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System will not read hard drive in AHCI mode

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January 12, 2011 10:30:10 PM

I'm building a new system and the only things staying the same are the singe hard drive and case. Here is the current setup.

Hard Drive: Maxtor DiamondMax 200GB SATA 3.0 (4 years old)

All other pieces are brand new:
MOBO: ASUS P8P67
Processor: i5-2500K
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 460
RAM: Corsair XMS3 4GB

The hard drive was taken out of a 4-year old computer that has Windows XP. The first time I boot up, a message flashed stating "no hard drive detected". However, it looked like it started to load Windows XP, then flashed a blue screen and rebooted. I went into the bios and changed the SATA configuration from AHCI to IDE. After rebooting, I still got the message "no hard drive detected" but it loaded Windows XP. I installed all the drives included on the disc for the motherboard, thinking that would enable me to change the SATA settings to AHCI. I went back into the bios, made the change to AHCI, but still got blue screen and it rebooted when attempting to load windows. The computer seems to be working fine when in IDE mode, except for the "no hard drive detected" when booting up. This PC will only be used for surfing, music, and playing online games. Is there any harm in leaving it as-is. Or, does AHCI offer better performance?

Thanks for the feedback!
January 13, 2011 4:10:02 AM

I think AHCI is only for SSDs.
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a b G Storage
January 13, 2011 2:35:32 PM

> I think AHCI is only for SSDs.

That's not correct: AHCI works with modern HDDs also.


Get your AHCI drivers ready to load using F6,
set the BIOS setting to AHCI, and
then try this:

XP's No-Reformat, Nondestructive Total-Rebuild Option

http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/showArticle...;jsessionid=ATER1BJCZNSN0QSNDLQSKHSCJUNN2JVN?articleID=189400897&_requestid=319026


MRFS
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a c 342 G Storage
January 13, 2011 6:19:00 PM

The root of your problem is drivers and WHEN they are loaded.

Up to and including ALL versions of Win XP, the device drivers "built into" Windows included ones for IDE devices (including opticals on IDE ports), but NOT any AHCI devices (the actual natural SATA device type). So any "normal" installation of XP can acces from the very beginning any IDE device, but it does not understand AHCI ones. It is true that, AFTER XP is loaded and running you can install the AHCI device driver and, from then on, it will load that, too AFTER XP has finished loading. That way you can use AHCI devices as data disks, etc. However, that process does NOT allow XP to boot from an AHCI device, because it has to load itself first!

The standard solution to this dilemma, already a part of Windows, is to alter the Installation process. Very early in that process comes a prompt on the screen to ask whether you want to install drivers for other devices as part of Windows' basic capabilities. If you do, you must press the "F6" key and follow the instructions, which involve loading the driver(s) from a floppy diskette which must have been prepared before with the necessary files. This process originally was set up to allow setting up SCSI or RAID devices as basic devices that you can even boot from, and it is completely adaptable to AHCI devices, too. When you do that, the modified Windows installation created sets itself up to load those drivers off the device at eh very beginning as part of Windows, and then it DOES have access so it can use that device to complete the entire boot process.

Many people did not want to do this, and more recently many people had machine with no floppy drive to use. So BIOS makers designed in a trick to work around it. If you set up your SATA Port Mode in the BIOS to use AHCI mode, the drive will be used as a native SATA / AHCI device. But if you choose the IDE (or PATA) Emulation mode, the BIOS will intervene and make that actualo SATA drive appear to Windows as if it were a plain old IDE device it already understands, and all is well! If you do this, though, you lose a few of the benefits of a true AHCI device.

All of this became completely unnecessary with Vista and Win 7, because those Windows versions include AHCI device drivers as well as IDE drivers in their basic configuration.

In your case you had Win XP installed long ago on a HDD under the IDE Emulation mode, and so the extra ACHI drivers never were put into the special place for early loading. Now you place the HDD in a new machine and try using it as an AHCI device that you boot from, and Win XP starts the process and then finds there is no IDE device to boot from and quits. If you switch the BIOS' SATA Port Mode to IDE Emulation it all works as promised. But it cannot BOOT from that drive as an AHCI device unless you somehow get the required driver installed.

The article MRFS has referenced is very interesting, but I did not see it point to the "normal" Windows Install screen that asks whether you wish to install other drivers from floppy using the "F6" key. If that option is not made available in this process, it wont solve your problem. You will have to look elsewhere, and the forums here at Tom's are a good place. I saw a reply posted recently that included a script for a Registry update that claims to install the right drivers in the right place IF you have a machine with an Intel bridge chipset.

You can continue to use your old HDD in the IDE Emulation mode with no problem. The other option, of course, is to do a complete new installation of Windows on a new HDD set to AHCI mode. If it is still XP, ensure you get a floppy ready and install the AHCI drivers that way. If it's Vista or Win 7 you won't even need that. Then your old HDD will just be a non-bootable second data drive. But you may well have to re-install all your applications software, too. Although it will all be on the old HDD, the new Windows installation's Registry will not know anything about "uninstalled" software.
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January 13, 2011 9:59:04 PM

Sorry, just something i noticed, you are trying to boot from a hard drive that was built on a completely different system?
I am sorry if i got the completely wrong point but if you are trying to boot off that drive it is going to be very unstable as the install of windows is based on the wrong chipset drivers. Its prob best to either partition it and install there then trans data over the partition and format the old partition. Or just do a full format on it and install from there.

You can also disable the AHCI in the bios if you are installing win xp

again apologies if i have mis read this, coffee is starting to wear off
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a c 99 G Storage
January 13, 2011 10:44:09 PM

Like above, sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Once you do figure out why the hard is not being recognized, which you may not figure out, you will have to reinstall the OS. All will be lost on the drive, as you will have to reformat the drive, to.

You installed a "old" hard drive, with a older OS installed, into a "new" system. You violated the EULA, meaning you did too many changes at once, for the previous license to be valid anymore. You just went overboard. Added RAM, or a Video Card, or another hard drive is okay, but a CPU, mobo, VC and RAM all at once, puts it over the limit of changes.

Now, all it not lost. You MAY be able to reinstall Windows XP (but why) onto the new system, given you have all the new drivers for the system, for that OS. But, you must reinstall the OS.

With such a new system, I'd fork out the money, and get Windows 7, at least Home Premium edition (the lowest of the 3 editions).

You may have to buy a new OS anyways, as XP may not work with your new system.

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January 26, 2011 3:42:16 PM

dbarsun said:
I'm building a new system and the only things staying the same are the singe hard drive and case. Here is the current setup.

Hard Drive: Maxtor DiamondMax 200GB SATA 3.0 (4 years old)

All other pieces are brand new:
MOBO: ASUS P8P67
Processor: i5-2500K
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 460
RAM: Corsair XMS3 4GB

The hard drive was taken out of a 4-year old computer that has Windows XP. The first time I boot up, a message flashed stating "no hard drive detected". However, it looked like it started to load Windows XP, then flashed a blue screen and rebooted. I went into the bios and changed the SATA configuration from AHCI to IDE. After rebooting, I still got the message "no hard drive detected" but it loaded Windows XP. I installed all the drives included on the disc for the motherboard, thinking that would enable me to change the SATA settings to AHCI. I went back into the bios, made the change to AHCI, but still got blue screen and it rebooted when attempting to load windows. The computer seems to be working fine when in IDE mode, except for the "no hard drive detected" when booting up. This PC will only be used for surfing, music, and playing online games. Is there any harm in leaving it as-is. Or, does AHCI offer better performance?

Thanks for the feedback!



I have a fix for this. Yes AHCI enables both NCQ and hot swapping.

http://tweaks.com/articles/44119/improve-sata-hard-disk...

Follow those instructions and then enable the AHCI mode in the bios. First you edit the registry. I have done this on 2 windows 7 computers one a notebook the other a desktop and they do access a little faster.
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January 26, 2011 3:46:01 PM

Also you can change on the fly back to IDE mode if need be. I dont find I need to but works fine. As soon as I booted into windows 7 it installed the AHCI driver and restart and running fine.
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