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I just purchased a 2TB Fantom USB2/eSATA external hard drive. Unfortunately it revealed my oversight when my first custom system was built last Summer. I installed Vista Home Premium 64bit in IDE mode (default in Bios) instead of the ACHI mode, which would not only provide Native Command Queuing but also hot plug of external hard drives I need now.
As expected when I changed the Intel controller to ACHI in BIOS the system won't boot anymore as expected.
My motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P. Both my internal 750GB WD Black caviar 7200rpm Hard Drive and my eSATA bridge (providing 2 eSATA external connection) are connected on three of the six Intel SATA connectors controlled by the ICH10R (South Bridge) controller.
The internal hard drive is on SATA0 and eSATA connectors on SATA4 and SATA5. The two SATA connctecor controlled by Gigabyte controller (i.e. GSATA0 and GSATA1) are not used.
EDIT: The external hard drive driver just installed out of the sudden on my last try as I was writing this post and after I tried to install SATA/RAID drivers while under Windows from Gigabyte website for both Gigabyte and Intel controllers. Note that Intel setup from MSM/iata_cd.exe gave me an error that my system did not meet the minimum requirement and closed.
The new external SATA hard drive is now reported along with the internal hard drive in Device Manager under the IDEATA/ATAPI Controllers, with Intel(R) ICH10 Family controller Serial SATA controller.
I am about to upgrade to Windows-7 Home Premium 64Bit, for which I'd like all SATA drive to operate in AHCI mode. It would allow my external hard drive with an eSATA connection to support hot-plugging and seems beneficial for the internal hard drive too, while multi-tasking.
Enabling the AHCI mode after a Vista install with IDE mode enabled does not seem trivial in the few solution I read - and a little confusing. Any suggestions from experienced users would be greatly appreciated.
Should I enable AHCI mode before (i.e. under Vista) or during the upgrade to Windows-7?
If you recommend it is done before, can I enable the ACHI mode without re-installing VISTA?
Also, I have multiple partitions for the current VISTA install, with Users and Program Data on a different partition that the operating system. The current partition scheme will re-organized and simplified.
If you suggest to do it during the Windows-7 Custom clean install, will I still be able to modify this drive partitions scheme (using the Disk Option Advanced mode) in the same custom install session?
Since the external drive is operating in IDE Mode with the ICH10R controller, what is the implication that it has no hotplugging capability? I can not see where itI can be stopped in the status bar? Is it safe to power it off when the system is running?