Yes it's set to AHCI. Tried using the msahci driver instead, no change.
Unplugged the HDD for startup, no change.
Updated the bios to the latest version, no change.
Updated all of the motherboard drivers from the gigabyte website aside from Atheros LAN (used Intel instead), Marvell & Intel preinstall SATA drivers (no floppy drive), and Intel VGA driver (system doesn't meet requirements apparently??). Ran into a couple of errors during the creative audio driver update so I'm looking into that now. Doubt that will solve my problem.