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Help me enable AHCI on a SATA hard disk

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December 26, 2008 4:56:31 PM

I have a Gigabyte EP45 UD3R and it's driving me nuts. This motherboard has 8 chipset SATA ports(Intel ICH10R Southbridge) and 2 Gigabyte SATA2 ports. I'm not interested in the latter, so the options in the BIOS concerning these 8 SATA ports, are(as configured now):

SATA RAID/AHCI Mode : AHCI (Disabled/AHCI/RAID)
SATA Port0-3 Native Mode: Enabled (Enabled/Disabled)

This seems right to me. I have a SATA hard drive and a DVDRW. For now, only the hard drive is connected. With this configuration, when the computer boots, I see a message:
** This version supports only Hard Disk and CDROM drives **
Please wait. This will take few seconds.
and I do have to wait for about 12 secs. After that, Vista can boot. What does it mean? Is it normal?
a c 177 V Motherboard
December 26, 2008 10:24:23 PM

I don't know what you're talking about - OR, more likely - YOU don't know what you're talking about: you have an ICH10R, and, like nearly all ICHxR's, it supports six SATA ports - the other two (different colored - likely purple) are on the Jmicron - that's, lemme count now - umm - teneight ports total...
The "** This version supports only Hard Disk and CDROM drives **
Please wait. This will take few seconds. " message shows while the ICH is doing drive discovery, and checking whether any drives are assigned to RAID pairs; this is normal...
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December 26, 2008 10:37:20 PM

Sorry, I meant 6 SATA ports.
So, when it scans for drives, why does it tell me that only Hard Disk and CDROMS are supported? A SATA drive is all I have installed. Is this message common for every system? Anyway, what matters to me the boot time impact, and if there is a way to reduce it.
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a c 177 V Motherboard
December 26, 2008 11:04:48 PM

What else were you going to pug into those SATAs - a corn popper? Yeah, it only supports HDDs & ODDs... What's your hurry? If you're waiting on Vista, I'd think ten extra seconds would be negligible...
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December 26, 2008 11:17:02 PM

Quote:
What else were you going to pug into those SATAs - a corn popper?

heh, exacly.
Oddly, Vista(x64) load extremely fast. Ok, If it is a common issue, then I guess I don't have to worry about it. Thnx!
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a c 177 V Motherboard
December 27, 2008 11:57:47 AM

Yeah - I have all 4 (Xp 86&64, VistaUlt86&64) and I leave it defaulted to load V64 - on a good machine, it's the next best thing to telepathy...

GB GA-X48-DS5 w/f8a BIOS - Q9550 stepE0 @ 3.825Ghz:
Arctic Cooling Freezer7Pro w/92mm PWM 'daisy-chained' to CoolIt Systems RamFan w/EverFlow F126025BU 60mm PWM;
Sunon KDE1204PFV2 40mm/NorthBridge; EverCool EC3010M12CA 30mm/SouthBridge;
8Gb (4x2) 1066 G.Skill F2-8500CL5D @ 1080 (DDR2-8640) 5-5-5-15 on 2.4(6:5)mult/1333strap...
CoolerMaster Cosmos 1000 w/Silverstone SST-CMD01 ESA 5ch fan controller/4ch temp sensor:
3 Arctic AC12L exhaust (top x 2 + rear); 2 Scythe SF12D (HDD cage top + rear); Scythe SF12E bottom intake...
Koutech IO-FPM220 3.5" Floppy & Card Reader; 2 IDE DVD's;
4 150Gb WD Velociraptors in two RAID0 pair-OSs & swaps; 2 1Tb WD RE3s in RAID1-data; 1 Sg 1.5Tb backups...
Multiboot via BootIt NextGeneration:
VistaUltimateX86/VistaUltimateX64/XpProX86/XpProX64(courtesy of TechNet)
SBD!
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June 20, 2009 11:50:53 PM

bilbat said:
What else were you going to pug into those SATAs - a corn popper?


I thought it might be useful to jump in on this thread as I seem to be at the same point on the AHCI learning curve as sta7mor. :??: 

I am about to change my motherboard to a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R and reinstall the OS (Windows XP SP2) on to a WD Raptor SATA drive.

I wish to install 4 x SATA 2 drives (including the XP drive), 2 x hot-swappable eSATA ports and 1 x IDE DVD writer.

(Note: At some stage in the future I may wish to change the DVD-writer to SATA and I may wish to add another HDD and reconfigure the data HDDs as RAID.)

The Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R has six yellow connectors [SATA2_0....SATA2_5], two purple GSATA connectors [GSATA2_0, GSATA2_1] and a green IDE connector.

I was going to mechanically connect my SATA drives as follows:
SATA2_0.......XP Boot drive
SATA2_1.......Data drive 1
SATA2_2.......Data drive 2
SATA2_3.......Data drive 3
SATA2_4.......Leave vacant for future RAID HDD
SATA2_5.......Leave vacant for future DVD writer
GSATA2_0......eSATA connection
GSATA2_1......eSATA connection
IDE...........DVD writer

Is the above physical arrangment OK? Reading bilbat's post on another thread it might be better to put the eSATA on 4 and 5 and disable the two purple connectors.

How do I set up the SATA ports in the BIOS for correct operation and best performance?

My choice of drivers seems to be
(a) Intel ICH9RICH10R Pre-install Driver (F6 during XP setup)
(b) Intel ICH9RICH10R SATA RAID Driver
(c) Motherboard SATA GB SATA2RAID

Do I install all three? They are all highlighted for XP at the Gigabyte website. I'm guessing that (b) is for the yellow SATA connectors and (c) is for the purple SATA connectors.
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a c 177 V Motherboard
June 21, 2009 1:28:47 AM

Yup - that drive arrangement will work, and, likely, leaving the GSATA (jMicron cotroller ports for [hardly used] ESATA ports is the best thing you can do with them - they're a wee bit buggy... I have AHCI enabled on my jMicrons, and they benchmark identically, with or without; the only reason I can really see for using AHCI is if you want to 'hot plug', which I actually never do. If you're doing RAID, definitely use the Intels for it - they are between 10 & 15% faster, infinitely more stable, and the OS loaded RAID monitor is superior - will auto-recover futzed up RAID1s with no attention... I sawed up the included ESATA bracket to put an ESATA (really, just a panel-mount Molex) power connector on my front panel, as it came with a front panel ESATA data port. The only thing I wind up actually using it for (at least so far), is to reformat my NAS drive when my brain-dead Sysco router boogers it up so badly I can't stand it anymore!

That said, I usually recommend loading both sets of drivers - simply because, well, then they're there, and your options are open (having the drivers loaded doesn't require that you have RAID or AHCI enabled, but it does let you run 'em if you decide, later on, that you'd like to - and getting 'em in later is a real PITA!); and I think GhislainG here would likely recommend getting an old-fashioned can-opener, prying the jMicron controller off your motherboard, and being ahead for the effort! And I have to agree with him, considering the problems I've had with it, but - I'm out of ports; I use seven, plus the ESATA, and had to put the DVD on an IDE...

Regarding your last question - B and C are actually A's; in other words, the Intel ICH9RICH10R SATA RAID driver and the Motherboard SATA GB SATA2RAID or AHCI drivers are both 'pre-loaded' using (for Xp) the <F6> function during the install; I would get the latest drivers - both have been updated recently (I think during the last six months or so) and most GB BIOS have had a patch released which updated the Intel ICHxR BIOS block to accomodate the new goodies...
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June 21, 2009 10:45:05 AM

Great stuff, thanks... and this answered another question that I had

Quote:
having the drivers loaded doesn't require that you have RAID or AHCI enabled, but it does let you run 'em if you decide, later on, that you'd like to


Once I've physically installed the drives but before I pre-load (F6) the SATA/RAID/AHCI drivers, I have to choose the right options in the CMOS setup:

"SATA RAID/AHCI Mode" I do not want to create RAID, so my options are DISABLED or AHCI. I assume that I should set this to DISABLED unless I want to change the eSATA to a yellow connector (in which case I should select AHCI).

"SATA Port0-3 Native Mode" I assume that I choose ENABLED as my OS is Windows XP. (At a later date, I may install Ubuntu as well).

"Onboard SATA/IDE Device" I assume ENABLED, since I want to connect eSATA to the purple connectors and a DVD drive to the IDE header.

"Onboard SATA/IDE Ctrl Mode" has choices of IDE or AHCI or RAID/IDE. I assume that if I choose AHCI to allow hot swapping the eSATA, I can still use the IDE connection for the DVD writer.

Are the assumptions correct?

One last point concerning memory installation: will my RAM voltage be set automatically, or should I manually set it before I load the RAM to stop accidental damage?


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June 21, 2009 11:13:37 AM

Quote:
"SATA RAID/AHCI Mode" I do not want to create RAID, so my options are DISABLED or AHCI. I assume that I should set this to DISABLED unless I want to change the eSATA to a yellow connector (in which case I should select AHCI).


...or won't the pre-loaded drivers install correctly unless I choose AHCI instead of DISABLED?
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a c 177 V Motherboard
June 22, 2009 2:19:44 PM

Quote:
"SATA RAID/AHCI Mode" I do not want to create RAID, so my options are DISABLED or AHCI. I assume that I should set this to DISABLED unless I want to change the eSATA to a yellow connector (in which case I should select AHCI).

"SATA Port0-3 Native Mode" I assume that I choose ENABLED as my OS is Windows XP. (At a later date, I may install Ubuntu as well).

"Onboard SATA/IDE Device" I assume ENABLED, since I want to connect eSATA to the purple connectors and a DVD drive to the IDE header.

"Onboard SATA/IDE Ctrl Mode" has choices of IDE or AHCI or RAID/IDE. I assume that if I choose AHCI to allow hot swapping the eSATA, I can still use the IDE connection for the DVD writer.


All your assumptions here are correct - this will give you hot-swap on the ESATAs, and a faster boot from the Intels if RAID and AHCI are disabled; when you turn either one on, a separate BIOS block initializes the drives - and this takes a few (12-14, in my case, for six drives) seconds each boot... No matter what you pick for the jMicrons (GSATAs), so long as they're not disabled, the IDE ports will always simply work as IDE ports.

Quote:
One last point concerning memory installation: will my RAM voltage be set automatically, or should I manually set it before I load the RAM to stop accidental damage?


All fast memory is actually DDR2-6400 (800) - the JEDEC spec for this dictates a RAM voltage of 1.8V; the manufacturers 'speed-bin' it - that is, test to find the sticks that will run at higher voltage/speed; therefore, an auto setting will certainly not hurt it. That said, when you do a "Load Optimized Defaults', some BIOS will read an extended table on the RAM, and automatically set it to the higher spec - but I can't tell you which ones! (I suppose I should put up a poll, and see if we could collect some data, to tell us which MOBOs and RAM will do this.) Setting it up, if it doesn't automatically 'see' the faster RAM, is relatively simple, and you don't always need all it's spec'd for - I have 8G of G.Skill F2-8500CL5D, which is nominally 1066 and 2.1V, set at 1080 & +.25V (which, again, nominally, would be 2.05V - but gives me an actual 2.01 on the RAM).
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June 27, 2009 12:12:20 AM

I have a Gigabyte P35-EP35-DS3R mobo and I installed XP via AHCI mode with my SATA hard drive(s). It's a bit of a process as I had to slipstream XP with 'NLite' but everything turned out okay. You can google the 'how to'. That's what I did. I think it's the optimum setting since the hard drives are in real SATA mode as far as Windoze is concerned.
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October 18, 2011 6:55:15 AM

so how can i remove this message: "this version supports only HDD and cd-rom drives" in the boot?

thanks,
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November 20, 2011 6:07:21 PM

I'm having a wierd issue with my board, z68x-ud7-b3, i have two 64gig ssd raided as my windows drive (stripe) and 4 2tb HDD Raid 5, but since i added the 4 2tb drives, when booting the raid bios says "AHCI DISABLED" it used to say AHCI ENABLED, i have no idea why it's done this or how to fix it. It was my understanding that when running in raid mode the controller automatically enables AHCI
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October 30, 2013 6:47:17 PM

Im with the OP. Just messing with my older system and tossed a Vertex 2 in there. I get that same message at boot ** This version supports only Hard Disk and CDROM drives **
Please wait. This will take few seconds.

Where my new system with the version 3 SSD does not have this message and gets past the bios much quicker.

I am just wondering if that is normal to have to wait for that, or is there a bios setting to bypass? Other than that, no issues, everything is fast as expected, just the bios screen load time longer than normal. (Still acceptable dont get me wrong, but dont we all want it faster, lol)
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October 30, 2013 7:17:48 PM

New poster
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!