I apologize for my inquiry being off topic, but also thank you for you assistance. This was the closest discussion I could find on this particular topic with someone who seemed very knowledgable.
Does your mainboard have an MCP78 chipset? If not, which is the exact MCP chipset number?
Yes. It is reported as MCP78S or GEForce 8200 by Sandra Lite and mobo mfr (Gigabyte)
Which nForce chipset driver pack resp. which nForce IDE driver version are you running?
The driver pack version level is version 18.11. I noticed in previous posts within this thread that there were some better drivers etc that you had created - do you think I should download & install those instead?
Do you have already a file named NVGTS.SYS within your WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS folder?
yes, the properties for nvgts.sys shows "10.3.0.21 built by: WinDDK". There is also an interesting txtsetup.oem document within the drivers folder that I just found that somewhat details (but not exactly) the same changes as the previous post.
When you open the "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers" and "SCSI and RAID Controllers" sections of the Device Manager, do you see any devices named "NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controllers"?
yes, the HardwareID's are:
As an FYI - I was able to initially successfully set the system up as a RAID 1 (using the nForce drivers) when I first did the mobo upgrade but I wasnt too impressed with the drive speeds so I stupidly tried installing a Promise FastTrak TX4310 RAID PCI card which completely hosed everything (meaning I had to recreate the SATA clones from my original IDE drive). This AHCI path is a quest to improve drive response/speeds.
I am still undecided between going back to my Casper software for daily incremental backups or just accepting the RAID 1 speeds and leaving well enough alone. But until I answer the AHCI question (read - I am stubborn) I won't know which way I want to go.