1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

E-Sata drive not recognised by Windows 7 after booting

By deegeeh ยท 30 replies
Mar 6, 2010
  1. hi everyone, this is my first post since joining and I have high hopes that someone can help. provided that my external drive is running before i boot it is recognised and is useable, but if i switch it on after booting then it is not recognised. i understand that this procedure is similar to 'hot swapping' with a usb connection and for this to work with a SATA drive 'AHCI' has to be enabled in the bios setup. my bios has four settings available - native ide which is the default setting that i normally use, raid, legacy ide and ide-ahci. i set it to the last option which would appear to be the one i need and the only difference that it made was to increase the boot time from a normal 1 minute to in excess of 5 minutes. i tried all the other settings in turn and none of them did what i want, which is to be able to switch the drive 'on' and 'off' as i need it. i also found in another forum that 'msahci' driver should be loaded at boot time ( it is normally not by default) microsoft KB922976 refers. the bios file and the motherboard drivers are up to date. so can anyone see anything that i have missed or perhaps it is not possible.
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    Turn off all Legacy IDE and USB settings in the bios
  3. deegeeh

    deegeeh TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Tmagic650, There is not much IDE stuff I can turn off in the BIOS but what there is I have turned 'off', can't turn off the USB as I need it 'on' for the printer and webcam. So far there is no improvement, drive still not recognised after booting.Thanks.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,552   +437

    I have this issue as well. I think Tmagic650 is correct when he mentions the IDE stuff. If your SATA in the bios is set to emulate IDE in any way (this is what you have to set it at to install XP without 3rd party sata drivers) then it won't work. It has to be in a purely SATA state in the BIOS for this to work.
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    The SATA controller needs to be set in the IDE mode most of the time. i have never really heard of IDE Legacy settings, but USB legacy detection works better in newer bois when it is disabled. My USB devices work just fine with Legacy USB disabled
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,552   +437

    If you put the SATA controller in IDE mode I don't think hot swapping SATA is going to be possible at all (which is what I think the issue is). And with it in IDE mode you lose NCQ.
  7. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    If the SATA controller is not set to IDE I loose my hard drives in (My) Computer
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,552   +437

    Thats because you installed windows that way, the AHCI background stuff (I don't know enough to explain) is set up that way, and to get Windows to work the other way you have to reinstall. I looked into it a while back when I was interested in getting NCQ to work in Vista a few years back.
  9. deegeeh

    deegeeh TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Gentlemen, I am 78 years old with only a fairly basic knowledge of computers but I did assemble my own PC, however you are starting to lose me a bit in the technicalities! I have been reading as many forums on the subject as I can find and two or three previous answers have suggested that the BIOS should be set to AHCI before W7 is installed,it is not possible to change afterwards. On my mobo the SATA controller is integrated in the AMD chipset and when I installed W7 I was not asked to supply any extra SATA drivers, should I have been? Does this mean that I may have to reinstall 7 again?
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,168   +4,119

    Gentlemen, this is age (of board) dependent, and also OS dependent.

    In very late boards with Windows 7, AHCI can be run, without any drivers being installed. Just set it, and forget it.

    Under these conditions, the internal drives will run, and Windows will install in either IDE, or ACHI. I can't speak to the externals, since I don't have one to check

    Anyway, I dealt with this, just this Friday! The board BIOS defaults to "IDE", but you can run either IDE or ACHI, without installing drivers. I was in the middle of ,installing Windows 7, (well, maybe somewhat less than the "middle"), when I remembered this. So, I chickened out, pulled the Windows DVD, and reset BIOS to "AHCI". When I started over, everything proceeded as before, except now the BIOS crawl showed the "SATA" controller.

    Have you tried Computer >> "View" >> "Refresh" to see if the External Drive shows, after boot?

    SNGX is likely correct in that you must reinstall Windows if you installed over a BIOS in IDE mode.

    As to the issue of the external drive not being recognized if it's not running, The BIOS polls the devices at boot time, if it's off, it's not polled. Keep in mind that certain other conditions need to be met to make "hot swapping" a reality. Like perhaps a $500.00 "Rocket RAID" SATA controller, but don't quote me on that.

    As to hot swapping anything, I pretty much get a bit apprehensive about even switching a LAN cord without putting the computer into standby, and turning off the modem.

    Hot swapping SATA drives seems like something that should be reserved for commercial servers.(Which can't really be shut down, so this would be done out of necessity).

    As to Mr. DeeGeeh, I don't say it's the cure, but perhaps your system specs might be of some help.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,168   +4,119

    I don't know if this is my internet, or a TS problem, but please accept my apologies for the double post.
  12. deegeeh

    deegeeh TS Rookie Topic Starter

    'Hot Swapping' is the term that I used to describe what I wanted to do i.e. switch my e-SATA drive 'on' or 'off' as I need it. Nothing more! I too am of the school that decrees ' don't plug or unplug anything while the system is live'

    I still can't get my head round the fact that changing the BIOS setting to 'IDE-AHCI' also degrades the bootup time to such a large extent, 1 minute to over 5 minutes is a hell of a big jump would'nt you agree?

    My system specs have been available for all to see ever since I joined the forum.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,168   +4,119

    What I can't get my head around is the fact it boots at all..! Were you to try this with an older board /BIOS /OS configuration, pretty much all you'd get is an "IDE loop", where the machine can't find any drives, and keeps continually rebooting trying to find them.

    Since Vista, Windows has had native AHCI drivers, this doesn't mean that others aren't needed for RAID, but you can run in AHCI without then. Not so with XP.

    I perhaps, am too easily amused, but if I had a stable configuration, my HDDs running in AHCI (SATA), and the external drive with but one "idiosyncracy" that entailed having it turned on at boot time, IMO that's golden. I went through the either install the OS in IDE or AHCI mode this Friday night. Windows 7 will detect the drives and work either way, but you have to pick one before the install is made.
    If I missed them accept my apology. I was looking for several yesterday, while having connectivity problems, I probably thought I looked for yours, but didn't.
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,552   +437

    I think the increase in boot time is directly a result of switching the bios handling of sata. Windows needs to be installed with the sata set to their native mode, which I guess is AHCI, I don't think you can switch it after Windows is installed. At least you couldn't in XP, something fundamental in the kernel is different (perhaps related to HAL?).
  15. deegeeh

    deegeeh TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think that you have both convinced me that a re-install is my next step but do I really want all the hassle in order to save me from a minor inconvenience? Anyway thank you for your thoughts and to anyone else with a similar problem - good luck!

    Signing off,
  16. Tgard

    Tgard TS Booster Posts: 99   +37

    When I upgraded to Windows 7?

    I upgraded from Windows XP 64 to Windows 7 64, and I was using the upgrade version. When I first installed Win 7 as a full install, after wiping my XP installation and using the clean drive, which is possible with the upgrade disk as opposed to just upgrading my existing XP installation, Win 7 wouldn't let me register and said because I was using the upgrade version of Win 7 that Win 7 had to find an existing install of XP and that my install had to be re-done. I didn't think about it at the time but when I re-installed XP first so I could then use the Upgrade of 7 to do a full install, I am assuming I should have first set the drives to AHCI in the bios.

    After re-installing XP and since my existing XP installation was IDE when I tried to change to AHCI, Win 7 wouldn't recognize my XP installation and let the upgrade continue. Thought at the time I may have a problem with my Motherboard controllers or something but I wish I had tried the AHCI setting before. I seemed to have standby trouble with my XP before with AHCI or I attributed it to that and so I didn't use it and only remembered I wanted to try it right before installed 7 after I had re-installed XP. Anyway I held my breath, switched back to IDE in the bios and then Win 7 installed without problems, wiping my XP installation or actually backing it all up into a folder on my C drive.

    Now reading this, I assume that I would have had to reinstall XP with the AHCI mode before I could use the Win 7 upgrade - correct? That is if I want AHCI in Windows 7, I would need to start from scratch with the correct bios setting, then install XP, then use my Win 7 upgrade. My install is fine tuned by several months now and I think I will be fine with just rebooting when I connect my External Sata drive to see it. I think it will be too much work for me to re-do it all right now anyways. Maybe at some time in the future if I NEED to do a re-install I will tackle it but I really wish I would have had this info before I started. Didn't see anything about my particular situation before I tackled all this install/re-install adventure.

    Question: Do I lose much by having the bios settings as IDE over AHCI and could this cause a problem with power saving settings if I decide to use them. Currently I only let my monitor idle or go blank and my system runs 24/7. With the needs of my family and families schedules it doesn't make sense to shut down and reboot several times a day, and I have had trouble with computers waking up properly in the past, so I have been leary of using it.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,168   +4,119

    Is it alright that I eliminate the ponderous first part of that, and go straight to the question...?

    Second part first, Windows 7 is supposed to have a quicker boot and recover from suspend than XP. I don't know that this is so much dependent on the HDD mode, or if it is, I think it would only be to the extent that the differential is by virtue of a slight defference in available buss speed in AHCI.

    First part second; most motherboards default to ATA-100 (DMA-5) when force run as IDE. ATA-100 is 100 mega > bytes< per second. Many modern HDDs can approach that speed or perhaps exceed in SATA (AHCI), but not by very much. SATA interface is measured in mega >bits< per second and so we need to do a little math because it's not a direct decimal conversion. (8 to 1, rather than 10 to 1) That said, SATA 1 is very close to the older fastest PATA spec of ATA-133. But SATA 2 is double that, and mechanical HDDs can't possibly saturate the buss, certainly not in any close to normally used configuration.

    So much for (minimalist) theory. You should run SATA as SATA (AHCI) if possible because there are other more usable benefits besides absolute speed. The most important is leaving behind the master / slave relationship of the IDE arrangement. With SATA, it's every drive for itself, without any speed penalty on whatever port whatever drive is hooked to. Since Windows 7 gives you AHCI capability with built in SATA drivers, it seems silly not to use it. In XP, it's different story since you wind up d***ing around with boot floppy discs to get the danged stupid drivers installed.
  18. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    I don't see any speed issues having installed Windows 7 64 upgrade over Vista Home Premium 64, and having the SATA controller set in IDE
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,168   +4,119

    I would think that this would be very true in day to day normal operation. There is one thing, I think that BIOS can only handle a set number of devices in complete IDE mode. I say this, but somehow the actual truth or intent of meaning, perhaps has escaped me, through my own failures of dealing with the uncertain translation of Chinese to English in Gigabyte instruction manuals.

    (Sorry for the run on sentence).
  20. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    All my drives are SATA... 2 hard drives and 2 DVD/CD optical drives
  21. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,552   +437

    Well, how much transferring do you do, I bet that your external also has USB 2.0, so you could just use that, and hot swap all you want.

    I'm not sure its worth it either, and you'd need to have the 3rd party drivers for your SATA controller to install before the GUI part of the XP install.
  22. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    The BIOS in non-Intel boards do now show the AHCI (SATA) more like on the SouthBridge OnChip SATA Channel (needed), PATA Channel config (SATA as primary). So take caution not to disable and legacy IDE if you have PCI IDE Bus Master Enabled for PCI NIC Adapter an etc.

    Does the OP have Intel chipset or AMD?
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,168   +4,119

    His published specs say AMD....I am still of the opinion that the drive mode must be AHCI, and not IDE and that this is the best option. Still, this doesn't result in any disabling of other IDE operations, you would have to do that intentionally, would you not...? The other issue involves the necessity of reinstalling the OS in order to switch the >> only << the SATA controller from IIDE to ACHI. I think you gotta do it, but I think everybody's on board with that at this point.

    "AHCI" is a "SATA" mode true, but it is not SATA RAID. RAID, is the hot swappable mode of SATA and (I think) only available with certain controllers. The OP's issue is that the E-SATA external HDD, is not available after the system has booted. I have some doubt as to whether this is an issue at all, since something not polled, is something not recognized.
  24. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    I see you added some more details to the above post since you last added your reply. :) Well no doubt in my mind that AHCI is SATA. Older BIOS pre 2008 might call it different but in all without the RAID and just the SATA these systems should not be loading the SATA as IDE Primary Master IDE Primary Slave. But you might not be able to change that feature if the BIOS doesn't have that extra code. Anyway the new systems play nice with Windows 7 SATA II. E-SATA issue with the OP is the question here. I would check to see if the Cgmt can see the external drive. Doesn't always mean it going to show up in the My Computer if it doesn't even show-up in the Computer Management Disk Management.
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,168   +4,119

    The semantic issue here ACHI or SATA or IDE for that matter, is one that probably has not been addressed correctly by the motherboard manuals, or for that matter, the BIOS software engineers.

    Part of the problem resides, (as you referred to) is the nomenclature existing in these entities.

    It's not entirely avoidable though, due to the current existence of 3 different Windows OS in use simultaneously. But the definition, description, and emphasis of drive mode has, in fact changed. My experience is with Intel, so I can only give that as my point of reference;

    The Intel G956WHMK board I bought, (before I joined 10/'06) offered "ACHI"in BIOS, but with the annotation that this could only be implemented with Vista, and not with XP.

    A Gigabyte G41 chipset board, give me "auto" as a mode, then when selected runs the HDDs in ACHI, or a least when system info utilities are used on the system, they list the "current transfer mode" as "SATA 300gbs.

    The BIOS in a brand new H55 Gigabyte board only gives 2 options; "AHCI" stated directly or "IDE". No mess, no fuss, no anxiety, but no "we'll work it out for you "auto" setting either. Just click "ACHI" in BIOS with Win 7, and you're on your way.

    All of this makes sense, since the designers are catering to either the prevalent ,or expected OS installation. IE; nobody involved with hardware should be terribly concerned about someone installing XP in an H55 board. If someone does, it's on them.

    All this about the Esata drive not being recognized, is IMO moot. The OP states, the Esata drive is only recgonized when it's turned on >> before << boot. I'm standing firm with the opinion that that's to be expected, since if it's not turned on (at boot poll) then it technically doesn't exist. Since the system is likely not true hot swappable RAID, why would it appear after initialization. (In the case of the H55 board, the only concession that is made to XP, is that BIOS >> defaults << to IDE). Although in the next revision they might think better of that, but who knows).

    I agree that it would be nice if it did happen, but I wouldn't be terribly concerned if it didn't.

    When the BIOS is set for AHCI in my H55 board, it fires up, checks the memory, shows the SATA controller then boots into Windows. There's no longer the crawl of the other devices being polled, nothing, just a big glorious boot into Windows in about 20 seconds.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...