• March 4, 2024

how to enable the mode in Windows without reinstalling the system, what is this driver

This is a protocol for interaction between drives and other PC components at the software level. It is supported by absolutely all current operating systems, hard drives and motherboards. Thanks to AHCI, you can take advantage of the ever increasing data transfer rates in modern drives.


There is no need to install utilities for the mechanism to work. Therefore, when they ask – SATA AHCI Driver what kind of driver it is, you should always confidently assert that it is a component built into the OS that is responsible for the normal functioning of HDD and SSD.

Usage problems

Regarding this, there are such nuances:

  • the mode does not change automatically – you need to configure it and take certain, but simple steps;
  • if Windows was used and AHCI was turned off, but then it was turned on through the BIOS, then when the PC is turned on, a blue screen of death will be displayed;
  • Windows XP does not support this technology, so to activate, download and install the driver – everything is on the network, but you need to focus on the motherboard model.

It is also important to answer the question: “What is the AHCI regime?”. In its broadest sense, this is the parameter in BIOS / UEFI, which allows you to connect modern drives to your PC.

SATA Modes

The most frequent question that arises regarding this technology: “AHCI Mode Control – what is it in BIOS?”. SATA should be described a bit for the answer. It is an interface for connecting hard drives, replacing the outdated PATA. In addition to the plus in a significant reduction in the connecting cable, the new product was faster and supported modern technologies. For the practical use of the new functionality, an improved controller was required – and that was the AHCI. In simplified terms, we can say that SATA = AHCI, and PATA = IDE.


Old proven interface. Previously, hard drives and optical drives were connected through it. Today, from a software point of view, motherboards only emulate support for an outdated interface – there is no point in installing such a large connector for equipment that has not been produced for 10 years. With AHCI in BIOS, the situation is more obvious – there is a relevant SATA connector on the motherboard, there is full software support … For the IDE, only software support remains, and even then, it, most often, needs to be enabled separately.

With regard to the interface, the following nuances are important:

  • the new drive can work in IDE mode, but at the same time most of its high-speed capabilities will be leveled – they will become like in the old hard disk;
  • an old PATA drive, using an adapter, can be connected to a modern PC – for such cases, the IDE software support is not removed;
  • IDE cables are quite wide and easily damaged – when connecting old drives, make sure at least the visual integrity of the cable.


SATA Modes

What’s so special about AHCI? Let’s analyze the points:

  1. Supports hot swap drive. Previously, for IDE, when connecting any hard drive, it was necessary to turn off the PC, and the IDE + SATA bundle allows you to do this without shutting down.Important: performed for external drives that do not have an OS installed. You can’t just take and pull out a working disk with an installed OS from the motherboard – it is fraught with data corruption.
  2. Supported by NCQ. This is for the rational movement of the read head on the surface of the magnetic plates inside the hard disk. Before NCQ, the head used a step-by-step algorithm – there was a request X to read data in sector A, instantly move there and execute it. It was not taken into account that 3 milliseconds after request X, there was a request Y, which required to write data in sector B, which was located just along the path of the head movement to sector A. NCQ “teaches” the drive to act rationally – to perform operations in a “smart” sequence.
  3. Increased data transfer rate. Although the mode itself does not directly affect this, it indirectly contributes to this due to the full support of the SATA interface. The difference with PATA is significant anyway.

Regarding whether AHCI or IDE is better, new technology is preferable under any circumstances. The IDE is kept purely for compatibility, but its days are clearly numbered.

How to check if AHCI mode is enabled?

To find out, follow the algorithm:

  1. Open the “Task Manager”. To do this, hold down the key combination “Win + R”, enter the query in the new window “Mmc devmgmt.msc”, start by clicking on “Enter”
  2. Expand the line “IDE ATA / ATAPI Controllers”… If there is a device there, the name of which contains AHCI, then everything is included.

You can also restart your PC and enter BIOS. Look for a line there that is called “SATA Mode”, “SATA Configuration” or something like that. If it contains the AHCi criterion, then everything is included.

Features of activation of the mode

This procedure is characterized by the following nuances:

  • it is set both in the motherboard (via BIOS or UEFI) and in the OS itself;
  • when installing the OS, the mode is set in it, which was set on the motherboard;
  • the mode settings must be the same in both the OS and BIOS.

When choosing in BIOS between “SATA Controller Mode AHCI” or “Compatible”, it is worth proceeding from whether the OS starts with AHCI mode enabled. If so, everything is fine. If not, you can select “Compatible”, which will enable IDE emulation. Windows will most likely start, but the hard drive will not perform to its full potential.

Activating AHCI mode without reinstalling Windows:

AHCI is easy to enable. There is no need to reinstall the operating system. Everything is done by standard means. The procedure itself is needed if the IDE mode was previously used on a SATA drive, but now you want to speed it up by switching to a more modern protocol. Let’s look at different methods, but they all work regardless of the type of operating system used.

Windows Vista / 7

Let’s look at an example using a registry:

  • press the combination “Win + R”, in the window we enter “Regedit”, confirm the launch by clicking on “Enter”;
  • in the Registry Editor in the left pane, follow the path: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE => SYSTEM => CurrentControlSet => Services => iaStorV”;
  • in the right pane, double click on “Start” and set the parameter to 0;
  • we look at the left panel and find next to the line “IaStorAV”, open it and go to the branch “StartOverride”;
  • in the right panel, double click on “0” and set the parameter to 0;
  • return to the left panel and follow the path: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE => SYSTEM => CurrentControlSet => Services => storahci”;
  • in the right pane, double click on “Start” and set the parameter to 0;
  • on the left pane in the line “Storahci” go to subsection “StartOverride”;
  • in the right panel, double click on “0” and set the parameter to 0;
  • save all changes to the registry.

After that, you need to reboot the PC and check that the AHCI mode is enabled in the BIOS.

Windows 8

Consider an example from Intel (only for a PC with a suitable processor!):

  • download the driver “F6flpy” and utility “SetupRST.exe” from the Intel website;
  • open up “Task Manager”, go to the properties of the drive on which the OS is installed;
  • click on “Update drivers” => “Finding and Installing Drivers Manually” and choose the folder where the “f6flpy” driver is located;
  • overload the system, turn on AHCI in the BIOS;
  • the next time you start the OS, install the “SetupRST.exe” utility.

Windows 10

We will show how to enable AHCI in Windows 10 with an example using the command line:

  • make sure BIOS is in active mode “Compatible” or “IDE”;
  • run command line – “Win + R” => command “cmd” => “Enter”;
  • into the black window enter “Bcdedit / set {current} safeboot minimal” => “Enter”;
  • reboot the system, activate AHCI in the BIOS;
  • The OS will start in safe mode;
  • in the command line run the command “Bcdedit / deletevalue {current} safeboot”

After all, reboot again and Windows will work with fully working mode.

Features of the AHCI mode

Let’s summarize:

  1. It is worth turning on the mode under almost any circumstances. The only exceptions are PCs that are more than 10 years old.
  2. The controller settings must be active in the OS, in the BIOS (UEFI).
  3. Intel RST Premium or AHCI whichever is better – incorrect comparison due to much later introduction of Intel technology. It is definitely better, but with regard to hardware support, not everything is rosy – it does not work everywhere, unlike AHCI.


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