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AHCI - Enable for SSD - What of the data on HDD's

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June 23, 2011 9:19:11 PM

Hey guys, I've got a question that I'm sure somebody here must know the answer to.

Here's my system so you all know what I'm dealing with:

1055t 4ghz (287*14 - 1.45v)
Noctua D-14 HSF
Asus M4A89TD PRO USB3 - AM3+ Ready
4Gb A.Data 2000mhz DDR3 (1525Mhz 7-7-7-20)
XFX 6850 Dual Fan
60Gb OCS Vertex SSD
640Gb WD Black
1.5Tb WD Black
2x 2Tb WD Green
NXZT Hale 90 850w PSU - 80+Gold
NXZT Lexa S Case - 3*120 2*140 CF

I've currently got my Bios set to IDE for all my drives. My motherboard will only use one setting for all 0-6 Sata ports.

My question is that my SSD supports TRIM and I would like to enable this for speed and longevity purposes; the only thing is, I don't know if I enable AHCI in my bios (for all Sata ports) if I will loose or corrupt data on the other 4 HDD's?? I'm willing to do a clean install of windows and programs, but I don't want to loose all the data on all of my drives. Will Windows7 still be able to read the data from the other 4 hdd's that were previously set to IDE if I enable AHCI and therefore TRIM support on my SSD??

Best solution

a c 415 G Storage
June 23, 2011 10:31:42 PM

Switching to AHCI mode won't hurt the data on your hard drives, but it will prevent Windows from booting because it won't have the right drivers loaded to let it access the discs. Fortunately there's a Registry tweak you can do to solve that problem:

1) Run the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
2) Navigate to Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci
3) Set the "Start" value to 0 (zero)
4) Navigate to Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Pciide
5) Set the "Start" value to 0 (zero)
6) Shut down
7) Start up again, but before Windows boots go into the BIOS configuration screens and change the disk mode to "AHCI". Save the new BIOS configuration and restart so that Windows boots.

When Windows starts, it will detect the change, load new disk drivers, and do one more reboot to start up with them.
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a b G Storage
June 23, 2011 10:52:14 PM

will this work for all versions of windows?
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a c 143 G Storage
June 23, 2011 11:30:21 PM

festerovic said:
will this work for all versions of windows?

It will work for Vista & Windows 7 but I'm not sure on XP or older versions.
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June 24, 2011 1:24:01 AM

sminlal, thank you. So, just to verify; doing this will enable TRIM on my ssd with a simple registry tweak and reboot and my other drives should be readable no problem??
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a c 143 G Storage
June 24, 2011 1:42:07 AM

Yes... it won't cause an issue with your other drives once you switched your BIOS to AHCI. I would just double check your boot order to make sure it doesn't effect it when you switch the controller.
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June 24, 2011 1:45:39 AM

Ok, I'll make sure my SSD is boot priority #1; however, like I say, my controller will only allow for one setting for all of my sata ports. aka if I set the ssd to AHCI, my other sata ports will also be running in this mode. Does this fact change any previous advice?
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a c 143 G Storage
June 24, 2011 1:52:29 AM

Nope... :D 
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a b G Storage
June 24, 2011 3:25:40 AM

Masterofevil (MoE) all you're doing is changing the way the commands to the drive are sent. AHCI or IDE are different command protocols. It won't change the data in any way.
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June 24, 2011 3:46:20 AM

It worked! My W7 rating went up to a 7.3, which is pretty solid for a first gen vertex drive. Thank you all for the advice and hand holding :D 

4745454b - Ty sir, just wanted to make sure ALL my stuff would be safe. (I've seen a lot of hdd's freak out for no good reason)

So, my SSD should start cleaning itself up right away? Also, is there any software/tool or other way to verify that TRIM support is active?
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July 1, 2011 8:15:04 AM

Best answer selected by masterofevil22.
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