HARD DISK MONITORING

Updating driver for AMD AHCI Compatible RAID Controller


AMD AHCI Compatible RAID controller have limitations compared to hard disk controllers of different manufacturers. By using this controller (and especially with an older driver for AMD AHCI Compatible RAID controller), only limited hard disk information reported. However, this is not really related to Hard Disk Sentinel and completely independent from the hard disk model(s) used.

The issue is caused by the current version of the driver installed for the AMD AHCI Compatible RAID controller - which blocks the detection.

Driver versions

Generally, hard disk controller drivers affect how special commands (for example the status detection) are transferred to the hard disks / SSDs and some drivers may offer less functions than others and may completely block such special commands.

Hard Disk Sentinel 4.60 and newer versions show the current disk controller and its current driver version (and release date) on the Information page. This can be used to quickly verify the driver and replace it from the Driver Zone page if required, for example if the status of hard disks can't be detected.

Updating hard disk controller / chipset driver

To improve the situation, please try to download and install the better AMD chipset and RAID driver from the Driver Zone section or from the webpage of the manufacturer of your motherboard. Please note that the automatic Windows driver update DO NOT work - it does not update the driver as should. Also third party driver updater tools DO NOT work as they may either do not perform the update or update to a wrong driver version.

If the complete chipset installation package does not help (due to installation problems of AMD packages, this happens relative often), you may try the manual update of the driver:

To update the driver manually, please download the recommended driver (3.2.1540) from the Driver Zone section or directly from:
http://www.hdsentinel.com/driver/amd_raid_3.2.1540.92.zip (for 64 bit Windows) or
http://www.hdsentinel.com/driver/amd_raid_x86_3.3.1540.22.zip (for 32 bit Windows)

Please download the proper package and extract to a new folder (for example: C:\AMDAHCI ) and then to install, please

After clicking on Next, the installation begins and when completed, you will need to restart the computer, then further hard disk status information should be detected and displayed.

Then in the Device Manager, you may verify that the correct driver version installed:

AMD AHCI Compatible RAID Controller has correct driver 3.2.1540.92

Information displayed with AMD AHCI Compatible RAID Controller

In the best case with the recommended driver for the AMD RAID Controller, Hard Disk Sentinel displays

The generic health value reported for secondary (further) drives of each arrays gives only an estimate: as we only know that the hard disk did not yet reach the error-threshold, but we can't say it is perfect. This is why Hard Disk Sentinel displays 75% health (which means that the hard disk is good, but can't be sure that it's perfect) or 0% health (which means that the hard disk is about to fail). These values corresponds to the generic health displayed in AMD RaidXpert tool for the appropriate hard disk, just Hard Disk Sentinel can also show the complete hard disk status for at least one member of each RAID arrays configured.

That's the maximum possible with AMD RAID Controller and it is not a bug / limitation of Hard Disk Sentinel, but a bug / limitation of the AMD RAID controller (even with the recommended "best" driver available for that).

Secondary hard disk in RAID 0 managed by AMD AHCI Compatible RAID Controller

Example: when two hard disks configured as JBOD, complete hard disk status information detected about the first hard disk in the array (FB160C4081), including health, performance, temperature, complete S.M.A.R.T. data, lifetime statitistics and so. In contrast the secondary hard disk (Seagate ST9320421AS) provides only this generic status - 75% health but with no further details.

No improvement made by AMD for years

The problem is that even if we (both developers and thousands of users) asked them in the years, they seem advance in the wrong direction as newer drivers even offer LESS functions (they even removed the ability to detect any, even generic status of the secondary drives).

We can just hope that one day AMD will change their mind and hear the requirements of users. AMD: we want to monitor the complete status of ALL hard disks / SSDs configured as RAID arrays and you should release a new driver which allows this. Wonder why AMD still does not allow this - as complete hard disk monitoring is possible with dozens of RAID controllers from all major manufacturers by Hard Disk Sentinel (listed at Compatible hard disk controllers, RAID controllers section, so have no idea why their users are not important for AMD, why they ignore our requirements.

Note: newer Windows operating systems may automatically have driver version 3.6 or 3.7 installed as default. The numbers are confusing as they may indicate the driver is newer - but it is actually older and worse than the recommended driver. These 3.6 and 3.7 versions do not provide access to any hard disk status information. Upgrading the driver of the AMD AHCI Compatible RAID controller to the recommended 3.2.1540.92 version helps in such situations.

Alternative solution

In the worst case, you may try to install the "Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller" driver. This is a built-in driver in Windows so there is no need to manually download and extract. When standalone, non-RAID configuration used, it can work correctly for the AMD controller.

To install this driver, proceed the above mentioned installation steps

AMD AHCI Compatible RAID Controller with Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller driver

 

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