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Enable SATA mode 2?

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September 29, 2010 9:19:55 PM

Hi all,

Before I proceed, a quick note: please do not recommend setting the jumpers on the drive, as there aren't any.

I have a Panasonic toughbook CF-F8 laptop with an ICH9M-E SATA controller, in which I recently installed a SATA-300 capable SSD. The drive is capable of speeds of up to 280Mb/s which has been proven on another laptop, but on the Toughbook it reads at no more than 145Mb/s even though it runs in AHCI mode. Further investigation revealed that it runs in SATA mode 1 (Intel RST utility reports SATA transfer mode: Generation 1).
There are no jumpers on the drive and no settings in the BIOS that relate to AHCI or SATA mode.
Upgrading and downgrading Intel RST / Matrix drivers didn't help. Installing another, SATA 2 capable HDD also resulted in it running in SATA 1 mode.
The interesting thing is, I know for sure that ICH9M-E supports SATA 2, I have another laptop with it where SATA 2 works just fine.
So my question is - is there a way to make it work on a Toughbook F8?

Please help!
thanks in advance,

-Rusty

More about : enable sata mode

October 1, 2010 10:34:01 PM

As far as I know it just comes down to which SATA port you plug it into. The ports themselves should simply be native SATA 1 or 2 but not interchangeable.
a c 415 G Storage
October 2, 2010 1:45:13 AM

Hmmm. According to the ICH9M spec sheet, the chipset does indeed support 3Gbit/sec SATA. I wonder if it's a BIOS issue - have you tried downloading and installing the latest BIOS?

The other thing to watch out for is if the controller somehow got itself into PIO mode instead of DMA mode - that would create a CPU bottleneck that would show up as the CPU maxed out while you're doing disk I/O.
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October 3, 2010 9:52:24 PM

Tried to find another BIOS version, but apparently that doesn't exist (yet) for a Toughbook F8.

And no its not in PIO mode, the CPU is pretty much idling during I/O tests. PIO/DMA distinction exists only in IDE mode, it doesn't exist in AHCI mode, which is what is being used (verified in both BIOS and Intel RST tools).

Sent an email to Panasonic tech support... will let everyone know how that turns out.
October 22, 2011 4:26:55 AM

rustamabd said:
Tried to find another BIOS version, but apparently that doesn't exist (yet) for a Toughbook F8.

And no its not in PIO mode, the CPU is pretty much idling during I/O tests. PIO/DMA distinction exists only in IDE mode, it doesn't exist in AHCI mode, which is what is being used (verified in both BIOS and Intel RST tools).

Sent an email to Panasonic tech support... will let everyone know how that turns out.


i have 100% the same issue as you with the exact same machine - do you have any update you could share on this? Thanks!!!
October 22, 2011 6:44:12 PM

No update, sorry. Still putting up with SATA1 mode. Panasonic support was unhelpful.
At one time wanted to write a driver to programmatically enable SATA2, but never got around to do it :( 
December 13, 2011 8:18:42 AM

I have the same chipset in my hp. SATA2 works fine. I have software installed called "Intel Matrix Storage Console" which installed when I installed the chipset drivers. I don't know if that makes a difference.
February 20, 2012 8:09:50 AM

If you do find a solution to this, please post it. I'm considering installing an SSD in my CF-F8.

Also hoping to upgrade from Win XP to Win 7 but last time I tried that the Gobi HSDPA cellular comms device stopped working.
!