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Thread: Slow, unsteady burning via k3b

  1. #1
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    Default Slow, unsteady burning via k3b

    Hello, a recent adopter here with some bugs to stomp. SuSE 11.1 w/KDE 4.3. It's an oldie but goodie unit that's been spiffed up somewhat over the years and is now as follows:

    - PIII 933mhz Intel D815EEA board with 512mb ram
    - 500 gb IDE hd via PCI0680 Ultra ATA-133 Host Controller card
    - Nvidia GEForce FX5200 128 mb VGA card (using approp. Nvidia driver)
    - Ensoniq Creative Sound Blaster ENS1371 sound card
    - NEC DVD-RW ND 3540A and Pioneer DVD-RW 116D on original 2nd IDE channel
    - D-Link DFE-530TX+ 10/100 Ethernet network card
    - VIA Tech PCI USB card for USB 2.0 support
    - Dell 1440x900 LCD monitor
    - HP 932c parallel port printer
    - Standard keyboard, mouse
    - 56k Modem
    - Floppy drive

    This exact hardware configuration encountered no problems burning a DVD @ 16x via the Pioneer drive on a former Win 2k pro install and 'GnomeBaker' in Ubuntu linux also had no problems doing the same. It helps that I don't have extra apps / processes running during burns, given the hardware. Trying to burn a data DVD-R with k3b however, k3b claims the drive and/or media can't burn at 16x - which is, as confirmed by burning with same on 2k and Ubuntu, a rated speed both are capable of - and bumps the speed down to 4x. Moreover one sees a very unsteady behavior of the buffers on k3b's progress window as it burns (at 4x or less). One attempt failed. Naturally I need to get stability back and I'd like to get the rated speed.

    Thoughts?
    "It takes two hands to make one handshake" - Dan Kelly

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Slow, unsteady burning via k3b

    If this is software please move it, I really don't know at this point if it's soft or hardware related.

    In the "old days" I'd have checked for something to do with DMA settings but nowadays with hdas gone to sdas, I gather that is not relevant so I'm at a loss...
    "It takes two hands to make one handshake" - Dan Kelly

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Slow, unsteady burning via k3b

    I must admit, I've been having real troubles burning CDs and DVDs lately. I had been playing with my swap partition and also the /tmp folder.

    I believe the problems came down to a full / partition (where /tmp was located).

    I solved it by making a symlink for /tmp to my /home partition instead which had tons of free space.

    For a DVD burn I believe you need well over the image size free in your assigned /tmp folder, ie a 4gig DVD will need more than 5 gigs!

    Although that doesn't explain the problems I had with CDs. I found that I could only successfully burn to re-writeable CDs, all others failed the check.

    I guess in your case it might be a RAM issue, you don't have /tmp assigned to RAM do you? I wouldn't think so, just a wild guess.

    I did that and it really messed things up!

    Plus I've noticed rather slow disk performance under openSUSE 11.1 in general, and changing to a later kernel hasn't fixed it.

    Just a few ideas to play with there .
    HP dv6645, Nvidia 8400m-gs, KDE 4.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Slow, unsteady burning via k3b

    Thanks for the ideas. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the problem; /tmp has 11 gigs free at minimum, home has over 200 and with "only" 512mb of ram I couldn't assign tmp to it and try burning anything. The swap is ~512mb and has always had free room even when burning. hd speed seems ok on this unit. Odd about your disc speed... hope you can get it sorted.
    "It takes two hands to make one handshake" - Dan Kelly

  5. #5

    Default Re: Slow, unsteady burning via k3b

    A couple of things come to mind as for burning with K3B that I have found.

    1. K3B Version 1.66 is still in alpha and it still has a few quirks. Try K3B for KDE3 instead (Version 1.0.5, I think) it's more stable in my opinion (you will find it in the packman repo).

    2. I had a PIII with similar spec's to yours TeaSwigger. I found a weak power supply caused K3B to do much like you described. For a PIII or P4 try to stay at a 350 watt or better (I used a 500 watt in mine). Many older PC's came with about a 250 Watt or so, and it's not enough if you have done any serious upgrading.Today 600+ watts are easy to get.My PIII ran well under M$-Window$ with the smaller power supply,but I would still burn a bad disk at times.the new power supply solved the issue completely.
    Never Trust The Wolf
    Never Turn And Run From The Wolf (He Will Just Chase You down)
    Never Smile At The Wolf (He May Think you're Attacking him)
    Never Move Suddenly Around The Wolf, Just Look Him In The Eyes
    He Already Knows What You're Going To Do

  6. #6

    Default Re: Slow, unsteady burning via k3b

    Oh: 1 more thing, I know PC-133 ram (PIII)is getting hard to find but 256 to 512 MB more of ram would help you out greatly,even with M$-Window$.
    Never Trust The Wolf
    Never Turn And Run From The Wolf (He Will Just Chase You down)
    Never Smile At The Wolf (He May Think you're Attacking him)
    Never Move Suddenly Around The Wolf, Just Look Him In The Eyes
    He Already Knows What You're Going To Do

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Slow, unsteady burning via k3b

    Thank you for the considered reply Lykopis. Unfortunately the RAM is maxed at 512mb (the PC turned 9yrs old last month) or I'd have sprung for more. But I keep an eye on it and it's managing ok since I'm careful not to overtax it with too many / too heavy apps etc and fortunately, it has a gfx card with its own memory. Power supplies are often overlooked, but fortunately this unit has a robust supply for the time, rated 500w. It seems to be doing well. This same hardware was managing 16x DVD-R fine w/ubuntu right before I migrated to SuSE here.

    Good thought re: k3b v3x vs v4x. I'll go ahead and replace the 4x with 3x from the packman repos, test that and report back here.
    "It takes two hands to make one handshake" - Dan Kelly

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Slow, unsteady burning via k3b

    No joy. k3b 3x behaves the same as 4x, slow and unsteady.
    "It takes two hands to make one handshake" - Dan Kelly

  9. #9

    Default Re: Slow, unsteady burning via k3b

    Well: I know for those of us who came from windows it's a little hard to explain, but I will try.

    1. Burning under windows: I found a number of cd/dvd burning apps would lie about the real burning speed. But since you used Ubuntu with good results I doubt that's your issue.

    2. So: among those of us who have used Linux based OS's ( Opensuse, Ubuntu, Mandriva and so forth) for a while we know that sometimes a distro just won't work or something doesn't work the way we need it too on a given PC. Since I have a small network I can attest to that. So might I suggest that since you had good luck with Ubuntu give Kubuntu a try, it's Ubuntu with KDE, 9.04 uses KDE4.2 I think?? and it will look a lot like Opensuse with KDE. (in fact I can configure them to look identical). You might find it will do what you need. Also Ubuntu/Kubuntu tends to live on older hardware better than Opensuse.

    Kubuntu get it here:
    Kubuntu | linux for human beings | Kubuntu

    3. If you just got to have Opensuse for some reason then I would snoop around the repo's and try to find another burning app that will live on your hardware. (sorry I really can't help much there)
    Anyways good luck.
    Never Trust The Wolf
    Never Turn And Run From The Wolf (He Will Just Chase You down)
    Never Smile At The Wolf (He May Think you're Attacking him)
    Never Move Suddenly Around The Wolf, Just Look Him In The Eyes
    He Already Knows What You're Going To Do

  10. #10

    Default Re: Slow, unsteady burning via k3b

    my suggestions would be:

    a) try a couple different brands of reliable media, just to eliminate that variable (doesn't explain why other distros don't have the same problem)

    b) install iotop and monitor during a burn for clues, then initiate a discussion on k3b mailing list.

    my experience was exactly opposite, ubuntu/debian 8.x had a bug in hal that wouldn't allow use of my Plextor burner, and opensuse worked perfectly.

    good luck.

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