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If It Ain't Broke...Duh

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#1 OFFLINE   raymac46


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Posted 17 June 2017 - 07:54 AM

So I have this old Acer Veriton M Desktop with 2011 technology - crude but effective. It was designed as a business machine although I have upgraded it to a half decent game box over the years.
The Acer was designed with Intel Rapid Storage Technology baked in. There's lots of room in the case for SATA drives and the designers wanted to make it easy to set up RAID. As a result when I put in an SSD along with the existing HDD the IRST immediately gave me the RAID option - not that anyone would be dumb enough to set up a RAID array with an SSD and a mechanical drive.
So now when I boot up I get this rather redundant pre-boot screen that tells me I have two non-RAID disks and options to set up a RAID -  which I will never do.
Yesterday I got tired of seeing this screen so I went into the BIOS and switched the SATA controller from RAID to ACHI. Not a smart idea.
On reboot I got a black screen - missing boot drive or boot drive failed. I went back into the BIOS and found that both internal drives were not in the boot options. The machine was trying to boot from an external data drive I use to back up. I fiddled with a hard drive boot priority setting and got the SSD back. Then the machine booted but gave me a BSOD - boot drive unavailable - restart.
Apparently Windows is set up with the Intel SATA RAID controller and I would have to edit the registry or boot in safe mode to correct the error - but I couldn't boot at all.
At this point I gave up - switched back to SATA RAID, made sure that the SSD boot drive was the #1 priority. I have the RAID option screen back but at least Windows will start and run normally.
I guess with some Googling I could figure out how to run in AHCI but since the two modes are almost the same anyway aside from the boot screen I doubt it's worth any more messing around. If it ain't broke...
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#2 OFFLINE   securitybreach


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Posted 17 June 2017 - 12:38 PM

Yeah, I did something similar last week with one of my laptops. I ended up having to chroot in and fix the bootloader. Of course, you cannot do that in windows.
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#3 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 02:45 PM

Oddly enough, when I built this most recent system (ericsbane07), I installed 4 hdds in a non-RAID setup. All went will with my Linux drives, but my Windows drive was not recognized. Hmm... when I went into BIOS and switched to AHCI, everything started working fine. I think with my system, it was a mobo BIOS issue/feature.

#4 OFFLINE   raymac46


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Posted 18 June 2017 - 06:40 AM

Interesting. I read that a lot of OEMs like Dell configure the BIOS default to SATA RAID even if they have a single drive in the system. This allows them to standardize across a wide range of models, provides the RAID option for business machines and works the same as AHCI if there's one drive in question. Most people don't mess about with setup anyway so they wouldn't worry about how the SATA controller is set.
Once Windows is installed though, it adopts the BIOS SATA controller settings so it might get a trifle discombobulated if it does not find what it expects at boot time.

Edited by raymac46, 18 June 2017 - 06:42 AM.

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#5 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 06:04 PM

Oh, it was discombobulated alright. It wouldn't boot at all with the default BIOS SATA settings. :)

#6 OFFLINE   Peachy


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Posted 05 July 2017 - 07:22 PM

You can switch to AHCI without re-installing Windows. Just install Intel's AHCI drivers and reboot, change the BIOS settings to AHCI, and it should work. I've done this on a few machines and it always worked for me.

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#7 OFFLINE   sunrat


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Posted 25 July 2017 - 08:05 PM

This is how I did it in Win 7. Not sure if it works in Win 10 as it was already AHCI when I installed.

How to enable AHCI in Windows 7 RC after installation
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