SSD and AHCI Issue

So I just installed Windows 7 on a new OCZ Vertex 2 SSD and think I may have done something wrong. First, I did not switch the bios to ahci before installing and now when I try to switch it will not boot. Second, I did not unplug my HDDs while installing (is this an issue?). Also, I did not update SSD driver during install and when I go to OCZ webiste and use thier update tool, my drive does not appear. Does it matter which IDE drive number and master/slave the SSD appears on in teh bios? Can the AHCI issue be corrected? Given all of these issues, if I need to reinstall I could really use a step-by step. Thanks. PS - I am an idiot when it comes to this stuff.
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  1. I would recommend the reinstall.
    (1) first download the Iso of Ultimate Boot disk and create a bootable CD
    (2) run the HDDErease.
    (3) unplug HDD and reinstall operating system
    I would use custom install and verify NO partitions are currently on SSD, if they are, delete them and rest the partitions, It will create 2 partitions, a very small one and the main partition which you will install 2.

    Here's the rub, I think the Vortex-2 will get the best performance using the Latest Intel RST driver (Check their website forum. It so then you will need to download them (Need the F6 during install, then install the main driver for after windows 7 is install.

    You can opt to install normally, but using the uSoft default AHCI driver, but I think the performance will be less than advertized.

    You can also look at the GSkill Web forum as the Gskill Pheonix Pro also uses the same Sandforce SF-1200 controller.

    If you just bought the SSD, then it probably has the latest firmware. Before tring to update verify what firmware is installed, can download and run crystalDiskInfo.
  2. Thanks for the response, glad to hear from you since there are a lot of people on here that speak very highly of you. I have a few more questions:
    1. I do not fully understand updaing the driver with F6. Is this correct? I unplug all HDDs and keep SSD connected. Erase the SSD and then upon boot press F6? I'm guessing I need to have the driver on a usb drive or something? Install the driver then boot to Windows 7 disk and custom install?
    2. What is the main driver?
    3. I purchased the Windows 7 family pack. Will it know that I am resintalling and still only count as one license use?

    Thanks again!
  3. (1) See NOTE at Bottom **. But here is the method - Have not done the "F6" with windows, up until now there has not been a need as Win 7 provided very good support drivers. Use to be a page that asked if you needed to install additional drivers prior to installing windows. From what I understan thats still there, just expanded on location of the driver. Back in the days of XP, they had to be on a floopy. Now they can be on a USB drive, possibly a CD.

    (2) Did you already register (Activate) your installation? Not that it matters, this still only counts as 1 installation, No matter how many times you uninstall (wipe it) and reinstall.

    (3) I'm quessing that family pac is the upgrade version. If so, you will need to select custom install to do a clean install - You can not upgrade without having the operating system visible, But with your HDD disconnected it will not be visible, BUT that is OK as you are allowed to do a clean install - BUT there are to hoops that you have to jump through when doing this - IMPORTANT - DO NOT enter your windows Key during install, also deselect - Activate automatically. WILL edit this post shortly with what you need to do.

    ** RST files and F6
    Select operating s7ystem ie Win7 64, or 32. Down load the F6 and the Main file (on main file there are two choices the Larger file is multilanguage, smaller on (enu) is english only).
    Right cleck the F6 file so that you can extract the files and then you can read the "Readme File" when selecting, you want the ahci driver.

    ** added: clean install using upgrade disk
    From one of my previous posts.
    Do a Clean Install, select custom method, But DO NOT enter your Key
    Go ahead and let windows 7 down load critical updates. Then:

    Open regedit.exe with Start Menu Search and navigate to:
    Easier - Just do a search for " MediaBootInstall"

    Change MediaBootInstall from "1" to "0". (Double-click it and then enter 0 in the dialog that appears.)

    Close RegEdit.

    Open the Start Menu again and type cmd in Start Menu search to display a shortcut to the Command Line utility. Right-click this shortcut and choose "Run as administrator."
    In the command line window, type: slmgr -rearm

    Then tap ENTER and wait for the "Command completed successfully" dialog.

    Then, close the command line window and reboot. When Windows 7 reboots, run the Activate Windows utility, type in your product key and activate windows.
  4. Ok that all sounds clear, thank you. My only question to that is in regards to how I get to where I install the main and F6 driver. Am i pressing F6 at the initial boot screen, where I press delete to enter BIOS settings? Also, do I need to change the BIOS to AHCI before installing windows?

    After installing windows and activating, I was going to following this guide provided by OCZ:*-Windows-7-Ultimate-Tweaks-amp-Utilities-*

    But I also found your tweaks that are slightly different. Are the changes suggested in the post below still your reccomendations?
  5. Yes in BIOS change your HDD mode to AHCI.

    Put the F6 files on a usb stick/or drive.
    When you insert the Windows dvd and it gets to the screen where it says Update or custom, Select custom. There should be a page asking if you need to load drivers, select it and select browse to locate. (Haven't done it yet with win 7 - will have to at some point to redo my SSD, currently still using the default AHCI driver.). This will allow you to complete installation. When installation is complet then click on the iata96enu.exe - If every thing is ok, it should install.

    I'd follow the OCZ - Just pick and choose, don't need to do all.
    What I previously posted was a "cut and Past from an articale" and pretty much only minium standard for SSDs. recommendation for page file - I'd not delete it (set to Zero), What I would do is set min and max to the same valuie (ie1 to 4 gigs, depends on how much RAM you have. The more RAM the smaller the page file can be.), leave it on the SSD for a couple of weeks, then move it to the HDD - IF You do NOT see any noticable difference in performance, leave it on The HDD.
  6. Thanks a lot for your help, I greatly appreciate it! Hopefully it all goes smooth.
  7. Please get back and let us know how it goes. All to often people do not get back and say yes it worked, or that the advise was all wet and that (I/we) need to retink our advice, or modify it.
  8. I will absolutely let you know. May wait until the weekend though so I can take my time and not feel rushed.
  9. I have been doing some research before starting this reinstall and I cannot find anything about when/how to install drivers prior to the installation of windows 7. I also dont remember seeing a place to do that on my original install, although I could be wrong.

    Also, why am I using an Intel driver?
  10. swingking03 said:
    I have been doing some research before starting this reinstall and I cannot find anything about when/how to install drivers prior to the installation of windows 7. I also dont remember seeing a place to do that on my original install, although I could be wrong.

    Also, why am I using an Intel driver?

    Have the drivers ready on a USB drive and plug it into your rig. When it comes to installing Windows 7, at the set up screen where it should list your installed storage devices, there is an option listed near 'Format', 'Delete', 'New', etc called 'Find Drivers' or something along those lines, maybe 'Install drivers'- If you select that, it should allow you to access your USB drive and select your downloaded drivers.

    Hope this helps.

  11. ^, Thanks for position just where the "Load drivers" is found on win 7

    On why Intel
    Prior to the SF1200 controller, SSDs hit pretty close to their advertized / reviewed performance when compared to running a Bench mark program. Not So with the SF1200 controller SSDs. Bear in mind that MANY users don't always run benchmarks and only run the WEI and thinks it great when their WEI goes from 5.9 (HDD) to a 7.1->7.3. But the Vertex-2 and Phoenix Pro should be around 7.8! When some users ran the Bench mark, they found they were getting much lower result (Considerably lowere Seq reads) MYSELF included. Looking at Posts stating "lower performance" on Newegg for the Pheonix Pro the response from the Manuf Rep has Been "Need to Use the Intel RST ver 9 driver" This also shows up in their Forum.

    Bottom Line - Appearently the Intel AHCI (With Intel Chipsets) is better optumized for Use than the genric default uSoft AHCI driver.

    Side Comment - Windows WEI is not a good bench Mark, BUT it is good for a quick check, If most people with drive X are hitting 7.8, and you are getting only 7.2, then something is amiss. SAME SAME for HDDs, if everyone is getting a 5.8/9 with HDD Brand X and you are only getting a 4.5 - then something is not setup correctly.

    IMPORTANT - I just looked Back - Did not see which Mother Board you are using, IF you are Not Using a MB with Intel Chip set Then DISREGAURD using Intel RST. I violated one of my guiding principle - And ASSUMED you were using a Intel chipset. When you go to the Intel webpage, it list which chipsets it supports ie ICHxx, P5x
  12. Ok great, thanks for all the input. One I am up and running I will check back about running the benchmark.

    Are there any other drivers I should pre-install while I am at it?

    This is my MB, its AMD :??:
  13. I think the Intel RST would be the only one to Pre-install using the F6

    You did verify you have the intel chipset that is listed.
  14. I'm sorry, I'm confused. I can or cannot use the Intel RST with my mobo?
  15. What is your Motherboard, If it is a P55 X58, or aH55/57 series you have the right chipset. But if you post what your MB is I'll check. Also if you have the manual, it should tell you what chipset is used.

    Have to leave so will not beable to answer for a couple of Hours
  16. OK - IGNORE (do not do F6) the Inte1l RST, you have a amd MB (Non intel chipset), follow all other advice. Just Set Bios to AHCI and install win 7 using the default uSoft AHCI driver.

    PS I see were you post it, my BAD overlooked it.
  17. So no preloading of drivers before Windows 7 install?

    And since I cannot use the Intel driver, I am going to take a performance hit on the SSD? Well isn't that crappy.
  18. Not sure on the Performance hit, I've no experience with the AMD chipset and How the SF1200s perform with them. The only postings I've seen is with thoes that have the intel chipset - You may come out good. let us know, It's how we learn also.
    Hope I've help and sorry about missing your MB.
  19. Not your fault. To summarize I'm using HDDErase, changing to AHCI in bios, unplug HDD, then reinstalling Windows 7. After that update the SSD driver.

    Also, I am having trouble determining what should and should not be installed on the SSD. Internet browser, temp files, anti-virus, firewall, driver updates, etc?

    Also, what is the downside to following this to switch to AHCI?
  20. Best answer
    You said " After that update the SSD driver. " - no driver to update. The driver is the uSoft AHCI driver.

    You should not have to switch from IDE mode to AHCI mode. With AHCI enabled in bios PRIOR to installing win 7, Win 7 should automatically set AHCI mode.

    For the tweaks, That link to the OCZ formum as a pretty good set. Just pick and choose basted on your usage.
    Should at a min.
    .. Set your page file min/max to same vaule
    .. Disable hibernation
    .. disable superfetch
    .. disable disk indexing.

    On pagefile. I would set min/max to same value and leave on SSD. Leave for a couple of weeks, then switch to put on HDD. if you do not see any performance difference then leave on HDD. If you notice a performance decrease, then your option (based on amount of decrease) to leave on HDD or move back to SSD.

    Just move "Your Documents" folder to your HDD.
    When ever you go to save any of the files you generat, just select Save As and point to a directory on your HDD.

    IE folder/temp

    Have fun and ENJOY
  21. @RC, you don't have to absolutely re-install to get AHCI:

    I have only tested this under Intel chipsets. I have NOT tested this with AMD/nVidia chipsets (and AFAIK, neither supports AHCI). It is possible to do this under Vista too, but again, I have not tested this.

    1. Open up regedit. (Windows Key + R > "regedit" ).

    2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Services > Msahci.

    2. In the right pane, right-click "Start" (look under the Name column) and then click Modify.

    3. In the Value data box, type "0" (this is a zero, not a "O" ), and then click OK.

    4. Restart PC, go into BIOS and set it to "AHCI".

    5. Windows should start and install the Microsoft AHCI drivers. (After logging in).

    6. Reboot and then go online and download the latest chipset drivers for your chipset from the Intel website.

    7. Install the drivers. Reboot once done.

    8. Congrats! Now you have AHCI using the Intel drivers!

    After this, install the latest Intel RST software.

    This imo, is a hell of a lot easier than re-installing. Also, when you install normally with AHCI enabled in BIOS it will install the Microsoft AHCI drivers (not using F6), HOWEVER, if you update/reinstall the chipset drivers, it *should* overwrite the Microsoft AHCI drivers with the Intel AHCI drivers.
  22. Shadow - He has AMD MB, not Intel
  23. ^ Damn it. I some how missed that part....
  24. Shadow, you believe that I can use the Intel drivers with my AMD board if I follow your directions, or did I read that wrong?
  25. Note Shadow Comment "^ Damn it. I some how missed that part.... "

    From Intel website Quote from requirements 'Motherboard with an Intel® chipset with a supported Intel® controller hub "
  26. RC, what are your thoughts on using these instructions so I don't have to reinstall Windows 7?
  27. ^ That is exactly what I said/did. I can verify that it works.
  28. ^ But minus intalling the Intel driver since I have an AMD board, right?

    Or is there any truth to this post?
  29. If it were me, I would try Shawdows method first (EXcluding the Installing of the Intel drivers.) You have noting to loose. If that does not work, then do the "Wipe" and reinstall. I notice that in the Gskill formum, gkill leans toward the "wipe, and re-install, but that may be for a "play it safe".

    I looked at the link "Some seem to have had success using the Intel driver on AMD system" I would take this with a big grain of salt - the driver package should not install as it checks the system for compatability.
  30. OK thanks for the clarification
  31. So i followed shadow's suggestion and it actually increased my boot time by at least 20 seconds! Any ideas? Trying to determine if I need to update motherboard or bios, not sure if I need to or not. Currently have GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4 AM2+/AM2
  32. ^Yes, AHCI will increase boot times as it needs to load the AHCI SATA BIOS functions. At least that's the case with Intel AHCI. On some boards, it loads this painfully slow. On others not much difference. Do you notice an improvement in Read/Write speeds?
  33. not sure, how can i test that?
  34. ^ HD Tune, Sandra, AS SSD (link: ) or ATTO (old, but still works).
  35. Here is a thread with a couple of AMD users with simular problems Poster has the GA-MA770T-UD3P AMD AM3+ Motherboard - Good read.
  36. Kinda depressing actually, seems as though I made a bad decision going with AMD.

    Considering doing a re-install tomorrow and then installing my new Radeon HD5770.
  37. Hopefully a newer firware will correct this. I cann't see Gskill will like the bad press.

    I Just finished redoing mine. My WEI went from 7.3 -> 7.8. Ran AS SSD Benchmark and the overall score Jumped from around 270 to 473 (have to wait till I reload Office to see what it was). Only think I've done is load the RST driver and ATI Cat (Also have the 5770 GPU.

    Only problem I had was with the HDDErease program. I did not show any progress, and there was no HDD lite activity, I finally bombed out of it after 30 Min. Which is not a good thing to do.

    Tomarrow I'll have to reload all my programs - UGH. Means I have to find all, some are downloads and I think I have all the Keys.
  38. So i did a fresh install of windows 7 and everything went good. I am now trying to make sure I have most revent drivers and I dont want to F**K this up.

    First, where do I find my currently installed chipset driver?

    Second, my bios version is F2. Do I need to update this to F5 since I am running Phenom II?

    I have seem mixed I enabling or disabling write caching?
  39. (1) On write cache, I normal leave enabled. If you have an occasion power dropout then disable. (I have my computer on an UPS)

    (2) When ever I redo things on my computer, I'll normally install the latest MB firmware (in your case F6 (looking at your Link)

    (3) Looking at your link
    Northbridge is 790x (controlls Ram and GPU) and southbridge is SB750 Controlls Sata/USB/lan ports)

    On Gigabyte website, Chipset driver is dtd 08/14/09 (V8.641) and AMD SATA AHCI Driver (Preinstall driver, press F6) is dtd 05/11/09 (V1.2.0.125)
    BUT on AMD web site:
    They Show a southbridge driver 10.1 dated (10/10/10) and a AHCI driver Ver 10.10 dtd 10/22/10 THIS IS WHAT the other AMD poster used). Are this what you need, Are they for your MB chipset - I Think so - BUT YOU will need to verify. Not that knowledgable with AMD, been quite some time since I used a AMD MB.
  40. You should not use the AMD AHCI drivers (v10.10 dated 10/22/10). AMD's AHCI does not support TRIM. For the time being in order to preserve the health of your SSD you have to use Microsoft's default AHCI drivers.

    I currently have a GA-MA770T-UD3P AMD AM3 paired with a Phenom II X4 945 3.0 ghz quad-core and have always been a fan of AMD but this recent clusterf**k has persuaded me to finally break down and order that i7-870 and an ASUS P55 LGA 1156 sata3/usb3 I've had my eyes on.

    You would think for as long as SSDs have been around now that AMD would have taken the time to make a driver with TRIM. No wonder Intel has gained so much support,11456.html
  41. RC,

    When you helped me out a few days ago I did everything above ^ except using HDDerase. Do you think that TRIM will clean up the rest? Because I have heard conflicting things about how it works.

    By the way, to those that have no frame of reference, my WEI went from a 7.3 to 7.7 in following the above directions and moving to the IRST drivers. (Also, had my SSD plugged into the wrong SATA controller- doh!)
  42. Quote:

    Second, my bios version is F2. Do I need to update this to F5 since I am running Phenom II? [...] &dl=1#bios

    I would personally update it. It may help with the AHCI issue.


    They Show a southbridge driver 10.1 dated (10/10/10) and a AHCI driver Ver 10.10 dtd 10/22/10 THIS IS WHAT the other AMD poster used). Are this what you need, Are they for your MB chipset - I Think so - BUT YOU will need to verify. Not that knowledgable with AMD, been quite some time since I used a AMD MB.

    +1. Yeah, I haven't built my "personal" systems on AMD since the 939 days. C2D/i7 and by the looks of it, probably may go with SB depending on if AMD can deliver with Bulldozer.
  43. At nativeson
    I would not worry about not having done the HDDErease, Between trim and internal "garbage collection" you should be OK.

    On HDDerase, I had a problem on mine. It hung up, at least it appeared to, No progress status (Found out that was normall) but I at least expected to see the HDD activity Lite flash. After a 1/2 Hour I bombed out. SDD is working, have had no problems with install and installing programs. WEI went from 7.3 -> 7.8 and AS benchmark was much improved. CrystalDiskifo indicates status as Good. BUT I now get an error message during POST that it failed SMART test.
  44. How do I verify is the bios update and SB driver are for my board? They look like they are but how can I make sure?

    Update: After a weekend of computing and reinstalling all my programs, I have the following to report:

    Before reinstalling Windows and switching to AHCI

    After reinstalling and with AHCI enabled
    P.S. How do I make it in English?

    Not quite what I was expecting when I spent $200+ on Windows 7 and an decent SSD :(

    Very pissed I chose to go with AMD a few years ago.

    Any thoughts on how to improve performance?
  45. Quote:
    Any thoughts on how to improve performance?

    spend the 300 now and get an intel i5 760 + any decent 1156 mobo or wait 4 months and get a sandy bridge

    amd used to reign supreme but intel has surpassed them in almost every market imo
  46. Quote:
    spend the 300 now and get an intel i5 760 + any decent 1156 mobo or wait 4 months and get a sandy bridge

    amd used to reign supreme but intel has surpassed them in almost every market imo

    Sorry I didn't specify the contraints. Any thoughts on how to improve the performance of my current SSD?
  47. +1 Lardacus
    My last 5 builds have been INTEL (did do 2 AMD prior to that). AMD makes a good product esp for the average consumer (normally at a slightly lower cost).
    Me, I do not need the MAX performance, and a do not care about a 10->20% cost differential for the MB/CPU. When everything is all said and done the cost diff is less than 5% factoring in Memory, GPU, PSU, Case, and PSU which are the same for either amd or intel system. I look more at compatibility with hardware.

    My rational is market share, Intel has a large advantage and 3rd party developers know this and that is where they put their emphasis. This is really highlighted in regards to the SSD problem - AMD has known this for over a year and for one reason or another has failed to correct it. It has become a larger issue as more and more mainstream user are moving to SSDs - AND still no word from AMD!

    Swingking - Lardacus will be able to help you more than I can at this point as he has a simular set-up.
    Which AHCI driver did you end up using. From what I see, the AMD driver provides beter Performance, BUT no Trim. Which is what he stated earlier. In his post on GSKILL he indicated using the AMD driver and ended up with a overall score of 381 Vs your 348 ( only 9.5% better than your score) to me this means that in normal usage you would not notice any performance diff (for SSD) between his and yours. BUT the Diff between the AMD and INTEL setup should be noticable (ballpark 30%)
  48. ^ Right, I have been reading a lot about it recently and it seems that AMD is not stepping up, and won't even comment on the issue. They seem to be using the old "If I dont talk about it, it will go away" approach. Makes me feel good to be an AMD consumer!

    Edit: I beleive I have the MS AHCI driver installed, however I am not sure and don't know how to check. I read somewhere that the ATI Catalyst Pack may install the AMD AHCI driver and that is what I used when I installed my new video card. I still have not determined if I need to update my bios and I believe that a new ATI video driver came out on Friday so I need to make sure I have the most current version there.

    Does AMD or Gigabyte have a tool that tells you if you need to update bios/chipset drivers?
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