lowrysam
1 Copper

Program Memory Area (PMA) update failure when burning DVD or CD

I have tried everything for two months to fix this, except replace the drive.  The problem is intermitten.  I can burn one disc, and the next two fail. Burn two more discs, and the next five fail. It is truly random.  The error happens when writing the lead-in on the disc.  It usually says something like "Program Memory Area Update failure" or similar depending on the software used.  The disc becomes unusable.  Yet, if it gets past the lead-in without an error then it finishes just fine.  These are the tests I have done so far:

1. used multiple burning software- imgburn, nero, CDburnerXP, starburn, even windows built-in burner.  All fail with the same randomness and same frequency.

2. used multiple vendor discs- I am a business and had my vendor give me discs of every major brand.  I usually prefer Taiyo Yuden discs for their reliability.  All brands failed with the same randomness.

3. burn multiple files and formats- ISO, data, music.  The same file can be used (e.g. an ISO file) several times and it will fail with the same randomness and frequency.

4. Uninstall, reinstall, roll-back STPD drivers, RAID drivers, ATAPI drivers, SCSI drivers, SATA drivers.  I really feel that this is where the problem is.  I just need to find the right combination.  These problems seem to have occured after a Dell recommended firmware update, BIOS update, and driver update.  I think so anyway.

I have the Studio 435T, i7 920, 6GB RAM, GH50N 16x DVD burner (SATA), ATI Radeon 4870, 1TB drive.

Does anyone have any ideas or have had this problem before?  I dread calling Dell Tech Support.  They are a nightmare that I never want to repeat again.

If someone has a newer 435T and wouldn't mind taking a snapshot of the device manager with the following twirled down- DVD/CD ROM drives, IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, Storage controllers- that would be a huge help (see a sample below).  I can compare to what I have now, driver-wise, and try to match it.

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

Thanks to everyone who can help me!

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9 Replies
7- Gold

Re: Program Memory Area (PMA) update failure when buring DVD or CD

Hi Lowry Sam,

LG drives seem to be prone to this. I do not see any remedies beyond a firmware update. Have you checked Dell Downloads? I see a B102 f/w out on the web.

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lowrysam
1 Copper

Re: Program Memory Area (PMA) update failure when buring DVD or CD

I have B103 in there now.  I received it from the dell drivers updates in January.  I still wonder if this was the problem.  Is it possible to roll-back firmware?

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7- Gold

Re: Program Memory Area (PMA) update failure when buring DVD or CD

Lowry Sam,

Yes, that's exactly what I would suggest. There is no problem installing older firmware. Same procedure.

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lowrysam
1 Copper

Re: Program Memory Area (PMA) update failure when buring DVD or CD

It didn't work.  I restored it back to B102, the firmware it started with.  The first two discs worked... the next two failed.  This is what it says:

I swear it is a SCSI / ATAPI / SATA issue.  I need to know what drivers I should have that work.  If someone could give me that screen capture I mentioned previously, that would help.

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7- Gold

Re: Program Memory Area (PMA) update failure when buring DVD or CD

Lowry Sam,

The actual device driver for any optical drive is generic to the operating system. But you could try going to the Intel site for a better matrix storage driver.

At some point, if you consider going with another drive, they're fairly inexpensive, ~$25 or so. You could keep your existing drive and add a second.

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Highlighted
lowrysam
1 Copper

Re: Program Memory Area (PMA) update failure when buring DVD or CD

The drivers issue is a mess.  I started out with the Intel ICH10 SATA controller and the jMicron controller installed...I think. Then I used the Dell recommened updates to update both.  Only now the Intel controller was called ICH10R  (emphasis added). Is there a difference?  Well, I went to the intel site to download their recommended driver and it gave me the same thing, ICH10R.  Since then I have uninstalled, reinstalled, rolled-back and installed Microsoft SCSI alternates.  I trolled numerous boards and tried all kinds of tweaks and software.  Nothing has worked.  I have done so much that I can't remeber what I had in the first place.

If only I could see a sample of a working device manager, I could have a good starting point.  I'm not sure that buying another drive is the answer here if it is driver related.  My computer is not classifying the drive as a SATA like it should.  It sees it as ATAPI or IDE.  I don't know why.

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7- Gold

Re: Program Memory Area (PMA) update failure when buring DVD or CD

Yes, that's a good point. The drive seems to be running in IDE-emulation mode, whereas it should be AHCI. However, I'm not seeing this as an option in the BIOS. It's a bit tricky to change IDE-emulation to AHCI but it can be done. I'm afraid I can't provide instructions but Google is your friend.

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lowrysam
1 Copper

Re: Program Memory Area (PMA) update failure when buring DVD or CD

I fixed it! Well, I'm 99% sure I did.  We were on the right track and what you said about AHCI and IDE-emulation was pretty close.  It was the ICH10R (Intel Controller Handler 10 RAID) that I downloaded in January from Dell.  Even Intel was saying that this was the recommended driver when I visited their site. 

Well, I didn't like the RAID (R) part of the filename so I searched all over the Intel site for the original ICH10 file (no R).  It was next to impossible to find anything using their search engine.  I found the automatic "Intel Chipset Device Software" for my chipset (X58 or 5 series).  For those looking for the same file, it is called infinst911autol.exe.  I ran it.  It installed only one file: ICH10.  All of my SATA ports came back and my drive was once again indentified as SATA.  The RAID driver was screwing all of that up.

I did 5 burns and they all worked perfectly.  I'm hoping that's it.  SO, the lesson here is: don't upgrade from the Dell site unless it is absolutely necessary.  And this is despite the constant e-mails from Dell recommending that you upgrade.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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7- Gold

Re: Program Memory Area (PMA) update failure when buring DVD or CD

Way to go!! Glad to have gotten you pointed in the right direction.

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