Somewhere down the line it was doubted by a Microsoft MVP that 4 year old
motherboards with a legacy Silicon Image 3x12 SATA RAID controller would be
supported under Vista.
Now that would be rather unexpected in the USA indeed, but The Netherlands
and the European Union as a whole for that matter have different rules.
Recent court cases support enhanced support of products, long after the
warranty period has expired!
Another aspect of this case are European liability rules. In the Netherlands
that is called ''De wet ketenaansprakelijkheid''. If your wondering how to
pronounce that, rent K-911, a splendid movie! :-)
In plain English that means that the producer of a driver that was embedded
in other products and responsible for damage can be sued directly.
<<The computer industry just doesn't work
that way. There is not enough profit in a product to develop for it after
you quit manufacturing it.
I know, thats whý law enforcement has been invented. Dutch consumer
organisations have been rather effective in enforcing rules about product
continuation., backed up by the European Union.
That's why I have been carefull investing in own software development
projects and specially carefull about what is put in SLA's.
Watch out to restrict liability to heavy for a product that really gets
popular because that's really inviting the legal sharks for breakfast :-).
That won't be breakfast at Tiffany's :-).
As a matter of fact, after some friendly wakeup calls Gigabyte Taiwan
decided to support the Silicon Image 3x12 SATA I RAID chipsets after the
region manager Benelux and Nordics had been explained what consqeuences not
deleviring drivers would have.
As Gigabyte is also producing for renowned brands this means a significant
expansion of devices supported by Vista
This is my wrap up of the case:
Gigabyte takes the lead in legacy support for Vista drivers
Although it is the distribution responsibility of motherboard manufacturers
like Gigabyte and Abit to supply a customized SATA Vista driver for the
Silicon Image 3x12 (and later versions), they have to wait for Silicon Image
microcode before they can adapt that code and recompile a dedicated driver
for all involved legacy or near legacy motherboards.
Gigabyte is the first to make a statement indicating that as soon as Silicon
Image delivers the microcode, Gigabyte will start customization for the
Silicon Image 3x12 RAID controllers. See attached statement from Gigabyte
This is of course slightly more then changing the .inf, but definitely not a
Microsoft should be happy with Gigabyte, as the usefulness of much useful
legacy or near legacy equipment is extended by this and makes involved
equipment suitable for a Windows Platform upgrade.
Meanwhile owners of Sil 3x12 chipsets should take a couple of things into
consideration when using Vista beta's with embedded versions of a Silicon
Image Sil 3x12 SATA RAID chipset.
Seven steps to an sane Vista system with the Silicon Image 3x12 SATA RAID
1.. Download the Silicon Image base version (when only 1 disk is attached
to the SATA controllerattached) and Raid driver (when attaching two drives
regardless of the fact that they are in a non raid configuration or else)
from the Silicon Image website and expand these drivers to an USB stick
2.. Boot from the Vista beta dvd
3.. Have the base or raid (with a r extension) driver ready on an USB
stick attached to the system
4.. load the base or raid driver during a clean install of Vista beta2 (I
used build 5472) on to an classic ATA boot disk partition
5.. The Vista install will immediately see the SATA disks, thus preventing
a later mix up of drive letters
6.. Silicon Image (or any mobo manufacturer) does not recommend this while
the driver is originally designed for Silicon Image own pci 3x12 SATA Raid
controllers, not for embedded systems like on motherboards, but it works so
7.. Check Vista's version of Windows update on a regular basis. All
suppliers that have their -Signed and Windows Vista Logo compatible- Vista
drivers ready will post them for distribution through the Microsoft Windows
<Gigabyte Taiwan statement:
"As for the issue upon Silicon Imgae RAID 3112 chipset of not able to
support VISTA Beta:
1) Vista Beta is not an official release retail OS, its major purpose is for
Hardware / Software manufacturers to validate their products. And of course,
during this validation period uncompatible issues might be found.
2) When uncompatible issues are found, it is confirmed either/both Microsoft
or Silicon Image are responsible to find solutions. When there are new
solutions drivers available
the chipset vendor will then provide to us. After that we will definitly
provide the new drivers on our website for end-user to update."