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Intel Rapid Storage Technology (pre-OS) driver installation

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May 31, 2014 1:47:46 PM

My desktop machine is built on Gigabyte GA-Z87-UD3H and Gigabyte provides the latest driver for Intel Rapid Storage Technology (IRST), which I installed after installing the OS. Same goes for my Lenovo Thinkpad-T420. And for both machine, checking the controller device under the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers section in Device Manager I see the driver has been updated to the latest version.

- I set the SATA controller to AHCI from BIOS
- On the desktop machine I have one WD 2TB BLACK & one WD 3TB Green
- I don’t use RAID, & no chance of using in near future, but according to Intel IRST improves performance in single disk scenario too.

Now I have the following questions –

1. What is the actual purpose of IRST (pre-OS install) driver that doesn’t get served with a post-OS driver that I installed? There must be some difference, otherwise there wouldn’t be a pre-OS version of the driver. Right?
2. In the pre-OS procedure (loading the drivers at OS-installation time) after successfully completing the OS installation, do I need that post-OS driver? Because after installing from that one I got a quick launch icon that runs the IRST configuration application. Where do get that after installing the pre-OS driver?
3. As it is “pre-OS”, when I load it at OS-installation time, does it updates anything at BIOS level or anywhere other than HDD? That’s because I’m going to dual boot Windows 7 with Windows 8.1, and after installing Windows 7 when I install Windows 8.1 & load the IRST driver for that, is there any chance of any “overwriting” or OS-incompatibility? In short, is there anything specific to follow while installing the second OS?

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a c 105 G Storage
June 5, 2014 4:19:33 PM

1) That Pre-OS driver is mainly for older OS's (More than likely XP if anything since intel IRST was around when Vista came out but it didn't exit in 2001 when XP came out. Same goes for AHCI. Unless you have a Windows XP Disk that has SP3 you need the AHCI Drivers for Pre-OS.

2) You don't really need to install the Post driver but its best if you do update to the latest driver to avoid any know issues with older drivers. And if you don't use RAID you can disable the IRST completely from the settings menu for it is you wish

3) It is strictly drivers. There is no BIOS/Firmware in there. And if you dual boot each OS will run IT's own IRST Driver Independantly from each other so no issues there.
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June 5, 2014 6:53:09 PM

drtweak said:
1) That Pre-OS driver is mainly for older OS's (More than likely XP if anything since intel IRST was around when Vista came out but it didn't exit in 2001 when XP came out. Same goes for AHCI. Unless you have a Windows XP Disk that has SP3 you need the AHCI Drivers for Pre-OS.

2) You don't really need to install the Post driver but its best if you do update to the latest driver to avoid any know issues with older drivers. And if you don't use RAID you can disable the IRST completely from the settings menu for it is you wish

3) It is strictly drivers. There is no BIOS/Firmware in there. And if you dual boot each OS will run IT's own IRST Driver Independantly from each other so no issues there.

Thanks a lot drtweak for the reply. That neatly answers the questions I had in my head.
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