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How to enable AHCI mode in BIOS for a PC

Hardware configuration isn’t as simple as software configuration. When you install an OS on a PC, chances are it will be able to set up basic drivers and you will have a functioning system when you get to your desktop. The same cannot be said for hardware.

If you choose to build a custom PC, or to change the hardware of an existing PC, you may need to make certain changes in BIOS for the new hardware to work correctly, or for it to even be detected.

What is AHCI?

AHCI is a connection mode for a SATA connection. It is a newer, more modern mode. The older mode for SATA connection is IDE and it is not used as often anymore.

The new AHCI mode allows for faster data transfer over a SATA connection. It is important when you’re using an SSD drive that’s connected via the SATA interface. 

Motherboards now tend to default to AHCI instead of IDE. Having AHCI enabled even if your SATA connection isn’t active, or you are not using an SSD doesn’t have any negative impact on your system’s performance. 

1. Enable AHCI mode in BIOS

If you’ve installed an SSD on your motherboard, or you’re experience trouble setting it up, it is a good idea to check if AHCI is enabled or not. If it isn’t, enable it and your SSD should start working normally.

  1. Shut down your system.
  2. Power the system On, and tap the F2 key to boot to BIOS.
  3. Go to System or Hardware configuration (this will differ based on BIOS).
  4. Look for AHCIor SATA mode.
  5. Enable AHCI or under SATA mode, set it to AHCI.
  6. Save and Exit BIOS.
  7. AHCI will be enabled.

2. Enable AHCI in Windows 10

Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to enable AHCI in Windows 10 but you can use this method of you can’t find AHCI in BIOS. 

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
  2. In the run box, enter regedit and tap the Enter key.
  3. Navigate to this key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStorV
  4. Double-click the Start value on the right.
  5. Set its value to 0.

  1. Navigate to this key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStorAV\StartOverride. If this key is not present, look for this key instead:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStorAVC.
  2. Select the StartOveride key.
  3. Change the value of the 0 value to 0 if you have the iaStorAV key. Set its value to 3 if you have the iaStorAVC key.

  1. Navigate to this key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\storahci
  2. Double-click the Start key, and set its value to 0.

  1. Navigate to this key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\storahci\StartOverride. This key may not be present on your system. If it isn’t, skip this step and the next one.
  2. Double-click the value named 0 and set its value to 0.
  3. Boot to your BIOS.
  4. Enable AHCI in it.

Conclusion

SATA tech isn’t new so it should be on your system even if it’s a few years old. Enabling ACHI is a good idea to get the best speed from your SSD however, even if you’re stuck using IDE, your SSD may still work. The performance may not be the same but in most cases, the storage device will work.

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