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Booting with IDE instead of RAID


First time poster, frequent (recently) lurker. My refurbished HP desktop came configured for RAID but has just one drive. Long story short, this PC is slow and getting glacially slower -- apparently due to my hard drive's abysmal performance which, I believe, is due to (i) RAID config and (ii) the reportedly crappy AMD AHCI-compatible controller/driver.

I've found lots of great info here for moving from IDE to RAID but not the reverse. Hoping by switching to IDE that I can at least see decent performance. It is unusable "as is" (imagine right-clicking on a file in Windows Explorer and it not responding for nearly a minute at times!).

I attempted to change the BIOS for IDE or AHCI (the two options besides RAID) but Windows refuses to load in either case. So, my question is:

How can I reconfigure to boot Win7 to IDE (instead of RAID) without having to start from scratch? Reinstalling all my apps is just too painful to contemplate, so I'm hoping I won't have to.

Thought about doing a non-destructive reinstall of Win7 (found an article describing how to do this), but have NO idea how to accomplish the changeover to IDE from RAID, i.e. what to do, and when.


HP BK169AAR-ABA HPE-210f | Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 945, 3000 Mhz, 4 core
-- AMD chipset driver (AMD PCI Express (3GIO))
BIOS: American Megatrends 5.12 5/21/2010 SMBios: 2.6
Graphics: AMD Radion HD 5450 -- ATI Unified Graphics Driver 8.682.0.0
Drive: wDC WD10EADS-65M2B1 SCSI 512 bytes/sector
-- AMD AHCI Compatible RAID Controller 3.2.1540.14
----- ahcix64s.sys ver: 3.2.1540.14 <12/31/1999> (installed the latest version, but no better)
----- msahci.sys (MS) 6.1.7601.17514 <11/20/2010>
Realtek Networking Controller Driver 7.6.820.2009
Atheros Wireless LAN Driver
Adaptec Windows SATA Storport Driver <7/13/2009>
C: NTFS (942,079 MB) PARTITION #0: 100 MB,d #1: 920 GB
MEMORY (stats on 10-6-2011):
Installed: 8.0 GB Total: 7.24 Avail: 4.81
Total Virtual: 14.5 Available: 11.8 Page File space: 7.24

Overall performance (screenshot)
Hard drive performance HD-TUNE (screenshot)

Any help would be much appreciated!!
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about booting raid
  1. This is a little hard to explain, but basically with NO offense intended, you have no idea what you are talking (writing about). a RAID (Redundant array of independant disks) (the operative word being discS). are multiple hard drives working together for:

    A. increased performance
    B. redundancy
    C. both.

    If you only have 1 HDD, then you dont have a RAID array. if your pc is running as slow as mentioned, then you can try things like virus / malware scans, removing unwanted programs, but your best bet to get the fastest speed possible out of an old rig like this is to format and reinstall windows
  2. Actually, I DO know what I'm talking about .... at least insofar as my report and question goes:

    1) This refurb PC (old rig?? you're joking, right?) came with Win 7 pre-installed with the BIOS set to RAID even though there's only one drive. Why? I don't know. How? Ditto. That's just the way it was (and is).

    2) I don't want RAID. I want IDE. The question I posed was .. how to get rid of RAID and still have Win 7 boot without having to do a clean install. Once again, change BIOS to AHCI and Win won't load (nor will it repair itself). Change to IDE. Same thing. Change back to RAID. Boots fine. But slow as molasses.

    Does that help?
  3. There is a registry hack where you can change the registry settings to ahci and then go into the bios and change that to ahci. It will take me a minute to look for it , but in the mean time have you done a defrag of your drive.
  4. inzone said:
    There is a registry hack where you can change the registry settings to ahci and then go into the bios and ghange that to ahci. It will take me a minute to look for it , but in the mean time have you done a defrag of your drive.

    Yes. Drive is <1% defragmented. Thanks for the reply and looking forward to more on the reg hack you mentioned.
  5. Best answer
  6. I suspect that your performance problem is elsewhere.
    You were configured for raid, which is a superset of AHCI.
    AHCI has some operational benefits such as hot swap, SMART reporting,Nsq disk operations which should be a performance benefit.

    You failed booting in IDE mode because Windows did not have the IDE drivers installed.
    The registry hacks might work, but I always think that is a dicey proposition, particularly if you don't want to do a clean install.
    You might look at your SMART data to see if, by any chance, you might have a hard drive that is doing excessive error recovery.
    More likely, you have a virus, malware or an overload of started apps.
  7. inzone said:

    That didn't work, but I changed a couple of similar entries (from 3 to 0) and ... I couldn't believe it .... Win 7 booted with IDE! Here are the other two changes I made:

    adpahci 3 -> 0
    atapi likewise

    Performance is a lot better now, but still a bit sluggish. Thanks so much for getting me on the right track!
  8. Best answer selected by lam23.
  9. This topic has been closed by Area51reopened
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