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Can only burn coasters now

Hello list members,

Today I noticed that I was having a problem with CD burning.  Basically,
all I could burn were coasters.  I am running Sarge with pretty much
everything stock, except for a few backports (oo2, gphoto2, wx2.6 and a
few Debian developer tools).  I also have a custom compiled kernel, but
I have been running the same kernel for about 8 months without issue.

I burned about 8 coasters before it occurred to me to check my drive
settings with hdparm.  It turns out that I had something like this:

roberto@miami:~$ sudo hdparm /dev/hdd

 IO_support   =  0 (default 16-bit)
 unmaskirq    =  0 (off)
 using_dma    =  0 (off)
 keepsettings =  0 (off)
 readonly     =  0 (off)
 readahead    = 8192 (on)
 HDIO_GETGEO failed: Invalid argument

Of course, that made each burn get about 4 to 10 MB in and then
completely fail.  The error it gave was a "media error."  The strange
thing is that I also burned some DVD+RW and CD-RW without any hassle.  I
am guessing that the slower write speeds for those media didn't put too
much strain on the system to keep up.  Either way, I ended up having to
do this to get back on track:

roberto@miami:~$ sudo hdparm -c1 -d1 -u1 -a 8192 /dev/hdd

 setting fs readahead to 8192
 setting 32-bit IO_support flag to 1
 setting unmaskirq to 1 (on)
 setting using_dma to 1 (on)
 IO_support   =  1 (32-bit)
 unmaskirq    =  1 (on)
 using_dma    =  1 (on)
 readahead    = 8192 (on)

This brings me to my question.  Does anyone know of a way to get the
system to notify me of any changes to the DMA status of the drives?  On
looking back in the syslog, I see this entry:

Sep 24 17:38:16 miami vmunix: hdd: DMA disabled

However, I am wondering if anyone knows of something to monitor for
those sorts of changes and notify the user.  Something like a console
warning for programs that try to access the device, or a pop up window
if the user is logged in to an X session.  I can probably code something
up, but I also don't want to reinvent the wheel.



Roberto C. Sanchez

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