2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 18, 2011 12:34 AM by nunyabiz

    Intel 320 series 120GB - No SATA password prompt on boot in AHCI mode


      Here's my problem:


      I recently bought an Intel 320 series 120GB SSD.  Verified it's running the latest firmware.  It's installed in a new Acer Aspire 1830T with the latest BIOS (v1.20).  I used the latest version of Intel SSD Toolbox (v2.0.2) to secure erase the drive, and then set a SATA password.


      More often than not, when I reboot/restart I receive no SATA password prompt to unlock the SSD.  Of course, because of this, Windows 7 won't boot.


      My workaround has been to go into the BIOS... and change the SATA mode from AHCI to IDE.  After doing this, the laptop reboots.  It seems I always get a password prompt in IDE mode.  After supplying the password, Windows begins to load but fails and restarts.  I then return to the BIOS and change the SATA mode back to AHCI.  I now receive a SATA password prompt, and the OS boots as it should.


      I really have no idea why this is happening, or what the root cause of the problem is, but I'm assuming the issue lies with the SSD.


      Any thoughts on this?

        • 1. Re: Intel 320 series 120GB - No SATA password prompt on boot in AHCI mode

          The issue here is almost certainly (I would say with ~98% certainty) with the system BIOS, not the SSD.  You will need to spend a lot of time banging on Acer Technical Support to get through to an engineer who can address this problem with a BIOS update.  There is no reason why changing SATA controller operation should "tickle" password prompting, and this is compounded by the fact that once you change things *back* to AHCI you get prompted again.  Acer will need to address this shortcoming via a BIOS update.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Intel 320 series 120GB - No SATA password prompt on boot in AHCI mode

            I agree.  Actually, I found a posting from a guy on an OCZ board that was having the same issue.  So... must be the laptop... not the drive.  After messing with it some more, I found that the issue only arose upon a full shutdown and subsequent bootup.  Reboots didn't seem to have this issue.  I was willing to deal with this, but then thought... eh... I'll just get rid of the SATA password and use 3rd party encryption.  Probably better anyways.  So, I finished setting my drive up as desired, then proceeded to use truecrypt 7.0a full disk encryption to encrypt the drive.  Won't boot.  Won't even fully POST.  Just freezes directly after the memory check... not allowing me to enter the BIOS setup.  What's funny, is before truecrypt allows you to encrypt the drive, it installs its boot loader and reboots the system, just to check for compatibility.  There were no issues with this.  But after encryption... useless.  Very irritating.  Anyhow... I'm mostly listing this info in an effort to document it on-line, and hopefully help others.  Acer support was useless.  Don't have the time to deal with them.  I submitted a support ticket, only to be told that their primary support group only supports the 1830T with its original components, and that I'd have to pay for upgraded support -- which I imagine would be equally useless in helping to resolve this problem.  Guess I'll just wait to see if they put out a BIOS update that addresses the issue.