Intel invented a new storage controller interface known asAHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) that supports these new technologieswith modern SATA hard drives. If you havea hard drive that supports NCQ, it is worth a try to see if your diskperformance improves with your workload.
The main problem preventing users from changing the storageinterface protocol from IDE to AHCI in the past has been blue screens thatcould only be cured by undoing the BIOS change or reinstalling Windows. The cause of the problem is the mass storagedriver installed when Windows was first setup. Since IDE was enabled at install only the IDE storage driver wasconfigured in Windows. With the AHCIdriver missing, Windows cannot read from the hard drive and throws a BSOD witherror code 0x0000005B.
Now there is an easy solution that will allow you to switchbetween IDE and AHCI in the bios and Windows will boot without anyproblems. The key is to enable the AHCIdriver in Windows before you make the setting change in the BIOS.
For most users this will work:
- Open Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetservicesmsahci.
- Right click on the Start registry DWORD and select Modify.
- Set the value to 0 and click OK.
- Now the Start setting should be set to 0.
- Reboot and enable the AHCI setting in your BIOS.
If you are using a RAID adapter or other interface try thefollowing:
- Open up Registry Editor and naviage to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetservicesiaStorV OR HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetservicesiaStor.
- Repeat the steps above.
Not all users will see a major performance improvement with AHCIand a SATA hard drive but NCQ can be very helpful under the rightworkload. Post your experience and setupin the comments below.