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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 

Turn on DMA mode on a hard drive


Direct memory access (DMA) allows certain hardware subsystems within the computer to access system memory for reading and/or writing independently of the central processing unit. It uses a procedure called cycle stealing, where the central processor memory access cycles are delayed for very short times to intersperse DMA controller memory access cycles. DMA is used for transferring data between the local memory and the main memory.

You can turn On DMA mode on a hard drive

You can check whether DMA is enabled on a hard drive for the IDE harddrive.

hdparm -iv /dev/hd

If DMA is on, the output should contain the following line,

using_dma    =  1 (on)

If it is off you can enable it as follows,

hdparm -d /dev/hd

This will toggle the value of "using_dma" (It will turn off the value of "using_dma" if it was already on).


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