Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to enable or switch to RAID/AHCI mode from IDE on an Intel ICHR chipset without reinstalling Windows

Credit for the following goes to: gLk*zaP and goaliejerryy at I'm just reposting these two posts from that forum because I've needed the information a few times, not found it easy enough, and am tired of all the Internet know-it-alls posting worthless and incorrect advise like, "just go buy an add-in card [even though you have a perfectly good, fast raid controller built in]" or "Impossible. You'll have to do a compelete reinstall." when in fact this is a simple matter of telling Windows, "hey, you're about to be rebooted and should use a new storage driver to boot the same installation of Windows. Windows should be more graceful about this, but it really isn't a big deal.

The core issue is that if you originally installed using the included IDE drivers for the ICHR controller while it was in IDE mode, to convert a single drive to a raid WHICH IS SUPPORTED BY INTEL (talking to the folks out there that think they know but DO NOT), you must first switch the controller to RAID mode in the BIOS and get windows to install and recognize the RAID drivers. There's a catch-22 here though because if you switch to RAID in the BIOS without the drivers installed, Windows can't boot past NTLDR or what ever bootloader is being used initially. The solution seems simple, install the Intel RAID drivers. The problem there is that in their infinite wisdom, Intel decided that if their RAID controller can't be detected, then their installer will refuse to install the drivers. See the problem? If they'd just allow a simple, force install of the drivers, this would all be much less trouble.

On to one of many solutions:

OP Post by gLk*zaP

If you have installed Windows when your mainboard SATA controller was set to native IDE mode,
you usually cannot switch later to AHCI or RAID mode, without completly reinstalling windows.
But there is a way...

A very interesting article about the features and possible benefits of AHCI mode, including comparisons
of different drives, and if it might be faster or even slower for you:

I recommend making a disk image of your current windows partition before you
continue and make any changes to things like registry and drivers.

Use programs like Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image, there should be free trial versions available.

Activating AHCI/RAID mode for mainboards with ICH9(R) southbridge

If you are using a 32-bit Windows XP AND want to use RAID on ICH9(R), please scroll further down.
Everyone else, either AHCI or RAID mode and for all other Windows versions, read on.

What you need:

- Intel Storage Manager Software (Version iata75_cd.exe)

- Registry fix for ICH9(R):

Follow this step by step:

1. Go to Start, Run, iata75_cd.exe -a -a
This will appear to run as normal setup, but will actually just extract the needed files to \Program Files\Intel\Intel Matrix Storage Manager\Driver
Note: For 64-bit Windows versions, chose the iaStor.sys from \Driver64\ instead of \Driver\.
Copy the iaStor.sys from there to \Windows\System32\Drivers\

2. Double-click the downloaded ICH9R-AHCI.reg file. A safety question should pop up, answer yes.

3. Now reboot your system. Go directly into the BIOS menu, change SATA controller mode from IDE to AHCI or RAID. Exit & save changes.

4. Boot into windows. It will detect new hardware now, cancel that wizard.
Instead start the downloaded Intel Storage Manager Software (iata75_cd.exe), this time without any paramaters.
When it is done installing, reboot once again.

5. Now in your device manager Intel (R) ICH9 SATA AHCI Controller (or RAID) should show up.

6. Enjoy.

Activating RAID mode with 32-bit Windows XP on mainboards with ICH9(R) southbridge:


What you need:

- Intel Storage Manager Software (Version 7.0.01020 iata70_cd.exe)

- Intel Storage Manager Software (Version iata75_cd.exe)

- Registry fix for ICH8R:
- Registry fix for ICH9R:

1. Go to Start, Run, iata70_cd.exe -a -a
This will appear to run as normal setup, but will actually just extract the needed files to \Program Files\Intel\Intel Matrix Storage Manager\Driver
Copy the iaStor.sys from there to \Windows\System32\Drivers\

2. Now i am not sure which registry fix you are supposed to use for Raid mode and 32-bit XP.
Either the old ICH8R or the ICH9R. I have to rely on feedback from other users here.
Double-click the file, a safety question should pop up, answer yes.

3. Now reboot your system. Go directly into the BIOS menu, change SATA controller mode from IDE to RAID. Exit & save changes.

4. Boot into windows. It will detect new hardware now, cancel that wizard.
Now, start the installation of the new version of the Intel Storage Manager Software (iata75_cd.exe).
This will replace the old iaStor.sys with the actual ICH9R version. When it is done installing, reboot once again.

5. Now in your device manager something like Intel (R) ICH9 SATA RAID Controller should show up.

6. Enjoy.

Notes: It has been mentioned that hard drives that have been partitioned using tools such as Acronis Disk Director,
might be unable to work with RAID mode as boot drives. I can confirm this myself, Windows does not even start loading,
you get an error like 'Inaccessible Boot Device'. You need to partition this drive again using just Windows Disk Management Tools.
I am using 32-bit XP myself, and so far couldnt get RAID mode working. I keep getting the reboot loop.

Activating AHCI/RAID mode on mainboards with ICH8(R) southbridge

What you need:

- Intel Storage Manager Software (iata621.exe)*%20XP%20Home%20Edition&lang=eng

- Registry fix for ICH8(R):

1. Go to Start, Run, iata621.exe -a -a
This will appear to run as normal setup, but will actually just extract the needed files to \Program Files\Intel\Intel Matrix Storage Manager\Driver
Note: For x64 Operating systems, chose the iaStor.sys from \Driver64\ instead of \Driver\.
Copy the iaStor.sys from there to \Windows\System32\Drivers\

2. Double-click the downloaded ICH8R-AHCI.reg file. A safety question should pop up, answer yes.

3. Now reboot your system. Go directly into the BIOS menu, change SATA controller mode from IDE to AHCI or RAID. Exit & save changes.

4. Boot into windows. It will detect new hardware now, cancel that wizard.
Instead start the downloaded Intel Storage Manager Software (iata621.exe), this time without any paramaters.
When it is done installing, reboot once again.

5. Now in your device manager something like Intel (R) ICH8 SATA AHCI Controller (or RAID) should show up.

6. Enjoy.

Thanks a lot to Supershanks for finding it, and JZ at the german Gigabyte forum for working this out.
I have merely done the translation from german to english.
Original threads on german Gigabyte forum:

Followup post by goaliejerryy which I found useful.


My main problem was I wanted to clone my current OS partition onto a yet to be installed Raid-0 configuration. BUT, research informed me that first Vista had to have RAID drivers installed - and normally, you cannot install such drivers except at the time of original OS installation.

(note to Intel - I am amazed that no one over there ever thought that perhaps someone would want to setup a RAID system AFTER installing the OS....)

So, I needed to make my current version of Vista have the raid drivers installed before I could clone, but as you know, if you found this post, there is no straight forward way to just install the drivers without just clean installing.

This post has the answer.

I just want to say thank you to the original poster, all those who contributed, as well as "eliprand," whose advice of 05-05-2008 was critically important. (And if he got if from someone else, thank you too!)

Here is exactly what I did, just in-case someone has a similar setup as I do.

Mobo: MSI-7345 P35 chipset, NEO2-FR, w/ ICH9R RAID controller on-board
Bios: 1.10 (most recent)
OS: Vista Ultimate 64

First - I downloaded most recent version of Intel Matrix Storage from Intel website.
Second - I followed the directions in the first post, just substituting the newest version of the Intel Matrix Storage. Extract the files, move the appropriate .SYS file. THEN run the registry hack noted in the first post.
Third - reboot, and set bios to AHCI, since raid won't work yet.
Fourth - windows will start up (progress, since it wouldn't even do this before), let it run its install of drivers (since you can't stop it.)
Fifth - look above at Eliprand's post, wherein he describes editing the registry of "iaStor" to Start = 0x4, and editing "iaStorV" to Start = 0x0. THAT IS THE KEY.

Sixth - reboot, set to RAID in BIOS, then Vista will start up and install new device drivers, configuring each currently installed hard drive to run with the RAID drivers.

CHECK - in device manager, under "Storage Controllers," it now lists the ICH9R Raid Controller. WHOOT!

NOTE: This worked for me even though I do not even have the RAID drives installed yet.

Thank you all again. Note also that I recommend that anyone who thinks they may, at some time in the future, want to add a RAID setup to an existing Vista install, do this now - there is no harm in having the raid controller run your non-raid drives. (If I am wrong, please correct.)

Anyways, thanks for saving me hours of headaches, and the pain of reinstalling Vista!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Netflix and Hulu working on YOUR Android device! (tested on Xoom and Thunderbolt)

I first posted this writeup on my Android enthusiast site ( here at ).

Firstly, this is NOT a hack and DOES NOT require root. This DOES require a proxy of sorts but I think it can be done free (I paid for the app that's making this possible because it's WELL worth it) and in theory should only require the new Flash 10.2 app from the market, one other app, and a bit of setup. As of right now, is only available for Windows and I haven't found a Linux equivalent (or Mac for that matter). I'm still looking but if anyone else finds one and want to share here, PM me and I'll update this post with credit to you for the info.

Short Version of Directions:

  1. Download and install (get it HERE)
  2. In the setup, enable Netflix and provide your Netflix credentials
  3. Go to the Android market on your device and search for PlayOn
  4. Install and configure the client
  5. Watch your Netflix movies on Android!
  6. Thank me for sharing this simple little trick with you

Longer Version:

  1. Download and install (get it HERE)
  2. Once installation is complete, open the control panel from your system tray.
  3. Be sure the server is running (you should have a green box saying running. See image below to compare). Also be sure server is set to "Automatically run" when your PC starts.
  4. Navigate to the Channels tab and provide your netflix credentials (as well as any other service you'd like that requires them) and check the "enabled" box for that service. Next click the Test button to be sure they're correct and that PlayOn can access Netflix correctly.
  5. If you'd like to try and get mobile access working (so you can access this content from anywhere, while on WiFi at home), navigate to the Mobile Access tab and check "Enable Mobile Access" and if your router supports UPnP (to configure NAT port-forwarding), select "Automatic", otherwise set "Manual" and configure your router to forward port 57331 to the same port on your PC's IP address internally (this process varries for every router, but most modern routers support UPnP though you might have to enable it through your routers web interface). Use the "Test" button to confirm that is accessible from the outside (I believe that uses a server on their end to confirm connectivity).
  6. Now on each of your Android devices, search the market for "Flash 10.2" and install.
  7. Then search the market for "PlayOn" and install.
  8. Open the PlayOn app and follow the instructions to access your content!

PlayOn provides access to all sorts of content and once configured you can access it from virtually any modern UPnP client such as XBox 360, PS3, GoogleTV, etc......


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Block specific domains in results from a Google query ( anyone)?

In case this hasn't been blogged to death I want to introduce you to a new feature of's search engine that will help clean up your search results. There is one site in particular that this feature practically seems to be built for and if you're an IT pro either you pay this site (and succumb to this extortion) or you will love this feature and use it.

If you want to block all results for a given domain, just click the link for the evil result (maybe this is Google's way of showing them SOME mercy), then navigate back and hover over that same result. A new option will show up allowing you to block the site. Below is a highlighted example of the link after following the result and navigating back.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

DotNetNuke FileManager and ACTIONS menu break with performance compression on

I've spent no less than 6 hours over the last 2 days trying to figure out why my sites ACTION menu (SolPartMenu) and FileManager module were broken. I typically use Chrome for my primary browser and definitely use it when it comes to development work. Next I prefer FireFox and firebug, and then there's IE which I use mostly just for compatibility testing.

Looking at the source code behind the specific tags the problem revolved around, it was clear that this was a JS issue and appeared to be related to jQuery within DNN or ASP.Net AJAX, but the errors I saw weren't helping me much. It wasn't until I decided for reasons I don't even recall, to try the same in IE, that I saw an error I could search on more readily. When I took that error to the DotNetNuke forums, I found my solution and a post that indicates the cause is known. The combination, I find troubling. This seems like something that deserves more attention than it's getting and I hope that this post will have come to your attention MUCH faster than the one that helped me which by the way, is located HERE. I do want to thank William for the solution and I don't want to sound ungrateful, but he is on the DNN team, this is a fairly nasty issue, and I think it deserves a more proactive solution so here I am.

The symptoms:
    You click the "+" sign in FileManager to expand the root folder, or you click the ACTIONS menu to make it open up/drop down but in both cases, you just get an indefinate "wait" animation (spiral for default).

The indicators:
  • For Chrome:
    • In the Developers Tools, Console tab, Errors group: "Failed to load resource" on the current page.
  • For FireFox after clicking the image:
    • In FireBug, Console tab, All group:
      • A "POST" that returns 200 OK, but with the error symbol
      • A JS error
        • Index or size is negative or greater than the allowed amount"  code: "1
        • "(function(a,b){function cg(a){return d...a:a+"px")}}),a.jQuery=a.$=d})(window);"
  • For Internet Explorer after hovering over the image:
    • In Developer Tools (F12), Console tab:
      • "SCRIPT5022: Sys.ArgumentException: Cannot deserialize empty string. ScriptResource.axd?"
      • or if you copy the error and search by pasting it:
      •   SCRIPT5022: Sys.ArgumentException: Cannot deserialize empty string.
        Parameter name: data  ScriptResource.axd

The solution:
  1. Login to your dnn instance as host
  2. Navigate to:
    1. Host Settings
    2. Advanced Settings
    3. Performance Settings
    4. "Compression Setting" (yes, there is another "Compression Settings" group, no it's not the one you want)
  3. Set "Compression Setting" to "No compression"
  4. Scroll down and click "Update"
NOW your ACTIONS menu and FileManager module should be working once more.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Buyers beware: "Cheap" Android tablets are NOT "like iPads"

I wrote the following to post on Craigslist in response to an abusive number of ads where one or more people in the Phoenix metro area are trying to convince unsuspecting tablet shoppers that these "cheap" ($80 - $350) Android Tablets are "like iPad" or that a shopper should "compare to iPad" when in fact they are nothing like an iPad in terms of hardware or O/S and thus would not provide a user experience even remotely similar.

There appear to be a number of either ignorant, or malicious posters here on Craigslist trying to push weak Android tablets at or above retail prices, and claiming they are "like iPads". As an Android developer, and someone who knows both platforms intimately, this infuriates me and I'm not one to standby and watch someone try to take advantage of others to begin with.

Here's what you should know when buying a tablet right now:

There are 3 main categories: Windows 7 "Slates", Apple iPads, and Android Tablets.

Windows 7 "Slates" are really very thin, portable Windows PCs running on somewhat limited resources. They can do most anything you could do on your PC with Windows, just not as quickly and gaming is somewhat limited. This makes them very useful, but the interface is not designed to be "finger friendly" so there is a trade-off for their power. They also run on Intel Atom or Core 2 Duo processors and so their battery life is far shorter than iPads and Android tablets (3-6 hours vs 5-10 hours).

Apple iPads and various Android Tablets are actually quite similar in many respects and in the end, the choice of platform is largely just a matter of preference, but the HARDWARE can make a make difference. Most notably is the screen. iPads ALWAYS have very nice LCD, capacitive, multi-touch screens. Nearly ALL of the cheaper Android tablets (there are very few exceptions right now, but the Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy, and Viewsonic GTablet are the most common) have cheap LCD screens that result in poor viewing angles, and use resistive screens which means they are not as "easy" to interface with and are generally not multi-touch. Unless you want a very inexpensive tablet (perhaps to use just as an eReader), you likely want to avoid resistive screens. If you want to experience the difference, go to Frys Electronics in Tempe or Phoenix. They have a very nice selection now where you can try them out first. You'll also be able to see first hand how ridiculously expensive some selling on Craigslist are.

The other major hardware factors to look out for are Memory and Graphics. "Memory", a term frequently misused, refers to the amount of RAM (Random Access MEMORY). RAM is very fast and is used as a temporary place to store data to be used by the CPU. More RAM means a faster tablet, especially with Android. As of right now, 256MB of Memory is considered inferior at best. 512MB is reasonably good. 1024MB (1GB) is quite good and anything more is great. The latest and greatest Android tablets like the Motorola Xoom have 1GB of Memory. I'm not sure how much the iPads have because Apple tends to be a bit mysterious about that, but the iPads are designed in such a way that the relevance is different and you can't shop for an iPad with more Memory anyway (you can show for an iPad with more storage). Many of the Windows 7 Slates have 2GB because Windows needs more Memory.

People often mistakenly refer to MEMORY but actually mean storage, such as internal "NAND" or "SSD". That's "Storage", not "memory" and it will save programs, data, and things like your pictures and music, even after the device is turned off, your battery goes dead, etc.. For more information about Memory (and it's distinction from storage), Wikipedia has a good article (google "Wikipedia Computer Memory" to find THIS entry.).

Graphics are important in a modern computer as well, but only the nicest tablets make a point of telling you which graphics cards, or chipsets are used. Right now the iPad2 is claimed to be 900% faster than the iPad and the "cheap" android tablets are generally not as "fast" or powerful as the first iPad. Any Android tablet based on the "nVidia Tegra" platform will be quite fast and have very good graphics performance. The ViewSonic GTab, Motorola Xoom, and a few other less common tablets are based on these platforms. They will always have capacitive screens and nearly always have at least 512MB of Memory.

In short, these "cheap" (less than $600) Android tablets are not "like iPads" nor should you "compare to iPad" because they typically have only 256MB of Memory which isn't much for an Android Tablet, have resistive screens which means you will not have a nice interface or multi-touch which should be a given for a tablet, tend to have cheap LCD displays that provide poor viewing angles and you'll find it difficult to use because you either have to prop it up, or move your head directly over it, and they generally have weak graphics so they won't visually be as smooth as the iPad. They might have similar applications available, but the overall experience will be significantly less pleasing than an iPad or nicer Android tablet.

If you see one of these ads, it should be "flagged" (using the links toward the top-right of the post) as prohibited for being misleading, or in many cases that I'm seeing, "spam/overpost" because the same, misleading ad, is being posted over and over. Another issue you as a Craigslist user have the responsibility to address, is flagging posts as "prohibited" when the ad uses unrelated or misleading keywords as many now are. For example, when these cheap Android tablets use "iPad" or "Xoom" as a keyword. That would be like posting an ad for a 1975 Volkswagen Beatle then using keywords like "Lamborghini", or "Ferrari" to draw people to the ad. Appropriate keywords for any tablet would be: portable, touch-screen, tablet. A tablet like the Xoom might use keywords like: Capacitive, 1GB, nVidia Tegra, Dual-core, etc.. Notice how those are descriptive and provide a way for other users to find groups of like items.

Craigslist will not tolerate abuse of the search system and flagged ads are removed quickly. Given the frequency with which certain individuals have been posting inappropriately, the site is especially responsive right now in the "Phoenix craigslist" > "for sale / wanted" category so if you are one of the abusers, save yourself the time, and other users the trouble and stop trying to get away with these abusive ads. Automated systems are in place to facilitate fast moderation and your ads will receive minimal views. It takes FAR less effort to identify, flag, and remove your ads, then it takes for you to post an ad up.