AHCI Problem => Need To Re-Install?

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Installation' started by jimlau, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. jimlau

    jimlau Active Member

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    i have an ASUS M5A88-M motherboard, and a Western Digital WD2503ABYX HDD. i am trying to make that drive work in AHCI mode, but when I try, the disk won't boot. i think the HDD is AHCI compatble, tho not certain.

    i went into the registry to set a value=o for the relevant AHCI parameter, but no luck.

    if i need a full re-installation of W7 64-bit, does it prompt me along the way to set the mode to IDE or AHCI?

    thanks.
     
  2. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Did you install an OS using the IDE mode or are you trying to just get the drive to work so you can install?

    If you have already installed, you will need the AHCI drivers you can get from ASUS. I suppose whatever instructions you are following go through installing the drivers?

    After you install the drivers, and changed the registry, you can go to the Bios and reset it to AHCI. But I haven't done it for a while so not completely sure. The instructions you have, or others should lead you through the process.

    Edit: Which driver you use may be up for discussion. If the Windows 7 built in one works, then you may be fine, although if you can't get it to work, you might need to changed the drive to that one prior to rebooting. It sounds like just changing the registry is all you need, but I am not sure, possibly it depends on your circumstance.
     
    #2 Saltgrass, Apr 8, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  3. jimlau

    jimlau Active Member

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    yes, i installed W7 64 using the IDE mode. when i went to make the change in the registry, the relevant value was already set to 0, so there was nothing to do.

    i have the ASUS installation CD. i'm hesitant to run that to make sure AHCI was also installed. maybe it wasn't in the first go around automatically? anyway, is it safe to run the motherboard CD on my system now?
     
  4. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    You should have the option to download the drivers, if any, you need. Probably best depending on how hold the board is.

    Can you make an image of your current install so you could re-image if necessary?

    As I said, I have not tried this for some time. My board is Asus, but is an Intel chipset. If you want to wait until tomorrow, I will try to convert my system as a test and let you know.

    What link are you using for instructions on how to change over?

    What happens when you try to boot the current drive after changing it to AHCI? Any bios updates for the board?
     
  5. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Well, this may not help much, but I just installed using the IDE controller and changed over to AHCI and nothing extra was required.

    I installed with a Windows 7 SP1 x64 Install DVD. When I checked the Device Manager prior to switching in the bios, it already showed a Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller.

    I rebooted, and changed to AHCI and continued the boot. No problems were encountered but I had to reboot again for the system to completely recognize the new controller.
     
  6. jimlau

    jimlau Active Member

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    i see i too have the Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller in device manager (not sure what channels refer to - ATA Channels 0-5 are shown, then after that is listed the AHCI). are channels the ports themselves?

    anyway, sounds like u did what i tried. i tried to update drivers in device manager, but it said mine were up to date. you think i should try the ASUS installation DVD again? i just can't recall if there was a wrong selection i made.

    i wonder if my HDD is not AHCI compatible. will call WD tomorrow as i can't seem to find out on-line.

    thanks a bunch.
     
    #6 jimlau, Apr 8, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  7. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Again, what does the drive do when you try to boot in AHCI mode? Exactly where it stops might be important.

    The bios on the board has a 3/30/2012 update. It may not effect your situation, but I would need to download or look at the specifics of the update.

    You are going to the AHCI mode on the correct SATA Controller? Looks like you have 6 SATA III ports so it may not make a difference. All 6 ports might be on the same controller, but I haven't checked the owner's manual.

    You can try to load the drivers from the CD if you want. It might help, just not sure. Maybe it is related to the SATA III controller.
     
  8. jimlau

    jimlau Active Member

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    the drive still boots when i set to ahci mode. the drives all disappear from the BIOS main page, tho they are listed in the drive boot sequence, shown as IDE.

    here's a reply from ASUS: "In theory,I am afraid to say the AHCI and RAID drivers should be installed when you install the system."

    sound hopeless? ;)
     
  9. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Since we know you can change after an install, ASUS may just be covering their you know what.

    But since you seem to be having problems, and I do not have your board to test, I suppose doing whatever might work is best.

    I can not think of any other suggestions if you system refuses to work for whatever reason. But if you are going to reinstall anyway, at least try to install the AHCI drivers from your motherboard CD then reboot and change the controller to AHCI. If it doesn't work, then you haven't lost anything. You might even try changing the port you have the drive plugged into. Also try a standard SATA cable since yours are probably SATA III and the Drive is SATA II.

    Good Luck.
     
  10. jimlau

    jimlau Active Member

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    i did download the latest driver, and was instructed to copy them onto a drive. did that, but there is no executible to install them. just inf, sys, and cat files. how would they be installed?

    somewhere i read if i installed W7 in IDE mode, i need to re-install in AHCI mode. thought i could try without full re-install.

    oh, and the company that put the computer together said i shouldn't change sata's to AHCI, to leave them IDE, and that it's in windows things are set. that seems wrong.

    frustratting.
     
    #10 jimlau, Apr 9, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  11. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    You normally install a driver by using the .inf file. Some of those can be right clicked and Install selected.

    If not, you can update the Driver in Device Manager and look for a file on your computer and point the dialog to the .inf file.

    As far as changing to IDE, you can probably research and see if you will get much improvement when using your current drive. It will be up to you. But if you ever go to a SATA III drive (6 Gbps) I would definitely update to AHCI.

    Your bios is different from mine. So it is hard for me to make any assumptions about your setup. Since it appears IDE is the default setting, maybe it is best to leave it there.

    The last thing is the drive you have is a little different from most desktop hard drives. I had one like that once and could not get it to work. It seems mine was more expensive and built for enterprise RAID installs. The Timing function(TLER) may have been involved. Also, the drive has been discontinued at NewEgg. I would try to get them to replace the drive with a SATA III drive, if at all possible.
     
  12. jimlau

    jimlau Active Member

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    i did a clean W7 install on my SSD. under device manager it does show the AHCI driver/controller is installed. yet here are the speed test results between the HHD and the SSD. too similar? i thought i would get 300-400MB on the SSD instead of 200 MB/s.

    HDD
    CrystalWDC.

    SSD
    CrystalSSD.
     
  13. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Your bios seems to allow for setting each port as either AHCI or IDE. I suppose it is showing the SSD as using AHCI? Is it a SATA III drive? If it is SATA III, are you using the SATA III cable and you do have the drivers installed for SATA III? I really do not know what the numbers should be for your tests.

    I will see if I can tell exactly what drivers you need from the ASUS site. I know what drivers are required for an Intel Board, but not really up to speed on an AMD one. Looks like you may need need the first SATA one that came out in March of this year.

    ASUS - Motherboards- ASUS M5A88-M
     
  14. jimlau

    jimlau Active Member

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    yes, using a SATA III cable. in BIOS, i configured ports 1-4 as AHCI (SSD is in 1), ports 5-6 as IDE (where my HDD is). on that page, the SSD is not shown. in the Boot page, it shows the SSD, tho it has IDE listed next to it.

    anyway, i have some other test results that are mixed, but the fact that a few of them are different i guess means it is set-up in SATA III mode. the left is the HDD (which has a 64MB Cache), the right the SSD.

    while the SSD is better, the start of the HDD (the outer edge i take it), is not far from what the SSD gives in a lot of locations:


    HDTuneBenchBoth.

    the next 2 show dramatically different results. not sure why:

    HDTuneFileBenchBoth.

    ATTOBoth.

    re-testing my boot time on the SSD, with no antivirus or other applications running, is 35 seconds. seems long for an ssd, but maybe not.
     
    #14 jimlau, Apr 10, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012

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