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Windows 7: BIOS, RAID 1 and AHCI hot swappable drives question

10 May 2015   #1

Win 7 Pro 64 Bit
BIOS, RAID 1 and AHCI hot swappable drives question

I wanted to be able to hot swap drives, on a Gigabyte GA-Z97-GAMING 3 M/B. Seems the Gigagbyte BIOS has 3 SATA MODE SELECTION options:
IDE, AHCI and RAID. It was set to RAID, which makes sense as the D drive is a pair of matched SATA III drives in a BIOS (software) RAID 1 pairing. C drive is an SSD with the OS on it. However this option doesn't seem to allow hot swapping, even though all drives are set in the BIOS with hot swapping enabled.
Setting the SATA MODE SELECTION parameter to AHCI doesn't allow booting, and I am afraid of enabling AHCI in the registry in case "something bad happens" to the RAID. What will happen if I both set AHCI in the BIOS and set the Win 7 64 bit registry for AHCI? Will the RAID1 Intel Rapid Storage Technology software RAID 1 pairing still work, and will I then have hot swappable drives? Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2015   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Edit: Putting the edit in the beginning, but do read till the end please. You have a separate controller named Marvell® 88SE9172 chip, try setting this as AHCI in BIOS and attach the drives you want to hot-swap to GSATA3 ports 6-7(grey ports?), see if it works. Maybe you wont have to change to AHCI on your Intel chipset after all.

Hey, I have an older AMD Gigabyte board but things may be similar. I will share my experience.

First of all, in BIOS I have 3 different sets of options for IDE/RAID/AHCI. Namely, E-Sata ports (x2 SATAII), GSata (x2,SATAII) and OnChip SATA (this is the SB850 SATA ports,x6 SATAIII). E-Sata and GSata are both controlled by Jmicron chipset.

When I installed current OS a month ago on my new SSD, I installed with OnChip SATA mode set as RAID as I had 2x1TB BIOS raid0 and 2x640GB BIOS raid0 that I didn't want to break. The RAID option in theory is just a subset of AHCI and should have the same functionality. However, Samsung Magician program for the SSD had problems recognizing the SSD properly. So I had to change to AHCI.

You can definitely change the registry to load msahci(and IAStorV on intel?) on startup, it is just another driver to be loaded, OS will continue to use RAID drivers as long as BIOS is set to RAID. However, you will lose your BIOS raid once you switch to AHCI in BIOS, they will be back if you change back to RAID once again (just don't do anything to them in windows :)). I backed up my data and set-up a new windows raid0 in disk management and it is working alright atm. So losing your BIOS software raid is not that much of a problem imho.

Now the interesting part is, although OnChip SATA ports are set for AHCI, non of the drives attached to these ports are hot-pluggable. They simply don't show in Safely Remove Hardware. Not that I want these show as removable mind you.

For hot-plug ability, I use E-Sata ports which are set to AHCI as well and had to install the corresponding JMicron drivers. The HD I use for backup purposes is connected to the PC with a SATA-to-ESata data cable and I have an adaptor that can supply 12V+5V 2Amps that has a molex ending, which in turn has a molex to sata power converter. I can hot-plug this disk and just use safely remove hardware like any usb stick/hdd. Now, this may not be what you are looking for, I just wanted to show you even though both chips are AHCI one of them doesn't list drives as hot-pluggable and the other one is.

The above setup is working alright for me so I have not looked into it further but there may be one other option that you can try. 2 weeks ago I had to work on a friend's laptop and his internal drive was showing as removable and I had to do a registry edit to mark it as internal. Perhaps the reverse can also be done?

My internal SATA device appears in Devices and Printers and in the - Microsoft Community

Also, keep in mind that when 2 drives are connected to the same power cable, if you hot-swap one drive it may kill the power to the other drive that is supposed to be keep working.

By the way, you didn't mention why you want hot-swap. Do you have some other drives for backup? You can't hot swap the OS or raid drives anyway.

Hopefully someone more knowledgable with your board will come along and answer proper.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2015   #3

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
Can’t switch from RAID to AHCI in my non-RAID system

From all the treads I’ve seen that could relate to this issue, I think this one is most closely related. If deemed to be-not, I’ll happy move this post or start a new thread. Please advise.

I want to enable HDD Hot Swapping on my removable internal HDD bay, but am stuck in RAID mode where this option doesn’t appear to be available.

Problem Detail:
I.E. when I change the SATA setting (in the BIOS) from RAID to AHCI and restart--I get the following BSOD: Stop: 0x0000007B (0xFFFFF880009A7E8, 0XFFFFFFFFC0000034, 0x0000000000000000, 0x0000000000000000)
(-rather than helpful information—to me it looks more like a really big swearword)

Fixit file attempt:
After trying this a couple of times unsuccessfully—and after reading this thread including the reference to a seemingly related Fixit file—I executed: ‘MicrosoftFixit50470’-but without same results… -still BSOD as displayed above.

System History:
All new parts
Assembled system
Attempted a RAID-1 setup but ran into problems (decided to ditch RAID on this build), so
Formatted the two 3TB HDDs (and put one aside)
Added a fresh SSD for System only
Flashed the BIOS (at least I’m almost certain I did)
Loaded windows and all other S/W, MS updates etc.
System Health: System and applications running nicely …with the exception of what I think is an unrelated issue (which I will tackle on another occasion):
BSOD: occurring roughly every 2-3 days—typically on waking from Sleep Mode. Details: Critical Error, Event ID 41, Kernel-Power (as viewed via MS Event Viewer)

I’ve searched the web for hours and haven’t found a solution (…Cyanide and water is never a good solution). If someone could throw some light on this, I would sure appreciate it. Although this is my first post—I’ve found this forum infinitely helpful on numerous occasionsthanks to all those who have contributed!

System Details:
OS: Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
Intel Haswell Core i7-4790 3.6GHz 8MB
Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3
Crucial 8GB DDR3 1600MHz (x2)
EVGA GeForce GTX750Ti 2GB SC version
System: Samsung 850 EVO 120GB
Data 1: Seagate 2TB SS-Hybrid 8G NAND Flash+720
Data 2: Seagate 3TB Barracuda SATA3 7200RPM 64MB
2x DVD Writers etc.

MS Security Essentials
Firefox, Adobe CS etc…
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Jun 2015   #4
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Even though a port may be set to Hot Swap, that doesn't mean it will show up in Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media. On my machine, drives connected to the Marvell chip will show up in Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media; drives connected to the Intel ports will not. However, if I were to eject the drive connected to a Marvell port, I would have to reboot the computer to get it back since Marvell ports aren't Hot Swappable. My MOBO allows me to individually set each of my six Intel ports to IDE or RAID except for the two SATA III ports, which will also allow RAID. I believe Hot Swap can be set only when the Intel port is set to AHCI. I daily plug in and remove HDDs in the internal swap bay in my desktop machine without any problems even though I'm not able to eject them first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2015   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

You get a BSOD because you haven't enabled the AHCI drivers in registry before you change to AHCI in BIOS. AHCI : Enable in Windows 7 / Vista
Likewise going back to RAID in BIOS, you need to install and enable the RAID drivers from your motherboard support site.

You can stay in AHCI mode, and create a mirrored volume in Disk Management. Same functionality and similar performance. As long as you understand RAID1 is not a backup method, and ensure you backup properly and regularly it will be alright.

For HotSwapping, you may need to be in AHCI mode. And have proper driver from motherboard support site installed. (My main controller is AMD SB850 chipset, and I don't see those drives as hotswappable, but my E-SATA backup drive is connected to secondary GSATA controller (JMicron 36x). I couldn't see it in Disk Management/Computer Management at first, but it started to show as soon as I installed JMicron driver. And also shows on Safely Remove interface. None of SB850 drives show as safely removable) However, HotSwap is an AHCI feature and should be possible regardless of controller and perhaps even in RAID mode (as it is a subset of AHCI).

You can also try HotSwap! program, and see if it will help in your case:

@Lady F.: Do you have the proper driver installed or are you running with msahci for your Marvell controller? (easy to check by running AS SSD and switch to the suitable drive from dropdown list if you are not sure - shows in upper left of window in green text if no problems are found). You can also try, scan for new hardware in Computer Management and see if the drive will be recognized.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2015   #6
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GokAy View Post
@Lady F.: Do you have the proper driver installed or are you running with msahci for your Marvell controller? (easy to check by running AS SSD and switch to the suitable drive from dropdown list if you are not sure - shows in upper left of window in green text if no problems are found). You can also try, scan for new hardware in Computer Management and see if the drive will be recognized.
I'm running whatever default driver that came with my MOBO. It works just fine for what I'm using them for so I see no need to change it.

I'm also running an LSI 9211-8i HBA card and all 8 SATA "ports" are hot swappable. I have my two hot swap bays connected to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #7

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1

Hey thanks so much for your input Lady Fitzgerald and GokAy (and especially for the unexpected rapid response too…)!

I followed the ‘AHCI : Enable in Windows 7 / Vista’ tutorial that you suggested GokAy, but discovered these settings were already set correctly. So I went on to try the free ‘HotSwap!’ utility—and it worked! This solves my problem and has saved me a great deal of wasted time trying to get the Intel-based utility working…

Thank you guys—very-very much appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #8
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

No problem; we'll send you a bill at the end of the month.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2015   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Great, glad it worked for you
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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