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New Build - AHCI Question & Any Suggestions

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March 18, 2011 10:50:08 AM

OK, It has been like 6 years since I built anything, so forgive my ignorance. I thought I researched enough to not have any questions once the products arrived. I was wrong. Here is the system...

AMD - 955BE
GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-UD2H
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6402AAEX 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
Rosewill R102-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case (not that it really matters)
PNY VCG98GTEE1XPB GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS-500-PCAR-A3-US 500W ATX12V v2.3 Power Supply
Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E 120mm Case Fan (on front of case)
2 x SAMSUNG 2333T High Glossy Black 23" Full HD WideScreen LCD Monitors
Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

I am doing a fresh install of the OS.

I have gotten confused on the AHCI settings. I think on initial boot, I was asked about it. It timed out to default before I had a chance to answer, I wasn't expecting it. Do I need to go back and reset it? What should I look for?

My reason for asking is that the system seems very slow. It has not yet completed the Windows 7 install. It just seemed to be stuck on the opening Windows screen. Incorrectly, I assumed that it was because I didn't choose the "right" setting with AHCI. I rebooted and checked some settings in CMOS and BIOS. The only thing I touched was the AHCI and the on board graphics. I turned them both off and tried again. Now my PS2 keyboard doesn't seem to be responding either. I am going to try again this evening.

Any ideas?

Also, does anyone have any suggestions for the basic settings on my motherboard, especially ones I may be overlooking. This system is only being used for web developing, Office and some Photoshop. I purchased the 955 with the intention of minor overclocking.

This is my first post. However, I did search prior to posting. I saw a lot of posts related to AHCI, but none really related to my issue.

Thanks,

Eric

More about : build ahci question suggestions

March 18, 2011 12:12:33 PM

Patience. Give it enough time to finish.
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March 18, 2011 1:08:56 PM

That was my first thought, but now the keyboard won't respond so I can't even check off the "accept" box upon installation.

I may try clearing the CMOS and starting again. Unless someone has another idea. I was mainly concerned about the AHCI settings, that I may have messed something up by changing them mid-install. I will also try re-enabling the on-board video, since it was the only other item I touched. Not sure why either would cause the PS2 keyboard to stop responding.
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March 18, 2011 2:47:19 PM

You want AHCI to be enabled. It allows for better performance of your SATA drives
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 18, 2011 6:06:35 PM

Yes, enable AHCI. The only really good reason for not doing that was back a few years when Win XP was the common OS, and it did not have built-in support for AHCI devices. But both Vista and Win 7 handle AHCI just fine, and it IS an improvement over older PATA designs.

Now, regarding the slow start-up. If I read this correctly you had it installing Win 7 and it took so long you decided to cancel it and start again. Now it's not behaving as expected. What MAY have happened is that you had it proceed with installing Win 7 on an AHCI device (the default setting) so it began by creating a Primary Partition on that device and then ran a very long process - a Full Format on that drive. BUT you interrupted it. So now it has some confusing data written to part of the HDD. THEN you changed the BIOS setting to not AHCI (maybe IDE or PATA Emulation). So now when the Install process starts it finds a HDD that is Partitioned already but as an AHCI device, with a fouled up Format, even though the BIOS thinks it should make that device to appear to be IDE. That would take it a while to figure out!

Set your BIOS back to using the HDD as an AHCI device. When you start the Win 7 Install, watch the screen carefully when it shows you info on the HDD it detects. You may find it best to use the options offered to Delete any Partition it finds already existing, and THEN start fresh to Create a new Partition and Format it. A Full Format can take MANY hours, so be patient once it starts that process.
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March 18, 2011 6:41:20 PM

That makes a lot of sense. I will try that process tonight when I get home and post results. Thank you guys for the quick replies and not calling me an idiot for stopping it!

Eric
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March 19, 2011 12:15:19 PM

Well, everything is working pretty good. Changed the BIOS back to AHCI and it started the process again. Windows 7 loaded fine. There were no old partitions created. Thanks again.
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!