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speedstep
6 Thallium

Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260 NO Bios Setting for AHCI

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Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260  NO Bios Setting for AHCI

Interestingly I could not even update the bios without the INTEL Management Drivers.

Checking in the Device manager the machine is using the ATA drivers not the AHCI drivers

AND the INTEL RST drivers will not install.

Why is that?

[:'(]

I did try updating to Bios version A04 but this made no difference.


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RyanMM
1 Copper

Re: Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260 NO Bios Setting for AHCI

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I did some research and found out that the chipset in this system, the H61, simply doesn't support AHCI or RAID. There's no way to enable either for a reason. 😞

Wish I had known this. The value of this system just really went down the tube if you intend to throw an SSD in there.

speedstep
6 Thallium

Re: Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260 NO Bios Setting for AHCI

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Doh!

Never even thought of that.

Dell Inspiron 620

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

Dell Inspiron 620s 

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

However

System Setup 

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

is wrong because it says:

System Configuration

  • Onboard Audio Controller — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Onboard LAN Controller — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Onboard LAN Boot ROM — Enabled or Disabled (Disabled by default)
  • SATA Mode — AHCI; RAID (AHCI by default)   
  • This Explains why its in ATA Mode and it cannot be changed.
  • USB Controller — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • USB Storage Boot Function — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Onboard Card Reader — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Onboard Serial Port — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Serial Port IO Address/IRQ — 3F8h/IRQ4; 2F8h/IRQ3; 3E8h/IRQ4; 2E8h/IRQ3 (3F8h/IRQ4 by default)

Intel(R) H61 Express Chipset Family LPC Interface Controller - 1C5C

PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1C5C&SUBSYS_04ED1028&REV_05
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1C5C&SUBSYS_04ED1028
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1C5C&CC_060100
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1C5C&CC_0601


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Slikkster
1 Copper

Re: Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260 NO Bios Setting for AHCI

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OK, I accomplished what I needed to do.  Here's what I did, and what I've found:

I managed to downgrade my bios version to MS-A04 while patching it at the same time for AHCI.  I also found that this did NOT cure my flaky boot issues.  Upon further investigation, I found that any of my USB devices that were “storage-capable” (Zune-HD, USB external WD drive) were causing the pc to stall at boot-up, even though USB devices were listed far down the boot order.  I ended up disabling any/all USB boot devices in the bios boot order since I’m not booting from USB and can easily toggle it on in the bios if I actually needed to.  I did NOT disable “Legacy USB”.  That would have been disastrous.  Ok, maybe not disastrous, but since there’s no PS/2 ports on this computer, I wouldn’t have any keyboard available during bootup.  I would have had to clear the CMOS just to get into the bios!  Anyway, that issue’s solved.  With no USB devices in the boot order, the pc boots fine to Windows from a cold start.

Now, as for the flashing process, here's what I did:

1. Got a copy of AMIBCP from this link via bios-mods.com:  http://www.sendspace.com/file/owfsdf (it's an .rar compressed file, so get a copy of 7-Zip or something similiar to uncompress it.  What I did was uncompress the RAR and then the enclosed secondary ZIP file contained therein, and saved the extracted AMIBCP files to a folder.  I then made a desktop shortcut to AMIBCP.exe.  More on that later.

2. You’re going to need to FIRST change a Windows registry setting to enable AHCI, or else you could end up with an “Inaccessible Boot Device” error if you try to boot with AHCI enabled in the BIOS.

  1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci
  2. In the pane on the right side, right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify.
  3. In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.

3.  Downloaded the MS-A04 bios for the Inspiron 620.  Since this was a lower version than the MS-A08 I already had installed, I had to use a special file "switch" to get it to run.  If I were to just click on the MS-A04.exe file by itself, I would have gotten an error message that the bios version was the same or lower than my current version, and hence, it wouldn't run.  So, the "fix" is to click Start/Run in Windows, clear the Run box if necessary of any text that's already there, and then drag the file MS-04.exe (or whatever previous version you need to run) into the Run window.  Position your cursor at the end of the MS-A04.exe file name with your mouse, add a space with the keyboard, and then type in (without the quotes) "/forceit”.  So, the file name in the Run box should say something like:

C:\Users\username\folder\MS-A04.exe /forceit      

Of course, "username" and "folder" are whatever your name and folder path are.  I'm assuming C: as your Windows drive.

Click OK.  The bios update screen will pop up waiting for you to commit to updating it.  Don't click the "Update" option at this point.  Just leave it sitting on-screen, as this is the time you'll be patching your bios for AHCI.  To do that, go back to the Run folder, clear the box of the MS-A04.exe text if it’s there, and just type in (without quotes) "&TEMP&" and click OK.  Your Temp folder will open.  Scroll down the folder list until you see the MS-A04 folder. Double-click on that folder to open it up.  What I did was drag the .bin file (MS-A04.bin) -- and dropped it on top of my AMIBCP.EXE shortcut on my desktop.  This opens the bios editor. You can, of course, use the File/Open option on the AMIBCP.exe program, but it will take you an extra step, since .bin files are not looked for by default.  You’d have to select “All Files” from the File/Open box to then “see” your MS-A04.bin file as an option to open.  So, why not just drag the file onto the shortcut?  No muss, no fuss.

Now, I just looked for the settings that user Litwell so kindly took screenshots of on page 2 of this thread.  You'll be making 5 changes he's highlighted in yellow.  Save the file back to the MS-A04 folder.  Now, all the while the actual bios flash window is still on-screen waiting for you to commit to flash it.  Now, click the “Update” button, and it will flash your patched bios. 

4.  Of course, a reboot is needed after flashing, and that’s the time you’ll want to go into the PC's bios/setup and set your drives for AHCI vs. IDE, now that you have that option.  You’ll see you have a SATA options menu item.  Save your changes in the bios.  Boot into Windows.  Shortly after booting, you’ll be prompted to reboot for changes to take effect. I actually took an extra step and found Intel’s AHCI Controller, since this is an Intel chipset on the Dell Inspiron 620.  I got that here:  http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=20110&keyword=%22AHCI+SATA+Driver%22&...  I installed it, and rebooted.  My device manager now shows my drives as SCSI drives – which they essentially are with AHCI.  These drivers come with an “Intel Rapid Storage Technology” Control Panel applet, which tells you the status of the drives, speeds, etc.  Mine is reporting 3 gigs/sec transfer rate, write caching enabled, etc.  There’s also an option to toggle on an LED light for the port to show you which one the drive is connected to.  I haven’t done anything with that. 

Bottom line:  Since my boot problems were not the result of the MS-A08 bios update, I can always patch that and reflash to that one.  I read the changes for that update, though, and it says this: “Fix system will have some fan noise with some particular situations.”.  Well, this is about the quietest pc I’ve ever had, so unless this is referring to the DVD drive spin up noise, I’ll pass for now.

Here's what my Device Manager looks like after:

  • Updating registry to enable MSAHCI (see info above)
  • Flashing Bios down to MS-A04 from A08 while patching MS-A04 for AHCI (see info above)
  • Enabling AHCI in bios post flashing (see info above)
  • Booting into Windows after flashing/rebooting when prompted to enable AHCI in Windows (see info above)
  • Installing Intel Rapid Storage AHCI Controller/Drivers -- Note "SCSI" now  (see link above)

Here's what the Intel Rapid Storage Technology Control Panel applet shows now:
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stb2
1 Copper

RE: Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260 NO Bios Setting for AHCI

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Great Thanxs for all of you!

Especially for ErwanLeBihan, PippoX0 and Slikkster!!!

 

I got AHCI running on a "Inspiron 620 (Mid 2011)" and Win7 64Bit, and it works perfect up to now!

I’m patched myself the latest original Dell Bios, which comes as a download named "MS-A10.exe"

 

I want to give a short wrap up of this huge thread, with the information which was useful for me and took me a while to get it. Also the verification for Bios version A10. All information is already spreaded in this thread. So if you don’t understand any step, you have to read the whole thread.

 

The patch is no real functional change. It just makes "hidden menus" accessible in the standard bios menu of your PC. The menu is obviously deactivated by Dell, because they presumably do not want to guarantee that it works a 100%. It was probably not tested when they put this PC model on the market in 2011.  

 

  • The used bios editor is called "AMIBCP4.53" and I found it in the posting "Posted by PippoX0 on 28 Aug 2012 6:22 AM" http://www.sendspace.com/file/je91vr . As a second source for the feature (if the link fails) I created also a download link which contains just the tool: http://www.mediafire.com/download/v10mg66q4bzxgfc/AMIBCP4.53.zip
  • In the posting "Posted by Slikkster on 14 Feb 2013 9:47 PM" I found the option "/forceit" for the original Dell Bios flasher (Background: The bios updater refuses to update, if the bios is already up to date)

 

  1. Open the registry editor with command "regedit" on path "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci" and change the value       "Start" from "3" to "0".
  2. Find your temporary folder: Open a dosbox and execute "echo %temp%" to print the path.(e.g. "C:\Users\stefan\AppData\Local\Temp" on my pc). Open it in the file explorer.
  3. Get the latest bios from the dell support page (is an executable)
  4. Just start it - nothing more! A folder called "MS-A10" will appear in the temporary folder.
  5. Go to the temporary directory and copy the bios file called "MS-A10.BIN" ( a file with size 4096KB) to another place. Close the tool.
  6. Open it with the bios editor (easiest way per drag&drop on the opened tool)
  7. Make the 5 changes, described by Litwell "Posted by LitwDell on 1 Sep 2012 9:21 AM" in the screenshots. Save! Reopen and check your Change!
  8. Start the original Dell flasher with the force option. e.g.: "C:\tmp\MS-A10.exe /forceit" (Slikkster gives advice for beginners in the post quoted above). If your BIOS is older than the one you are flashing, you can just start the "MS-A10.exe" with double click.
  9. replace the original BIOS file in the temporary folder with your patched version
  10. Press "update" in the Flasher tool and wait till finished.
  11. Reboot, enter directly the BIOS (press F2) and change to "AHCI" mode!!! Start windows, reboot once again, measure your speed improvement, enjoy your new fast PC!

 

To compare your changes you can download my patched Bios:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/v85r7docamfx3c9/MS-A10_AHCI.BIN

If you use this file the risk is up to you!!!

 

By, and another Thanks to the guys who figured out this!

Stefan

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7- Gold

Re: Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260 NO Bios Setting for AHCI

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The manual shows AHCI enabled by default. "SATA Mode — AHCI; RAID (AHCI by default)"

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speedstep
6 Thallium

Re: Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260 NO Bios Setting for AHCI

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The manual shows AHCI enabled by default. "SATA Mode — AHCI; RAID (AHCI by default)"

Ok I found it listed Under system configuration in the manual.  This option DOES NOT EXIST in an actual Inspiron 620 F2 CMOS MENU.

WHY?    [:'(]

The bios is FORCED TO ATAPI By Default AND Has no RAID OR AHCI modes under ADVANCED, SYSTEM CONFIGURATION.

System Configuration

  • Onboard Audio Controller — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Onboard LAN Controller — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Onboard LAN Boot ROM — Enabled or Disabled (Disabled by default)
  • SATA Mode — AHCI; RAID (AHCI by default) THIS IS NOT IN THE F2 CMOS Menu
  • USB Controller — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • USB Storage Boot Function — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Onboard Card Reader — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Onboard Serial Port — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Serial Port IO Address/IRQ — 3F8h/IRQ4; 2F8h/IRQ3; 3E8h/IRQ4; 2E8h/IRQ3 (3F8h/IRQ4 by default)

The Drivers in device manager are the ATAPI aka non AHCI drivers.

My SSD Firmware LIVE Linux Update CD also says the drives are in ATA not AHCI mode. (This means its BIOS not Registry or Driver)

Microsoft AHCI.SYS is not loading or installing nor is the INTEL RST driver.

Intel® Rapid Storage Technology supports the following Intel® chipsets.  But Refuses to Auto or Manual Install on a 620.

Desktop chipsets:

  • Intel® 7 Series Chipsets
  • Intel® 6 Series Chipsets
  • Intel® 5 Series Chipsets
  • Intel® 4 Series Chipsets
  • Intel® 3 Series Express Chipset family
  • Intel® 965 Express Chipset family
  • Intel® 975X Express Chipset
  • Intel® 955X Express Chipset
  • Intel® 945 Express Chipset family
It will not install on the 620 because the BIOS is set for ATAPI not AHCI.
http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-620/pd

insp620620s

Manuals

Manuals

Dell™ Inspiron™ 620 Service Manual

Technical Overview

Before You Begin

Computer Cover

Memory Module(s)

Front Bezel

Card Retention Bracket

PCI Express Cards <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

Drives

Front I/O Panel

Power Button Module

Fans

Processor

Coin-Cell Battery

Power Supply

System Board

System Setup

Flashing the BIOS <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

System Setup Options

 NOTE: Depending on your computer and installed devices, the items listed in this section may appear, or may not appear exactly as listed.

Main

System Information

Displays the system name

BIOS Version

Displays the BIOS version number

Build Date

Displays the build date in mm/dd/yyyy format

System Date

Displays the current date in mm/dd/yyyy format

System Time

Displays the current time in hh:mm:ss format

Service Tag

Displays the service tag of the computer when the service tag is present

Displays a field to input the service tag manually when the service tag is absent

Asset Tag

Displays the asset tag of the computer when the asset tag is present

Processor Information

Processor Type

Displays the processor type

L2 Cache

Displays the L2 cache size

L3 Cache

Displays the L3 cache size

Memory Information

Memory Installed

Indicates the amount of memory installed in MB

Memory Speed

Indicates the memory speed in MHz

Memory Technology

Indicates the type of installed memory

Memory Channel

Indicates single channel or dual channel mode

Device Information

SATA 0

Displays the SATA drive connected to the SATA 0 connector

SATA 1

Displays the SATA drive connected to the SATA 1 connector

SATA 2

Displays the SATA drive connected to the SATA 2 connector

SATA 3

Displays the SATA drive connected to the SATA 3 connector

Advanced

CPU Configuration

  • Hyper-threading — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Active Processor Cores — All; 1; 2; 3 (All by default)
  • Limit CPUID Value — Enabled or Disabled (Disabled by default)
  • CPU XD Support — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Intel Virtualization Technology — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Intel SpeedStep — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Intel Turbo Boost Technology — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • CPU C6 Report — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)

Graphics Configuration

  • Intel Multiple Monitor Feature — Enabled or Disabled (Disabled by default)

System Configuration

  • Onboard Audio Controller — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Onboard LAN Controller — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Onboard LAN Boot ROM — Enabled or Disabled (Disabled by default)
  • SATA Mode — AHCI; RAID (AHCI by default)
  • USB Controller — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • USB Storage Boot Function — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Onboard Card Reader — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Onboard Serial Port — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Serial Port IO Address/IRQ — 3F8h/IRQ4; 2F8h/IRQ3; 3E8h/IRQ4; 2E8h/IRQ3 (3F8h/IRQ4 by default)

Power Management

  • USB Powershare in Sleep State — Normal; Enhanced (Normal by default)
  • Resume by PS/2 Devices — Enabled or Disabled (Enabled by default)
  • Auto Power On — Enabled or Disabled (Disabled by default)
  • Auto Power On Date — 0 to 31, 0 for everyday (15 by default)
  • Auto Power On Hour — 0 to 23 (12 by default)
  • Auto Power On Minute — 0 to 59 (30 by default)
  • Auto Power On Second — 0 to 59 (30 by default)

Post Behavior

  • Bootup NumLock State — On; Off (On by default)
  • Keyboard Error Report — Enabled; Disabled (Enabled by default)

Security

 

Unlock Setup Status

Displays the setup status

Admin Password Status

Displays the admin password status

System Password Status

Displays the system password status

Admin Password

Allows to set, change, or delete the administrator password

NOTE: Deleting the administrator password will delete the system password. Hence, the administrator password must be set before setting the system password.

System Password

Allows to set, change, or delete the system password

Boot Menu Security

Enabled or Disabled
User must enter Admin Password to access the F12 Boot Menu when this setting is enabled (Disabled by default)

HDD Protection Feature

Enabled or Disabled (Disabled by default)

Boot

1st Boot Priority

Specifies the boot sequence from the available devices

Hard Disk; CD/DVD; Network; USB Floppy; USB Hard Disk; USB CD/DVD; Disabled (Hard Disk by default)

2nd Boot Priority

Specifies the boot sequence from the available devices

Hard Disk; CD/DVD; Network; USB Floppy; USB Hard Disk; USB CD/DVD; Disabled (CD/DVD Drive by default)

3rd Boot Priority

Specifies the boot sequence from the available devices

Hard Disk; CD/DVD; Network; USB Floppy; USB Hard Disk; USB CD/DVD; Disabled (USB Floppy by default)

4th Boot Priority

Specifies the boot sequence from the available devices

Hard Disk; CD/DVD; Network; USB Floppy; USB Hard Disk; USB CD/DVD; Disabled (Network by default)

5th Boot Priority

Specifies the boot sequence from the available devices

Hard Disk; CD/DVD; Network; USB Floppy; USB Hard Disk; USB CD/DVD; Disabled (USB Hard Disk by default)

6th Boot Priority

Specifies the boot sequence from the available devices

Hard Disk; CD/DVD; Network; USB Floppy; USB Hard Disk; USB CD/DVD; Disabled (USB CD/DVD by default)

Exit

 

Exit options

Provides options to Save Changes and Reset, Discard Changes and Reset, and Load Defaults

 


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7- Gold

Re: Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260 NO Bios Setting for AHCI

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I'm kind of not surprised. Yet another reason to avoid the Inspiron desktop models.

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McChen
1 Copper

Re: Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260 NO Bios Setting for AHCI

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I also ran into this issue.  Dell please fix this in the BIOS!  One, the documentation says the default is AHCI, but in reality the default is ATA.  Second, this setting is not configurable by the user.  C'mon this is basic stuff here....

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PippoX0
1 Copper

Re: Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260 NO Bios Setting for AHCI

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I also ran into this issue.  Dell please fix this in the BIOS!  Bios Upgrade is needed ! AHCI is very important for Windows7 OS . Speed improvement on HDD when SATA AHCI is enabled !!!

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Stuart_Gsy
1 Copper

Re: Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260 NO Bios Setting for AHCI

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Hi All.

I recently purchased a 620MT and having the same problem - not able to turn AHCI on and not getting the performance expected. I have an SSD I want to use but don't get anywhere near the performance AHCI would give. - I have tried it.

Has anyone got a workaround for this? Is there a better motherboard that would fit straight in, or would I be able to add a PCI-E card, attach the SSD to that card and boot from there? I'd even be happy to buy a decent motherboard if it'll fit in the case.

 

Dell need to address this for us, using a motherboard without AHCI these days is crazy. I wouldn't have bought the machine if I knew about this issue.

Very dissapointed in DELL.

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lcon921
1 Copper

Re: Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260 NO Bios Setting for AHCI

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Yes, Dell, please fix this problem!!

 

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speedstep
6 Thallium

Re: Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260 NO Bios Setting for AHCI

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There is a PCI-E card that you can boot from.  Apricorn Velocity Solo Storage controller.

Microcenter

SKU     587550
Mfr Part #:VEL-SOLO
UPC: 708326913027

The Velocity Solo is an industry standard PCIe 2.0 card designed to add a 2.5" Solid State Drive (SSD) via a SATA III connection.

NOTE: Solid State Drive sold separately.


Apricorn Velocity Solo Solid State Drive (SSD) Upgrade Kit for Desktop Computers


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RyanMM
1 Copper

Re: Dell Insprion 620/Vostro 260 NO Bios Setting for AHCI

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I did some research and found out that the chipset in this system, the H61, simply doesn't support AHCI or RAID. There's no way to enable either for a reason. 😞

Wish I had known this. The value of this system just really went down the tube if you intend to throw an SSD in there.