I built a HTPC, my BIOS finds the Intel ssd, but Windows 7 (64 bit) can't find any drives on which to load the OS. Gigabyte (my mobo) says I should get drivers from Intel. During the OS installation, I have the option to look for drivers.
I would think that the Win 7 disc would have all the necessary drivers but I am trying anything now. Here's my setup:
CPU - Intel i3 540
Mobo - Gigabyte GA H55M USB 3 REV 2.0
hhd - Intel x-25v 40 gig ssd
I put the ssd is on the SATA2_0 port; I have the optical on the gSATA2_5 port. There are no other drives in the system. If it matters, there is no graphics card as I'm using the i3 for graphics.
SATA is set to AHCI in the BIOS. As it boots, I see a quick screen identifying the ssd and the dvd. I can boot into the Win 7 disc and it starts installation but when it gets to the screen where I'm to select a drive, there aren't any displayed. I get a box stating "no drives were found". It says I should install a cd, dvd, or usb drive to load drivers.
I have changed ports, changed SATA cables, removed the ssd and formatted it on another computer - I'm pretty sure that the problem is not the port, cable, or the ssd. I have changed the port to IDE and back again to AHCI but nothing works - it can never find a drive.
I find it hard to believe that the Win 7 disc doesn't have the drivers. But short of anything else, are there 'special' ssd drivers I should be using? Any other suggestions (other than I should have selected an Intel board)?
Problem is somehow with the ssd. I substituted a conventional hdd, a Samsung 1T, and removed the ssd from my new build. The bios found it immediately, and so did Win 7. When installing Win 7 and reach the dialog box that should show available drives, the Samsung drive is displayed. I then removed the hdd and re-installed the Intel ssd, and I'm back to where I was before, that is, bios sees the ssd but Win 7 shows no drives.
Before I substituted the Samsung, I updated the bios with the latest version, F10, but no change. I then did substituted the Samsung as described in the above paragraph.
As I said in my opening post, after the first time the ssd wasn't seen by Win 7, I formatted it, I believe it works, at least as an external drive in another machine.
Any ideas on the inability to load the Win 7 OS onto the ssd?
That's an odd problem you have. I've installed two copies of Win 7 and one Vista on Intel X-25M 80GB SSDs and have had no problems. I don't have a quick answer for you, but I can answer some of your questions:
You do not need any special drivers to use/install an SSD, whether Intel or others. They all should work fine with the standard SATA/IDE drivers, and I have installed Windows on new SSDs in IDE mode.
For optimal performance, SSDs should have an AHCI driver, which may be what you are referring to. Windows 7 64 bit has it's native AHCI driver, msahci, and you do not need to manually load it from a disk during your Windows 7 installation. AHCI mode must be activated in the BIOS, as you know, and can be used with standard HDDs that support AHCI functionality.
Intel has it's own AHCI driver, iaStor, which is really a part of the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) software, whose main purpose is the creation and management of RAID systems. You must install the RST software in order to get Intel's AHCI driver on your PC. You do not need to create any type of RAID set-up, and the SATA Mode in your BIOS should be set to AHCI rather than RAID. I have two Windows 7 PCs set up in this manner with Intel X-25M 80GB SSDs, and they work great, I'm very pleased with them (one Intel motherboard, the other ASUS.)
BUT, I am not familiar with the 1156 CPUs and the H55 chipset (both of my PCs use the Intel ICH10R chip for disk I/O), so I am not sure if those can run Intel RST (I just realized.) If you loaded the Gigabyte RAID/AHCI driver I see they have, I have no clue what would happen, and I don't recommend it unless you research how that works.
Frankly, from what I have read, the optimal way an SSD should have an OS installed and be in AHCI mode, is to do what you said you did, attach the SSD and optical drives, start the PC and enter the BIOS, check that the SSD is recognized and set SATA mode to AHCI, insert Windows disk, save and exit BIOS, and let the install run. If you don't install the OS in AHCI mode, you must later perform a registry edit in order for the AHCI driver to load.
I am confused by your statement:
"... I get a box stating "no drives were found". It says I should install a cd, dvd, or usb drive to load drivers. ..."
You say no drives found, but then the installation asked you for drivers? That is weird if correct. So I assume on the first installation attempt you were not prompted to format, intialize, and create a volume on the SSD?
On another PC, the SSD was recognized and you were able to format it? If so, that is strange, and seen by the BIOS and not Windows?
The only thing I have seen close to that is when I added a new SSD to an existing PC, just to test/check it out. At first, the BIOS does see it, but Windows will not acknowledge it completely until it is intialized. Meaning, if you click on Start -> Computer, the SSD will not appear, but Disk Management sees it and ask you to Initialize it, etc.
Also, did you get the SSD recently? Some older ones (2009 production, or the G1 series) can have problems, and the firmware for the Intel SSDs was updated, but was a while ago. Otherwise, I don't have an answer for you at this point...
Parsec - thank you for a very thorough and thoughtful response. I'll try to hit all the points...
Regarding drivers, yes, my understanding is that I should not need any special drivers.
Regarding AHCI/IDE mode, I have set the BIOS in both IDE and in AHCI mode with no difference, that is, when trying to install Win 7 and I get to the point where I'm to select a drive,yet, there is no drive showing in the dialog box. (Unlike my update from yesterday where the conventional hard drive I substituted for the ssd was found.)
I understand that it would be better to set the BIOS to AHCI, which is how the BIOS is now setup. As you indicate, however, I should not have to load AHCI drivers from my Win 7 64-bit OS installation disc.
However, I'm confused by your statement..
Intel has it's own AHCI driver, iaStor, which is really a part of the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) software, whose main purpose is the creation and management of RAID systems. You must install the RST software in order to get Intel's AHCI driver on your PC.
I did not believe I had to install an AHCI driver, but it seems as if you are saying in this paragraph that I do have to install RST (if the 1156 CPUs and H55 chipset can run it), and I would appreciate your clarification. I have looked at Intel's site regarding RST, and I am simply uncertain if it is useful or applicable to my setup. I'll have to spend more time and study it.
You asked about my statement:
"... I get a box stating "no drives were found". It says I should install a cd, dvd, or usb drive to load drivers. ..."
My apologies for poor typing as I typed "drives" when I should have typed "drivers" - when I'm loading Windows 7, I get to a point where a dialog box opens and above it is the line, "Where do you want to install Windows?" The dialog box is supposed to show the available drives that I would select, but there are no drives showing. Underneath the dialog box window are two buttons, one is "refresh" and the other is "load drivers". It's giving me an opportunity to load drivers, if I need to. If I click on "load drivers" it says no drivers were found.
Yes, I was able to format the ssd using another computer and the the BIOS on my new build finds the ssd. Also, I did purchase the ssd recently, about six weeks ago. I'll be heading out to Microcenter where I purchased the ssd; I'll ask them to look at the drive and see if it is not-OK despite my being able to format it. I'll also ask them to check the model to see if a firmware update is applicable and if they have other suggestions.
thank you again for your thorough response,
Hey, you are welcome, been busy lately, so...
About the Intel RST driver, what I mean is in order to get the Intel AHCI driver iastor, you must install the entire RST package, even if you will not use all if it, meaning the RAID management portion.
You can install RST anytime, not only when loading the OS. I've done it after loading the OS, although I was is AHCI mode at that time, which you must be in order to use the iastor driver, of course. It is true you do not need to install an AHCI driver, since Win 7's msahci is part of Win 7. I was saying that it is generally agreed that the optimal AHCI driver is the one provided by Intel, iastor, which is part of RST. When you install RST, iastor replaces msahci.
Does that make sense?
When the OS install was asking you to load drivers, which could be drivers for many things, not just SSDs or HDDs, it expects you to have one or more drivers on a floppy, CD/DVD, or flash drive. When you click on that, it looks for those devices and disks, if none are found, then "... no drivers were found...".
What happened with your X-25 V SSD? I see now that the X-25 V is a new model from Intel.
Nothing to lose so I installed the Intel iastor driver. I thought it might work as when installing the Win 7 OS and I reached the screen that allowed me to load drivers, it found the Intel drivers on the usb stick onto which I had downloaded RST. It installed the driver, but when it returned to the box where it is asking which drive to load the OS to, no change - there were no drives showing.
I hit 'refresh' but nothing.
Regarding the Intel SSD, I may be able to get to the techs at Microcenter Monday morning.
Remove any USB or HDD drives whilst you install Windows 7 on your SSD. After Win 7 has installed you can then install any other drives you want to use. This is not a peculiarity with SSD, it is a peculiarity with Windows 7.
Ya know, now that I think about it, that is exactly what I have done every time I installed Win 7 on an SSD. I had no knowledge of what redux stated, but I just felt it would be the safe thing to do, one drive - no confusion or possibility the installation will choose the "wrong" drive.
redux, do you know if this peculiarity is documented?
I've experienced the "no drive found" when I've had either bootable USB sticks attached or external USB drives plugged in. I think Windows just gets confused sometimes if it thinks you are trying to install on a portable drive. The easiest option is to just remove them until the installation is complete.
The "no drive found" scenario comes up a lot with a Google search with Win 7 installations, but most solutions point to drives for the controller as being the problem. That however should not be the problem from what the OP has described.
Assuming the drive is detected in the BIOS there is no reason it should not be detected during installation, so it would be worth a shot by the OP.
The Intel ssd is the only drive I have installed - other than the dvd.
I only had the usb drive connected in order to load Intel's RST. However, there was no change when loading the OS. Here's a quick summary of the changes I made, all without effect, when trying to load the Win 7 OS:
The only confidence I have that I built this thing correctly, is that when I substituted a conventional hdd for the ssd, the drive appeared in the dialog box during the OS installation. It's this same box that shows no drives when the ssd is connected.
Weird, huh? Nonetheless, I still have hope, knida, that I just have a stupid error some place.
Install sata ssd on sata port 01. Start the system from a BOOT DOS CD and partition of the ssd (No need format).
Now start the installation from the win7 cd.
Hope this help you
In Gigabyte's scheme, the first SATA port available is labeled 2-0; did you mean the first port available or the second?
I'll try your idea of a bootable DOS CD - I'm not sure I understand your instructions fully, but I'll give it a shot.
My problem is resolved.
I spoke with the Microcenter tech as was suggested, but he had no answers but to search the web looking for similar problems. That's something I had been doing for the past month.
He then offered an exchange and I took it. Hate to say it, but given my experience with the x-25V, I exchanged it for an OCZ Agility 2 60 gig ssd for only $20 more than the cost of the x-25V 40 gig ssd.
Got home, put it into the new build, the Bios found it immediately and so did the Win 7 OS install. It runs like a charm. No difficulties at all.
Clearly, the problem was with the ssd. If any one at Intel wants the serial number of the x-25V to chase down this problem, let me know.
Thanks for everyone's advice. I learned long ago when putting together Heathkits that I learned more, and enjoyed it more, when I had to trouble shoot. I learned a lot on this project and I appreciate everyone's contribution.
Can't blame you airpoll, I understand. I guess you just got a bad one, I have four Intel G2's and they were all fine from day one. Hopefully your experience does not become a trend for these drives. Enjoy your new drive!