How to Check/Enable DMA transfers in Windows Vista

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How to Check/Enable DMA transfers in Windows Vista

Post by Phil »

This guide is for Windows Vista. For Windows XP please click here.

If your computer is running really slow or burning a CD/DVD takes forever then you may have one or more of your devices running in PIO Mode, to check and or correct it read on.

Opening “Device Manager”
The first thing you need to do is get into the Windows Device Manager.

Click on Start, then right-click on "Computer" and select "Manage". If a prompt appears asking you to confirm the action, click "Continue". After that, the “Computer Management” window will open and then you just need to click on “Device Manager” in the left pane and it will list the devices in the right pane.


Finding the IDE Channels:

Now that you are in the Windows Device Manager you need to click the + beside “IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers” to expand it, this will list the IDE controllers. See image below.
The Primary and Secondary IDE controllers are the ones that are important here.

IDE Channel Properties:

Double click on “Primary IDE Channel” (or "ATA Channel 0") and the properties window will open. In this window you need to click the “Advanced Settings” tab at the top.
You should now have a window that looks similar to the image below.

It will list one or two devices (Target ID 0 is the Primary, Target ID 1 the Secondary device), also specifying the type of device, and current transfer mode.
Current Mode should say "Ultra DMA Mode X" (where X is a number). If it says "PIO Only", you need to check the "Enabled DMA" option below. Once done, click OK to close the window.

Now proceed in the same way for “Secondary IDE Channel” (or "ATA Channel 1").

If you made any changes you need to restart your computer for them to take effect.