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  1. Member DB83's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Now this has been doing my head in all day. If I can not solve it with a little help from my friends on here, the next port of all will be a trip to the PC repair man. And I am loathe to do that since I have never had any PC build issues before.

    A Little background:

    In advance of 4/2014 I decided to take the plunge and upgrade my PC. I decided to go for Win7/64 which I would fresh install on a SSD boot drive which would enable me to keep the current XP installation on my old 'C' drive (to used as and needed but offline). I also upgraded the memory from 2 gig to 6 gig by installing 2*2 gig in the spare slots.

    The issues:

    1. The SSD was not seen by either XP or Win7. Undetered by that I decided to test Win7 by installing it in a 'system' partition on one of my other drives.

    2. The installation kept on freezing. I suspected that that was due to incorrect ram installation since when I took one stick out, the freezing stopped. Having got Win7 installed I do have a boot screen and can select between XP and Win7. So, atleast, the installation does work as I would wish it to. The ram installation is a PITA(for my bad back) so I will have to work on that since I now only have 4 gig working. Ok for XP but I really need the extra for Win7/64

    3. So back to the real issue. As far as I can tell, the SSD in connected correctly both with the data cable and power connector. But it does not appear in the bios nor either XP ot Win7. But this is what confuses me. I have 6 sata ports 0-5. Prior to connecting the SSD, five were connected and all have been working yet the bios only lists 4 ports with some of the SATA devices lists as 'Slaves'. I thought all SATA devices were 'Masters'. The PC does not have any raid configured.

    I have tried setting both 'None' entries in the bios to auto but still the SSD does not appear.

    What am I doing wrong. Let me know if you require ferther info. The mainboard is a Gigabyte ga-ep45-ds3r_e
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
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    I had a problem I will share with you in case it helps you as I've talked about this before and others have mentioned having similar issues. I had a problem that was caused by my SATA cables where my two 2 TB drives would just randomly vanish. Basically what happened is that the 2 TB drives were at the bottom of the case and the SATA cables I had were stretched a bit and could not form tight connections with the drives. The same cables worked fine on all devices further up from the bottom of the case. I bought some SATA cables that have connectors that look like a capital letter L and the connection worked perfectly to the drives. So be sure that your connector cable really and truly has a tight connection with the SSD and buy another cable if you have to. I won't ever use SATA cables again that don't have L shaped connectors after going through my problem.
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  3. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    or it's an ocz and it's doa
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: West Texas
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    Is there a setting in the bios to enable AHCI for the Sata controller? You should be using AHCI with an SSD.
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  5. Member fritzi93's Avatar
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    I agree as to the cables. I have an SSD in our HTPC and one in the office computer and both would disappear randomly. This stopped when I got better quality locking cables, one end of which is 90 degree angled. The angled end is connected to the SSD(s) and makes for a more secure connection. I suspect the weight of the cable may work the cable loose on a straight connector. It is also a good idea to get cables neither too short nor too long. Too short is bad for obvious reasons, too long is bad simply because it makes for a jumble in the case and any pressure on a cable can make the connection iffy.

    Have you tried a startup repair with the install disc? I've had to do that a few times with my SSDs. Maybe my experience is atypical, but I've found SSDs to be a bit touchy. Nevertheless, I feel it's been worth all the annoyances.

    Anyway, as a last resort you can put the SSD in "engineering mode" (as OCZ puts it) if it has prongs on the back you can jumper. Let it sit for a few hours to reset (unpowered). Hook it up and boot to another drive and go into administrative tools -> computer management -> disk management. If it shows up, well and good (it will not have the same identifier when in engineering mode). Shut down and remove the jumper. Reboot and run chkdsk on the SSD. Or right click on it -> properties -> tools -> check drive for errors. Check both boxes (attempt recovery of bad sectors) and run it. Then re-install the OS.

    Yes, I've had to do the above too, but it was much easier for me in that I just restored a disc image backup. I suspect the SSD firmware did not properly mark bad sectors as off-limits, and yes, bad sectors were found by chkdsk. I've also occasionally had a backup fail because of bad sectors, but a chkdsk has always fixed it. Don't believe anyone who says you shouldn't run chkdsk on an SSD. (With a search you can find statements of both opinions).

    Good luck.

    [EDIT] Good catch about AHCI mode. Yes, enable that in the BIOS.
    Last edited by fritzi93; 27th Jan 2014 at 13:42.
    Pull! Bang! Darn!
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  6. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Hopefully you don't have a MB problem with the RAM. I would try the working RAM in the other slots to verify that the slots are OK.

    But the SSD problem is a bit odd. It sounds like the SATA ports are working enough to at least access the SSD. Have you tried the SSD on a different PC?
    And I would agree to try a different SATA cable. I do like the right angle cables and they should definitely have latches.
    Some SSDs have a 'pilot' light also you can check to see if they are getting power. And the SSD should be a little warm after being on for a few minutes.

    I had to check one of my Gigabyte MBs in BIOS. (My HTPC, GA-A75M-D2H) The drives shown as Master/Slave seem to be PATA drives which I don't have, those are all blank. When I check HD Boot Priority, my SSD drive (OC-AGILITY3) shows up as SCSI-0 and the data drive as SCSI-1 (WDC WD20EARS-00MVWB0) All my drives are set for AHCI type. That's the right one for SSDs. But if you are not already set for AHCI, you may have problems with the XP boot drive. Not sure about that. Either way, the BIOS should see the SSD. Back to wondering if the SSD is OK.

    I don't know if any of that helps.
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  7. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kerry56 View Post
    Is there a setting in the bios to enable AHCI for the Sata controller? You should be using AHCI with an SSD.
    Yes. There is a AHCI setting which AFAIK is 'off'. But before I set that, how would that affect the other drives which, I assume, work of the same controller.

    Have have done some pre-reading before I purchased/installed. Some have mentioned setting AHCI yet others did not.
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  8. Member DB83's Avatar
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    @Redwuz

    The mb has, as I said, four slots. My orignal 2 gig were installed in banks 0 and 2 as directed in the manual. So the two new ones went in banks 1 and 3.

    All memory is the same type (I thought I had bought the same but the original has heatsinks). So I shuuda opened up the case first.

    The 'working' memory is now in banks 0,2 and 3. Both XP and Win7 report 4 gig (of course XP only shows 3.4 gig)
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  9. Member DB83's Avatar
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    @jman98

    Thanks for the tip about the cable. As far as this case is concerned tho there is plenty of give with the cable even tho the drive is towards the bottom of the tower - just 5 HDD drive bays here plus the usual compliment of CD/DVD bays.

    Unfortunately the SSD is in an adapter which is then in a screwless cradle. That means the connectors are a little further back than the standard HDDs. But I really do think that the cable and power are attached correctly.
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  10. Member DB83's Avatar
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    I had better add one more caveat about the SSD.

    My mb only supports SATA2. The SSD is SATA3. But it is my understanding that this should not be an issue.

    The bios offers two AHCI options - just AHCI or Raid/AHCI. But I do not see how this affects the ability to recognise the drive.

    Unfortunatley, I can not test this, or the RAM in another PC.
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  11. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    I haven't tried non-AHCI mode with my SSDs, but I think it would work, but would cripple some of the SSD advantages, such as enabling hot swap plugging. It also affects Native Command Queuing that tends to make the drives faster and more efficient. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Command_Queuing

    But you might note the 'Boot Issues' paragraph here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahci
    With a new install of W7, you need to enable AHCI before installing the OS. AHCI could affect your XP install. Note also that XP may have problems with SSDs as it wasn't designed for them.

    EDIT: You want regular AHCI mode, not RAID for your setup.
    SATA 2 should be fine. The SSD boot speed will still be about the same, but data throughput might not be optimal.
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  12. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Thanks. Now all I need is for the bios to recognise the SSD. AHCI (enabled or not) surely would not affect that ??

    Not concerned about XP and the SSD as I intended that to just be for Win7. But I would be concerned if by enabling it it fooked up the XP booting.

    Methinks I will have to take that drive out of the caddy and test it outside the case. Then atleast I can be sure that the drive end is fully connected.
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  13. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2003
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    When I was trying to put Windows 7 on a Kingston SSD for my sister's computer, I ran into the AHCI issue. That particular board, an Abit IP-35E, and one of the last Abit motherboards before they went out of business, did not have an option to turn on AHCI in the bios, even though the Intel chipset supported that mode. Windows 7 refused to install correctly into that SSD. And there was no update for the bios since Abit quit making motherboards.

    I finally had to use one of my regular SATA hard drives, and Windows 7 installed into it with no issues at all.
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  14. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Update aka We may be winning (it pays to share your problems)

    So I was convinced that the connections on the SSD drive end were correct. On reflection, they were not.

    I took the drive out of the case, re-connected the two cables and the drive appeared in the bios.

    With great difficulty, I finally got it properly connected inside the case.

    Rebooted in to Win7 and it found the hardware and installed a 'driver'. However, the SSD does not show up in the list of Hard Drives in 'Computer'. Since I am quite 'green' with Win7 I have yet to find the equivilent of 'Disk Management' as per XP.

    Then I booted back to XP, where I am now, and, again, XP found the hardware. The Disk Management console shows the drive as 'Not Installed'. Like I said earlier that does not worry me.

    My next task will be to attempt to install Win7 on this SSD. I will enable AHCI and 'pray' that there are not issues for the XP booting part.

    However, this 'task' is not for tonight. I have been at this, due to the RAM issues for some 12 hours and I am totally jaded.

    But could I ask one more 'related' question. My boot option currently shows 3 options. The first is the working XP boot. The second is the working Win7 boot and the third is a failed installation due to the problems. Assuming that the SSD installation goes smoothly I will have yet another boot option. How can I safely remove all these ultimately unwanted Win7 installations so that all I have are 2 boot options a working XP and a working Win7 on the SSD with no Win7 files on the other HDDs ?

    And thank you all for your contributions. If I had not talked I would have been convinced I had not caused the problem with the SSD. All I hopefully have to do is solve the RAM issue. I may even put the purchase down to experience and see if my supplier has the same ram as I originally had in the case - the ones with the heaksinks. Might be easier to handle.
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  15. Member fritzi93's Avatar
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    Start -> Run -> msconfig -> Boot.
    Remove (delete) the failed install.
    Pull! Bang! Darn!
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  16. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fritzi93 View Post
    Start -> Run -> msconfig -> Boot.
    Remove (delete) the failed install.
    Thanks
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  17. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Disk Management in W7: 'Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Storage>Disk Management' It should be listed there. Format and you should be ready to go.
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  18. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Another day. Another.....

    I started a new topic about the memory matters so I will just proceed now with the SSD.

    Following the advice as above, I enabled AHCI in the bios and suceeded in installing Win7/64 on the SSD - hear the sigh of relief.

    However....

    I no longer had the boot options in that scenario. Win7 directly booted up.

    So I guess that option would only have happened had I installed Win7 on the SSD with AHCI disabled. Disabling it after installation made no difference at that point.

    I found a utility that can easily create the boot option but XP refused to load. Only when I disabled AHCI in the bios am I back in XP. So pretty much what is said above. I believe there is a AHCI driver for XP and I will look in to that in due course.

    Obviously, I have a fair amount of tweaking/software installation/data transfer to do. But atleast I have given myself 2 months to do it
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  19. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Buy a second SSD? Really, I'm glad someone is experimenting with dual boot and SSDs. I haven't tried a dual boot OS in several years. I even came up with a scheme to use a switch to enable/disable PATA boot drives by selecting Master/Slave jumpers. Never worked consistently as it would seem to select a boot drive at random. I think that was for Vista/XP.

    I think you're sort of stuck with AHCI with SSD drives, at least to make them work properly. I hadn't tried AHCI with XP as I already was using Vista by the time I discovered AHCI. I remember you could go back and add the AHCI driver if you didn't have it when the OS was installed, but it was a PITA and you needed a floppy drive. I don't think I have one of them on any of my PCs these days. You can find the method detailed here: http://www.bootbeta.com/blog/guide-enable-ahci-in-windows-xp-after-installation.html

    Or for more info, do a search for ' ahci with XP ' and you should get a few hits. Being that you have AHCI available and working for your SSD W7, you do have the correct drivers and they should be on your OS driver disc. It's just the problem of getting them into the pre-installed XP OS. I would unplug the SSD and create a restore point in XP before proceeding.
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  20. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Thanks.

    I did a quick 'Google' and found some good guides of how to impliment AHCI on XP. And, yes, the OS disk does appear to have the required drivers as noted in one of the guides.

    Later.....
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  21. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Back to (almost) square one.

    Needed to sort out the memory issues and took the advice from a topic I started specifically for that.

    However, when I swapped my memory, I had a boot-error message due to 'Over-clocking' and when the PC booted it went straight to XP ie no boot menu.

    I checked that the SSD is still part of the system so no cables disturbed when I put the case back together to swap out the memory.

    I guess my MBR has been, somehow, over-written. The tool I used to get XP in a boot-menu under Win7 does not work in XP so is there a quick-fix or must I re-install Win7 again ?
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  22. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Following a 'tip' in the other topic, I went back to the bios and reset the HDD boot-order priority so that the SSD was the first item in the chain.

    I now received the boot-menu(2 options) and still wishing to come back to XP I selected that. But got the following error message.

    Missing or corrupt <windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe and the PC went no ferther.

    Back to the bios and reset the HDD boot-order priority to the disk where XP is installed.

    Now I have the boot-menu which has the three options, including the bad Win7 installation, from Monday. Selected 'Previous Version of Windows' and XP booted fine.

    So the bottom line as far as I can see is I have little alternative but to reinstall Win7 on the SSD. No great hardship at this stage as I had not installed many programs waiting to solve the memory issues first.
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  23. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Sorted.

    Not a full reinstallation but clicking the 'Repair Computer' on the 2nd screen highlighted the Boot Option errors. Selected 'Fix and Reboot' and I then had a boot-menu with 4 options. The SSD boot, the XP boot and the two( one bad) original SATA boots and I think tis now a safe time to remove these two.
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