AHCI stands for Advance Host Controller Interface. It is a newer technology with more features compared to the older “more compatible” Serial ATA standard. Features such as native command queuing (which can offer greater performance by optimizing how controller requests data from the drive) and hot swappable SATA devices. Most newer systems allow you to select which mode your computer will be operating in. Older operating systems like Windows XP require “compatibility mode” while newer operating systems like Windows 7 support AHCI out of the box.
Problem is that once you’ve installed the operating system using one standard, making the switch will render boot issues for most operating systems. Windows 10, however is different. If you’ve upgraded your computer that was originally installed in compatbility mode to Windows 10 and now you’d like the extra boost of AHCI, here’s how to do it.
Your Windows 10 system was originally installed on a computer in compatibility SATA mode. Now you want to make the switch to AHCI but when you do, Windows 10 will not boot.
- Click Start->Run (or type Win+R) and enter msconfig in to the open field. Then hit enter.
- Select the Boot tab and select the Safe Boot option with Minimal.
- Click Apply and reboot the system when prompted.
- When the system reboots, enter the system BIOS and change your computers SATA setting from compatibility to AHCI.
- Allow the system to boot into windows Safe Boot. You should not get a BSOD on boot up to Safe Boot. Once Windows 10 has booted successfully, open msconfig again and change the boot setting back to normal by unchecking Safe Boot.
- Boot windows normally and check the device manager to ensure that your system is now using AHCI mode.