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***Help enabling AHCI on my HD/PC!***

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January 20, 2010 11:18:13 PM

Hope I'm posting this in the right area.

I need some serious help setting up AHCI on my newly nuked HD/PC. I built my rig a while back for use with graphic-visual design (Adobe Suites) & some gaming (Crysis). As it was my first build, I had never heard of AHCI & the benefits (NQC & hot-swapping, mainly) you receive from incorporating it. Once I realized what I was missing, I planned on starting all over & have done enough research to make my eyes bleed. Over this past weekend I went ahead & nuked the HD. After doing everything I'm suppose to (will get to that in a moment), I still can't enable AHCI in my system.

Timeline:

Using the latest builds of both the F6 Floppy (F6FLPY3289 Ver8.9.0.1023 7-17-09, with files: iaahci, iaAHCI, iastor, iaStor, IaStor, license & TXTSETUP.OEM) on a good ol' floppy disk & the Intel Matrix Storage Manager file (IATA89ENU) on a USB thumb drive (which I transfered over to the HD), I went ahead & installed a fresh copy of Windows XP HE + SP3 32-bit.

Following the steps in several online tutorials, When all was said & done, I restarted, went into BIOS to enable AHCI. The result? BSOD & an infinite restart loop. Fun!

I've tried several times to install IMSM immediately after Windows completes its' install. As far as I know, that's the first time you can install *anything* after XP has been setup (am I wrong there?) Next comes the error prompt "This computer does not meet the minimum requirements for installing the software. Setup will exit" comes up & that's that.

Does IMSM need to be installed BEFORE Windows is installed?? How can that be done, exactly?

Slip-streaming is an option, but seems a bit too complicated for me, @ least right now. If there's no other way, I'll go for it. Has anyone done that out there? Slip-streaming F6 Floppy & Intel Matrix Storage Manager with Windows XP + Service Packs onto a bootable disc? Does it work?

I even tried a method to enable AHCI *after* Windows installation, found here (LINK: http://forums.pcper.com/showthread.php?t=444831).

No dice. What step am I doing wrong?? I'm nearly @ my wits end. :o 

I have a 10K RPM Raptor X drive & it's being wasted if every ounce of juice it can muster isn't being utilized. All my components (as far as I know through research) are compatible with enabling AHCI.

The only possibility I can think of that's hindering things is my Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L Rev2.0 motherboard (all the detailed specs of it & every component of my build can be found @ the end here) does NOT support RAID. If your mobo doesn't support RAID, it means no AHCI, too?? Please say it ain't so.

Another thing, What I can't find online & no one seems to spell out CLEARLY, is HOW EXACTLY & @ WHAT POINT OF THE INSTALLATION do you install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager??? I'm talking a how-to that spells it out like you're talking to a small child. Everything I come across says over & over again "so yeah, you install IMSM..." Aaaaaaaargh!!! How!?!? When!?!?

It's too big for a floppy (6.77MB). I see AHCI under my BIOS setup. It's there, just calling my name. All but 1 of my components are using a SATA cable/connection.

I guess another good question is "Am I truly missing out on things by not having AHCI enabled or are the benefits negligible?"

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks in advance.


***DETAILED SPECS OF MY PC***

Cooler Master® Stacker 830 SE Full Tower Case (Model #RC-830-KKR3-GP) with...

Real Power Pro 1000 Watt PSU

GIGABYTE® GA-P35-DS3L Rev.2.0 LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Motherboard

Intel Quad Core Q6600 CPU Kentsfield Socket 775 LGA 65nm @ 2.40GHz (Stepping B, Revision G0)

OCZ® (Model #OCZ2VU8004GK) DDR2 PC-6400 800MHz Vista Upgrade Edition RAM (2 x 2GB)

Western Digital® Raptor X® 10,000 RPM 150GB HD (Model #WD1500AHFDRTL)

EVGA® GeForce® 9800 GT 512MB GDDR3 PCI-E x16 (rev. A2) (Model #512-P3-N975-AR)

SAMSUNG® SATA Black DVD Burner with LightScribe© (Model #SH-S203N Version SB02)

MITSUMI® Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Digital Card Reader + Floppy Drive

2 x Scythe DFS123812-3000 "ULTRA KAZE" 120 x 38 mm Case Fan

4 x APEVIA CF12SL-UGN 120mm Green LED Case Fan (Side Panel)

(8 TOTAL Case Fans)

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition + SP3 32-bit

19" Samsung SyncMaster 906BW Wide Screen LCD Monitor

17" Gateway EV730 CRT Monitor

More about : enabling ahci

January 21, 2010 8:13:30 AM

try this:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976
-its just an update of one registry entry to '0'

it worked for me last week

before that i simply updated controller drivers from windows device manager [not sure if this is necessary]



my config:

ga-p35-ds3r v1.1

raptror x 150gb + seagate barracuda11 320gb
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January 21, 2010 8:47:49 AM

tomasz said:
try this:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976
-its just an update of one registry entry to '0'

it worked for me last week

before that i simply updated controller drivers from windows device manager [not sure if this is necessary]



my config:

ga-p35-ds3r v1.1

raptror x 150gb + seagate barracuda11 320gb





Thanks tomasz.

I'll give it a try tomorrow/ASAP & post my results.
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January 21, 2010 12:36:07 PM

I didn't read all of your post because this caught my attention:

"Following the steps in several online tutorials, When all was said & done, I restarted, went into BIOS to enable AHCI. The result? BSOD & an infinite restart loop. Fun!

I've tried several times to install IMSM immediately after Windows completes its' install. As far as I know, that's the first time you can install *anything* after XP has been setup (am I wrong there?) Next comes the error prompt "This computer does not meet the minimum requirements for installing the software. Setup will exit" comes up & that's that. "

You should enable AHCI in BIOS before starting to install Windows. If you don't Windows will install the IDE drivers and use those.
(Sorry if you already tried this.)
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Best solution

January 21, 2010 12:44:46 PM

This is actually a quite simple thing to do, you are using the wrong drivers if they will not fit on a floppy disk. You need to set your BIOS to AHCI before you install XP. You cannot do it after the install. (you can....but it is a pain in the ***) When, during the XP install you see "Press F6 to install any 3rd party Device Drivers", you press F6. Then, shortly afterwards, you will be asked to insert the disk with drivers so the install can pick them up, and find your Hard drive, and begin the new OS installation. The driver you need for this will fit on a floppy, and it is not the RAID driver, that is a completely different driver set. Read your motherboard manual!
Now, as I said You can do all this after the install, but it is a lot, lot easier to do it in the beginning, and if this a fresh install, you might as well just redo it and do it right.
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January 22, 2010 12:00:37 AM

tomasz said:
try this:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976
-its just an update of one registry entry to '0'

it worked for me last week

before that i simply updated controller drivers from windows device manager [not sure if this is necessary]



my config:

ga-p35-ds3r v1.1

raptror x 150gb + seagate barracuda11 320gb





Sad to report it didn't work for me.

As it states in my original post, the problem I believe is that I don't have "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci" @ the Registry. I did the F6 Floppy method before the XP install (before a ton of research), so I don't know what the issue is.

Thanks for the try, though. ;) 
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January 22, 2010 4:01:01 AM

PaCanc said:
I didn't read all of your post because this caught my attention:

"Following the steps in several online tutorials, When all was said & done, I restarted, went into BIOS to enable AHCI. The result? BSOD & an infinite restart loop. Fun!

I've tried several times to install IMSM immediately after Windows completes its' install. As far as I know, that's the first time you can install *anything* after XP has been setup (am I wrong there?) Next comes the error prompt "This computer does not meet the minimum requirements for installing the software. Setup will exit" comes up & that's that. "

You should enable AHCI in BIOS before starting to install Windows. If you don't Windows will install the IDE drivers and use those.
(Sorry if you already tried this.)





Appreciate the info, PaCanc.

I'm starting to see what step I've missed. :pt1cable: 

It sounds clear now, but I couldn't wrap my head around it...till now. Just to make sure I *finally* have it right, the steps are:

1) Turn on your PC, go into BIOS & enable AHCI

2) While there, set the 1st boot drive to the CD/DVD Drive

3) PC will reboot after you've made the change

4) After the reboot, there's a moment when you're prompted to press any button on your KB to install anything from your CD/DVD Drive...do so

5) With the Windows XP disc sitting pretty in your CD-DVD Drive, the installation starts

6) Almost immediately, you're prompted to hit F6 on your KB, do so quickly a few times in succession

7) When you're prompted again, insert the floppy & install all AHCI drivers off of it

8) That's it! Windows will continue the install & will reboot a few times.

Also, @ what point do I install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager? It's a completely different file (IATA89ENU), different than the F6 Floppy drivers.

If I've missed anything, please let me know.

Thanks in advance. Cheers.
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January 22, 2010 4:04:37 AM

jitpublisher said:
This is actually a quite simple thing to do, you are using the wrong drivers if they will not fit on a floppy disk. You need to set your BIOS to AHCI before you install XP. You cannot do it after the install. (you can....but it is a pain in the ***) When, during the XP install you see "Press F6 to install any 3rd party Device Drivers", you press F6. Then, shortly afterwards, you will be asked to insert the disk with drivers so the install can pick them up, and find your Hard drive, and begin the new OS installation. The driver you need for this will fit on a floppy, and it is not the RAID driver, that is a completely different driver set. Read your motherboard manual!
Now, as I said You can do all this after the install, but it is a lot, lot easier to do it in the beginning, and if this a fresh install, you might as well just redo it and do it right.





Thanks for the help, too, jitpublisher.

I get it now that it has to be done *before* the Windows install. The gerbils are working @ full steam now.

Good God, Ms. Molly, it took me a while to get that! :whistle: 
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January 22, 2010 4:26:40 AM

PaCanc said:
I didn't read all of your post because this caught my attention:

"Following the steps in several online tutorials, When all was said & done, I restarted, went into BIOS to enable AHCI. The result? BSOD & an infinite restart loop. Fun!

I've tried several times to install IMSM immediately after Windows completes its' install. As far as I know, that's the first time you can install *anything* after XP has been setup (am I wrong there?) Next comes the error prompt "This computer does not meet the minimum requirements for installing the software. Setup will exit" comes up & that's that. "

You should enable AHCI in BIOS before starting to install Windows. If you don't Windows will install the IDE drivers and use those.
(Sorry if you already tried this.)





To CLARIFY 100%, I should have said the following in the steps I outlined in my last post to you:

8) The installation will continue & reboot

9) Before going into Windows for the 1st time, access the BIOS & change the 1st boot drive back to the HD

10) Another reboot & you're set

11) That's it!

I think that just about gets it.
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January 22, 2010 12:51:17 PM

Glad you got it. Kind of confusing at first, but once you get through it the first time, you kind of like slap yourself and go "duh!"
Yeah, but you don't "have" to change the boot order back to hard drive first. It will bypass the DVD drive if it finds no boot disk in it. But it will make your boot time a couple of seconds faster if it does go straight to the hard drive first.
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January 22, 2010 6:13:36 PM

jitpublisher said:
Glad you got it. Kind of confusing at first, but once you get through it the first time, you kind of like slap yourself and go "duh!"
Yeah, but you don't "have" to change the boot order back to hard drive first. It will bypass the DVD drive if it finds no boot disk in it. But it will make your boot time a couple of seconds faster if it does go straight to the hard drive first.





Awesome!

That's *exactly* how I felt: the "duh!" moment :pfff: 

Right on about clarifying the boot order info.

Living to optimize every bit & byte of my system, I'll probably go ahead & go for the change as to start the system quicker.

Going to nuke things again later on today. Pumped for it :bounce: 

Thanks for you help, much appreciated :) 
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January 28, 2010 7:27:20 AM

jitpublisher said:
Glad you got it. Kind of confusing at first, but once you get through it the first time, you kind of like slap yourself and go "duh!"
Yeah, but you don't "have" to change the boot order back to hard drive first. It will bypass the DVD drive if it finds no boot disk in it. But it will make your boot time a couple of seconds faster if it does go straight to the hard drive first.





Not happy to report that I have NOT been able to enable AHCI with my system.

This is getting a bit maddening now, if you've read all my posts.

This is where I am so far:

Per the following checklist, I set out this past weekend to make things right:

1) Turn on your PC, go into BIOS & enable AHCI

2) While there, set the 1st boot drive to the CD/DVD Drive

3) Save the new settings & reboot

4) After the reboot, there's a moment when you're prompted to press any button on your KB to do an installation from your CD/DVD Drive...do so

5) With the Windows XP disc in the drive, the process starts

6) Almost immediately, you're prompted to press F6, do so quickly a few times in succession

7) Windows continues the installation

8) Soon after, you're prompted for the AHCI files, insert the floppy & continue

9) On with the installation & a reboot

10) Before going into Windows for the 1st time, access the BIOS & change the 1st boot drive back to the HD

11) Another reboot & you're set

Except, when I do all this I get a BSOD.

The problem seems to be that apparently the AHCI files/Intel Matrix Storage Manager (IMSM) has installed (it's there @ a new screen pre-BIOS & wasn't there before), but I cannot access it. No AHCI information is available @ Device Manager.

I tried to do the process all over again, but it won't let me/work. A few error messages are displayed, the 1st of which is:

*STOP: 0x0000007B (0xF78D2524, 0xC0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)*

I Googled it & looked @ all the possible solutions. None of them apply to me.
The only option after this error message is to reboot.

Next, I get:

Setup could not determine the type of computer you have, or you have chosen to manually specify the computer type.

Select the computer type from the following list, or select "Other" if you have a device support disk provided by your computer manufacturer.

To scroll through the menu items press up arrow or down arrow.

(Menu)
- Standard PC with C-Step i486
- Other


I've never seen this before, Googled it & haven't really found a definitive answer for what all this is.

Finally:

File txtsetup.oe. caused an unexpected error (1024) at line 1747 in d:\xpsp\base\boot\setup\oemdiskc.c.

Press any key to continue.


3 BIG questions:

1] When the AHCI drivers are ready to install, the following list of 16 controllers are displayed. How do I know which one to use? I know my Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L Rev.2.0 motherboard has a ICH9 Southbridge, but from what I've read online the MoBo needs to have a suffix (R, DH, etc.) in the name to work with AHCI. True? Anyways, how do I know which one to pick (obviously not the RAID controllers, right?)?


Intel(R) ESB2 SATA AHCI Controller

Intel(R) ICH7R/DH SATA AHCI Controller

Intel(R) ICH7M/MDH SATA AHCI Controller

Intel(R) ICH8R/DH/DO SATA AHCI Controller

Intel(R) ICH8M-E/M SATA AHCI Controller

Intel(R) ICH9R/DO/DH SATA AHCI Controller <--- would this work? only 1 of 2 AHCI with "ICH9"

Intel(R) ICH9M-E/M SATA AHCI Controller <--- how about this one?

Intel(R) ICH10D/DO SATA AHCI Controller

Intel(R) ICH10R SATA AHCI Controller

Intel(R) PCHM SATA AHCI Controller 4 Port

Intel(R) PCHM SATA AHCI Controller 6 Port

Intel(R) PCHM SATA AHCI Controller

Intel(R) ESB2 SATA RAID Controller

Intel(R) ICH7R/DH SATA RAID Controller

Intel(R) ICH7MDH SATA RAID Controller

Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R/DO/PCH SATA RAID Controller

Intel(R) ICHM-E/ICH9M-E/PCHM SATA RAID Controller <--- this last one is highlighted by default on the list of 16, not sure why, since my MoBo doesn't support RAID


2] Should the HD in question be *completely* nuked/formatted prior to a fresh install of Windows? Meaning should it be disconnected from the motherboard & reformatted using dedicated software, something in the flavor of Linux that doesn't require VGA or anything else? I say this because I thought just a regular reformat (when I would reinstall Windows again) would do the trick. Apparently not.

3] After I find out which controller to install, I'll need to redo everything. How do I “reset” things (Read: delete the AHCI/IMSM files)? Do I just remove the CMOS battery for a few minutes & that will delete all my BIOS settings, including the AHCI/IMSM files/settings? If not, what do I need to do. Help! :ouch: 

Thanks, guys.
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January 29, 2010 5:00:39 PM

Hi.

I have a Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R, so I guess my BIOS is similar.
I have set the following in the BIOS to enable AHCI:
BIOS -> Integrated Peripherals:
SATA RAID/AHCI mode: AHCI
SATA Port 0 3 Native mode: Enabled
....
Onboard SATA/IDE Device: Enabled <- most probably this doesn't have an influence over AHCI/IDE mode
Onboard SATA/IDE Ctrl Mode: AHCI

I have the IHC9R chipset, but I don't think it matters.

Try installing windows with these settings. If it still doesn't work, maybe you don't have the right drivers on the floppy.
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January 31, 2010 2:29:34 AM

PaCanc said:
Hi.

I have a Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R, so I guess my BIOS is similar.
I have set the following in the BIOS to enable AHCI:
BIOS -> Integrated Peripherals:
SATA RAID/AHCI mode: AHCI
SATA Port 0 3 Native mode: Enabled
....
Onboard SATA/IDE Device: Enabled <- most probably this doesn't have an influence over AHCI/IDE mode
Onboard SATA/IDE Ctrl Mode: AHCI

I have the IHC9R chipset, but I don't think it matters.

Try installing windows with these settings. If it still doesn't work, maybe you don't have the right drivers on the floppy.





Thanks for the 2-cents, PaCanc.

Since my last post I've ran into a lot of good info on this subject.

Here's the bottom line:

If you're wanting to enable AHCI with a GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L Rev.2.0 motherboard...

1) You're in luck, it *does* support ACHI functionality (found in the BIOS), but not RAID...

2) To use AHCI, you need to use either Windows Vista or 7. It will NOT work with any version of Windows XP.

This 2nd bit is what confused the heck out of me for a while. Pretty much when I figured it out myself was when a GIGABYTE Rep contacted me; the reply, in a nutshell, states that ACHI/its' drivers will NOT work with XP. So I'd have to get Vista (fat chance), according to him.

3) The chipset name (“DS3L”) needs to have either an “-R” (both RAID/AHCI), “-DH” (Digital Home, AHCI but no RAID) or “-DO” (Digital Office, both RAID & ACHI) in it. My motherboard has none of those suffixes.

So while your motherboard, the GA-P35C-DS3R (don't know your rev) works with AHCI, the GA-P35-DS3L won't.

That's it. Problem solved.

I wanted AHCI mainly for the hot-plugging capabilities, since I own an External HD that comes with a eSATA, so faster, interface. Oh well. It has USB, too, so I'll be using that until I migrate to Windows 7.

Maybe my next build I'll go for RAID. I shelled out too much for a single HD (Western Digital Raptor X 10K 150GB), anyways.

Last thing: anyone who researches all this will run into a bunch of so-called workarounds & “cheats” for enabling AHCI with this particular motherboard. Some even claim it can be done *after* a Windows install. A registry tweak or 2 is involved. I've read a few forum posts where people claim that they've been able to do it; I don't know what they're talking about. I can report that in my experience, NONE of these workarounds succeeded.

A few links where I did my research:

http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imst/sb/cs-012304...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Host_Controller_I...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I/O_Controller_Hub

Cheers.
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January 31, 2010 8:02:22 PM

It is very interesting that AHCI would work with Vista/7 but not with XP. If it were a hardware limitation, as the Gigabyte rep said, shouldn't it not work for any operating system?!

Anyway, some guides for installing AHCI after installing XP in IDE mode do work. I did that to my XP installation, when I also installed Windows 7. (I have no floppy drive, so I couldn't use the F6 method during install.)
If you're still interested, tell me, and I'll search for the guide.
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February 4, 2010 5:06:26 PM

mzadotcom.

When windows setup gives you the option to install third party software (RAID), hit both the F6 AND the F5 keys, the F5 key will take you to a small option list for computer types, make the appropriate selection (possibly other) and after doing so, it will continue on to the RAID driver install where you use the OEM drivers.
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February 5, 2010 6:16:12 AM

PaCanc said:
It is very interesting that AHCI would work with Vista/7 but not with XP. If it were a hardware limitation, as the Gigabyte rep said, shouldn't it not work for any operating system?!

Anyway, some guides for installing AHCI after installing XP in IDE mode do work. I did that to my XP installation, when I also installed Windows 7. (I have no floppy drive, so I couldn't use the F6 method during install.)
If you're still interested, tell me, and I'll search for the guide.





Let me clarify the main points from my last post:

“If you're wanting to enable AHCI with a GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L Rev.2.0 motherboard...”...&...

“To use AHCI, you need to use either Windows Vista or 7. It will NOT work with any version of Windows XP.”

AHCI is NOT supported on this particular motherboard IF you chose to run any version of Windows XP (Home, Pro, 32-bit or 64-bit). If I was to install Vista or 7 (like you), then I'd be set.

Subsequently, all the “workarounds” for using this board with Windows XP can't/don't work. I'm speaking from personal experience, but the GIGABYTE rep who contacted me after I figured things out myself confirmed this. It's actually in the manual in tiny writing, too.

Obviously, other models from GIGABYTE with built-in support (including yours) are going to have either/both AHCI/RAID.

As far as where the limitation lies in all of this: Windows Vista & 7 have native support for AHCI, unlike XP. That is why the F6 Floppy method is needed only during an XP install & not Vista or 7.
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February 5, 2010 7:28:26 AM

Cold Canuck said:
mzadotcom.

When windows setup gives you the option to install third party software (RAID), hit both the F6 AND the F5 keys, the F5 key will take you to a small option list for computer types, make the appropriate selection (possibly other) and after doing so, it will continue on to the RAID driver install where you use the OEM drivers.





The question I had regarding all this is set, Cold Canuck (see my last posting). But thanks for the info.

I have read up on the F5 key being another option, though.

The bottom line for my board/OS combination is that I'll have to do without AHCI. I'm going to be moving to 7 soon, anyways.

Cheers.
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February 15, 2010 5:09:00 AM

Best answer selected by mzadotcom.
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