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How to change XP from "IDE" to "AHCI" mode post OS installation

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Mr Davo, Aug 23, 2013.

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  1. Mr Davo

    Mr Davo Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    349
    Hi Everyone,

    Here I am going to descibe how to change Windows XP from using "IDE" to "AHCI" mode post OS installation.

    If your looking to install an SSD into a Windows XP computer you will likely find these instructions invaluable. Most XP computers (due to their vintage) are running in "IDE" mode,
    and it turns out that SSDs perform best when running in "AHCI" mode!

    The root of what follows comes from these instructions (so credit to those who deserve it!).

    Also thanks go out to Alexoiu who pointed me in the right direction here...

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1). Download the appropriate SATA driver from your motherboard manufacturers site (the file is typically quite small, mine was under 2Mb)
    2). Extract the file to your hard drive
    3). Locate the ahcix86.sys file (you may need to uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types" in order to see the correct file)
    4). Copy ahcix86.sys
    5). Paste ahcix86.sys into ..\System32\Drivers (typcially C:\Windows\System32\Drivers)
    6). Download Add AHCI to XP (Post Installation).reg to a convenient location
    7). Double click on the Registry file to install it
    8). Click on "Yes" when the screen below is presented -

    [​IMG]

    9). Click on "OK" when the screen below is presented -

    [​IMG]

    10). Shutdown
    11). Turn the computer on whilst tapping on DEL / F2 / Relevant Key (per motherboard) to enter the BIOS settings
    12). Set the BIOS IDE mode to AHCI (it was likely set to IDE or Legacy IDE)
    13). Exit the BIOS saving changes (this results in the computer rebooting again)
    14). Once Windows XP starts you will be prompted to install drivers -
    a). Check "No, not this time" when the screen below is presented -

    [​IMG]

    b). Click on "Next"
    c). Uncheck "Search removable media(...)
    d). Check "Include this location in the search;"
    e). Click on Browse
    f). Navigate to the folder which contains ahcix86.sys (Same file as Step 3)
    g). Click on OK
    h). Click on Next
    i). Follow any prompts to install that may be presented
    j). Once the driver is installed successfully you will see the screen below (or one that is similar depending on your chipset!) -

    [​IMG]

    k). Click on "Finish"
    15). Reboot your computer (one last time)

    *** If you don't reboot straight away XP will often prompt you to reboot shortly after the ahcix86.sys driver is installed ***

    Congratulation you are now running in AHCI mode, and can enjoy the full potential of your SSD.

    Kind Regards,

    Davo

    P.S.: Paragon Migrate OS to SSD is excellent software for migrating from mechanical drives to SSDs. I have personally used it on at least 4 computers (3 of those were Windows 7, and one was Windows XP), on all occasions the software has performed flawlessly (I am not associated with Paragon, but praise is deserved for this software package!).
     
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