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Windows 7: BIOS and AHCI Issues

13 Mar 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
BIOS and AHCI Issues

A little while ago, I noticed that my motherboard's BIOS was configured to use IDE instead of AHCI. I don't know if I installed Windows 7 while it was in IDE mode and didn't realize it or if the BIOS just switched it by itself (can it do that)? I've read there's a way to switch it back to AHCI mode without requiring a reinstall by going into the registry and modifying the values for msahci and pciide before restarting and switching to AHCI. That doesn't work for me though.

What ends up happening is that in the POST screen, the motherboard will detect the DVD drive fine but when it tries to detect the hard drives, it'll say something along the lines of "Auto detecting SATA 2..." and then just stay there. I don't know if it actually progresses after that since I didn't have the patience to wait, but the point is that it shouldn't be taking that long. It doesn't even boot into Windows.

My real question is this: Is there something wrong with my motherboard? My computer is getting a bit old (5 years) and I have noticed that the motherboard is taking longer to detect devices. Before, the computer would show the motherboard splash screen immediately, but now it displays "Loading ASUS Express Gate..." for a few seconds before doing so. Afterwards, it also tells me that it can't detect a hard disk for a split second before booting into Windows. I think all of this started happening after I unplugged everything to clean out the computer (I might've rearranged some SATA plugs too) and then plugged everything back in. If this isn't a problem with Windows, is it possible that the motherboard's AHCI or SATA controllers failed? Or maybe it's a problem with my hard drives' SATA controllers? I can boot in IDE mode, but not AHCI mode.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2014   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

This is the tutorial for how to switch to AHCI if W7 was installed in IDE mode:
AHCI : Enable in Windows 7 / Vista

As for your boot problem, it sounds like the BIOS setting reverted to default and Asus ExpressGate was enabled afterward. The BIOS can reset if you removed the 3v battery from the motherboard, but it can also reset if you caused a short circuit while removing parts, even for a brief second.

You can disable ExpressGate in BIOS. That 'feature' will slow down boot time. Also enable 'Quick Boot' and disable 'Full Screen Logo'.

If you moved things around in the PCI slots it is always a good idea to perform a ClearCMOS (CLRTC) procedure afterward. This forces the system to re-recognize all devices and it resets the BIOS defaults too. It may also clear up any configuration errors that are delaying boot.
The procedure is in your motherboard manual, or ask here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 BIOS and AHCI Issues

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