GUIDE - Enabling AHCI mode AFTER Windows 7 Installation

Discussion in 'SSD and HDD storage' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    A little guide:

    I am receiving a lot of emails from users who bought a SSD drive, installed Windows 7 in IDE mode and then realize they need AHCI mode for faster SSD performance. Once you enable that in the BIOS during Windows 7 boot up, the OS will crash.

    The common question is, is there a solve for this ?

    To answer that question (and I do this safely with all Intel ICHR9/10 chipsets) there is a way to safely enable AHCI mode. Here we go:

    1. Startup "Regedit
    2. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SYSTEM / CurrentControlset / Services
    3. Open msahci
    4. In the right field left click on "start" and go to Modify
    5. In the value Data field enter "0" and click "ok"
    6. exit "Regedit"
    7. Reboot Rig and enter BIOS (hold "Delete" key while Booting

    In your BIOS select "Integrated Peripherals" and OnChip PATA/SATA Devices. Now change SATA Mode to AHCI from IDE.

    You now boot into windows 7, the OS will recognize AHCI and install the devices. Now the system needs one more reboot and voilla .. enjoy the improved SSD performance.

    We have not tested this on Vista though.

    Update -- we tested and this tweak works in Vista 100% the same.
     
  2. DSK

    DSK Banned

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    Ok so would there be any advantage doing this with normal HDDs?
     
  3. Mr.Bigtime

    Mr.Bigtime Ancient Guru

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    yeah seeking for same answer..
     
  4. WhiteLightning

    WhiteLightning Don Illuminati Staff Member

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    Thanks for the share hilbert :thumbup:

    hilbert do you know if this would cause a blue screen on windows boot, when i only changed it in the bios, and not the registry ?
     

  5. DSK

    DSK Banned

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    ...................am gonna try this i think.
     
  6. Passion Fruit

    Passion Fruit Ancient Guru

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    Any chance of some before and after benches Kylzer, before you do this?
     
  7. DSK

    DSK Banned

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    yeah sure..
     
  8. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    That is correct - if you only change (enable) AHCI in BIOS while the OS was installed with regular SATA then you'll end up with a BSOD during OS bootup.

    The method above describes how to divert that.

    For normal HDDs do not expect any real perf difference.

    AHCI (advanced Host Controller Interface) allows hot-swapping, improves performance allows functions like NCQ, TRIM and so on. It's more flexible and is definitely a notch faster with SSDs seeking high perf in terms of peak performance.

    See below, image 1 has SATA install (left img) - Image 2 AHCI (right img).
     
  9. DSK

    DSK Banned

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    I don't recommend on normal drivers lol

    Before
    [​IMG]

    After
    [​IMG]
     
  10. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    For me it was the other way around kylzer when I install win7 in achi from IDE on my 500Gb seagate barracuda. I notice the different.
     

  11. Knox

    Knox Ancient Guru

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    I've used ACHI mode with a Toshiba and some Seagates, i usually get a small boost (about 5-8 MB/s) or it stays the same. I've never had it hurt any. But i don't usually see WD drives.
     
  12. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    I notice a speed increase with AHCI on all my drives. On real world transfer speeds instead of benchmark tests.

    Plus, having NCQ makes it even better.

    deltatux
     
  13. mR Yellow

    mR Yellow Ancient Guru

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    So who else tested this in regular HDDs?
     
  14. TheHunter

    TheHunter Banned

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    i tried it once, but i keep seeing this AHCI installing driver in dos every time i restarted pc, i had to wait extra 20sec longer..

    can i use it if i have dual boot? I have win xp and win7, dont want to mess up WinXP..
     
  15. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    It's not actually DOS, it's part of your BIOS. I guess GIGABYTE's BIOS doesn't include a native implementation of AHCI so it loads either AMD, Intel or NVIDIA's implementation of AHCI during bootup. It actually allows a bit more functionality if you play with it. It's not DOS and you can use it to install any OS like you do normally.

    I know ASUS doesn't have this issue as I have both ASUS and GIGABYTE boards in my house.

    deltatux
     

  16. Norvekh

    Norvekh Ancient Guru

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    Performance depends on your drive controller and drives. In my case enabling AHCI introduces awful stuttering with all of my drives and essentially makes the machine unusable. Disabling it ends the stuttering and gives me higher read/write rates and lower access times.
     
  17. Acid81

    Acid81 Member

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    Is there any way to do this for XP ?
     
  18. Darkiee

    Darkiee Master Guru

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    Thank you Hilbert, a ton.

    My AS SSD bench score went from 204 up to 303 ^^
     
  19. Year

    Year Ancient Guru

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    i've always ran my drives in IDE Mode :D

    tried the AHCI trick, it worked but i'm not seeing any performance increase, i do not raid so i don't need it.

    good trick nonetheless that might come in handy someday, worked fine in W7.
     
  20. dirthurts

    dirthurts Master Guru

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    New to SSD's

    So I read this post and became more confused than I already was. I am adding an SSD to my computer. Fresh install of Win 7.

    Do I somehow set my motherboard to AHCI mode, then Windows 7 will automatically install in this mode?

    Where do I find the AHCI mode in my bios? Foxconn A79A-S

    Any help would be much appreciated.
     

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