How to install AHCI drivers in existing Windows XP

*Update* 25/07/17 : Windows XP is officially no longer supported by Microsoft, meaning there will be no more security patches released. However, with the recent Petya and WannaCry ransomware targeting critical MS vulnerabilities and causing so much pain and "cries", Microsoft had chosen to take one for the WWW and released a XP patch MS17-010. If you have not done so, please update your XP quickly, unless you really WannaCry (pun intended). But my main recommendation would definitely be for you to move on. If you are still on Windows XP, please upgrade soon. For the record, my Win XP died a natural death when the disk became corrupted and I moved on to a Windows 7 + Windows 10 dual boot, so another moral of the story to share, backup your data frequently or you have another set of reasons to WannaCry (yes, pun intended)!

I recently decided to upgrade my PC with a SSD and install Windows 7, at the same time do a dual boot with my existing Windows XP on an IDE drive, so I wanted to enable AHCI for the XP installation too. I will not discuss why is there a need for AHCI, you can refer to the excellent write up here and this Wikipedia article.

As the XP installation was done without AHCI (i.e. IDE mode), I wanted to find a way to enable AHCI without all the hassle of registry edits and stuff that I read online.

And I managed to find a simple method:

  1. Download the AHCI drivers (For Gigabyte owners like me, you can get it from the CD that comes with the board)

  2. [Non-Gigabyte owners skip this step] Browse the CD to \BootDrv. There should be "32Bit" and "64Bit" folders inside. Identify the correct one

  3. Go to Device Manager and expand "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers"

    screenshot of device manager IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers

  4. Right click on one of the Serial ATA Storage Controllers -> Update Driver... -> No, not this time -> Install from a list or specific location -> Don't search. I will choose the driver to install -> Have Disk

  5. Browse to the location found in Step 2 (or where you store the AHCI drivers) and choose the file with AHCI.inf

  6. Press OK and you will see a list based on motherboard chipset. Choose the correct one for your motherboard (Mine was ICH10R)

  7. Install the driver. Do not reboot first when prompted. You will also see the controller now uses AHCI in Device Manager

  8. Choose the other other controller and repeat Steps 4 to 7. Both controllers should be AHCI now. Reboot this time (if you do not get prompted, just manually reboot)

    screenshot after install AHCI drivers windows xp

  9. During booting, quickly press Del button on the keyboard to go into BIOS

  10. Look for the option to enable AHCI or any SATA RAID/AHCI option (it may vary with different manufacturers)

  11. For Gigabyte motherboard owners, you may also want to activate the "SATA port0-3 native mode" if the option is there

  12. After your PC rebooted, you may notice that there are new prompts for new hardware found

    screenshot of new hardware found after AHCI install

  13. You may get prompted to reboot one more time

  14. After your PC rebooted, go to Device Manager and you will see there is now only one entry for AHCI. You have successfully enabled AHCI on your existing Win XP installation

    AHCI drivers installed


  1. This works, Simple and easy to follow. BOB

  2. I have gigabyte h81s motherboard but don't have ahci driver cd. How I can get drivers for xp ahci mode ??

    1. Hi, you can try to google "Gigabyte motherboard + drivers" and use the link that goes to the official Gigabyte website. Then go to 'Support' and look for any drivers section with 'AHCI'.
      Replace in the google query with h81s if it is your correct model, although I couldn't find an exact model in Gigabyte website. The only one I found is for this, use as example and try to find the correct one for your MB:

    2. Thanks man but I need driver for windows XP.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How to share a Xiaomi webcam/video camera to multiple Mi accounts

How to Control Xiaomi Web Camera Sharing Permissions

USB Printing with DD-WRT