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Gigabyte screwed me w slow tech answers.Opinions?

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September 15, 2010 10:48:11 PM

System:
X58A-3udr Gigabyte mobo
I7 - 920 no o/c
6Gig Crucial 1066 RAM
JBOD including two Barrcuda XTs SATA-III
Crucial 300 SSD as boot on SATA-II

Please read this if you have time and tell me if I have to do what Gigabyte says! Sorry for the wordy post but I thought the details and order were important.


I have been posting positive comments about my mobo choice for a March build in a HAF932 case: a rev#1 X-58A-3udr unit from Gigabyte. I made a mistake in March and loaded Win7-64 under IDE. I used the machine for a while but had always hoped to re-install.

Well, this last ten days Gigabyte took so long to respond to a question (almost a full week) that I will (according to them) have to reinstall AGAIN and re-do all applications, utilities, Mozy backup, everything. This is a production machine for my imaging work, not just a hobby, although I enjoy making everything work welll together. I started on the IDE-AHCI switch and necessary re-install a while ago to be ready for my next professional project. Now the beginning of that project is close, so I am going to have to give up some important other community volunteering and reinstall AGAIN.

When this all started I resolved to be careful. I studied their site and the supplied 136-page mobo documentation and carefully changed several settings in the BIOS to insure AHCI. I watched boot screens carefully to make sure I had a completely AHCI - enabled disk I/O. (I photographed the fast-paging screens to make sure I could read the lists.) However, the Mavell chip-driven SATA-III connectors (there are 2) kept displaying on the same page as the IDE scan. Only if I moved the connectors to the SATA-II run by the Intel chip would they display during boot as AHCI.

So I sent a message to Gigabyte asking why, and noting all the system info. Yes, there are BIOS updates but I told them I'd do those after the re-install (I don't like changing too many pieces at once) unless they knew that an update was required for the moves I was making. The first several answers were garbled and didn't answer my questions. After some back and forth I replied finally that they were "not reading carefully enough" and the next answer was composed in much better English. (I know they are in Taipei but the tech staff handling the English-speaking world ought to be better trained.)

This better-written answer said I could not move any connectors after an install. However, the response (yet again) did not answer the lingering question about why the SATA-III connectors still look like IDE to the boot process. This makes me CRAZY.

By this time I had re-installed the OS with all the SATA connectors attached to the Intel-driven I/O, SATA-II, which was the only way I could get an all-AHCI boot. I left the Marvell and Gigabyte-driven SATA connectors empty, figuring that I could switch them after all drivers were loaded. I knew I had everything as AHCI during boot. Nothing in the docs says I can't do this and I have never seen a reference to connector-move-restrictions reading hundreds of posts here on Tom's. Yes, I could have missed many such references, but I read a lot and thought I could do this. Arrrgh.

So-Now that I had Win7 running, with all apps reloaded, I moved the connectors before I saw the tech response saying I could not do so. The Barracuda XTs went to the SATA-III. I added another drive to SATA-II, a WD Velicoraptor that had been the boot for this system but which had an MBR problem and was to be wiped for use as a scratch disk in Photoshop.

I saw no operating problems with the connectors moved around as I want them. However, I immediately again saw the SATA-III HDs on the IDE page (first) in the boot screens. The machinery all looks OK in Device Manager, but I do not know how to interpret the "Location" parameters shown for each HD in the Properties. I suppose I could re-install the Marvell driver (I am using a newer on posted on their web site) as a hopeful move. I should try reading and writing some big image files to test I/O speed on what I expect to be SATA-III but I don't have a "before" number to compare them to for SATA-III proof.

But I sure want to avoid the time sink of going through the whole process again. CS4, Photoshop 5, Office 2010, PaperPort, OmiPage, many little utilities, yada, yada, yada.

1. How do I get all these drives attached through AHCI? All BIOS settings are right.
2. Why are the Marvell-driven connectors resisting AHCI assignment?
3. Why do I have to re-install Win7-64 if connectors move?

Comments, anyone?

jonathan7007
September 16, 2010 2:12:48 AM

There are two distinct controllers on that Gigabyte. The first one being the ICH10R for the 6 sata 2 ports and the second controller being the Marvell storage controller for the gigabyte raid. Now if I remember correctly there are TWO different locations to change the controllers into either IDE compatibility, AHCI, and AHCI RAID. The easy one to get too is the intel controlled located on the first Integrated Peripherals page inside the BIOS. Changing this one will only change the configuration for the SATA 2 ports but not the SATA 3. The second one unfortunaley I do not know where it is located with the particular board you have but rest assure it is there. You're gonna have to poke around in your bios until you find them.

Also, the reason you have to reinstall Windows 64 is because you are going from IDE comparability (drivers supplied by windows) to AHCI in which the AHCI drivers are not installed; further more they have to be installed during the OS installation and not after; otherwise when you do move your cables around windows can not boot because it does not have the proper drivers to boot from.

This is true for all motherboards by the way and not just Gigabyte.
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September 16, 2010 4:36:35 AM

dear slickjr169,
Thanks for your post. I knew about all three BIOS settings and had made them set for AHCI before I re-installed. See my post.

Then I found that the change didn't "take" for the Marvell chipset. I can't get an answer from Gigabyte for why that is. So I took the connectors off the Marvell connectors and bunched them in with the other SATA-II. Bummer, right?

Then I reinstalled and within a few minutes installed the Marvell drivers and the Gigabyte drivers. There was no specific moment when Win7 asked me for them but I could tell they were needed as I said above. Until I moved the connectors everything was booting AHCI.

So you concur that I can not move any connectors after install of an OS, even if the install went down as an AHCI install and was functioning that way? Once "trained" to be AHCI, will Windows forget and load a different I/O style if it sees the connectors in a different place?

My windows boots just fine after moving the data drives' cables. I didn't move the cable for the boot SSD.

I am still so mad at Gigabyte for not getting back to me to tell me why the Marvell connectors were not recognizing the BIOS settings.

Again, thank you for your post. It adds perspective.

Jonathan7007
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Related resources
September 16, 2010 4:39:45 AM

There are actually three SATA controllers, because Gigabyte put in a chip for two more connectors SATA-II on the other side of the SATA-III. Each has their own setting in the BIOS for IDE/AHCI/RAID. Mine are all set for AHCI.
jonathan7007
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a b V Motherboard
September 16, 2010 5:38:09 AM

^ Also, in your own account of the journey by this point:

"I left the Marvell and Gigabyte-driven SATA connectors empty, figuring that I could switch them after all drivers were loaded. I knew I had everything as AHCI during boot. Nothing in the docs says I can't do this and I have never seen a reference to connector-move-restrictions reading hundreds of posts here on Tom's."

Gigabyte had already said you can't move them afterwards.
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September 16, 2010 6:35:19 AM

Gigabyte hadn't answered yet when I tried that. I read and re-read their docs, and felt I had to move on. It had been almost a week since my message to them requesting clarification about why the SATA-III connectors weren't shifting to AHCI. I got a good boot with all AHCI and thought I'd get the Marvell shifted or "fixed" with the driver install.

I know NOW it can't be done so going forward I have to figure out how to get the Marvell chipset to AHCI and then go through a complete re-install with the SATA cables where I want them. Aaaarg.

Live and learn. I just *couldn't* wait for Gigabyte any longer and made a guess that was wrong.

jonathan7007
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a c 156 V Motherboard
September 16, 2010 3:11:49 PM

You would have done better to contact the G'byte technical forums for "unofficial" support. You would have received a usable answer more quickly.
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a c 164 V Motherboard
September 16, 2010 11:25:07 PM

I have called Gigabyte's tech support number twice. Never waited on hold more than a couple mins. And was helped by American Techs with answers that worked. Never been on the phone more than 5 mins at a time.
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September 17, 2010 12:41:45 AM

I finally found a number that would pick up here in the US, but they are already gone for the day. The web site does not admit the existence of any phone support so I did not know how to reach someone by phone. They offer only a ticket creation database.

JSC: do you have any kind of a link to USA user forum(s)? I found a UK forum that is on the company's UK URL.
http://forum.giga-byte.co.uk/index.php

So after several searches on and off Gigabyte's site that seems to be the most/only official version. It's after midnight in Europe but I will ask if anyone else is having problems with AHCI on that connector.

Thanks for your responses.

jonathan7007
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a c 164 V Motherboard
September 18, 2010 2:54:56 PM

Here's the Gigabyte support contact info that's in the mobo manuals of the last 2 gigabyte builds I have done. The phone numbers are in California, I believe and so far have good tech support, IMO.

TEL: +1-626-854-9338
FAX: +1-626-854-9339

http://rma.gigabyte.us
Web address: http://www.gigabyte.us
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September 18, 2010 6:54:20 PM

Thank you, Spooky. I my manual they have a USA address (the one you offer) at the back and in that entry they specifically say don't call - use the web-ticket generator for tech support. I did call the company on Thursday near the end of their day (I live out here in Hawaii and we are WAY earlier than all the mainland) and, yes, the operator said, there is tech support but they are in a meeting and will all go home right from the meeting. (Sigh)

Friday was my pre-dawn to past sunset photo shoot. Left before the techs came to work in CA and got home, of course, way past the time they left.

Again, the frustrating part of the exchanges with Taiwan is that the respondent never quite reads or gets all the info in the previous note I wrote. They sail off into an answer that isn't on target. I write the same thing many times (as I did again this morning...)

As we say here: Mahalo! (thank you)

jonathan7007
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November 23, 2010 9:21:00 PM


Jonathan,

I just read your thread and was wondering what was the end result. I have the same mobo and am looking to add a ssd.

I was thinking of getting the crucial c300 since it is sata 3 and hooking it up to the marvel controller, but now I am unsure.

Plan B is to just get the OCZ ssd (sata 2) and hook it up the the intel controller

(disappointing to buy a sata 3 mobo and have to do this, but what's the point of an sata 3 ssd if it won't work as sata 3?)

Anyway, which way would you go if you had to do it again?

Also, any specific advice you would have for a newbie going down this path with regard to installation, bios, etc?

Thanks,



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