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P9X79 pro. Hard drives won't spin down in AHCI mode.

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March 21, 2012 11:57:54 AM

Hi guys, first time poster here. :hello: 

Have had a good look these forums for an answer, but can't find one.

Is there anybody out there with this motherboard tell me if they have harddrives connected using AHCI mode, if you set the spindown time in windows, do they actually spin down? If I change the mode to IDE, they spin down just fine, but in AHCI mode they NEVER spin down, even after many hours.

I'd leave it in IDE mode, but I have 2x SSDs attached which take a 30% drop in speed when in IDE mode.

All windows updates are up to date, all MB drivers, chipset etc, are up to date.

P9X79 pro
Win 7 64bit
64GB ram

a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 21, 2012 12:29:32 PM

Welcome to Tom's Forum! :) 

Most folks don't install Windows 7 correctly on the X79, I strongly recommend that you re-install the OS following this post -> http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/303873-30-wont-resume...

If you don't do as I recommend I seriously doubt your problems will go away or at best be completely correct.
March 28, 2012 7:32:28 PM

Ok, reading through that, I don't think it's worth me doing all that. I did a clean install tp myy SSD with the drive set to AHCI before I did anything (infact, it was alreay set this way in the bios by default).

I have spoken to ASUS tech support on several occasions and I'm getting nowhere. Looks like I'll just send the MB back to Amazon for a full refund (at ASUS' suggestion)

Anybody recommend an alternative MB?
Related resources
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 28, 2012 7:59:09 PM

You're wasting your time unless you:

1. Flash Drive OS installer with Intel RST Drivers
2. BIOS - SATA -> RAID Save and Exit
3. Ctrl + I ; set-up the RAID 0, 128KB stripe
4. F8 boot to Flash Drive, select the 'RAID' folder with the extracted zip Intel RST Enterprise drives
5. Finish the OS install

Done!

It isn't that complicated.
March 28, 2012 8:16:16 PM

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I just like to see for myself. Could you point me to another thread somewhere where somebody has had the same problem as me and has had their problem solved by following those instructions.

Thanks.
March 29, 2012 12:10:14 PM

Sorry, maybe I wasn't too clear. I just wanted to see somebody else who had the same "drives don't spin down in AHCI mode" problem as me, and who had their problem fixed.

Thanks for your quick replies.
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 12:14:59 PM

IDK - Google it. There's only one correct way to install the OS and you unfortunately did it wrong apparently twice, I linked you the guide to fix the Intel RST Enterprise and you chose not to follow it. Drives 'spinning down' is part of the Power Management.
March 29, 2012 12:24:47 PM

Thanks what I suspected. Just as well I didn't go to all the trouble of following those instructions when it didn't even relate to my problem.
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 12:27:31 PM

@keez - While I don't have your exact motherboard, I'm familiar with oddities with AHCI. I'd suggest installing the latest AHCI drivers, preferably from Intel, not ASUS. 3rd party AHCI drivers can do some funny things, as well Intel has the best performing drivers from what I've seen tested. But maybe you've done this, per your initial post.

Another perspective is to Google the HDD p/n to see if others are having problems with those drives (might be a drive compatibility issue, not the mobo).

Also, an additional test would be to move the HDDs off the Intel SB and onto the Marvell controller (white ports? Manual can clarify which ports exactly).

Just as a point of clarification, you're not using your SSDs in RAID, are you? Only asking because you say you switch to IDE and see a performance difference. Therefore they can't be RAIDed... Right? But wanting to clarify just in case.

And FWIW, I've used ASUS pretty much exclusively for my last 6 rigs, with no complaints. Though I desire more from their Support teams. :) 
March 29, 2012 12:42:57 PM

Never thought of trying the Intel drivers as opposed to the Asus drivers, will give that a go.

I have 5 spinning drives and 2 SSD, using both Intel and Marvell ports. Not ONE of the 5 spinning drives spin down as per Power Management settings. Switch to IDE mode, and they spin down just fine.

None of the drives are RAIDed.

I know what you mean about their support team. Their answers seam to be very generic, not thought through at all, just standard replies.

a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 12:54:23 PM

Hmm
If you have zero RAIDed drives, as well as drives on both controllers behaving exactly the same, then I suspect something else isn't right. Go ahead and update with the Intel drivers, if nothing else should give you a minimal bump in performance. Could help, but I'm now pessimistic in it's resolve.

Checked that you have the latest BIOS? I hate updating BIOSes, but a BIOS tweak could potentially fix the issue.
Not having this board in front of me, this next question might be daft; but while you've got AHCI enabled, does your BIOS show power management settings that could pertain to the storage I/O? This could override the OS and/or not be present when IDE is selected. This setting may not be obvious, and again, not having this system in front of me, I can't be more specific. But I think you might get what I'm trying to say. :) 
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 1:17:51 PM

Keep in mind, IDK is code for I Don't Care (IDC), if you're not going to follow my advice. Once the Windows AHCI drivers are installed there's no undoing it. I learned this myself the hard way and had no choice but to re-install Windows the RIGHT WAY.

The drivers on ASUS's site are fine but older BUT they are Intel RST Enterprise drivers. It may 'SEEM' like the drivers are installing but they're not.

Simple Test - change the Intel SATA -> RAID then save and exit = yes, reboot and the resulting BSOD is a CLEAR INDICATOR that the Intel RST Enterprise are NOT actually installed/properly installed.

Some folks simply refuse to listen then at that point IDC, and I know I am wasting my time helping any further. Note my Motto.
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 1:21:43 PM

^ Wow :heink: 
March 29, 2012 1:36:11 PM

Jaquith, to keep your stress levels down, may I suggest that you take a deep breath and write me off as a hopeless case, and don't bother replying anymore as I'm just not worth it!
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 2:28:58 PM

Listen, first you take a week to reply - fine, but then I get a quasi sarcastic question "Please don't take this the wrong way" i.e. 'prove it', and then the straw was yet another "Sorry, maybe I wasn't too clear", and then yet another smirky sarcastic remark "may I suggest that you take a deep breath".

I 'get' the problem, but you have yet to accept the 'solution.'

I suggest you reevaluate your demeanor, and apologize.

Listen I own a Data Center and I'm up to my eyeballs in computers, this forum is a hobby to me. From this hobby I've helped thousands of folks whom are very appreciative, and all but a handful I have zero issues with in this forum.

Now maybe this is your 'way' out there, but when you ask for help -- learn 'how to ask' properly.
March 29, 2012 2:39:22 PM

Deep breaths.......
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 3:13:02 PM

Oppsy I Vomited ...
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 3:31:16 PM

The driver that's installed by default in Windows is the wrong driver period, unchangeable after the fact, and I seen a ton of X79's with this same problem.

Therefore, until the driver is properly installed the best is a band-aide -- i.e. treating the Symptoms and not the Underlying Problem. The X79 is a new chipset that even Windows 7 SP1 doesn't address or properly support; maybe Windows 8 will who knows? Further, the documentation is more less nonexistent. I'd guess that vast majority of X79's have this issue and don't even know it.

As I mentioned, I had to find out the hard way; I knew the solution before I ever posted the question. ASUS didn't even have a workaround -> http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=700...

The others with X79's who followed my advice all report back as I am here -- solution re-install the OS and they're fine afterwards. The overall SATA performance and stability is in no question worth the time.

Choices:
1. Do it Right
2. Do it Wrong

In either case Do it without sarcastic remarks and I'm cool.
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 3:35:07 PM

@psaus - your post disappeared that I respond to above ?! TH servers must have reset and lost some data while I was typing...
!