Rapid Storage Technology
Intel® RST, RAID
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Secondary HDD spin down-up-down

fra_k
New Contributor I
1,102 Views

Hi everyone. I have a Dell laptop with a primary (os) nvme SSD and a secondary (data) sata HDD. In bios the SATA device is set to RAID ON; other available options are AHCI and disabled.

The issue I have is that when the PC is going into standby/shutting down, the HDD spins down before it's completely done, then spins back up for like 2-3 seconds to do something and then it spins down for the last time. When the PC is going into standby there is a slight time gap between the first spin down and the spin up; when shutting down, the spin up happens immediately after the first spin down, while the HDD is still actually slowing down from the first spin down.

This behaviour unnecessarily increases the stress on my HDD. I don't care if it's dangerous or not, it's just wrong.

I hope someone can help me figuring out if there is something that can be done to the RST controller to fix this behaviour. I am on the latest available RST driver for 9th gen downloaded from dell's website, which corresponds to the latest available on intel's.

Thanks

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18 Replies
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,095 Views

Are you using RAID? Are you using an Optane Module or SSD? If the answer to both questions is No, then you simply do not need Intel RST enabled or its software installed at all. Uninstall the software package and change the BIOS setting for SATA Mode back to AHCI.

It peeves me to no end that Dell always installs Intel RST. What a friggin' waste of everyone's time.

...S

fra_k
New Contributor I
999 Views

(I have issues replying to your post, I am sorry for any inconvenience)

That's exactly my situation, RST software is not even installed on my PC since it's pointless.

I have found tutorials like this online

https://www.tenforums.com/customization/104898-switch-raid-ahci.html

do you think it could work also for primary+secondary drive configurations like mine? (I am kinda worried about being able to get back to my PC)

Thank you for your advice

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
995 Views

That article provides the correct procedure for switching from RAID to AHCI without reinstalling Windows. I see no reason why it wouldn't work in your case.

...S

fra_k
New Contributor I
1,058 Views

Thank you for your advice, that was exactly my situation. Switching to AHCI seems to have worked at least for shutdown. When the PC is going to standby the HDD behaviour is mostly correct, though sometimes it does again that spin down-up-down thing. Probably it's windows doing its own things as usual, which has to be fixed

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,046 Views

Well, I haven't heard of anything like this over on the MS side.  Are you sure this isn't a cache being flushed to the drive before going into this state. This can be checked by doing a set of sleep/wake operations and seeing the anomaly on only the first sleep in the set.

...S

fra_k
New Contributor I
1,037 Views

Actually my secondary drive is set to have the paging file on it (the primary drive has it too) and I think it may be the major suspect, though I have it enabled because I had found another solution (relative to RAID) which said that having the paging file on secodnary drives would help. I'll have to do some testing on it on the long-ish term to see how it works on AHCI.

Still, the PC should know if it has done everything with a certain drive before turning it completely off, even if that (hard) drive has been spinning unused for the last bit.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,021 Views

AFAIAC, these are all O/S-level, not platform-level, decisions. I would thus conclude that it's something that needs to be reported to Microsoft. I also question your decision to redirect the Paging file to this disk. AFAIAC, it belongs on your faster system drive.

Just saying,

...S

 

fra_k
New Contributor I
1,010 Views

The paging file was actually on both my faster and slower drives, as kind of an attempt to preserve my SSD but most importantly for that solution about RAID I had found earlier. I still have to take the time to check cache flushing as you have suggested, though I have found that the paging file does not change the behaviour of the HDD, nor battery/AC mode, nor setting the "turn off HDD after" to never. I have also found an article about HIPM/DIPM (made by Intel), but I haven't had time to read it yet.

I think the issue may be on MS side too, though (left aside that MS preferred spending money on advertising to make windows users buy SSDs to replace HDDs instead of fixing their own OS) nobody ever even tried to take into consideration my issue. I will eventually try again.

 

One more thing: I definitely remember that immediately after switching to AHCI the HDD behaviour was just perfect. After that, an "Intel Corporation HDC" driver was automatically installed, so now in Device Manager, under "controller IDE/ATA/ATAPI", I have this "Intel 300 series chipset family SATA AHCI controller" version 17.9.1.1009, which is the same version as the RST driver I had on RAID.

Unfortunately I cannot tell when it started doing so, but now I almost always get the spin down-up-down behaviour at standby. Is it possible that the Intel driver is messing with me again? Device Manager tells me that it's possible to restore the previous driver version, though I don't really know if it's safe to do in this case.

 

Thank you for your time

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
991 Views

Restoring the previous solution (i.e., uninstalling the driver update) shouldn't be an issue - other than it may want to update it again later, so you might want to block that particular driver install from happening again. Regardless, I do not know if this change is going to accomplish what you desire.

I would add that I am not sure that the spin-up/spin-down operations are really stressful; these are standard operations that drives do regularly. The actual power-off/power-on cycle is presumably more stressful (but I am not really sure how much).

...S

fra_k
New Contributor I
981 Views

Thanks, restoring the driver worked out fine and I will prevent windows from updating it . I agree that the HDD is likely designed to withstand those stresses, also I completely understand I may be quite stubborn about this but for sure not having to withstand those stresses is not more harmful, and most importantly that HDD behaviour is wrong and makes no sense; I'd rather be the one that wears out my stuff rather than let a poorly designed OS (or whatever it is) do it for me.

 

So yesterday I restored the old driver (Intel sata ahci controller 17.5.2.1024) and I have been kinda keeping an eye on it. For now (I can't stress this enough) the HDD behaviour seems to have changed: now on AC I consistently get the correct spindown behaviour, while on battery I consistently get the spin down-up-down thing.

The situation is the following: I keep the HDD always spinning, hence even with no usage it keeps spinning kinda in an "idle" state;

on AC, if the PC has been running long enough after resume/startup, when I press the standby button the screen turns off, the HDD has an usage spike (I can hear it's doing something) and then it spins down (which is the correct behaviour);

on battery, when I press the standby button the screen turns off and the HDD (which has been spinning unused all the time) immediately spins down without any usage spike, then it spins back up to have that usage spike and finally spins down for the last time (which is the wrong behaviour); I have tried putting the PC into standby on battery just seconds after resume and the behaviour encountered is the correct one.

Before restoring the driver, the behaviour was almost always the wrong one described above.

 

So far then it looks like this behaviour has something to do with the driver; I hear the HDD having usage spikes from time to time when I'm using my PC too (without doing stuff related to the HDD; the paging file is only on the OS drive) and maybe it's the same thing that activates the HDD when I put the PC into standby, so looking for it may be a solution, but I think the driver should behave correctly first.

 

In the registry I have found that the AHCI management is set to HIPM only, as stated also in this article

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/design/component-guidelines/power-management-for-s...

which talks about Modern Standby (S0 low power idle); ironically enough, my sata HDD does not even spin down with modern standby, anyway I am using S3 standby and since the registry setting is the same for both AC and battery mode, I don't think it matters.

Maybe now I may have to look into the registry for settings that are different between AC mode and battery mode and see what I find, since I don't know what else to do about the driver.

 

 

AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
967 Views

Hello @fra_k

Thank you for posting on the Intel® communities.

In order to check this further, could you please provide/confirm the following information?


1- A screenshot from Windows® Devic Manager showing where do you see the "Intel 300 series chipset family SATA AHCI controller" version 17.9.1.1009"

2- We understand that you currently don't have Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) software installed and you don't have any RAID volume configured. Is this correct?

3- How did you restore the "old driver (Intel SATA AHCI controller 17.5.2.1024)? Could you please describe the steps?

4- Run the Intel® System Support Utility (Intel® SSU) to gather more details about the system.

  • Download the Intel® SSU and save the application on your computer
  • Open the application, check the "Everything" checkbox, and click "Scan" to see the system and device information. The Intel® SSU defaults to the "Summary View" on the output screen following the scan. Click the menu where it says "Summary" to change to "Detailed View".
  • To save your scan, click Next and click Save.
  • Once you have saved the file (.txt file), please attach it to your reply.
  • To upload and attach a file, use the "Drag and drop here or browse files to attach" option below the response textbox.


Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


fra_k
New Contributor I
953 Views

Hi  @AndrewG_Intel , here you go

1. attached screenshot of Device Manager. The driver version in no longer the one you quoted, but of course it was in the same place.

2. correct, I am running on AHCI and no Intel RST stuff is installed

3. I restored the old driver by pressing the restore driver button ("ripristina driver") that you can see in the attached screenshot (now greyed out because I have already done it)

4. .txt attachment

I hope everything will be loaded correctly. Thanks for your time

AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
940 Views

Hello fra_k

Thank you for your response and for the information provided. Please allow us to look into this and as soon as we have more details available we will be posting back here in the thread.


Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


fra_k
New Contributor I
936 Views

You're welcome, and thank you too. I hope this all will be useful.

 

I have to add something to my previous recap-post. I have now discovered that the spin up-down-up is also triggered if windows is shut down when running on battery (at shutdown on AC, it never happens). Also, sometimes (quite rarely though) the spin up-down-up behaviour happens for standby on AC too. Last thing, when the spin down-up-down behaviour does not happen, the HDD often does not have that usage spike I had described but waits a little bit before spinning down (still good behaviour).

 

Regards

AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
928 Views

Hello fra_k

Thank you for this additional feedback and clarification. We will check this further and share more details as soon as possible.


Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
916 Views

Hello fra_k

Thank you for your patience in this matter.


We have checked this internally and our conclusion is that this doesn't seem to be related to Intel® RST. We have tested the same version and we were not able to replicate this behavior.

This is pointing out a SATA controller issue and our recommendation is to contact the place of purchase or DELL* Support for possible issues with the motherboard controller and for further assistance and debugging from their side.


Having said that, we will proceed to close this inquiry now from our end. If you need any additional information, please submit a new question as this thread will no longer be monitored.


Thank you for your understanding and best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


fra_k
New Contributor I
905 Views

Ok, thank you for your help.

 

I have just switched to the standard AHCI driver as shown here (since I didn't know it was possible, my bad)

https://www.crucial.com/support/articles-faq-ssd/replacing-manufacturer-drivers-with-microsoft-sata-...

but the issue is still there, so I can confirm what you've found.

 

Best regards

AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
882 Views

Hello fra_k

You are very welcome and thank you for your response.

Since the behavior persists even after trying the recommendations on that link from Crucial*, then the best thing to do from this point would be to check directly with DELL* Support

 

We will proceed to close this inquiry now and it has been a pleasure to assist you.

 

Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician

 

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