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Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3, ATA, SATA, and Windows 7

Last response: in Windows 7
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January 30, 2010 6:03:51 AM

I just built a new computer and inside Windows 7 all of my SATA drives are showing up as ATA/IDE! I'm just getting familiar with Windows 7, but this doesn't look at all correct to me.

I noticed it when it had the icon in the systray to eject media, and it showed all of the drives as ejectable and listed them as ATA.

I think I know where I went wrong but I just wanted to check this out with you all.

The mobo is a Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3. The O/S is 32-bit (for some app compatibility reasons). The processor is an i5 750.

I have 2 WD 500GB Caviar Blacks (SATA) and one Lite-On IHAS424-98 (SATA) DVD burner. There are no ATA/IDE devices in the entire system. In the BIOS, it doesn't show any IDE devices active.

In the BIOS, everything is set to AHCI. I'm not using RAID.

The manual is kind of half-baked in that it describes XP and Vista SATA RAID driver installation but doesn't even mention Windows 7. For XP, it gives explicit instructions to supply SATA RAID drivers via a floppy at F6 time (I've done this many times for XP systems in the past). For Vista, and it says to supply SATA RAID drivers via a floppy or USB stick if you're going to be using RAID (which implies you don't have to do anything else if you want SATA but no RAID).

The way it lumps "SATA" and "RAID" drivers together it seems to me that if you want SATA drivers you also get the RAID drivers as well, even if you aren't going to be using RAID.

I assumed that Windows 7 would have all the necessary SATA drivers and I wouldn't have to supply them at Windows 7 installation since I wasn't going to be using RAID. I think this was my mistake.

Do I need to reinstall Windows 7 and supply the SATA RAID drivers on a USB stick at installation time?

Thanks - hope this all makes sense.

January 30, 2010 11:52:57 PM

SATA = Serial ATA.

You only need the drivers if you are on XP or Vista and loading AHCI or RAID. Since you are using AHCI with Windows 7, the drivers are included in Win7 so you can set the BIOS to AHCI and install Windows 7 and not have to worry about needing extra drivers.
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January 31, 2010 2:57:38 PM

ekoostik said:
SATA = Serial ATA.

You only need the drivers if you are on XP or Vista and loading AHCI or RAID. Since you are using AHCI with Windows 7, the drivers are included in Win7 so you can set the BIOS to AHCI and install Windows 7 and not have to worry about needing extra drivers.


Thanks... so do you know why these drives are showing up in Windows 7 as ATA / IDE?
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January 31, 2010 4:29:45 PM

What are you looking at that says ATA/IDE? I can go into the properties of my hardware and IDE shows up in many places. Both harddrives are SATA and BIOS has AHCI turned on.

After you installed Windows 7 did you install the Intel Chipset Drivers? (aka the Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility) http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/inf/
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February 1, 2010 10:58:05 PM

ekoostik said:
What are you looking at that says ATA/IDE? I can go into the properties of my hardware and IDE shows up in many places. Both harddrives are SATA and BIOS has AHCI turned on.

After you installed Windows 7 did you install the Intel Chipset Drivers? (aka the Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility) http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/inf/


For your first question, if I click on the icon in the systray to remove devices such as USB drives, I see two "Eject WDC WD5001AALS ATA Device" choices, one for my C: drive and one for my D: drive. This can't be normal.

If you try to eject one of them, of course the system complains in the Event Viewer, "... has stopped the removal or ejection for the device IDE\DiskWDC_WD5001AALS..."

So that is where I am seeing "ATA" and "IDE". I've never seen anything like this before.

For your second question, the mobo's utilities CD didn't have "Intel Chipset Drivers" per se like you would think. It has an "INF Update Utility" which says, "This utility installs INF files that inform the operating system how to properly configure the chipset for specific functionality such as PCI-Express or USB interface", and of course, I installed this.

I didn't install the "Intel maxtrix Storage Manager" nor the Marvell Raid Utility". All other items on the CD were installed.

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February 1, 2010 11:52:47 PM

I found this: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/storage/eSATA.mspx

It has a link to this document: http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/E/7/7E7662CF-C...

Which states:
Quote:
Incorrect SATA configuration can appear in the following situations:
• If the system incorrectly identifies an internal SATA port as external, Windows disables LPM on that port and therefore cannot conserve power to the port. In addition, Windows treats the internal non-removable device that is connected to that port as a removable device. For example, it appears in the Safely Remove Device dialog box in the system tray and in Devices and Printers.


It goes on to state:


If an internal SATA port is incorrectly configured as an external SATA port, a system vendor or administrator can correct it without updating the system BIOS or the Windows software.

To work around this problem, you can disable external SATA support on a per-channel basis by setting the value of the TreatAsInternalPort registry key to 1 and then rebooting the system.

If the system has both internal and external SATA ports, but a device that is attached to an internal SATA port appears in the Safely Remove Devices dialog box in the system tray or in Devices and Printers, you should reset the registry key for the port.
For example, if only channel 2 is an actual external SATA port, but all four SATA ports were set as external, the following commands set the ports correctly:

reg.exe add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\msahci\Controller0\Channel0" /f /v TreatAsInternalPort /t REG_DWORD /d 0x00000001
reg.exe add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\msahci\Controller0\Channel1" /f /v TreatAsInternalPort /t REG_DWORD /d 0x00000001
reg.exe add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\msahci\Controller0\Channel3" /f /v TreatAsInternalPort /t REG_DWORD /d 0x00000001

The channel numbers that Device Manager shows might not match the channel numbers in the registry. You might be required to set the value, reboot the system, and verify that the appropriate port is set correctly. For more information, see “The disk drive numbers may not correspond as expected to the SATA channel numbers when you set up Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows 7 on a computer that has multiple SATA or RAID disks,” which is listed in “Resources.”.
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February 2, 2010 12:49:32 AM

Thank you for your research on my behalf on this and your detailed response. I understand what it is saying here, but what I don't understand is how Windows became confused into thinking that they are eSata. This mobo has no eSata support that I can see. With AHCI am supposed to get hot-swap capability but that's not the same thing as eSata (or is it?)

This problem is getting quite bizarre. I think that I'm going to reinstall Win 7 from scratch and supply the SATA RAID drivers that are on the installation CD and see what differences it makes. I'll let you know.
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February 2, 2010 12:58:39 AM

If you're going to that trouble, download the latest "Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility". This is the same as the "INF Update Utility" that is on your motherboard's CD, but the one online will likely be more up to date.
http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/inf/
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February 2, 2010 5:09:53 AM

ekoostik said:
If you're going to that trouble, download the latest "Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility". This is the same as the "INF Update Utility" that is on your motherboard's CD, but the one online will likely be more up to date.
http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/inf/


I reinstalled everything from scratch and included the SATA drivers (Intel and Marvel) that came on the Mobo's utilities disk so Win 7 wouldn't use its default drivers. The Gigabyte manual was completely lacking in direction as to what to driver names to actually select for Win 7 so I took an educated guess.

Everything related to the disks is appearing correctly now, and disk performance has improved slightly.

I'll never assume Win 7 has the proper drivers again.

(I checked the release notes on the Intel site and noted the differences between the most current release and the one I had and there wasn't anything there that was important to my installation (some bluetooth issue, Win Server 2008 issue, a new switch...) - but thanks for the suggestion.)

Thanks for all your help.
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Best solution

February 2, 2010 10:53:03 AM

MossyRock said:
I'll never assume Win 7 has the proper drivers again.

Good idea. Assuming they are bad is always a better starting assumption. Microsoft was pushing a LAN driver update for months in the fall that when installed would make it impossible to connect to a network!
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February 11, 2010 11:31:16 PM

Best answer selected by MossyRock.
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