Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Cannot get AHCI mode to work after cloning HDD to SSD

  1. #1

    Cannot get AHCI mode to work after cloning HDD to SSD


    A couple of weeks ago, I cloned my HDD C drive to a new 250GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD.

    After fitting the SSD in place of the old HDD, the system rebooted fine and worked well with a very noticeable increase in the speed at which Windows loaded.

    However, Samsung's "Magician" software informed me that the drive was running in SATA mode and that better performance would be obtained by switching the Storage Configuration parameter to AHCI mode in the BIOS on my ASUS P7P55D Pro motherboard.

    So, I tried this but Windows would not load. I didn't get a BSOD as such... I'd get the Windows 8 start-up logo with the spinning dots below for a while, then the screen would go blank, then a message would flash briefly on the screen saying something along the lines of "Windows has experienced a problem and was unable to start so your computer is being restarted" (not exact words as it's not on screen long enough for me to read) and my computer reboots. This startup/error/reboot loop is repeated until I enter the BIOS and switch Storage Configuration back to IDE whereupon all is back to normal.

    Further research then revealed that I needed to tweak the registry so I did this but I still get the startup/error/reboot loop.

    Next I tried booting into SAFE mode as described in this thread. It'll boot fine if I leave Storage Configuration set to IDE but not if I change it to AHCI. It just goes back to the same old startup/error/reboot loop and Windows makes no attempt to install any new drivers.

    I know I could do a clean install of Windows but I don't really want to go down that route if I can possibly avoid it.

    I strongly suspect that the motherboard's Intel(R) 5 Series/3400 Series SATA AHCI/RAID Controller does not have the right driver installed that would enable AHCI mode to work. Is there a way that I can force installation of an updated driver? Is there such a thing (device manager tells me the latest driver is installed)?

    I can live with IDE mode as the computer boots considerably faster from the SSD and programs load much quicker too but not being able to use AHCI mode is bugging me so any suggestions would be very welcome.

    Many thanks



      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Try this :
    1. Startup "Regedit With Administrator rights
    2. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SYSTEM / CurrentControlset / Services
    3. Open msahci
    4. In the right field left click on "start" and go to Modify
    5. In the value Data field enter "0" and click "ok"
    6. exit "Regedit"
    7. Reboot Rig and enter BIOS (hold "Delete" key while Booting

    In your BIOS select "Integrated Peripherals" and OnChip PATA/SATA Devices. Now change SATA Mode to AHCI from IDE.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by CountMike View Post
    Try this :
    1. Startup "Regedit With Administrator rights
    2. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SYSTEM / CurrentControlset / Services
    3. Open msahci
    4. In the right field left click on "start" and go to Modify
    5. In the value Data field enter "0" and click "ok"
    6. exit "Regedit"
    7. Reboot Rig and enter BIOS (hold "Delete" key while Booting

    In your BIOS select "Integrated Peripherals" and OnChip PATA/SATA Devices. Now change SATA Mode to AHCI from IDE.
    Windows 8 doesn't use msahci driver anymore. Now they use storahci.

    To OP: Do what CountMike said, but change msahci to storahci. Then go to HKLM/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Services/storahci/StartOverride, look for the DWORD with a name of "0" and value of 3. Change it to 0.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Hi CountMike
    Thanks for the reply but I'm pretty sure that your regedit suggestion is one of the registry I've already made (though I will double check tonight).

    Sadly, your other suggestion isn't valid for the ASUS P7P55D - there is no 'Integrated Peripherals' parameter in its BIOS.

    It has a JMicron eSATA/PATA controller to enable connection of an external SATA drive but I've plugged my DVD drive into it so it'll have to stay at the IDE setting. The internal SATA ports are controlled by the P55 express chipset.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by MrShowdown View Post

    Windows 8 doesn't use msahci driver anymore. Now they use storahci.

    To OP: Do what CountMike said, but change msahci to storahci. Then go to HKLM/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Services/storahci/StartOverride, look for the DWORD with a name of "0" and value of 3. Change it to 0.
    I've done all that to no avail - it makes no difference at all.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    You might check post #5 in the linked thread. No changes to the registry are required in Windows 8 to change IDE to AHCI. Use msconfig to get into safe mode since other ways are not reliable.

    Any changes you might have made to the registry, may or may not effect the outcome.

    Changing IDE to AHCI caused no boot
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Yep, used msconfig to enter safe mode but with the bios set to AHCI, windows just won't start. It gets so far then flashes up the message I mentioned in the OP, then reboots my computer. The only way I can get Windows to boot completely into safe mode is to set the BIOS back to IDE. The registry changes have made no difference at all - my computer runs happily in 'IDE mode' with the so-called AHCI changes applied.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    Since Windows 8 should have no problem booting into SAFE mode in this situation, perhaps something else is happening. Could you use the snipping tool to take a picture of your Disk Management window and attach using the paperclip on the advanced replies?

    Are you running any special software that might interfere with the operation?

    How did you "Clone" the SSD?

    The computer you have is not that old, so I would assume Windows 8 has a compatible driver for it. I have a P6T I might try to see if Windows 8 can handle it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    I'll do that Saltgrass but it'll have to wait until I get home. At the moment, I'm on my work computer.

    I'm not aware of any special software that might be running.

    I cloned the SSD using Samsung's Data-Migration software that came with the SSD. Didn't have any problems with that. My Windows installation started off as Windows 7 installed on a SATA drive in (out of ignorance) IDE mode. I upgraded to Windows 8 late last year and everything has been running happily ever since. It still does unless I try to activate AHCI mode .

    A thought has just occurred. I also installed Samsung's 'Magician' software. This used to ask permission to run every time Windows started so I used to say OK. Then I discovered that allowing it to run on startup caused Metro last light to fail to run. When I refused Magician permission to run, Metro Last Light was OK so I removed Magician from my startup folder. I'm wondering now if it might be worth uninstalling it altogether to see if Windows will then boot in SAFE mode with AHCI enabled in the BIOS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    I just did an install on my P6T, way older than your system, and it allowed the changing of the controller using the reference procedure just fine.

    So I would have to think you situation might involve something more than just the controller. I did not do the test with an SSD. I might try later but I am not really sure how the older systems might deal with it.

    Edit: I just installed on an SSD as IDE and changed it also. The Device Manager looked a little different afterward than it did with the HD but only yellow marked items were there and could be uninstalled.

    I can't get to your original post right now, but I run my SATA DVD on the Primary SATA controller as well as the Hard Drives. I think I saw you had put yours on the additional controller, but some of those are not supposed to be used with an Optical Drive.

    You might end up going back and trying to change the controller on your old hard drive, if it is SATA and then redo the SSD. Of course it is always better, if you can, to do a clean install to a new drive.
    Last edited by Saltgrass; 04 Oct 2013 at 11:39.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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