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Old Aug 8, 2010, 04:41 PM   #1
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Dr. Zhivago
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Default Removing Drivers the Hard Way

So, I'm pretty anal about keeping my systems free of unneeded drivers. I am running Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit on everything in the house now. I just upgraded the Office PC after replacing the motherboard, processor and RAM and adding a new HDD. See sig for specs of all systems.

One driver that I've had difficulty removing on all the systems is the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\Root\LEGACY_MSAHCI" entry.

If you install Windows with AHCI enabled and don't provide 3rd Party Drivers using F6 during the install, you get the msahci.sys driver installed. After you update to your chipset manufacturer's specific AHCI/SATA drivers, msahci.sys still loads and you can find it in Device Manager under the "Non-Plug and Play Drivers" section when you choose to Show Hidden Devices.

Uninstalling it from there does not work because it comes back on the next boot, nor does disabling the msahci Service located at "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\msahci". In order to disable it, you need to set the "Start" value to "3", Hex or Decimal, as both are the same for that particular value.

You have to delete the Enum/Root/LEGACY_MSAHCI key to get rid of it AND disable the Service. However, you cannot simply fire up regedit and delete the entry. You have to right-click the entry, select Permissions, click Advanced, select the Owner tab, select your name, click "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects", then click Ok, then select the Everyone group and then check the Full Control checkbox and then finally click Ok. Sheesh!

Once you've done all that, you can empty or delete the Key, reboot and msahci.sys no longer loads. If you ever need to re-enable the msahci driver, you can simply enable the msahci Service entry again in the registry and the Legacy key will get recreated. To enable the msahci service, set the "Start" value to "0".

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, since disabling the msachi driver, I've noticed quantifiable performance improvements with disk operations. Copying disk-to-disk is faster with measurable performance differences using Resource Monitor. The Disk spends more Active time at 80-100% than before and throughput is greatly increased. When doing disk-to-disk xfers, Explorer wouldn't always show the correct number of files or the actual size of the folder(s) being copied. This is no longer an issue.

Boot times are shorter as well, with the system being "ready to go", more quickly and programs launch faster after a fresh boot than they used to. The disk seems to spend less time "getting ready" than before. I tested this on 3 systems here at the house, all of them AMD based with either the SB750 or SB850 Southbridges. I am using the AMD Sata drivers from Catalyst 10.7.

A way to avoid this scenario possibly is to use the "F6" method during the installation of Windows. However, if you aren't using the "Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller" driver and for some reason msahci.sys is still loading, you should consider disabling it.

Hope you find this useful.

Peace.

IMPORTANT: For those reading this, make SURE you are using 3rd Party AHCI/SATA drivers BEFORE you remove or disable the msahci driver and Service!!! If you aren't absolutely sure, DON'T DO THIS! Removing these entries will make your system NON-BOOTABLE AND WILL CAUSE A BSOD ERROR OF 0X0000007b. Here is detailed information and troubleshooting for that error: Link
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Last edited by Dr. Zhivago : Aug 9, 2010 at 11:24 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old Aug 8, 2010, 05:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Zhivago View Post
So, I'm pretty anal


Thanks for the post. Excellent stuff!
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Old Aug 8, 2010, 05:15 PM   #3
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 12:02 AM   #4
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Noted and I'll check my system and see if it still loads. I went from the msahci to the AMD driver. If anything, loading less drivers will speed up booting.
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 09:04 AM   #5
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Hey Figgy, I'd wager a large amount of money that you'll find it still there. Can you please post back with your experience after removing it. I know I didn't clarify how to disable the msahci Service entry. In case you don't know, you need to set the "Start" value to "3". Hex or Decimal, doesn't matter.

Peace.

Original post will be updated with this information.
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 10:46 AM   #6
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I have an intel system and tried this and Windows just blue screened on startup.
I couldn't find the legacy_msahci but i did find the msahci service and changed the value from 0 to 3.
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 11:19 AM   #7
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Was the BSOD Error code 0x0000007b? It blue screened because you are using the msahci driver most likely and disabling the service causes the Inaccessible_boot_device error. Did you ever install Intel AHCI/SATA Drivers?

I will need to add some caveats to the original post. For those reading this, make SURE you are using 3rd Party AHCI/SATA drivers BEFORE you remove or disable the msahci driver and Service!!!
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 02:55 PM   #8
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Im using the latest Intel driver, I'll try it again and see what the error is. It would start the cool logo thing then quick flash of blue then restart.

edit: yup error code 7b, so maybe the Intel driver is reliant on the MSahci service?

Edit2: after looking at the driver, it is dependent on the MSAHCI service, so this might just be a AMD only tweak.

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Last edited by Hippo : Aug 9, 2010 at 03:16 PM.
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 04:40 PM   #9
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I checked and I also had msahci still loading. Followed your steps and rebooted with no problems. msahci is gone from the non-pnp list now in the device manager My system is AMD also.

I'll do some stuff and post back later with my findings.

Thanks man
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 05:05 PM   #10
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Ahhh good old AMD southbridges...



/Runs off with his superior Intel chipsets...
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 05:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gamefoo21 View Post
Ahhh good old AMD southbridges...



/Runs off with his superior Intel chipsets...
Superior because it depends on the MS AHCI driver how?
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 05:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Zhivago View Post
Hey Figgy, I'd wager a large amount of money that you'll find it still there. Can you please post back with your experience after removing it. I know I didn't clarify how to disable the msahci Service entry. In case you don't know, you need to set the "Start" value to "3". Hex or Decimal, doesn't matter.

Peace.

Original post will be updated with this information.
You're right, it was there. I removed it with your instructions and rebooted. Now I wish that I had ran some benchmarks before I did, because I ran hdtune 2.55 and got pretty much the same performance as always, but it showed -1% cpu usage. Then I ran a custom benchmark in Passmark on the hard drive and cpu usage was at 2% read and 3% write. I'm gonna throw around some large files between drives and see if anything different crops up and also test out write performance.

Last edited by FiggyG : Aug 9, 2010 at 05:51 PM.
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 06:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippo View Post
Im using the latest Intel driver, I'll try it again and see what the error is. It would start the cool logo thing then quick flash of blue then restart.

edit: yup error code 7b, so maybe the Intel driver is reliant on the MSahci service?

Edit2: after looking at the driver, it is dependent on the MSAHCI service, so this might just be a AMD only tweak.

The driver files shown are stock to a Windows 7 install. You have not loaded any from Intel. That's why disabling the msahci Service caused your problem. Are you SURE you installed AHCI/SATA drivers or just the Chipset Drivers? You would need the Intel Matrix Storage Drivers most likely.

EDIT: The Chipset *.inf file is what is responsible for the verbose labeling of the Intel ICH9 description and NOT because any driver files were loaded that were written by Intel.
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HTPC - Gigabyte GA-890GPA~UD3H - AthlonII X4 630 - HD6450 - 8GB DDR3-1333 - WD 500GB Black - WD 640GB Green - WD 2TB Green - LG BDROM - Ceton InfiniTV 4 w/ MCE Remote - Logitech MX5000 Laser Desktop - Corsair 450W - Silverstone LC10B-E - Sharp Aquos 46" HDTV - Onkyo TX-SR606 - PE 15" Sub - Classic Mission Speakers - Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit

Office PC - Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H - Intel 3570K - 16GB DDR3-1866 - HD 7950 FLEX - Samsung 840 250GB - WD 500GB Blue - WD 1TB Black - Xonar DX - Corsair 600W PSU - Antec ON1E - Logitech G5 - Logitech USB Media KB - AOC 23" LCD - Creative Inspire 2.1 - Windows 10 Pro 64Bit

5x Presentation Machines - Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 - FX-8350 w/ FX WC - 8GB DDR3-1600 - 5870 or 7870 Eyefinity 6 - 2x Samsung 840 EVO 120GB - WD 500GB Black - DVDRW - Cooler Master Sileo 500 - 600W PSU - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit - Office 2010 Pro

Last edited by Dr. Zhivago : Aug 9, 2010 at 06:31 PM.
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 06:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gamefoo21 View Post
Ahhh good old AMD southbridges...



/Runs off with his superior Intel chipsets...
This has NOTHING to do with AMD OR Intel. It is strictly to do with the way Windows handles migrating from one type of IDE/ATA/SATA Controller driver to another. Hippo is incorrect in assuming that Intel Drivers are dependent on a STOCK WINDOWS DRIVER.

This isn't the only case of drivers being left in purgatory in the Registry. It happens all the time. Maybe I'll write an article of how to remove "Ghosts" and then you'll understand. In the meantime, please keep your negative, non-relevant, ignorant comments to yourself please.

Peace.
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HTPC - Gigabyte GA-890GPA~UD3H - AthlonII X4 630 - HD6450 - 8GB DDR3-1333 - WD 500GB Black - WD 640GB Green - WD 2TB Green - LG BDROM - Ceton InfiniTV 4 w/ MCE Remote - Logitech MX5000 Laser Desktop - Corsair 450W - Silverstone LC10B-E - Sharp Aquos 46" HDTV - Onkyo TX-SR606 - PE 15" Sub - Classic Mission Speakers - Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit

Office PC - Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H - Intel 3570K - 16GB DDR3-1866 - HD 7950 FLEX - Samsung 840 250GB - WD 500GB Blue - WD 1TB Black - Xonar DX - Corsair 600W PSU - Antec ON1E - Logitech G5 - Logitech USB Media KB - AOC 23" LCD - Creative Inspire 2.1 - Windows 10 Pro 64Bit

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Old Aug 9, 2010, 07:47 PM   #15
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I installed the drivers that are in the .inf package from Intel. I dont think my board has support for the intel matrix storage but ill try installing them.

EDIT: So your mostly right Zhivago. For intel chipsets the Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology driver needs to be installed and then the MS service can be turned off. But this driver only applies to people with ICH southbridges that support RAID or is a mobile chipset. In my case, mine doesn't support those things. For example mine is ICH9, what i need is ICH9R or 9m.

this is from the latest .inf from the chipset installer:


From the RST driver:
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Last edited by Hippo : Aug 9, 2010 at 07:58 PM.
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 09:04 PM   #16
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So, as I said the Chipset *.inf just gives a verbose name the the ICH. It doesn't "load" drivers, it only points to the msahci service.. I did not research what board you had.

Do you remember if the "Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller" was listed in the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers section before you installed the Intel Chipset Drivers?

Thanks for the feedback.
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HTPC - Gigabyte GA-890GPA~UD3H - AthlonII X4 630 - HD6450 - 8GB DDR3-1333 - WD 500GB Black - WD 640GB Green - WD 2TB Green - LG BDROM - Ceton InfiniTV 4 w/ MCE Remote - Logitech MX5000 Laser Desktop - Corsair 450W - Silverstone LC10B-E - Sharp Aquos 46" HDTV - Onkyo TX-SR606 - PE 15" Sub - Classic Mission Speakers - Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit

Office PC - Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H - Intel 3570K - 16GB DDR3-1866 - HD 7950 FLEX - Samsung 840 250GB - WD 500GB Blue - WD 1TB Black - Xonar DX - Corsair 600W PSU - Antec ON1E - Logitech G5 - Logitech USB Media KB - AOC 23" LCD - Creative Inspire 2.1 - Windows 10 Pro 64Bit

5x Presentation Machines - Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 - FX-8350 w/ FX WC - 8GB DDR3-1600 - 5870 or 7870 Eyefinity 6 - 2x Samsung 840 EVO 120GB - WD 500GB Black - DVDRW - Cooler Master Sileo 500 - 600W PSU - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit - Office 2010 Pro
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 09:10 PM   #17
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most likely, but no i don't remember.
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 09:21 PM   #18
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Alright, copy that. Thanks again.

Sorry you had difficulties.
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 09:28 PM   #19
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Intel board owners should install the RST drivers. Chipset drivers should be installed first, from elevated command line using /overall switch, then the RST driver and toolbox can be installed. reboot between both is not necessary, but should be done after the RST.
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 10:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiggyG View Post
You're right, it was there. I removed it with your instructions and rebooted. Now I wish that I had ran some benchmarks before I did, because I ran hdtune 2.55 and got pretty much the same performance as always, but it showed -1% cpu usage. Then I ran a custom benchmark in Passmark on the hard drive and cpu usage was at 2% read and 3% write. I'm gonna throw around some large files between drives and see if anything different crops up and also test out write performance.
Copy that Figgy. Let us know what you find!

Peace.
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HTPC - Gigabyte GA-890GPA~UD3H - AthlonII X4 630 - HD6450 - 8GB DDR3-1333 - WD 500GB Black - WD 640GB Green - WD 2TB Green - LG BDROM - Ceton InfiniTV 4 w/ MCE Remote - Logitech MX5000 Laser Desktop - Corsair 450W - Silverstone LC10B-E - Sharp Aquos 46" HDTV - Onkyo TX-SR606 - PE 15" Sub - Classic Mission Speakers - Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit

Office PC - Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H - Intel 3570K - 16GB DDR3-1866 - HD 7950 FLEX - Samsung 840 250GB - WD 500GB Blue - WD 1TB Black - Xonar DX - Corsair 600W PSU - Antec ON1E - Logitech G5 - Logitech USB Media KB - AOC 23" LCD - Creative Inspire 2.1 - Windows 10 Pro 64Bit

5x Presentation Machines - Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 - FX-8350 w/ FX WC - 8GB DDR3-1600 - 5870 or 7870 Eyefinity 6 - 2x Samsung 840 EVO 120GB - WD 500GB Black - DVDRW - Cooler Master Sileo 500 - 600W PSU - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit - Office 2010 Pro
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 10:35 PM   #21
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So many testy people... Geepers...

I was just teasing, I've had my fair share of both systems, and I have nightmares on both sides, mind you almost all the deal breaker boards were Asus or Biostar...

I actually owned an Nforce 1 + Athlon system... *shudders*
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Old Aug 19, 2010, 09:30 PM   #22
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I checked on two systems of mine tonight, an 890FX and a 790G. Both running Windows 7, both had AMD drivers loaded at install time. The 890 rig didn't have the MSAHCI service or driver installed, but the 790 did, presumably because it includes info on the 785/750 chipsets and saw the disks and raid array before the AMD drivers were loaded.

EDIT - No, it was loading the MSAHCI driver because the board has a JMicron JMB361 eSATA port. As soon as I installed the latest drivers for that, no more MSAHCI.

Last edited by caveman-jim : Aug 19, 2010 at 11:18 PM.
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Old Aug 20, 2010, 09:11 AM   #23
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Intewesting. Thanks for the update Jimbo!
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Bedroom PC - Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 - AMD 1100T @3.7/4GHz - H50 - 8GB DDR3-1600 - HD 7870 OC - Samsung 840 250GB - WD 640GB Blue - Xonar DX - LG BDROM - Logitech 6110 - TT Volos - Antec 900 - CM 500W PSU - Samsung 32" HDTV - Onkyo TX-SR606 - BIC L/R & MTX Surround Speakers - Mission C70 Center - Sony 10" Sub - Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit

HTPC - Gigabyte GA-890GPA~UD3H - AthlonII X4 630 - HD6450 - 8GB DDR3-1333 - WD 500GB Black - WD 640GB Green - WD 2TB Green - LG BDROM - Ceton InfiniTV 4 w/ MCE Remote - Logitech MX5000 Laser Desktop - Corsair 450W - Silverstone LC10B-E - Sharp Aquos 46" HDTV - Onkyo TX-SR606 - PE 15" Sub - Classic Mission Speakers - Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit

Office PC - Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H - Intel 3570K - 16GB DDR3-1866 - HD 7950 FLEX - Samsung 840 250GB - WD 500GB Blue - WD 1TB Black - Xonar DX - Corsair 600W PSU - Antec ON1E - Logitech G5 - Logitech USB Media KB - AOC 23" LCD - Creative Inspire 2.1 - Windows 10 Pro 64Bit

5x Presentation Machines - Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 - FX-8350 w/ FX WC - 8GB DDR3-1600 - 5870 or 7870 Eyefinity 6 - 2x Samsung 840 EVO 120GB - WD 500GB Black - DVDRW - Cooler Master Sileo 500 - 600W PSU - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit - Office 2010 Pro
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 06:44 AM   #24
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I don't see the point of deleting the Enum/Root/LEGACY_MSAHCI key, all that does is stop the msahci driver showing up under non plug and play devices it doesn't do anything extra, you'd get the same benefit from just setting the start type to 3.

See, driver is stopped, meaning it hasn't been loaded, it really doesn't matter that it's visible.

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Old Sep 18, 2010, 09:28 AM   #25
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Well, that is also true. But, I like a clean registry.
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Bedroom PC - Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 - AMD 1100T @3.7/4GHz - H50 - 8GB DDR3-1600 - HD 7870 OC - Samsung 840 250GB - WD 640GB Blue - Xonar DX - LG BDROM - Logitech 6110 - TT Volos - Antec 900 - CM 500W PSU - Samsung 32" HDTV - Onkyo TX-SR606 - BIC L/R & MTX Surround Speakers - Mission C70 Center - Sony 10" Sub - Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit

HTPC - Gigabyte GA-890GPA~UD3H - AthlonII X4 630 - HD6450 - 8GB DDR3-1333 - WD 500GB Black - WD 640GB Green - WD 2TB Green - LG BDROM - Ceton InfiniTV 4 w/ MCE Remote - Logitech MX5000 Laser Desktop - Corsair 450W - Silverstone LC10B-E - Sharp Aquos 46" HDTV - Onkyo TX-SR606 - PE 15" Sub - Classic Mission Speakers - Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit

Office PC - Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H - Intel 3570K - 16GB DDR3-1866 - HD 7950 FLEX - Samsung 840 250GB - WD 500GB Blue - WD 1TB Black - Xonar DX - Corsair 600W PSU - Antec ON1E - Logitech G5 - Logitech USB Media KB - AOC 23" LCD - Creative Inspire 2.1 - Windows 10 Pro 64Bit

5x Presentation Machines - Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 - FX-8350 w/ FX WC - 8GB DDR3-1600 - 5870 or 7870 Eyefinity 6 - 2x Samsung 840 EVO 120GB - WD 500GB Black - DVDRW - Cooler Master Sileo 500 - 600W PSU - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit - Office 2010 Pro
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 02:28 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Zhivago View Post
Well, that is also true. But, I like a clean registry.
Any chance on the guide for cleaning out the ghost devices, been a sys admin for years and need to learn something new.
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 07:43 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NemesisUK View Post
Any chance on the guide for cleaning out the ghost devices, been a sys admin for years and need to learn something new.
Done. And Done.

Cheers!
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HTPC - Gigabyte GA-890GPA~UD3H - AthlonII X4 630 - HD6450 - 8GB DDR3-1333 - WD 500GB Black - WD 640GB Green - WD 2TB Green - LG BDROM - Ceton InfiniTV 4 w/ MCE Remote - Logitech MX5000 Laser Desktop - Corsair 450W - Silverstone LC10B-E - Sharp Aquos 46" HDTV - Onkyo TX-SR606 - PE 15" Sub - Classic Mission Speakers - Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit

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Old Sep 29, 2010, 05:46 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Zhivago View Post
Done. And Done.

Cheers!
Excellent, cheers
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Old Jul 6, 2015, 07:51 AM   #29
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Thumbs up

OP you are correct on this for AMD boards.
Mine was msahci in the devices too and what I was seeing was when defragmenting with win7 defrag my C drive it would take a long time to analyze and if I clicked defrag D and or E of the same DISK while it was working on C, it would buzz and lag real bad, I thought that cant be right wtf is it buzzing so bad for? not crunching like drives do but actual buzzing like a tattoo gun maybe worse.

After doing this, its like night and day, no buzzing and lagging.
I dont really see a increase in winrar benchmark but the multitasking different programs and multiple disk access is much smoother, not the bottleneck it was before.

Highly recommend.


thanks !!



PS
dont accidently set msisadrv to disabled like I did...my PS2 keyboard and numerous system devices were like, "wtf!!".
Luckily I noticed that I, for some reason, set the wrong one to disabled...I think my CRT use for 10+ years is making me go blind.
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