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Author Topic: Why does the computer have to pause when you stick in a blank dvd/cd?  (Read 4265 times)

superboyac

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Seriously, why does this have to happen?  When I have to stick in a blank cd or dvd, the computer has to pause while it reads it.  Ok, not all of the computer pauses...but the file explorer and burning software both pause.  Why?  Why aren't be beyond this yet?

Renegade

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They pause because they aren't multithreaded and they are waiting for the OS to mount the CD then read it. I don't know of any good file explorers that are written closer to the metal to avoid delays and the like. It probably could be done.

One of the problems in Windows is that file meta data gets read (size, read-only, EXIF-type info, etc.) and that is very time consuming. Other systems get around that by only reading the file name to start, which doesn't truly solve the problem, but works around it.

etc. etc.

I think that to get beyond this, we pretty much need to wait for Microsoft to come out with their new file system. That might do it -- not too sure though. It is completely different from any other file system. Right now file systems are all pretty much the same. MS's new one is supposed to be a sort of database. I don't know how normalized it will be, or any of that, but I'm sure you can look it up.
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JavaJones

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I'm not so sure this is a file system issue. It may also be either A: storage system drivers or B: storage system fundamental limitations (i.e. inability to perform multiple simultaneous operations in certain cases). I'm not certain of the reason though.

- Oshyan

Renegade

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Whether it's at the file system level, or at a lower level (hardware), I don't think really will make much of a difference to the question there --- either way, there's really no reason to have the kind of delays that you get. I'm relatively certain that it is because of no multithreading. It would be simple enough to have a thread poll for significant changes (like mounting a new drive), and ping that thread for information periodically. Why it isn't done is anyone's guess. It may be more difficult than I'm guessing it would be.

I pointed out the file system issue because it has to do with how Windows loads metadata from files, which makes things slower. It's not directly related to mounting a new drive, but it puts some perspective on things. (e.g. Loading a directory of pictures takes much longer than simple text files.)

I think you're right about the driver/storage system issue though. That's going to be a limiting factor on how information gets bubbled up through the OS to the file explorer. What I don't get, is why those kinds of things aren't done in a thread so that the file explorer is more responsive. If anyone knows, I'd love to hear about it.
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MilesAhead

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http://www.windows7taskforce.com/view/18

It reminds me of accessing a floppy drive.  The thing is so slow they must be afraid if it doesn't have the undivided attention of the system it won't pick up what it needs to get off the dime...  one of those things like "It's been broken for so long, don't try to fix it."


Renegade

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http://www.windows7taskforce.com/view/18

It reminds me of accessing a floppy drive.  The thing is so slow they must be afraid if it doesn't have the undivided attention of the system it won't pick up what it needs to get off the dime...  one of those things like "It's been broken for so long, don't try to fix it."

From that article:

Quote
Reimplement disk access.
Don't wait for one disk/network operation to complete in order to continue - multitask!
Asynchronous I/O is the answer here.

He's bang on.

This and programs stealing focus are the 2 worst things in Windows that really p**s me off.

I simply do not understand why there can't be some degree of isolation there. Well, from a software standpoint. I suppose that from the hardware perspective there is a good reason.

What we really need is multi-access-mode-random-access-memory-storage. MAMRAMS~! :P
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

MilesAhead

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Any Linux gurus out there to say if the same CD load lag happens there?
I haven't used it for any length of time in years.  Just curious if different drivers may make a difference.  Also X should be different than Explorer.

Daleus

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It's called crap PC architecture.

I don't know why (well okay it was pointed out above that disk i/o needs multi-threading) but it seems any disk activity puts everything else to sleep until Windows wakes up after disk i/o.

Back in the Amiga days, they implemented a custom chip to handle all disk i/o, and the pause that gnaws was eliminated. It's something that has bugged my britches since I started using PCs.

Further, what's with Windows Explorer, when switch to a new folder, briefly shows you the contents just fine, then at times, blanks the list and proceeds to "Search" for a minute to find what it just displayed perfectly fine?  Grrrrr.

Okay I feel better now.
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MilesAhead

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Here's a weirdie for you.  I could never get Windows Seven to change the default command for the optical drive to Open rather than Play. I tried all the settings and tips from all the boards.

Now I just looked again, and afaict, the only difference is I changed from double click for launch to single click mode.  Now Open is the default!!!  Hey, I'll take it however I can get it!!

Innuendo

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Back in the Amiga days, they implemented a custom chip to handle all disk i/o, and the pause that gnaws was eliminated. It's something that has bugged my britches since I started using PCs.

The Amiga was pure distilled awesomeness condensed into a beige-brown box. There are things the Amiga could do that modern computers *still* can't (won't?) do.

cranioscopical

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Re: Why does the computer have to pause when you stick in a blank dvd/cd?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2010, 05:06:53 PM »
The Amiga was pure distilled awesomeness condensed into a beige-brown box. There are things the Amiga could do that modern computers *still* can't (won't?) do.
Amen to that!

cranioscopical

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Re: Why does the computer have to pause when you stick in a blank dvd/cd?
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2010, 05:13:19 PM »
Why does the computer have to pause when you stick in a blank dvd/cd?

Because the cd is upside down and the machine is taken aback by the disc-overy?

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why does the computer have to pause when you stick in a blank dvd/cd?
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2010, 06:34:48 PM »
I don't know why (well okay it was pointed out above that disk i/o needs multi-threading) but it seems any disk activity puts everything else to sleep until Windows wakes up after disk i/o.

Could this have something to do with the use of pagefiles and the need to complete page transfers in one go without interruption?

MilesAhead

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Re: Why does the computer have to pause when you stick in a blank dvd/cd?
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2010, 12:54:01 AM »
Why does the computer have to pause when you stick in a blank dvd/cd?

Because the cd is upside down and the machine is taken aback by the disc-overy?

It needs to know if you want fries with that. :)

Daleus

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Re: Why does the computer have to pause when you stick in a blank dvd/cd?
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2010, 09:41:41 AM »
I don't know why (well okay it was pointed out above that disk i/o needs multi-threading) but it seems any disk activity puts everything else to sleep until Windows wakes up after disk i/o.

Could this have something to do with the use of pagefiles and the need to complete page transfers in one go without interruption?

Dunno Carol - you're the MS expert here, not me.  But your comment suggests that perhaps I could make some adjustments/tweaks to improve that performance.  Can that be done, without impacting the rest of the system. It really bugs me that much!

As for fries with that, I'd prefer it would ask me if I'd like a long and langourous foot massage - something I could use rather than an extra inch on the ole waistline!


[/quote]
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Carol Haynes

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Re: Why does the computer have to pause when you stick in a blank dvd/cd?
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2010, 11:16:56 AM »
If you have enough memory you could try disabling the page file completely and see if that has any effect. It is in the System settings from the Control Panel under Advanced/Performance settings.

JavaJones

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Re: Why does the computer have to pause when you stick in a blank dvd/cd?
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2010, 04:42:35 PM »
I'd be very surprised if the page file had any significant effect on the described "pause" effect. It's not paging-related as far as my experience goes, it's more like single-threading, resource locking, or interrupt contention. Basically it seems like a fundamental system flaw. I'm eager to hear from Linux folks on whether this happens on PC hardware running Linux...

- Oshyan

MilesAhead

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Re: Why does the computer have to pause when you stick in a blank dvd/cd?
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2010, 05:36:24 PM »
If you have enough memory you could try disabling the page file completely and see if that has any effect. It is in the System settings from the Control Panel under Advanced/Performance settings.

I run both Vista64 and Windows Seven 32 bit with no pagefile.sys.  It has nothing to do with optical drive lag.  I think it's just Explorer. In fact if you mess up programming an Explorer extension, such as a context menu extension or whatever, I believe you can hang it.  That's why when it calls shell extensions it breaks it up into bits.  Initialize to give you a list of selected files or whatever, then another call if you want to put something in the context menu, then actually executing a command if one of yours was selected in the menu.  If you hang it or crash it the user has to do Task Manager to launch another instance of Explorer.

It would be interesting to try an Explorer replacement that's multi-threaded and see what happens.