Enable AHCI without reinstalling Windows Xp

How to enable AHCI without reinstalling Windows Xp? Original Windows Xp didn’t have any driver for AHCI. That’s why a lot of users just turns off AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) and installs Windows with IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) settings.

Why switch to AHCI?

If your motherboard supports AHCI you should use it. It supports new features like native command queuing and hot-plugging. Also you will gain some performance boost. Switching to AHCI without reinstalling takes only few minutes.

Steps to enable AHCI without reinstalling Windows Xp

Make sure you enable system restore option for partition where Windows is installed. We recommend to make data backup before attempting this method.

  • First, make sure you have system restore enabled (Open “Control Panel” then “System” and “System Restore“). In case you made mistake so you can restore settings.
  • Download and extract “Intel Matrix Storage Manager” drivers. Drivers were picked from Intel.

Universal AHCI drivers 32-bit  –  Download

Universal AHCI drivers 64-bit  –  Download

  • Open “Control Panel” then “System” and “Hardware“. Then open “Device Manager“.
  • Expand “IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers” category. Right click “Primary IDE Channel” (there could be multiple entries, select first one) and click “Update driver“.
  • Select “No, not this time“, then “Install from a list or specific location (Advanced)“.
  • On next dialog select “Don’t search. I will choose the driver to install” and click “Have a disk“.
  • Now click on “Browse” and select the directory where the downloaded driver is extracted.
  • You will see a lot of drivers, but you will have to select the right one (refer your motherboard manual if you don’t know what controller you have).
  • After selecting the driver click “Next” and confirm installation by clicking “Continue anyway“.
  • When installation is finished, reboot your computer. Go to system BIOS (usually tapping F2, delete or F10) during the computer startup.
  • In BIOS change hard disk controller from”IDE” to “AHCI” (if you don’t know how refer your motherboard manual).
  • Save the changes and reboot again. Let it load normally. If everything is good your Windows will load and you will get installing driver message. It will ask to reboot again.

If face blue screen of death or computer restarts itself, switch back to “IDE” setting in BIOS. Also keep taping F8 before Windows start. On the startup menu select “Last Known Good Configuration”. Now you can repeat the steps and make sure to select right driver.


That’s it. You have successfully enabled AHCI without reinstalling Windows Xp.


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