September 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI). Need it if I am to get Snow Leopard working on my acer laptop, but that means getting windows to accept it, which if you’ve been runnning XP, and your SATA mode is IDE, then it’s very tedious.

Windows XP has no AHCI drivers, and to install XP (normal XP or 64 bit edition) with AHCI enabled, you need drivers on a floppy disk. Extremely useful thing when there is no floppy drive on your laptop. So that way you’re dead in the water already. Suppose you install XP in IDE mode, everything fine and dancing, then you change to AHCI mode, nuh uh, BSOD. There we go.

If it was vista, just start the AHCI service, and swim away. For XP, there is a way around it, at least if you’re a Intel Chipset user. If you’re something else, then similar steps may work. Also don’t go whining to me if this goes all pear shaped and lose all your data and your house catches fire. 🙂

Taken from and made somewhat better

  1. Go to the Intel drivers site (, select the chipset for device (mine was the GL960).
  2. Download the Intel Matrix Storage Manager
  3. Do NOT install just yet. We want to go into AHCI mode before installing the drivers fully. Extract the drivers from the installer by using “<filename>.exe -a”  command
  4. Go into Device Manager, select View > Devices By Connection
  5. Find your hard drive in the list. Once found, you have identified the controller that you need. This may be labelled simply Standard Controller or Intel <Model> ATA Controller.
  6. Right click, and select Update Drivers. When the window appears, click No for searching for windows updates, then next. SelectInstall from a list or specific location (Advanced), hit Next.  Select “Don’t search. I will choose the driver to install”, hit Next. Then select “Have Disk”.
  7. Navigate to the Folder C:\Program Files\Intel\Intel Matrix Storage Manager\. If there is a winall folder, go into that. Go into the folder Drivers if you are on normal XP, or Drivers64 for XP x64.
  8. Highlight the iastor.inf file, hit Open Select OK
  9. Now you should have a list of controllers for your chipset. Make sure you know your chipset model. (CPU-Z may assist). Select your chipset from the list of drivers, then hit next.
  10. You’ll get warned that installing the device driver is not recommended, click Yes to continue installing. Then click Finish.
  11. You will be prompted to restart your computer. Click Yes to restart your computer
  12. Before you boot into windows, go into the BIOS and change your SATA mode from IDE to AHCI mode.
  13. Boot into windows. If you get a blue screen and an immediate restart, then either something has gone wrong, or the drivers didn’t install for AHCI. If that happens, switch back into IDE mode in the BIOS and go back into windows. You may need to try again.
  14. If you have loaded windows successfully, then clap your hands and do a little dance. You will be prompted to restart again for new drivers. Restart.
  15. Done. For the best results, you can now install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager normally.

Remember this worked for me, but don’t yell at me if this mucks up your windows install. Also remember your data isn’t necessarily lost if Windows gives up.

Install from a list or specific location (Advanced), hit Next
Select “Don’t search. I will choose the driver to install”, hit Next

September 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm | Uncategorized | No comments

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