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sp193

Intel ICH7 HDD controller stuck in IDE mode

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I have a ASUS P5KPL/EPU mainboard in a computer that is running a modified version of Windows XP SP3.

It's BIOS is at the latest version (v404).

I've recently only noticed that the HDD was set to transfer data at UDMA mode 5, despite the fact that the HDD is indeed a SATA HDD (Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AADS).

I'm unable to install the latest Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers, as the installer keeps giving the "Your computer does not meet the minimum requirements" message.

That happened, despite the fact that my mainboard does contain a supported chip (An ICH7 chip).

The driver that is currently installed was from ASUS (Dated 05-Aug-09 lol...).

Well, I'm still fine with living with old drivers (Which I'm sure that anyone of us who is computer literate won't do) if that error was caused by OEM hardware... but what truly irritated me was this:

Further checking revealed that the ICH7 SATA controller has been operating in IDE emulation mode, but my BIOS doesn't seem to have an option to switch between AHCI/SATA and IDE modes. D:

The Intel Chipset Identification utility reveals that the I/O controller is "Intel® 82801GB/GR I/O controller hub (ICH7/ICH7R) SATA Controller found in IDE mode".

The device manager also shows the "classic" dual-IDE controller configuration like what my Pentium 3 had..... instead of having only one entry under the HDD controller category like most of the other modern systems I've come across.

When I mentioned the "classic" dual-IDE controller configuration, this was what I saw:

Intel® ICH7 Family Ultra ATA Storage Controllers - 27DF

Intel® N10/ICH7 Family Serial ATA Storage Controller - 27C0

Primary IDE Channel

Primary IDE Channel

Secondary IDE Channel

Secondary IDE Channel

It's unusual, because there is only one ATA/IDE port on my mainboard, and my optical drive is connected to it. The HDD appears to be connected under the first "Primary IDE channel" and the optical drive appears to be connected to the lower "Primary IDE channel".

The BIOS reports something like this at bootup too: "SATA 1: IDE HDD", followed by the HDD's data.

So what does this mean? Is my mainboard another one of those ASUS mainboards that had it's AHCI/IDE mode option disabled? Am I doomed to be stuck without the benefits of the AHCI mode forever?

(Will I miss out a lot anyway? I heard that I would only lose NCQ support)

I heard that the ASUS P5K mainboard suffered from an issue like this because of some kind of licensing issue, and that a solution was to flash the mainboard with the BIOS meant for the P5KR.... which is out of the question for me as the P5KR has a rather different configuration from the ASUS P5KPL/EPU.

EDIT: I should probably mention that my goal was to get this system to have updated SATA drivers, if possible. I care about that as the HDD seems to running a little slow compared to my ex-Pentium 3 (Which had a real IDE HDD that was about 5 years older and 5 times smaller lol...).

Edited by sp193

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If your bios doesn't offer sata/ahci/raid /ehanced/compatible/ide mode then you can't do anything to switch ahci mode.

But Intel rapid storage only install if your motherboard support raid.

If you want to set your bios to ahci mode (you'll need to inject the right driver), go in your bios, then in main go to ide configuration and set to it enhanced (the manual isn't very clear).

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But Intel rapid storage only install if your motherboard support raid.

Older versions as well as the deprecated Matrix software required a RAID controller to be present. The newer versions of IRST will install on a system that only has IDE or AHCI options in the BIOS. I haven't seen a system without AHCI for a while so not sure if it would install on a controller with IDE as the only option.

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If your bios doesn't offer sata/ahci/raid /ehanced/compatible/ide mode then you can't do anything to switch ahci mode.

But Intel rapid storage only install if your motherboard support raid.

If you want to set your bios to ahci mode (you'll need to inject the right driver), go in your bios, then in main go to ide configuration and set to it enhanced (the manual isn't very clear).

Thanks, but the only option that is similar to what you have suggested is the "ATA/IDE Configuration" control. According to the manual, setting that option to "Enhanced" will cause "all SATA devices to operate in SATA mode".

The available options are "Disabled", ""Compatible" (Apparently meant to set up IDE emulation) and "Enhanced".

The suboption to that control is "Enhanced Mode Support On". The manual says that it "sets Serial ATA, Parallel ATA or both as native mode". (But what does it mean by "native mode"?)

The available options are "SATA", "PATA" and "SATA+PATA".

I've tried all 3 of them already, and none of them seemed to get the controller out of IDE emulation mode.

Currently, I've left these options at their defaults. ("ATA/IDE Configuration" is set to "Enhanced" and "Enhanced Mode Support On" is set to "SATA"). And as usual, the Intel Chipset Identification utility reports that the ICH7 chipset is still running in IDE emulation mode....

PS: What do you mean by "injecting the right driver"? Do you mean that a solution would be to inject a certain module from another BIOS into my system's BIOS? I hope not.

Older versions as well as the deprecated Matrix software required a RAID controller to be present. The newer versions of IRST will install on a system that only has IDE or AHCI options in the BIOS. I haven't seen a system without AHCI for a while so not sure if it would install on a controller with IDE as the only option.

You are right: The RST setup program won't allow that to happen. :(

But I know that my mainboard supports SATA (And hence, the AHCI mode).

Edited by sp193

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[Thanks, but the only option that is similar to what you have suggested is the "ATA/IDE Configuration" control. According to the manual, setting that option to "Enhanced" will cause "all SATA devices to operate in SATA mode".

The available options are "Disabled", ""Compatible" (Apparently meant to set up IDE emulation) and "Enhanced".

The suboption to that control is "Enhanced Mode Support On". The manual says that it "sets Serial ATA, Parallel ATA or both as native mode". (But what does it mean by "native mode"?)

The available options are "SATA", "PATA" and "SATA+PATA".

That should be:

Compatible=IDE

Enhanced=SATA

Enahnced+SATA=SATA

Enhanced+PATA=IDE

Enhanced+SATA+PATA= A suffusion of yellow (never seen something like this :ph34r:)

Cannot say HOW/WHY, but from what you post it seems to me like:

  1. you installed the thingy in "compatible" mode
  2. thus XP has "compatible mode IDE drivers" loaded
  3. the BIOS provides at least the IDE Dev ID and - with some settings - ALSO the SATA Dev ID :unsure:

If you run under windows XP the "Intel Chipset Identification utility reports that the ICH7 chipset is still running in IDE emulation mode...." should be normal as actually the driver that were loaded are the IDE ones.

Normally, on a XP install (made in IDE compatibility mode) when you switch the BIOS to SATA (or AHCI) you get a (nice :ph34r: ) 0x0000007b BSOD.

You may want to experiment along the lines of link given here:

Or you may want to try the offline Mass Storage driver injection tool:

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showforum=43

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=22523

jaclaz

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As Jaclaz explained, if you set the bios ehanced and sata mode, then you should get a bsod with a 0x0000007b error.

And to inject the sata driver offline inside XP, i would use the second link Jaclaz provided.

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Thanks guys! I would be glad to have even gotten that 0x0000007B stop screen though. It would be a good sign...

I did get it once when downgrading my previous laptop to Windows XP though. :)

Well... I have found a definite answer to my original question (After searching through a lot of maybe not-so-related topics!).

I'm doomed to be forever stuck without the benefits of AHCI because:

1. My chipset is an ICH7 (Yes, the original/base ICH7!)

2. The ICH7 chipset does not support AHCI (According to Intel...)

3. The ICH7 chipset only runs in IDE mode.

4. The Intel RST doesn't support this configuration (It will refuse to install because of the unsupported chipset).

In conclusion, the report given by the Intel Chipset Identification utility is indeed accurate.... but it just didn't state that the chipset didn't support AHCI!

So I've learned that just because the chipset supported SATA doesn't mean that it supported AHCI, since the BIOS and/or chipset might not support it.

Oh, and I just realized that there weren't any SATA drivers for my mainboard either. I thought that I had installed an older copy of the Intel RST drivers from ASUS, but I was mistaken. :(

There's a similar case here, but the OP had a MSI mainboard instead: http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/49310655/m/9181050597

(Now, at least I don't feel as cheated as before...)

@jaclaz: It seems like this BIOS has (quite) a few misnamed options. :ph34r:

The options I've mentioned so far in this thread have nothing to do with AHCI, but with tweaking how the IDE emulation should work (E.g. how the SATA and PATA interfaces should be combined and appear to the loaded OS as a standard IDE controller setup)! :wacko:

Edited by sp193

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Well, if the chipset does not support AHCI you won't have any "real benefit" from running the disk as SATA vs. PATA.

BUT you may want (if you are into experimenting) to try UNIATA :):

http://alter.org.ua/en/soft/win/uni_ata/

jaclaz

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