Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-8-01 @ 20:30

I downloaded Nero DriveSpeed (free), and I am using it on my Windows 98 box. It slows down my CD-ROM drive, and in doing so it makes it much quieter.

I was wondering - is it possible to do the same kind of thing in DOS? In other words, is there a utility (such as a TSR for instance) which can either be run at the DOS prompt, or loaded in to DOS memory which can control the speed of your CD-ROM drive?

Thanks, regards, Robert.
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby GL1zdA » 2008-8-01 @ 20:49

Plextor writers had the possibility to throttle called 'Silent Mode'. You could use their tools in Windows to set the read and write velocity. The changes were written to the burners flash memory, so it was persisted even in another PC. I use it with my Plextor Premium - throttled it down to 8x, but there's also the 4x option (http://www.plextor.be/products/premium.asp?choice=PlexWriter%20Premium) - but I don't know which other drives support it. Maybe you should ask on the http://www.cdfreaks.com/ forum - people there know virtually everything about CD-ROM drives.
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby elianda » 2008-8-02 @ 15:31

SET DRIVE SPEED command is part of the ATAPI specification. So every drive that supports this command can be set to a certain speed with just a few port commands.

Since ATA 4 the ATAPI specification was included in the ATA standard. See also 'packet commands'.
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-8-03 @ 08:27

Thanks very much for the info guys.
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby Locutus » 2008-8-10 @ 13:37

I have put together a little tool lately which implements that SET SPEED command. I haven't gotten around to test it much and it's still in development but the basic functionality should be working.

Update 2011/05/15:
There's a project page now. Grab the tool there:
http://cdbq.dosforum.de/


Maybe you can use it until I come up with a version 1.0. Use parameter -? for instructions.

You can use SPEEDSYS to test if the tool works. Please let me know. :)

- locutus
Last edited by Locutus on 2011-5-15 @ 22:30, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-8-10 @ 16:14

Thank you very much locutus, I have already downloaded your tool, and I will run and test your product as soon as possible. I will definitely post back with some initial results.

Many thanks, all the best from Robert.
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-8-12 @ 18:07

Hello Locutus,

I run your utility (in pure Dos 7) using this command line -

cdbq /ide:1 /mode:1 /rate:600

and I receive this error -

!! Error: Timeout waiting for DRQ

I have also tried a rate of 1500, and I receive the same error message.

Do you have any advice please?
Thanks a lot, from Robert.
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby Locutus » 2008-8-19 @ 13:16

Sorry for the late response. But here goes...

/ide:1 /mode:1 means that CDBQ will be searching the primary master IDE port for CD-ROM. Is your CD-ROM really connected to that IDE port?

Usually, CD-ROMs are connected to the secondary master device. Which would be /ide:2 /mode:1.

EDIT: I've put some effort into writing a readme file with notes on finding out the right settings for your drive. Hope that helps.
Last edited by Locutus on 2008-8-19 @ 21:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-8-19 @ 14:03

Thanks for your help!!

I really am stupid. I was using IDE1 and not IDE2.

I will retry your utility as soon as I can, then post back with the results.

Thank you.
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-8-20 @ 18:01

I am currently testing cdbq.exe, and I now have it working.

At the moment, I am using this command line setup -

cdbq.exe /ide:2 /mode:1 /rate:600

There was one occasion when I ran the above command, and my CD-ROM drive speed suddenly went very fast. There was also one other occasion when the drive speed seemed to stay the same rate as it usually does, in other words - quite fast (too fast really). Other times, when I run cdbq.exe, it seems to quieten and slow the drive, which is good.

So, as a preliminary summary, the utility works, but there may be one or two bugs left perhaps?

Anyway, thanks very much for writing this very useful utility, and I very much hope to be able to aquire the version 1.0 release one day....

Best regards, Robert.
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-8-21 @ 10:33

I noticed something else -

I ran Nero DriveSpeed, and it told me that my DVD-ROM drive had a slowest speed of 10x.

So, I re-ran the cdbq.exe utility, but used the /rate: switch with a value of 1500, instead of 600.

Now, I think I am getting better results, but I need to run some more tests over the next couple of weeks as I will install some more old DOS games to try out...
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby Locutus » 2008-8-21 @ 16:02

Hi there,

thanks for testing so far.

What drive are you testing with?

You say, that you are using Nero DriveSpeed. Maybe you really mean Nero CD Speed? They are both different utilities:

http://www.cdspeed2000.com/download.html

DriveSpeed is a speed setting utilitiy for Windows and DiskSpeed (formerly CD Speed) is a benchmark for measuring read rate.

I have no idea, how DriveSpeed works and how it keeps the spindle speed down. So I'd advise against using my utility together with DriveSpeed as it may lead to conflicts and unexpected behavior.

Also, I haven't tested my tool under Windows. It MAY run under 3.x/9x/Me, but I wouldn't recommend it. It's primarily meant to run under real DOS (including MS-DOS 6.22 and higher of course).

Please also keep in mind, that the speed settings are immediately lost once you reboot your PC. Maybe you should do some testing with SPEEDSYS from this page:

http://motherboards.mbarron.net/download/

From my experience, it's a bit more reliable than the Nero benchmark.

locutus
Last edited by Locutus on 2011-5-15 @ 22:35, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-8-22 @ 08:12

Hi Locutus,

My optical drive is a brand new LG DVD-ROM read-only drive, 52x speed reading of CDs and I think 16? speed for DVDs. No writing allowed, just read only.

Actually, I did mean Nero DriveSpeed. I ran this utility in Win98, and it listed various speeds that my drive was capable of running at, the minimum listed was 10x speed. (I only did this to see what speeds were available - of course, I should have used Nero CD Speed instead, and I will run this soon...)

I downloaded your version 0.7 of your utility and tested it using this command line -

cdbq.exe /ide:2 /mode:1 /rate:1500

I used the game Stonekeep in "pure DOS" for testing. It seemed fine, no problems at all!

I want to do a lot more testing, and will do over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks a lot.
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby Locutus » 2008-8-22 @ 16:14

That sounds good. Thanks for testing so far.

Btw, if Nero DriveSpeed is detecting available speeds first, that suggests that it uses a completely different approach to throttle the CD drive compared to my tool. I don't know how they do it. :-)

Maybe they are using vendor-specific functionality...
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby DBob » 2010-9-30 @ 10:19

I want to do the same trick as above, because my drive noisy at full speed and resonates too, but the link for the tool is 404 now :sad:
Could you upload it somewhere? Thx.
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby ux-3 » 2010-10-01 @ 06:36

I myself was an avid fan of Plextor. The silent function is a great thing. It exists (among others perhaps) in their 712A and 716A as well as 755A and 760A. Unfortunately, I can't give you infos for the 708A.
All these are DVD-Drives and easy (not cheap) finds on ebay.

I personally prefer the old toshiba 1612, which is also a very quiet drive imho. My Plexdrives are still serving in the first line of machines on their tour of duty. The plex premium is placed in the reserve - to valuable a unit to waste for standard operations.
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2010-10-01 @ 06:43

The TEAC CD drives also allowed you to set the speed. You simply added a switch to the device line in config.sys and you had a 4x drive!

I have never tested that driver on other drives though. Maybe someone wants to try it?
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby retro games 100 » 2010-10-01 @ 06:46

I've heard great things about Plextor drives.
BTW, DBob - have you tried sending a PM to Locutus? Alternatively, is there a download repository link somewhere on the website contained in his signature?
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby retro games 100 » 2010-10-01 @ 06:57

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:The TEAC CD drives also allowed you to set the speed. You simply added a switch to the device line in config.sys and you had a 4x drive!

Thanks for the info. I have a TEAC 6x speed CD-ROM drive, and it's very good. Also, I can recommend the NEC CDR-273 quad speed CD-ROM drive, for quiet operation. Avoid the 273Z model however, as they seem a bit noiser than the 273 model. You can still find them on ebay. :happy:
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Re: Throttle CD-ROM drive speed in DOS?

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2010-10-01 @ 07:10

OMG I have done it!!!!

*pics following soon*
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