March 14, 2009

AHCI vs. DVD writing

By far the most popular post in this blog is my AHCI article, which incidentally, was also one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place. On our most recently mainboard purchase spree, we bought the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-US2H, which is a small upgrade over the GA-MA78GM-S2H. We also got some Phenom X4's this time for these boards, since they will be running as terminal servers. Oh, and since I liked these Gigabyte boards so much, we've not bought any more ASUS boards.

Eventhough I wrote the AHCI article, I've never paid much attention to actually putting it into practice, i.e. sometimes I still don't bother to swap the hard drive to the special SATA port to install the AHCI driver. But this time around, while "testing" the new Phenom X4 systems, I ran into a strange new problem: whenever I burn a DVD, the system locks up solid. After some head scratching, I noticed that the one difference with this new system was that it had a SATA DVD writer, and the system was still running in the default IDE mode.

So after doing the AHCI installation per my own instructions, everything was smooth, no more lockups. So it appears that using AHCI is still important, especially if SATA DVD writers are involved.

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