Newbie to SATA and Windows 7. [Archive] - Glock Talk


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07-18-2010, 10:29
Hello to all,
Can anyone explain why if the internet is blocked on startup by say a firewall, that the USB and the SATA hard drive do not apparently initialize and give a warning icon on them. Without firewall, bootup fine?
When I look into the device manager and the driver sections of the devices, all the options, uninstall, rollback driver and update driver are greyed out and unavailable, and only the view Driver is usable.
Confusedly Yours

07-18-2010, 19:27
That is very unusual.

What is the mfgr of the internet firewall you've got installed?

Also, could there be a setting in the firewall to disallow external storage devices?

07-18-2010, 20:20
Hello and thanks kc8ykd,
I am completely ignorant of the SATA drive protocol. I'm used to the EIDE/Pata. So I don't really know if the symptoms are correct or if it is normal or not. I do not know if it is normal, if I set some parameter wrong or what.
It began on installation and all worked. I put Zonealarm on and the USB and SATA drives failed. I googled it and ran across an post that said IIRC that Zonealarm blocked a port that Windows 7 needed. I wasn't in the mood or frame of mind to investigate so I just uninstalled ZA to see the effects. They were that everything began working normally again. That is as far as I went. Now that I am running soundly, I am interested in finding out not about the software, but about Windows 7 and how the SATA drivers are installed and why the options in the driver section has the options to change and rollover and uninstall grayed out and unavailable.
I appreciate your time and any knowledge you can pass on to me. Take care.

07-18-2010, 21:29
don't put too much faith in me yet, heh :)

i'd say, since zonealarm is a firewall for ip traffic, experiencing hardware related problems after installing it is most defiantly not normal.

Sata is pretty mindless, i mean, you just plug in the drive and go. so, there's really nothing you could have set wrong, since there's really no settings other than partitioning and formatting the volume after the disk is physically installed. think eide, minus the primary/secondary channels and the master/slave settings, essentially it's plug and play (except for the volume on the disk of course).

the drivers for the drives themselves are integral to windows, but, there may be specific drivers for the sata interface itself listed under the 'storage controllers' entry in the device manager.

unless you have some nice sata raid controller, none of those drivers will probably need changing, and might not even have any settings to change.

same goes for the usb hub driver.

i did a quick look and didn't see anything off-hand as to the port blocking and zone alarm, if you've got that link handy i'd be interested in reading more about it.

it's possible that zonealarm was disabling those devices using some sort of group policy, but those are pretty extreme measures and something i'd expect you to have to explicitly turn on.

it's very curious since we're basically dealing with the hardware interface portion of the os and zonealarm, iirc, should just be interacting with the tcp/ip stack to do it's blocking.

between the automatic update they released that broke it's ability to pass traffic last summer and this, i'm not impressed with zonealarm thus far.

also, here's how one would disable usb ports in windows:

i imagine a similar change to the registry entry for "disk" (the single driver seems to handle eide and sata type drives) would disable all attached hard disks.

it could be possible that zonealarm changed a setting in the hklm/system/currentcontrolset/services/(specific driver for the sata controller) to disable it.

but again, why? if i install an ip firewall product, i really wouldn't expect, or welcome, it playing with other stuff..

07-18-2010, 22:02
Hello kc8ykd,
Your answers are increasing my faith. I am not running any raid configuration. Too add to the mystery, even though automatic updates was enabled and I changed the time. I rebooted and the unavailable options are now available. I'm completely over my head. So I quess the problem is solved. I read that when new devices are installed the internet must be connected. But not necessarily all the time. I now believe that since this was the first program I put on after the first W7 installation, ZA blocked the internet port used to automatically install the proper drivers for the SATA and USB. By removing it, they were able to load. I probably could put ZA back on now that the drivers are installed.
I'm beginning to get a glitter of hope at understanding what is happening. Next comes the various modes of the ACHI interface and settings. If I was more knowledgeable I probably could have made an exception or rule or whatever you call it to allow Windows 7 to download and install the device drivers during their initial install. But I don't and I didn't.
Thank ya kindly for the help. Any further ideas, opinions, revelations or incites about this, please post them.
Have a good night.

07-18-2010, 22:35
that's plausible that ZA wasn't allowing windows update to function, however, windows 7 includes lots of basic drivers for newer hardware and i'd expect most all sata and usb hubs (the internal part on the mobo) to be supported at some level. this wasn't the case for XP where you had to insert the driver disk at install, for the sata driver. and iirc, service pack 1 introduced usb 2.0 support.

Not all devices require an internet connection to be installed. for example, i've got a logitech g11 keyboard w/programmable keys. i can plug it in and it will be recognized as a keyboard (well, HID device actually). to enable full functionality i have to download it's drivers, but even without, it will function at a basic level.

I've also got an IR reciever / remote for media center use, i just plug in the ir receiver and it requires no internet since they're already there.

Also, i'd expect ZA to, by default, allow windows update to pass traffic, i mean, it doesn't make sense, from a usability stand point, to install the program and expect to be put into some super-advanced engineering mode where you have to make firewall exceptions for even basic windows functions (like windows update).

If you re-install it and run into more problem, i'd probably just forgo using ZA totally. As long as you're behind a router running NAT you don't really need a firewall anyways (unless you're concerned about attacks from other devices on the local network you're attached to).

Also, the built-in windows 7 firewall (and even win vista's) will do pretty much everything ZA will, minus notifications of attacks (they're hidden away in the event log from what i remember, instead of a popup). just turn it on from the control panel and you'll be set. (it manages incoming and outgoing connections now, where the winxp sp2 firewall just controlled incoming connections).

lemme know if it continues to do strange stuff. I find it helpful since my brother and sister-in-law use zonealarm and i've never used it myself, and i'm the tech support department for my sister-in-law when my brother is deployed.

(a thread last year about someone here having issues with ZA's broken update helped me fix the computer when she called about a day later with the exact same issue)

07-19-2010, 07:19
I find that my blocked options are no longer blocked, why, maybe because I went in and made sure auto update was turned on. Now it looks like normal.
I am unable and incapable of explaining why. Thanks for your assistance