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Changing the IDE to SATA AHCI controller in existing VM XP Mode
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TOPIC: Changing the IDE to SATA AHCI controller in existing VM XP Mode
#3426
Changing the IDE to SATA AHCI controller in existing VM XP Mode 8 Years, 2 Months ago Karma: 0
Default setting in the XP Mode machine is that the VBox Harddisk has been connected to the IDE controller (PII4).
However when I saw a possibility of using the SATA AHCI controller into Workstation Settings, I wanted to test this option as my host system is working perfectly with a SATA AHCI SSD.
I knew that it was not possible just to change the controller type because the guest system (WinXPx86) once installed with IDE controller would not boot up.
So I made a trick -first, with your guest system still attached to the IDE controller, just add a second SATA AHCI controller, without any devices attached to it.
Second, after a boot of such a guest system, you will have a new unknown PCI device. You have to get an IRST Intel driver (newest one is 9.6.4.1002, both for x86 and x64 systems), and to install manually this driver for the unknown PCI device. Than you shall power off your guest machine.
Third step, you can change now the default IDE controller to a new SATA AHCI. To do this, into the Workstation settings, you have to detach the drive from the IDE controller and to attach it to a SATA controller (only HDD can be attached to SATA controller, CD-ROM shall stay with IDE, no idea why such a limitation???).
After a restart, your VBox Harddisk shall be shown connected to the Intel ICH8M-E/M SATA AHCI Controller.

For me, such a setting works faster than the default IDE controller.
RadioK
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#3427
Re: Changing the IDE to SATA AHCI controller in existing VM XP Mode 8 Years, 2 Months ago Karma: 52
thanks for sharing this info.
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#3433
Re:Changing the IDE to SATA AHCI controller in existing VM XP Mode 8 Years, 2 Months ago Karma: 0
I did the same thing expecting a boost in performance and found that on MY system the performance was significantly worse with the AHCI controller. I don't know why the performance hit.

What's your experience?

I don't think it matters, but I have my Win 7 64 running in AHCI mode on a 500gb hybrid drive.
Rootman
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#3435
Re:Changing the IDE to SATA AHCI controller in existing VM XP Mode 8 Years, 2 Months ago Karma: 0
On my system (Win7x64 Ultimate host running on Intel C2D P8700 VT hardware enabled, 4GB RAM, Intel ICH9M-E/M SATA AHCI Controller + SSD OCZ Vertex2 100GB IRST 9.6.4.1002 Driver; WinXPx86 Pro SP3 guest), such a setting works better. There was just a slight gain in performance (speed), but while using the IDE setting, my guest system was not 100% stable - from time to time, there were some errors accesing the VBox Harddrive at a low level (my guest machine has a dedicated software installed on it, protected with a CopyControl feature, and this software was not stable). So far so good with a SATA AHCI setting, but it was just yesterday when I finally did the change )
Just one remark - have you ticked the box "Use host I/O buffer" for SATA Controller at the Workstation Setting?

BTW it's a pitty that we do not have any access to the detailed documentation for all such settings, so all the efforts to make our VMs more reliable are just based on the trial-and-error method, which is definitely not the most efficient way to do this...
RadioK
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#3437
Re:Changing the IDE to SATA AHCI controller in existing VM XP Mode 8 Years, 2 Months ago Karma: 0
Yes, tried it both ways I/O box checked and unchecked. The OS was very jerky with AHCI and disk I/O was certainly slower, apps took longer to load and the whole XP OS was slower to launch. Funny.

I've got 8Gb of RAM with 3.5Gb dedicated to this VM on a T7700 Core 2 duo.

Maybe I'll check for an updated Intel driver and try it again.
Rootman
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#3438
Re:Changing the IDE to SATA AHCI controller in existing VM XP Mode 8 Years, 2 Months ago Karma: 0
Bad news - my guest OS has just became unstable, like it was before with the IDE setting. So the initial gain that I observed with SATA AHCI setting is gone

Has anyone tried the SCSI Controller emulation instead of IDE or SATA?
I can see a "VMLite Virtual Disk SCSI Storport Adapter" as a device installed within my host Win7x64, with "vmlitestor.sys" driver v.3.2.6.r28941, so perheaps ii will be the only straight way to use SCSI device, without a need to "translate" this software controller to another type of software controller (ie IDE or SATA)?

Can anyone explain us the base how is done the real "translation" between the host-accesed HDD, working in SATA AHCI mode, and the guest VBox Harddisk?
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