Laptops forum


Help! Aspire 8920, updating SATA drivers after XP install

by Cyborg47 / April 17, 2013 11:19 PM PDT

Dear all,

I'd be grateful of some clear advice.

I have intalled XP pro on an Acer Aspire 8920 (The label says 8920G but in the F2 menu it hasn't got it). To do so I switched SATA mode to IDE as in AHCI it could not detect the harddrives (dban nuked prior to this)

Before I install SP3/other drivers or put time into doing anything else with it, I would like to switch back the AHCI. As far as I know, to do this I need to install the correct SATA drivers. If it goes wrong, I'm aware I have to start again, hence the need to sort this out first.

Acer provide only Vista drivers. I however found a acer-dedicated site that listed drivers for xp. Therefore I believe this to be my best shot at having the right drivers. However, despite lengthy reading, I cannot for the life of me work out how to install the new SATA drivers.

My device manager reads this:

IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers
-Primary IDE Channel
-Primary IDE Channel
-Secondary IDE Channel
-Secondary IDE Channel
-Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller
-Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller

I have no idea which of these to update, what file is relevant to each, and of course when instructions refer to fding 'AHCI' or 'RAID' drivers, this is not present.

In the file of SATA drivers I downloaded, I have files including
iaStor (setup information)
iaStor (system file)
iaStor (security catalogue)
iaAHCI (setup information)
iaahci (security catalogue)

Can anyone make sense of this for me and advise me as to how to perform this procedure?

Alternatively, if someone has a different (tried and tested) source of drivers/has already done this/has another (straightforward) way then I am all ears.

I am not a computer genius, I simply learn what I have to as I go along, so please advise me in simple/step-by/step terms that I can follow.

Eddie T

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All Answers

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I've never installed SATA drivers like that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 17, 2013 11:29 PM PDT

I have used the old method and here's the words for you to research on google.


It's not trivial and if you have a working XP at this point you should leave it in IDE mode for now.

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SATA drivers...brain melt
by Cyborg47 / April 18, 2013 1:53 AM PDT

Thanks - I am aware of this method and have read up extensively, but I can't get my head around it. I of course have no floppy drive and while I reading about ways of getting it to install them from a modified os disc or usb it is boggling my brain. The best instruction I have are from my driver download -they look like an illustrated step by step to integrate it into an os install, but all the text (which I can translate) and screenshots (which I can't) are in Russian!!!!

I am just reluctant to do anything with the computer if inevitably running it in IDE will cause issues and it it ideal to switch it back to AHCI with the right drivers. Right now it doesn't really matter if I have to reinstall xp and do another method, but I think I'd need to find a friend to help me.

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Why do you think that?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 18, 2013 2:08 AM PDT

XP's native support is IDE and since you don't have the floppy then it looks like we're done. If folk want to worry then I write what I can to assuage the fear but some can't go with what works.

As to Russian, the sites I see are also in other languages. Again, IDE emulation is OK. I only use the F6 method for the rare machine that has no IDE emulation.

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Where is my D drive?
by Cyborg47 / April 18, 2013 4:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Why do you think that?

Interestingly, after jumping about the room celebrating successful installation of nVidia driver to get my HD screen back, I've noticed there doesn't seem to be a 'D' drive; as in, I should have two hard drives, not one. Interesting. Any ideas?

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Only if the other drive is partitioned and formatted.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 18, 2013 6:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Where is my D drive?

And with IDE emulation on, it has to be on the first 4 SATA ports.

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Once you install SP3, then you can go to AHCI
by wpgwpg / April 18, 2013 2:22 AM PDT

As Bob points out, native XP (i.e. before SP1, SP2, & SP3) has no SATA (AHCI), but once you get to SP3 you can turn it back on. Stick with IDE until you get there. You don't need a floppy drive.
Good luck.

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Sticking to IDE
by Cyborg47 / April 18, 2013 3:57 AM PDT

Having looked up about IDE and AHCI, since the machine seems to be working perfectly and I have no need for the things that are specific to AHCI, I can see the logic in not worrying over it running in IDE mode. Currently installing drivers, much fun seeing everything starting to work again!

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The advantage to AHCI is performance
by wpgwpg / April 18, 2013 4:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Sticking to IDE

Once you get to XP SP3, it's a simple change to turn on AHCI. It speeds your system up, but you don't have to take advantage of it if you don't want to.

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