Dell Inspiron 530 and enabling AHCI for SSD

scurrier

Junior Member
Sep 15, 2010
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#1
Hello all,

First post!

So I just jumped on the SSD bandwagon with a Vertex 2. It hasn't arrived yet but I'm trying to figure out how to enable AHCI before it gets here so I can install optimally. From what I have been reading for the past few hours, it sounds like I need to use F6 at the Windows 7 x64 prompt to install AHCI drivers for the disc controller. I think I can handle that. The problem is that my mobo that came with the Inspiron 530 only has IDE and RAID mode. What is the best way to do this? I am thinking that I need to turn on AHCI before starting the windows install but if it's not an option what do I do? I believe the chipset is ICH9R if that helps. I am pretty sure that this Dell BIOS is hosing me right now but there must be some way around this. Use the intel raid with one disk (the ssd)?

Help! I want to install my SSD right! I want hot swap and NCQ!
Thanks guys!
-scurrier
 

Gunbuster

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
6,848
8
81
#2
RAID/IRRT is AHCI on that Dell

For Windows 7 set it to that mode in the BIOS and install the OS. (you don't need to do F6)
 
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scurrier

Junior Member
Sep 15, 2010
8
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#3
Isn't there a risk of disabling TRIM by using raid mode?
 

Gunbuster

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
6,848
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#4
AFAIK IDE mode does not pass the TRIM command.
 

fffblackmage

Platinum Member
Dec 28, 2007
2,548
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#5
AFAIK IDE mode does not pass the TRIM command.
Hmmm, I thought TRIM commands were passed through drivers and is independent of IDE or AHCI mode. Can anyone confirm?

@scurrier
FYI, NCQ doesnt apply to SSDs.
Edit: Apparently it does...
 
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scurrier

Junior Member
Sep 15, 2010
8
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#6
Hmm interesting discussion developing here. This might end up being a more expensive SSD that I thought if I have to upgrade my mobo because of it. Although I did see some alternative BIOS options out there. Those sound risky though.
 

Gunbuster

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
6,848
8
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#7
Dell is sloppy about how it names things in the BIOS. IRRT/intel RAID is a subset of AHCI.
 

scurrier

Junior Member
Sep 15, 2010
8
0
0
#8
Thanks for the information. Does this mean that I can just set BIOS to RAID, put the Windows 7 x64 disc in, and when it loads the intel RAID manager before boot somehow set it to not actually do a RAID (but still use AHCI), and then install windows?

Will it find the AHCI drivers for my controller automatically in this case?
 
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scurrier

Junior Member
Sep 15, 2010
8
0
0
#9
Hey guys, I dont have the SSD yet but I tried this with my HDD's. I put the mobo in RAID mode reinstalled windows. NCQ was turned on and there were no IDE controllers shown in Device Manager. I also saw a screen flash by during POST that said AHCI was enabled (or something to that effect.) This was on the Intel Matrix screen near POST.

Just wanted to let anyone surfing the internet know that you have to enable RAID mode in the BIOS to get AHCI working and this doesn't necessarily mean that you have to do an actual RAID.

I also installed intel's storage software in windows to see what it was like but this is optional

I'll report on whether or not TRIM seems to be enabled if I can find a way to see that parameter once my SSD comes.
 
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scurrier

Junior Member
Sep 15, 2010
8
0
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#10
Didn't work.

I had to set the mobo to IDE mode to get it to install with the SSD. I got this error:
"Windows cannot be installed to Disk 0 Partition 1. (show details)"

Click show details and you get:
"Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk's controller is enabled in the computer's BIOS menu."

This was what I got when I set the mobo to RAID mode. When I switched back to IDE mode it installed just fine.

Help! This sucks!
 

Gunbuster

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
6,848
8
81
#11
Do you have the latest dell BIOS on it?
 

scurrier

Junior Member
Sep 15, 2010
8
0
0
#13
OK so I did some more investigation. This is very strange. The number of drives that I have hooked up to the motherboard appears to affect whether or not I can boot to the SSD while in RAID mode. For example, if I have two other hard drives plugged in, the BIOS does not see the SSD. If I only have one, sometimes it can see it. In this case, it can't see it when I enter the BIOS screen to allow me to set it to the first hard drive to boot from. But, I can hit F12 at boot time and select the SSD. I will just have to do this every time from now on.

Very weird.
 

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