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  1. #106
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    May 2008
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    3

    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    Hi Ned,
    I have a model M3A78-EMH HDMI Asus motherboard with an amd chipset that I would like to to the same thing as you describe below. Could you help with this?
    Thanks
    Brad

    QUOTE=Ned Slider;4125801]Not sure if this has been posted before, but I managed to successfully enable AHCI mode after installing Windows. Here's how...

    AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) is present on newer Intel chipsets such as 975X (ICH7), P965 (ICH8), and P35 (ICH9). AHCI mode is enabled in the BIOS and 3 settings are commonly available: IDE, AHCI, and RAID. The last two (AHCI and RAID) require a driver floppy and the F6 method when installing Windows XP otherwise the hard disks won't be detected.

    AHCI mode brings 3 main advantages:

    1. Supports NCQ (Native Command Queuing) allowing SATA drives to accept more than one command at a time and dynamically reorder the commands for maximum efficiency.
    2. Supports hot plugging of devices
    3. Supports staggered spin ups of multiple hard drives at boot time


    However, in the real world the performance difference isn't huge.

    The problem is that if you installed Windows in IDE mode (ie you didn't use F6 and supply a driver disk), then simply changing the BIOS setting to AHCI mode and rebooting will cause Windows to fail and will require a repair install. Most people have been advising to reinstall Windows if you want AHCI enabled.

    I managed to enable AHCI on Windows XP Professional for a Gigabyte P35-DS4 (ICH9R) without needing to reinstall. This should work on any P35 ICH9 based board:

    1. Go to Intel's download centre and download the latest version of the Intel Matrix Storage Manager (7.6.0.1011, 8/2/2007 at time of writing) for your OS:

    http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Prod...=2101&lang=eng

    Keep this file as you'll need it again in step 4.

    2. Run the installer with the -a switch to extract the files. This will NOT install the software, just extract the files. Follow the prompts as if you were installing the software:

    Code:
    iata76_enu.exe -a
    The above should extract the files to \Program Files\Intel\Intel Matrix Storage Manager. There are two folders, \Drivers and \Drivers64 for 32-bit and 64-bit OS's, respectively.

    Copy the file IaStor.sys from the Drivers folder to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\

    3. copy the following registry file to your desktop (copy and paste into notepad) and save as ahci.reg

    Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\CriticalDeviceDatabase\pci#ven_8086&dev_2922&cc_0106]
    "Service"="iaStor"
    "ClassGUID"="{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}"
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStor]
    "Type"=dword:00000001
    "Start"=dword:00000000
    "Group"="SCSI miniport"
    "ErrorControl"=dword:00000001
    "ImagePath"="system32\\drivers\\iaStor.sys"
    "tag"=dword:00000019
    "DisplayName"="Intel AHCI Controller"
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStor\Parameters]
    "queuePriorityEnable"=dword:00000000
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStor\Enum]
    "0"="PCI\\VEN_8086&DEV_2922&SUBSYS_B0051458&REV_02\\3&13c0b0c5&0&FA"
    "Count"=dword:00000001
    "NextInstance"=dword:00000001
    4. Double check you've copied the IaStor.sys file as part of step 2. Now do the following:

    • Run the ahci.reg file to add the entries into the registry
    • Reboot the computer and enter the BIOS - DO NOT allow it to start Windows yet.
    • Change the setting for the on board Intel controller to AHCI, save and exit BIOS
    • Boot into Windows


    When Windows loads it will detect a new hard disk - cancel the wizard for installing the new hardware and run the Intel driver installer you downloaded in step 1.

    Reboot the system again and you're good to go

    Now, under Device Manager > IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers you should see Intel(R) ICH9 SATA AHCI Controller listed.

    Hope someone finds this useful - I wanted to do this as I needed AHCI mode to dual boot Linux and I didn't have a floppy drive on the machine to allow me to install Windows XP in AHCI mode. This is one area Vista has moved forward - it will allow you to install drivers from devices other than A: such as a USB pendrive or CD.

    If you want to enable write caching, see einshem's tip here:

    http://forums.pcper.com/showthread.p...5&postcount=23



    EDIT: Here is a Registry file that should work for 975X and P965 based boards:

    Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\CriticalDeviceDatabase\pci#ven_8086&dev_2821&cc_0106]
    "Service"="iaStor"
    "ClassGUID"="{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}"
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStor]
    "Type"=dword:00000001
    "Start"=dword:00000000
    "Group"="SCSI miniport"
    "ErrorControl"=dword:00000001
    "ImagePath"="system32\\drivers\\iaStor.sys"
    "tag"=dword:00000019
    "DisplayName"="Intel AHCI Controller"
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStor\Parameters]
    "queuePriorityEnable"=dword:00000000
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStor\Enum]
    "0"="PCI\\VEN_8086&DEV_2821&SUBSYS_B0051458&REV_02\\3&13c0b0c5&0&FA"
    "Count"=dword:00000001
    "NextInstance"=dword:00000001
    [/QUOTE]

  2. #107
    Joined
    Jul 2001
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    UK
    Age
    51
    Posts
    20,229

    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    Quote Originally Posted by btoups View Post
    Hi Ned,
    I have a model M3A78-EMH HDMI Asus motherboard with an amd chipset that I would like to to the same thing as you describe below. Could you help with this?
    Thanks
    Brad
    hmm, well this guide uses the Intel drivers for Intel chipsets.

    I'm guessing you would need to get hold of AMD drivers for ahci for your board and follow a similar procedure, but you'll have to work out the registry settings for yourself (or search for them on google).

    Do you have a particular reason for wanting to run in AHCI mode? If not, it may be easier to stick with what you have as there are no great performance gains per se to be had.

  3. #108
    Joined
    Dec 2001
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    71
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    64,553

    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    The AHCI driver for that board is at the following link, listed in the CHIPSET section.

    http://support.asus.com/download/dow...model=M3A78-EH

    There is no need whatsoever to run in AHCI mode unless you want to use Vista's hot-swap capability.

  4. #109
    Joined
    May 2008
    Posts
    4

    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    Why would it have to be Vista? I thought this also enables hot-swap in XP

  5. #110
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    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Prune View Post
    Why would it have to be Vista? I thought this also enables hot-swap in XP
    Everything I've read on the subject indicates it is only for Vista. From Asus's download page:


    AMD AHCI Compatible RAID Controller Driver V3.1.1540.10 for Windows 32/64bit Vista.
    They don't list a AHCI driver for XP.
    Last edited by BWM; 05-19-2008 at 10:33 AM.

  6. #111
    Joined
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    71
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    64,553

    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    Quote Originally Posted by btoups View Post
    1. Supports NCQ (Native Command Queuing) allowing SATA drives to accept more than one command at a time and dynamically reorder the commands for maximum efficiency.
    No benefit whatsoever in a non server or enterprise environment. In fact, it has been conclusively proven to actually slow access time just a bit in a typical HOME PC setting.

  7. #112
    Joined
    May 2008
    Posts
    3

    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    Thanks for all your help. I found a floppy drive that I was able to extract the raid drivers for vista onto, and did a fresh install and loaded vista onto the raid array. I decided that I did not need the AHCI functionality, and so just used the RAID 1 configuration for mirroring.

    Thanks for your suggestions.
    Brad

  8. #113
    Joined
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    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    You make at least the fourth "Brad" that I'm aware of here. Welcome!!!

    Another "B"

  9. #114
    Joined
    May 2008
    Posts
    3

    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    I am going to re-install my XP and want it to work with AHCI. However, I don't have a floppy drive. Is there a way I can install the AHCI drivers from a USB or a burned CD after I press F6 on the installation menu, or does it have to be floppy?

  10. #115
    Joined
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    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    Quote Originally Posted by rimmi2002 View Post
    I am going to re-install my XP and want it to work with AHCI. However, I don't have a floppy drive. Is there a way I can install the AHCI drivers from a USB or a burned CD after I press F6 on the installation menu, or does it have to be floppy?
    I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know the only way is via floppy with F6 during boot or by burning a Windows CD with the drivers already slipstreamed onto the CD.

  11. #116
    Joined
    May 2008
    Posts
    3

    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Slider View Post
    I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know the only way is via floppy with F6 during boot or by burning a Windows CD with the drivers already slipstreamed onto the CD.
    Any guide on how to slip stream the drivers into windows CD? Is is a simple process or complicated? Mean can I just add the files to the windows cd in separate folder and re-burn the image to CD or would it require more advanced programing changes in the windows installation process?

  12. #117
    Joined
    May 2008
    Posts
    3

    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    Tried this method with Gibabyte DS3L and ofcourse like many other people have reported it does not work. After registering on the reboot screen I got the blue screen of death. bummer...I guess I should have forked the extra $30 to get the DS3R. regretting it now. I need AHCI so I can run OSX also on this computer.

  13. #118
    Joined
    May 2008
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    2

    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    I don't get this, i have done everything that you writed on the first page, but i am still getting bluescreen when i am booting in AHCI-mode. I have a Acer 4315 Laptop with a GM965 chipset. 82801HBM(ICH8-ME). I tested the first and the second .reg file, but it still dosen't work.


    I am very thankful for your help

  14. #119
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    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    Just revert back to native IDE mode. There is no justifiable reason on earth for wanting to use AHCI unless you want to use hot-swapping hard drives. There is NO performance advantage whatsoever. Those who have professed otherwise have been found to have issues with the standard HD driver install.

  15. #120
    Joined
    May 2008
    Posts
    2

    Re: HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

    Hmm.. okey but now it feels like i have messed up the whole register with those regfiles

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