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I just changed my disk setup from:

1 SATA HDD Primary OS Disk 2x SATA HDD Backup Disks in RAID 1


1 SATA SSD Primary OS Disk 1 SATA HDD Backup Disk [No RAID]

Everything worked great, no problem. So, since I don't have a RAID array anymore, I decided that I could change my BIOS setting to AHCI instead of RAID. I have a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R v1.0 mobo.

These are my steps:

  1. Settings > Integrated Peripherals > "SATA RAID/AHCI Mode" = RAID --> Changed this setting to AHCI
  2. Reboot
  3. Windows Start screen shows up, but as the color orbs are spinning into focus, BSOD and immediate restart
  4. Repeated reboot several times, same outcome

Next Step:

  1. Launch BIOS settings
  2. Integrated Peripherals > "Onboard SATA/IDE Ctrl Mode" = RAID --> Changed this setting to AHCI
  3. Reboot
  4. Windows Start screen shows up, but as the color orbs are spinning into focus, BSOD and immediate restart
  5. Repeated reboot several times, same outcome

Switch both settings back to RAID, reboot, and Windows starts up just fine, no issues.

What am I missing? Why can't I set it to AHCI mode without BSODs?

share|improve this question
which version of Windows? – Nate Koppenhaver Mar 31 '12 at 3:04
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 – thephatp Mar 31 '12 at 5:55
Thanks. For future reference, please always add an OS tag, it's more useful than you may think – Nate Koppenhaver Mar 31 '12 at 16:58
up vote 1 down vote accepted

According to the specs, your motherboard has an additional SATA controller besides the one in the ICH9 chipset. The simplest thing to do would be:

  • Move the drive over to that other SATA controller. Windows already knows about that controller and has installed the drivers for it, so it should be able to boot from it.
  • Switch the ICH9's controller to AHCI mode. From the operating system's standpoint, this looks like removing one PCI device and adding a different one. Windows will detect the "new" hardware and install the driver for it.
  • Move the drive back to the ICH9's AHCI controller. Now that Windows has the driver installed, it should be able to boot from it.
share|improve this answer
No luck. Moved the drive over. Windows didn't try to install anything or recognize any new hardware. :( Any way I can manually install at this point? Only thing manual says about installing drivers is when installing Windows. – thephatp Mar 31 '12 at 23:23
Figured it out...forced it using a MSFT fix: – thephatp Mar 31 '12 at 23:34

You need to install the driver for AHCI. Windows can use the drive when it is a basic mode of operation, but will BSOD when it uses it in a more advanced mode after it completes the first stage of booting.

I wish I could remember what those modes were called... It would add more credibility to this answer.

share|improve this answer
Would they be AHCI drivers specific to my motherboard? Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R v1.0. – thephatp Mar 31 '12 at 5:55
No, AHCI is a standard interface. Windows (starting with Vista) already has a driver for it, but it won't be installed and available for use if Windows hasn't seen any AHCI hardware in your system before. – Wyzard Mar 31 '12 at 18:04

You can't change to AHCI after you have already installed windows. Clean installation is necessary here. Sorry. There are a couple other ways besides a clean install, but they aren't very safe.

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