Optimizing DVD Ripping Speed on Your PC: 6 Hints

Hint #1: Switch on DMA (stands for Direct Memory Access)

DVD drives manufactured in last years normally have DMA enabled, which means that computer's RAM (memory) can be directly accessed for read/write operations without involving central processor. But if DMA is switched off for the drive, it cannot operate at optimal speed.

Guide to switch DMA on (under Windows XP)
Push “Start” button, then click Control panel. Open “System” window by double clicking the icon of same name; proceed to “Hardware” tab in the window opened. Click “Device Manager”. On the list in Device Manager window, click the “+” sign next to “IDE controllers & CD/DVD-ROM” line. Select the controller your drive is attached to in the list that just appeared and click “Properties”. When in Properties window, get to the tab called “Advanced Settings”. In the “Transfer mode” combo box, select DMA. Similarly you can control DMA status for any other drive.

Footnote: In case you find that Advanced Settings tab is missing or grayed out, it can be a sign that DMA is disabled in machine’s BIOS (refer to your motherboard documentation on the matter of BIOS setup). Another possible cause of hidden Advanced Settings tab is using certain Intel motherboards based on Intel chipset. If that’s your case, get Intel Application Accelerator (can be downloaded for free). That software will switch on DMA for drives capable of this feature.


Hint #2: Consider Firmware Update

Sometimes manufacturers of DVD drives deliberately cut off the ripping speed. A way to resolve this problem is to download an updated or hacked firmware for your drive, which may adjust or remove any restrictions made by the manufacturer.

Attention: Unless you are completely confident that the new firmware is 100% compatible with your DVD drive model, DO NOT flash it to the device or else an unfixable damage may be caused.


Hint #3: Consider Making Fresh Install of IDE Controller

After re-installing main IDE controller driver, a bunch of users reported an improvement regarding their DVD ripping speed. Here’s how you can try re-installing the driver yourself on XP.

Guide to Perform Re-Installation of IDE Controller Driver (under Windows XP)
Go to Control Panel. Open “System” window by double clicking the icon of same name; proceed to “Hardware” tab in the window opened. Click “Device Manager”. Then, in Device Manager list, expend the “IDE controllers & CD/DVD-ROM” line by clicking plus sign next to it. Select Primary IDE Channel and press Uninstall. Then reboot your PC. Once Windows is restarted, it will detect and install the driver for the IDE Controller from scratch.


Hint #4: ASPI Layers Should Be Up-To-Date

This tip is controversial, as some users note their ripping speed increased after installation of the up-to-date ASPI layers while other users observe the opposite. The good thing is that you are free to experiment with this, since ASPI layers are installed and uninstalled with ease without the risk of harming your system.


Hint #5: Experiment with another DVD-Ripping Software

Your present DVD ripper does not suit you in terms of performance? There’s still a chance that your drive will work better with another ripping program. Follow the link to get our DVD Ripping Tool.

Hint #6: Switching Off the Noise Reduction Function on Plextor 708A

This hint applies exclusively to Plextor 708A DVD drive, yet it offers a huge performance increase. Here’s an extract from 708A’s manual:
SpeedRead and Silent Operation Modes Switching

At times you play a video DVD secured with CSS (protection from unauthorized copying by means of Content Scrambling System), Plextor 708A drive defaults to playing it at low speed (silent operation mode) to decrease level of sound noise generated by the drive. There is an option to increase DVD playback speed which is achieved in SpeedRead mode. SpeedRead may be activated manually by following these steps:

1. Make sure your PC is on and the disc tray is empty and shut.

2. Now press and hold the drive’s eject button during not less than 3 seconds. Once SpeedRead mode is activated, you will see the drive’s green LED indicator flashing three times in a row.

3. Stop holding the eject button pressed. The drive’s tray opens.

4. Insert a video DVD protected with CSS into the drive.

5. Close the tray and start playback of the disc.