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If the Advanced BIOS is locked and it's not possible to set AHCI mode, what should I do with an SSD?

HP Recommended
Entertainment Notebook PC HP Pavilion dv6-3114sl
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

I just bought a 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSD to speed up further my 10 years old HP dv6-3114sl notebook, which is already excellent with Windows 10 for a daily use.
A friend of mine advised me to check if AHCI mode is enabled in the BIOS before proceeding with the clean installation of the OS. I said to myself: what's there easier than doing a quick check of this AHCI mode? Thus I tried.

 

I was unable to enter immediately into the BIOS (it seems not to be possible at the first boot), but only after a reboot from Windows. After being finally got into the BIOS (InsydeH20, F.12, Rev 3.5), I realized that the infos I was going to check weren't there at all, as many others that are usually found under the Advanced menu. With a fast search on the web I discovered that the manufacturer hid these settings not to allow changes; but someone on the net seems to have been succeeded to reach the Advanced settings menu by pressing "F10 and then quickly A" (which stands for Advanced), but despite I tried a dozen times or more, I was not able to succeeded.

 

Is it possible that the advanced BIOS settings have been made permanently unreachable?
Or must there be some way to get there?

 

Perhaps a way to overcome the obstacle could be to flash the BIOS, an "extreme" operation for me because I haven't the knowledge and the bravery to go through that.
So I wondered if it was possible to know the "mode" already setted in my laptop (IDE, AHCI, RAID) by searching inside Windows. So I went into Device Manager and under the "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controller" I found only this: "Intel (R) 5 Series 4 Port SATA AHCI Controller".

 

Could this clue mean the pc is already in AHCI mode?

 

I searched deeper by right clicking on "Intel [...] AHCI Controller" and I checked the "Bus relations" property in the Details tab and I found listed: IDE\Disk (which should be my HDD) and IDE\Cdrom. Futher more, under the Driver Details I found this file: iaStor.sys.

 

Isn't it a driver related to the RAID mode?

 

As I know that the SSD would suffer slowdowns and/or an early end with the usage in the time, if it's not possible to enable Trim option (automatically setted with AHCI), I would like to be certain that this wouldn't happen, otherwise I may keep to work my good HDD that never gave me problems.

 

Can anyone armed with holy patience and knowledge help me to understand better this whole situation and give me an advice what to do with the SSD?

 

Thank you right now for the support you could kindly give to me.

24 REPLIES 24
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Hi @rasburicase 

 

The DV6  model series yours belongs to does have support for SATA SSD mobile 2.5" products in the BIOS.

 

For that reason there is no reason to look for an AHCI setting in the BIOS. You can physically install the  Samsung 860 EVO SSD and install the new operating system.

 

Mainstream notebook by all manufacturers generally does not have "advanced" settings that allow making granular changes like soDIMM timings and voltages and processor voltages. That is by design to protect you from yourself.

 

Any notebook with the 2.4 GHz Intel Core i3-370M Processor is the bottom end of mainstream. I am happy for you that it does not have a Celeron or Pentium.

 

FYI, the system board has the Intel HM55 Express Chipset.



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@rasburicase 

In addition to the excellent information that @erico has already provided you, I wanted to mention that I have a similar DV6 model and have been using a Kingston 500GB SATA SSD in it for years now without any issues.  Did not have to mess with any settings to get it to work.  And, I simply CLONED the HDD to the SSD, swapped the drives, and was up and running in a few minutes.

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Thanks @Erico and @WAWood for you answers.

 

I know that my pc supports SSDs and there's nothing other to do than simply installing the new OS or cloning the old HDD.
But what I ask for is: if I do that, will my SSD slow down and/or will it go into an early end if the RAID mode I found in my laptop is not compatible with the Trim function?

 

I'm feeling not reassured about it.

 

I know that Samsung Magician software flags RAID mode as not granting the best performance of the SSD and it couldn't enable Trim function, that is so essential for an SSD.

 

Please, help me to understand better. I'm yet in time to make the return of the new SSD and get back my money.

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@rasburicase 

Sorry, but I have no familiarity with the details of RAID usage.  So, I can not answer your RAID questions.

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Hi,

Your laptop supports the SATA connection so the AHCI (Advanced Host..) is definitely enabled (most likely by the auto mode from what I have seen on this forum). However, there is no BIOS option for AHCI settings which would be probably redundant. I can't also see any RAID config on that laptop as there should't be any RAID controller on it. Put that SSD in like lots of other people did before and enjoy the performance. Worked for me at top speed.  

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Thank you @Pepe999 for your reply!

You said you can't see any RAID config on my laptop... but how do you explain the presence of the driver iaStor.sys? Isn't it a driver related to the RAID mode? I can't explain that, I mean, I should see the msahci.sys driver instead.

I'm still very puzzled.

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This RAID mode is still fully AHCI compliant. Its not either AHCI or RAID. The RAID includes all of the SATA features and the TRIM and NCQ on the SSD will be operative. 


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Thanks @Huffer for the clear reply to my doubt upon the RAID mode.

From this point of view, do you believe that would be the same thing cloning my HDD or doing a clean installation of the OS?
Many thanks!

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Yes I can tell you from personal experience Macrium Reflect will have no problem cloning from it. You do not have a RAID array you just have a storage controller that can accomodate single disks or RAID arrays. 

 

As to whether a clone or clean install is better that is a matter of opinion. Some Experts here swear by the clone and I have cloned many times, mostly for others whose computers I work on. I keep really current and accessible backups of my important files and keep track of licenses for my major software so I tend to do clean installs on my own computers for personal use. If your Windows installation has slowed down or seems to have lost its zip, there is no reason to clone that. 


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