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Thread: Z97X-UD5H - configuring, installing sata drives




  1. #1
    Mr Blobby is offline Junior Member
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    Default Z97X-UD5H - configuring, installing sata drives

    Complete novice and completely confused here. New and first build...


    I'll want my SSD(boot) and HD to be in AHCI mode but not RAID. The manual seems to say I'll need to copy some drivers from the motherboard disk to a USB flash and then Windows 8.1 will ask for them during installation.


    But it seems to tell you to do this separately for both the intel and marvell controllers. Does it ask for them both at the same time if you enable AHCI for both in bios before OS installation or have I got this totally confused? Probably won't use the marvell, but thought might need to do it at this stage if I ever want it. I've only ever installed windows (xp) once and I ended up with IDE mode that time. I've never understood this process...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Z97X-UD5H - configuring, installing sata drives

    If you are not using RAID mode, you do not need to install any of the Windows "pre-install" drivers for the Intel or Marvell SATA controllers. They are not needed for AHCI mode, period. You will not be asked to install an AHCI driver, Windows has it built in.

    Do not use IDE mode, no reason at all to do that with any mother board that does not use PATA/IDE connectors for the drives, unless the BIOS does not provide AHCI.

    Actually, if you are using Windows 7 or 8 and using RAID, you do not need to use the Intel pre-install driver, since Windows has a built in version of that driver, as well as many others, for AMD, LSI, and other RAID implementations. The Marvell RAID driver would need to be pre-installed, Windows does not have that built in.

    The apparent separate steps for the Intel and Marvell pre-install drivers are only separate in the sense that you will be using one or the other's SATA port for the OS drive when you install Windows. Once you have an OS installed, you can install drivers for anything with their installers that run in Windows.

    FYI, Windows does not really request those drivers, if they are actually needed, until it discovers it cannot install without them. You are given the opportunity to install them before the installation starts, but you must know that ahead of time.

    Always use only the Intel SATA ports for an OS installation, and really for any of your drives. The secondary Marvell and ASMedia SATA chips are no where near as good as the main Intel or AMD SATA chips.

    Intel and Marvell both have their combined AHCI/RAID drivers that can be installed after Windows is installed. Those driver installers are just typical Windows programs you run from your SSD or HDD.

    Tip: Only have the target OS drive connected (or really powered up) to the PC during the OS installation, otherwise Windows will put some of the OS files on another disk. If that other disk is then removed, the PC will no longer boot. That can be fixed with the installation disk, but why not do it right in the first place.

  3. #3
    Mr Blobby is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z97X-UD5H - configuring, installing sata drives

    Thanks very much, parsec. I suppose that explains why I couldn't Google up an answer to my "problem". :)

    But FWIW, the manual still reads to me at least, as saying they're necessary, which is odd….


    Under "Configuring SATA Hard Drive(s)" (page 65), it says:


    C. Configure a RAID array in RAID BIOS. (note 1). [Note 1: "Skip this step if you do not want to create a RAID array on the SATA controller"].
    D. Install the SATA RAID/AHCI driver and operating system. (note 2). [Note 2: "Required when the SATA controller is set to AHCI or RAID mode."]

    Note 1 is fair enough, but I guess that note 2 should be "set to AHCI and RAID mode" then.


    And further on, under "Installing the SATA RAID/AHCI Drive and Operating System" (page82), it says that Windows 7 already includes intel SATA RAID/AHCI driver but…."To install Windows 8/8.1, refer to steps below"…


    Step 1. Copy the IRST folder under BootDrv in the driver disk to your USB thumb drive.


    Step 2. Boot from the Windows 8/8.1 setup disk and perform standard OS installation steps. When the screen requesting you to load the driver appears, select Browse." etc. etc.

    http://download.gigabyte.eu/FileList...97x-ud5h_e.pdf
    Last edited by Mr Blobby; 11-13-2014 at 06:53 PM.

  4. #4
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    boondocks is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Z97X-UD5H - configuring, installing sata drives

    The BIOS settings default to AHCI (unless you manually change it) so you are good to go. The Chinese to English conversion doesn't always work out very well in the manuals, lol.
    Just hook up your OS drive and install Windows.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Z97X-UD5H - configuring, installing sata drives

    As well as the translation issue, which is a reality in some cases, the instructions are an odd mix of generalities and specifics. I also get the feeling that sometimes the writers of the instructions are not well versed in what they are writing about. And as I have found from years of reading manuals and replies from reps in manufacture forums, they all believe that "the less said is better".

    In the case of using the Marvell SATA controller to install an OS, then yes you must load the pre-install driver. Windows does not have anything to use for the Marvell SATA controller at that point.

    The purpose of loading the pre-install driver is simply to allow the OS installation to work when the OS does not have a SATA driver to use. In the general case, assuming no built in driver to use during the installation, you need to load one.

    But once an OS is installed and working, which occurs before it boots for the first time, Windows can then load its own general purpose AHCI drive, msahci, for either the Marvell or Intel SATA controllers. Why can't Windows do that to start with? Difficult to explain, and I don't completely understand it.

    Regarding the "set to AHCI and RAID mode" comment, that implies you can set it to both modes at once, which is impossible. AHCI or RAID is correct. It is true that RAID mode has all the same features that AHCI mode does, plus RAID array support. So in a sense, RAID is RAID and AHCI.

    If you are concerned that the Marvell controller will not work unless you load the pre-install driver, don't worry, it will work fine, Windows will install its own AHCI driver once the OS installation is complete. Notice that there are two drivers for each controller, the pre-install and the regular (post install) driver. You can install the post install (my terminology) driver any time after Windows is installed, even if the Windows msahci driver is installed.

    The Windows 8 instructions make no sense IMO either, since Windows 8 also has the Intel AHCI/RAID driver built in. Some users (like me) may always load the pre-install driver because it is the latest version available, and we "know" it is "better" than the one Windows has. Yes that is sarcasm.

  6. #6
    Mr Blobby is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z97X-UD5H - configuring, installing sata drives

    Yes, I'd had the impression that Windows 8.x had the drivers.

    OK, thank you very much, gentlemen. And thanks for the tip about having just one drive connected for the OS installation, parsec.

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