I have been installing Intel X25-M SATAII SSD 80GB drives in a few computers here at work and WOW, what a difference! However, this brings up some questions about the computers these drives are being installed in. This weekend I was working with Vista Business 64-bit with a Gigabyte EP45-UD3P board which had almost as many issues as a 2006 install of XP 64-bit edition on a Tyan 2892 board. I was NOT impressed with the errors I ran into and my impressions of Vista continue to be very poor.
(Sidetrack – Seriously, how many times do I need to confirm my actions? It is actually easier to go into a command line and sudo my commands in Ubuntu than deal with all this confirmation crap, I am constantly reminded of this Apple commercial when working with drivers and software installations in Vista Click to see Vista Security Video)
One of the issues was making sure AHCI would work to support the highest feature level and best speed of this intel drive. This involves installing the Intel Storage Matrix Manager from this location:
Intel Storage Matrix Manager Download
This worked well once installed despite all the default drivers not allowing AHCI. This brought up a question about another computer here, a Gigabyte EP35-DS3L (commonly misspelled as EP35-D3SL for some reason) which has the same intel drive. This computer had the basic sata II to ide intel drivers. Although this chipset CAN support AHCI, Intel chooses to disallow their AHCI drivers from being used with the ICH9 standard chipset. Many have pointed out this is likely a marketing endeavor but frankly it is stupid. The result is that you have to modify the Intel Storage AHCI driver a bit to work with this chipset. It took a while but I found a workable solution that allowed the setup of the appropriate AHCI drivers which required some bios changes and another reboot or two here:
AHCI on ICH9 Guide which worked in my EP35-DS3L based computer