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Windows 7: How to Enable AHCI - No option in BIOS.

30 May 2012   #21

Windows 7 Pro & Ultimate, Windows 8.1 Pro, Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon (All 64-Bit)

Been searching around the Dell forums and eventually came across this:

Is AHCI worth it? XPS410 / 9200 running two non-raid drives - XP reload - Desktop General Hardware Forum - Desktop - Dell Community

So, maybe setting the option to "RAID ON" does enable AHCI after all!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #22
Phone Man

Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64bit, Windows 7 HP 64bit

Check this review at AnandTech. It looks like you need Trim to keep the write performance up. Of course this is in a stress test and probably wont be as bad in normal usage.

AnandTech - The Samsung SSD 830 Review

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2012   #23

Windows 7 Pro & Ultimate, Windows 8.1 Pro, Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon (All 64-Bit)

Thanks Phone Man.

After doing a lot of searching online, I'm pretty sure that AHCI is turned on automatically when RAID ON option is set in my BIOS. It just isn't made clear in that option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Jun 2012   #24

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64

My Dell Inspiron desktop has two options IDE and RAID, for my 4 year old Dell AHCI is enabled under the RAID setting. I have nothing setup in a RAID array, AHCI works, the RAID will show a single drive as a non-RAID drive.

Check the AHCI and/or RAID driver in the Device Manager IDE ATA/ATAPI controller section.
Right click the Intel driver, properties, driver tab.
I have always installed these drivers from the Intel site on my Dells with no issues.

AHCI support on select Intel® 5 Series, 4 Series, 3 Series, 965, 975X, 955X, 945, 925 and 915 chipset-based platforms, as well as on Mobile Intel® 915/910 chipset-based platforms.
Is this the Dell Driver & Download site for your system?

More: Dell INFO,RAID0
Dimension Desktop 9200
Dimension Desktop 9200C
Dimension Desktop E520
Precision 390
Precision 490
Precision 690
If you currently have the 'Intel Matrix Storage Manager Driver' installed then you can replace it with the Intel RST driver linked above.
The newer RST driver will ensure 'Trim' (garbage collection) is enabled for your new SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2012   #25

Windows 7 Pro & 10 Pro 64bit

I was working on a friend's XPS 410 running Vista Business 32bit; he wanted to add a Hot Swap hard drive bay. AHCI is a must for this functionality, and after following the accurate info provided above I still got the BSOD when I enabled "RAID On".

Turns out the native Vista drivers for the IDE/ATA/ATAPI Controllers are not adequate and a couple of registry settings need adjustment for AHCI to function.

"RAID On" does in fact enable AHCI as default; you would have to press "Control-I" at boot up to change it to RAID.

- - - WARNING - - -
There's ALWAYS a chance something will go wrong! Make sure you have your data backed up and are potentially prepared to load Windows from scratch. Proceed at your own risk.

Here's what worked for me:

1. Update to latest BIOS then In Device Manager determine which IDE ATA/ATAPI controller(s) you have. Click the "Driver" tab- if the provider is Intel go to step 5 otherwise proceed to step 2.

2. Download the RAID/AHCI “F6” floppy file for your “ICHX” type; the 410 was ICH8; I used the extracted file from

3. Update the driver for each instance of “Intel ICHX” in Device Manager; choose “Browse my computer…” and highlight the extracted F6 folder then click Next – Don’t reboot until all are updated.

4. When you reboot the computer will load the updated driver, re-recognizing all attached drives- wait until it finishes. If it wants to reboot when it's done, click "Restart later".

5. Open regedit as Administrator and navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\iastor" With "iastor" highlighted in the left window, change the "Start" value in the right pane to "0"

6. A little further down do the same change for the "msahci" Start value: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\msahci" Exit regedit.

7. Shut down/reboot and change your BIOS to AHCI (RAID On) then boot to Windows.

8. When you reboot the computer will load the updated configuration, re-recognizing all attached drives- wait until it prompts you, then reboot.

9. Done. You're now running in AHCI mode. You can load the Intel RST software, etc.

Hope this saves someone from the broken glass I crawled through to figure it out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jun 2012   #26

Windows 7 Pro & Ultimate, Windows 8.1 Pro, Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon (All 64-Bit)

Thanks to both Dave76 and Gcapp99 for the info.
I've had the Intel RST installed from day one as my 2 Hdds are set up for RAID anyway so it's good to know that it does support AHCI.
With regards to Gcapp99's post, the hot swap features isn't something I would use but I will definitely keep the info for future use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2012   #27

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64

Your welcome, glad it helped.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2013   #28

Windows 7 Professional x64
bringing an old thread (and computer) to life...

Hello! I've bough an SSD that I want to install in my Dimension 9200/XPS 410 with a clean installation of Win 7 x64. Now, I've read this thread and others and I figured I'd ask here first just to be sure that I've understood everything correctly.

The XPS 410 has an Intel 965 chipset with ICH8DH (according to Windows) which works with the latest Intel RST (Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) — Supported chipsets and controller hubs). I'm not running RAID with my current drive/Win-install, but I would like to use AHCI with the SSD.

So will it all work as it should if I:
1. Take out the current boot drive, put the SSD (formatted) on SATA0 (with a storage drive on SATA1).

2. Change to RAID in BIOS

3. Boot from USB Windows install stick

4. Install Windows on SSD

5. Boot from SSD in safe mode

6. Install Intel RST and restart

Do I need to install the old "Dell INFO,RAID0" driver as well? Will this affect the storage drive in any way?

I see no logical reason as to why I should have to mess with the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services-entries if I'm installing onto a new drive with RAID turned on in BIOS before the installation takes place, but I could be wrong...

Thank you in advance!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2013   #29

Windows 10x64 Build 1709

Looks good to me!:) The transfer will PROBABLY go much smoother than you think (or fear). I switched out one of my spinners with an ssd about 2 weeks ago now and am happier than a bodybuilder directing traffic. Windows will do just about all the "little things" for you as I see you're going to do a clean install. Pay especial attention to the drivers for your wifi and chipset as far as backup goes and you will be fine. If something DOES go wrong...... we're always here to help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2013   #30

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64

Check your BIOS, is it set to AHCI or RAID now?
AHCI and RAID settings in the BIOS are the same functionality. The only difference is you can't run a RAID array in AHCI mode, everything else is the same. This means if your BIOS is currently set to RAID you don't need to change anything, and you don't have to run any disks in a RAID array.
The only reason to change settings is if your BIOS is set to 'IDE', then you need to follow the steps below.

1) When you do a Clean Install of W7, connect only the SSD, do not connect the old HDD. This will insure the boot files get on the SSD where they should be. If you have the old HDD, it will likely be marked 'Active' and the new installation will put the boot files there, if you ever need to remove or change the old HDD your system will not boot.

2) Change your BIOS setting to AHCI or RAID just before you do the Clean Install of W7 (as you have mentioned), then the new installation of W7 will be in AHCI/RAID and you won't have to do anything else.

3 & 4) Ok

5) No need to do this, the W7 install will load the msachi drivers, you can load the Intel RST drivers from within normal W7.

6) Install Intel RST and restart.
Install the Intel RST driver: Intel® Rapid Storage Technology Version:
Don't install any versions newer than this one, they are known to cause instability for many users.
I have confirmed this on my own Dell systems.

There is no need to install any other Dell RAID drivers, the Intel RST driver is all you need.
The Reg Edit is for changing from IDE to AHCI/RAID if your installation was done in IDE mode, so if you follow the steps above you will not need to do anything in the registry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to Enable AHCI - No option in BIOS.

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