Thanks for the input Iehnerus. At the time I did go to the Intel site for drivers and didn't notice any AHCI drivers for XP. I got all the normal ones of chipset, LAN, etc, that were available for his board; plus the SATA ones that were slipstreamed with nLite, but there was nothing else listed. I can't remember the exact model of the board but it was extreme, and quad core duo, (hyper threading) i7 CPU. Maybe Intel didn't provide them for XP on that board?
But it created another problem when he later down the track finally got Win7, but wanted dual boot with XP still there. And that bit was OK. But when it came to reloading Acronis images of either of the two OSs, the BIOS had to be changed from IDE to AHCI and vice versa, depending on which OS image was being loaded, for Acronis to see the applicable target disk.
I personally ran XP Pro as a virtual installation for awhile, but finally caved, and changed to Win7 on flagship and Vista on backup until W8 arrived. Now it's W8 flagship and Win7 backup. Not a lot of difference performance wise though, with SATA3 SSD HDs on both machines. Even Vista is quite respectable with SSD, sufficient RAM and correct drivers. It will do most run of the mill jobs for the average user.
With prices so much cheaper now on SSD, and durability problems in early models ironed out, I simply have 2 x internal 120GB SSD SATA3 HDs, with one for OS and other for storage; and two external HDs being an eSATA spinner & USB3.
I used to have triple boot to XP, Vista & Win7 but never got into Linux or Mac. Back in the day I did a lot of playing around with multiple HDs and partitions within the various HDs, RAID, VMs, etc. Finally got to a point where I just wanted to keep it simple and now only have 3 PCs, with one OS on each ... W8, Win7 & Vista. Have got a couple of real oldies for memorabilia, but still working ... one with Win98. Can't bring myself to ditch it.
In general terms PCs have only ever really been a hobby for me, aside from the actual work jobs I do on them like spread sheets for tax work, banking, music and movie editing, etc. I have no formal education in PCs aside from a few odd units from yesteryear when doing Electronic Engineering; and they're all prehistoric now. By no means do I have an in-depth, comprehensive range of knowledge.
I really only did things that needed to be done to make the PC work the way I wanted it to work; unless something got my attention and became a challenge or a curiosity. What I do know I know well, but there are a lot of gaps. And I could never get into it again like formal tertiary study, which would take all the fun out of it. All the repair work I've done for others was really to satisfy my own learning and interests. So they benefitted and so did I.
And sometimes I hope I'm not putting other person's data at risk. I recently fixed a late model Dell desktop with RAID setup for a friend. It wouldn't boot up. And after a lot of work with no joy was on the point of reloading, albeit losing his data. Then purely by chance when rummaging through the BIOS I discovered the disk config was AHCI instead of RAID. Changed it back and hey presto, all good! A month later without him doing anything, it changed back to AHCI. Still haven't worked that one out short of spooks, but this time it only took 2 minutes to fix.
Over the years I've repaired countless PCs pro bona for friends and acquaintances, especially after I retired. And the thing that never ceases to amaze me is why people don't back up their data to external media. It's so easy now with external HDs, flash drives, DVDs, cloud. Then when their PC crashes they fly into a panic at losing their data. One woman had something like 7,000 emails saved, and Outlook Express couldn't delete because the storage deletion temp was over the limit. There was a work around, but I mean, 7,000 emails already!!! And that was the scenario of my friend with the Dell.