SOLUTION: Switch Windows 10 from RAID/IDE to AHCI operation

PSA: You should not be attempting these fixes unless you’re a professional!  And it goes without saying, you will ALWAYS need your local admin password, recovery media, and backups of your data before fooling around with low-level storage driver configuration — or really anything else for that matter.  See the comments section below for examples of a couple of people who ran into mishaps after encountering other underlying issues or forgetting their admin password before starting the process.  PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!

It’s not uncommon to find a system on which RAID drivers have been installed and something like the Intel Rapid Storage Technology package is handling storage devices, but where an SSD might require AHCI operation for more optimal performance or configurability. In these cases, there is in fact a way to switch operation from either IDE or RAID to AHCI within Windows 10 without having to reinstall.  Here’s how.

  1. Right-click the Windows Start Menu. Choose Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Type this command and press ENTER: bcdedit /set {current} safeboot minimal
  3. Restart the computer and enter BIOS Setup (the key to press varies between systems).
  4. Change the SATA Operation mode to AHCI from either IDE or RAID (again, the language varies).
  5. Save changes and exit Setup and Windows will automatically boot to Safe Mode.
  6. Right-click the Windows Start Menu once more. Choose Command Prompt (Admin).
  7. Type this command and press ENTER: bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safeboot
  8. Reboot once more and Windows will automatically start with AHCI drivers enabled.

That’s all there is to it!  Special thanks to Toobad here for outlining this procedure.

Donate to say "Thanks" if this post has helped save you time and money! 🙂

36 thoughts on “SOLUTION: Switch Windows 10 from RAID/IDE to AHCI operation

  1. Blue screen and endless repairing disk cycles for me 🙁 (single disk to no actual raid was ever on, but maybe some interaction with the SSHD being to used to accelerate perf?). 🙁

    Asus Pz77-v MB

  2. Thank you so much for these clear and simple instructions. I had no idea it was this easy to avoid having to reinstall Windows!

  3. Wow thanks! I thought disabling SRT in windows then in bios switching to ahci was enough but nope. This did it. Thanks

  4. I used msconfig to boot into and out of safe mode, therefore not needing to edit the registry. Was able to change from RAID to AHCI, thanks!

  5. does not work for me.. it says:

    PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> bcdedit /set {current} safeboot minimal
    The set command specified is not valid.
    Run “bcdedit /?” for command line assistance.
    The parameter is incorrect.

  6. I had the same error as Mark (“The set command specified is not valid.”), I’m running a brand new Windows 10 machine.

    I got it to work by removing “{current}” from the command:
    > bcdedit /set safeboot minimal
    > bcdedit /deletevalue safeboot

    And your solution worked great, thank you!

  7. When I switch from Raid to ACHI then save and exit it just says “Missing Operating System”. I successfully switched it to safe mode before this, is there anything I can do?

  8. Tried this fix just now to find that now instead of just freezing, my pc now just decides to turn itself off. The setting was already on AHCI. And on top of that my keyboard isn’t working either. Nice.

  9. So the setting was already AHCI? Obviously this would suggest nothing was changed then. Have to tell you this, but it sounds like you’ve got deeper issues at play. You need to get ahold of a local technician you trust to help you out.

    Steve

  10. Tried this and now my computer is stuck on safe mode. Why didn’t you say anything about making sure you have the local account password before you try to boot into safe mode!? You ruined my Sunday by excluding that vital information. Now I am stuck having to buy a 16gb flash drive so I can make boot media to repair this mess. Microsoft customer service couldn’t help me, suggested I drive an hour to the nearest Microsoft store for help…

  11. Oh and there’s no way to boot back into normal mode once you start safe mode. Another vital chunk of information left out of this article….

  12. Dylan,

    Sorry man, this blog is nothing more than a free resource I provide to help other techs like myself. It assumes the technical background and resources are present to correct any issues that might come your way when undergoing any of the fixes. Obviously I can’t predict every possible problem you might encounter!

    Good luck, it should be an easy fix. I can’t imagine any scenario where someone would be doing this on a PC where they don’t have the local account password though… So you forgot your original password, and I ruined your Sunday? This is what you get for trying to help people out for free I guess!

    Steve

  13. Look I’m just saying that as one of the top results of a google query about this problem you should definitely put up a disclaimer or a caveat that says “warning – you must use your local account to log in” because in Win10 the default is to use a Microsoft account or a PIN. That’s all.

    I could have easily gotten the password before I doomed my computer into safe mode purgatory if it simply said I needed it in the post.

  14. Hey, I get it, and it sucks you’re frustrated. The thing is, I have no control over my positioning on Google — my visitors do (entirely!), and as you can probably see from the plethora of other (free!) articles and comments here, it’s primarily because I offer some pretty darn useful help at absolutely no cost. I make precisely zero ($0.00) off the operation of this blog apart from the odd donation, and that’s merely out of the kindness of some visitors’ hearts. It’s just a favor from me to the tech community, nothing more, nothing less!

    And it’s certainly FAR from perfect. If I tried to cover every possible variable every time I sat down to donate my time to writing up an article for other techs to have at their disposal, it would make more sense for me to just shut down the entire site and start charging people who have the problems and come to me for answers.

    So again, my apologies that this didn’t work out for you because you didn’t have your local admin password handy. It’s sort of like locking the door behind you on the way out of your house and forgetting that you changed your garage keypad code. You’ll have to call a locksmith to get yourself back in, and after that, write down your passwords and don’t forget them!

    And for future reference — this isn’t some lightweight tech advice here. PLENTY of it can ruin a computer if you don’t know what you’re doing. Check out that disclaimer on the right side of the main page for full details about that.

    If you were in Louisville, I’d ask you to come by so I could get you back in, which would probably take 60 seconds. Unfortunately, I can’t do that for you — so I’d suggest either finding a local tech you trust (the same thing I told someone else above) or downloading a password reset disk such as Active@ Password Changer or PCUnlocker. Good luck, and apologies for your misfortune!

    Steve

  15. Hey Steve, wanted to update and let you know I solved the problem by creating a 512MB recovery disk on my laptop and then using that to boot back into my account. Was a relatively easy fix.

    I’m going to make a local admin account with no password and use that to follow your instructions so there’s no chance of a weird hangup like what I experienced.

    I’ve never owned an SSD before – so the whole SATA operation thing is new to me, also Windows 10 using a different password for safe mode is new to me too, really seems like bad design. Anyway, I’m confident it should work now.

    Thanks for the communication buddy. I’m in Dayton so really not too far away haha.

  16. Also I’m pretty sure that I either don’t have a local admin account or deleted it, I only have one account on my computer currently.

  17. My mom’s from Dayton! Small world for sure. 😉

    As for the local admin account, what likely happened (if I had to guess) is that you wound up associating your Microsoft account with your Windows installation (it’s relatively easy to accidentally do). That way, Windows forces you to sign in each time using your MS account email and password — but the problem is, if you’re offline for any reason or the information changes somehow, you can’t login until you provide the previous credentials. At least, that’s my best guess.

    As for it being a different password for Safe Mode… well, that part still has me confused as well. Perhaps Windows 10 simply always requires a local account login (rather than MS account) in Safe Mode operation and I’ve never noticed it!

    Either way, appreciate the update, and glad you got things working again. Hopefully now with AHCI mode!

    Steve

  18. Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, I only got as far as it booting into safemode, but the mouse doesn’t work and none of the letter on keyboard work either. Any further assistance will be greatly appreciated.

  19. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    I had just done a BIOS update and it reset from AHCI mode back to IDE, and Windows ended up trying to boot before I caught it. It loaded the IDE drivers and then wouldn’t finish booting. I got the board to finally keep settings set for AHCI mode and then Windows kept giving me boot_device_inaccessible because it was trying to load the IDE drivers.

    After a few failed boots startup repair gave me the option to open SAFE MODE with Networking, where I found your article! I opened msconfig and switched boot to safe (minimal) and then from there switched safe boot off, and now Windows works again! \o/

  20. Hey Steve, thanks for posting your solution to switch Windows 10 from RAID/IDE to AHCI operations. Worked like a charm. Just sent in a small donation.

  21. Worked perfectly! Like some other mentioned previously, I also had to leave out the {current} part of the command line entry. I was thinking I would have to reinstall Windows.. this was so much better. Thank you!

  22. I am going to try this. I am wondering if Dell’s OEM small diagnostic partition will still work after the change from RAID to AHCI. You can boot into the diagnostics partition so would the change from RAID to AHCI kill that boot or would it still work?

  23. I can’t say for certain as I haven’t tried it to my knowledge since performing this switch on any systems, but logically-speaking it should not make a difference.

  24. Thanks for this fast process. You are correct, it can still boot to the Dell OEM diagnostics partition after the change to AHCI. I’m sorry but my employer won’t donate to you but perhaps my giving you this info about the OEM boot will compensate you at least a little.

  25. This worked really well for me on a Lenovo 710S Plus. Having flashed the BIOS to enable switching between RAID and AHCI this was the missing piece to getting a Ubuntu/Windows 10 dual boot going :)))

  26. Had the same issue in which I was locked in safe mode with no local admin password (enterprise Azure AD login only)

    Restart on the login screen using shift when clicking restart.

    Enter cmd in start-up recovery (had to obtain bitlocker key to access(

    Entered command
    bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safeboot
    This didnt work (parameter issue)

    So changed command to
    bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safeboot

    This worked.

    In order to avoid getting stuck in safe mode again or prior, setup a local account with no Microsoft account details and change from local to admin account.

    This detail should be added to the above description.

    Thanks

  27. i do it and i restarted computer than giving me mag this app not working
    and i check my bios insydeh20
    i don’t see anything about AHCI

  28. My Dell XPS 8000 doesn’t appear to have an AHCI mode in Bios. It’s running Dell A03 Bios (the latest from Dell) and still it doesn’t appear to have the option. I’ve only found ATA or RAID.

    Do you know if the Dell XPS 8000 series supports AHCI?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.