VAIL (server 2008): IDE vs AHCI? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I have installed Vail R2 on a test platform with SATA AHCI enabled and, unlike its predecessor built on the WS2003 kernel, Vail was able to recognize the drive and install on it.  In the regular WHS forum I posted issues with "ghost bad sectors" appearing on HDD >1TB when using SATA drives in IDE mode (WS2003 seemed to have trouble recognizing sectors beyond 1TB) and I imagine that isn't an issue with Vail.  But wondering if there are any thoughts out there on whether the newer AHCI SATA communication protocol would be preferable over IDE in Vail.  The addition of NCQ and resulting lower power consumption (with reduced temperatures) would seem like a win-win since the OS supports AHCI natively.



    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 5:51 PM

All replies

  • The main problem with SATA for Windows Server 2003 was during restore process, since native Server 2003 setup files did not contain any SATA drivers. 3rd party drivers on consumer boards were often made for Windows XP and not Server 2003, which caused some incidents with larger drives (besides some controllers, which didn't handle large disks well).

    These problems are not given with Vail, which is based on the same code as Windows 7/Server 2008 R2. Therefore I see no reason with Vail, to prefer the one or other method at current stage from OS point of view. Handling of multiple disks may be more convenient with native SATA..

    Best greetings from Germany

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 9:19 PM
  • Thanks for the reply Olaf!  Yes AHCI also allows hot-swapping, so it seems like no reason to not go with it.  I actually have not had experience with AHCI before - a topic that extends beyond Vail, I understand - and wondering if anybody has had experiences, positive or negative, with running SATA drives in AHCI mode.  For a server running 24/7 in a closet, the biggest selling point to me is reduced power consumption and lower drive temperatures.  That equals longer life! :)


    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 10:27 PM
  • Here is my experience with VAIL ver 2 and AHCI. I have had VAIL (august 16, 2010 version) working for over 2.5 months. Works great, with 2 SATA hard drives and 1 DVD drive in IDE mode. I wanted to take advantage of hot swapping hard drives but IDE selected in the BIOS won't work for that. So I went through with changing BIOS to AHCI. Wouldn't work at first so I made sure i had all info backed up, then fresh reinstalled VAIL after BIOS set to AHCI. So far it does not work on this level. If I shutdown then power button to start up it works. BUT if I, or system, restarts; it comes up with a black screen with a blinking (underscore?) cursor ---dead from here on. No amount of keying or cntrl, alt, del, or anything will shutdown, restart or do anything. the physical power button is the only way to shutdown, then power button to start up again.

    I've tried alot of things, and if I'm not mistaken the only way that I solved it was to physically unplug the extra hard drive. The main hard drive and the DVD drive were the only drives hooked up. when I either plug in the extra hard drive OR the external eSATA it black screens again.

    I'll be putting it back in IDE mode so I can get my reliability back. I only have 4 computers (plus the VAIL server) on the network that all have good backups so its all an experiment anyway. I would like to use AHCI to take advantage of it but the only difference for me right now is that I will have to reboot when I want to swap a drive. I have an external USB hard drive dock that basically hotswaps anyway but its just slower. A good easy fix that I can see is to just get a USB 3.0 card and a USB 3.0 external device and we're back in business speedwise.

    The only other side note here is that my server has a MSI 760GM-E51 motherboard. The BIOS selection for RAID modes are IDE, AHCI, or RAID; for all SATAs at once. My main computer is an ASUS mb  that can separate SATAs 5-6 from SATAs 1-4, with a suggestion that the DVD drive and main drive are IDE. something like this may be the way to go when the time comes.

    Friday, November 12, 2010 4:16 PM
  • sorry. for clarity: "with a suggestion that the DVD drive and main drive are IDE.<-- on SATA 5 and 6."
    Friday, November 12, 2010 4:19 PM