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AHCI or IDE

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March 3, 2011 4:40:11 AM

I'm installing Win 7 (1st time ever!) on an Asus Sabertooth X58 motherboard & i was hoping someone can walk me through the setup process regarding BIOS settings & driver installation, mainly IDE or AHCI. I have a WD Cav. Black SATA 6G, Core i7 950, Zotac GTX 460 AMP Edition.

More about : ahci ide

a c 111 V Motherboard
March 3, 2011 3:30:49 PM

I'll venture to say that you're more concerned with what the differences between the two are, rather than how to set either in BIOS. The latter is a simple selection.

The actual IDE interface was the standard way of connecting several types of drives, and has been replaced by SATA. The difference between the two options is what level of support you require.

In most BIOS, IDE support is known as Legacy IDE, or some variation of that. The SATA controller offers this mode for backward compatability. This is the typicall choice for people installing Windows XP using a SATA HDD. Windows XP does not have support for SATA. That is, there are no SATA drivers included in any version of Windows XP; you must install the drivers when the installation asks you to (Press F6 to install third party drivers).

AHCI allows users to utilize advanced features that are available to SATA. The first feature is Native Command Queuing or NCQ. Without NCQ, each request is served sequentially without any optimization. NCQ analyzes the requests and rearranges them so that requested data locations that are physically closer to each other are grouped together so that they can be accessed in one pass and the time needed is minimized. AHCI also enables hot-plugging or the ability to attach or remove hard drives from a system that is running similar to a removable drive. This is not possible with IDE drives as they are configured during boot time

March 4, 2011 3:07:26 AM

So i should be ok installing Windows 7 HP - 64bit on my Sata 6Gb/s without installing any other drivers/controllers? Its just that i've been led to believe that i need to install the Marvell driver/controller for the Sata 6Gb/s H.D.D. Apart from that is there anything else (Re: BIOS settings) i should be aware of when installing Win 7 HP, as i've only ever used Win XP? This is my 1st ever system build, also its the 1st time i've used an Asus motherboard and my 1st use of Win 7!
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March 4, 2011 12:35:35 PM

I think you've been given out of date advice. If you try to install Windows XP or Vista on the 6gb ports it will not detect the controller. Windows 7 should detect and install on the Marvell controller just fine.

Go into the BIOS settings, ensure AHCI mode is set (refer to the manual for what setting this is), then proceed to install Windows.

After windows has installed, you will have the generic Microsoft AHCI controller driver installed for all of your SATA controllers.

Asus will have bundled a drivers CD with your motherboard, but I prefer to get the latest drivers online rather than use OEM driver CDs, which are usually a few versions out of date.

To make full use of your SATA controllers, you'll need to upgrade from the default MS drivers.

For the Intel 3Gb ports, there's the "Intel Rapid Storage Technology" 10.1.0.1018 driver, available here: http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/highlights/chpsts/imsm (Latest downloads)

And for the Marvell 6Gb ports, there's the "RAID: Marvell 6Gb Driver" version 1.2.0.7103 available here: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=19551&ProdId=3273&lang=eng

You should be able to install both of those drivers without any issues after you boot to windows for the first time.
a c 111 V Motherboard
March 4, 2011 5:08:35 PM

Let's over-simplify this...

Slap your system together.
Power it on.
Pop in the Win 7 installation disc.
Follow the instructions in the GUI.

If Windows should fail to install, come back here with any error messages.

If Windows should succeed, follow Ten98's advice regarding the drivers.
March 4, 2011 5:38:31 PM

I apologise if this seems like a silly question but which of these do i download? (I need 1 of each as i'll be using both the Intel SATA ports & the Marvell controlled SATA 6Gb/s ports:

Intel:
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=...(Intel%c2%ae+RST)

Marvell:
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&...

I see references to an F6 diskette & Floppy 64 but my Asus Sabertooth mobo doesn't have a floppy drive connector. Couldn't i use a USB or CD ROM, (preferably USB) if so, how do i do it? (Complete novice here, patience is very much appreciated!)

a c 236 V Motherboard
March 5, 2011 2:40:12 PM

Connect the hard disk to an Intel SATA port and follow Ten98's advice, i.e., set the controller to AHCI. I would set both the Intel and the Marvell controllers to AHCI.
!