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Sata 6G not working in Asus Bios

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October 10, 2010 6:21:26 AM

Hello,

I have recently built a system, but i'm very new at doing this. I have been able to assemble everything, even install Vista.
But I'm having troubles getting the system to work correctly. Once Vista is up & running, it constantly accesses the HDD. It never stops! I can hardly install the mobo software becasue it's so busy. I believe the fault is with my setup of the HDD.

Compenents:

* WD1002FAEX 1TB SATA (plugged into SATA 6G port)
* Asus P7P55D-E-LX mobo (upgraded BIOS to current version)
* Intel i5 760 Chip
* Vista Home Premium

Questions:
1) Firstly, when I come to install Vista it will not write to HDD until I have given it a driver, because it's a fresh drive. I have had sucess with using Marvell and JMicron drivers. But unfortunately the constant accessing of HDD remains. Which driver is correct to be using?
2) The drive does not show in the BIOS when set to IDE. But it's there and does work correctly. Is that because 6G drives don't show up? I have been reading for 2 days now about IDE, SATA, RAID, AHCI... I am throughlt confused :fou:  What do I set in BIOS (and how, if you have same BIOS)?

Thankyou very much for any help you can provide.

More about : sata working asus bios

a b G Storage
October 10, 2010 4:33:43 PM

> Which driver is correct to be using?

Depends on which SATA port you connect your WD1002FAEX to.


2) The drive does not show in the BIOS when set to IDE. But it's there and does work correctly. Is that because 6G drives don't show up?

I looked at your motherboard User Manual:

http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=DfyAB26HiDpiiu8f


6G drives may not show up if you wired them to the Marvell controller.

The SATA/6G ports are controlled by that Marvell controller,
which needs a device driver to operate correctly and
it needs to be enabled in the BIOS.

In the User Manual, see:

Marvell PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controller:
2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports (gray)


The blue SATA ports are controlled by the Intel P55 chipset,
which operate at 3G.


Also in the BIOS, see the setting for Marvell 9123 Controller [IDE Mode] <--- the default

It has 3 options:

[Disabled]
[IDE Mode]
[AHCI Mode]


I would recommend that you set this to AHCI Mode (for best performance),
and be sure to load the correct driver during Windows Setup.

The correct driver should be on the ASUS Support CD
that came with that motherboard.


Alternatively, if you connect that Caviar Black to the P55 ports,
you should set those to RAID mode in the BIOS, and have the
correct drivers for the P55 chipset ready to load during Windows Setup.

Intel strongly recommends that the BIOS be set to RAID mode
before running Windows Setup, even if all HDDs will initially
operate in JBOD mode (Just A Bunch Of Disks).



MRFS
a b G Storage
October 10, 2010 4:36:56 PM

p.s. After you finish installing the OS,
you must also install the chipset drivers
for that motherboard: those are also on the
Support CD that came with that motherboard.


MRFS
Related resources
October 10, 2010 10:08:20 PM

Thats awesome MRFS, thanks for the advise. At work at the moment, but i'll try when I get home.

To clarify the drive is plugged into the gray port (6g) so I guess i'll need Marvell driver.

Also there is a number of options to switch to AHC in the BIOS. It can be changed in the 'Storage Configuration' to configure SATA as IDE or RAID or AHCI. Plus there is a second screen to adjust the 'Onboard Devices Configuration' to configure the Marvell 9123 controller to IDE or ACHI.

Should I adjust both options to ACHI?

Best solution

a b G Storage
October 10, 2010 10:31:38 PM
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> Should I adjust both options to AHCI?


No. As I explained above, Intel strongly recommends that you start out
with the Intel chipset initialized to RAID: this makes it a LOT easier
to migrate from JBOD (non-RAID) to RAID mode at a future date.

Since you want the HDD's interface to operate at 6G,
you'll need to set the Marvell controlled to AHCI mode
and wire your Caviar Black to one of the gray ports.

AHCI supports native command queuing (NCQ), and
you definitely want that feature operational with
the Caviar Black, which is a very sophisticated HDD.

One thing is generally true about most ASUS motherboards:
the extra controllers that are installed on those motherboards
all need their own device drivers, so you'll need to find a
working PC in order to extract the Marvell device driver
from the Support CD.

You may also want to enable the Marvell Option ROM,
so you can invoke it after exiting the BIOS the first time:
it will allow you to confirm that the Marvell controller
sees and correctly identifies the WD Caviar Black.

After exiting the Marvell Option ROM, you should
also go back into the BIOS to make sure that
the Caviar Black shows up in the list of possible
boot devices (e.g. under Boot Priority).

Of course, to run Windows Setup the Boot Priority
will need to be set to boot from the optical drive.


One last thing: I assume that your optical drive
is also SATA, so you'll need to decide which SATA port
to connect it to. Generally, it's best to install your OS
with only a single HDD connected to the motherboard.
Once it's installed and working, you can then enable
the other on-board functions one at a time.

There is another reason why this sequence is preferred:
Windows Plug-and-Play logic makes it very easy to
attach new devices, once the OS is correctly installed
and working.

So, my recommendation is to try installing the OS
with a SATA optical drive connected to the other
SATA/6G (gray) port. Since I don't have direct experience
with this approach, I can't give you any assurances:

please double-check your User Manual to see if
it is even possible to connect an optical drive
to that Marvell controller:

the problem that may arise is that you will be loading
the Marvell device driver AFTER the Windows Setup disc
has been read, and I don't know what Windows Setup
will do if it is required to change to a different device driver
for the Marvell controller "mid-stream".

Accordingly, if that approach fails, you'll need to
attach your optical drive to one of the P55's SATA/3G ports
instead.

Sorry I can't be more specific on this point, because
I just don't have direct first-hand experience with your motherboard
and your hardware configuration.

(In my opinion, Intel has been dragging its feet concerning
the SATA/6G standard, so the P55 chipset does not have
"native" support for 6G functionality.)


Please let me know how things turn out -- good or bad.
As my high school teacher always said:

"failure is a postponed success!"


MRFS

a b G Storage
October 10, 2010 10:56:19 PM

p.s. If a SATA optical drive connected to one of the gray SATA ports
(on the Marvell controller) will not run Windows Setup,
you may find it necessary to set the "SATA Configuration" to IDE
in order for Windows Setup to succeed with the optical drive
connected to one of the P55's SATA/3G (blue) ports.


I hope this helps: let me know how it goes, please :) 


MRFS



October 11, 2010 5:23:19 AM

bullswool said:
Hello,

I have recently built a system, but i'm very new at doing this. I have been able to assemble everything, even install Vista.
But I'm having troubles getting the system to work correctly. Once Vista is up & running, it constantly accesses the HDD. It never stops! I can hardly install the mobo software becasue it's so busy. I believe the fault is with my setup of the HDD.

Compenents:

* WD1002FAEX 1TB SATA (plugged into SATA 6G port)
* Asus P7P55D-E-LX mobo (upgraded BIOS to current version)
* Intel i5 760 Chip
* Vista Home Premium

Questions:
1) Firstly, when I come to install Vista it will not write to HDD until I have given it a driver, because it's a fresh drive. I have had sucess with using Marvell and JMicron drivers. But unfortunately the constant accessing of HDD remains. Which driver is correct to be using?
2) The drive does not show in the BIOS when set to IDE. But it's there and does work correctly. Is that because 6G drives don't show up? I have been reading for 2 days now about IDE, SATA, RAID, AHCI... I am throughlt confused :fou:  What do I set in BIOS (and how, if you have same BIOS)?

Thankyou very much for any help you can provide.


There is no point in connecting your system drive to the SATA 6Gb/s controller, it will perform better on the Intel SATA 3Gb/s controller. And, you won't need to install a driver to run settup.
October 11, 2010 10:06:23 AM

Geez! This is like firing up the Apollo 13.

I still have the HDD plugged into the gray 6G plug; and optical is plugged into the standard blue one (SATA_1) as they have always been.

I set BIOS storage configuration to RAID and the Marvell Controller to AHCI. Rebooted and tried to install Vista. Unfortunately, although the Vista install started, it would only go through the initial loading of the files. Ya know, the very first loading "dos-like" screen with the loading bar while it brings up system files. Then nothing!

Then I reset the BIOS to defaults (back to IDE storage) and enabled Marvell Controller. Same install hang as before... maybe Vista doesn't like Marvell controller enabled during install?

Reset BIOS to defaults, this time only changing BIOS storage config to RAID.... and... things look good (touch wood, fingers crossed etc). The HDD is definately 'less busy' than before. I will atempt a full virus scan which will be a good test. I could not reach 1% scan with previous setups.

Very apprehensive about changing Marvell Controller to ACHI, maybe someone could advise?


Finally, heaps of thanks to MRFS, your assistance has been invaluable mate :) 
October 11, 2010 10:07:33 AM

Crashman said:
There is no point in connecting your system drive to the SATA 6Gb/s controller, it will perform better on the Intel SATA 3Gb/s controller. And, you won't need to install a driver to run settup.


Why? Isn't 6 better than 3?
October 11, 2010 10:25:51 AM

Best answer selected by bullswool.
a b G Storage
October 11, 2010 1:56:54 PM

> I set BIOS storage configuration to RAID and the Marvell Controller to AHCI. Rebooted and tried to install Vista. Unfortunately, although the Vista install started, it would only go through the initial loading of the files. Ya know, the very first loading "dos-like" screen with the loading bar while it brings up system files. Then nothing!


Again, with the Marvell controller set to AHCI and the P55 set to RAID,
you would need both device drivers ready on a floppy disk or USB drive and
use the F6 option to load both during Windows Setup.

You didn't mention doing that:

> maybe Vista doesn't like Marvell controller enabled during install?

Correct: VISTA or any other MS OS will NOT like the Marvell controller
because you need to load the device driver with F6 during Windows setup.


And, with the P55's Storage Configuration set to RAID, another issue that
I hinted about above, is that Windows Setup may not like changing
the P55's device driver "mid-stream" i.e. while Windows Setup is running,
because your optical drive is connected to one of the P55's blue ports.


Here's another, slightly different approach:

I had a situation similar to yours many years ago,
with an older Intel chipset.

I wanted to build a RAID 0 for data storage only,
using the on-board SATA ports controlled by the
Intel chipset: so, I started out with an IDE/PATA HDD
and an IDE/PATA optical drive.

(I double-checked your User Manual and confirmed
that you do have an IDE/PATA port on that motherboard.)

Well, PATA optical drives are cheap ~$20 now and it won't
hurt to have 2 optical drives: one PATA and one SATA.

You could do the same as I did: switch to an IDE/PATA optical drive
in order to get VISTA loaded and running correctly;
don't connect anything to the P55 (blue) ports initially,
connect the Caviar Black to one of the Marvell (gray) ports,
set the Marvell controller to AHCI, and leave the
P55 Storage Configuration at IDE (default) mode for now.

Have the Marvell's device driver ready for F6 during Windows Setup.

When VISTA is installed and operational, you should be
able to switch the Storage Configuration for the P55 (blue) ports
to RAID, reboot, and have the device driver for that controller ready
on a floppy disk, USB thumb drive, or even store it on your C: partition.

Plug-and-Play should detect this "new device" during startup and
should launch the driver update sequence: at that point,
you simply point the OS to the device driver, and
that should install the RAID mode device driver
for the P55 (blue) ports -- even though nothing
is connected to those blue ports (under this scenario).

Then, you can plug your SATA optical drive into
one of the P55 (blue) SATA ports, AFTER the P55's
device driver is successfully installed.


p.s. the Caviar Black will perform slightly better
in 6G mode than in 3G mode, but the differences
will not be dramatic.


MRFS

a b G Storage
October 11, 2010 2:11:31 PM

> Reset BIOS to defaults, this time only changing BIOS storage config to RAID.... and... things look good


That tells me that your copy of VISTA already includes the P55 device driver
for the blue SATA ports. (I've never used VISTA because of its bad reputation,
particularly with device drivers: so, I wasn't aware of that fact.)


So, all you would need to do now is to prepare the Marvell device driver
and load it using F6 during Windows Setup.

Of course, you would also need to change the BIOS setting to AHCI,
because your User Manual says that the Marvell default is IDE.


I would start over, as explained above, because you definitely
want AHCI mode enabled for best performance with your Caviar Black.
NCQ will optimize its performance over time, AND also minimize wear
because there will be fewer armature movements in AHCI mode
over time.


p.s. FYI: there is a "geek tweak" that changes the controller's
driver using "brute force" (in Device Manager), re-boots
into the BIOS, changes the Marvell controller setting to AHCI,
and then finishes startup. But, this approach is risky
if you're not absolutely sure of yourself. I've done this
sequence successfully with XP/SP3.


MRFS

a b G Storage
October 11, 2010 3:04:23 PM

FYI: latest Marvell device driver is here:

http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=DfyAB26HiDpiiu8f

Under the Download tab, enter your OS version, under
the "SATA" category find:

Version 1.0.0.1042

Marvell 9123/9120 Controller Driver V1.0.0.1042 for Windows 32/64bit XP & Windows 32/64bit Vista & 32/64bit Windows 7.(WHQL)


At least one Marvell driver should also be on your Support DVD:
on Page 1-29 in your motherboard's User Manual, section 1.13.1,
see the "Make disk" menu option.


MRFS
a b G Storage
October 11, 2010 3:19:39 PM

FYI: CHECK THIS OUT here:

http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=DfyAB26HiDpiiu8f

IO Level UP

Turn on IO Level Up to boost the USB 3.0 or SATA 6Gb/s data transfer rate to up to 500MB/s!

Users can flexibly switch between full-speed PCIe x16 mode for their graphics cards and IO Level UP for rapid data throughput.

[end quote]


My guess is that this low-level hardware tweak
assigns x2 PCI-E 1.0 lanes to the Marvell controller,
instead of only x1 PCI-E lane @ 250 MB/second.

Of course, this tweak appears to compensate for
the inherent limitations of the P55 chipset i.e.
too few PCI-E lanes as compared to AMD's 890FX.


UPDATE:

Also, on Page 2-26 in the User Manual, find:

2.8.5 IO Levelup [Disabled]

[Disabled] Disables the IO Level UP feature.

[USB 3.0] Set USB 3.0 ports to the maximum bandwidth. When enabled, the maximum bandwidth of back panel USB 3.0 ports is up to Gen. 2 speed while the blue PCIex16_1 slot operates at x8 mode.

[SATA 6G] Set SATA 6G ports to the maximum bandwith. When enabled, the maximum bandwidth of onboard SATA 6G connectors is up to Gen. 2 speed while the blue PCIex16_1 slot operates at x8 mode.

[end quote]


MRFS
October 11, 2010 4:11:41 PM

bullswool said:
Why? Isn't 6 better than 3?
Well, since you already handed the award to someone who did NOT point this out...

Anyway, an SATA 6Gb/s controller on a PCIe 2.5 Gb/s lane can't even run at 3Gb/s.

Second, Intel's 3Gb/s controller has higher I/O per second than Marvelle's 6Gb/s controller

Third, the drive you're using can't exceed the bandwidth available from Intel's 3Gb/s controller
a b G Storage
October 11, 2010 5:24:32 PM

Yes and no.

The buffer-to-disk speed is limited by the rate at which
the raw binary digits ("bits") pass directly beneath
the read/write heads.

This rate is around 150 MB/second for THE fastest HDDs
e.g. SAS drives spinning at 15,000 rpm and using
perpendicular magnetic recording.

The main reason for running a HDD's interface at
6G is the data transfer rate between the buffer
and the host, particularly when a file is already
stored entirely within the HDD's hardware cache.

A good experiment to demonstrate this is
to use a program like PerformanceTest
to measure a "raw read" with progressively
smaller file sizes: eventually, the file being read
will fit entirely within the HDD's hardware cache,
and there will be no reading from the rotating platter.

It is under these conditions that the 6G interface
will perform better than a 3G interface.

Carrying this experiment to the next level,
a software RAID 0 with 2 x 6G HDDs will
effectively double the size of the hardware cache
and that in turn will permit even larger
files to be read entirely from the HDDs'
hardware cache.

I did this type of experiment with the ASUS PCIE GEN2 SATA6G
expansion card and 2 x WD WD1002FAEX HDDs installed
in an ASUS P5Q Deluxe running XP/Pro SP3:

http://www.supremelaw.org/systems/io.tests/ASUS.PCIE.GE...


MRFS
October 11, 2010 7:21:57 PM

MRFS said:
Yes and no.

The buffer-to-disk speed is limited by the rate at which
the raw binary digits ("bits") pass directly beneath
the read/write heads.

This rate is around 150 MB/second for THE fastest HDDs
e.g. SAS drives spinning at 15,000 rpm and using
perpendicular magnetic recording.

The main reason for running a HDD's interface at
6G is the data transfer rate between the buffer
and the host, particularly when a file is already
stored entirely within the HDD's hardware cache.

A good experiment to demonstrate this is
to use a program like PerformanceTest
to measure a "raw read" with progressively
smaller file sizes: eventually, the file being read
will fit entirely within the HDD's hardware cache,
and there will be no reading from the rotating platter.

It is under these conditions that the 6G interface
will perform better than a 3G interface.

Carrying this experiment to the next level,
a software RAID 0 with 2 x 6G HDDs will
effectively double the size of the hardware cache
and that in turn will permit even larger
files to be read entirely from the HDDs'
hardware cache.

I did this type of experiment with the ASUS PCIE GEN2 SATA6G
expansion card and 2 x WD WD1002FAEX HDDs installed
in an ASUS P5Q Deluxe running XP/Pro SP3:

http://www.supremelaw.org/systems/io.tests/ASUS.PCIE.GE...


MRFS



That's all fine and well if the board properly supports the controller at full speed, but how to you get more than 2.5Gb/s over a P55 PCH's 2.5Gb/s PCIe pathway? This is not one of those boards that combines eight 2.5Gb/s lanes into four 5.0Gb/s lanes through a PLX bridge.
a b G Storage
October 11, 2010 7:43:29 PM

> how to you get more than 2.5Gb/s over a P55 PCH's 2.5Gb/s PCIe pathway


REPEATING (see above):

Also, on Page 2-26 in the User Manual, find:


2.8.5 IO Levelup [Disabled]

. . .

[SATA 6G] Set SATA 6G ports to the maximum bandwith. When enabled, the maximum bandwidth of onboard SATA 6G connectors is up to Gen. 2 speed while the blue PCIex16_1 slot operates at x8 mode.


[end quote]


MRFS
October 11, 2010 8:16:51 PM

MRFS said:
> how to you get more than 2.5Gb/s over a P55 PCH's 2.5Gb/s PCIe pathway


REPEATING (see above):

Also, on Page 2-26 in the User Manual, find:


2.8.5 IO Levelup [Disabled]

. . .

[SATA 6G] Set SATA 6G ports to the maximum bandwith. When enabled, the maximum bandwidth of onboard SATA 6G connectors is up to Gen. 2 speed while the blue PCIex16_1 slot operates at x8 mode.


[end quote]


MRFS


And you're willing to trade eight of the graphic's cards lanes and/or potential SLI/CrossFire support for one lane of 5Gb/s connectivity?
a b G Storage
October 12, 2010 12:48:47 AM

I don't bother with the P55 chipset, for reasons like those you mention.

I was just trying to help the user who requested help above.


MRFS
October 12, 2010 1:38:04 AM

MRFS said:
I don't bother with the P55 chipset, for reasons like those you mention.

I was just trying to help the user who requested help above.


MRFS


I'll just summarize that I usually find better overall performance using the Intel controller and that it doesn't require all those compromises on LGA-1156 motherboards. He asked me "Isn't 6 better than 3" and my answer is that it usually isn't.

I try to keep things simple.
December 18, 2010 9:14:28 AM

Hi there,

Good post and a lot of information their - First of all thanks to MFRS for the useful information and i'm wondering if Bullswool manage to solve his issue...

I came across this topic because i built a new system with a P7P55D-E Deluxe :
- 1xC300 Crucial SSD 128GB for the system on the Marvell controller - Sata 6Gb/s
- 3xWD500GB Caviar Blue for the data on the Intel controller - Sata 3Gb/s

Today i bought a second SSD to build a RAID0 on the Marvell controller. My problem is that i don't see any BIOS boot rom option (like the intel one) that could allow me to build a RAID for my pair of SSD.

Does anyone know if this is possible ?

December 18, 2010 9:58:01 AM

krazylo said:
Hi there,

Good post and a lot of information their - First of all thanks to MFRS for the useful information and i'm wondering if Bullswool manage to solve his issue...

I came across this topic because i built a new system with a P7P55D-E Deluxe :
- 1xC300 Crucial SSD 128GB for the system on the Marvell controller - Sata 6Gb/s
- 3xWD500GB Caviar Blue for the data on the Intel controller - Sata 3Gb/s

Today i bought a second SSD to build a RAID0 on the Marvell controller. My problem is that i don't see any BIOS boot rom option (like the intel one) that could allow me to build a RAID for my pair of SSD.

Does anyone know if this is possible ?


There's usually a separate BIOS setting for enabling RAID on a Marvell controller. If your controller supports RAID, you'll probably be limitted to 2.5Gb/s anyway due to PCIe limitations.
March 31, 2011 10:09:58 PM

MRFS said:
p.s. After you finish installing the OS,
you must also install the chipset drivers
for that motherboard: those are also on the
Support CD that came with that motherboard.


MRFS


can you tell me why is it important to install the chipset drivers? What do they do? I've recently built my 1st Win 7 PC and i didnt install the chipset drivers, am i missing some important files, settings, etc. My mobo is Asus X58 Sabertooth.
!