I have the exact same problem with my external HDD. The HDD is detected in BIOS and AHCI is enabled everywhere. Without Rapid Storage Technology installed, it is detected in other devices but driver cannot be installed. The drive stops working with Windows 8 and now Windows 8.1 is still not supported. I can use a USB cable to connect the HDD to my PC but eSATA would be much quicker.
1. What is the model of the computer/motherboard you are using?
2. What is the model of the external drive being used?
3. What is the model of the chipset/controller installed in your system?
4. What is the version of the Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology option ROM (console before the operating system loads)?
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It is a Lenovo Y570 with highest settings. The external HDD is a Glyph 062E. Chipset installed was Intel 6 I believe.
However, I believe I found a solution to this problem.
It might have been a particular compatibility issue with the Windows 8 and Intel; the hard drive seems to work with other computers by simply plugging it in.
The fix is simple:
Uninstall Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology so the device would show up in Device Manager.
In Device Manager, the driver cannot be updated automatically. However, knowing exactly that it is an external HDD plugged in, I just need to install the driver manually. In properties of the device, choose to select driver from list, then install Local Disk Drive.
The device is now working and showing up in My Computer/This PC.