How to Set Your Drive to DMA Mode & UDMA Bus Mastering



How to set your drive into DMA mode

ATA/IDE what does it all mean?

How to set your Hard Drive/CDROM for DMA Bus mastering.

Performance dictates that you would want to be sure that the proper drivers are loaded for your controller. If your controller supports DMA (bus mastering) you should use it!

Open "System Properties" in your Control Panel

Start > Settings > Control Panel

Select the "Device Manager" tab

Click the "+" sign next to the Disk drives entry

You should see something like this:

Device manager picture

Select the drive you want to set (click it)

click "Properties" and the drives "settings" menu will come up.

On the Settings tab, there should be a DMA check box. If this box is not grayed out, and is unchecked, place a check mark. If there is no check box (or it is grayed out), your motherboard's chipset does not support the DMA bus master interface.

DMA checkbox picture

If you restart your system,and then go back and look and see that the check box is unchecked again, then your hard disk or CDROM drive's DMA mode probably has been automatically disabled due to the hard disk not supporting the multiple-word DMA protocol.

There are a number of ways to fix the problem if this is the case, and all of them start with backing up all your data. You can install a new controller card that supports bus mastering, you can replace your entire motherboard (oh fun!) or you can sell the old dog to someone who needs a basic computer and get a new one.

Wikipedia has a page explaining DMA Bus Mastering

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