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Enable Intel AHCI under XP; Case Closed, read second last post

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#1
puntoMX

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PLEASE NOTE
This topic is outdated, read the last post please, thank you.



How to enable AHCI on Intel ICH9 under XP

After some research by MSFN staff, we have a working solution to enable ACHI on the ICH9 with appropriate SATA/NCQ drive(s).

For more information about AHCI, we refer to Wikipedia.org:

The Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) is a hardware mechanism that allows software to communicate with Serial ATA (SATA) devices such as host bus adapters which are designed to offer features not offered by Parallel ATA (PATA) controllers besides higher speeds, such as hot-plugging and native command queuing. The specification details a system memory structure for computer hardware vendors in order to transfer data between system memory and the device.


List of needed files and driver packs:
32-bit Floppy Configuration Utility for Intel® Matrix Storage Manager
64-bit Floppy Configuration Utility for Intel® Matrix Storage Manager


Index:
1. Unpacking drivers
2. Preparing the drivers
3. Creating Windows registry file
4. BIOS Settings
5. Installing the drivers in Windows
6. Final installation check
7. Editors thoughts



1. Unpacking drivers

Unpack the Floppy Configuration Utility for Intel® Matrix Storage Manager and extract the file (.ZIP) with WinRAR or similar program.


2. Preparing the drivers

Copy the file IASTOR.SYS to the Windows SYSTEM32/DRIVERS directory. Open the IAAHCI.INF with Notepad from the directory where you unpacked the drivers. Use CRTL-R and you should get a “replace” window. In the first input window you type “2821” and the second “2923”, so you will replace all “2821” text to “2923”, and click “Replace All”. Save IAAHCI.INF over the original file.

Replace the line:
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2923&CC_0106.DeviceDesc	= "Intel(R) 82801HR/HH/HO SATA AHCI Controller"
To:
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2923&CC_0106.DeviceDesc	= "Intel(R) ICH9 SATA AHCI Controller"
Save the file under the same name, e.g. IAAHCI.INF and exit Notepad.


3. Creating Windows registry file

Now we create a registry file with Notepad and the following contence:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CriticalDeviceDatabase\pci#ven_8086&dev_2923&cc_0106]
"Service"="iaStor"
"ClassGUID"="{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStor]
"Type"=dword:00000001
"Start"=dword:00000000
"Group"="SCSI miniport"
"ErrorControl"=dword:00000001
"ImagePath"="system32\\drivers\\iaStor.sys"
"tag"=dword:00000019
"DisplayName"="Intel AHCI Controller"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStor\Parameters]
"queuePriorityEnable"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStor\Enum]
"0"="PCI\\VEN_8086&DEV_2923&SUBSYS_B0051458&REV_02\\3&13c0b0c5&0&FA"
"Count"=dword:00000001
"NextInstance"=dword:00000001
Save it as AHCI_ICH9.REG and run it after closing Notepad.


4. BIOS Settings

Restart the computer and enter the BIOS (Mostly entered by pressing DEL). Make the settings:
SATA RAID/AHCI Mode   	   [AHCI]
 	SATA Port0-3 Native Mode	 [Enabled]
Restart again to boot into Windows XP.

For ASUS P5K motherboards (IF present in BIOS, please report if not present.):
Restart the computer and enter the BIOS (Mostly entered by pressing DEL). Make the settings:
SATA Configuration   	   [Enhanced]
 	   Configure SATA as		[AHCI]
Restart again to boot into Windows XP.


5. Installing the drivers in Windows

If you did steps one to four right, you will not get that “known” BSOD again before you hit the desktop! Windows will show new devices found like all your optical drives and hard disks until you hit to “PCI-Device”. Select “Install manual” and point to the folder where you saved the IAAHCI.INF file and select the IAAHCI.INF file as this is the driver that needs to be installed. Follow the instruction on the screen and restart your computer again.


6. Final installation check

When Windows has started, go to the control panel to check your system properties. In the hardware configuration list there should be now:
IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers -> Intel® ICH9 SATA AHCI Controller.

Beware: You can’t install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager, as the ICH9 doesn’t have RAID. On the net people talk about a modified version that should install, but it’s useless when you don’t have RAID.


We hope you enjoy your new ACHI enabled ICR9 Bridge in XP!



7. Editors thoughts

It must be a marketing question from Intel and Microsoft. There is nothing else I can think of why neither Intel nor Microsoft made new drivers for XP. The only thing I can think of is that Intel wants to sell more ICR9R bridges and Microsoft wants to push its Windows Vista. Like always both companies won’t make any comments!...

Regards,
puntoMX

Ps. if there is any good info I should add, please post it ;)...

Changes:
  • 23 DEC 2007, Edited point 4; ASUS BIOS settings.
  • 04 JAN 2008, Edited point 6; Fact, unable to install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager.
  • 07 FEB 2008, Edited point 1 and 2; Clearer explication about the IAAHCI.INF file, and option when a floppy drive is used.
  • 19 MAY 2008, Edited point 3; ControlSet001 changed on second line of registry file to CurrentControlSet, thanks to skipg for correcting me.
  • 10 AUG 2008, Post contents added to sticky FAQ, this post is now un-stickied and retired
  • 10 DEC 2008, Changed the Intel driver links, now for 32 and 64 bit and the latest version, thanks to an3k for the links.
  • 18 DEC 2008, Intel drivers are now packed as a .ZIP file, removed the outdated un-packing procedure, thanks to tre_ge.

Edited by puntoMX, 15 September 2010 - 10:40 AM.
see: 18 DEC 2008



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#2
nmX.Memnoch

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And how sure are we that this actually enables AHCI support rather than just making Device Manager say it has the AHCI driver? Remember, according to Intel, the non-RAID ICH9 does not support AHCI.

#3
puntoMX

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Well, after reading lots of information, mostly from forums, and testing it on a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L with ICH9, I got it flawless to work.

Before only the AHCI option in combination with an ICH9 could be used for Vista, this is clearly written in the users Manuel of more motherboard makers. I have tested in under Vista and the installation works well with AHCI enabled. Normally XP would give the BSOD before showing the welcome screen.

The description above just let’s XP work with the driver AFTER windows XP has been installed. Note that this is not only a way for the ICR9 Bridge, it also can be done for the ICR 7 and 8.

And it works, believe me. Before the hardware would show other controllers:

Posted Image Posted Image
On the left side we see AHCI disabled and on the right side AHCI enabled.



#4
nmX.Memnoch

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I guess my point is that I can edit the .inf and make Device Manager say anything I want it to. Just because Device Manager says "AHCI" has anyone actually verified that features like NCQ and hot plugging work?

Edited by nmX.Memnoch, 19 December 2007 - 09:45 PM.


#5
puntoMX

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Posted Image
AHCI Disabled

Posted Image
AHCI Enabled

Posted Image
AHCI Enabled but Native disabled


When AHCI is enabled you have the Advanced Power Management feature enabled on the drive. NCQ is enabled on the drive in all modes, so if you have a tool that can give me NCQ test results I would be pleased to have it.

#6
Metalloy

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Note to the Editor and Microsoft and Intel :

I am stuck (still) in this very specific problem, and you know what drives me really crazy ? It's that the Ultimate-Bootable-XP CD recognizes the AHCI drives very naturally !!!

#7
puntoMX

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Must have something to do with BTS driverpacks... but I never used it...

#8
reno7

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-BJR- Hello ,

when I open IASTOR.SYS / IAAHCI.INF files, it speaks of ich9R and not of ICH9, needs it to create the line?
My Motherboard is ASUS P5K.

Thanks
-- Mieux vaut connaître un peu de tout que tout d'un peu --

Posted Image

#9
puntoMX

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2. Preparing the drivers

Copy the file IASTOR.SYS to the Windows SYSTEM32/DRIVERS directory. Open the IAAHCI.INF with Notepad. Use CRTL-R and you should get a “replace” window. In the first input window you type “2821” and the second “2923”, so you will replace all “2821” text to “2923”, and click “Replace All”.

Replace the line:

PCIVEN_8086&DEV_2923&CC_0106.DeviceDesc	= "Intel(R) 82801HR/HH/HO SATA AHCI Controller"
To:
PCIVEN_8086&DEV_2923&CC_0106.DeviceDesc	= "Intel(R) ICH9 SATA AHCI Controller"
Save the file under the same name, e.g. IAAHCI.INF and exit Notepad.

As you can see, there are 2 steps; what part is not working/clear for you?

4. BIOS Settings

... ...
For ASUS P5K motherboards (IF present in BIOS, please report if not present.):
Restart the computer and enter the BIOS (Mostly entered by pressing DEL). Make the settings:

SATA Configuration   	   [Enhanced]
 	   Configure SATA as		[AHCI]
Restart again to boot into Windows XP.

Before you continue it would be wise to check IF these settings are possible in your BIOS revision. Some BIOS revisions do not have these options...

#10
nitroshift

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Punto, nice work!!! Does it work for Vista too? :unsure:

Please read the rules, folks!


#11
puntoMX

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Thank you.

Vista will work directly with AHCI out of the box ;).

#12
nitroshift

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That's interesting, Punto... I had Vista installed on my previous rig (HDD set up as IDE) and when I upgraded the pc I didn't want to format and reinstall Vista so I set up the new BIOS to see the SATA HDD as an IDE device. Then I thought I might take advantage of the AHCI features and changed it in BIOS. Boot the machine ---> BSOD. Reverting to IDE gets rid of the BSOD. Any idea how I can enable AHCI without reinstalling? All the specs are in my signature and I am using Vista Ultimate x86. Thanks for any / all input.

Please read the rules, folks!


#13
puntoMX

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I didn’t test it on Vista, but it should work (almost) the same way.

Step 3 could be a problem, but you could check if the keys are in the same place with Vista...

EDIT: on the other hand, it’s not giving you much performance as you can see in the benchmarks I posted above ;).

Scratch that, read on...

#14
Zxian

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EDIT: on the other hand, it’s not giving you much performance as you can see in the benchmarks I posted above ;).


Those artificial benchmarks don't really give the whole story of performance. I don't think that the advantages of features like NCQ are properly represented in HD Tune. As memnoch pointed out earlier, I think that all you've succeeded in doing is loading the ACHI driver under XP, but not actually enabling the ACHI features.

#15
puntoMX

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Then you tell me how to test NCQ?

BIOS has been installed and drivers are loaded indeed, benchmarks show a smoother image and Advanced Power Management feature IS enabled.

It would be nice if some one who has an ICH9R with the same drive and run the same benchmark (HD Tune default) under XP to see what shows up...

EDIT: My PC:
- Without AHCI enabled takes 24.6 sec. to get to the desktop of Windows XP 1) 2)
- With AHCI enabled takes 19.2 sec. to get to the desktop of Windows XP 1) 2)

1) From start of use harddisk. 2) Average has been taken from 2x 10 startups.

#16
Zxian

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The second test would likely be a better test of NCQ, since there are multiple requests going on during bootup.

#17
eisbaer

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Well that didn't work for me. After setting SATA at AHCI in the bios, windows xp pro doesn't start up anymore. It asks if I want to boot in safemode what doesn't work either. Xp only boots with SATA set to IDE. Not sure where the problems lies.

Asus p5k
Samsung S203D drive (sata)
WD HDD (IDE and bootdevice)
Samsung spinpoint (sata) send for repair so not installed at the moment
2GB
Windows XP Pro

#18
puntoMX

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Well that didn't work for me. After setting SATA at AHCI in the bios, windows xp pro doesn't start up anymore. It asks if I want to boot in safemode what doesn't work either. Xp only boots with SATA set to IDE. Not sure where the problems lies.

I PMed you a few days ago, still no response ;). Let’s work it out together...

#19
eisbaer

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Thanks for you offer to help. I got it installed in the mean time though, via.

1.Download floppy version of intel matrix.
2.Extract the drivers to a floppy then to a map on your disc.
3.Update the IDE/SATA driver to Intel 82801GR/GH SATA AHCI from the extracted floppy.
4.Reboot and enter BIOS and set the IDE to AHCI.Save and exit.Now windows will boot and find a new hardware and will reboot again.
5.Install Intel Matrix Storage Manager latest (CD version) and reboot.

I'll have to wait for my sata hdd returing from rma to do some benchmarking.

#20
osku

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Thanks for you offer to help. I got it installed in the mean time though, via.

1.Download floppy version of intel matrix.
2.Extract the drivers to a floppy then to a map on your disc.
3.Update the IDE/SATA driver to Intel 82801GR/GH SATA AHCI from the extracted floppy.
4.Reboot and enter BIOS and set the IDE to AHCI.Save and exit.Now windows will boot and find a new hardware and will reboot again.
5.Install Intel Matrix Storage Manager latest (CD version) and reboot.

I'll have to wait for my sata hdd returing from rma to do some benchmarking.


The OP forgot to inform when he thinks the drivers should be installed etc..., but I did also about the same as you did, I had earlier a few days ago allready created the floppy and just modified it with Notepad. Installed the modified driver, then the .reg file and rebooted and changed the ACHI setting. Boots ok, but I am unable to install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager as it says "This computer does not meet the minumum requirements for installing this software". How did you fix that? Trying to install a 7.8.0.1012 over XP Pro SP3 (English). One curiosity was that the driver I installed before restarting had to be intalled again since it was gone after restart. I am now wondering should I have had Intel drivers installed before the whole procedure (just installed this system today).

#21
madderose

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Hi there I cant seem to get this to work

I have a Asus p5k-e on bios revision 1.06 ive gone through the guide twice and checked and tried rebboting with all variations raid, ahci and the only thing that works is ide

[-AP&page=1[/url]
any help would be appreciated

specs

"SiSoftware Sandra


Processor
Model : Intel® Core™2 Duo CPU E6850 @ 3.00GHz
Speed : 3.00GHz
Cores per Processor : 2 Unit(s)
Threads per Core : 1 Unit(s)
Type : Dual-Core
Internal Data Cache : 2x 32kB, Synchronous, Write-Thru, 8-way set, 64 byte line size
L2 On-board Cache : 1x 4MB, ECC, Synchronous, ATC, 16-way set, 64 byte line size, 2 threads sharing

System
System : System manufacturer P5K-E
Mainboard : ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5K-E
Bus(es) : ISA PCI PCIe IMB USB i2c/SMBus
Multi-Processor (MP) Support : 1 Processor(s)
Multi-Processor Advanced PIC (APIC) : Yes
System BIOS : American Megatrends Inc. 8.12
Total Memory : 2GB DDR2-SDRAM

Chipset 1
Model : ASUSTeK Computer Inc (Bearlake) Processor to I/O Controller
Front Side Bus Speed : 4x 333MHz (1332MHz data rate)
Total Memory : 11GB DDR2-SDRAM

Video System
Desktop Monitors/Panels : 2
Monitor/Panel : Default Monitor
Monitor/Panel : Plug and Play Monitor
Monitor/Panel : Plug and Play Monitor
Adapter : Radeon X1950 Pro
Adapter : Radeon X1950 Pro
Adapter : Radeon X1950 Pro Secondary
Adapter : Radeon X1950 Pro Secondary
Imaging Device : Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000

Physical Storage Devices
WDC WD740GD-00FLA0 (ATA) : 69GB (C:)
Maxtor 6L300S0 (ATA) : 279GB (J:)
MAXTOR STM3320820AS (ATA) : 298GB (H:)
MAXTOR STM3500630AS (ATA) : 466GB (M:)
Hitachi HDS721010KLA (SCSI) : 932GB (N:)
Maxtor 6B300S0 (SCSI) : 279GB (I:)
EPSON Stylus Storage (USB) : N/A (K:)
PLEXTOR DVDR PX-810SA (ATAPI) : N/A (O:)
TS5231S FUD046M (SCSI) : N/A (L:)

Logical Storage Devices
TeRaYByte (N:) : 932GB (773GB, 83% Free Space) (NTFS) @ Hitachi HDS721010KLA (SCSI)
300 drive 1 (I:) : 279GB (108GB, 38% Free Space) (NTFS) @ Maxtor 6B300S0 (SCSI)
BlackRaptor (C:) : 69GB (25GB, 36% Free Space) (NTFS) @ WDC WD740GD-00FLA0 (ATA)
new (J:) : 279GB (12GB, 4% Free Space) (NTFS) @ Maxtor 6L300S0 (ATA)
download (H:) : 298GB (13GB, 4% Free Space) (NTFS) @ MAXTOR STM3320820AS (ATA)
backup (M:) : 466GB (74GB, 16% Free Space) (NTFS) @ MAXTOR STM3500630AS (ATA)
CD-ROM/DVD (O:) : N/A @ PLEXTOR DVDR PX-810SA (ATAPI)
CD-ROM/DVD (L:) : N/A @ TS5231S FUD046M (SCSI)
3.5" 1.44MB (A:) : N/A
Removable Drive (K:) : N/A @ EPSON Stylus Storage (USB)

Peripherals
USB Controller/Hub : Intel® ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2934
USB Controller/Hub : Intel® ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2935
USB Controller/Hub : Intel® ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2936
USB Controller/Hub : Intel® ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2937
USB Controller/Hub : Intel® ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2938
USB Controller/Hub : Intel® ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2939
USB Controller/Hub : Intel® ICH9 Family USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 293A
USB Controller/Hub : Intel® ICH9 Family USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 293C
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Composite Device
USB Controller/Hub : USB Composite Device
USB Controller/Hub : USB Mass Storage Device
USB Controller/Hub : USB Printing Support
Keyboard : Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Mouse : HID-compliant Cordless Mouse
Human Interface : Logitech Cordless USB Mouse

MultiMedia Device(s)
Device : M-Audio Revolution

Printers and Faxes
Model : Send To OneNote 2007
Model : Microsoft Office Document Image Writer
Model : EPSON Stylus Photo R340 Series
Model : Acrobat Distiller

Power Management
Mains (AC) Line Status : On-Line

Operating System(s)
Windows System : Microsoft Windows XP (2002) Professional 5.01.2600 (Service Pack 2)
Platform Compliance : Win32 x86

Network Services
Adapter : Marvell Yukon 88E8056 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller

Edited by madderose, 01 January 2008 - 03:31 PM.


#22
nitroshift

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Just to confirm that it works in Vista on the configuration in my signature. However, since Vista has the drivers built in, you only need to run the .reg file and restart. That's what I did and after 2 restarts I now have AHCI enabled with all its features and benefits. And yes, running with AHCI enabled has sped up the copy times (tested in Total Commander, average 32MB/s without AHCI, ~55MB/s with AHCI enabled). Once again, nice work guys!

EDIT:
I forgot to mention that the structure of the reg file works ok in Vista and the keys are correctly located in the registry.

Edited by nitroshift, 03 January 2008 - 04:04 AM.

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#23
alina120280

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I have a ASUS P5K Premium with Western WD5000AAKS with NCQ (verified myself).
I made an upgrade from IDE to AHCI ICH9 on XP Pro and worked 2 weeks.
After severals errors and after upgrading everything posible (BIOS, Intel driver) in a morning my PC stopped booting in the middle (even in save mode).
So I've been forced to install fresh and for my surprise since than I have no errors anymore, so my conclusion is than it might work an upgrade, but 100% sure is only a fresh system install.
The performance is amazing with NCQ.
All works instantly without 1-2 seconds waiting like allways without NCQ.
I recommend NCQ but only on a fresh install.

Edited by alina120280, 03 January 2008 - 07:33 AM.


#24
nitroshift

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I have a ASUS P5K Premium with Western WD5000AAKS with NCQ (verified myself).
I made an upgrade from IDE to AHCI ICH9 on XP Pro and worked 2 weeks.
After severals errors and after upgrading everything posible (BIOS, Intel driver) in a morning my PC stopped booting in the middle (even in save mode).
So I've been forced to install fresh and for my surprise since than I have no errors anymore, so my conclusion is than it might work an upgrade, but 100% sure is only a fresh system install.
The performance is amazing with NCQ.
All works instantly without 1-2 seconds waiting like allways without NCQ.
I recommend NCQ but only on a fresh install.


First off, welcome to THE forum! :hello: Second, the issue you are describing is definitely NOT produced by installing the AHCI drivers. What is the configuration of the pc that crapped out and what errors were you getting? Can you remember any codes? :D

EDIT:
At this moment the only thing that pops in my mind regarding your boot issues is devious start-up services / applications.

Edited by nitroshift, 03 January 2008 - 07:50 AM.

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#25
alina120280

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All I can say that this is my conclusion and no, I can't remember any error codes.
The resets appeard at the beginnig rare and in days more frequent until no start posible (and this with any changes before or after the first reset, except BIOS and Intel AHCI driver with the newest version).
The effect was, that in a HD read request the LED remaind ON and after 15 seconds (I suppose of "innactivity") followed a "blue screen" and reset and this in different situations.
In this time I didn't change any drivers or software installation (my PC was perfect).
After the fresh install with the same software on it ,all works perfect and no more troubles (tested in very hard situations).
I don't want to say that the AHCI drivers caused the "death" of my PC, but XP makes the things different and better in a fresh installation as in a simple driver upgrade.

ASUS P5K Premium/Wifi
IC2 Q6600 2400
2GB DDR2 800MHZ
ASUS N8800 ULTRA
WD5000AAKS SATA
ASUS DRW 1814BLT SATA
CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX

Edited by alina120280, 03 January 2008 - 03:25 PM.





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