What is DMA and how to enable DMA in Windows 8

Do you know what DMA is? Here’s how to enable it for some of your hard drives

dma preview

What is DMA ?

DMA stands for “Direct Memory Access”.

dma preview

As the name refers DMA means tranfer of data between IO and disk without intervention of CPU.
The IO processor gets the control of IO buses along with control buses.

Suppose you have connected your peripheral device, e.g., pen drive to you computer. Now you are copying some data from hard disk to that pen drive.

Now to transfer data, the CPU must have to control that. But using CPU only for copying data is not efficient. Here comes DMA controller.
It takes the charge of data transfer betwen devices and frees CPU for other tasks.
But remember the hardwire should actually support DMA & It can only be enabled or disabled using the OS

Steps to enable it

The whole process can be divided in the following steps:-

1. Open Control Panel from the Metro UI.

opening control panel

2. Search for Device Manager.

search device manager

3. Click on device manager & open Device Manager (Administrator password may be needed). After opening you will see a screen like the following:

open device manager

4. Expand IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.

controllers expanded

5. Right-click on any label where “Channel” is present & Click on properties (I have used ATA Channel 0)

select ATA channel 0

6. Navigate to Advanced Settings tab & enable or disable DMA by checking or unchecking Enable DMA & click OK.

enable or disble DMA

Finally, you can see that DMA has been enabled.

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