Switching from AHCI to ATA mode wit

Dell / Precision t3400
March 6, 2009 at 18:09:14
Specs: Windows XP

I have a Dell Precision T3400 configured for SATA AHCI. I need to switch to ATA mode to get a Promise Ultra 133 ATA adapter working in the system so I can use some legacy IDE drives. The problem is that when I make the change in the BIOS, I get a BSOD when XP starts with a "STOP: 0x0000007B (0xBA4C3524, 0xC0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)"
This is due to XP trying to use the AHCI driver to access the drive. Is there any way to get XP to load the ATA mode driver wirhout doing a reinstall of the system? All I have is the Dell recovery disk and that will cause a complete system wipe.

See More: Switching from AHCI to ATA mode wit

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March 6, 2009 at 20:13:15

You don't change from AHCI if the SATA drives are still connected.

Why would you want to change the boot drive? Just install the controller card and connect the IDE drives without any change in the BIOS settings.

Don't attempt to boot to any of the IDE drives if there is an OS installed on them. Access them like storage drives.

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March 6, 2009 at 20:28:55

Put it back, leave the sata drives as they are. You don't need to play with them at all

Install the drivers for the ATA card.

Install the ata card and drives.

Use it.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

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March 7, 2009 at 04:21:58

Are there no IDE controllers on the MOBO? There normally is at least one, even with SATA drives.


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March 7, 2009 at 06:49:19

Everyone, thanks for the replies. Let me explain further.

I still want to boot off of the SATA drive. I just want to add a few IDE ports to the system so I can attach a DVD ROM and extra HD.
I have tried two different cards and both gave the same results.
After the MB POST, the Ultra133 cars displays:

"D0 ST3800L0A LBA 76319MB Ultra DMA 5
IDE Bus master enabled
No area available for command List / command table / FIS
AHCI bios not installed"

Then the MB resets and starts another boot cycle.

This is a conflict between the card's BIOS and the MB when it is set to "RAID autodetect/AHCI". If I switch the MB setting to "RAID autodetect/ATA" there is no conflict and XP starts to load but then I get the BSOD because XP is trying to use the AHCI drivers that were slip-streamed in whet the OS was installed. Dell support said that if I set the BIOS to "RAID autodetect/ATA" and reinstalled the OS (using the recovery disk) that everything would work. Unfortunately this will wipe my system. I am trying to avoid spending hours reinstalling all my apps.

XP doesn't natively support AHCI. The drivers must be provided during install via the F6 method or by slip-streaming.
I found this article:
The "More Information" section is pretty much what I want to force XP to do (i.e. re-evaluate and install the correct IDE controller driver).
The reg already has all the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE entries listed. The only difference between what they list and my entries are:
My START dwords for the atapi, IntelIde, and PCIIde key entries are "00000004" and they say "00000000"
My image path is \SystemRoot\system32\DRIVERS\^^^^^ .sys and they have a long set of hex values.

I guess I am having a hard time believing that there is no way to get XP to change the mass storage controller driver other than a complete reinstall.

Thanks for looking

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March 7, 2009 at 07:02:42

I think the MSKB article you linked is out of date. I think that SP3 does support AHCI.

There may be another method you could use. Can't guarantee it will work but I think it will. Try installing the SATA controller drivers while in WinXP. Then you may be able to run in the SATA mode instead of AHCI.

Are you using any form of RAID? If so, then you shouldn't be using AHCI. If not, disable the option.

Is the Promise controller card a RAID card? If so, that may be the cause of your conflict. At any rate you shouldn't have any RAID enabled in the motherboard BIOS.

There should be no need to change from AHCI. Check your boot order to make sure you are attempting to boot from the correct drive.

To add to that, most controller cards require the BIOS setting to be set to SCSI as the boot device, should you attempt to boot to a drive connected to the

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March 7, 2009 at 07:32:45

So again, aren't there any IDE Controllers on the MOBO? Did you install the Promise Card drivers before changing anything or adding the card?


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March 7, 2009 at 08:52:17

I just got the computer and it is running SP3. I read one post somewhere from someone benchmarking AHCI vs ATA using Vista and he was able to switch his MB back and forth with no problem.

That is the same method I have read about to go from ATA to AHCI.

I am not running a RAID configuration and the Promise card is not a RAID card

The system won't even attempt to run the OS if the MB is in AHCI mode with the Promise card installed. Even if the Promise card is trying to put itself in front of the SATA drive, I have no way of preventing that with the BIOS settings available to me.

As far as I have read, there is no advantage to runnig AHCI except if you want to hot swap drives (i.e. us an eSATA drive) which I have no plans to do. I don't understand why they default to this mode.

The MB doesn't have an IDE controller. It has an Intel ICH9 SATA AHCI controller. I did not pre-install the drivers for the Promise card since I am not trying to boot from devices on that controller.

Thanks all

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March 7, 2009 at 09:36:24

"If I switch the MB setting to "RAID autodetect/ATA" "

Can you switch it to IDE compatible mode or similar?
If so, try that.

"I just want to add a few IDE ports to the system so I can attach a DVD ROM and extra HD."

Check the specs for the Promise Ultra 133 ATA .

All the ones I've come across DO NOT support using them for optical drives.

If the specs DO NOT say it supports ATAPI, or that you can connect optical or CD or DVD drives to it, you can't - they won't be recognized.

Other EIDE controller chipsets DO support ATAPI.
E.g. Silicon Image ones.
E.g. the ST Lab card model A-142

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March 7, 2009 at 09:57:43

The "RAID autodetect/ATA" setting is the IDE compatible mode and that will work if I can get XP to boot with the correct driver for that mode.
The ultra 133 does support ATAPI. Yes, many of the add on cards aren't.

Thanks for the reply

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March 7, 2009 at 11:30:19

If you can truly set the mode to whatever is equivalent to IDE compatible mode, you don't need any drivers for that mode - XP supports that natively - your SATA drive(s) are seen as (an) IDE drive(s) - your SATA hard drive will boot into Windows fine .

Please list the modes you can set it to.

If you can't get a PCI card to work, you have an alternative - an adapter you attach to each IDE drive that converts it 's interface so it can be connected via a SATA cable and be detected as a SATA (150mb/sec max) drive .
- read the user reviews - a lot of them have quality control problems - don't chose one with no reviews.
- some may have a SATA socket or come with a SATA data cable that does not "latch" the cable connector into the socket on the adapter when you plug it in. The cable must "latch" so that it won't move out of the socket from mere vibration. It's easy to use a better data cable, but if no cable will "latch" into the socket, you have to tape the connector to thesocket.
- it may not be clear but the IDE drive must be set to either master or cable select , usually master - if setting it one way doesn't work, try the other - it won't work set to slave

They come as a card or in a plastic enclosure that sticks straight out when attached, or as a card that attaches 90 degrees to the card, etc.

E.g. lots of them here:

Lots of good reviews (it's IDE to SATA despite the title)

A few good reviews

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