Monday, 21 June 2010

AMD AHCI Driver Installation bug - Asus M4A785TD-V EVO

After downloading the AHCI driver from AMD's website, running the setup file will not install the AHCI driver.

I have tested this with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on an ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO Motherboard featuring the AMD 785G Chipset with SB750 South Bridge.

This bug may also be present on other AMD chipset based motherboards and / or not exclusive only to Asus.

The AMD AHCI driver does slightly improve disk performance and can be installed by manually updating the standard Microsoft AHCI driver in Windows 7.

Below is a screenshot showing the Microsoft AHCI driver, notice there are a number of ATA Channels.

Device Manager in Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

First download the AHCI driver

Run the setup file, this will automatically extract the files to your hard disk.

Go to Device Manager.

Right click on the 'Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller'

Then click on 'Update Driver Software'

Click on 'Browse my computer for driver software'

Click on the 'Browse' button

Navigate to ATI/Support/10-5_vista32-64_ahci/Packages/Drivers/SBDrv/SB7xx/AHCI/LH64A

Note: 64-bit Windows 7 and Vista = LH64A / 32-bit Windows 7 and Vista = LH

Click on 'OK' followed by 'Next'.

The driver will now be installed, close the sucessfully installed dialogue.

Windows will prompt for a restart. Once back in Windows, it may scan for new devices and ask for an additional restart.

After which 'Device Manager' should now display an entry labelled 'AMD SATA Controller'

Notice the 'AMD SATA Controller' in this screenshot and not the 'Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller' as can be seen in the very first screenshot.

15/07/2010: Windows Vista 64-bit does not suffer from the same bug. Driver version tested = 10.6

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Google restricting the internal use of Windows over security fears

Browsing the news today, I came across this very interesting story.

Interesting because not only are they casting even more doubt over the security of Windows but also demonstrating that Windows does not have to be used in the workplace, for office use.

For many years Windows has continued to be the dominant and dependant operating system. Dominant because of its dependency, an addiction that is slowly fading away.

Of course Google have other motives for making such a drastic and potentially IT changing move, as repeated in the above stories they are competing with Microsoft on many fronts. Ranging from search engine, mail, browser client and more recently with the development of their operating system Google Chrome OS.

So yes it is a good PR stunt but I am not concerned about that.

I believe Linux will never directly take over Windows but it will take over people, causing us to adapt and change the way we work.

The move by Google is a clear indication of that.

For years already Linux has been used by home users and continues to gain popularity. In fact I can say with confidence that there are many people who can live without Windows and happily use a Linux distribution. They just do not know it.

Security is a big concern in today's society, especially with many users resorting to online banking and other e-commerce transactions.

Windows is failing to meet our expectations when security is concerned. I myself feel more confident accessing my bank account online using a Linux distribution, so do others.

Funnily enough I know my Windows PC is uncompromised but it has become a standard security practice to use Linux to check my bank balance.

Personally I think Google are doing the right thing and I fail to see why anyone would object.

Google are taking reasonable steps to ensure the integrity of their network remains uncompromised or is less likely to be compromised.

As a user of Google provided services such as Gmail, Blogger and Picasa, I want the peace of mind knowing that Google will do whatever steps are necessary to ensure my data is safe.

Others should follow the same steps, especially Government bodies given the financial state of today's economy. I'd rather my tax contributions went towards paying for better NHS care than Microsoft volume licensing fees.

I wonder just how much money is spent by all UK Government and Public bodies on Microsoft licensing fees?

If the UK Government is serious about reducing the UK debt, open source software is the way forward.

"According to some in the open source industry, the shift from proprietary standards could save the government £600m a year"

Reading articles like the above from the BBC News indicates a positive reception from the Government to the idea of open source software but I do not feel it is been pushed enough.

Any serious and responsible UK Government should be at the forefront of pushing realistic and viable money saving concepts.

Instead we are seeing privately run companies taking the lead. Companies like Maplin Electronics Ltd, who currently use CentOS throughout their company, more notably on their instore till system.

Achieving results and saving expense is business sense, does the UK Government have any?