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Which SATA Driver Governs? Win 7 or BIOS

Last response: in Windows 7
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February 20, 2011 5:12:50 PM

I have had some random BSOD and freezes at the "Starting Windows" screen running Win 7 64 bit. I have a Crucial C300 64GB SSD that I had in IDE mode when I installed Win7. I've done the "trick" to switch to ACHI mode and that seems to work.

I am using the Marvell controller on an Asus P6X58D-E MOBO in the 6GB ports, I know I've read people are generally not fans of those. So my question is, I have the current driver for the Marvell controller updated in Windows (by looking at device manager) but on the boot up sequence, it still shows the original version #, 1019. Is this causing a conflict and if so, how do I update the driver at the BIOS level? I see a lot of disk 0 (my SSD drive) time out errors in my event log and I'm suspicious this is the culprit.
a b $ Windows 7
February 20, 2011 9:14:45 PM

aren't the only drivers that allow trim the MS drivers, i.e. not marvel drivers?
a b \ Driver
a c 209 $ Windows 7
February 20, 2011 9:19:24 PM

There's really no such thing as a "BIOS Driver" for the disk controller. The code that the BIOS uses to manage the disk controller is built right into the BIOS itself - the only way to change it is to upgrade to an entirely new BIOS version.

Once the OS gets booted, it's driver is the only one that's used. The BIOS is used to get the OS into memory and for the OS to load its driver, but once that's done all work is done by the OS driver and the BIOS is completely ignored.
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a b $ Windows 7
February 20, 2011 9:25:55 PM

I agree with sminlal. There is no bios driver that I know of so unless I'm missing something the only driver you are using is the windows one. I have no idea if thats the windows default one or one from Marvel.

I'm assuming the "trick" you did was to update the SATA driver to the RAID or ACHI driver, then reboot and in the bios change it from IDE to ACHI. If this is the trick then you've done the right thing. As for time out errors, I have no clue. Does anyone know of something he can change in the driver to stop it from timing out?
February 20, 2011 9:26:42 PM

Correct. The drivers included as part of the BIOS are 16-bit, and only exist to control the hard drive until the OS can take over. Back in the day the BIOS drivers themselves were the primary drivers, and OSes often didn't provide their own. However, once operating systems transitioned to 32-bit the old 16-bit BIOS drivers couldn't be used, and because of the limitations of the BIOS architecture weren't as high performance as custom operating system specific drivers.

As a result modern operating systems replace the 16-bit BIOS drivers with 32-bit or 64-bit drivers during the bootup process. In current systems the BIOS drivers only exist to boot the OS. Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), which is in the process of replacing the BIOS, is different and more modular and flexible than the traditional BIOS and functions differently during bootup than the traditional BIOS.
a b $ Windows 7
February 20, 2011 11:36:40 PM

I have my doubts about your blue screen being caused by the SATA driver. I think that it is much more likely that the blue screens are being caused by memory errors. You should download and run memtest86 overnight to eliminate memory errors.
February 21, 2011 12:02:15 AM

Thanks for the thoughts. Regarding the MS drivers, yes it is for the hard drive itself, but for the SATA controller it shows Marvel. The trick involved editing the registry and resetting the value from 3 to 0 on the msachi and istor (i think that was the second one) and rebooting. I had to do this since I initially set up with the marvel controller set to ide in bios. Seemed like building my own (1st time) was a good idea at the time, but as I'm now trying to reinstall win 7, thinking maybe not so much! It is some small amount of therapy. BTW, there is a mem test switch on the MB and it checks out ok.
February 21, 2011 12:09:51 AM

Ok. I am clearly not an expert on the BIOS side of things, that makes sense what you said. As a continuation then, you're saying if I update the BIOS (from the ASUS website looks like I'm one version back from latest) it would include the reference to the newer Marvel driver?

And, I can just update related drivers via Windows?

Thanks again.




sminlal said:
There's really no such thing as a "BIOS Driver" for the disk controller. The code that the BIOS uses to manage the disk controller is built right into the BIOS itself - the only way to change it is to upgrade to an entirely new BIOS version.

Once the OS gets booted, it's driver is the only one that's used. The BIOS is used to get the OS into memory and for the OS to load its driver, but once that's done all work is done by the OS driver and the BIOS is completely ignored.

a b $ Windows 7
February 21, 2011 12:31:00 AM

Quote:
BTW, there is a mem test switch on the MB and it checks out ok


The motherboard memory test will only be a basic test and not as thorough as memtest86.
February 21, 2011 12:50:09 AM

pjmelect said:
Quote:
BTW, there is a mem test switch on the MB and it checks out ok


The motherboard memory test will only be a basic test and not as thorough as memtest86.



I just finished reinstalling. Now hanging on the welcome screen after all the reboots, hopefully it will go in here shortly. I'll troubleshoot the memory as you suggest. Any thoughts on the reliability of the SSD and maybe it's just crapping out? Everything is all brand new, just bought it 2 weeks ago.

I'm almost thinking at this point to either punt on the SSD and/or punt on the Marvel controller and plug in to the Intel SATA ports even though they aren't 6GB. I'm guessing I'd probably never notice any performance issues, save reliability.
a b \ Driver
a c 209 $ Windows 7
February 21, 2011 1:58:12 AM

yhoosier said:
As a continuation then, you're saying if I update the BIOS (from the ASUS website looks like I'm one version back from latest) it would include the reference to the newer Marvel driver?

And, I can just update related drivers via Windows?


Again, there is no concept of "driver" in the BIOS, from the point of view of computer users like us it's just a monolithic block of code. So if you update the BIOS it won't have anything to do with any version of a Windows driver you can download from the Internet and install into Windows.

You update Windows drivers via Windows, you update the BIOS via the BIOS, typically by booting from a special BIOS update utility.
February 21, 2011 2:37:18 AM

sminlal said:
Again, there is no concept of "driver" in the BIOS, from the point of view of computer users like us it's just a monolithic block of code. So if you update the BIOS it won't have anything to do with any version of a Windows driver you can download from the Internet and install into Windows.

You update Windows drivers via Windows, you update the BIOS via the BIOS, typically by booting from a special BIOS update utility.



Thank you again.

Knocking on a very large piece of wood, I still had a lot of problems after re-installing windows. So I moved the ssd to the Intel ports and things seem to be working rather nicely now. I've rebooted several times and no issues. Seems as though I should have heeded the initial thoughts of many on these forums to not use Marvel and go with the Intel ports.
!