Changing SATA/IDE to SATA/AHCI in BIOS


T

Thomas Wendell

My computer is a MSI K9A2 CF-F ver. 1.0 m/b (BIOS F2), AMD 8650 cpu, 2*2GB
memory
500GB+640GB (Samsung HD501LJ + WDC WD6400AAKS SATA-HDs) on SATA controller
LiteOn SOHW-1693S DVD+/-RW DL, TDK CDRW321040B CD-RW on PATA controller
OS: Windows XPhome (SP3 and all fixes

When I installed XP, I set SATA mode to IDE in BIOS (options are IDE and
RAID). Nowhere anything like legacy mode or AHCI

As it is now, I suppose I can't use an external SATA disk (eSATA connection
by cable from one of the four SATA connectors to backplane) as IDE mode
doesn't support hotplugging like USB? But I'd like to use a eSATA connection
for my 1TB EHD, as the casing for it has both eSATA and USB, and eSATA would
be faster....

Would changing SATA mode to RAID give me AHCI funktions like NCQ and
HotSwap? Or is just RAID, which I don't need or want?
(I know I have to install the needed drivers (RAID??) from the m/b CD before
making the BIOS change. How to install driver for non-existent hardware?)

Hope somebody understands my ramblings....
 
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P

Paul

Thomas said:
My computer is a MSI K9A2 CF-F ver. 1.0 m/b (BIOS F2), AMD 8650 cpu, 2*2GB
memory
500GB+640GB (Samsung HD501LJ + WDC WD6400AAKS SATA-HDs) on SATA controller
LiteOn SOHW-1693S DVD+/-RW DL, TDK CDRW321040B CD-RW on PATA controller
OS: Windows XPhome (SP3 and all fixes

When I installed XP, I set SATA mode to IDE in BIOS (options are IDE and
RAID). Nowhere anything like legacy mode or AHCI

As it is now, I suppose I can't use an external SATA disk (eSATA connection
by cable from one of the four SATA connectors to backplane) as IDE mode
doesn't support hotplugging like USB? But I'd like to use a eSATA connection
for my 1TB EHD, as the casing for it has both eSATA and USB, and eSATA would
be faster....

Would changing SATA mode to RAID give me AHCI funktions like NCQ and
HotSwap? Or is just RAID, which I don't need or want?
(I know I have to install the needed drivers (RAID??) from the m/b CD before
making the BIOS change. How to install driver for non-existent hardware?)

Hope somebody understands my ramblings....

Page B8 of the downloadable manual, mentions the RAID controller
is "AHCI Compatible". Which hints that perhaps the driver is
an AHCI one. (Intel uses an AHCI driver for their RAID.) So it
may be possible to get your hot plug that way. As long as single
drives with non-RAID metadata will be picked up by the driver,
and by the BIOS if you need to boot from it. The BIOS might
be the tricky part. You could always Google on SB600 and
see what others experience with that chipset.

“ATI AHCI Compatible RAID Controller -x86 platform”

http://download2.msi.com.tw/files/downloads/mnu_exe/E7388v1.0.zip

The K9A2 CF-F has room for a 48 pin chip, just behind the 2x3 audio
stack connector. If that chip was populated, it would be a Silicon
Image SIL3531, which is a single port ESATA chip. You can see the
seven pads beside the audio stack, which is where they would have
soldered an ESATA connector. So some other variant of the K9A2 CF,
would have done this for you (provided one ESATA in addition to
the four regular SATA).

You can always purchase a PCI Express x1 ESATA card, as an alternative
solution.

Paul
 
A

Anna

Thomas Wendell said:
My computer is a MSI K9A2 CF-F ver. 1.0 m/b (BIOS F2), AMD 8650 cpu, 2*2GB
memory
500GB+640GB (Samsung HD501LJ + WDC WD6400AAKS SATA-HDs) on SATA controller
LiteOn SOHW-1693S DVD+/-RW DL, TDK CDRW321040B CD-RW on PATA controller
OS: Windows XPhome (SP3 and all fixes

When I installed XP, I set SATA mode to IDE in BIOS (options are IDE and
RAID). Nowhere anything like legacy mode or AHCI

As it is now, I suppose I can't use an external SATA disk (eSATA
connection by cable from one of the four SATA connectors to backplane) as
IDE mode doesn't support hotplugging like USB? But I'd like to use a eSATA
connection for my 1TB EHD, as the casing for it has both eSATA and USB,
and eSATA would be faster....

Would changing SATA mode to RAID give me AHCI funktions like NCQ and
HotSwap? Or is just RAID, which I don't need or want?
(I know I have to install the needed drivers (RAID??) from the m/b CD
before making the BIOS change. How to install driver for non-existent
hardware?)

Hope somebody understands my ramblings....


Thomas:
There really shouldn't be any problem with that MSI motherboard re using an
external SATA HDD with eSATA connectivity. Since that motherboard does not
contain an eSATA port, I assume you will be using an eSATA adapter affixed
to the backplane of your desktop computer case. Many, if not most, of the
external enclosures designed for eSATA connectivity include such an adapter
and, as I'm sure you know, that adapter device is easily affixed to the
backplane. The SATA data cable attached to the adapter will be simply
connected to one of your motherboard's SATA connectors.

Thus, you should have no problem achieving eSATA capability, including the
"hot-plugging" and "hot swappable" capabilities through that configuration.
There should be no further need to change any BIOS settings, nor install any
add'l drivers.

Just one thing further...

Most likely if you power-on the external SATA HDD *following* bootup, the
system will recognize that device without any problem. However, certain
chipsets do not provide that capability and the external HDD would not be
listed in the "Disk drives" section of Device Manager. (There's no problem
if the external SATA HDD is powered-on & connected at the time of bootup).
Anyway, if this non-recognition situation does occur all you need do is
right-click on "Disk drives" in DM and then click on the "Scan for hardware
changes" menu item. The likelihood is that the external SATA drive *will* be
detected by the system regardless of whether it's powered-on & connected
before or after bootup, but I wanted to bring this to your attention.

I'm sure you will be delighted with having the capability of an external HDD
having SATA-to-SATA connectivity. Its performance (in terms of data transfer
ability) is substantially superior to that of a USB external HDD. And
there's an added capability in that the system treats the external SATA HDD
as a *bootable* device. Thus, if you routinely use a disk-cloning program
for comprehensive backup purposes, you will have another bootable HDD at
your disposal.
Anna
Anna
 
T

Thomas Wendell

Paul said:
Page B8 of the downloadable manual, mentions the RAID controller
is "AHCI Compatible". Which hints that perhaps the driver is
an AHCI one. (Intel uses an AHCI driver for their RAID.) So it
may be possible to get your hot plug that way. As long as single
drives with non-RAID metadata will be picked up by the driver,
and by the BIOS if you need to boot from it. The BIOS might
be the tricky part. You could always Google on SB600 and
see what others experience with that chipset.

“ATI AHCI Compatible RAID Controller -x86 platform”

http://download2.msi.com.tw/files/downloads/mnu_exe/E7388v1.0.zip

The K9A2 CF-F has room for a 48 pin chip, just behind the 2x3 audio
stack connector. If that chip was populated, it would be a Silicon
Image SIL3531, which is a single port ESATA chip. You can see the
seven pads beside the audio stack, which is where they would have
soldered an ESATA connector. So some other variant of the K9A2 CF,
would have done this for you (provided one ESATA in addition to
the four regular SATA).

You can always purchase a PCI Express x1 ESATA card, as an alternative
solution.

Paul

Thank you
 
T

Thomas Wendell

Anna said:
Thomas:
There really shouldn't be any problem with that MSI motherboard re using
an external SATA HDD with eSATA connectivity. Since that motherboard does
not contain an eSATA port, I assume you will be using an eSATA adapter
affixed to the backplane of your desktop computer case. Many, if not most,
of the external enclosures designed for eSATA connectivity include such an
adapter and, as I'm sure you know, that adapter device is easily affixed
to the backplane. The SATA data cable attached to the adapter will be
simply connected to one of your motherboard's SATA connectors.

Thus, you should have no problem achieving eSATA capability, including the
"hot-plugging" and "hot swappable" capabilities through that
configuration. There should be no further need to change any BIOS
settings, nor install any add'l drivers.

Just one thing further...

Most likely if you power-on the external SATA HDD *following* bootup, the
system will recognize that device without any problem. However, certain
chipsets do not provide that capability and the external HDD would not be
listed in the "Disk drives" section of Device Manager. (There's no problem
if the external SATA HDD is powered-on & connected at the time of bootup).
Anyway, if this non-recognition situation does occur all you need do is
right-click on "Disk drives" in DM and then click on the "Scan for
hardware changes" menu item. The likelihood is that the external SATA
drive *will* be detected by the system regardless of whether it's
powered-on & connected before or after bootup, but I wanted to bring this
to your attention.

I'm sure you will be delighted with having the capability of an external
HDD having SATA-to-SATA connectivity. Its performance (in terms of data
transfer ability) is substantially superior to that of a USB external HDD.
And there's an added capability in that the system treats the external
SATA HDD as a *bootable* device. Thus, if you routinely use a disk-cloning
program for comprehensive backup purposes, you will have another bootable
HDD at your disposal.
Anna
Anna

Thank you
 
A

Anna

There really shouldn't be any problem with that MSI motherboard re using
an external SATA HDD with eSATA connectivity. Since that motherboard does
not contain an eSATA port, I assume you will be using an eSATA adapter
affixed to the backplane of your desktop computer case. Many, if not most,
of the external enclosures designed for eSATA connectivity include such an
adapter and, as I'm sure you know, that adapter device is easily affixed
to the backplane. The SATA data cable attached to the adapter will be
simply connected to one of your motherboard's SATA connectors.

Thus, you should have no problem achieving eSATA capability, including the
"hot-plugging" and "hot swappable" capabilities through that
configuration. There should be no further need to change any BIOS
settings, nor install any add'l drivers.

Just one thing further...

Most likely if you power-on the external SATA HDD *following* bootup, the
system will recognize that device without any problem. However, certain
chipsets do not provide that capability and the external HDD would not be
listed in the "Disk drives" section of Device Manager. (There's no problem
if the external SATA HDD is powered-on & connected at the time of bootup).
Anyway, if this non-recognition situation does occur all you need do is
right-click on "Disk drives" in DM and then click on the "Scan for
hardware changes" menu item. The likelihood is that the external SATA
drive *will* be detected by the system regardless of whether it's
powered-on & connected before or after bootup, but I wanted to bring this
to your attention.

I'm sure you will be delighted with having the capability of an external
HDD having SATA-to-SATA connectivity. Its performance (in terms of data
transfer ability) is substantially superior to that of a USB external HDD.
And there's an added capability in that the system treats the external
SATA HDD as a *bootable* device. Thus, if you routinely use a disk-cloning
program for comprehensive backup purposes, you will have another bootable
HDD at your disposal.
Anna


Thomas:
Just a minor clarification to my post above...

I mentioned that there would be no need to change any of the motherboard's
BIOS settings merely because a SATA external HDD was now connected to the
system. That is true as a general proposition, however as I later mentioned
the external SATA HDD is treated as an *internal* HDD by the system so that
if a bootable OS has been installed on that external HDD, (as for example, a
cloned copy of one's internal boot drive) then the external drive is
potentially bootable. Needless to say this is another distinct advantage of
using an external SATA HDD having SATA-to-SATA connectivity.

Naturally, should the user desire to boot to that external SATA HDD while
his or her *internal* HDD is still connected in the system (and potentially
bootable), then the user would need to change the BIOS boot priority order
so that the external drive would precede any other bootable HDD in the
system. I'm reasonably sure you already know this but I did want to make
this clarification perhaps for the benefit of others who might be interested
in this issue.
Anna
 
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T

Thomas Wendell

Anna said:
Thomas:
Just a minor clarification to my post above...

I mentioned that there would be no need to change any of the motherboard's
BIOS settings merely because a SATA external HDD was now connected to the
system. That is true as a general proposition, however as I later
mentioned the external SATA HDD is treated as an *internal* HDD by the
system so that if a bootable OS has been installed on that external HDD,
(as for example, a cloned copy of one's internal boot drive) then the
external drive is potentially bootable. Needless to say this is another
distinct advantage of using an external SATA HDD having SATA-to-SATA
connectivity.

Naturally, should the user desire to boot to that external SATA HDD while
his or her *internal* HDD is still connected in the system (and
potentially bootable), then the user would need to change the BIOS boot
priority order so that the external drive would precede any other bootable
HDD in the system. I'm reasonably sure you already know this but I did
want to make this clarification perhaps for the benefit of others who
might be interested in this issue.
Anna

Yes, that is clear. I'd say it would be DUMB idea of disconnecting the boot
drive (OS etc..)
(Boot priority order is easy, as it's only a F8 at POST)

My system is on 24/7 (when away I RDP to my home computer every once in
while) and I have those two disks already (500GB+640GB (Samsung HD501LJ +
WDC WD6400AAKS SATA-HDs), booting from the 500GB one..

I also have external HDs, a 500GB LaCie (USB only) and a 1TB Samsung HD103UJ
in an AgeStar SUB3AH (USB only), which I'm moving to a Mapower AE-31FCS
(USB/eSATA).

What I'm trying to accomplish is a faster connection for the 1TB external,
as USB is slow when moving GBs from disk to disk.
AND I need the hotswap capability so I can take it with me whenever I go out
(of course "Safely Remove... etc."

I have NO plans to boot from the external ones, not even for playing with
Linux (I have Kubunto 8.10 installed on 60GB of the 640GB disk, using GRUB
as boot manager). I know I have to re-configure/install GRUB if I change
SATA mode in BIOS
 

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