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Asus p6t deluxe switching storage configuration from ide to ahci

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May 27, 2012 10:30:02 PM

When I built my first computer a couple years ago, I used the ASUS P6t Deluxe motherboard (Win 7- 64 Professional) and went with the default SATA configuration settings (IDE) in the BIOS. In retrospect, I didn't fully understand what I was doing -- but this seemed like the safe choice.

I'm running several SATA drives -- two of which are RAID 0 (The RAID is not the system drive). The others, including the system drive, are all set up as basic rather than dynamic drives.

Since then, I've realized that I can't hot-swap a drive because I didn't choose that AHCI setting. I have one drive bay which allows me to easily remove or replace a drive -- but the computer doesn't recognize it unless I reboot after each swap.

My question is: can I now go back into the BIOS and reset the Storage Configuration to AHCI? Or will this keep the computer from recognizing the system drive -- or affect the current RAID 0 pair of drives? I can easily back up the data on that RAID pair -- but I don't want to have to reinstall the OS and all the updates.

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions!

Bill Matthiesen
bill@bfv.com

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May 27, 2012 10:37:36 PM

No reinstall needed. You need to change a couple of registry keys to enable the correct drivers and then make the change in the bios to AHCI sata mode. Here is a quick how-to: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976
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May 27, 2012 10:43:14 PM

Thanks for the quick reply! This looks great ... I'll try it.

best wishes,

Bill Matthiesen
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May 28, 2012 3:59:46 PM

RealBeast said:
No reinstall needed. You need to change a couple of registry keys to enable the correct drivers and then make the change in the bios to AHCI sata mode. Here is a quick how-to: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976



Hi again ... I tried the manual method -- but it didn't seem to work. I used REGEDIT to find the appropriate subkey and entered a 0 where there had been no value entered -- this was supposed to enable the Msahci driver.

The instructions mentioned either this subkey or one for "lastorV" ... this second one did not appear, but there was a line for Pciide -- which also had no value entered in the first line. So I'm not sure what this means, that neither of these seemed to be enabled in the registry.

In any event, after making the change to Msahci, I rebooted and changed the SATA Configuration setting in the BIOS from IDE to AHCI ... saved it and then rebooted.

At this point the machine just cycled around, restarting over and over. There may have been a very quick blue screen flash at one part of the cycle. In any event, I couldn't get back into Win7/64.

So I changed the BIOS value back to IDE -- that let me get into Win7 ... then I changed the value in the registry back to where it was -- (default).

A related question -- does that BIOS SATA Configuration setting have to apply to all the drives? That's what it looks like ... but maybe there's another submenu that allows one to specify RAID for a couple of drives, IDE for the system drive, AHCI for other SATA drives?

What do you think? This is not a huge deal ... I'd just like to be able to use the hot-swap function for one of the SATA drive bays.

Is there a way to set that up for the second Marvell controller for this board -- this one is for the two orange SAS ports, which are backwardly compatible with SATA? Do you think I could configure these two ports separately from the other 6 SATA ports on this board and just route the appropriate drive cables to a couple of hot-swappable drive bays?

Thanks again for any suggestions ...

Bill Matthiesen
bill@bfv.com

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May 28, 2012 4:46:58 PM

Odd, I've done this on a couple of machines with no problem. All I did was change the Start key in msahci registry keys to 0 -- and then click OK (forgot that once and it didn't work since it didn't save the key change) and then reboot and immediately change to AHCI in the bios. All that change does is instruct Win7 to load the msahci.sys driver at startup.

I would expect that you can attach SATA drives to the orange ports if you enable the Marvell controller in the bios, and it should support hot swapping drives -- I would just try it out and see if it works using drives that don't have any critical data. The ASUS website says that the ports are backward compatible to SATA, only difference being you don't need to use the two SATA to SAS adapter cables.
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May 28, 2012 8:39:49 PM

RealBeast said:
Odd, I've done this on a couple of machines with no problem. All I did was change the Start key in msahci registry keys to 0 -- and then click OK (forgot that once and it didn't work since it didn't save the key change) and then reboot and immediately change to AHCI in the bios. All that change does is instruct Win7 to load the msahci.sys driver at startup.

I would expect that you can attach SATA drives to the orange ports if you enable the Marvell controller in the bios, and it should support hot swapping drives -- I would just try it out and see if it works using drives that don't have any critical data. The ASUS website says that the ports are backward compatible to SATA, only difference being you don't need to use the two SATA to SAS adapter cables.



Thanks -- and now I'm embarrassed to say that I did not read the instructions carefully enough ... I didn't register the word "START" in the instructions, and so I'd modified the wrong value.

I was puzzling over why it didn't work and started cleaning up old files and printouts on my desk ... and came across another copy of similar instructions which I'd printed out a year ago -- "How to enable AHCI in Windows 7 RC after Installation."

Re-reading this version, I saw my error. I just went through the process again (this time correctly) a couple minutes ago.

And it worked like a charm -- no problems at all. Hot-swapping is now working for all drives.

Thanks again for your help with this -- I really do appreciate it!

best wishes,

Bill
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a b Ĉ ASUS
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May 28, 2012 8:47:17 PM

LOL, I knew that -- my repetition was to say it politely. I knew because I've made a lot of registry changes and often select the wrong key or forget to save it when it's the correct key. :) 

Glad it worked, but now you still have those two spare orange ports!
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June 4, 2012 1:33:15 AM

Best answer selected by billmatthiesen.
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