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Windows 7: AHCI : Enable in Windows 7 / Vista

16 Jun 2010   #160
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Airbot rightfully pointed me to this thread (sorry about that!), and am wondering. What advantage is there besides improved WEI numbers and SSD performance? I have spinners, and if there will be no noticeable difference, I won't bother. A Guy


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
16 Jun 2010   #161
blackroseMD1

Windows 10 Tech Preview 9926 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by A Guy View Post
Airbot rightfully pointed me to this thread (sorry about that!), and am wondering. What advantage is there besides improved WEI numbers and SSD performance? I have spinners, and if there will be no noticeable difference, I won't bother. A Guy
I tried it with my HDDs and noticed no difference, except when I tried to go back to IDE, I couldn't access my data anymore.

In my experience, which is limited, I admit, AHCI should be used only if you have an SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2010   #162
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Thanks blackrose, that alone is answer I sought. Thanks, A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2010   #163
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wakeboardr116 View Post
ok I've read this entire thread and still cannot get it to work. I changed the registry value. Downloaded the drivers from dell (only had ones for vista 64bit) there is no exe file to automatically install the drivers. So I went to device manager and tried to update the drivers manually and it said the latest drivers were installed. If I choose let me decide then select have disk and point it to the driver folder it then says it installed sucessfully. So i restart my computer and change the bios settings and I get a bluescreen when windows starts loading. Then I have to do a system restore.

When in device manager and I point it to the right folder there are 2 different files I can choose from. One is iaAHCI.inf and the other is iaStor.inf. After I choose either one it then lists several different models which are like Intel ICH7, ICH9, ICH8 etc... So wich file should I choose and then how do I tell which model I need to pick?

Thanks
Hello wakeboardr116.

I don't have an answer for you, let me look around and if I can come up with anything I'll post back here, in the mean-time keep checking back as someone else may have the info you need.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by A Guy View Post
Airbot rightfully pointed me to this thread (sorry about that!), and am wondering. What advantage is there besides improved WEI numbers and SSD performance? I have spinners, and if there will be no noticeable difference, I won't bother. A Guy
Hello A Guy.

There are other advantages like discussed at the links below, though as blackroseMD1 said, there's not much to be gained if you don't do "hot swapping" which is mostly a server thing.

Quote:
AHCI Advanced Host Controller Interface makes NCQ Native Command Queing along with hot-plugging or hot swapping through SATA Serial-ATA host controllers possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Jun 2010   #164
lafargeotte

Win7 Ultimate x64, Windows 8 Enterprise x64
 
 

I have 2 SATA HDDs (one is Win7 Boot), one IDE HDD (for backup), one SATA DVS & one IDE DVD.

Can I use AHCI mode, and if so is it worth it?

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2010   #165
bc3tech

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

not too keen on searching this thread to find out so i'll just ask:

how do i find out if i'm currently utilizing AHCI or IDE?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2010   #166
Dave76

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wakeboardr116 View Post
ok I've read this entire thread and still cannot get it to work. I changed the registry value. Downloaded the drivers from dell (only had ones for vista 64bit) there is no exe file to automatically install the drivers. So I went to device manager and tried to update the drivers manually and it said the latest drivers were installed. If I choose let me decide then select have disk and point it to the driver folder it then says it installed sucessfully. So i restart my computer and change the bios settings and I get a bluescreen when windows starts loading. Then I have to do a system restore.

When in device manager and I point it to the right folder there are 2 different files I can choose from. One is iaAHCI.inf and the other is iaStor.inf. After I choose either one it then lists several different models which are like Intel ICH7, ICH9, ICH8 etc... So wich file should I choose and then how do I tell which model I need to pick?

Thanks
Had a look at your manual, typical Dell manual, vague, have been using them for years. Generally not much help.

Does you BIOS say RAID Autodetect/ATA?
Give me the exact wording for all the choices.

From your manual:

Quote:
SATA Drives 0 through 4
(On default)

Enables or disables drives attached to the SATA connectors on the system board.

Off — A device attached to the interface is not usable.
On — A device attached to the interface is usable.

eSATA
(On default)

Enables or disables eSATA.

Off — eSATA is disabled.
On — eSATA is enabled.
NOTE: eSATA is not supported in ATA mode.

SATA Operation

(RAID On default)

Enables or disables RAID (for more information, see the Dell Technology Guide).

RAID Autodetect/ATA — RAID if signed drives, otherwise ATA.
RAID On — SATA is configured for RAID on every boot.
From my dealings with Dell, SATA should mean AHCI will be working.
ATA, strictly by definition can mean SATA or PATA, with Dell I think it means PATA, so no AHCI.

It appears that if your using ports 0-4, it should be in SATA, meaning AHCI enabled.

Are there other ports dedicated for RAID?
They might be a different color.
Dell is very careful about not giving any more information than they absolutely have to.

Also noticed at the Dell Community help site,
ATA can mean PATA(IDE) or SATA, the ATA mode in the bios is more stable, and your drive is running in SATA mode.
Not sure if this info is accurate.

Read this, How to turn on RAID / eSata port on XPS 420.
It's for a XPS 420, but should be similar to yours, just use your latest driver for your XPS 430.
This may be what you have already done.

Have a look around that forum, or post a question, you might get the answer.
It's a user to user forum, which is usually more helpful than from Dell
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2010   #167
Dave76

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by A Guy View Post
Airbot rightfully pointed me to this thread (sorry about that!), and am wondering. What advantage is there besides improved WEI numbers and SSD performance? I have spinners, and if there will be no noticeable difference, I won't bother. A Guy
AHCI is for HDDs and SSDs.

I have the 500GB (32MB Cache) version of the same HDD that you have, when I switched to AHCI, I noticed a performance improvement.

Read the links BFK posted.
NCQ, reduces disk thrashing, lets the HD operate more efficiently by reading/writing more info in a single pass.

There're more benefits.

It's important to be sure your HDD has the features that AHCI will enable and use, yours does.
Some people don't notice an improvement, this may be due to their HDD not having the features needed.

YMMV...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2010   #168
wakeboardr116

Windows 7 Professional x64 6.1 Build 7600
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wakeboardr116 View Post
ok I've read this entire thread and still cannot get it to work. I changed the registry value. Downloaded the drivers from dell (only had ones for vista 64bit) there is no exe file to automatically install the drivers. So I went to device manager and tried to update the drivers manually and it said the latest drivers were installed. If I choose let me decide then select have disk and point it to the driver folder it then says it installed sucessfully. So i restart my computer and change the bios settings and I get a bluescreen when windows starts loading. Then I have to do a system restore.

When in device manager and I point it to the right folder there are 2 different files I can choose from. One is iaAHCI.inf and the other is iaStor.inf. After I choose either one it then lists several different models which are like Intel ICH7, ICH9, ICH8 etc... So wich file should I choose and then how do I tell which model I need to pick?

Thanks
Had a look at your manual, typical Dell manual, vague, have been using them for years. Generally not much help.

Does you BIOS say RAID Autodetect/ATA?
Give me the exact wording for all the choices.

From your manual:

Quote:
SATA Drives 0 through 4
(On default)

Enables or disables drives attached to the SATA connectors on the system board.

Off — A device attached to the interface is not usable.
On — A device attached to the interface is usable.

eSATA
(On default)

Enables or disables eSATA.

Off — eSATA is disabled.
On — eSATA is enabled.
NOTE: eSATA is not supported in ATA mode.

SATA Operation

(RAID On default)

Enables or disables RAID (for more information, see the Dell Technology Guide).

RAID Autodetect/ATA — RAID if signed drives, otherwise ATA.
RAID On — SATA is configured for RAID on every boot.
From my dealings with Dell, SATA should mean AHCI will be working.
ATA, strictly by definition can mean SATA or PATA, with Dell I think it means PATA, so no AHCI.

It appears that if your using ports 0-4, it should be in SATA, meaning AHCI enabled.

Are there other ports dedicated for RAID?
They might be a different color.
Dell is very careful about not giving any more information than they absolutely have to.

Also noticed at the Dell Community help site,
ATA can mean PATA(IDE) or SATA, the ATA mode in the bios is more stable, and your drive is running in SATA mode.
Not sure if this info is accurate.

Read this, How to turn on RAID / eSata port on XPS 420.
It's for a XPS 420, but should be similar to yours, just use your latest driver for your XPS 430.
This may be what you have already done.

Have a look around that forum, or post a question, you might get the answer.
It's a user to user forum, which is usually more helpful than from Dell
Thanks. Thats pretty much exactly what the BIOS says. It has RAID autodetect and RAID ON. Right now its on RAID Autodetect.

I have my SSD on port 0 and my HDD on port 1. Then on port 2 I have my disk drive.

I'm not sure if certain ones are dedicated to raid or not, but port 0 is blue, ports 1,3, and 4 are black, but port 2 is white. Not sure if that means anything there.

Thanks for the links. I'll read through those as soon as I get a chance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2010   #169
ZaLiTH

Win 10 x64 Pro x64 / Ubuntu 15.10 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by A Guy View Post
Airbot rightfully pointed me to this thread (sorry about that!), and am wondering. What advantage is there besides improved WEI numbers and SSD performance? I have spinners, and if there will be no noticeable difference, I won't bother. A Guy
I'd say AHCI makes a bigger difference to spinners than it does to SSDs, simply due to the fact that NCQ improves random seek times quite nicely on the mechanical drives. However, I must also admit I don't have any SSD drives yet, so that is essentially speculation on my part at the moment.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by blackroseMD1 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by A Guy View Post
Airbot rightfully pointed me to this thread (sorry about that!), and am wondering. What advantage is there besides improved WEI numbers and SSD performance? I have spinners, and if there will be no noticeable difference, I won't bother. A Guy
I tried it with my HDDs and noticed no difference, except when I tried to go back to IDE, I couldn't access my data anymore.

In my experience, which is limited, I admit, AHCI should be used only if you have an SSD.
One very important point to keep in mind here; AHCI, or more specifically, NCQ will only appear to improve a mechanical drive's performance if there is anything more than light file fragmentation. Other than that, there is nothing for the native command queing feature to really do..

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bc3tech View Post
not too keen on searching this thread to find out so i'll just ask:

how do i find out if i'm currently utilizing AHCI or IDE?
The easiest way to check this is to look at the "Safely Remove Hardware" system tray icon (usually only shown when a USB flash drive is plugged in); if you see your normal HDDs in that list as well, then you have either AHCI or RAID more enabled.. If you're not running RAID, then it's just straight AHCI. Hope that helps...
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 AHCI : Enable in Windows 7 / Vista




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