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Snear

I can use a 5 TB HDD in XP - how is that possible?

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Found an even newer version: 3.3.1540.29. The 5 TB HDD does not show up in the disk manager.

It seems like this "virtual sector size" feature was part of some early version of the AMD AHCI driver, but has been removed eventually.

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Posted (edited)

So, the 2048 geometry is automagically generated by an original MS (or AMD) driver (though in a couple specific versions only), right?

The results of your (nice :thumbup)  experiments mean in a nutshell that it is possible to "overrule" an exposed device geometry through a driver, 

I actually suspected :dubbio:something like that since the time the VSS virtual disk driver was found:

http://reboot.pro/topic/6492-virtual-storage-driver/

(that driver allows to create virtual disks with either a 512 or 4096 sector size) but I thought :unsure: that the feature was possible only because of the "virtual" nature of the (simulated) hardware.

It should also mean that the good MS (or AMD) guys decided to keep this piece of info for themselves, most probably choosing the easier (please read as lazier) approach that would not create compatibility issues, which might be a "reasonable" choice for external devices (USB disks) that by definition are removable/exchangeable but that sounds like being overcautious for an internal device.

jaclaz

 

Edited by jaclaz

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Isn't ahcix86.sys related to AMD's AHCI controller drivers (to be exact, the AHCI-compatible RAID drivers), thus not a native file from microsoft? Seems that you might had 'em slipstreamed b4

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Posted (edited)

 

4 hours ago, IntMD said:

Isn't ahcix86.sys related to AMD's AHCI controller drivers (to be exact, the AHCI-compatible RAID drivers), thus not a native file from microsoft? Seems that you might had 'em slipstreamed b4

 

8 hours ago, Snear said:

In all tests in AHCI, I used the driver rcxpahci.sys V6.1.3.00035 from 2014. I integrated this driver in order to let the drive show up during the installation of XP Pro. What I did not recognze so far: it is actually only being used as a textmode driver. XP Pro SP3 has its own PNP AHCI driver: ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.86.

The report seemingly mentions using the built-in  MS driver (or maybe it is another AMD driver, this is what is not entirely clear), and - still if I get this right :unsure:

ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.25 works
ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.86 (included in SP3) works or does NOT work? :dubbio:
ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.127 (newer) does NOT work and cannot be even installed :unsure:
ahcix86.sys V3.2.1540.35 does NOT work
ahcix86.sys V3.3.1540.29 does NOT work

I re-edited my previous post to underline that at the moment that the source could be either MS or AMD.

Let's wait for Snear to confirm the above and/or post a more ordered list of what works/doesn't work and the actual source of each file.

Once we have a definite list, we can pass the info to Fernando (who is AFAIK the most knowledgeable about SATA/AHCI and RAID drivers :thumbup):

https://www.win-raid.com/t3024f45-Guide-Integration-of-AMD-s-AHCI-RAID-drivers-into-a-WinXP-W-k-CD.html

he may well know much more than us on the various versions.

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz

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18 minutes ago, jaclaz said:

ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.25 works

ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.86 (included in SP3) works or does NOT work? :dubbio:

ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.127 (newer) does NOT work and cannot be even installed :unsure:

ahcix86.sys V3.2.1540.35 does NOT work

ahcix86.sys V3.3.1540.29 does NOT work

fixed the versioning and correct ordering for ya.

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Posted (edited)
On 1/2/2020 at 4:13 PM, Tripredacus said:

Here is the manual for the Seagate 5TB:

https://www.seagate.com/www-content/product-content/seagate-laptop-fam/barracuda_25/en-us/docs/100804767h.pdf

It would appear that the disk has its own 4K Translator, and is designed to identify or expose the 512 to the system.

what page did you read this on ?

I'm not confident with Seagate because of lower realiability compared to WD but I would be interested in a similar 5/6 TB HDD 3.5'' size

Edited by caliber

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4 hours ago, IntMD said:

fixed the versioning and correct ordering for ya.

Thank you :), re-edited, hopefully this time getting it right, my previous post.

jaclaz

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Here is the list:

ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.25 works

ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.86 works

ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.127 (newer) does NOT work and cannot be even installed

ahcix86.sys V3.2.1540.35 does NOT work

ahcix86.sys V3.3.1540.29 does NOT work

I have several versions of XP Pro. Some versions are original products from Microsoft and some are OEM versions from Compaq, HP, Dell and Medion. I checked about a dozen CDs. As it turned out, the ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.86 is only part of Dell OEM versions of XP Pro.

I checked a server mainboard with a AMD SP5100 southbridge: exactly the same behaviour. All tested controllers (SB700/SB800/SP5100) have the same hardware id: VEN1002&DEV_4391. All versions of ahcix86.sys support this hardware id, although the various versions seem to be designed for different chipsets. I downloaded the latest chipset drivers for XP and V3.1.1540.86 is the newest version for the SB600. But it does not seems to be a problem to mix things up. The ahcix86 driver in folder SB800 works perfectly with SB700 and vice versa. Using the V3.1.1540.86 (designed for SB600 with SATA-II 3Gb) at a SB800 (SATA-III 6Gb) still gives full speed (reading at 394MB/sec with a SSD, which is not possible with SATA-II).

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Posted (edited)

It's clear that there is something really special in the AHCI driver.

Controllers with the following IDs are from NAPA series:
PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4391
PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4392
PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4393
PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4394
PCI\VEN_1022&DEV_7801
PCI\VEN_1022&DEV_7802
PCI\VEN_1022&DEV_7803
PCI\VEN_1022&DEV_7804

AMD licensed Promise's IP for use with their chipsets, there are Promise strings inside the driver (.sys) and the coding is really close to Promise's own FastTrack series drivers.
At that time the USB controllers used NEC's IP and the drivers are really similar.

They've put the same driver in different folders just to make it clear both chipsets are supported.

What is the error message you get when installing V3.1.1540.127?

I've put together my collection of AMD drivers, please confirm that the included v3.1.1540.86 is the same as the one you're using.

Included versions are:
- 3.1.1540.103, 3.1.1540.123, 3.1.1540.151, 3.1.1547.124
- 3.2.1540.24, 3.2.1548.37
- 3.3.1540.40
- 5.1.0.22 (supports Intel controllers, not WHQL for XP)
http://www.mediafire.com/file/22ainwe5hip0sv4

Please try them all.

Edited by daniel_k

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Snear said:

Here is the list:

ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.25 works

ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.86 works

ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.127 (newer) does NOT work and cannot be even installed

ahcix86.sys V3.2.1540.35 does NOT work

ahcix86.sys V3.3.1540.29 does NOT work

I have several versions of XP Pro. Some versions are original products from Microsoft and some are OEM versions from Compaq, HP, Dell and Medion. I checked about a dozen CDs. As it turned out, the ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.86 is only part of Dell OEM versions of XP Pro.

I checked a server mainboard with a AMD SP5100 southbridge: exactly the same behaviour. All tested controllers (SB700/SB800/SP5100) have the same hardware id: VEN1002&DEV_4391. All versions of ahcix86.sys support this hardware id, although the various versions seem to be designed for different chipsets. I downloaded the latest chipset drivers for XP and V3.1.1540.86 is the newest version for the SB600. But it does not seems to be a problem to mix things up. The ahcix86 driver in folder SB800 works perfectly with SB700 and vice versa. Using the V3.1.1540.86 (designed for SB600 with SATA-II 3Gb) at a SB800 (SATA-III 6Gb) still gives full speed (reading at 394MB/sec with a SSD, which is not possible with SATA-II).

So, none were included in MS XP SP3?

There are - here and there - reports that V3.1.1540.25 is very slow, so, if the V3.1.1540.86 works (and works fast)  it should be the "recommended" version.

Any source (besides the Dell OEM XP Pro install CD/DVD or *wherever* you found it)?

@daniel_k

What does NAPA series mean?

As a personal favour (only if you wish, of course :)):

Please, please, please, do not use the .rar format as it is NOT a "universal" format, a lot of other tools (but WinRar)  have issues with it.

jaclaz

 

 

Edited by jaclaz

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, jaclaz said:

@daniel_k

What does NAPA series mean?

As a personal favour (only if you wish, of course :)):

Please, please, please, do not use the .rar format as it is NOT a "universal" format, a lot of other tools (but WinRar)  have issues with it.

NAPA is the codename of the SATA controllers using Promise's IP.

Sure I can use 7-Zip. Replaced .rar with .7z package.
I'm use WinRAR because of the Recovery Record feature for safety reasons.

Edited by daniel_k

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, jaclaz said:

So, none were included in MS XP SP3?

There are - here and there - reports that V3.1.1540.25 is very slow, so, if the V3.1.1540.86 works (and works fast)  it should be the "recommended" version.

Any source (besides the Dell OEM XP Pro install CD/DVD or *wherever* you found it)?

Right, no MS XP SP3 contains it.

Get the chipset drivers for the Asus AM1I-A Motherboard: https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AM1IA/HelpDesk_Download/

This package contains a huge set of AMD drivers - probably the latest you can get for XP. The ahcix86.sys V3.1.1540.86 is located in XP\Packages\Drivers\SBDrv\SB6xx\RAID\XP\

Some of these drivers, for example the drivers for the integrated graphics card of the AM1 processors, are not even available at the AMD website. As far as I know, the AM1 platform did not even support XP, but the drivers from Asus work perfectly on every AM1 mainboard - and any other AM2/AM3 mainboard.

Edited by Snear

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Posted (edited)

Good, thanks :).

In the meantime, I found version 3.1.1540.68 (if needed/for testing) in an archive on driversguide ATI_SB700_IDE_Floppy.zip, I am attaching it.

Maybe - just maybe - having a number of "near enough" versions someone with the right knowledge of capability (as an example daniel_k ;)) may be able to understand what exactly makes these drivers so special, though we don't know if the "variable sector size" is something that is in the driver only or if it is a specific feature of the actual controller chip and the software only "switches modes". :dubbio:

A (hopefully "pristine" and unmodified) version 3.1.1540.86 can be found on Acer's site, as a driver for the model Aspire 4535G:

https://www.acer.com/ac/en/ID/content/support-product/1141;-;

jaclaz

 

 

 

ATI_SB700_IDE_Floppy.zip

Edited by jaclaz

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, jaclaz said:

Maybe - just maybe - having a number of "near enough" versions someone with the right knowledge of capability (as an example daniel_k ;)) may be able to understand what exactly makes these drivers so special, though we don't know if the "variable sector size" is something that is in the driver only or if it is a specific feature of the actual controller chip and the software only "switches modes". :dubbio:

A (hopefully "pristine" and unmodified) version 3.1.1540.86 can be found on Acer's site, as a driver for the model Aspire 4535G:

Hopefully @Snear is able to test the drivers I've posted here (specially the v3.1 ones).

Thanks for the Acer link, it's exactly the same driver I've packaged.

I'm sure this AHCI/RAID driver written by Promise automatically changes the sector size according to the disk size.

Found an article on Promise's KB regarding support for disks larger than 2TB:

For this logical drive size | Select this sector size 
 
      Up to 16 TB           |     4096 bytes (4 KB) 
      Up to 8 TB            |     2048 bytes (2 KB) 
      Up to 4 TB            |     1024 bytes (1 KB) 
      Up to 2 TB            |     512 bytes (512 B)

Understanding the 2 TB Limit in Windows Storage TechNet article has comments from owners of Promise products that confirm 7.5 TB disk being usable with Windows 2000 Server.

Edited by daniel_k
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On 1/5/2020 at 9:01 AM, caliber said:

what page did you read this on ?

I'm not confident with Seagate because of lower realiability compared to WD but I would be interested in a similar 5/6 TB HDD 3.5'' size

It is in the specs, such as page 8 in the sizes chart: "Bytes per Sector: 512 (logical) / 4096 (physical)"

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