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Thread: Intel Rapid Storage Driver and freezing




  1. #11
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Intel Rapid Storage Driver and freezing

    AHCI is a standard developed to increase storage drive performance, so if a SATA driver claims to support AHCI, it must provide all the features defined as part of AHCI.

    Since NCQ is one of the main features of AHCI, the Microsoft AHCI driver (msahci in Windows 7, storahci in Windows 8) must provide that feature, and it does. There are no differences in AHCI features between the Intel and Microsoft AHCI drivers.

    As long as AHCI is enabled or set as the SATA mode in the BIOS, and an AHCI driver is available (Windows installs it automatically, it was the AHCI driver you had before you installed IRST), then NCQ will be active and working.

    You can change to the Microsoft AHCI driver any time by simply doing a manual driver update on your board's storage controller. In Device Manager, find the ATA/IDE Controller entry (I can't recall the exact name, its been a long time since I used AHCI mode) and open its Properties. Click the Driver tab and you should see Intel as the Driver Provider and 13.1 as the Driver version.

    Next click the Update Driver button, and choose the Browse my computer for driver software entry. Then click the "Let me pick from a list..." entry, which should display one or more entries, and find the storahci entry. Click on it and follow the prompts to complete the update.

    The only benefit that IRST used in AHCI mode provides over msahci is the IRST UI that runs in Windows. That is really meant for configuring and using RAID arrays, but it provides some information about a drives operation, and will issue alerts when a drive's SMART data indicates a problem. Microsoft does not provide any software like this.

  2. #12
    JohnnyGui is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Intel Rapid Storage Driver and freezing

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    AHCI is a standard developed to increase storage drive performance, so if a SATA driver claims to support AHCI, it must provide all the features defined as part of AHCI.

    Since NCQ is one of the main features of AHCI, the Microsoft AHCI driver (msahci in Windows 7, storahci in Windows 8) must provide that feature, and it does. There are no differences in AHCI features between the Intel and Microsoft AHCI drivers.

    As long as AHCI is enabled or set as the SATA mode in the BIOS, and an AHCI driver is available (Windows installs it automatically, it was the AHCI driver you had before you installed IRST), then NCQ will be active and working.

    You can change to the Microsoft AHCI driver any time by simply doing a manual driver update on your board's storage controller. In Device Manager, find the ATA/IDE Controller entry (I can't recall the exact name, its been a long time since I used AHCI mode) and open its Properties. Click the Driver tab and you should see Intel as the Driver Provider and 13.1 as the Driver version.

    Next click the Update Driver button, and choose the Browse my computer for driver software entry. Then click the "Let me pick from a list..." entry, which should display one or more entries, and find the storahci entry. Click on it and follow the prompts to complete the update.

    The only benefit that IRST used in AHCI mode provides over msahci is the IRST UI that runs in Windows. That is really meant for configuring and using RAID arrays, but it provides some information about a drives operation, and will issue alerts when a drive's SMART data indicates a problem. Microsoft does not provide any software like this.
    Thanks for the explanation. It seems to be better indeed to install the RST driver through the Device Manager since my system won't be needing the IRST UI at all (not RAID nor having a SSD).

    I just asked a known forum poster at the Win-RAID Forum who posts and even mods RST drivers and he says that the RST driver would be more stable and performant than Microsoft's default one: RE: Intel(R) RST/RSTe Drivers (newest: v13.5.0.1056/v4.1.0.1046 WHQL) - 34

    He also recommended me to install the driver through the Device Manager since I use AHCI mode.

    About the freezing issue: I tried a clean boot (disabling all third party services at startup) and surprisingly the freezing problem still occurred. This led me to think that RST is unlikely to be the culprit here (although I'm not sure if ALL of its services are disabled at a clean boot). I have a list written down with possible causes and after the clean boot I was able to wipe away quite a few lines which leaves me with the following 2 possible causes:
    1. Enabling .Net Framework 3.5
    2. Installing one of the many Windows Updates since October 2014 (when the problem started)

    I did a clean reformat and installed RST through the Device Manager without enabling .NET Framework 3.5 and so far it didn't freeze on me. Again, I have to wait and test this a lot more to be sure.

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