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Weird SATA IDE Combined Mode on Asrock board.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
On my Asrock 880GMH/U3S3 motherboard, it's got a SATAII Controller with five ports (on the AMD Chipset), an IDE port and two SATA3 ports on the Asmedia AS106x chipset.

It has an option in the BIOS "SATA IDE Combined Mode" and I found the following:

1) with this mode enabled, any IDE devices connected to the IDE connector are shown under IDE Master/Slave in the BIOS. With it disabled they don't. Either way there is still a "Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller" in (Windows 7 x64 Ultimate) Device Manager and the devices are installed and usable. However, after disabling this mode, when Windows booted it detected two new devices and installed new drivers but still showed the same "Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller", so I presume it was just refreshing the device IDs.

2) with this mode enabled, my SATA HDD connected to the SATAII_5 port is shown in Device Manager as attached to the "Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller" not the "Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller". If I connect it to SATAII_1 port, it does show as connected to the "Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller". I haven't tested with the Combined mode disabled and it connected to the SATAII_5 port yet.

3) with this mode enabled, I got a BSOD every time I launched Plex Media Server. The main thing this does is scan certain folders and create a database of media files but no other intensive HDD activity, such as defragging, caused any problems. With this mode disabled, Plex seems to be OK now.

Does the AMD chipset handle the IDE controller as well as the SATAII controller? I find it hard to understand how a SATAII port can get moved from the AHCI controller to the IDE controller by a BIOS option. I can only guess this causes the SATAII_5 port to act as a SATA->IDE adapter, although I'm not sure why anyone would want to do that, rather than just connect the SATA device to a proper SATA port.

I've asked Asrock about this mode and they've replied:

"As far as I know, SATA IDE Combined Mode is to improve compatibility with some old OS (before XP).

I will check with a colleague in Taiwan for details."

so if I get any more information I'll post it but I was wondering if anyone here can understand it?
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post #2 of 3
I think what it means is that the two SATA ports connected to the asmedia controller can act like an IDE port so you can run IDE drives from it using an adapter without any issues.
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
I guess if you had four IDE devices, so two to many to just plug into the actual IDE port, then someone might want to buy two IDE->SATA adapters to plug the other two IDE devices into the two SATA ports.

If they were ODD though it would probably be cheaper to just buy two SATA ODD.
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