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UltraPlex Wide Poor Drive Performance in Windows XP Pro

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      19th Jul 2003
This is a clip from an email that I sent to Plextor support. The problem
appears to be specific to Windows XP and the way the OS handles SCSI CD-ROM
drives. Included are some of Plextor's replies to my original email:


I've had this UltraPlex Wide 40X drive for quite some time now and I've
noticed that it's performance in Windows XP is very bad. I've got the
newest firmware 1.05. The drive is connected to an Adaptec AHA-2940U2W SCSI
card via the 68-pin cable which was provided with the controller card. Some
examples of the slow performance are when I play audio CDs. When I scan
backwards or forwards through a song, it hesitates for an abnormal amount of
time before you can finally hear the music come out of the speakers. It
seems like the drive unecessarily spins down as you scan through the CD.
This occurs regardless of what type of media is in the drive, CD-R, CD-RW,
pressed CD, it just doesn't matter. My SCSI card has the latest 2.57.2
BIOS. Adaptec never released any of their own Windows XP drivers for the
card so I'm forced to use the Microsoft ones within XP. The drive has
always had this performance problem in XP as far as I can remember. The
problems seems to be specific to playing audio CDs in analog mode rather
than digital. I'm concerned about this because some media player programs
such as Winamp don't allow you to change what mode you want and I'd like to
be able to play audio in whichever program I want without having this
degraded performance side-effect. BTW, I have a Plextor 8x2x20 SCSI CD-RW
drive connected to my SCSI controller as well and that drive doesn't exhibit
these problems.

***Plextor's response***

XP doesn't play well with SCSI devices. XP doesn't support digital audio
from SCSI CDROM drives, so you need to use the analog audio output of the
drive with XP.

This is a problem with the new CDROM driver built into XP and there is no
fix for it. CDRW drives are not affected, just CDROM drives.

Wow!!!! I didn't think I'd get a response until regular business hours
tomorrow at the earliest. Thanks for the quick reply, I really appreciate
that! Anywayz, I've used the drive under Windows 2K in the past and I can't
recall if I had this problem under that OS. I suppose that if I did, I
would remember it. Do you happen to know if there is a difference in the
Windows CDROM drivers between Win2K and WinXP?

***Plextor's response***

Yep, they are completely different. It's only an XP thing. Microsoft doesn't
plan to fix it, unfortunately.

end of email

Is it really true that MS will NEVER fix this problem? If so, why not? I
paid good money for this drive just to find out that a significantly cheaper
IDE CD Reader would perform the way it should in XP!!!! What gives MS?


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