First, controller cards that have either the 3112 (2-port) and 3114 (4-port) SiL Sata controllers seem to have two different types of BIOS or firmware: One is Raid, and the other is non-raid (I think is also known as "Base"). This is also true for motherboards with integrated 3112 or 3114 controllers.
(side note: I have no idea if 3512 / 3514 are different chips than the 3112 / 3114, or just a different package, and / or if they have different drivers).
In most or all cases, whether integrated onto the motherboard or add-on card, the firmware will be the RAID type. There are firmware files available from Silicon Image for both add-on cards and motherboards (128 kb and 64 kb in size I believe) for both types of applications (raid and non-raid/base).
When it comes to the driver files, the important file is si3114.mpd (or si3112.mpd). What I've been seeing in my bootlog.txt is "Init Failure si3114.mpd" while trying to install the drivers for my 3114 card. So on a hunch, I took the raid version (si3114r.mpd) and renamed it to si3114.mpd and copied it into my \windows\system\iosubsys directory (renamed the existing si3114.mpd) and bingo - I get "init success si3114.mpd" and the card shows up with no (!) issues in device manager.
I don't have time right now to plug in any SATA drives and see if it's working - I'll do that later tonight.
I might even try to flash the non-raid firmware onto my card and see how that works.
So to recap, I think we need to understand or get more info about:
- 3512 / 3514 vs 3112 / 3114 (hardware? drivers? Cross-usage between them?)
- Raid vs non-raid (base?) firmware (does non-raid firmware give better SATA speed/performance?)
- "SataLink" vs "Softraid 5" identification / driver
- Control panel SATA applet / functionality / files
- What are the "best" files (best versions) to use for win-98:
-- Si3114.inf / Si3114r.inf / Si3114r5.inf
-- SI3114.cat / Si3114r.cat / Si3114r5.cat
-- Si3114.sys / Si3114r.sys
-- Si3114.mpd / Si3114r.mpd
I haven't acquired too many files (yet) for the 3112 chip or sata cards, but what I have so far seem to be just "r" files, as in si3112r.inf, si3112r.mpd, etc. I have no 3512 / 3514 files of any sort (not sure if the reason is they don't exist or I just haven't looked specifically for any of them yet).
There are driver sets available for both RAID and non-RAID controler versions. The problem is the compatibility with Windows 98 got dropped in both driver sets, quite a few years ago. So, the newer controller versions are no longer covered by the drivers for Windows 98. I do not know if reflashing the controller BIOS to older version can affect the driver compatibility problem.
The description of the 3512 chip has got ilustrations from the 3112. The driver sets are the same, as well. So, basicaly, it is the same design. Also, file names in driver sets for 3512 are clearly 3112. There are no files for just the 3512, then.
A wile ago, I was playing with a 3114 controller. While the driver was reported as working correctly, the drives were still in DOS compatibility mode. So, no exclamation mark in device manager does not mean, the driver is working correcly.
Since there are driver sets available, it can not be the problem with the AHCI interface. This problem is only valid, when using generic drivers for SATA controllers.
This post has been edited by Sfor: 05 April 2011 - 12:05 PM