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Enable disk write caching greyed out and not selected. How to enable???

Posted on 2008-10-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hello all,

Three months ago I bought HP Pavilion dv6799ec Special Edition laptop. I removed Win Vista and installed Win XP. Some time afterwards I created dual boot system with Red Hat 5 Linux as my secondary system.

For some time everything was running fine and without trouble. But recently I noticed that my Win XP performance has significantly dropped down. After some investigation with Bootvis I found out that the disk write caching is disabled.

The respective field in "Device Manager/ Disks / MYDISK / Properties / Policies" is greyed out and unselected.

I have searched a lot on the internet but the solution is still missing. First I attributed the problem to the coexistence of Linux and Win XP, but yesterday I removed everything and installed Win XP anew from scratch.

After the installation the box "Enable disk write caching" was available so I selected it, but after next restart it was greyed out and unselected again.

I am really lost...

Is it drivers? Disk? Win XP?
Question by:ekim_dl
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 22667314

First are you instaling windows xp using a recovery cd. If yes then try clean boot to disable all the third party software like security software. Can try restarting the computer in safe mode. Also check the bios.

A better option would be uninstalling all the security software and restart the computer twice. After that reset the security settings by running this command.

Clean boot

LVL 93

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 450 total points
ID: 22667748
it can be the disk has problems - so i suggest to test it; pick the one you need from :
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

flubbster earned 450 total points
ID: 22668191
Go to device manager and click the plus by IDE ATA/ATAPI.
When it opens then double-click on the IDE channels one at a time. You will see the settings for your drive. If it is a modern drive the window should show> Use UDMA if available. If it is using UDMA as current setting it will show current UDMA mode, Mine runs in mode 5 for exsample.
Do this for each channel. Note: cd roms run in PIO mode. A burner may or may not run in DMA but not UDMA.
Go to the bios and adjust the drive settings for PIO and UDMA/DMA to Auto.
That should do it.

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Author Comment

ID: 22674367
my disk is a SATA disk

in the attached file you will find my primary & secondary IDE channel properties.

there is no UDMA available to select, just PIO and DMA, the current mode is Multi-Word DMA Mode 2.
in my BIOS there are no options for peripherals tweaking... I cannot change there anything related to transfer modes...

Author Comment

ID: 22674383
I draws my attention that my disk is using just the generic Microsoft drivers... maybe it's got to do something with that as well

what do you think flubbster?

Author Comment

ID: 22674438
nobus, thank you very much for your reply.

attached there is an image from the WD Data Lifeguard.

the SMART has been passed without trouble now I will run the tests. It may take longer and since it is already 1:36AM of the local time I will have a nap and let you know the results of the test in the morning.

Afterwards I will go through all suggestions by ded9.

Thank you all, guys for your precious responses, thank you for sharing your expertise with me.

Author Comment

ID: 22681494
the disk is fine...

time for ed6 suggestions

Author Comment

ID: 22681607
I have performed both steps (secedit & clean boot) the HDD still cannot be configured.

I will reinstall Win XP once more and have a look at "Enable disk write caching" prior to any configuration / driver installation.
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 22684634
seems strange - it can be a motherboard problem too (disk controller)
but let's wait for the reinstall (that cures many problems)

Author Comment

ID: 22685069
it seems darn strange

before the re-install:
I tried to remove the disk from the device manager, after restart I was able to check the "Enable disk write caching" box, after next restart it was unselected and everything was greyed out.
This can be repeated any number of times with the same result and bootvis confirms that disk write caching is disabled.

after Win XP re-install (CLEAN, no restore) and before configuring anything in the system:
the box was available however after selecting the option and restarting everything was greyed out and the option unselected and the situation before the re-install repeats.

I tried to call HP local support, as soon as they learned that I was using Win XP they were reluctant to talk to me about anything ("Win XP is not supported on this product... blah blah blah...").

So... I have restored the original Win VISTA Home system on the laptop. The "Enable disk write caching" option is now available to me as well as "Enable Advanced Performance". However when I check these options and restart, after the restart it is unselected again.

Anyone has any idea how to make that disk write caching work? Under XP or VISTA?
LVL 30

Accepted Solution

ded9 earned 600 total points
ID: 22685176

Try this step.
First set the bios to raid config and save and exit.

 Try to boot from regular microsoft cd and press the F6 to load the drivers and install windows xp.

To get the raid drivers for your computer you can get it from Hp website.

Check the disk write caching option. If still not working.

Disable raid from bios and install windows XP. Check the disk write caching option.

99.99%  raid config solution should fix the problem.  



Author Comment

ID: 22725455
Hello all,

sorry for not responding earlier - prior to testing Ded9's suggestion concerning the RAID I wanted to bring my Win VISTA up-to-date as much as I can. I found a newer version of Intel Matrix Storage Manager - contained in patch "SP39222".

After installing the patch both options are enabled (disk write caching & advanced performance). This way the problem is fixed.

In the BIOS unfortunately I have no option to enable / disable RAID (my laptop is HP Pavilion Special Edition dv6799ec).

My challenge is to try to enable the disk write caching in Win XP. I will try both - playing with RAID drivers and looking for a newer version of Intel Matrix Storage Manager for Win XP.

I will post as soon as there are any news / results.

Kind regards

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31504156
no time for playing with the system I choose to close the question and distribute points

thanks folks

Expert Comment

ID: 23275348
just wanted to chip in - the new version of the intel matrix storage manager DOES fix the problem, and does so ALSO for XP, even if by HP specs the file is for vista only.

naturally, the difference in speed is noticeable with write caching enabled.

the new version is here:

& it's version

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