Windows 8.1 – Enabling AHCI after installing Windows


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I have installed Windows 8.1 on a new Solid State Drive (SSD) but there’s a problem. The hard drive controller in my BIOS is set to IDE and I need to change that to AHCI to get the most out of my new SSD.

To make the necessary changes we need to enter a couple of commands into an Administrator command prompt and make some changes in the BIOS of the computer.

First let’s open an Administrator command prompt:

  • Click the Start button and then type cmd. Right-click on Command Prompt in the search results and then select Run as administrator.

Enter the following command:

bcdedit /set {current} safeboot minimal

This will tell the computer to start in Safe Mode (without device drivers running).

Now reboot your computer and enter the BIOS.

To do this repeatedly press the F1, F2, F10 or Delete keys when the computer re-starts.

Complete the following steps inside your BIOS:

  • Change the SATA drive setting to AHCI.
  • Exit the BIOS and save settings.

Windows will nowย  boot into Safe Mode.

Log in and open an Administrator Command Prompt again and enter the following command to disable Safe Mode boot:

bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safeboot

Reboot one more time and you should be all set.

I wish that I had done this sooner – my system does feel more responsive since this change!

Source: http://www.ithinkdiff.com/how-to-enable-ahci-in-windows-8-after-installation/

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78 thoughts on “Windows 8.1 – Enabling AHCI after installing Windows

    1. How can you reverse this? Do the same steps over but set your BIOS to back to IDE. Instead of that you should ensure proper SATA drivers are installed, and that Windows write caching is enabled for the drive

  1. I managed to fix this my self. I found out on my motherboard manufacturers website, that I need to enable hot plug for my system SSD in order for AHCI to work correctly (what?). So I’m golden now, thanks for tutorial.

      1. Exit all applications
        Go to the start screen and type in regedit.
        If you see the UAC (User Account Control) dialogue box, just click continue.
        Locate the the following registry subkey:

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\storahci\

        Locate the Error Control entry which should have a value of 3. Right-click on the entry name, select Modify, change the value from 3 to 0 and click OK.
        Open the StartOverride folder and locate an entry named 0 with a value of 3. Change the value to 0 by following the procedure in step 5.
        Restart and enable AHCI in your system BIOS

  2. Mike, just wanted to follow up so others who read this thread aren’t confused. I implemented the fix you posted, and everything is working great! thanks!

  3. I tried to find solution to this same problem, but mainly to enhance HDD speed. I had lost all hope
    but then happened to find this. It is short, simple and beatiful. Such formulas in math tend to be
    correct ones. So was this – almost unbeliavable, and it works!

    Triple thanks to this advice – thanks for sharing it!!!
    Stefan

  4. Didn’t work for me, I changed boot to SAFE MODE then changed to AHCI in BIOS and rebooted and then got the message “NTDLR missing, reboot system” had to set to normal rebbot and keep it IDE mode ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I have an intel SSD 530 Series 240GB with Win8.1 and an Intel MSI Motherboard H61M-P31 G3 but I think the Boot partition is in another SATA Non SSD drive that I have and that’s why isn’t working, I had to install Windows only with the SSD and later on add the IDE drives I use for storage ๐Ÿ˜ฆ probably get rid of this as soonest I upgrade to a 1 or 2 terabyte Seagate and reinstall Windows then.

  5. This worked to enable AHCI on Windows Server 2012 Essentials on an MSI 970A-G46 motherboard. The first command accepted, rebooted, changed BIOS to AHCI, rebooted, entered the second command and got error. To check that everything was OK, opened Device Manager, checked “IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers”, saw two listed as “Standard SATA AHCI Controller” I have a PCIe controller so the reason I may have two showing. Hope this helps those with MSE2012

  6. Does not work on my computer. Computer hangs with an “MBR error 1” and I have to go back to IDE-setting in BIOS to be able to boot into safe mode. Any idea what might be the problem?

      1. Hi Mike! I try this when I get back from vacation. But is only when I change to AHCI this error occurs. With IDE-setting in BIOS the computer boots just fine.
        And thank you for a quick answer!

      2. Hello! I have managed to fix AHCI mode by changing 2 values in registry and then reboot. This allows me to skip the step.

        This is not an optimal choice since one of the registry values changes back to former value. But at least I’m able to play CivV and I’m satisfied with that for the moment.

        But it does not work to choose AHCI i BIOS. This Always leads to despite my use of BootRec to successfully.

        I ran AHCI-mode from installation of Windows but I recently had to restore BIOS to default values. This might be the source to the trouble …

        //All good things, Peter

      3. Last report!
        Activating AHCI-mode messed up my BIOS. I had to:

        Remove a floppy-drive from Boot order; I don’t really have a physical one
        Tell BIOS that I had two hard drives; The system one had disappeared
        Put the system dsk back in the boot order settings.

        Now everything works great!

        Kind regards, Peter

  7. I have to re-write this, sentences within brackets are obviously erased.

    Hello! I have managed to fix AHCI mode by changing 2 values in registry and then reboot. This allows me to skip the step of booting into safe mode.

    This is not an optimal choice since one of the registry values changes back to former value. But at least Iโ€™m able to play CivV and Iโ€™m satisfied with that for the moment.

    But it does not work to choose AHCI i BIOS. This Always leads to MBR error 1 despite my use of BootRec FixMbr successfully.

    I ran AHCI-mode from installation of Windows but I recently had to restore BIOS to default values. This might be the source to the trouble โ€ฆ

    //All good things, Peter

  8. DON’T DO THIS IN WINDOWS 10 TECHNICAL PREVIEW!
    You will NOT be able to go back from ENDLESS rebooting SAFE MODE….
    – Had to reinstall WIN10 (with enabled AHCI in BIOS..;-)

    1. I was able to enable ACHI in Windows 10 Tech Preview using this method. It did lock up SAFE mode somewhat but I was able to CTRL-ALT-DELETE into Task Manager and select File > Run New Task and enter “CMD” for a command prompt. Entered the “/deletevalue” command noted above and then “shutdown -s” to power down. The system booted normally and listed the new driver in Device Manager.

    2. Does not seem to work in Windows 10 (updated from Windows 7) but you can exit from booting in safe mode with the command provided:

      press Windows key + X then choose Command Prompt Admin from the menu
      then type
      bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safeboot

      reboot and the system will restart in normal mode

  9. No luck here, I tried everything and all I get when I reboot is the windows logo loading and then a black screen. When I go back to ide i have to repair my instalation and things work normaly. I hava a pny 240gb ssd and had lots of trouble with it. Hope someone can help

    1. If you are having a lot of problems with your SSD, go to the manufacturers site and search for firmware update- this will improve your SSD performance- Intel has tools that scan and guide you performance enhancing updates.

  10. Will this solution possibly work in Win XP? AHCI Does not show up in my BIOS and would like to enable it for my SSD.
    THANKS!

  11. I found that my BIOS does have an AHCI setting. So will this solution possibly work in Win XP do you think? It is SP3 and on an SSD with an Intel processor (if that makes any difference)?
    Thanks again!

  12. thank you very much, it’s also working like a charm under windows 10 (where others tricks did not worked) ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Worked for me on Windows 10, enabled AHCI after installing OS in IDE mode, SSD performance improved.
    Many thanks,
    G.

  14. Its more easy to do following steps-
    1. In search write msconfig , in boot select safe boot- minimal. apply & ok.
    2.Reboot and then enter the BIOS,
    Change the SATA drive setting to AHCI and exit the BIOS save settings.
    Windows will boot into Safe Mode.
    3. again, In search write msconfig , in boot Unselect safe boot- minimal. apply & ok.
    Reboot.

  15. This information was a lifesaver! I just upgraded from win7 64bit to win10 and with my bios set to AHCI I was stuck in the endless reboot with inaccessible boot device error. I could boot to the desktop just fine after the install as long as I had my BIOS settings set to IDE mode only, but that makes my SSD perform much slower. I booted into safe like you suggested then changed it to AHCI in BIOS and switched back to normal boot after it booted up. Everything is working like it should now! Thanks so much!

  16. Excellent tutorial works with my windows 10 pro edition. Thank you. Booting in safe mode dumps drivers and loads new drivers upon reboot with these commands? I kind of understand what you did but not fully.

  17. I too like to enable AHCI because of random bluescreens. As I’m switching from Windows 7 to 10 and I don’t have anything valuable on my drive (using it just for gaming) I wonder if the following will work as well:

    The idea is to perform a Windows 10 clean install which isn’t that trivial if you got the free update, so I plan to do the following (learned from some other articles):

    – update from Windows 7 to 10 via regular Windows Update. This will activate Windows 10
    – perform a “Reset your PC” action deleting all data and settings
    – I assume that the PC will reboot at some point during the reset
    – when the PC reboots, switch to AHCI in BIOS
    – hopefully the reinstallation of Windows 10 now respects the AHCI setting and configures appropriate drivers

    Hmmmm, I have nothing to lose and sometimes it’s good to start fresh, so I will simply try it out I think. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Anyways, many thanks for the article! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Cheers

  18. I followed the OPs method and it worked flawlessly in Windows 10 plus Samsung 1TB HDD and 250GB SSD going from IDE to AHCI.

  19. Thanks! This actually solved my problem. My win 8.1Pro machine was working for 10+ months with AHCI enabled in bios. Suddenly the machine stopped booting as if windows boot became corrupt. If i changed AHCI to IDE, everything started working perfectly, which is also wired.

    After following your instruction, everything started working spot on. I changed the bios setting back to AHCI and now my machine boots perfectly. Probably a driver conflict occurred.

    Cheers!

    Alex

  20. Thanks but its not that easy to follow a lot of the advice, so I did the following to make it easy for the not so tech savvy:

    Go to the search and type in regedit.
    If you see the UAC (User Account Control) dialogue box, just click continue.
    Locate the the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\storahci\
    Locate the Error Control entry which should have a value of 3. Right-click on the entry name, select Modify, change the value from 3 to 0 and click OK.
    Open the StartOverride folder and locate an entry named 0 with a value of 3. Change the value to 0.

    1. Open control panel / admin tools / system configuration / boot, tick safe boot and check minimal, apply and restart.
    2. Enter bios, change Sata from IDE to AHCI, save and reboot into windows, it will now enter safe mode.
    3. Now open control panel / admin tools / system configuration / boot, UNTICK safe boot and click apply, restart.

  21. I know this post is a few years old, but I really want to thank you for this tutorial. It’s really the least stressful way to install AHCI drivers. Anything that involves editing the registry terrifies me, so I’m very glad to hear that Windows will take care of this in Safe Mode. Glad to hear this has worked for others, and I hope that those with difficulties managed to get it working.

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