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Z170 + SATA=RAID + SM951 AHCI M.2 drive issues

Z170 + SATA=RAID + SM951 AHCI M.2 drive issues
« on: August 04, 2016, 04:52:22 pm »
This is NOT a question post.
This is a report of my problems with my new Gigabyte motherboard.

I bought my new GA-Z170-HD3P to replace a five year old GA-Z68A-D3-B3.
The GA-Z68A-D3-B3 was working great, only the UEFI BIOS (U1B) wasn’t controlling the fans properly.

- My new system configuration:
- GA-Z170-HD3P rev 1.0 Bios F6d (beta)
- I5 6600K CPU
- 4+4 GB – G.Skill F4-3000C15
- SM951 – 128GB M.2 AHCI SSD drive.
- 2x 500GB HDD (WD5002AALX) on a RAID 0 array on ports 0 and 1.
- Thermaltake 450W high efficiency power supply.
- Graphics – Intel 530 internal graphics.

I’ve installed Windows 7 HP 64 with these BIOS configurations:
- SATA=RAID
- OS=Other
- Storage Boot and PCI device to UEFI only
- XHCI Hand off to disabled

Everything is working fine, except that when it enters “Sleep mode” it doesn’t wake up. The HDD led flashes continuously but it doesn’t wake up. Even the reset button doesn’t work. The only solution is to press the power button until it shuts down.

First test:
To find the problem, I’ve tested with these BIOS configurations:
- SATA=AHCI
- OS=Other
- Storage Boot and PCI device to UEFI only
- XHCI Hand off to disabled
- I’ve detached the two 500GB HDD RAID 0 array disks.

Booting Windows 7 HP or Lubuntu 16.04 64 from the SM951 AHCI M.2 drive, Windows 7 HP 64 and Lubuntu 16.04 64 recovered from sleep without problems.

Second test:
Next, I’ve detached the SM951 AHCI M.2 drive and the two 500GB HDD RAID 0 array disks and attached one blank WD 500G HDD.
With these BIOS configurations:
- SATA=RAID
- OS=Other
- Storage Boot and PCI device to UEFI only
- XHCI Hand off to disabled

In this WD 500G HDD I’ve installed:
- Windows 7 HP 64
- Windows 10 Pro 64
- Lubuntu 16.04 64
All them recovered from sleep mode without problem.
I’ve attached the two 500GB HDD RAID 0 array disks, and again, all them recovered from sleep mode without problem.
Then I’ve attached the SM951 AHCI M.2 drive and only Windows 10 Pro 64, sometimes, recovered from sleep mode without problem. Windows 7 HP 64 and Lubuntu 16.04 64 always failed to recover.
Something changed on the system that, only attaching the SM951 AHCI M.2 drive, Windows 7 HP 64 and Lubuntu 16.04 64 always failed to recover from sleep, even if they were booting from another drive.

Third test:
Next test I’ve done was with these BIOS configurations:
- SATA=AHCI
- OS=Other
- Storage Boot and PCI device to UEFI only
- XHCI Hand off to disabled
- I’ve detached the two 500GB HDD RAID 0 array disks.

Booted from the WD 500G HDD, and with the SM951 AHCI M.2 drive attached or not, Windows 7 HP 64, Windows 10 Pro 64 and Lubuntu 16.04 64 recovered from sleep without problems.

Summary:
- With SATA=AHCI and SM951 AHCI M.2 drive, Windows 7 HP 64 and Lubuntu 16.04 64 always recover from sleep, and Lubuntu 16.04 64 does boot from the SM951 AHCI M.2 drive
- With SATA=RAID and SM951 AHCI M.2 drive, Windows 7 HP 64 and Lubuntu 16.04 64 always failed to recover from sleep, even if they were booting from another drive and Lubuntu 16.04 64 doesn’t even boot from the SM951 AHCI M.2 drive.

Conclusion:
- SATA=RAID and SM951 AHCI M.2 drive have big issues and consequences.

I’ve searched and fond that this problem is very common on Skylake motherboards and that the manufactures are releasing BIOS updates to fix the problem, so I decided to install F6d (beta). It didn’t change anything to the sleep problem (and created a new one as the system freezes when trying to save or load a BIOS profile).

I’m very disappointed with my new GA-Z170-HD3P. The performance gain with the SM951 AHCI M.2 can’t be noticed when compared with my five year old GA-Z68A-D3-B3 system that has a Samsung 850 Pro SSD.
Boot times are the same and POST and shutting down are even longer.

I’ve asked for help at Gigabyte esupport and was frustrating. Those who answer the post, keep asking me things that was on my description and they are not technically prepared to even understand the problem.

Please don’t answer this post. Consider as a feedback to the engineers so they can release a new BIOS to fix this problems.

Re: Z170 + SATA=RAID + SM951 AHCI M.2 drive issues
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2016, 09:43:30 pm »
I’ve asked Intel for help. After a week exchanging posts, they said that “The SSD is not prepared for RAID, so random issues are expected”. In other words, the SM951 AHCI PCIe M.2 drive is incompatible with SATA=RAID.
What makes me angry is that the SM951 AHCI PCIe M.2 is on Gigabyte approved M.2 drives list.

 

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