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idata
Community Manager
5,722 Views

AHCI or IDE mode

Whenever i choose AHCI mode in bios, sometimes there is a long delay (1 minute) at boot time. Workaround is to choose IDE instead, eventhough i experience better performance using AHCI. Is this a compatibility issue with my motherboard (rampage 2 extreme x58) or with some drives in general? I do in fact have an optical drive on a pata controller (jmicron jb363) which if not mistaken can lead to problems using AHCI, so i guess i should either not use it or replace it with a sata version.

Any suggestions?

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21 Replies
idata
Community Manager
267 Views

Most motherboards do exactly what you are describing. Some take longer than others. I have 5 drives in my system and if I switch to AHCI it takes about 25 seconds for it to see everything. After that it remembers all the drive info and boots right up. The reason is that when you go to AHCI mode the bios has to look at each drive and see if it is AHCI compatible and get the drive info, SMART attributes, whether or not it supports NCQ and a few other little goodies it has to get. It queries each drive to get that info and that is what takes the extra time after you switch to AHCI. Once the bios has all that info it shouldn't have to figure it out again unless you go back to IDE mode and then switch back to AHCI again. If it does it every time you boot you probably have a problem or a setting out of whack. The jmicron PATA controller shouldn't have an AHCI switch as it is not an SATA drive or controller.

idata
Community Manager
267 Views

Problem is that sometimes AHCI mode does not take the extra time to boot up. In general it will take around 18 seconds, but once in a while it'll get stuck at the windows logo and takes up to 77 seconds. I'm leaning towards thinking its a compatibility issue with the IDE cdrom.

idata
Community Manager
267 Views

Taking longer to boot in AHCI mode is normal as someone explained to you above. Depending on your BIOS, the time can vary, and it is possible a newer BIOS update would help; for example, I updated my BIOS and it had a newer AHCI ROM that speeds things up a bit. Check the BIOS updates for your motherboard and maybe there is a newer version that would help.

idata
Community Manager
267 Views

What Guz is describing appears to be the storage controller driver taking a long time to talk to one of the connected drives. It's during this Windows logo time that the drives are enumerated. Since IDE vs AHCI can cause a different driver to service the storage controller, this change could affect behavior. Disconnect drives to find out which one is causing the problem. And when I say disconnect, I mean both the power and SATA cable. I've seen trouble with just a SATA cable connected.

idata
Community Manager
267 Views

AHCI does load longer than IDE as someone explained above. Those using AHCI have an "extra" screen loading on startup.

Just noticed he said "sometimes it takes longer..." Hmm....

idata
Community Manager
267 Views

The explanation above that you refer to talks about the BIOS. Guz refers to a screen with the Windows logo. Hence, the explanation you cite does not appear to apply to his problem.

idata
Community Manager
267 Views

Yes, but that is the loading screen and it could be the BIOS because AHCI takes longer to load than IDE; thus, takes longer to get to the Windows logo screen where you put in your password.

idata
Community Manager
267 Views

By the time the Windows screen comes up, the BIOS has already found the boot drive and has already started reading the boot drive. There should be no other drive enumeration by the BIOS, so there's really nothing related to AHCI vs IDE that I can see that will slow down the boot while the BIOS is reading the disk.

Some HW glitch or BIOS bug could always cause it to take a long time, but the long delays are, in my experience, usually some storage driver or stack taking a long time to enumerate its disks. His 18 seconds vs 77 seconds looks to me like a 60 second timeout inserted into the boot process.

idata
Community Manager
267 Views

ZXTT95 -

You seem to have some experience with Windows storage driver enumeration issues; I just installed an Intel X25-M G2 and am getting boot times equivalent to what I got on my former 7200rpm boot drive ~24s. The SSD should be faster no?

The hangup is the 7200rpm drive which is now my secondary drive (Vista loves to access it during load even though I'm booting from the SSD); if I disable it in device manager, my boot time drops by 10s.

I'm running the latest Intel ICH10R SATA AHCI Controller 8.9.0.1023 from Matrix Storage Manager, BIOS is set to AHCI.

I posted over here:

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistaperformance/thread/ea530723-c3fe-4817-9de1-68c...

Any clues on how to optimize this? I've played with IDE and reverting to Microsoft AHCI driver with similar results, although I get a few random fast boots I can't explain even when the 7200rpm drive is not disabled.

DZand
Valued Contributor I
267 Views

marty787 schrieb:

I just installed an Intel X25-M G2 and am getting boot times equivalent to what I got on my former 7200rpm boot drive ~24s. The SSD should be faster no?

The hangup is the 7200rpm drive which is now my secondary drive (Vista loves to access it during load even though I'm booting from the SSD); if I disable it in device manager, my boot time drops by 10s.

I'm running the latest Intel ICH10R SATA AHCI Controller 8.9.0.1023 from Matrix Storage Manager, BIOS is set to AHCI.

Any clous on how to optimize this? I've played with IDE and reverting to Microsoft AHCI driver with similar results, although I get a few random fast boots I can't explain even when the 7200rpm drive is not disabled.

1. Enter the BIOS and check the HARD DISK BOOT PRIORITY settings. The Intel SSD has to be in the first position.

2. If you have the Intel Matrix Storage Manager software installed, uninstall it. The MSM Console is nearly useless for AHCI systems, but induces a much longer boot time.

2. Try the Intel AHCI driver v9.5.0.1037, which belongs to the new Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology (RST). You can get it here: http://www.station-drivers.com/page/intel%20raid.htm http://www.station-drivers.com/page/intel%20raid.htm. The new RST drivers are optimized for being used with Intel SSD's.

idata
Community Manager
267 Views

I see there is a newer RST version 9.5.4.1001 (with driver file dates of November 2009). Any reason not to use this more recent version? For either version, would you install the whole RST package? Or just the F6 driver?

DZand
Valued Contributor I
267 Views

Einride schrieb:

I see there is a newer RST version 9.5.4.1001 (with driver file dates of November 2009). Any reason not to use this more recent version? For either version, would you install the whole RST package? Or just the F6 driver?

1. The newest RST driver v9.5.4.1001 do not support any Intel ICH Southbridge SATA AHCI Controller. Only Intel RAID users and users with the newest Intel 5-series chipset can use it.

2. The Intel MSM and RST application is mainly designed for users with an Intel RAID system. AHCI users may, but don't need to install any Intel MSM or RST package with the Console application. The informations they get are little, but the installation of the Console extends the boot time.

idata
Community Manager
267 Views

Intel states on their website no special driver is required for ssd's. They recommend the Intel MSM driver. I am reluctant to use this 'beta' driver.

http://www.intel.com/support/ssdc/hpssd/sb/CS-029623.htm# 6 http://www.intel.com/support/ssdc/hpssd/sb/CS-029623.htm# 6

DZand
Valued Contributor I
267 Views

doakh schrieb:

Intel states on their website no special driver is required for ssd's. They recommend the Intel MSM driver.

That is no surprise, because Intel has not yet officially released any RST driver.

If you compare the MSM with the RST driver, you will realize, that the RST driver will boost the performance of an Intel Postville SSD.

idata
Community Manager
267 Views

I installed Windows 7 in ACHI mode in lieu of RAID mode. So there is no reason for me to install the RST driver? I do get better SSD performane in ACHI mode compared to IDE mode. So if I should have installed Windows 7 in RAID mode for future RAID configuration.

idata
Community Manager
267 Views

Fernando wrote:

Einride schrieb:

I see there is a newer RST version 9.5.4.1001 (with driver file dates of November 2009). Any reason not to use this more recent version? For either version, would you install the whole RST package? Or just the F6 driver?

1. The newest RST driver v9.5.4.1001 do not support any Intel ICH Southbridge SATA AHCI Controller. Only Intel RAID users and users with the newest Intel 5-series chipset can use it.

2. The Intel MSM and RST application is mainly designed for users with an Intel RAID system. AHCI users may, but don't need to install any Intel MSM or RST package with the Console application. The informations they get are little, but the installation of the Console extends the boot time.

 

My use is for several ASUS P7P55 motherboards with 5 Series chipset. Each of these systems includes either one SSD and two HDDs in RAID0, or two SSDs in RAID0 and two HDDs in RAID0. In short, the SATA RAID storage controller controls everything.

So, these systems are doubly qualified, and I will try the later v9.5.4.1001 driver. If the RST package can pass the SMART data, that seems worthwhile.

DZand
Valued Contributor I
267 Views

doakh schrieb:

I installed Windows 7 in ACHI mode in lieu of RAID mode. So there is no reason for me to install the RST driver?

You may try the RST driver v9.5.0.1037. There are many non-RAID Intel SSD users who got the best performance by using them in AHCI Mode.

idata
Community Manager
267 Views

Sadly, I am unable to install the RST application from the Station-Drivers download. The install errors out following the license approval with a message like "Unable to copy File: ~~~ Setup.exe", where ~~~ is a variety of special characters. Is there another host for the install program? The separate driver package does install (and roll back) without a problem when using "Update Driver". All of the other hosts I have found include only the driver in their download.

In the alternative, could anyone with a complete v9.5.4.1001 package that works upload it somewhere?

idata
Community Manager
267 Views

Responding to marty787:

Look's like you got good answers in that other thread you linked to. It's what I would expect, there is just a delay while the OS and driver find out what volumes are on the mechanical disk. I'm afraid I don't know what it might be doing that would take 10s, though.

DZand
Valued Contributor I
61 Views

Einride schrieb:

In the alternative, could anyone with a complete v9.5.4.1001 package that works upload it somewhere?

Here is an alternative download link to the complete package: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?n0zyzjzcazu http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?n0zyzjzcazu

Regards

Fernando

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