Windows 8.1 – Enabling AHCI after installing Windows

Windows 8 Logo

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 now  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!


Windows 7 – Laptop Screen is Dim When Using Battery Power – Dell Inspiron 1420

I just installed Windows 7 on my wife’s Dell Inspiron 1420 which previously had Vista on it. Since then the screen is very dim when using battery power – and cannot be maximized (despite adjusting brightness settings in Power Options (in the Control Panel)).

It turns out that there is a setting for brightness in the Bios that needs to be adjusted.

  • Reboot and then Press F2 to enter the Bios.
  • Down Arrow to the Video section
  • Select the Brightness option and press Enter
  • Use the right arrow key to adjust the brightness
  • Press Enter to exit the option
  • Press Escape and then save changes when exiting the Bios.

My Bios version is A09.