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ASUS ROG STRIX B650e-e Gaming WIFI - The SATA Nightmare...

Level 7

Hello, first of all I introduce myself to you in the Forum and I appreciate being able to participate.

Now let's get to what motivated this participation.

A month ago I acquired the motherboard that appears in the title of this topic and more stuff in search of making a leap in quality compared to my old PC.

The configuration that gave life to my new build is the following:
- Motherboard: ASUS Rog Strix B650e-e gaming wifi.
- Ram: Corsair Dominator Platinum 32Gb (2x16) DDR5 5200MHz.
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 8700G.
- PSU: Corsair HX1000W Black.
- Storage:
- Kingston PCIe 4.0 M2 NVME 500GB on M.2_1 (PCIe 5.0 x4 CPU lanes) - Use: OS.
- Kingston PCIe 4.0 M2 NVME 500GB on M.2_4 (PCIe 4.0 x4 Chipset lanes) - Use: Steam.
- Kingstone SSD 250GB SATA3 on SATA 6G port 1 (Asmedia AMS1061 onboard controller using PCIe 3.0 x1 shared Chipset lane) - Use: Storage.
- Kingstone SSD 250GB SATA3 on SATA 6G port 2 (Asmedia AMS1061 onboard controller using PCIe 3.0 x1 shared Chipset lanes) - Use: Storage.
- Patriot SSD 512GB SATA3 on SATA 6G port 3 (Asmedia AMS1061 onboard controller using PCIe 3.0 x1 shared Chipset lane) - Use: Storage.
- Toshiba HHD 2T SATA3 on SATA 6G port 4 (Asmedia AMS1061 onboard controller using PCIe 3.0 x1 shared Chipset lane) - Use: Storage.
- OS: Windows 11 Home version 23H2.
- Case: Corsair 5000 AIRFLOW.
- Cooling:
- CPU: Air - AMD Wraith SPIRE.
- Case: Air - Corsair AirGuide 2x120mm (Intake: Front - Exhaust: Back).

Keep in mind that this selection was based on the idea of putting together something with the greatest capacity for expansion in the future and that allows me to be able to play video games casually, all linked to the following limitations:

- Budget.
- Hardware availability locally in my country.

Having said this and with a general idea of the hardware, I am going to tell you about the terrible headache that building a PC gave me for the first time in my life...

My first concern was always not to receive faulty, adulterated or second-hand hardware as if it were a new product, something that is very common lately due to the impact of cryptocurrency mining and the lack of supplies in the Industry.

When everything arrived, after reviewing it well, I was calm. Everything seemed to be in good condition, I found no signs of previous use, breaks, reconditioning or imitations.

Feeling satisfied and after fixing the motherboard to the case, I prepared to update the BIOS to the latest version available on the ASUS website to avoid CPU incompatibility problems.

Then I began to install everything in its place, I even spent time managing the internal wiring to give it a neat finish.

Of course I had already verified the correct operation of all the drives, SATA cables, PSU voltages, absence of obstructions and good rotation in the coolers, etc.

The next step was to begin installing the operating system.Everything seemed like a dream about to come true, until the nightmare began...

As if by almost incomprehensible magic, the disks installed in the SATA ports sometimes appeared present and sometimes disappeared with total refusal to show that they were in their place.

It is important to clarify that this failure never occurred during use, that is, when they were recognized and could be accessed, they were always available. Even if I rebooted they were still there.

But when you turned off the system, the dark magic of ASUS combined with Windows 11 meant that they could randomly come back intact, or simply disappear.

This effect was always capriciously accompanied by the startup failure of the built-in Wifi board, the integrated Intel LAN board, or both...

If there was an internet connection when starting up, it is certain that one, two, three or even the 4 disks in the SATA ports would have disappeared.

On the contrary, if when starting the system there was a clear loss of internet connection, it is certain that the disks were present, sometimes 1, sometimes 2, 3 or all 4...

Needless to say, I tried everything, yes, I literally consulted every forum, guide and video in search of a solution.
NOTHING worked.

BIOS flash, advanced BIOS settings (compatibility mode, power saving features, fast boot, safe boot, UEFI mode, disk firmware updates, use of diskpart, clean installations of windows 10 and 11, windows updates , registry modifications, storage unit management, etc.

NOTHING could prevent the continuous CHAOS that reigned over the SATA ports and its collateral effects on Wifi and LAN.

When inspecting the devices from the manager notice a consistent pattern. The configuration of ATA/ATAPI IDE devices and storage controllers changed each time the failure occurred. If only standard SATA AHCI controllers were installed on ATA/ATAPI IDE, everything worked fine. When everything was falling apart, curiously, in this segment, standard dual-channel PCI IDE controllers and several ATA channels 0 and 1 appeared. When reviewing the drivers, in all cases they were versions from 2005 from Microsoft itself...

When I saw this I immediately tried to update the drivers.

Windows emphatically refused, the best version is installed...

The worst thing is that the tool supplied by ASUS, Armory Crate, does not offer any type of driver for the SATA ports.

Not even the ASUS support page for this motherboard offers such drivers.

Refusing to accept this frustrating, unpleasant, anti-consumer and immensely reprehensible experience, I began searching for information on the diagrams of the CPU/Chipset line distribution of my motherboard.

To my surprise, unlike other brands, ASUS does not publish such information...

Unable to accept this practice of occultism and secrets about something I invested my money in and want to use, I kept searching until I found the Holy Grail of my crusade.

It turns out that ASUS decided to use a PCIe 3.0 x4 bus to:
- x1 for Wifi.
- x1 for Lan.
- x1with an ASMEDIA ASM1601 controller for 2 SATA ports.
- x1 with an ASMEDIA ASM1601 controller for 2 SATA ports.

Yes friends, the 4 SATA ports are just 2 lines managed by old, problematic and subtly assembled controllers on the motherboard...2 of 4 lines of the same BUS managed by the b650 chipset.

Here is the first evidence of why the failure of SATA ports is always associated with the failure of Wifi and Lan...
But this continues, after the disappointment of the news, I looked for information about the appropriate drivers for these ASMEDIA controllers since neither the motherboard installation pack nor the ASUS online updates offer a solution.

On the contrary, I found references from ASUS support recommending letting Windows install its own drivers for the SATA ports, something that clearly, at least in my case, DOES NOT WORK.

Tired of testing, assembling, disassembling, reinstalling the OS, Flashing the BIOS, modifying settings and not finding a solution, I decided to independently search for the ASMEDIA ASM1061 drivers and install them.

I managed to find a user on the ASUS forums who in 2020 shared these drivers (Asmedia Technology 106x SATA controller version from 06/24/2020), download them, install them, restart and VOILA, goodbye problems.

The problems with detecting disks in the SATA ports are over, the Wifi and LAN problems are over.
For a few days I regained my peace of mind, everything seemed to be in its place, but you know, good things usually don't last long...

A few days ago it occurred to me to see that in my Windows bar there was the icon that refers to the fact that there are USB devices connected. But, I didn't have any external USB device to be removed.

My surprise was enormous when I saw that the 4 drives connected to the SATA ports appear as USB drives, ready to be safely disconnected...

I immediately resumed my endless search for knowledge to understand how something as simple as building a PC for domestic and private use had become something so tedious, problematic, annoying, uncomfortable, cumbersome, disastrous and reprehensible.

Again and loaded with information from users who experienced and are experiencing the same pain, try every available option, disabling the Hot Plug in BIOS, modifications to the Windows registry through manual assignments of the assigned BUS number, etc., etc., etc.

NOTHING managed to solve the problem.

Each attempt relives SATA port detection failures, Wifi and LAN drops.

Sadly, today I must confess that this was my worst experience building a PC, my worst experience spending money in search of improving something, my worst experience as a hardware consumer.

It is not to my liking, it is not my decision or my choice, but for those things of destiny, for my physical and mental health, my SATA ports will continue to be what the capricious and hidden destiny ordered, 4 USB ports.

If the same thing happens to someone reading this, please know that I understand and accompany you in your pain.

Sadly the glory days of building a PC for me are long past, these types of experiences are what sometimes make one lose interest and focus on other things.

The shortages, quality problems, parallel markets and scams and the excessively ridiculous costs that hardware components are acquiring mean that there is no room for tolerance for this type of failure.