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BIOS shows AHCI IDE Hard Disk (not SATA hard disk)
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Author:  lioninstreet [ Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:05 am ]
Post subject:  BIOS shows AHCI IDE Hard Disk (not SATA hard disk)

As the title of this thread states, when booting thru BIOS. the AMBIOS text shows the Auto-detect sequence for the hard drives finding IDE hard drives. I was wondering if anyone else has seen this or if perhaps I have a BIOS setting incorrect (which I doubt as the server is set to the performance defaults).

Seems to me that it should be detecting SATA drives unless the backplane converts SATA to IDE???

Obviously this is a big issue on a server (even a WHS) as IDE caps out at 133 MB/s and SATA 3.0 caps at 600 MB/s. And, if the backplane actually has a SATA interface where it plugs into the motherboard (and not converting from SATA at the HDD to IDE at the mobo), is it SATA 1.0 (150 MB/s) or 2.0 (300 MB/s).

Since SATA 3 wasn't introduced until 2009, my guess is the WHS didn't get SATA 3.

This leads me to my next question, has anyone run a crystaldiskmark on their server drives and/or compared a software benchmark (or for that matter a seat of the pants benchmark) for a mechanical HDD in a WHS vs a SSD in a WHS?

Author:  Ruben Rocha [ Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: BIOS shows AHCI IDE Hard Disk (not SATA hard disk)

Well what you need to grasp is it is a sever.
A ssd may make it boot faster but a server is not a desktop.

Besides there really are no drivers to support ssd on whs1

Author:  lioninstreet [ Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BIOS shows AHCI IDE Hard Disk (not SATA hard disk)

Hi Ruben, I appreciate your reply.

My posted question is more centered on the type and speed of the internal drive interface, ie. do we really have SATA (and the corresponding ability of its interface speeds) on the MSS?

But as far as using a SSD goes, with properly aligned partitions, SSD's run on 32bit OS's. The result as you noted is boot time improvement, but don't overlook the data transfer speed improvements. Meaning presumably terminal backups should happen faster (presuming another part of the network isn't a bottleneck). Driver support should not be an issue as the OS already supports the existing backplane hardware interface(s) and SSD firmware is typically recognized with the 32bit OS WS2003. That said, there are a few SSD manufactures out there (ex: Intel and GSkill) that provide utilities that function in the place of TRIM, potentially putting that concern to rest.

Granted with the OS no longer using a backup landing zone on the primary drive, it would appear that all the MSS drives would have to be SSD's to realize a worth while gain in data transfer rates. This means a SSD solution wouldn't be inexpensive. But they say we're in for an severe oversupply of silicon chips by the end of 2018, so here's hoping...

Note that with a mechanical HDD, it takes me the better part of 3-4 days to both backup my networked drives as well as the BDBB data. So that's why I started looking at the internal drive interface and possibility of using SSD. Using SSD's in all drive cages as well as a SSD backup drive would also seem to be a way to improve the backup times for the server data. But as I'm sure your well aware, the limitation for SSD's today is the interface. Another potential bottleneck is the external eSATA port used to connect an external backup drive (at about 150 MB/s, similar to SATA1). But getting close to that speed with an SSD is certainly a vast improvement over the data transfer speed of a HDD (50-70 MB/s).

Another SSD issue you brought out in a different thread (viewtopic.php?f=5&t=14692&p=105458&hilit=ssd+primary+drive#p105458) regarding using them with the ICH9R storage controller was something I was also curious about. It appears there was a data cap on the chip at 80MB/s that was rectified by the Intel Matrix Storage Manager driver 7.8.0.1012. A quick check in WHS device manager shows the installed driver is 8.2.1.1001. So this would likely not be an issue, bringing us back to the interface itself being a potential bottleneck. Were you referring to this or another ICH9R/SSD compatibility issue?

Can anyone say for sure what the MSS drive interface is? I just did a thread search for ide hard disk on the forum. Considering all the hard drives we're using are using the SATA interface, it looks like no one has spotted this BIOS screen showing the drive interface as IDE instead of SATA. Unless I'm completely misreading this...

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Author:  yakuza [ Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BIOS shows AHCI IDE Hard Disk (not SATA hard disk)

I think that's just how it's displayed in the BIOS, there's screenshots from back in 2010 showing the same thing.
viewtopic.php?p=57914#p57914

Author:  lioninstreet [ Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BIOS shows AHCI IDE Hard Disk (not SATA hard disk)

Yea, that wouldn't surprise me either. It could be that Ambios just wrote it as an IDE instead of SATA.. Funny that I've never seen a published spec on the interface type from HP (IDE, SATA1, SATA2, etc.).

Over the next week, I'm gonna run a benchmark on the primary HDD (a 2tb WD2005FBYZ Data Center drive) just to see where it's at. Then as time permits, I'll drop the OS onto a 250gb 850 evo I have sitting around just to see how the benchmark changes and post an update.

In the meantime, coming soon is EOL for updates availability. The Power Paks are easily downloadable so I have those, but the updates from Microsoft, not so much. So while we can still get them, I'm still working thru the process of archiving all the MS updates for w2003 and WHS using WSUS offline and Windows update mini tool in case I need them later. I'll might even do the same for Vail if I can get around to it.

Author:  lioninstreet [ Sun Sep 02, 2018 3:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: BIOS shows AHCI IDE Hard Disk (not SATA hard disk)

yakuza wrote:
The MSS supports SATA2 3.0Gb/s but the SATA3 6.0Gb/s standard is backwards compatible, so newer drives should work fine but will run at the lower SATA2 speed.
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=10482


If the MSS actually does support SATA2 (and doesn't bottleneck down to IDE at the board to backplane connector), backup and access times could end up benchmarking something like 5x to 10x faster and nothing other than $$$ would be in the way of replacing all the mechanical drives with SSD's... Of particular importance, without HDD's there would be no more drive heat inside the little server case either.

I have a couple of older 128gb SSD lying around to benchmark with, but SATA2's xfr rate cap of 300gbs is probably over the transfer rate of those. It would probably take at least a 250gb 860evo to saturate a SATA2 connector, this to do a real world test of what the interface limitations actually are.

On another note, SSD prices are already starting to drop as expected. I recently saw Micron's 2tb SSD on Newegg for under $300 and the mainstream brands can't be far behind. Given that the forecasts are that the chip market will becoming super saturated with silicone by spring/summer of next year, fingers are crossed for the 2tb's to be $200 or less by then.

We just have to wait and see what the market does. I'll post more as time progresses.

Author:  lioninstreet [ Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BIOS shows AHCI IDE Hard Disk (not SATA hard disk)

Using an older 120gb Crucial M4 I figured what the heck, why not see what's involved with loading v1 on it. I'm still working thru the standard SSD alignment issues (most of the common disk maintenance software's require you to pay server tax for a paid version because of the w2k3 server environment). ](*,)

Any suggestions for garbage collection as an alternative to TRIM would be helpful too.

I figured it couldn't hurt to run a baseline AS SSD benchmark on it and compare it to the 2gb WD2005FBYZ gold server HDD I'm running as the WHS drive 0. EDIT: I changed over to CrystalDiskMark since documentation shows v5.1.0 is more compatible with both SSD and HDD.

If basing the interface speeds on the benchmarks is realistic, it looks like the interface may actually be SATA2 since SATA1 saturates around 150 MB/s. I can use this to see if updating the Intel Matrix driver to RST does anything.

The SSD - C: 62% full
Seq Read- 263.8 Write- 190.4
4k: Read- 23.08 Write- 18.94

The HDD - C: 92% full
Seq Read- 20.7 Write- 30.8
4k: Read- 2.25 Write- 1.97

The SSD - D: 0% full
Seq Read- 275.6 Write- 190.0
4k: Read- 23.27 Write- 21.02

The HDD - D: 40% full
Seq Read- 154.6 Write- 173.2
4k: Read- 0.478 Write- 1.558

No surprise that the SSD killed the HDD in 4k, The surprise was how well the spinner did in sequential writes on the D: drive but tanked on the C: drive. Looks like sizing the C: drive partition on my systems HDD is would potentially help. And, if I was using a 1tb+ SSD the SATA interface would be fully saturated both read and right.

I'm really looking forward to the coming lower SSD prices and will likely end up running them in all bays. that is if I can find a reasonably priced alignment utility (free always better). Time to test the Intel storage manager drivers with a HDD and see what happens when running RST.

Until next time...

Author:  Gardian [ Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BIOS shows AHCI IDE Hard Disk (not SATA hard disk)

If and when a 2tb ssd is priced decently, I wouldn't mind trying 4 2tb drives running WHS V1.
Granted the OS is not designed for them and my guess is the life would be shorter then if they were in a system that did support them. But the lack of heat would be great, assuming we can find a decently vented / non obstructive caddy to put them in.

Something like this, if it aligns them correctly:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... -_-Product

But for now I will stick with my 2tb reds.

Dam shame Microsoft bailed on WHS and Media Center. Oh Well....

Author:  lioninstreet [ Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BIOS shows AHCI IDE Hard Disk (not SATA hard disk)

Gardian wrote:

Something like this, if it aligns them correctly:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... -_-Product

Those actually don't place the SSD interface properly in the MSS caddy. Here's what I'm using in case you end up needing to drop a ssd into a 3.5 hot swap bay. The drive slots in perfectly and they're even the right brand...

Good pictures here:
https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Desktops- ... 4F94F2AD2F
https://www.axiomupgrades.com/productde ... 40-001-AX/

This is the HP "needs-screwdriver-for-1-minute" caddy that is under $10.00 USD on eBay, HP part number 654540-001. They have another one that's fully tool-less (675769-001 for over $70!) but both looks like this (with same quality metal and same Foxconn SATA BlindMate interface board):

Gardian wrote:

Dam shame Microsoft bailed on WHS and Media Center. Oh Well....

Yup, so sad & so true. MS could have really made WHS into something really, really nice by now. Instead we're stuck with subscriptions to the "cloud."

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