Guide for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 (32/64 bit)
- None of the Windows Operating Systems which were released before Windows 2000 (Windows 3.11, Windows 95/98 and Windows ME) do support the actual Intel SATA and RAID Controllers (no working textmode drivers available).
- Even Windows 2000 does not really work with the actual Intel Controllers. There are some old Intel S-ATA drivers for Windows 2000, but they do not fully support the modern features AHCI (="Advanced Host Controller Interface") and RAID.
- The current versions of Windows XP (32/64bit) and Windows Server 2003 (32/64bit) are able to detect actual Intel S-ATA Controllers during the OS installation and will handle them as "normal" IDE Controllers, if the BIOS S-ATA settings are set to "IDE mode". In this case you don't need to load/integrate any Intel textmode drivers, but you have to abandon the features AHCI and RAID.
- Users who are going to install XP or W2k3 and want to get advantage of the Intel S-ATA Controller features AHCI or RAID, have to enable them within BIOS prior to the OS installation and additionally have to integrate the appropriate Intel textmode drivers into the OS CD or to load them via F6/floppy during the installation. Otherwise Windows Setup will not detect the Intel S-ATA Controller connected hard disk drives.
- According to Intel only the actual Intel S-ATA Controllers for Desktop PC's (ICH6R, ICH7R, ICH8R, ICH9R and ICH10R) and Mobile PC's (ICH6M, ICH7M, ICH8M and ICH9M) are fully supporting AHCI, but obviously it is possible to get the AHCI features even with some ICH7 Mobile and ICH8/ICH9 Desktop PC's (look here and here) and ICH9 chipsets. If you are not sure, look into your mainboard/laptop manual or ask the support of the mainboard/laptop manufacturer.