How to Switch to AHCI Mode without reinstalling Windows

Haven’t made a post in a while, as I’ve been very busy with work, but here’s something I had to blog about:

I recently realized that my brother’s PC was running in IDE mode, but he has a semi-new SATA harddrive! If you’ve ever messed with your motherboard BIOS before, and changed from IDE to AHCI mode, you would know that Windows will not boot after making any changes, as it is looking for the non-AHCI drive.

To get around this issue, simply run msconfig.exe and set your computer to reboot into minimal safe mode. Then shut down, change your BIOS settings, save and exit, then boot into Windows. So long as you set it to minimal safe mode, you will get right in, and then you can check device manager! Your storage system will now be set to AHCI mode. Run msconfig.exe again, and change to a normal boot. Shutdown and reboot one more time, and behold–you now have a working Windows install!

I highly recommend that anyone running a modern motherboard with all SATA drives should enable AHCI mode to get the best performance out of their machine. Also, if you’re installing a SSD or cloning an old HDD to an SSD, always make sure that AHCI mode is enabled, as it will make a huge difference with solid state drives.

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