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Enable AHCI for SSD on Win 8 Dell Dimension E520 (Intel Matrix Storage ICH8R)

Last response: in Storage
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April 17, 2013 10:05:25 AM

Hi

I have a Dell E520 with the most recent Dell BIOS, a Samsung SSD system drive and an Intel ICH8R chipset running in RAID mode and with two non-RAIDed disks. I installed Windows 8 32 bit.

I've done everything I can find to ensure AHCI is enabled, however the Samsung Magician software says it's not. What can I do ?

Further details :

Device Manager reports Intel Desktop/Workstation/Server Express Chipset SATA RAID Controller

Rapid Storage driver 11.7.0.1013 from Intel (19/11/2012)

The Dell custom BIOS doesn't have an AHCI option, however I'm told the RAID option also enables AHCI

My iaStorV and iaStorA registry keys are set to Start 0

When I set my storahci/StartOverride key to 0 it turns back to 3 when I reboot

When I installed Win 8 I used a disk to supply the Intel RAID drivers at install time.

The storage system is running in RAID mode, however Samsung Magician thinks AHCI is disabled and the drive performance is quite a way off what it thinks it should be.

So, the BIOS seems to be on the right setting, however it's like Windows isn't taking advantage of AHCI functionality.

Intel Rapid Storage GUI says that Native Command Queuing : Yes, although I don't know if that means it is doing that, or if it's capable of that.

Any suggestions ?
April 17, 2013 10:18:28 AM

I don't think RAID enables AHCI, because most computers I build have three sata operations: RAID, IDE, AHCI. I could be wrong though.
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April 17, 2013 10:36:02 AM

Can't find it now but yes, RAID mode with latest RST drivers supports AHCI (can't find the reference at the moment). Any drive not in an array will use AHCI. May be an issue with Dell's implementation/customization of the BIOS.
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April 17, 2013 5:21:01 PM

Yes, AHCI is a subset of raid. The samsung software is telling you its not in AHCI mode because its not, its in raid mode. What are your benchmarks and on what SSD?
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April 17, 2013 6:18:24 PM

I agree with popatim

AHCI is definitely included in RAID. If a user enables RAID, then AHCI is automatically included.
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April 18, 2013 1:28:12 AM

Thanks for your help so far.

Is there a way I can be certain if Windows 8 is using AHCI as Samsung is telling me 'no' and Intel says 'Yes', though I'm not sure what it's saying yes to.

Do you know of any utilities that can confirm if it's operating ?

Thank you

Andy
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April 18, 2013 4:19:14 PM

sure, run as ssd and look at the drive name in the top left corner. You should see the raid driver there in your case.
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August 5, 2013 10:00:25 PM

Did you ever get this figured out? If so what were did the ending Samsung benchmarks look like? (I'm hoping you had the same Samsung 830 120mb that I have). I have the exact same setup but with Windows7 64bit, Dell E520 (c2d e6320), and a Samsung 830 SSD drive.

I have the following drives installed:
SATA0 - Samsung 830 SSD
SATA1 - DVD BURNER
SATA5 - 320GB Seagate SATA DRIVE

My initial Windows install gave horrible benchmark #s, so I checked the BIOS out and RAID was turned off, so no chance at AHCI. Damn.

Under Samsung's Performance Benchmark, these were the results w/o RAID being turned on & w/o Over Provisioning:
Sequential Read (MB/s) 238
Sequential Write (MB/s) 209
Random Read (IOPS) 5583
Random Write (IOPS) 14239

I then turned on RAID, but I couldn't enter the configuration screen for the RAID on boot "CTRL I". It just wouldn't register the "CTRL I" key presses. I went ahead and reinstalled a 2nd time and enabled Over Provisioning & got these performance benchmarks #s. Clearly better, but, ... the Samsung Magician software still tells me that AHCI is deactivated.

Sequential Read (MB/s) 263 (+25MB/s)
Sequential Write (MB/s) 255 (+46MB/s
Random Read (IOPS) 38213 (+32630 IOPS)
Random Write (IOPS) 14239 (+12105 IOPS)

I was finally able to get into the RAID configuration on boot ... for whatever reason it takes some extreme timing. It *looks* like I can set up a single RAID volume of just the 1 Samsung 830 drive, but it looks like I'll need to reinstall Windows if I do that. At this point I was hoping some kind internet stranger person could maybe point me in the right direction here. I'll reinstall Windows7 a 3rd time if that's going to do it for me. Is that what needs to happen here? Can anyone give any guidance on what to do under the RAID configuration screen?

Anyone have an idea on what benchmarks #s I can hope to attain if I can get AHCI Mode to show as active, under the Samsung Magician Software? For that matter, has anyone gotten AHCI mode activated for a Samsung 830 on a Dell e520?

Many thanks in advance.
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