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Seriously? No AHCI mode in bios on new HP laptop? Help

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July 25, 2012 4:05:00 AM

So I just bought a new laptop (HP DV7t-7000) and a new SSD (120g OCZ Agility 3) to install in it as the boot drive because everyone here says it is the best ever and I cave to peer pressure.

I'm about to begin the SSD install process, and I can't find an option to turn on AHCI mode in the bios settings, which everyone says is step 1. I went toHP support and the low-level tech support guy I talk to says "Oh, HP Laptops can't do AHCI mode." This seems odd to me, as when I purchased the laptop, one of the drive options was an SSD. So I imagine this rig could support an SSD if it really wanted to.

So Help! How do I enable AHCI mode in bios if it doesn't appear to be a bios option? Is there some fix somewhere I can download?

And if AHCI "isn't an option" for some insane reason, will the SSD still work or is it going to be less stable/dramatically slower? Am I just screwed?

Thanks

More about : ahci mode bios laptop

a b D Laptop
a c 523 G Storage
July 25, 2012 4:53:42 AM

Sorry, but you can't enable AHCI mode if your motherboard's BIOS doesn't support it.
Yes, your drive's performance will be slower but it will not be less stable.

You should still notice a difference in performance compared to using a hard drive.
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July 25, 2012 1:05:36 PM

Dereck47 said:
Sorry, but you can't enable AHCI mode if your motherboard's BIOS doesn't support it.
Yes, your drive's performance will be slower but it will not be less stable.

You should still notice a difference in performance compared to using a hard drive.


1) Will trim still work? And by slower will it be noticeably slower in the real world? Or just benchmark slOwer?

2) in doing some research it appears the problem may be that HP just locks down the bios options and some have found some bios hacks to turn on options including ahci.... How bad of an idea is it to try to mess with my bios using this method?
http://forum.notebookreview.com/hp-pavilion-notebooks/3...
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a b D Laptop
a c 523 G Storage
July 25, 2012 2:54:02 PM

1.)Yes, TRIM will work. The drive will be real-world slower but it will be mainly benchmark slower. SSDs have access times (latency) that are 10 times faster than a hard drive, and access times are the same regardless of what SATA mode the SSD is in.

2.) BIOS hacks are not for novices. I personally wouldn't do it unless I had the disposable income to buy another laptop in case I mod my laptop incorrectly and brick it.
If you attempt to mod the BIOS read the directions multiple times and follow instructions exactly.
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a b D Laptop
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July 25, 2012 3:31:59 PM

newUser8776 said:
1) Will trim still work? And by slower will it be noticeably slower in the real world? Or just benchmark slOwer?

2) in doing some research it appears the problem may be that HP just locks down the bios options and some have found some bios hacks to turn on options including ahci.... How bad of an idea is it to try to mess with my bios using this method?
http://forum.notebookreview.com/hp-pavilion-notebooks/3...


Go ahead, and install your ssd without AHCI and enjoy.
It will absolutely transform the performance of your laptop.

The ssd will work just fine, but the "trim" command will not be passed to the ssd.
In normal operations, you will see no difference.
But, as the SSD becomes near full, the difference can be considerable.
What trim does is free up nand blocks without requiring a read/rewrite sequence when data is deleted.
A ssd will have some sort of garbage collection capabilities that will do this in the background, and at inactive times.
This will be effective enough until the ssd gets closer to full.
On a 120gb ssd, you will have about 110gb useable. If your drive is filled past 90gb, then just exchange it for a larger unit.

I would not try to mess with the bios for negligible benefits.
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a b D Laptop
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July 25, 2012 3:35:43 PM

geofelt said:

The ssd will work just fine, but the "trim" command will not be passed to the ssd.


The staff at OCZ say that the TRIM command is passed to drives in IDE mode.
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July 25, 2012 3:56:02 PM

Dereck47 said:
The staff at OCZ say that the TRIM command is passed to drives in IDE mode.



according to this post by OCZ, it looks like they say you need AHCI, unless i'm reading it wrong?
http://blog.ocztechnology.com/?p=178
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a b D Laptop
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July 25, 2012 4:14:51 PM

Dereck47 said:
The staff at OCZ say that the TRIM command is passed to drives in IDE mode.


Good news. Can you provide a link?
I have had great difficulty in finding current authoratative info on the subject.

While all modern ssd's have the trim capability, it is the job of the os and the sata controller driver to get the command passed to the ssd.

Some OS'es, paticularly older ones may not generate the trim command as part of the i/o command list command in the first place.

Then, it will depends on what sata controller chip is being used, and whether or not, the chip driver has the capability of passing the trim command to the ssd.

It is a moot point for the OP since he will do fine with or without trim.
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a b D Laptop
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July 25, 2012 4:21:19 PM

I read a thread on the support Forum about 2 months ago.
I'll try to search for I now...
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July 25, 2012 4:23:00 PM

I guess I feel like I'm getting more confused. You guys are saying "it will work without trim" but at the same time "Once the hard drive starts to get full, then you're screwed and need to buy a new hard drive." So if I fill up my 120 gig drive to about 100 gig, and then delete 20 gigs worth, am i still screwed and need to get a new drive? or once I go back down it is ok again?
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a b D Laptop
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July 25, 2012 4:35:32 PM

newUser8776 said:
I guess I feel like I'm getting more confused. You guys are saying "it will work without trim" but at the same time "Once the hard drive starts to get full, then you're screwed and need to buy a new hard drive." So if I fill up my 120 gig drive to about 100 gig, and then delete 20 gigs worth, am i still screwed and need to get a new drive? or once I go back down it is ok again?


Do not get turned off by all this. A SSD is great.

If you do not have trim, there are utilities that you can run to reset the ssd so that empty nand blocks are again easily available.

I would caution you to not plan on using 100gb of a 120gb drive. Even with trim, the ssd will have to work harder managing a very small pool of available space.
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July 25, 2012 4:38:05 PM

geofelt said:
Do not get turned off by all this. A SSD is great.

If you do not have trim, there are utilities that you can run to reset the ssd so that empty nand blocks are again easily available.

I would caution you to not plan on using 100gb of a 120gb drive. Even with trim, the ssd will have to work harder managing a very small pool of available space.


Ok, thanks. What utility do you recommend I use to run trim from time to time? and how often should I use that utility? (Basically, would I use it with the frequency i would normally run Defrag with an HDD)?
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a b D Laptop
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July 25, 2012 4:58:45 PM

newUser8776 said:
Ok, thanks. What utility do you recommend I use to run trim from time to time? and how often should I use that utility? (Basically, would I use it with the frequency i would normally run Defrag with an HDD)?


Go to the OCZ web site to download their particular utility. The utilities are particular to the brand and perhaps model. They probably have some sort of frequency recommendation. Until the drive is 60% full, I would guess once a week. As it gets closer to 80%, I think daily.
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July 25, 2012 5:10:55 PM

geofelt said:
Go to the OCZ web site to download their particular utility. The utilities are particular to the brand and perhaps model. They probably have some sort of frequency recommendation. Until the drive is 60% full, I would guess once a week. As it gets closer to 80%, I think daily.


Well, here's the ironic part. I did go to OCZ's website to download the "tool kit" for my SSD. But when i run the tool kit program, it fails to recognize any SSD's are attached to the system because... sigh... none of the drives are running AHCI.. :pt1cable: 
And no toolkit, means no manual trim program, right? So I assume that means I'm back to the SSD won't work very long before I face problems?

I just find it impossible to believe that on a brand new relatively high-end HP gaming laptop, there isn't a way to use an SSD correctly. I mean, if I were upgrading an old system, sure. But it's 2012! Sigh.
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a b D Laptop
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July 25, 2012 5:55:14 PM

newUser8776 said:
Well, here's the ironic part. I did go to OCZ's website to download the "tool kit" for my SSD. But when i run the tool kit program, it fails to recognize any SSD's are attached to the system because... sigh... none of the drives are running AHCI.. :pt1cable: 
And no toolkit, means no manual trim program, right? So I assume that means I'm back to the SSD won't work very long before I face problems?

I just find it impossible to believe that on a brand new relatively high-end HP gaming laptop, there isn't a way to use an SSD correctly. I mean, if I were upgrading an old system, sure. But it's 2012! Sigh.


I sympathize with your frustration with HP and OCZ.
HP for not allowing AHCI bios options.
OCZ for not allowing their utility ro run when the ssd is attached in IDE mode. That is the primary scenario where you would want to run the utility for trim cleanup anyway.

I guess that is one of the reasons for high return rates for OCZ:
http://www.behardware.com/articles/862-7/components-ret...

What to do??

Assuming you can't return the ssd, live with it.
No doubt, you have already seen how much faster your laptop now is.
Just monitor your drive capacity. If you notice any loss of performance as the drive fills, then clone it to a replacement.
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a b D Laptop
a c 523 G Storage
July 25, 2012 5:55:25 PM

newUser8776 & geofelt, I apologize for the misinformation and any confusion on my end.
The thread I read was from an OCZ forum moderator, not an official OCZ staff member.
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?...

So geofelt is correct, TRIM is not supported in IDE mode.

TRIM is also not supported to any drives that are part of a RAID array.
I have had two Vertex 2 drives in RAID-0 since 2009 without any performance problems.
I Log Off (not Shut down) overnight once every other week or so to allow idle Garbage Collection to maintain drive performance.

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July 25, 2012 5:59:19 PM

geofelt said:
I sympathize with your frustration with HP and OCZ.
HP for not allowing AHCI bios options.
OCZ for not allowing their utility ro run when the ssd is attached in IDE mode. That is the primary scenario where you would want to run the utility for trim cleanup anyway.

I guess that is one of the reasons for high return rates for OCZ:
http://www.behardware.com/articles/862-7/components-ret...

What to do??

Assuming you can't return the ssd, live with it.
No doubt, you have already seen how much faster your laptop now is.
Just monitor your drive capacity. If you notice any loss of performance as the drive fills, then clone it to a replacement.


I think I could still return the SSD within the next week or so. If I can do that, is there a different SSD I could get that would work well with trim under IDE? or is it all basically teh same problem. AHCI is the way to go for everyone?
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a b D Laptop
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July 25, 2012 6:43:33 PM

I think it is the same issue. The question is, is there a utility that will handle an IDE attached ssd for cleanup. I think the Intel toolbox will. At least it did when I used it some time ago.

You might research on some intel ssd forums to verify that.
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July 25, 2012 9:10:57 PM

Good news- I emailed OCZ support and they got back to me. Apparently, their recommendation that one enable AHCI is only a recommendation and not a requirement. So that it should still work in IDE, and that trim should still work in IDE. But even if Windows Trim doesn't work, it has some built in garbage collection to handle it and not to worry.

So i'll give it a shot and see how it goes.

Thanks all
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a b D Laptop
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July 25, 2012 9:45:28 PM

newUser8776 said:
Good news- I emailed OCZ support and they got back to me. Apparently, their recommendation that one enable AHCI is only a recommendation and not a requirement. So that it should still work in IDE, and that trim should still work in IDE. But even if Windows Trim doesn't work, it has some built in garbage collection to handle it and not to worry.

So i'll give it a shot and see how it goes.

Thanks all


Doubtless OCZ produce support knows their product.
I think they are correct that trim will work when attached to a sata port in IDE mode. The problem is, I think that there are no IDE drivers that will pass the trim command to the ssd.

No matter. just keep tabs on your space usage, and see if you notice any performance issue.
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July 26, 2012 3:09:42 PM

I was able to get everything installed correctly and then used Paragon Migrate 2.0 to copy over my HDD to my new SSD and everything works like a dream. Windows at least claims trim is working and things seem to be moving very very fast. Thanks all for you input. I will officially stop worrying about this.
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August 5, 2012 2:46:09 AM

Best answer selected by newUser8776.
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