Windows 8.1: Changing SATA hard drives from IDE emulation to modern AHCI, *AFTER OS INSTALLATION*

How to Enable AHCI in Windows 8 After Installation

What is AHCI and why should you care?

AHCI ( Advanced Host Controller Interface ) offers native command queuing and hot plugging through SATA host controllers (Serial-ATA) for hard drives. In simpler terms, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use it.

Updated method

A lot of feedback has been given with our visitors sharing different levels of success on the below method. The method had worked for me and some users but an easier version for Windows 8 is below which seems to work for everyone. (Thanks Marcel!)

  1. In search, write cmd, right click it and run it in administrator mode.
  2. Type the following command to enable SafeMode boot:
    bcdedit /set {current} safeboot minimal
  3. Restart the computer and boot to the system BIOS. This is normally done by by pressing the delete key during system boot.
  4. Update the ATA Drive setting in the BIOS from ATA Mode to AHCI Mode. Save the setting and restart your computer to boot into Windows.
  5. Windows will boot in SafeMode as per step 2.
  6. Open the command prompt again by following step 1 and run the following command to remove the the SafeMode boot option:
    bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safeboot
  7. Restart the computer and boot normally.
Originally obtained info from various sources, including: