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Changing Standard IDE to AHCI

Last response: in Storage
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March 29, 2005 8:13:42 PM

I've recently built a new PC with a single SATA drive. Everything is fine apart from the fact that the SATA drive is set as default in the BIOS as "Standard IDE", not SATA. The mother board is an ASUS PG5D1 which supports native SATA, i.e. no 3rd party drivers required. I wish I had known this at the outset, as I understand that to use the full benefit of SATA, I need to set the SATA drive to AHCI in the BIOS, as it is not possible to just change the hard drive in the BIOS to AHCI, but I will need to reformat my hard drive and select "AHCI" in the BIOS before installing XP. Is there a way to change to AHCI without a format? Or should I stay with the drive set as IDE as the performance isn't all that different?
March 30, 2005 3:23:41 AM

I dont see anything wrong with you setup... Your drive is in fact an IDE drive connected by a SATA interface to your mobo IDE controller.. Yes you could have a PATA IDE drive connected with the older PATA interface to your mobo IDE controller. But your controller is an IDE controller that connect to your IDE drive with a SATA interface. Yes, your controller could connect to your IDE drive with a PATA interface, but you'll need a PATA IDE drive, and not your current SATA IDE drive.

So to make it clear, there is nothing wrong with your setup ..

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March 30, 2005 8:22:59 AM

Thanks, Pat. Sorry if I've misunderstood, but as the hard drive is a SATA drive, Seagate ST3120827AS, that has NCQ capability, I would like it to be set up correctly. The drive is connected by a SATA cable from the drive to one of four SATA connectors on the Mobo.
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March 30, 2005 1:19:28 PM

If your drive has NCQ and you want NCQ, then your controller has to support NCQ. The interface is just there to connect both and move the data... no matter what they are...

So, research about your controller, if it support NCQ. if not, you OOL using NCQ, even if your drive support it.

BTW, NCQ sometime cut performance for desktop system, as it is intended for server, so it might not be that big issue

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March 30, 2005 2:27:17 PM

The controller on the motherboard does support NCQ. I note your comment about probable slower desktop performance using NCQ. However, if I can't enable AHCI without formatting the hard drive and reinstalling XP, I'll leave it as it is. It just bugs me that if something can make use of a technology I would like to use it!
March 30, 2005 3:31:23 PM

You should not have to fromat and reinstall to use NCQ. Should be an option in BIOS or in controller's drivers setting.

I dont mind not using a new technology if I dont have a need for it. Having the technology on the motherboard is usefull for those who need it, but not for those who dont need it. It is not an obligation to use it. It is a possibility for those who have to.

Instead of having a lot of board with different feature, manuf. usually put one bare board and a fully featured one. You pick the one that fits your need..

Could you imagine, let say:

A stripped down mobo with no feature..then one with sound, one without sound, but lan, one with sound and lan, one with RAID only, one with RAID wit sound, but no lan, then one with lan,... that could cost a lot to produce and being a pain to manage for dealers..

That why you have features you may not need. So dont bother with them anr research about NCQ to see if it could be useful for you and decide to use it or not.

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March 31, 2005 9:28:45 AM

Formatting will not help, as Pat said it will be a BIOS option or possibly even a jumper setting.
March 31, 2005 10:36:04 AM

Hi, Pat. The option is in the BIOS, but if I change it from standard IDE to AHCI the PC will not boot up. ASUS support says "After I installed the OS, I configured my SATA as "AHCI" in IDE Configuration under Main in BIOS. Then my computer cannot get into the OS. What is wrong?

If you installed your OS with your SATA configured as Standard IDE, you will not be able to get into OS if SATA HDD is re-configured as AHCI in BIOS. You must install your OS with your SATA HDD configured as AHCI."
April 4, 2005 10:39:59 AM

I bit the bullet, reformatted the PC, changed to AHCI in the BIOS, hit F6 on the load up screen and loaded the SATA drivers. It works well and hard drive benchmarks are higher than before.
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