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Changing BIOS from IDE mode to SATA AHCI mode, after WHS is already installed RRS feed

  • Question

  • I just purchased a 1TB drive which I want to use as an external WHS backup drive. I want to be able to hot-swap the drive so I can just plug the drive in, let a backup run, then unplug the drive and move it to a safe location. My external drive enclosure supports eSATA.

    Due to the WHS installation challenges, of using SATA mode, I installed WHS with my BIOS set to "IDE" mode.  If I simply change the BIOS setting back to SATA AHCI mode, even if I have run the SATA driver chipset installation utility, WHS will not boot - it will momentarily flash the WHS splash screen, and the re-boot the PC.

    I had the same issue with Vista, but managed to google a simple fix.
    http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7115&start=0

    In Vista I simply had to change HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci\Start value from 4 to 0, to ensure the Windows AHCI service ran at startup.  I was then able to boot in SATA ACHI mode, even though I had installed Vista in IDE mode.

    Is there any way to accomplish the same thing in WHS?
    Sunday, April 5, 2009 12:42 AM

Answers

  • Thanks for a great reply Evaders99. I should have specified that I was using a motherboard with an AMD 740G chipset, specifically a Gigabyte GA-MA74MGM-S2.

    I could only boot WHS with my BIOS set to native IDE mode, as this is how I originally installed WHS.  Problem is, no matter how I tried, even using the individual .inf files in the driver folders, I could not get the 740G SATA AHCI RAID drivers to install, without SATA AHCI mode being active.

    The MB has 6 SATA ports, 0 to 5, and I noticed an option to have ports 4 & 5 run in IDE mode, even with the other 4 ports in SATA AHCI mode. I did this, then disconnectd my system drive from port 0, and re-connected it to port 4.  That did it!  WHS booted from an IDE mode connection, and with SATA mode active on ports 0 to 3, I was able to install the AHCI drivers - getting the re-assuring "new hardware found" message.

    I then shut down, changed the BIOS so that all SATA ports ran in AHCI mode, and reconnected my system drive to port 0.  Everything works great now.

    Only fly in the ointment is WHS then complained that despite nothing more than a bios setting change, that my hardware was now "substantially different" and I must re-activate within 3 days !!

    Very strange since, three months ago my original 6 year old Abit AMD motherboard died. The current GA-MA74GM-S2 was a replacement MB, installed 3 months ago, which also required new RAM, and a new CPU, and then a WHS repair install. At that time - a simple internet reactivation worked just fine.  Rather odd, that now a simple Bios setting change on that same motherboard was now declared a "substantial hardware change" that failed automatic internet activation, automatic telephone activation, and finally required speaking to an actual MS person to finally re-activate!!

    • Marked as answer by dpkform Tuesday, April 7, 2009 11:07 PM
    Tuesday, April 7, 2009 11:06 PM

All replies

  • This may help
    http://forum.msi.com.tw/index.php?topic=106575.0
    • Marked as answer by dpkform Tuesday, April 7, 2009 10:37 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by dpkform Tuesday, April 7, 2009 10:39 PM
    Monday, April 6, 2009 8:28 AM
  • Thanks for a great reply Evaders99. I should have specified that I was using a motherboard with an AMD 740G chipset, specifically a Gigabyte GA-MA74MGM-S2.

    I could only boot WHS with my BIOS set to native IDE mode, as this is how I originally installed WHS.  Problem is, no matter how I tried, even using the individual .inf files in the driver folders, I could not get the 740G SATA AHCI RAID drivers to install, without SATA AHCI mode being active.

    The MB has 6 SATA ports, 0 to 5, and I noticed an option to have ports 4 & 5 run in IDE mode, even with the other 4 ports in SATA AHCI mode. I did this, then disconnectd my system drive from port 0, and re-connected it to port 4.  That did it!  WHS booted from an IDE mode connection, and with SATA mode active on ports 0 to 3, I was able to install the AHCI drivers - getting the re-assuring "new hardware found" message.

    I then shut down, changed the BIOS so that all SATA ports ran in AHCI mode, and reconnected my system drive to port 0.  Everything works great now.

    Only fly in the ointment is WHS then complained that despite nothing more than a bios setting change, that my hardware was now "substantially different" and I must re-activate within 3 days !!

    Very strange since, three months ago my original 6 year old Abit AMD motherboard died. The current GA-MA74GM-S2 was a replacement MB, installed 3 months ago, which also required new RAM, and a new CPU, and then a WHS repair install. At that time - a simple internet reactivation worked just fine.  Rather odd, that now a simple Bios setting change on that same motherboard was now declared a "substantial hardware change" that failed automatic internet activation, automatic telephone activation, and finally required speaking to an actual MS person to finally re-activate!!

    • Marked as answer by dpkform Tuesday, April 7, 2009 11:07 PM
    Tuesday, April 7, 2009 11:06 PM
  • Hi,
    about the activation: Each disk configuration change may count here with a certain weight, and now you changed the settings for several disks at once, so you got your substantial change.
    A side effect of your change will also be a more difficult server reinstall (if you will ever have to perform that), since the setup routine is very sensitive about drivers, which are not built in.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Wednesday, April 8, 2009 6:58 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,
    about the activation: Each disk configuration change may count here with a certain weight, and now you changed the settings for several disks at once, so you got your substantial change.
    A side effect of your change will also be a more difficult server reinstall (if you will ever have to perform that), since the setup routine is very sensitive about drivers, which are not built in.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Nevertheless, it still seems odd that WHS would allow a new motherboard, CPU, and RAM without complaint,  but then complain, when the existing hard drives simply have their interface method changed - all data on those hard drives, and the drives themselves remaining the same.  Perhaps the bios change finally precipitated the activation issue, due to a cumulative effect from the prior major hardware changes.

    I'm aware of the ridiculous typical challenges, of installing to SATA drives, due the inexcusably dated bootloader in WHS install disks, however, my workaround may be useful in that scenario as well.

    For a future re-install, I could simply set the system drive back to IDE interface in the BIOS, then re-install SATA AHCI drivers as above, then set the BIOS back to AHCI mode for all drives.  Much easier than fumbling with the usual install problems on SATA.  Such a method might require yet another chat with a MS rep to re-activate ;-)

    Or perhaps now is the time to experiment with creating a slip-streamed install of WHS that includes the SATA drivers.  There is a tutorial on the wegotserved wiki.  Hmmm - if the drivers can be slipstreamed, perhaps the service packs can be slipstreamed as well - that would be great.  I have done exactly that with my Vista and XP installation disks.
    Wednesday, April 8, 2009 7:20 AM