Screwed up, turned on AHCI after running as IDE for 3 yrs

Well, my lack of education bit me in the butt. I have a Gigabyte EP35-DS3R MB, and without knowing the consequences, I enabled AHCI in the BIOS after running in IDE mode for 3 years. Now my computer is slower than dirt even after turning AHCI off again. It's taking 2 hours of more to just boot up. I am dual boot running Windows 7 and XP, each on their own HD.

I flashed the BIOS with the latest version. I even tried reinstalling XP from scratch, but its crazy slow still.

Is there a way to fix my machine, or is the MB toast and I need to buy a new one? Or is this an OS problem? Since I installed XP scratch and its still a problem, I am thinking its not an OS problem.

Since my PC is 3 yrs old, it would be a good time to upgrade, and this would be a good excuse.

Thanks for any assistance. I really appreciate it.
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  1. Best answer
    The IDE <-> AHCI is a BIOS AND a Driver issue. XP SP2 or XP SP3 is required for 'SATA' to operate.

    Window 7 is easy:
    Windows 7 (after the fact AHCI) ->

    BIOS - Change IDE-> AHCI
    Make certain Intel SATA RAID/AHCI Driver is installed
    *** The best method is an F6 Pre-Install ***

    Windows XP SP2/SP3 and ICH9R

    --- FAILURE ONLY ---
    If this fails for XP then you might need to either F6 pre-install or use nLite and 'insert' the SATA Drivers for AHCI in a complied XP installation.

    nLiteOS ->
    Official XP SP3 ISO ->

    How To Guide ->
  2. ^agreed. Install RAID driver in XP install. Before that though, clear the CMOS. (Move CMOS jumper on motherboard and remove battery. ALL after disconnecting power)

    See if that works and post back
  3. Thank you for your replies. What I wanted to do was go back to IDE, not change to AHCI. I changed the BIOS setting to AHCI mistakenly, and not knowing the consequences. After trying to repair the Windows 7 HD with the suggestion above, and then trying Puttsy's reset suggestion, neither worked.

    My pc is over 3 years, so I just ordered new parts and will start from scratch.

    I just don't understand why it would not go back to IDE after changing the BIOS setting back and even resetting the CMOS and removing the battery, then trying to do a fresh XP install. Changing that setting must have really messed up the hard drives.
  4. As I stated, "The IDE <-> AHCI is a BIOS AND a Driver issue." Meaning the IDE has one set of drivers and the AHCI has a different set of drivers; Windows 'sees' the changes and installs/tries to install the correct drivers, but often the 'changes' triggers a driver loading and/or Registry error(s).

    Both of the prior suggestions assumed you wanted AHCI so the registry values are different and so are the drivers. AHCI is preferred and is becoming the 'standard' over the older IDE.

    Further, having Windows XP and Windows 7 in Dual Boot is very problematic.

    Good Guide XP + 7 ->

    Alternative Windows 7 Pro/Ultimate/Enterprise + XP {XP Mode} ->

    IMO - I use (2) separate HDDs and never 'Dual Boot' off 1 HDD, instead I use BIOS Profiles for each version of an OS. Example, Profile 1 Windows 7; Boot Priority Win 7 HDD, BIOS tweaks, etc. Profile 2 RHEL, Profile 3 Mac OS X, etc. The reason - these environments are so different that each has its own set of BIOS, and most importantly there's NO dependencies. I 'can' have a separate or shared data {RAID Data drives}.
  5. Best answer selected by kaillus.
  6. Thank you Jaquith for all of your advice and links. On Sunday I started to play around somemore. I have another older PC that stopped working, so I started building a frankenstein from parts of both PCs. I took my Gigabyte and did the reset again with the CMOS and remove the battery. Starting putting parts together, then started it up. Some how, some way, the HD and OS I was having a problem with started working correctly. On Monday, the $1000 worth of new parts arrived. I thought about returning them, but the CPU and Windows 7 DVD could not be returned, so I figured what the heck. Now I have 2 windows 7 PCs running.

    Again, thanks for everything! I am back up and running normal again!
  7. Kaillus said:
    I am dual boot running Windows 7 and XP, each on their own HD.

    Glad you got it solved. If you are multi-booting, I highly recommend boot manager BootIt NG. I think they have a new version now with a new name, but I've used it for years and it is a life saver. In the situation you describe you could have easily booted and gotten data off your drives or done any number of configs without Windows. I don't work for them, but l spread the word because it is easily one of the top 2-3 tools I've ever put on my machines.
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