AHCIWindows 7 is finally replacing Windows XP in both, private and corporate areas. According to StatCounter Windows 7 passed 50% threshold in June this year. I have been using Windows 7 almost from day one and started using this OS as a main forensic platform since release of SP1. I found that Windows 7 is more sensitive to hardware changes compared to Windows XP and occasionally would simply refuse to boot after changing settings in motherboard or adding new hardware.
I still use Dell Optiplex 755 for research and development. 8GB of Ram and Quad Core CPU handling most tasks at acceptable speeds. Last week I reinstalled Win 7 OS and this week decided to add two 2TB drives configured in RAID-0. I went to BIOS and changed Drive Operation mode from default AHCI to RAID and configured these two HHD's in Intel Storage Raid controller as RAID-0.
The OS refused to boot. I remembered how sometimes Windows XP would go into 'BSOD' and Advanced Host Controller Interface(AHCI) mode had to be switched off in BIOS. Obviously the issue was related to AHCI/RAID. Win 7 automatic repair option didn't help and I went online looking for a solution. It only took me 2 two minutes to find the fix. I disconnected two RAID-0 drives, changed back to AHCI mode and booted Windows 7. I them edited two registries and changed their VALUE date to 0, changed back to RAID mode and Voila, everything works again.
Don't drop your Thunderbolt cable
I have been holding back on Thunderbolt technology due to its price and lack of available storage
devices. My focus this year was on USB3. Adding USB3 drivers to WinPE Forensic Live CD for
example is easy to do and Express cards are cheap and extremely useful when imaging laptops that
have no USB3 interface.
Thunderbolt is still expensive technology, even cables are $50 plus. The technology is very promising
though and gaining popularity. Thunderbolt cables are expensive for a good reason.
The aren't just a bunch of interconnected copper conductors anymore. To be able to sustain 10Gbps
bidirectional data transfer rate these 'wires' currently have four integrated circuits at both ends.
Transivers, microcontrollers, 3V power management and voltage regulation chips and 15V power
supply are built into the wire making it a very sensitive and advanced piece of hardware.