Thursday, January 22, 2009

Audio CD playback problem on Sony DVD RW drives

My Dell Optiplex 620 has two oem installed Sony DVD RW drives. Everything works fine with the exception of playing audio CDs. One of the drives plays music very choppy so I set out to fix the issue. Here is the setup:
IDE 0 is a SONY DVD RW DRU-180A (plays OK... "good drive")
IDE 1 is a SONY DVD RW DRU-835A (problem drive)

These are the only IDE devices in the machine. The hard drives are SATA. In the original factory configuration, both drives were set to cable select and only the IDE 0 drive would play audio properly, but IDE 1 would be choppy. So I tried a number of configurations as follows:
  1. I tried setting the jumper to force IDE 0 as master and IDE 1 as secondary... no change.
  2. I tried swapping the jumpers to reverse the order (DRU-835A now IDE 0 master) and now the "good drive, bad drive" problem is reversed... the DRU-835A plays ok.
  3. Only connect one drive at a time with jumper on cable select and at the end cable connector. In this config, either drive would play properly (as IDE 0).
So, I sumized that these drives do not like to be secodary drives, at least not for audio playback purposes. I have done disk copies and many burns without issue on either drive.

  1. I checked firmware versions on both drives and the DRU-180A is on the most recent firmware, and the DRU-835A is assumed to be on the latest firmware as Sony has not post a firware update on their site for this drive.
  2. Audio playback was tried with both Windows Media 11 and Nero Media Player
I don't have a solution here except to simply always playback on the IDE 0 drive.

Helpful comments always welcome :)

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