Ubuntu Linux on Dell D630: the DVD

Getting the DVD drive working in Ubuntu Feisty on my Dell D630 laptop was one of the tasks that eluded me until a few minutes ago when I went searching again and found the solution.

At first I tried this and used the ide-generic driver. Linux recognised the drive, but as the page above says, it doesn’t give you any DMA modes. I tried the Bourne Supremacy, just to see if anything would happen, but Totem just sat there and the system became sluggish while the CD made some whirring noises. That’s a sure sign that DMA isn’t working!

That wasn’t going to be satisfactory, so I kept searching. This page and some of the Ubuntu forums suggest loading the “piix” and “ata_piix” modules. I tried to modprobe them without luck, but when I added “piix” to my /etc/modules and rebooted my DVD drive was found!

DMA is now enabled and everything works ok. Even got the film to play in Mplayer and it was very smooth.

# hdparm -i /dev/hda


Model=TSSTcorp DVD+/-RW TS-L632D, FwRev=DE04, SerialNo=
Config={ Fixed Removeable DTR10Mbs nonMagnetic }
RawCHS=0/0/0, TrkSize=0, SectSize=0, ECCbytes=0
BuffType=unknown, BuffSize=0kB, MaxMultSect=0
(maybe): CurCHS=0/0/0, CurSects=0, LBA=yes, LBAsects=0
IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:227,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120}
PIO modes: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
DMA modes: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2
UDMA modes: udma0 udma1 *udma2

# hdparm /dev/hda

IO_support = 1 (32-bit)
unmaskirq = 1 (on)
using_dma = 1 (on)
keepsettings = 1 (on)
readonly = 0 (off)
readahead = 256 (on)

Author: Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

6 thoughts on “Ubuntu Linux on Dell D630: the DVD”

  1. Thanks for the comment on my post on the important of banner images earlier.

    All the Linux work to get it working seems very hard to me – and thanks again – you have reminded me to write a short post on how I decided to get along with Microsoft.

    Is this your blog ? What about inphotos.org ?

    p.s – oh this is so lovely ! –> Don’t like adverts? Leave a comment and they disappear.

  2. Dankoozy – no, it had Vista but I think I used that pile of …. for about an hour before I got on to the task of installing a useful OS. 😉

    Ehab – both inphotos.org and this blog are mine, as are a few others. I’m a busy man! Oh yes, you shouldn’t see adverts here at all now that you’ve commented! (if you use the same browser and the cookies don’t expire of course!)

  3. Thanks! This was exactly what I needed. One thing to add… if the /etc/modules already has ide_generic, you need to put piix before that entry.


  4. hello,

    as an owner of the dell d630 and running ubuntu, did you also experience the fan constantly running no matter what you do? or is it at its normal beahviour?


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