the culprit. Running Intel Application Accelerator confirmed that everything was OK.

The Intel Application Accelerator can also have a quite adverse effect when it is run on an unsuitable processor. If in doubt, uninstall it and retest. (See the comment, Intel Application Accelerator by dkneyle = Ausie Davo.)

The trap

Windows contains a trap in which quite a few computers seem to get caught sooner or later. The trap was described in a Web article whose link no longer works (and also in another one mentioned below):

The crucial paragraphs are:

PIO mode is enabled by default in the following situations:
For repeated DMA errors. Windows XP will turn off DMA mode for a device after encountering certain errors during data transfer operations. If more that six DMA transfer timeouts occur, Windows will turn off DMA and use only PIO mode on that device.

In this case, the user cannot turn on DMA for this device. The only option for the user who wants to enable DMA mode is to uninstall and reinstall the device.

Windows XP downgrades the Ultra DMA transfer mode after receiving more than six CRC errors. Whenever possible, the operating system will step down one UDMA mode at a time (from UDMA mode 4 to UDMA mode 3, and so on).

Of course, drive firmware being quite complex and certainly containing programming defects of its own, it is not all that difficult to produce such errors. In my case a scratched DVD and later also an unreadable (overburned) CD did the trick, got the drive to choke and Windows to disable DMA for good. Later my hard disk hiccupped just once and also went back to PIO for good.

I had been using my laptop for DVD viewing for years, until I inserted a borrowed and heavily scratched DVD. The player and apparently even the DVD drive choked on it, and when I finally got the DVD to play, I found that playing was jerky and processor load was 100%, roughly half of which was system overhead.

This indicated that the drive had reverted from the usual UDMA (Ultra Direct Memory Access) mode 2 to PIO (Programmed Input Output) mode. No amount of resetting or changing the relevant registry parameters from 1 (try DMA) to 2 (force DMA) helped. Stubbornly the drive kept using PIO mode, and Windows even changed these settings back to 0 (use PIO only).

The following text will refer to the secondary IDE port because that is more often affected, but essentially the same also holds for the primary IDE port, to which the main hard disk is connected in most computers.

Before you begin to work on the problem, log on as Administrator or as a user with administrator rights.

Check Your IDE Port Mode

First check what mode your secondary IDE port is currently working in. Go to Device Manager: right-click on My Computer, select Properties, click on the Hardware tag, click on the Device Manager button, click on the plus sign to the left of IDE ATA/ATAPI Controller, double-click on the secondary IDE channel, click on Extended Settings and check whether it is set to DMA when available. Directly underneath that setting is a grey field that shows the actual working mode of your IDE channel. You want the highest possible DMA or Ultra DMA mode there, and you definitely don't want PIO mode.

If the Extended Settings tab is not there, perhaps another driver is used, probably from the manufacturer of the IDE ATAPI controller. You can still perform a simple test. In the Task Manager activate the option View, Show kernel times. Then put a high load on the device, for example by copying a large file, and check whether the kernel times are minimal (red line). If you observe considerable kernel times, roughly around half of the total load, then the device is running in PIO mode, which is bad. The whole purpose of the DMA mode is to relieve the processor (in kernel mode) of this load.

Assuming the Microsoft IDE ATAPI driver, normally you don't have to use the registry editor, because the normal settings are also available through the properties dialog for the IDE port, but if you want to look at it anyway, the parameter for the secondary IDE port can be found through regedit.exe at


It is named Scsi only for historic reasons. Scsi Port 0 is the primary IDE port, to which presumably your hard disk is connected.

After trying various remedies—in vain—I found the abovementioned article and went to work again. I uninstalled the DVD drive in Device Manager and rebooted, but that did not help either.

So I searched for more and better information, then I went on and did the following.

Re-enable DMA using the Registry Editor

This chapter describes the manual way to do what the quick solution at the top of this page does automatically through a script program. If you're not interested in the details, you can back up to the chapter "Quick solution" above and run the script.

My thanks go to my fellow MVP Alexander Grigoriev who taught me this method.

Run REGEDIT. Go to the following key:


It has subkeys like 0000, 0001, 0002, etc. Normally 0001 is the primary IDE channel, 0002 the secondary, but other numbers can occur under certain circumstances. You have to go through these subkeys and check the DriverDesc value until you find the proper IDE channel.

Delete MasterIdDataChecksum or SlaveIdDataChecksum, depending on whether the device in question is attached as master or slave, but it can't actually hurt to delete both. Reboot. The drive DMA capabilities will be redetected.

Note that many CD and DVD drives only use UDMA-2, because their data rate is much lower than that of a hard disk. This is normal and no reason to worry.

2006-01-19 – Horst Schülke wrote that it is sufficient to empty the content of these values. But you can also delete the values entirely. Windows will automatically recreate them anyway, with new content.

Open Device Manager again and check whether the device is now actually using DMA mode. If so, congratulations, you've made it (at least until the next time Windows disables DMA). If not, you may have to change the IDE channel setting from PIO back to the highest available DMA mode and reboot again.

Many thanks to Tomáš Souček, Peter Götz, Alex Vaillant, and Cory Culbertson for piecing together the following information:

There are three keys that work together:


Each bit in these values means a transfer mode that the device may or may not be capable of. Somewhere at MS some of these bits can be looked up.


This is the actual mode the device is running at.


This entry may be the problem child. Peter wrote: "Normally not present in XP, it is created as a reaction to errors. This entry has absolute priority." However, there are doubts whether this is the absolute truth. It is still not entirely clear where this entry comes from. Erasing it or setting it to a DWORD value of 0xFFFFFFFF, rebooting, re-enabling DMA mode, and rebooting again seems to have solved the problem in some cases.


This entry contains the user's setting, manually entered in the advanced device properties. Has the same structure as MasterDeviceTimingMode. This entry appears when the user sets a limited mode manually, such as PIO only.

Another key that seems to create the problem is MasterIdDataChecksum.

All these parameters also exist for the slave drive as SlaveDeviceTimingMode, etc.

More information is needed. If you know anything, please click on Add new comment at the end of this article and write it down.

Alternative Method—Uninstalling the Port

1. Uninstall the secondary IDE port

Attention: Do this only if you use the Microsoft IDE driver that comes with Windows or if you have the driver on hand, because otherwise you may find yourself unable to reinstall the proper driver.

To uninstall the port along with its driver, open Device Manager as follows. Right-click on My Computer, select Properties, click on the Hardware tag, click on the Device Manager button, click on the plus sign to the left of IDE ATA/ATAPI Controller, right-click on Secondary IDE Channel, click on Uninstall. Deactivating is not enough.

Reboot to make the changes active and permanent.

After booting Windows will automatically reinstall the IDE channel and the DVD (or CD) drive. This Plug-n-Play process can take a little while, so give it a minute after the boot process finishes.

2. Check or reactivate DMA

But this may not always be not enough, because unfortunately Windows does not always automatically activate DMA on a DVD or CD drive. You have to check and, if necessary, tell Windows to try to use DMA first. It is possible that Windows XP with Service Pack 2 re-enables DMA automatically on reboot, but I have not tested this yet.

To re-enable DMA, go to Device Manager again. Right-click on My Computer, select Properties, click on the Hardware tag, click on the Device Manager button, click on the plus sign to the left of IDE ATA/ATAPI Controller, double-click on the secondary IDE channel, click on Extended Settings and change the relevant setting from PIO only to DMA when available.

On Windows NT and 2000 you now have to reboot a second time, but Windows XP applies the change instantly. Then you can go to the same place in Device Manager again and check whether the device is now actually using DMA mode. If so, all is well.

Note that many CD and DVD drives only use UDMA-2, because their data rate is much lower than that of a hard disk. This is normal and no reason to worry.

3. Driver is not intended for this platform

If you keep getting the following error message, please read on:

There is a problem installing this hardware.

IDE channel

An error occurred during the installation of the device. Driver is not intended for this platform.

2005-03-30 – Johannes B. wrote: The reason for this error is often that Daemon Tools or Alcohol 120% are installed. In this case the solution described below would not work. But when you uninstall these programs and then restart Windows, it will then install the device drivers without any further problems.

If these programs are not installed, then one possible way out is to rename C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\atapi.sys (or a similar path on your computer) to something like atapi.old.

If that's not possible, you can try it from the repair console (boot from the Windows install CD and select the repair console).

If Windows always automatically recreates atapi.sys, you can try renaming it in safe mode or from a command line window or you can try to rename or remove it in the driver cache as well.

Desensitize Your Computer's IDE or SATA Channels

There's a bit more to it. The following article offers a way to reduce the incidence of this problem, although it still doesn't solve it altogether.

IDE ATA and ATAPI Disks Use PIO Mode After Multiple Time-Out or CRC Errors Occur

Do read this article because it contains a useful long-term workaround. But you have to go through the procedure described here to re-enable DMA first.

Assuming you've done that, insert the ResetErrorCountersOnSuccess registry values mentioned in this article into both the primary and the secondary IDE port registry keys as described.

Unfortunately this is only a half solution, because when you enter an unreadable DVD, you will get 6 errors in a row, and the IDE channel will revert to PIO mode, but at least when you pull out the DVD in time and then insert a good one, the error counter will be reset and it will at least be a bit more difficult for Windows to hobble your IDE drive.

A little warning: One user reported that by mistakenly putting the value into the parent key, rather than into one of the 0000, 0001, 0002, etc., subkeys, he was accused by Microsoft's Genuine Advantage check of using a pirated copy of Windows and therefore denied online updates.


Useful info on re-enabling DMA. No more jerky video from primary slave! Thank you

Thank you for a very helpful article. After applying your fix I saw a 10x speed improvement!

Don't mention it!!! After months of trouble-free operation, DVD playback suddenly started to crap out on me, and your site was the only one I could find that remedied this problem. I had been trying to fix it for several weeks when I found it, and boy was I happy. I'm the one who needs to thank *you*!!! Thank you!!! :)

Thank you for the great page on DMA/PIO issues. I had a problem caused by Daemon tools that you covered on your page. Without your work I might never have solved this problem. I intend on donating again after my next paycheck.

You ROCK! Your write-up on Windows setting DMA back to PIO saved me. I was about to take a 12 gauge to my computer. My DVD player wouldn't work for SHIT (stuttering, dropping frames, etc.). I uninstalled my secondary IDE controller, re-booted, & problem solved. THANKS!

Your DMA reverts to PIO page relieved me from horrible sound stututustuttuttering. [...] Hard disk went from PIO mode back to Ultra DMA mode 5 when I uninstalled primary IDE channel in device manager and XP reinstalled it. Thanks.

I love you...
no i don't—but I'm really greatfull that you published this site [...] as I was quite desperate and 24 hours mentally down because my harddisk only managed 2,2 MB/sec (now, thanks to you: 66,2)
best wishes!

Wonderful Dude,
I just want you to know that your posts on how to fix choppy DVD players saved my butt tonight. I love the fact that I can go and search for an answer on the internet, and a good soul such as yourself will have taken the time to post such a clear and excellent series of solutions. [...]

I just wanted to thank you for the information [on this page]. After noticing that my laptop's CD/DVD drive started exhibiting the dreaded "choppy playback" from nowhere (probably caused by trying to read a poorly burned homework assignment handed out by one of my professors a dozen times) I found your advice after a quick search on how to correct the problem. After a few minutes of reading, using the provided script, and rebooting, my drive successfully reverted back to DMA mode from PIO.
Just wanted to give my thanks and have myself counted among the satisfied visitors who were able to fix the issue without any problems. I especially appreciated the down-to-earth explanations for and solution to the playback choppiness. CDs/DVDs play like a dream again, and that really makes my day.

I also wanted to thank you. I almost despaired. For no discernible reason all movies from my DVD drive became jerky. Cleaning the registry and scanning for viruses were also unsuccessful. I was already resigned to the thought of returning the laptop to the manufacturer, because I thought the drive was broken. Luckily there is the Internet and dedicated people like you, who help with good tips.
Many thanks for your work; the article is truly excellent. You're my savior, unthinkable now that I had almost reinstalled the computer.
I hope that many, who have the same problem, find your article.

Thank you very much for your online help to my DMA problem (DMA reverts to PIO). I had been banging my head against the wall for a few weeks before I found your site. The .vbs program worked perfectly to fix my infuriating iTunes & audio distortion problems. For this, I have donated $10 to your site.

Comments, discussion

To add a comment, you have to have an account and be logged on. If you don't have an account yet, please click on: Create new account

Typical symptom: PIO mode (see comment 761). JPG image30.33 KB

still no luck

Sat, 2009-03-07 20:44 by camermike

ive tried every method
i did the vb code, then it tried it manuel, i switched from primary to secondary. i uninstalled the hard drive to and let it automatically install. i even went out to by i new pair of sata cables just to be on the safe side, but every time i log on and check and it still says PIO. i have it set to dma if avaliable but it wont go.

Hardware problem

Sun, 2009-03-08 00:13 by admin

If the driver does not use DMA and always shows PIO mode, then either the driver is bad (which one is it?) or, more likely, there is a hardware error. The hardware error can be in the drive, in the cable, or on the motherboard, i.e. in the IDE controller.

Try to swap the disk. Add a different hard disk, connect it to the other channel (not to the one with the first hard disk), and check whether you can attain DMA mode.

pio problem

Fri, 2009-02-27 18:58 by lunaric

Hi there
Scratched library dvd caused pio mode to lock in and your registry hack fixed the problem. Thanks.


Fri, 2009-02-27 21:46 by admin

Thanks for reporting back! Yes, the quick fix can be useful.

HELP !!!!!!!!!!!!

Mon, 2009-02-23 16:09 by likewoods

I followed the quick fix, of downloading and running the program to reset to DMA mode, However now my Toshiba Laptop won't run XP at all. I'm not sure where to go with this now safe mode will not even load, It keeps saying " Sorry for the inconvenience Windows cannot start " then gives the option on how to start regular to safe.

Help !!! Did I just wreck my laptop.


Mon, 2009-02-23 17:41 by admin

There is one comment saying that DeepFreeze can cause such problems. The quick fix itself is perfectly safe and cannot break a computer.

Do you have any special software installed that does anything close to the hardware?

The second-last resort is always a repair installation.

non boot able

Wed, 2009-02-25 15:53 by likewoods

No there is no extra software on the lap top.
I'm still not sure what happened. When the quick fix was run the computer was still working when I had her reboot. It wouldn't any more. It stops right before going to the start up page. So it must still be seeing the drive and reading from it. ( right? ) Where would that leave the problem at ? I can try a repair installation.
Would the quick fix have reset the anything with the CD drive causing it to not recognize the CD Drive?

have the laptop in front of me

Wed, 2009-02-25 18:49 by likewoods

Okay here are symptoms computer gets to welcome screen then crashes.

Reinstalling windows it says not enough room ? ( at least 30 gig ) was free

Won't reinstall without reformatting !!! yikes

I'll go the recovery console and run a chkdsk and see what that says. Any ideas how I got here ?
I ran the quick fix.
Rebooted laptop.
Laptop won't run windows.
The timing is too close to not be connected ?

RoonToons's picture

Laptop won't run Windows

Sat, 2009-02-28 20:13 by RoonToons

I had the same problem on an HP laptop.
I just kept trying to boot and on the sixth or seventh try it booted.
It seemed to be a flaky hard drive.
After it booted it reverted to PIO mode.
If the reboot try doesn't help, try downloading a windows boot cd.
Then you can access the C: drive and save your data from there.

Good thought

Sun, 2009-03-01 09:52 by admin

Thanks! Yes, a boot CD can at least enable him to salvage the data easily.

just a thought

Wed, 2009-02-25 19:00 by likewoods

If the hard drive was in a damaged state/ thus being in the pio mode, could forcing the mode back to dma have caused this?
Since it wants to start in DMA mode, then as windows comes up it says oops I can't run this way and shuts down? Does that make any sense.
If so is there a way to take it back to pio mode from the recovery console end of things.

My goal is to at bear minimum salvage the data. I have a large USB drive that could hold it Im just not sure how to transfer it with my available options.

Any Ideas ?

RoonToons's picture

WinXP won't boot

Tue, 2009-03-03 08:46 by RoonToons

Try pressing F8 repeatedly on powering up the computer. Then choose last known good configuration item, this should restore a previous version of the CurrentControlSet registry key and should allow the computer to start.

Also if that doesn't work and you have access to another WinXP pc you may want to build a Universal Boot CD for Windows. If you plug in your external USB hard drive before you boot from this CD you will be able to back up your data from the C: drive.

PIO does not help

Wed, 2009-02-25 19:21 by admin

If the driver cannot read through DMA, it will downgrade it to PIO automatically. If that happens, the computer was already broken with a hardware defect and would need repair.

One relatively frequent reason for this is that the hard disk is failing, but there can be other causes.

Thank you!!!

Sun, 2009-02-15 08:44 by zozon

Without this page I would not be able to solve problem with my computer. Thank you!

Jimmy4040's picture

DMA reverts to PIO

Sun, 2009-02-01 19:31 by Jimmy4040

Hello, I know I am at the right place after reading all coments. I have run the resetdma file but get no response after, I have read the manual way but this is just Greek to me, Auto Detection is grayed out, DMA if Available is set, Current transfer Mode is PIO Mode. I did have Alcohol 120 but have uninstalled it. I dont have much hair left to pull out, Help. Thanks

resetdma file

Sun, 2009-02-01 22:51 by admin

The resetdma file always gives a response.

Jimmy4040's picture

What next

Sun, 2009-02-01 23:31 by Jimmy4040

I have tryed many times but get nothing, I have closed my zonealarm but still nothing. what can I try next.

Response from resetdma

Mon, 2009-02-02 07:35 by admin

First let us know the response from the resetdma program.

Jimmy4040's picture

Response from resetdma

Sat, 2009-02-14 20:33 by Jimmy4040

The Following ATA have been reset
Master of Primary IDE channel
Master and Slave of secondary IDE channel.
after reboot
Divice 0
transfer mode PIO only
Divice 1
transfer mode PIO only
after manual reset
Device 0
transfer mode DMA if available
current transfer mode PIO
Device 1
same as above.
I have a print screen image of device manager but can not copy paste here.

Possible causes for falling back to PIO mode

Sun, 2009-02-15 09:27 by admin

There are two explanations for this behavior.

  1. The drivers that came with Windows are present, perhaps because they have been used before, but the disks now actually use a third-party driver. You may be able to find out in Device Manager. If this is the case, this article cannot help you.
  2. There is a hardware problem that causes the devices to fall back to PIO mode very quickly. The possible causes for this are described in detail in the chapter, "Possible causes for falling back to PIO mode" in the article at the top.
Jimmy4040's picture

Possible causes for falling back to PIO mode

Mon, 2009-02-16 14:36 by Jimmy4040

it looks like the problem may be Alcohol 120%, I uninstalled it some time ago but allthough I can find no trace of it their may be part of it left. I have tryed to reinstall it so as to clean it out completly but when I run the install I get a Application Maintenance window with the options of Modify - Repair - Remove.No matter which option I choose I get the same error mesage, "Internal Error 25001. 25040 (0x61D0 2 (0x2)" After which I click ok and get new window " Installation ended prematurely because of an error". If this is the problem how do I get it off my PC.

Ask the manufacturer

Mon, 2009-02-16 15:41 by admin

Unfortunately I don't know that program. You could check the manufacturer's web site for support information.

You could also try to clean out all traces of the program from the file system and, more importantly, from the registry, by searching for strings like "alcohol" and deleting everything that once belonged to the program.

However, there are no guarantees, and making even a small mistake in the registry can render an installation inoperable.

We cannot even be sure that remains of the program itself cause the problem. It is also possible that the program changed a setting in Windows, in which case no amount of cleaning would solve the problem.

The two measures of last resort are always a repair installation of Windows and a fresh installation from scratch.

Jimmy4040's picture

Thank you

Mon, 2009-02-16 16:13 by Jimmy4040

Thank you for all your help looks like it will have to go to the shop after all.


Wed, 2009-01-28 14:23 by rdsgalvao

I've been with this problem on my laptop for nearly a year, when I took it to a computer specialist at the centre of town, I was told it was a hardware problem and wanted to replace several components (Which I refused).

With this the problem has now been solved, and the computer is running faster then ever.


Wed, 2009-01-28 07:41 by ejhut

Thanks so much! I've been attempting to fix my slow computer and stuttering sound for weeks now (both of which just appeared out of the blue). Nothing had worked and I was about to resort to completely reformatting my computer, but this fixed it in just a few minutes! You're the best!

Great that it helped

Wed, 2009-01-28 14:46 by admin

Are these all XP computers or is this problem still cropping up in Vista?

Worked on Samsung Laptop

Sun, 2009-01-25 20:57 by pelican104

Awsome, I had been trying to fix a stuttering sound problem on my Samsung laptop for months, previously the only solution was to restore the laptop to its factory state but your vbs file worked for me first time.

The laptops primary IDE was showing as being in PIO mode. After I ran the VBS script and rebooted the laptop it now runs in UDMA5, the stuttering sound is gone and the laptop runs much much faster than before.

I am so impressed I even created an account just to post this message

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you

Thanks for reporting back

Mon, 2009-01-26 07:23 by admin

The problem has been with us for years, and it doesn't seem to get fixed. One could almost think that Microsoft is greased by the computer hardware industry to put in some self-destruction mechanism. I'm sure that a significant number of computer owners buys new computers prematurely because of this problem, in the mistaken belief that it's a hardware problem that will not reoccur in a new computer.

As to the account creation requirement, please have a look at this article.

You are a legend!

Thu, 2009-01-15 14:16 by Shaunus

Thanks, problem has been driving me mad! Started with stuttering sound, and super slow bootup. Video files were stuttering like mad! Did a benchmark on my machine and found my harddrive transfer speeds to be 1 MB/s, slooooow!

Did did all the usual stuff i.e. defrag, change windows performance controls, hard drive error checking, making more space etc, nothing helped! Then started googling hard drive controllers and started checking system devices. Finally came across PIO and googled it as my second IDE was DMA and not PIO, and BINGO, came across your FANTASTIC article!

Read it all and decided to give your vbs file a go (quicker than doing it myself!), worked straight away!

Thanks, nearly bought a new laptop!
South Africa


Thu, 2009-01-15 15:39 by admin

Good to hear!

Greetings to Africa. My second home is in East Africa.

Thank You

Thu, 2009-01-01 09:19 by jmelcer

Thank you for this helpful article. After several hours of experimenting (each restart ~ 7 min), I solved the problem in 5 min by making the registry change in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}.

One point of interest: My problems started immediately after experimenting with booting from a Fedora LiveUSB stick. When I then booted WINDOWS XP SP3 from the HD, HD was in PIO mode.

USB stick

Thu, 2009-01-01 13:58 by admin

Some USB sticks automatically install some rather evil software, like U3. If that happens, all bets are off, because the software includes a driver, and drivers can do all kinds of damage, as they run in ring 0 of the processor's protection hierarchy. I hope that you haven't become another victim of this kind of Trojan.

But it may have been pure coincidence. Difficult to tell, but over time you'll find out how often the problem reoccurs.

Thanks a ton!!!

Sun, 2008-12-28 05:54 by dilipkrbe

I read the whole article before I downloaded the quick fix. In my case it was the hard disk that was on PIO. the quick fix worked perfect. I just had to run it and restart, nothing further!

Thanks a ton!!!!

DMA PRoblem

Sat, 2008-12-27 00:09 by longhaireddwb

This might be in the wrong place and I'm sorry. I just don't know about this stuff. I'm a beginner when it comes to the computer and I've been learning so much the last four days and three forums trying to fix this problem.

I can't burn a copy or disc any faster than 0.87X and I'm using Roxio 10. I was told the problem is because of the PIO I can't get to change to DMA on the Primary IDE channel?

Here's a picture:

Typical symptom: PIO mode

I can't get the PIO to change to MDA even after doing the "DMA Reverts to PIO" that I found on this site. I DL the RESETDMA program and did what it said and that still didn't do it. I've rebooted so many times I can't remember. I've uninstalled and rebooted. I've done so much stuff that others have told me to do for the last four days that I can't tell you all I've done and its still there and I still can't burn even a 1 to 1 speed.

Help me please...

PS. I've tried everything listed above that I could understand. Sorry, most of it is beyond me so I need some help in plain non-computer English!

I've tried everything listed except swapping the drives and I don't understand. Do you mean to physically take them out of the box and put in the others place or just swap the cables from one to the other? I have not tried the hotfix. Its just not clear enough for me to understand. I'm a beginner and I don't have a clue to what I'm doing!

Quick solution first

Sat, 2008-12-27 10:45 by admin

Try the quick solution first, which is described at the very top of the main article. You have to confirm twice and need to trust the program, but many people have used it successfully. After the program has finished doing its job, it reports what it has done. What did it report? You can run it again.

I guess Device 0 is your main hard disk and Device 1 is your DVD burner. This means that both devices are connected to the same data cable. This is a correct way to connect these drives, but it is not the best way. If you have fewer than 4 IDE/ATAPI devices, you should connect the hard disk to the end of the primary IDE port data cable and should not connect any other device to that same data cable.

Ideally you should connect DVD drives to the secondary IDE port, which has a separate data cable. There are a few pitfalls:

  1. The master device or the only device on one IDE port must be connected to the end of the cable. The slave device, if any, must be connected to the middle connector on the cable.
  2. The master-slave jumper must be set properly on the drive. The "cable select" position of that jumper sometimes works, but often it doesn't. Therefore it is better to set it to the master or slave position, depending on which cable connector the device is connected to.
  3. If you have two DVD drives and one of them is a burner, make the burner the master.
  4. For newer equipment you need 80-strand IDE cables, not the older 40-strand cables, which can cause problems at DMA speeds.
  5. The DVD drive can be defective, the data cable can be defective or sub-standard, and the IDE/ATAPI controller on the motherboard or any connector can be defective. If any of this is the case, the problem will not go away until the defective component is replaced. You can only find out by swapping components.

All this should already have been explained in the main article above. If you have problems with the technical stuff, no amount of explaining will do. In that case you have to seek the help of a technically oriented person who is willing to repair your computer.

Thank you for responding. I

Sat, 2008-12-27 14:52 by longhaireddwb

Thank you for responding. I guess I will just need to pay someone to fix it. I have never opened up the box and have no idea what is in there. Slaves and masters ans 40 and 80 cables? Don't sound like I should be in there anyway. I will print out what you said and try to find someone that understands it. Thanks for your time.

Uninstalling secondary ide channel controller

Wed, 2008-12-17 00:27 by gpsmall

I decided to try the alternative method of uninstalling the secondary ide controller channel and rebooting. This method worked like a charm on my 2 desktops with high-speed (20X) DVD re-writers. These re-writers had been running in PIO mode on both desktops (one ancient, the other a bit more recent) for some time and changing cables (as suggested by LG tech support) had no effect. It amazes me that Microsoft would cause its OS to downgrade from UDMA to PIO with so few errors and then not bother to publicize the problem and solution. I'm sure there is a high percentage of users with DVD re-writers running in PIO mode that have no idea it is correctable. Good work all!!!

Thanks a lot friends

Mon, 2008-12-08 10:14 by Tarasca

Hi friends.

After surfing a lot searching about low speed transfers with high use of Hardware Interrupts with disks and usb card reader, I found your nice fix for going back to DMA mode.
Every transfer speed is OK now.

Thanks a lot. My best regards.

USB card readers

Mon, 2008-12-08 17:41 by admin

Thanks for the kind words. I wasn't aware that the fix may affect USB card readers. Maybe it doesn't, and the cause of the slowness was just the hard disk. Still a success though.

Extended settings option gone

Thu, 2008-11-27 08:16 by godfather9

I recently noticed that my computer was running the primary IDE channel in PIO and was able to bring it back to Ultra DMA with the help of this article. I ended up using the resetdma.vbs link and it worked great. Unfortunately a few hours later the computer froze, and after rebooting I went to check the status of the DMA and noticed that I no longer had the extended settings option, which now of course does not even allow me the option of seeing if it reverted back or trying to adjust. Anyone seen this problem before?

Thanks in advance

Different driver

Thu, 2008-11-27 08:57 by admin

One possible explanation of several is that somehow a different driver got installed or was installed and got activated.

You can check in Device Manager which driver you are actually using. The quick fix repair script is only effective with Microsoft's IDE drivers that come with Windows. It has no effect on any other driver.

But, of course, something else could be broken. There are several possible causes. If all else fails, you could consider a Repair Installation, but without any guarantee that it solves the problem.

PIO problem solved

Fri, 2008-11-21 11:46 by GeorgeSA

I was referred to this site from the HP Notebook forums. The quick fix did a quick fix and speeded up a reboot from 10min plus to 4 min.

Regards GoergeSA

Not too bad

Fri, 2008-11-21 14:34 by admin

Thanks for reporting back. Good success, but 4 min is still not very fast. That's probably caused by something else though, perhaps too many programs and services to load. Or do the 4 min include a memory test? Then it would be OK.

Skipping Sound

Mon, 2008-10-27 17:37 by wfitzwater

I ran across this info and I am not quite as tech saavy as everyone on this post. I have also had a serious skipping problem with any sound since I purchased my machine 2 years ago. It started when using itunes or windows media for 15-20 minutes. I would then shut it down and open the application again and it would fix for a while. It has gotten worse though and now skips all the time. Additionally, any other sound on my computer ( such as AIM alerts) also sound sickly. I followed the instructions to ck to see if I have the PIO setting. I found through the device manager that I do not have a secondary IDE channel. However, when I open the primary ide channel it says that on device 0 transfer mode is "DMA if available" and current transfer mode is "PIO Mode." For device 1, it shows transfer mode of "PIO only" and current transfer mode of " PIO Mode." Does this mean I should run the quick fix and if so are there any possible problems that could occur as a result of the fix? Thank you for any help or input you can provide.

That's the typical case

Mon, 2008-10-27 17:57 by admin

Yes, just run the quick fix. It is harmless and easy to use.

If you're lucky, and most are, the problem will not recur for a long time, and if it does, run the quick fix again.


Tue, 2008-10-28 18:01 by wfitzwater

This worked like a charm! Thanks!

doesnt work

Mon, 2008-09-29 17:47 by msteel

the quick is not available i get a message saying it doesnt work!

Problem kept coming back

Thu, 2008-09-25 04:02 by dmcscorp

It turns out that rebooting my computer was temporarilly fixing the stuttering problem I was having. The actual culprit was mcshield.exe. That evil little program was hijacking 99% of my cpu on a steady cycle. I installed AVG Anti-virus free, uninstalled McAfee Antivirus (which worked fine for 2 years) and everything seems good again.

Seems to work great

Wed, 2008-09-24 17:38 by dmcscorp

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was at a complete loss for the past few days then I came across your site and I can now listen to music, watch my porn, browse and type without any problems. I was getting ready to scrap everything and start all over. If this lasts for the next few days I will definitely make a donation to the cause. You people rock!

Thanks for reporting

Wed, 2008-09-24 19:01 by admin

It's good to hear about successes. The problem is still at large, so this web site keeps being needed.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.