What Intel drivers are needed

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Jim, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. Jim

    Jim Guest

    I have just bought some new SSD's for my P5E3 Premium wifi and i'm told
    i need RST drivers (Rapid Storage Technology) on top of the intel
    chipset drivers.

    I have gone to Intels site and used there tool which looks inside your
    system and tells you what to download, it tells me to download "Intel
    Chipset Software Installation Utility" but when i search for
    a RST driver i have been able to download something called "Intel®
    Matrix Storage Manager v8.9.0.1023".

    I'm confused should i install just one or both and if both in what order
    because i'm sure using both could cause issues.

    Jim, Feb 14, 2014
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  2. Jim

    Paul Guest

    RST is a later version of Matrix Storage (name change).
    Both of them are used for setting up RAID arrays.
    RAID can be arranged in mirror mode (reliability) or stripe (speed).
    Most of the RAID configurations emphasize reliability (such as parity
    protection). Fewer of the RAID configurations exist solely for
    speed. Using only striping for example (RAID0), increases the risk
    that a single drive failing, wipes out the array. If you run a RAID0
    stripe, it would be advised to do daily backups (on a failure,
    you lose a day's work).


    OSes from Vista onwards, have IASTORV, which is built-in RAID support.
    If an array already has RAID metadata on the disks, that driver should
    be able to see it. (Metadata gets added, if you use the BIOS RAID setup
    screen, or by using the management application in the OS.) You probably
    won't get a "management application" by using IASTORV. If you install
    the Intel package, that would be marked in the OS as IASTOR without
    the V on the end. And that in effect, overrides the IASTORV.

    Some ideas for Desktop RAID

    1) Use a UPS (uninterruptable power supply). Run the warning
    cable from the UPS to the PC. The warning cable on my UPS,
    when the UPS flips to battery, send a message at the 2 minute
    mark to the PC, telling it to "shutdown now". The PC can then
    unmount the file system cleanly and shut down the PC, and there
    will be no damage to a single disk or to a RAID array.

    There have been cases, when a RAID mirror is run, and the computer
    doesn't have UPS, the two disks become mismatched. And data can
    appear to go missing later, when one of the disks fails, and the
    other (out of date) disk is called on. Using a UPS, removes those
    potential corner cases.

    2) Do frequent backups. Even if you're running a RAID5 (three or more
    disks with parity protection), you *still* need backups. There have
    been cases where the controller writes bad stuff to all the drives
    (it happened to us at work), and corrupts a RAID array. All it takes
    is a software bug, a rootkit, and just about anything can happen. Even
    a power supply overvoltage, can kill the entire array at the same time,
    leaving no redundancy and total data loss. So for "reliable arrays",
    you're making a backup just because the entire array could wink out.
    For "speedy configurations" such as RAID0, you increase the frequency
    of backups, because the MTBF is now worse when run in striped mode.
    Either SSD can fail in a stripe, endangering the data. Which means
    the failure frequency has just gone up.

    When you change settings in the BIOS, on the modern OSes you can
    "re-arm" driver detection. These are all the settings you can use,
    to identify candidates for detection. There would only be an iaStor
    in the system, if you install either Intel RST or Matrix RAID driver.
    The iaStorV is likely a Matrix RAID from a while back, that Microsoft
    distributes with the OS. The V stands for Vista, even though the same
    idea exists in later OSes. The letter V is still there.


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\pciide\Start <== 0
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\msahci\Start <== 0
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStorV\Start <== 0
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStor\Start <== 0

    As the Wikipedia article at the beginning mentions, TRIM is supported
    in a number of modes now. You still have to do your reading and research
    though, just to be sure. There is more info on TRIM, here.


    Paul, Feb 14, 2014
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  3. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Paul many thanks for the detailed answer the trouble for me is i'm not
    running any form of RAID, I have all my SATA sockets filled on the
    mainboard but it's just for normal storage as i say no raid what so
    ever, i know i need to instal one of these drivers as looking at my
    systry i have the windows "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" icon
    and right clciking on it gives me the following didplay:

    I have taken images at this stage so can play and just go back on the
    current image with no damage.

    Jim, Feb 14, 2014
  4. Jim

    Paul Guest

    OK, if you're not running RAID, your choices are:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\pciide\Start <== 0
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\msahci\Start <== 0

    For those, you don't have to install anything. The drivers are
    in the OS already. PCI IDE means PCI address space, a.k.a. "Enhanced IDE".
    The other kind, Compatible, is in the I/O space. Compatible exists,
    to help older OSes like Win98.

    If you were to install the Intel driver, it could end up being AHCI
    via IASTOR as an example. But you don't need the Intel driver. It's
    because AHCI and PCI IDE are built into the OS and are standards,
    that nothing is needed.

    The above registry entries, are for "re-arming" driver detection.

    1) Using Regedit, set those particular keys to zero. They
    will only stay at zero, during the reboot. Once the system is
    running, the OS will change the values back.

    2) Now, shut down the system. Enter the BIOS, select a disk controller
    mode. Select AHCI or Enhanced IDE.

    3) On reboot, the modern OSes will reconsider what driver to use.
    Your BIOS setting, will match one of the available drivers. By using
    the registry entries, you define the "candidate list". If I were
    to set both of those keys, I would be ready for IDE or AHCI modes.

    So now, the next question would be, what mode would you like:

    1) AHCI (the one you're already running) supports command queuing.
    That means the command depth can be greater than 1 outstanding
    command. The queuing is tagged, so when the disk say "command #3 complete",
    the driver checks to see which (potentially out-of-order) access
    that was. It allows the drive to reorder outstanding commands
    if it wants. This mainly helps hard drives, by providing
    the "shortest path" for head movements. Your SSD doesn't have head
    movement, so I don't know how exactly it would be expected to
    optimize the order of completion. But it will help your hard
    drive a tiny bit.

    2) AHCI supports Hot Plug. That's why you're getting those Eject options.
    You cannot eject C:, even though it says that. It'll tell you the
    partition is busy if you try.

    3) The IDE option, sometimes has slightly better operation when the
    outstanding command queue has zero or one items. This has to do with
    the overhead of AHCI, which is slightly larger.

    4) Both AHCI and IDE support TRIM. At least, if your OS is patched up
    to date.

    I don't see anything wrong with the AHCI (MSAHCI) choice you're
    using at the moment. If you want to switch to IDE you can. And
    to do it, consider the registry entries above. You only have
    to "arm" the one you want, but arming both of them, you can
    decide at BIOS setup time, which one you actually want to use.
    If they're both armed, the one you select in the BIOS, is the
    one that wins at OS startup.

    Like, say you get into the BIOS, and you can't figure out
    what option to set. You can just bail, restart the computer,
    and the existing driver choice will be up and running again.
    Only re-arm one registry entry, if you like a challenge later :)
    (A Catch22 challenge.)

    Paul, Feb 14, 2014
  5. Jim

    Rob Guest

    The only real changes that you see when using AHCI instead of IDE
    mode and when installing the RST drivers on a non-raid system is
    that there is no longer a 'safely eject' item in the system tray
    for the OS drive (an entry which is, let's just say, a bit stupid
    and confusing) and the ability to use tools which rely on
    interrogating the SMART information on drives (which can be very
    useful of course.)

    What I do with systems set to IDE mode is use the re-arm procedure
    Paul describes, set the BIOS to use AHCI, reboot (usually 2 reboots
    are needed as the OS sees 'new' drives) and then install the RST
    Rob, Apr 9, 2014
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