How to enable AHCI in Windows 10 after Installation

Current MOBOs (motherboards) will have AHCI enabled in UEFI or BIOS by default. Some older motherboards may have IDE enabled by default instead. If you want to install Windows using AHCI instead of IDE, then you’ll need to have AHCI enabled in BIOS/UEFI first. If you have already installed Windows 10 with IDE but want the AHCI mode, then this post will help you.

What is AHCI?

The Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) specifies the operation of Serial ATA (SATA) host controllers in a non-implementation-specific manner in its motherboard chipsets. The specification describes a system memory structure for computer hardware vendors to exchange data between host system memory and attached storage devices.

What is IDE?

Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) is an interface for connecting a motherboard to hard drives and other storage devices. Its development increased Data Transfer Rate speed and reduced storage device and controller issues. It has its own circuitry a& includes an integrated disk drive controller

Difference between AHCI and IDE

AHCI and IDE are two modes in which a hard drive communicates with the rest of the computer system using a SATA storage controller. SATA hard drives can operate in a backward-compatible PATA/IDE mode, a standard AHCI mode or vendor-specific RAID.

Essentially, IDE is considered adequate for the average computer user and is the most compatible with other technology, particularly older devices. However, it lacks support for new technologies. AHCI supports some important new features that IDE does not, such as native command queuing and hot-plugging hard drives. It also offers an improvement performance (speed) over IDE.

Enable AHCI in Windows 10 after Installation

Press the Windows + R, in the Run dialog box, type regedit, hit Enter to launch Registry Editor.

On the left pane of Registry Editor, navigate to the location-

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStorV

In the right pane, double-click the Start DWORD to modify it. In the box that pops up, type 0 in the Value data field. Click OK.

Enable AHCI in Windows 10 after Installation

Again, on the left pane of Registry Editor, navigate to the location-

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStorAVC\StartOverride

On the right pane, double-click the 0 DWORD to modify it. In the box that pops up, type 0 in the Value data field. Click OK.

 

Now, on the left pane of Registry Editor, navigate to the location-

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\storahci

On the right pane, double-click the Start DWORD to modify it. In the box that pops up, type 0 in the Value data field. Click OK.

 

While still on the left pane of Registry Editor, navigate to the location-

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\storahci\StartOverride

Check if you have the StartOverride there.

 

If the StartOveride folder is not present, exit Registry Editor.

But if the folder is present as shown above in the screenshot, on the right pane, double click the 0 DWORD to modify it. In the box that pops up, type 0 in the Value data field. Click OK.

Now proceed to boot the computer to your BIOS or UEFI firmware settings.

In your BIOS or UEFI firmware settings, enable AHCI, and save & exit to apply and restart the computer.

Note: The settings will vary depending on the brand and model number of the motherboard. Refer to your motherboard manual for more specific details about how to change SATA settings for it.

On boot, Windows will automatically install AHCI drivers.

When the drivers’ installation completes, you’ll receive a prompt to restart.

Restart the computer and you are all done.

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Obinna Onwusobalu, MCSA MCTS MCITP, has studied Information & Communication Technology and is a keen follower of the Windows ecosystem. He runs a computer software clinic. He says, it's best practice to create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system.