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How to Install a CD-RW Drive

Sec 1: Brief Introduction
Sec 2: Removing the Cover & How to obtain Information on your Dell. I am trying to add more information and improve the page set-up. THX
Sec 3: .Installation per PC World
Sec 4: The Real World, Installation, Cable being too short, Checking BIOS...
Sec 5: Forum News The firmware upgrade for the Sony CD/RW is reporting an overall fix for the recent problems. Thank you Dell & Sony and most of all, you the Dell owners for your patience and understanding.
Sec 6: Forum Tips
Sec 7: Burning
Sec 8: Overview of the IDE Interface


Words from the Editor:

What I am striving for with this page is a reference point, cover the basic installation, list the different options and any known issues. When a solution to a particular problem is found or an improvement on an old one is discovered, I would like to list it here. All impute will be greatly appreciated and recognized. I `ve had a lot help from this forum and just trying to pass it along. I hope this will help someone with the set-up of their CD-RW. I would like to thank all the people for their input and expertise in this area.



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Sec 2: Removing the cover:

Some people find it easier to remove the drive cage others prefer to remove both side covers . To determine for yourself, go to Dell's support page:

Enter your Service Tag or Model. Under Fix-It, select Your System Documentation, then Tech Notes and finally, Removing and Replacing Parts. Here you will find some helpful information dealing with this and other subjects.

Sec 3: Installation per PC World:

Whether you're installing an Internal IDE drive or a parallel port drive, back up your hard before you begin. Some Internal IDE CD-RW drives include software that analyzes your PC`s IDE setup and suggests how to install your drive, use it and print the results.

Plan for connecting and mounting your Internal IDE drive:

Turn off your PC, unplug it and remove the cover.( see below, Removing Cover ) Use an antistatic wrist strap to work inside your PC. You will find two IDE connectors, Primary and Secondary channels on your motherboard. In most PCs, the IDE hard disk connects to the primary channel and the IDE CD-ROM drive connects to the secondary channel, both via data cables. If this is the way your PC is setup, then you will need only to connect your new CD-RW drive to the same cable as used by your CD-ROM. If that cable has no extra connector on it, use the cable that came with the CD-RW drive to connect both drives to the secondary channel. Some PCs have both the hard drive and the CD-ROM drive connected to the Primary IDE channel. If that's the case in your PC, and you have no other devices on the secondary channel ( like an internal IDE Zip drive ), plan to disconnect the CD-ROM drive from the primary IDE channel and reconnect it to the secondary channel with your new CD-RW drive.

Select the externally accessible drive bay where you will mount your CD-RW drive. Most PCs have their CD-ROM drive mounted in the top externally accessible bay. In most cases, the new CD-RW will mount in the bay just below your CD-ROM depending on where your CD-RW drive must go, check that your data cables and power cables are long enough.

Set Jumpers, connect Cables and mount an Internal CD-RW drive:

Check your CD-RW drive and make sure its jumper is set to Master. If you plan on continuing to use your CD-ROM drive, set its jumper to Slave. You may have to remove and then replace the CD-ROM drive to do so. Slide your new CD-RW drive into its bay and screw in its mounting screws. Then connect its data. Make sure the cable's colored ( usually red; Pin 1 ) wire goes to the pin nearest the power connector ( some data cable connectors have a piece of protruding plastic to prevent connecting in the wrong direction ). Then connect the power cable to the CD-RW drive. Lastly, if your CD-RW drive came with an audio cable and your sound adapter has a free connector ( on the sound card or on the motherboard if your adapter is integrated ) for its end of the cable, attach one end of the audio cable to the connector and the other to the CD-RW drive. If the sound adapter has no free connector, then choose which device you want to use as audio player and attach the cable.

Install software and start burning discs:

Turn on your PC and install the drivers and application that came with your new drive. Then test the drive to make sure that it can read standard CD-ROMs and audio CDs and can read and write to both CD-R and CD-RW discs. For CD-RW discs ( you must format them first ) copy some dummy files to them and try deleting the files. If you connected the CD-RW audio cable, try an audio CD to test your sound. If your PC does not recognize the drive, turn off the PC and double check all your connections. You can also select Start*Settings*Control Panel, double click System icon and click Device Manager tab. If the icon for your new drive is shown with an exclamation point next to it, there might be an internal conflict preventing the drive from working properly. Select Start*Help, type hardware troubleshooter in the search box, and follow the directions. If you still have trouble, contact tech support.

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Sec 4: OK that was the Basics as explained by PC World

These are additional tips that come from personal experience and from the many people from Dell-Talk and other forums. Most of the PCs now also have a Zip drive, therefor having 4 IDE devices. This seems to be the preferred set-up:

Primary IDE: Hard-drive / Master; Zip / Slave. Dell ships Cable Select, Cable Select means that the position of the device on the cable determines master/slave, the end connector is the Master. You may leave as Cable Select, it will work.

Secondary IDE: CD-RW / Master; CD-ROM (DVD) / Slave. The CD-RW just seems to work better as Master, less headaches and about 98% of the Manufacturers recommend setting it as Master. I have not yet seen Cable Select as an option, I'm not saying it will not work,  try it if you like. Also some set the CD-RW as Slave and stated no problems, this will work.

Now for the Master / Slave issue, almost all Manufacturers recommend setting the CD/RW as Master and one of the first questions if you call for support usually is, " Is the device set as Master?" One Tech told me that when a signal is sent to an IDE channel it will default to Drive 0 and since the CD/RW puts such a demand on your system and requires a constant stream of data, it will work more efficiently at the Master setting. I could not and would not argue the fact "more efficiently", most people just want it to work and it will or can work as Master / Slave, Slave / Master, and Cable Select. But remember, what may work for someone may not for another.

As you can see there are many possibilities but for now CD/RW -Master & CD-ROM (DVD) - Slave, is still the preferred set-up.


Note: See ATA/ATAPI-5 for additional info.

Cable being too short has been a big issue. Some people have had to move the HD to a 3.5 bay, this seems to work best and you might be able to use your original cable. I've heard you have to use Dell's cable, I'm sorry that's just not true but you will see various posts on this subject and regardless of the Pros & Cons, many people are changing IDE cables with positive result.

You are recommended to stay under the 18" limit on length for this type of data cable. This has been a big issue also, the 18 inch limit is due to the physical properties of the Data Cable itself not the distance the signal can travel.. Here is a quote from an experienced Technician on the subject of cable length. I'm sure he does not mind. "The 18 inch distance is for the cable itself and involves the physical properties of the cable. It's not the maximum distance that the signal can travel...for example if the distance from the controller to the port was 20 inches on the motherboard it would make absolutely no difference in the world. However, when you're talking about a cable, you're talking about signal dissipation (i.e. the loss in signal strength as the current flows across the cable). As an example, the maximum distance for Ethernet over CAT5 cable (similar to phone line) is 300ft.....after 300 ft you start to get a loss in signal and irregularities in performance. however of you connect a signal regenerator every 295ft you could go on for quite some time. So you can understand that its not the signal that can only travel 18 inches, it's the signal on the cable because of the physical properties of the cable itself. If the cable were fiber optic it could travel about 2 KM without signal loss."  The cable comes in a variety of lengths and you can pick one up most computer stores under $10.00.

Some Known Issues:

Dell uses a special data cable for Cable Select, if you encounter a problem of your system not recognizing the CD/RW using Master / Slave set-up, first check your BIOS to insure that both Secondary devices are set on Auto, if this setting is correct, then the problem may be Dells cable. You have the option of changing both drives jumpers to Cable Select, use the cable that came with the CD/RW or purchase a different data cable. Most people have not experienced this problem but it can be an issue.

Checking BIOS settings:   After entering your BIOS set-up screen ( usually hitting delete when Dells logo appears ) you can check and change these settings by using the directions at the bottom of the page which will instruct you on how to navigate your BIOS , but be Fore - Warned, messing around, changing various settings, values, unless you are experienced in this field can adversely affect your system. Using your instructions, navigate to Advanced, under IDE Configuration, make sure IDE Controller is set to Both, if you plan on having a device attached to Primary Slave, it will need to be set to Auto, the same applies to the Secondary Master and Slave, just follow your instructions and you should not have any problems.

Also I have read that when they had their CD-ROM (DVD) as Master, CD/RW as Slave, they were not able to burn " on the fly ", but reversing the setting worked, others said the exact opposite. The DMA setting is another example, I dare say that 95% of the People state, UN-check DMA box on CD/RW, others claim DMA works for them, then some have had to UN-check DMA on both devices.


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Sec 5: Forum News

Sony CD/RW issue date 2-4-2000: Dell-Scott

There are a number of reports on this board of errors occurring when attempting to use the Sony CRX140E-DL “CD-RW” drive. Below, I have listed what I found to be the three most common errors: I – Drive fails to recognize the presence of media.
This error appears to be intermittent and a temporary work-around is to shut the system down for a few moments and then reboot.
After reading through many of the posts on this board, I found some very helpful suggestions from a “David Goldberg” and "joeseagle". I am suggesting these reported solutions and take responsibility for doing so. If the suggestions work, however, they should be thanked.
The following steps have not been tested by Dell and are not guaranteed to work – proceed at your own risk. These steps, however, do appear to have worked in 3 different cases, so far.
Fix - (Windows 98 only)
Perform the following steps to install the Sony CD* controller:

1. Go to control panel
2. Choose the Add New Hardware component; select the option to "choose from a list" the hardware you want to add
3. Add the Sony proprietary "CD-ROM" controller

One more step appears to be necessary for the drive to continue to work after a reboot (i.e. if the following step is not taken, the customer should have the same problem again after rebooting):

1. Open Device Manager
2. Open the Properties dialog of the Sony CD controller, and then click "Resources".
3. Click "Change Settings" to change the IO setting to the highest possible value it will allow.

(*Note: It appears from the posts that the Sony "CD" controller needs to be installed, rather than a "CD-RW" controller. The Win98 machine I checked showed only a CD controller listing, but it did not have a CD-RW drive installed, either. It seems to me that - perhaps - Win98 would list a CD-RW controller if it had detected a CD-RW drive? I am not sure if the list of components Win98 generates is static, or affected by PnP detection. I will appreciate feedback on this point, or any other.)

Finally, I assume that performing this procedure in Windows NT would work as well, though perhaps the second step of modifying the controller's resources might not be needed (?). I do not have the procedure for Windows NT, yet.

Sony CD/RW issue, date 2-23-2000: Dell-David

Dell and Sony are continuing to work on a permanent solution for issues being reported in the field relating to difficulty reading CD-R/RW media in the Sony CRX140E-DL drive. Dell and Sony are currently performing preliminary testing on a software update to the CRX140E-DL firmware that appears to improve performance and reliability in these areas, and the update is expected to be made available via the Dell File Library in the near future. Once Dell has validated the Sony provided revision, and it has received WHQL certification from Microsoft, Dell will provide the update free of charge for download from the Dell web site.

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Sec 6: Forum Tips

1) Can not use Easy CD Creator because it is in use by Direct CD: Easy CD Creator, CD Copier and CD Spin Doctor cannot use a CD-R or CD/RW disc that has been formatted by Direct CD. When a formatted disc is inserted into your CD/RW device, Direct CD locks the drive so that other programs cannot write to the disc. To resolve this error:

  1. Eject the Direct CD formatted CD-R or CD/RW disc using the Direct CD Wizard
  2. Go back to the other recording program and proceed until you're asked to insert a blank disc.
  3. Insert a blank CD-R or CD/RW disc.

Something else to check, Direct CD  will load by default to run in the background. If you have an icon in your system tray, you may be able to disable it here, or you may have to go into msconfig (Start / Run, type msconfig (enter) ) go to Startup Tab. Actually all this does is prevents DCD from loading at Start-up, it is still active. Un-installing or editing the registery will remove DCD. Nero and DCD butt heads, Nero suggests renaming certain files to disable DCD, which has worked for me. You may find a list of these drivers and drivers of other burning software here.

2) Detect Devices: A) Go to the Device Manager (Start / Settings / Control Panel / System), Device Manager tab, and double-click CD-ROM, then double-click your CD/RW. Go to settings tab, "uncheck" DMA, OK out, and reboot. After re-entering windows, check again to see if your drive is identified by Explorer; If not, go back to the device manager, double-click on Hard Disk Controllers, double-click on "Intel Bus Master PCI IDE Controller", driver tab, click the "Update Driver" button, click "next", choose "display a list of all drivers", click "next", choose "Standard Dual PCI IDE Controller", click "next", then "next" again after driver is found, then click "finish", and answer "yes" to restart computer. After reboot, check your explorer, windows should now see the drive. If your drive is still not identified, contact your drive manufacturer's tech support.


I – Make sure that the CD-ROM drive, itself, is functional. You can test this by booting to a Dell Diagnostics diskette and running the CD test, or by checking that the drive is seen in the BIOS, and then booting to a CD-boot disk and attempting access of the drive from DOS mode (thus, eliminating the influence of Windows).
II - Right-click the MY Computer icon and choose "Properties". Click the "Performance" tab and look underneath (rather than next to) the line that says "PC Cards (PCMCIA):". Here, check for anything other than "Your system is configured for optimal performance". In particular, note any reference to the Master Boot Record (MBR) being modified. If it has been modified, it will probably note a virus as well.

Next, restart in MS-DOS mode and type CHKDSK. Note the value for the line "Total Bytes Memory". (The line will be near the bottom). If this number is anything other than 655,360 you probably have a virus. If it does read 655,360, you most likely do not.

If you find your system is running in "Compatibility Mode", check Microsoft article ID #Q130179.

III – If you find your system running normally in step #2, try clearing NVRAM. If you have a D___, R___, or one of the newer systems, the following procedure will work:

Reboot the system and press the DELETE key when you see the message "Press DELETE to enter setup". Choose the "Advanced" tab at the top. Set the field "Reset Configuration Data" to "Yes" and then strike the F10 key at the top of the keyboard to Save and Exit.

(Note: if you notice the Plug and Play OS field set to NO, this is correct - do not change it).

3) Reason to Disable DMA (?): Disable DMA (Direct Memory Access) so that the IDE Chipset on your motherboard is functioning in Standard Single or Dual FIFO Mode. DMA can cause many problems in the recording process since it allows the Operating System to "thread" disk reads and writes. In Standard Single or Dual FIFO mode the IDE Chipset cannot be interrupted by the Operating System before it completes a read or write operation - it is a non - threaded operation.

4) Unable to Access Device after Windows 98 Install:

The information in this article applies to:

SYMPTOMS:After you install Windows 98, you may be unable to access your CD-ROM drive.

CAUSE: This behavior can occur if you have a dual-channel integrated device electronics (IDE) controller installed in your computer.

RESOLUTION:To work around this behavior, follow these steps:

Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double- click System.
Click the Device Manager tab.
Click the Hard Disk Controllers branch to expand it, click your IDE controller, and then click Properties.
Click the Settings tab.
In the Dual IDE Channel Settings box, click Both IDE Channels Enabled, and then click OK.
Click OK, and then restart your computer.
Test to determine if the issue is resolved by trying to use your CD-ROM drive. If the issue is not resolved, perform the troubleshooting steps in the following article by clicking the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q190303 </support/kb/articles/Q190/3/03.ASP> How to Use Real-Mode CD-ROM Drivers from Windows 98 Startup Disk

5) The IDE`s way of PnP:

This is IDE’s way of providing Plug and Play functionality. In order for this to work, a cable select cable must be used. A cable select cable is an IDE cable that has line 28 open (cut) between the two device connectors.

Jumpering a device as master or slave overrides the cable select cable. This means that you could use a cable select cable without actually using cable select to determine master or slave. This may, however, cause problems and is not recommended.
If you use the cable select jumper to set a device’s setting, you must have a cable select cable.

If there is only one device on the IDE cable, check to make sure it is on the end connector (1) not the middle connector (0) to allow for proper termination. Incorrect configuration can also cause the device not to be recognized by the system.

If there are two devices on a channel, check to be sure that one is configured as master, and the other slave. If both are master or both slaves, one device will not be recognized by the system.

Since termination cannot be changed on an IDE device, sometimes the only way to fix a problem is to change the cabling arrangement. With two devices on the cable, try switching them around.

With erratic behavior, isolate one device on the channel to see if the other device that was on the channel is causing problems. (Be sure to put it on the end connector (1)!)


If the device-0 is jumpered to be a master, then the device-1 must be set to slave or cable select. If it is set to cable select, it will automatically configure itself as a slave. Due to the fact that line 28 is cut and therefore has no grounding.

If Device 0 is: (a)
Then Device 1 must be: (b)
(a) master (b) slave
(a) master (b) cable select
(a) slave (b) master
(a) cable select (b) cable select
(a) cable (b) select slave

6)Drivers for CD-ROM & CD/RW: Note: I Have not tried this but was told, it is true. A Quote: As far as I know Win95/98 does not need any driver for CD-ROM. They should just detect it upon starting. You can always try a Add New Hardware in your control panel. Let it try to detect. If that doesn't help, you can still use the DOS driver. Win98 has a free one called "oakcdrom.sys" in windows/command/ebd. At your C: root directory, find "config.sys" and open it with any text editor. Make sure you got this line "device=c:\windows\himem.sys", then you can add this line "device=c:\windows\command\ebd\oakcdrom.sys /d:mscd000". Then add this line to your "autoexec.bat" file also at c:\ "lh c:\windows\command\mscdex.exe /d:mscd000". Now you have it.

7) Play.exe Errors: **If you do not want the Real Jukebox to be the default CD player, then, please remove the association of the CD files with the Jukebox, this should help you. To do this, please do the following.

1. Double-click the My Computer icon.
2. From the View menu, choose Options, and then click the File Types tab.
3. Scroll through the list of file types until you find the file type you want to change (CDA or AudioCD or CDAudio, please check the name correctly, as this could be different on different systems).
4. Select the file type by clicking it once.
5. Click the Edit button.
6. In the Edit File Type dialog box, click the Edit button.
7. Click the Browse button and locate the new program (in your case CDPlayer.exe which is under C:windows\)you want to use to open your files.
8. Click the OK and then Close buttons.

Windows will now use the selected program by default when opening any file types you changed (e.g. CD player).

If, for some reason you find that the steps above do not associate the file type with a specified program, please follow the steps below:

1. Click the Start button, choose Programs, and then Windows Explorer.
2. Locate a file whose file format association you want to change [For Example: the CD files, insert a CD, open the Windows Explorer browse to E: drive (usually the CD drive) select a file].
4. Select Open With from the shortcut menu.
5. In the Open With dialog box, select the program you want to associate the file format with. If the program is not listed, click the Other button, then locate and select the program you would like to use.
6. Select the Always Use This Program To Open Files of This Type check box.
7. Click the OK button.


please note that after doing the above, no program may launch when you insert the CD, but, you have the choice of selecting the program you want to play the CD with. Insert the CD, then open the program. **Credit for fix goes to Villanman**

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Sec 7: Burning

1) Buffer underrun: The Writing process, no matter which mode, is continuous start to finish. The laser switches on at the beginning of a session and remains in continuous operation until that session is completely finished. The CD format requires the interleaving of data between blocks during the writing process to help ensure data integrity. To properly interleave the data, the drive needs an overview of it, thus the data buffer. For the laser in a CD/RW to operate continuously it must have a continuous supply of data, if at any time it runs out of data to write, the process is interrupted. Unlike hard disks, the CD/RW drive can not pick up where it left off on the next spin of the disc, resulting in an buffer underrun error, you may have yourself a coaster.

To help prevent this error, if your software allows it, try increasing the size of your buffer or build a CD Image on your hard disk that can be copies on the fly to the CD-R disc. Disable any TSR programs, screen savers, pop up reminders, anti-virus, incoming communications such as faxes, voice, and data. No multi-tasking, just do the writing process only.

2) Track at Once: The TAO process writes an entire track in a single operation. The track can be in any format that your CD/RW can write, a CD-ROM compatible disc or a CD-DA disc for your home stereo system. The requirements are that the track must be larger than 300 blocks and smaller than the total capacity of the disc minus the overhead and that you designate what files you want to put on the disc.

3) Disc at Once: The DAO process must be totally free from interruption from the beginning of the lead-in area to the completion of the lead-out area. The Table of Contents, all tracks and the Q channel must all be prepared before the writing process begins. The entire disc will be written in one swoop in the order that the formatting data appears on the disc. think of DAO as a combination of TAO and multi-session writing that simply extends across the entire CD.

4) Track Multi-Session: TMS writing allows you to add to the discs as you have the need for it by dividing the capacity of the disc into multiple sessions, up to about 50 of them. Each session has many of the characteristic of a complete CD, including its own lead-in and lead-out areas as well as Table of Contents. The one draw back is that each session requires about 13.5 MB of additional space. Most modern CD/RW drives allows you to write more than one track in a given session. The advantage of this technique is the elimination of most of the 13.5 MB session overhead. Instead of lead-in and lead-out tracks, each pair of tracks is separated by 150 blocks (Two Seconds) of pre-gap---overhead of only about 300 KB. The entire session must be framed by its own lead-in, lead-out, and Table of Contents areas.

5) Packet Writing: Think of PW in terms of a big floppy or like your hard drive, you add data to the disc simply by saving a file. With the appropriate software, you can drag and drop files to the CD/RW as in Windows Explorer. A packet is a block of data smaller than a track. Your drive accepts the packet and write it to the disc, identifying it with 4 blocks of lead-in information, two blocks of lead-out and a link block. Each packet thus suffers seven blocks or about 15 KB of overhead in addition to that required for directory information.

6) Term "On the Fly" by Mark A: Here is a Quote from Mark that explains this very nicely: There a basically two ways to copy information (data, music, pictures - all are just digital info) to a recordable CD disk.

"On the Fly" is one way. You tell the "burning" software (this is the copying program that should come bundled with your CD/RW drive) to use your old CD-ROM drive to copy the source disk in it directly to the blank disk that is in the cdrw drive. While this is the fastest and easiest way to make a copy, it is prone to something called "buffer underruns" that will ruin the blank disk if they occur. A buffer underrun happens when the old CD-ROM drive can't send the data to the cdrw drive fast enough or steadily enough. Your cdrw drive needs a fast and steady stream of data flowing to it during copying ("burning"). This is because the burning process cannot be slowed or paused once it is started.

The second way to make a copy is to move all the source information to your hard drive first and then start the burn process. Your hard drive will have no problem sending that fast and steady data stream to the cdrw, but you may need to stop using your PC for other things while a burn is in process so that the hard drive and processor can concentrate on the burning task and not be interrupted.

You do not need to have both a CD-ROM drive and a cdrw drive unless you want to burn on the fly. When you only have a cdrw drive, you can use it to copy the source CD to your hard drive. Once it is moved onto the hard drive, you simply remove the source CD from the cdrw drive and replace it with a blank and then burn. I do my copies this way even though I have a CD-ROM drive that came with my Dell. That is because my CD-ROM drive is a bit older and is not good at extracting audio as my cdrw drive does a better job of copying music to the hard drive.

Once you get your cdrw, read the manual that comes with it. It should tell you in more detail how to use the burning software that they have provided.

7) Fixation: Before a CD that you write can be read by a CD-ROM / DVD drive or the audio CD player in car or your stereo system, it must have an overall table of contents that follows the ISO 9660 standard. The process of finishing the disc for reading is termed fixation. You must close the disc which in turns writes an overall absolute lead-in area and absolute lead-out area for the entire disc.

Multi-session drives also can create discs that are fixated for appending. The individual sessions each have their own table of contents that reflects the session actually written on the disc, but the disc lacks the overall lead-in and lead-out areas. When you've added the last session to the disc, the finalization process writes an indication on the disc that no further sessions are present and then writes the overall disc lead-in and lead-out areas, completing a table of contents compatible with the ISO 9660 standard. Most CD mastering programs refer to this as Closing the disc.

8) Nero & MP3: Burning MP3 files (.mp3) with Nero.

MP3 audio files (extension .mp3) have become one of the most common file formats of the Internet community if compressed audio data is to be transmitted. That’s why Nero now supports burning of MP3 files. These files can now be dragged and dropped into Nero audio compilations just like wave files (.wav) or audio tracks (.cda).
Nero is able to burn MP3 files on the fly, which means that you do not have to convert them first in wave format, or to store the uncompressed audio data into a cache file before burning them. The maximum burning speed for MP3 files depends highly upon the speed of your processor, since uncompressing MP3 files requires a great deal of floating point operations. As a rule of thumb, a 100 MHz Pentium processor is capable to uncompress MP3 data at about 2x speed. A faster 250 MHz Pentium II processor should be able to decode MP3 data at 4x or even faster. MP3 files can currently only be played under Windows 95, 98 and NT.

MP3 files from the Internet may be sometimes damaged. These problems might cause crackling noises. If such damaged MP3 files are dragged into a Nero audio compilation, Nero will then display a warning. There will be another warning in the Nero’s log file telling, that Nero lost synchronization within the MP3 file. There might also be MP3 files (extension .mp3) that cannot be decoded by Nero at all. Such files are probably either severely damaged or contain another audio file format like MPEG 2.0 or any other unsupported sound format. Nero’s MPEG3 library currently supports only standard MP3 files (that means ISO MPEG 1.0 layer 3, 44.1 kHz, 16 bit, stereo).

9) Winamp & MP3: Using Winamp to convert mp3 to .wav ( credit goes to Egbert Hidding )
Download Winamp It is freeware now.

This is how you can do it:

10) "Jitter" Problems ( quote from Andy McFadden`s page)

The first thing to know is that there are two kinds of jitter that relate to audio CDs. The usual meaning of "jitter" refers to a time-base error when digital samples are converted back to an analog signal; see for a discussion. The other form of "jitter" is used in the context of digital audio extraction from CDs. This kind of "jitter" causes extracted audio samples to be doubled-up or skipped entirely. (Some people will correctly point out that the latter usage is an abuse of the term "jitter", but we seem to be stuck with it.)

"Jitter correction", in both senses of the word, is the process of compensating for jitter and restoring the audio to its intended form. This section is concerned with the (incorrect use of) "jitter" in the context of digital audio extraction.

The problem occurs because the Philips CD specification doesn't require block-accurate addressing. While the audio data is being fed into a buffer (a FIFO whose high- and low-water marks control the spindle speed), the address information for audio blocks is pulled out of the subcode channel and fed into a different part of the controller. Because the data and address information are disconnected, the CD player is unable to identify the exact start of each block. The inaccuracy is small, but if the system doing the extraction has to stop, write data to disk, and then go back to where it left off, it won't be able to seek to the exact same position. As a result, the extraction process will restart a few samples early or late, resulting in doubled or omitted samples. These glitches often sound like tiny repeating clicks during playback.

On a CD-ROM, the blocks have a 12-byte sync pattern in the header, as well as a copy of the block's address. It's possible to identify the start of a block and get the block's address by watching the data FIFO alone. This is why it's so much easier to pull single blocks off of a CD-ROM.

With most CD-ROM drives that support digital audio extraction, you can get jitter-free audio by using a program that extracts the entire track all at once. The problem with this method is that if the hard drive being written to can't keep up, some of the samples will be dropped. (This is similar to a CD-R buffer underrun, but since the output buffer used during DAE is much smaller than a CD-R's input buffer, the problem is magnified.)

Some CD-ROM drives, e.g. most of the Plextor models, include special circuitry that enables them to accurately detect the start of a block.

An approach that has produced good results is to do jitter correction in software. This involves performing overlapping reads, and then sliding the data around to find overlaps at the edges. Most DAE programs will perform jitter correction.

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Sec 8: Overview of the IDE Interface:

The Integrated Drive Electronics ( IDE ) is the primary interface used to connect a hard disk drive to a PC and refers to the fact that the interface electronics or controller is built into the drives themselves, these include CD-ROM, DVD, CD/RW, high-capacity floppy and tape drives. The IDE connector on motherboards in many systems is nothing more than a stripped down bus slot. In ATA IDE installations, these connectors normally contain a 40-pin subset of the 98 pins that would be available in a standard 16-bit ISA bus slot.

1) ATA / ATAPI-5: Copies of any of the published standards can be purchased from ANSI or Global Engineering Documents. ATA-5 includes ultra-ATA/66, which doubles the ultra-ATA burst transfer rate by reducing set-up times and increasing the clock rate. The faster clock rate increases interference, which causes problems with the standard 40-pin cable. To eliminate noise and interference, a new 40-pin, 80-conductor cable was developed. This cable was first announced in ATA-4, but now is mandatory in ATA-5 to support the ultra-ATA/66 mode. This cable adds 40 additional ground lines between each of the original 40 ground and signal lines, which help shield the signals from interference. This cable will work with older non-ultre-ATA devices as well. The new cable will support the Cable Select feature and have color coded connectors. The blue end connector should be connected to the ATA host interface (usually the motherboard). The black opposite end connector is known as the Master position, which is where the primary drive will plug in. The gray middle connector is for the Slave position.

2) Why not CD/RW and Hard drive on same Channel: When only one drive is installed, the controller responds to all commands from the system. When two drives and therefore two controllers are installed all commands from the system are received by both controllers. Each controller then must be set up to respond only to commands for itself, thus Master / Slave. Most CD-ROM, Tape Drives, DVD and CD/RW run at lower IDE mode speeds, this would force your hard disk to run slower if they shared a single cable. IDE does not normally support overlapping access such as SCSI, basically, when one drive is running the other can not be accessed. By keeping them on separate channels, you can more effectively overlap accessing between them. This is why in a system with 4 devices, that includes a Zip drive, the Zip is connected to Pri IDE as slave, it can not support the transfer rate and should never be in use while the CD/RW is in the "burn" process.

3) A word about SCSI and IDE: ( author; VinTek )

A couple of years ago, I would have told you to make sure that your CD-ROM and CD-RW drives were on separate channels. This was because EIDE drives were notoriously unreliable in managing I/O tasks on the same channel. You would get buffer underruns and the result would be a coaster. Recently, however, CD-RW drives have improved to the degree (through larger buffers and other such improvements) that many people, including myself, routinely install both drives on the secondary channel.

However, you still have EIDE drives, which in turn means that your CPU is handling the I/O chores. CD-RW drives have improved to the point where buffer underruns are much less frequent than they used to be, but you'll still risk a coaster if you try to do too much while burning a CD. The load on the CPU would distract it from the burn, and boom! Buffer underrun. That is why most of us recommend that you turn off all unrelated programs, such as antivirus utilities and screensavers, while burning a CD. I go the extra mile by creating a fixed swap drive so that Windows does not try to resize it during the burn.

This brings us to SCSI. Because of the improvement in IDE drives, SCSI doesn't hold as much of an advantage as it used to, but it's still the closest you can get to having bulletproof burns. This is because the SCSI controller chip takes over the job of managing the I/O tasks from the CPU. I have seen SCSI systems complete a burn through to disk finalization even after a BSOD! That is impressive. With a good SCSI card, you can daisy chain up to 27 devices (cheaper ones max out at about 7). Drawbacks are expense (both in terms of the card and the peripheral) and complexity. There is the bother of having to set the SCSI ID and terminate the last device in the chain. In addition, naturally, if you truly want a bulletproof burn, then both your source and target should be SCSI. This means having to have a SCSI hard drive and SCSI CD-ROM/DVD player.

Is SCSI worth it? If you burn a lot of CDs (maybe you have to back up and archive databases on a regular basis; maybe you're a music fiend and want to custom-mix a lot of audio CDs), then yes, the added reliability is probably worth the money. If you are like most people who just want to back up files and occasionally want to mix a CD for your car, then stick with EIDE.

A word about USB. They are pretty neat. At this point, I have seen them go up to 4X, meaning that you can burn a CD in about 19 minutes. This is in contrast to 8X drives, which will take about 10.5 minutes. There are some 12X drives around, but I have not had any experience with them. Those are CD-R times, by the way. CD-RW times are often, but not always, twice the CD-R times. What you gain is the fact that you do not take up any extra IRQs and you also get portability.

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