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New SATA2 Drive - AHCI or IDE?

Discussion in 'Motherboards & Memory' started by Huxley2k7, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    Whats up guys,

    Hate to keep making new threads for issues, but when i'm unsure about something, i like to be sure, before taking the plunge.

    I've got my new SATA2 HDD, it's a 500GB Western Digital (5000AAKS). Since installing XP and optimizing my PC fully, i'm just not noticing any performance increase over my old 80GB SATA, in fact, it seems worse! Opening up simple files (Like My Documents) on the drive presents an hour-glass with at least a 1 second delay or so before the file opens! Deleting tiny files of around 8MB sometimes brings up the progress bar? This is a fresh format, with nothing but maintenance programs, registry optimizers, diskeeper, and a couple of games on it. I've optimized XP to the fullest, and the HDD is always defragged, including the page-file. The HDD should not be as slow as it is im sure of it.

    So i think, maybe, i did something wrong, or there is something i need to do. One thing i haven't installed yet, is the 'SATA RAID drivers' from Gigabyte's website. Should i?

    Should i be running the HDD in AHCI mode instead of the generic motherboard IDE mode? If so, would it really require me to completely re-install Windows with a boot-disk containing specific drivers? The manual is a little hazey in this regard.

    I have the latest Bios already installed and all other motherboard drivers too. Here is my motherboard page. The Gigabyte site is SO slow for me, a real pain in the ass. Hope it isn't for you to!

    Input, thoughts, criticism, help appreciated. :D

    Thanks,

    Hux.
     
  2. Hawk1 New Member

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    I asked the same question over on the ASUS forums. I was told you will get better performance if the drives are in AHCI or RAID mode. They say to use RAID mode, even if you don't have a RAID, as it will allow you to set one up in the future without a complete OS reinstall (something I regreted this weekend, as I had to reinstall). Anyway, even going to AHCI from IDE mode, you should reinstall the OS, although there are workarounds if need be.

     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007
    Huxley2k7 says thanks.
  3. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    Thanks a lot Hawk!! So, i couldn't quite tell from your post, i should go RAID however i do need to re-install the OS?

    Cheers,

    Hux.
     
  4. t_ski

    t_ski Former Staff

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    He's saying no, you won't need to reinstall.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  5. t_ski

    t_ski Former Staff

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    But backing up and restoring is not the same as a reinstall.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  6. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

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    scsi emulation is the best, but you cant find that on newer boards for some reason, so you're suppossed to use ide emulation...
     
  7. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    Right, thankyou guys. Sorry, i just like to get full confirmation before i commit myself to such projects! Im sure ya'll understand.

    Well, my manual clearly states you cannot initiate any form of RAID or AHCI mode without re-installing OS. I think i'm just gonna go ahead and format it and setup RAID. I'm assuming its RAID0 i must setup?

    I still have my old 80GB HD, so can i plug that in, transfer all the crap over to that, unplug it, re-format my OS HDD, setup RAID mode, install OS, then transfer back all that crap again?

    Cheers all.
     
  8. Hawk1 New Member

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    Sorry, I think everyone misunderstood. Yes, you will need to reinstall the OS when going from IDE to AHCI or RAID. When reinstalling, you have to use F6 during the first few seconds or windows will not recognize your HDD, as it doesnt have SATA/RAID drivers on it. You have to set AHCI or RAID in BIOS, and if you do it with your current OS, it will not boot. There are workarounds, but a clean install is best.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007
  9. Kursah

    Kursah

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    I've tried ACHI and IDE for SATA2 drives, and really I noticed no difference in speed. I did notice my HDD ran a tad quieter under ACHI mode. I thought ACHI was going to be a better improvement overall from what I've read, but in both Vista Ult. and XP Pro, I noticed and verified no difference. If anything ACHI gave up a couple MB/s to IDE for a quieter operating drive. Of course I have a 7200.9 series Seagate, I think it was one of their first NCQ ACHI supporting drives, so maybe there's no point in my application. But from my experiences, IDE is easier to setup and deal with. I've never tried RAID, nor do I feel the need to. I have my current 500GB drive, which is plenty of space for me, and I plan on getting a raptor 74gb 10k rpm in the future for speed needs.

    But my experiences and knowlege may vary in comparisons to others with different hardware, setup procedures, experiences, etc.
     
  10. Steevo

    Steevo

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    Check your drive channel for current transfer mode. I used IDE emulation for my single drive at work off a Gigabyte 625 board, and it initially chose UDMA33 transfer mode. But after tweaking the registry from safe mode and removing all other instances of it transfer speed is now what it should be.
     
    10 Million points folded for TPU
  11. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    @ Hawk - Heh yep, thanks mate.

    @ Kursah - Well, this HDD is supposed to be as fast as a Raptor in some cases (I read it in a bench-mark review before i bought the thing) and i'm just not seeing any performance increase, only a decrease. Otherwise, i probably would just keep it in IDE. But you know, you don't pay for a downgrade.

    @ Steevo - I wouldn't know where to begin, i really lack knowledge when it comes to HDD's. :)

    Hux.
     
  12. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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  13. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    Well apparently, looking at my manual, my Motherboard does not support AHCI mode, as its an ICH8 southbridge..... ?

    I think i'm just going to have to try and RAID it. But won't it be looking for two HDD's? Will that even function properly with one SATA? It's all so bloody confusing. :cry:
     
  14. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    It seems you need the "R" version sb for ahci,i dont really understand myself how raid can work with 1 disc:confused:
     
  15. Hawk1 New Member

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    Setting it to RAID (at least for my P5W DH) does not automatically mean you have to set up a RAID, or even have 2 SATA drives. From what I understand, AHCI and RAID modes are pretty much exactly the same for performance, but when you set to RAID mode, it means you will be able to implement a RAID in the future, without having to reinstall the OS. If you just set to AHCI and wanted to go to a RAID in the future, it WOULD mean you would have to reinstall the OS and set to RAID mode in the BIOS.

    Edit: if you never plan to go to a RAID (at least without an OS reinstall) then AHCI will be fine for you. I would even suggest using tigger's workaround, as that is the way I originally got mine to AHCI without any issues. I just had to reinstall on Friday, as I did want to go to a RAID0 (havent had a chance to install any programs for real world tests, but HD Tach has a marked improvement in burst rate, as expected).
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2007
  16. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    Thanks again Hawk. I just don't know if it's worth it, and im wondering whether setting my Hard Drive to RAID mode (Or at least something other than IDE to utilize its full SATA functionality) will fix an old stuttering problem i've been having in games which mainly occurs when something in-game is loaded/read from the HD. It used to happen on my old 80GB too, which was also a SATA, which i also did not setup in RAID or AHCI mode. Just wondering if thats the culprit.

    Also, as stated before, i definitely don't feel like the HD is giving me its full performance. What do you think?
     
  17. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    I just switched mine from ide mode to ahci,and it does seem quicker.I dont fancy raid with two disc again as i lost a lot of stuff.There is always raid 0/1 on just two discs using the intel matrix storage program.
     
  18. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    Where have you noticed the performance increase mate? As for AHCI, well, my motherboard has an ICH8 controller so apparently i cant have AHCI mode yet it's in my Bios and its in my manual. :confused:
     
  19. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    It just seems snappier,if you know what i mean.Stuff opens quicker.Try the ahci if its in your bios mate.
     
  20. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    Gah, im getting really confused with all this crap. I'd rather reinstall the OS as opposed to modifying my current install etc like you suggest Tigger. I just want to configure my HD to run at optimal performance levels i paid for, not some half-arsed IDE mode. It's just proving to be a real pain in the ass. I think i'll just go with AHCI mode, RAID does not and will not interest me. Still, im stuck on what to do. I know im going to re-install the OS, but i don't have a Floppy Drive, nor do i even have the proper connectors for one on my PSU. AHCI needs drivers during the OS install to function properly.

    Is there ANY way i can use a USB drive and put the AHCI drivers on there for when i re-install OS?

    The manual is SO fu**ing useless.
     
  21. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    cant you do it the way i did? switch with no reinstall?

    Its pretty easy to do mate.
     
  22. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    It says its not compatible with my ICH8 chipset, even though i have the AHCI option in Bios, and a little section on the AHCI install in the useless manual. So i thought it would probably be best to stick with the manual's half-arsed guide, as opposed to one that might not work, and ultimately screw up my HDD, meaning i'd be stuck with nothing.
     
  23. Hawk1 New Member

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    Well, here is one way you can reinstall without floppy.

    I think you can also use a USB floppy to install the drivers, but the above method wont cost you anything (other than a CD and some download time).

    edit: you can also use this great guide by rado354, if you have the time/inclination, but if you don't plan to reinstall too often, may not be worth your time.
     
  24. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    I found this-->http://kerneltrap.org/node/7582

    It seems the ich8 does support ahci,there is lots of info here for you to get it running on your machine.

    The method i posted to change from ide to ahci needs no disk or nothing,you basically change a setting in the reg,install a driver then reboot and change bios to ahci.When you boot up again windows automatically installs the driver.then you just install the matrix storage manager.
     
  25. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    I'm trying it now Tigger, thanks mate, might as well take the plunge. Wish me luck. :laugh:

    @ Hawk - If the AHCI method does not work, i will definitely try out those links. Thanks for finding those for me, i searched google a few pages back with no luck! Cheers.

    Okay, so i downloaded the

    Replaced those entries in the text document with 2821.

    Ran the Install.CMD

    Enabled AHCI mode in Bios.

    Downloaded latest storage manager.

    Ran install and i get the error ''Do not meet the minimum requirements for this software''.

    What gives? :confused:
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2007

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