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Windows 7: HDD listing in Disk Management in Win7

18 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
HDD listing in Disk Management in Win7

Hi all,

A quick question for anyone around familiar with Windows' method of listing drives...

I have an Asus P5Q-E board with three SATA2 drives hooked up correctly to P0, P1 and P2 on the board. The BIOS config indicates the drives are properly listed in order of connection:
P0 - WD 640GB (boot drive) - dual-boot XP/W7x64
P1 - Seagate 320GB (files, etc)
P2 - Seagate 1.0TB (testing, compiling, etc)

Thing is, when I install Win7 (Enterprise x64 from MSDN), and then click over to "Disk Management" (found in "Computer Management" as part of the Administrator Tools), the drives are listed as follows:

Disk 0: Seagate 320GB
Disk 1: Seagate 1.0TB
Disk 2: WD 640GB

Any ideas why Windows would read the drive location differently than what's set in the BIOS? I've changed the SATA cables around, but the boot drive is still listed as Disk 2.

I checked the flags on the drives, no other drive but the WD 640 are active (MBR flag), nothing out of the ordinary.

The Disk Management of WinXP reads the drive placement correctly, so do installers for BSD and UNIX (read as "sda", "sdb", "sdc", etc), but Win7 impresses its own "truth" on me. What gives?

Oddly enough the disk properties show the drive location correctly as "Location 0, Channel 0" .... but Disk Management tells me it's Disk 2.

Are the drives just placed in alphabetical order or something?

Strangely, if I install the Intel matrix storage management drivers for the board (which I don't need in the first place because I'm not running a RAID setup), then Disk Management correctly reports the drives in the order in which they're hooked up to the SATA controller.

Appreciate your thoughts/comments and suggestions.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 RTM

do you have the latest drivers for your chipset or are you using the windows 7 generic form you installation?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Generic Win 7 drivers (same thing I used on the rig before this fresh install).

As I mentioned, if I install the Intel Matrix Storage Management drivers for the board, then the drives are listed as per physical connection and BIOS config. However, I don't really need those drivers since I don't have (and don't plant to use) a RAID configuration. The IMSM drivers are for the Southbridge which controls RAID (which I'm not using).

Here's the kicker - the WD640 was installed as a replacement of a failing Seageate 500GB drive. Interestingly, the 500GB always showed up as Disk0. Then I performed a clean install of Win7. Since I replaced it with the WD640 and re-installed Win7 the 640 shows up as Disk2.

Another weird thing is that the "Device Stage" doesn't download the images of the hardware I have anymore. Dunno why... everything is set the same way as before.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Nov 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Just an update for anyone else following this thread or for those that find this in the future...

After reading more on what these drivers do exactly, it turns out that the IMSM (Intel Matrix Storage Manager) drivers not only set the OS to accept RAID configurations, but also enhances drive throughput when in AHCI mode (set in the BIOS). Regarding the improvement, the IMSM driver includes OS access to a drive's NCQ (Native Command Queuing) instructions which ostensibly increases drive performance.

I went ahead and downloaded the IMSM drivers directly from Intel's site for my chipset (945) and everything worked out great. The IMSM drivers include and install the proper Chipset Drivers for the board, thus not necessary to install both separately.

All the drives in Win7's "Disk Management" are now listed in tandem with the way they're physically connected to the motherboard. Not only that, but there does seem to be a big difference in bootup now (much faster) and general use as well (feels spiffy now).

Still wondering why Win7 would interpret the drive locations differently from the physical connection. Rather baffling to me.

Either way all works very well now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 RTM

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ba5ik View Post
do you have the latest drivers for your chipset or are you using the windows 7 generic form you installation?

Glad to hear you got sorted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 HDD listing in Disk Management in Win7

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