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AHCI or IDE i am confused

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September 11, 2010 9:02:55 AM

Hi, i just got my new computer a nice i7 950 6gb ram etc. I also got a vertex 2 60gb SSD to go in it. I plugged it in and installed windows.... all good BUT when i checked the BIOS i noticed it was on IDE not AHCI and when i changed it to AHCI the computer would not boot up and i was forced to go back to IDE. Is AHCI all that important, to be honest i dont really know what it does. What should i do?

ALSO when i try to update the firmware of the SSD the software from OCZ does not detect the device, and i am in administrator more (i downloaded the install guide and it said to be in admin mode). Any ideas?

Windows 7 64bit
ASRock Extreme 3

PLEASE HELP

More about : ahci ide confused

September 11, 2010 9:20:05 AM

gordonaus said:
Hi, i just got my new computer a nice i7 950 6gb ram etc. I also got a vertex 2 60gb SSD to go in it. I plugged it in and installed windows.... all good BUT when i checked the BIOS i noticed it was on IDE not AHCI and when i changed it to AHCI the computer would not boot up and i was forced to go back to IDE. Is AHCI all that important, to be honest i dont really know what it does. What should i do?

ALSO when i try to update the firmware of the SSD the software from OCZ does not detect the device, and i am in administrator more (i downloaded the install guide and it said to be in admin mode). Any ideas?

Windows 7 64bit
ASRock Extreme 3

PLEASE HELP


I do know an easy workaround for switching to AHCI mode. Windows needs its AHCI-mode driver to be loaded, and getting that to happen is as easy as enabling AHCI mode on any add-in controller. Boot up with the native controller in IDE mode and the add-in controller in AHCI mode, let Windows go through installation, reboot and change the native controller to AHCI mode.

Do you need AHCI mode? The most important feature I've found in AHCI mode was hot-removal of drives. This is particularly handy for eSATA devices, especially if you have a front-panel eSATA port connected to the native controller. So called "hot-plug" or "hot swap" modes activate the Windows feature for "Safely Remove Hardware". While some manufacturers have lagged in hot-remove support, ASRock was one of the pioneering manufacturers for incorporating it in Intel AHCI BIOS.

Now about your SSD BIOS update: Your drive should be connected to the native (Intel) SATA controller, and may need to be in IDE mode. I've only used programs that run from command prompt, not within windows, to do these updates. Furthermore, you could lose all your data in the process.
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September 11, 2010 9:38:27 AM

Thanks for the quick response,

Not planning on using eSATA device so should i not worry about the AHCI ?

As for updating the SSD BIOS; "Your drive should be connected to the native (Intel) SATA controller" how do i check?

OCZ only seem to offer the windows sandforce update tool which for some reason does not detect the vertex 2 i use. Any ideas?
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a b G Storage
September 11, 2010 9:44:40 AM

AHCI is also needed for TRIM. This is good assuming your SSD supports it as well.
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September 11, 2010 9:49:02 AM

The Vertex 2 does support TRIM from what i can gather. If i re-install windows again with AHCI switched on in the BIOS from the get go would that fix it?
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a b G Storage
September 11, 2010 10:08:51 AM

4745454b said:
AHCI is also needed for TRIM.

I didn't know that. Of course, I don't have an SSD - yet.

Thanks.
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September 11, 2010 10:12:41 AM

gordonaus said:
Thanks for the quick response,

Not planning on using eSATA device so should i not worry about the AHCI ?

As for updating the SSD BIOS; "Your drive should be connected to the native (Intel) SATA controller" how do i check?

OCZ only seem to offer the windows sandforce update tool which for some reason does not detect the vertex 2 i use. Any ideas?

Perhaps OCZ's windows tool requires AHCI: I gave you an easy workaround for switching to AHCI mode without reinstalling windows, though I'm not certain if TRIM support will be enabled.

Anyway, your system drive should always be connected to a port on the chipset. Usually you can tell which ports are connected to the chipset by color code, where six ports are the same color.

Also, the chipset controller is usually much faster than any add-in controller. That includes SATA 3Gb/s chipset controllers being faster than SATA 6Gb/s add-in controllers, at least when multiple drives are attached.
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a b G Storage
September 11, 2010 11:14:05 AM

You can change to AHCI using this registry change: http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?...

I don't know why Microsoft haven't configured Windows to correctly handle changing between both modes. The operating system supports it, just not out of the box.

OCZ's firmware flasher does need to be in AHCI mode to work. The old Vertex one needed IDE mode and a bootable floppy so they've done a 180 degree turn in that regard. TRIM will work fine as well. Windows will detect a hard disk with a rotational speed of 0RPM and thus enable TRIM even if the drive itself doesn't support it (yours does). You just need to make sure everything between Windows and your SSD's controller is configured to pass through the TRIM command because Windows does not (and can't) double-check to make sure it worked. It simply passes the command and updates the volume bitmap noting that logical addresses X, Y and Z are now free, even if the drive hasn't freed them.
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September 11, 2010 11:51:34 AM

randomizer said:
You can change to AHCI using this registry change: http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?...

I don't know why Microsoft haven't configured Windows to correctly handle changing between both modes. The operating system supports it, just not out of the box.

OCZ's firmware flasher does need to be in AHCI mode to work. The old Vertex one needed IDE mode and a bootable floppy so they've done a 180 degree turn in that regard. TRIM will work fine as well. Windows will detect a hard disk with a rotational speed of 0RPM and thus enable TRIM even if the drive itself doesn't support it (yours does). You just need to make sure everything between Windows and your SSD's controller is configured to pass through the TRIM command because Windows does not (and can't) double-check to make sure it worked. It simply passes the command and updates the volume bitmap noting that logical addresses X, Y and Z are now free, even if the drive hasn't freed them.

Right, he can change the registry to enable AHCI in Windows, reboot and change controller mode in BIOS.

But he doesn't have to.

AHCI mode is enabled in Windows whenever ANY AHCI controller is installed. His board surely has some kind of add-in controller, for added drives or eSATA, that can be set to AHCI mode, and when Windows installs that controller AHCI mode WILL be enabled in the OS. He can then reboot and switch the other controller from IDE to AHCI mode sucessfully.

What I'm saying is that switching the second controller to AHCI mode causes Windows to add AHCI mode to the registry itself, without user intervention.
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a b G Storage
September 11, 2010 12:25:31 PM

Ah, that didn't quit click from your previous post. Got it now though. Either way, it's still a bit of an annoyance.
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September 11, 2010 12:46:48 PM

randomizer said:
Ah, that didn't quit click from your previous post. Got it now though. Either way, it's still a bit of an annoyance.

I figured it out on my own system when the registry hack didn't work right :) 
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a b G Storage
September 11, 2010 12:58:53 PM

Isn't Windows grand?
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September 12, 2010 6:40:44 AM

gordonaus said:
Hi, i just got my new computer a nice i7 950 6gb ram etc. I also got a vertex 2 60gb SSD to go in it. I plugged it in and installed windows.... all good BUT when i checked the BIOS i noticed it was on IDE not AHCI and when i changed it to AHCI the computer would not boot up and i was forced to go back to IDE. Is AHCI all that important, to be honest i dont really know what it does. What should i do?

ALSO when i try to update the firmware of the SSD the software from OCZ does not detect the device, and i am in administrator more (i downloaded the install guide and it said to be in admin mode). Any ideas?

Windows 7 64bit
ASRock Extreme 3

PLEASE HELP



I would post your question here
ocz forums.


http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/forumdisplay.ph...][/url]
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September 14, 2010 1:06:05 PM

Best answer selected by gordonaus.
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September 14, 2010 1:10:05 PM

Its all good now, i used the registry option. If only i had downloaded and read the OCZ
installation guide in the first place.

FYI, After changing the registry, re-booting and selecting AHCI from the bios my windows experience index went from 7.3 to 7.7 in the disk date transfer section.

Thank you everyone for your help, it was much appreciated
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