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Marvell® PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controller

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June 10, 2011 2:44:01 PM

Hi all, I have the Asus P8Z68-V Pro and it has two Marvell® PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controllers which are navey blue. I noticed that they don't appear in the bios and you can't boot from them. but they do work once you get into windows. I called Asus support and they confirmed this. Is this the case for all boards that have these sata ports?
June 10, 2011 3:06:02 PM

Hi Had a Crosshair IV extreme and was the same. I connected the DVD rom to it and installed OS from that port. Also my Samsung HDD's were not compatible with the AMD chipsed and used them for a while on those two ports before upgrading FW. I think they were designed for optic drives only to not slow down the AHCI or RAID on the AMD chipset when a CDrom is connected also so they provided two sepparate connectors. Hope that explains it
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June 10, 2011 3:09:12 PM

actually, the manual of my board says only data drives work on this port, no optical
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June 10, 2011 3:38:25 PM

Try move the optical onto it. It should work. I never raised the question to be honest. I have too many sata ports and too less devices to fill them up anyway :) . Maybe the controller has the external sata hoocked onto it and the other two ports can be used for the same. From a SATA point of view shouldnt mater if its a HDD or optical they are treated the same
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June 10, 2011 4:28:03 PM

I tried hooking up my DVD drive and it didn't work. i hooked up my HDD drive and it would work in windows 7, but I can't boot to it. it will only work as a "slave" drive.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 107 V Motherboard
June 10, 2011 4:53:34 PM

I've never heard of a board that won't let you boot from the Marvell controller. Weird. Maybe only the RAID-capable Marvell controllers are bootable?

In any case, I recommend that you don't use the Marvell navy blue SATA3 ports unless you have to. The Intel gray SATA3 ports are way faster, so use those first.
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June 10, 2011 6:17:08 PM

do either of you guys have this board? and if so, do they appear in your bios?
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a b V Motherboard
June 10, 2011 7:42:08 PM

I am using this motherboard, and yes, the manual does state that these ports don't support ATAPI devices like optical drives. Sounds like you proved that!

These ports do show when the BIOS boots - I usually see a message flash by telling me that I don't have any drives plugged in. I should really disable the controller, although I might use it for eSATA.

I would use the Intel ports in preference, reserving the Marvel ports for overflow. I won't need them in a hurry, because this build only has a Vertex 3 240GB on one of the Intel 6Gbps ports, and a DVD writer on one of the Intel 3Gbps ports. Plenty of room for expansion :) 
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June 10, 2011 7:51:59 PM

so if your marvel sata6 ports show in the bios, why don't mine? do i need to change a setting to see them?
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 107 V Motherboard
June 11, 2011 3:51:01 AM

Compulsive doesn't see them in the BIOS with the rest of the drives. During the boot process though, it should flash up a message that says "No drives detected" or something like that (assuming you have no drives attached to the navy blue ports).
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a b V Motherboard
June 11, 2011 6:19:07 AM

velocci said:
so if your marvel sata6 ports show in the bios, why don't mine? do i need to change a setting to see them?


As our friend Leaps says, correctly, the ports don't show up the way that the Intel ports do (you don't see the devices attached in the BIOS). If you watch closely during boot the Marvell controller displays a message on the screen for a few seconds - it will list any devices attached to the controller at the point. If you have nothing attached to those ports, it will say "No drives attached" - a little disconcerting the first time you boot a new system :) 
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June 11, 2011 10:13:18 PM

I would check for the latest BIOS revision. And yes i agree the marvel controller cannot be set from anywhere. Its quite useless unless you have something like 8 SATA devices connected which is quite rare for home use. The marvel services also the 2 eSata ports and far as i know the two blue ones on the mobo are hot plug-able too i.e. connect them to removable bay or case eSata ports(anyway most are these days :)  ) . Please double check this info do.
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June 13, 2011 1:35:02 PM

Hi all, further up this thread i said that I was able to see my HDD that was connected to these marvel ports in windows. I might have been mistaken because yesterday I hooked up a HDD to this port and it wasn't seen in windows 7. it doesn't even show up in Disk Management. but the marvel controller shows up in Device manager. this doesn't make sense. is the controller defective? the HDD i hooked up was a 3Gbps drive. i assume this port is backward compantible?
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June 15, 2011 1:38:25 PM

here's an update: first of all, the Asus call center is the most horrible call center on the face of the earth. everytime I call, I choose 1 for motherboards. then I get put on hold to wait for a tech. then I hear the ringing sound as if a tech is coming on the line. then I hear nothing for about 20 seconds and then i get disconnected. I had to do this over and over again untill I finally get through. this happened other days aswell. I chose this brand over ASRock for the support that I thought i'd get from them. so much for that. anyways, when I finally got through, the tech (who didn't seem to know what he was doing) suggested for me to try another HDD. so I plugged in my Seagate 160gb and low and behold, i was able to see the HDD in windows. during post when it shows the marvel controller, it does see the HDD. but for some reason, it doesn't see my WD raptor 74gb. but I still can't see these 2 controllers in the bios. the tech told me to take out the cmos batter and reset the bios by moving the jumper from pins 2-3. I wanted to do it this morning, but first I wanted to backup my current bios. I still have to do that. while playing around with my PC this morning, I unplugged the WD raptor, but broke the sata port on the HDD. so much for that HDD. questions: 1) should I reset the cmos and do you think it will have these marvel ports show up in the bios? 2) why would these ports see my seagate 160gb and not the WD raptor? I know the WD works.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 107 V Motherboard
June 15, 2011 6:33:22 PM

The Marvell ports aren't supposed to show up in the BIOS screen, so you will never see them there. They will show up during the boot process though.

As for one drive showing up but not the other, I don't know. Are they both formatted and do they have data on them?
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June 15, 2011 7:36:09 PM

the WD raptor had win7 installed on it and the seagate had data on it.

so I guess I won't do the cmos reset. I already loaded the optimized defaults. what will resetting the cmos do that loading the optimized defaults doesn't?
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 107 V Motherboard
June 16, 2011 3:51:20 AM

Resetting the BIOS using the jumper makes it go back to "safe" default settings. The optimized defaults aren't the same as those safe settings.
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June 16, 2011 11:40:23 AM

thanks
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December 20, 2013 9:15:40 AM

Well it is two years later and I see this thread which is right on point; a point that never seems to be answered anywhere. I have an Asus Z87- Pro. The Marvell e-SATA ports seem useless, however, I actually do need them. I am about to buy a SATA card but I'd rather go with the elegant answer and also not waste the money. The Manual is a cut and paste from the yellow SATA ports to the two brown Marvell ports. No differences or instructions are given. I've connected two different optical drives, two SSDs, three different hard drives and a flash memory card reader that I added. I am short two ports yet the Marvell ports are invisible to my Haswell build with 16gb of Vengeance. There is absolutely no SATA port provided for in the BIOS other than the primary six. There is no flash by of any Marvell notice (perhaps my boot is too fast to see it). At first I thought my HDs exceeded certain limits but I see that in 2011 you are not dealing much with 3TB and 2TB drives. My SSDs are 120 and 240. My flash memory? My optical drives? I see no options and the cables used make no difference. Funny, how things are resolved in moments on the Internet yet this one issue that apparently is of some importance (it costs money to build in the two Marvell ports, plus licensing), so why would it remain useless, at least to the masses, for years? Perhaps it's for fibre optic transmission that is unavailable to us.
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