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AMD AHCI very intermittent

Last response: in Storage
November 25, 2010 2:49:15 PM

Hi all.

For the last few months I have had an issue with the AMD AHCI not picking up my primary drive with Windows 7 x64 on it when switching on from cold. Sometimes it then wakes up after I prod the Reset button on the tower. If I'm very lucky, it does sometimes boot up with no problems from a switch on a first time. Once Windows is loaded, I have no problems at all.

Brief specs:
GA-MA790X-UD3P (with latest BIOS),
Phenom 9950 BE,
4GB OCZ 1066MHz DDR2,
OCZ GameXstream 700W PSU,
Radeon 4870HD 1024MB GDDR5,
Blu-Ray re-writer SATA2 (set to IDE),
Primary HDD - Windows 7 Ult x64 on WDC BE 500GB SATA2 (set to AHCI),
Secondary HDD - Files and other junk on WDC 250GB SATA2 (set to AHCI).

What it does:
1. Power up PC and BIOS posts ok.

2. Next, the AMD AHCI scanning devices screen appears.

3. After a little while, it will either -
(a) Sits on the Scanning Devices....... bit for up to 30 seconds, picks up only my 2nd hard drive that don't have Windows on it, then goes on to try and boot from PXE on my NIC. I hit the Reset button on tower then it either does it again or boots the OS on second time.
(b) Picks up both my primary Win7 drive along with my 2nd hard drive and then boots straight into Windows (lucky to get this first time - roughly 25% of the time).

Any ideas on how to solve this annoying riddle?

Many thanks :) 

More about : amd ahci intermittent

December 7, 2010 9:29:26 AM

Thanks for the reply. I gave the link a go and still the same result :( 
December 8, 2010 1:05:40 PM

The hard drives are in a JBOD config, so no RAID implemented. Both hard drives are set at SATA (AHCI) in the BIOS. I don't get any BSOD's. I'm thinking it's not a driver issue as the main hard drive don't get detected by the AHCI controler, thus Windows 7 fails to load. Hmmmmm strange....
Related resources
December 8, 2010 1:23:01 PM

What I will do is replace the SATA cable to the main drive when I get a chance later. Plus I shall double check settings in the BIOS too. Thanks for the input so far :) 
April 15, 2011 9:15:46 AM

I have had similar issues with my Gigabyte Motherboard, as well as many others. It seems the AHCI capability is flawed in many AMD southbridge configurations, but Gigabyte seems to get the most complaints about this issue. While the idea of being able to "Hot-swap" is great and all, I'd rather not deal with the countless hours of headache and testing to find that the performance gains and benefits of AHCI are no more than a few milliseconds and a simple shutdown/reboot cycle away. It's rare that I need to connect am eSata hard drive without rebooting since I use network transfers and USB drives for quick access to portable data.

As much as I like to solve problems, I realize the benefits of using AHCI are dwarfed by the reliability of good ole Native IDE.

That's just my 2 cents.

One other thing you may want to try... disable "Spread Spectrum". Sometimes that can cause slow downs due to the "uncrisp" square wave voltage cycles is operates on... but I'm almost certain you have the same faulty AHCI components and configuration as found on my 880ga-ud3h.
March 10, 2012 7:44:29 AM

Cragzman, I have the same problem with my PC, the motherboard is GA-970A-D3, hard disk is Seagate ST2000DM001-9YN164, do you find the solution? If yes, can you sent a mail to me, mail address is, thanks! perhaps we can discuss this problem together. what is you mailbox?
April 26, 2012 12:41:11 PM

UPDATE: I have recently installed an OCZ Agillity 3 60GB SSD and use that for my Windows 7 boot. Still using AHCI. The setup is now:

Windows 7 Boot = OCZ 60GB SSD
Applications = WDC Black 500GB
Other stuff = WDC 250GB

Still having the same problem with AHCI not detecting the WDC Black 500GB drive on random occasions. The other 2 drives are detected everytime without fail.

@DavidXXQ - I will have a go at the Spread Spectrum setting and see if it's off.

I'm guessing that its the chipset is rubbish. But don't understand why it picks on the WDC Black 500GB.

Tempted to get a AMD 990x chipset motherboard. Hope the AHCI is better on that.
May 12, 2012 2:17:34 PM

@Cragzman - After search many forum, I think that this is caused by BIOS of the Gigabyte motherboard. this didn't occur in other motherboard brand. so I will contact with Gigabyte.