Ahci and multi-boot system

Good afternoon; first of all, thank you for sharing the skills in this forum.

I find myself in a quite odd situation.

I have a(n overly) complex system, based on a triple/quadruple bootloader:
- Win10
- Win 7
- 2 Legacy Windows XP (1 regular XP Pro, 1 “Audio” XP, with a limited configuration for audio purposes).

All working good, with the ability to boot from each of the partition with IDE as SATA option in the BIOS.
The mobo is an Asus P9X79 Deluxe, the SSD is a Samsung 850.

I made the mistake of turning on “AHCI” in the SATA options in the BIOS - I have external eSATA ports that I struggle to use with an external drive enclosure -.
Not only I didn’t solve the eSATA ports problem, but I found myself in the situation in which I messed up with the multiple bootloader…

Apparently, Win 10 boots fine with AHCI (but doesn’t anymore if I try to go back to IDE, presenting an “INACCESSABLE_BOOT_DEVICE” error after the boot system selection); but Seven (not to mention XP and XP Audio) does not, ant they require IDE.

Is there a way to go definitely back to IDE (which is the lower common denominator of my system: XP Audio will not install AHCI driver, and I don’t need the potential performance improvements coming from AHCI)?

Hope my question doesn’t seem too trivial, but I couldn’t find any guidance.
And yes: the next system that I am building will have multiple disks, each one with a single OS and bootloader… :slight_smile:


Windows XP and Windows 7 make excellent bedfellows on a dual or multiboot system with both running in AHCI mode. You must install XP first then 7.

Windows 7 and Windows 10(build 1607) do not make good bedfellows however. I do a lot of testing with Nuhis NTLite and on many occasion a w10 test install royally messes up my system causing chkdsk to run on all partitions if it hasnt already totally screwed up the booting process leaving the pc totally unbootable which has happened on many an occasion.

@Tranfa :
Welcome to the Win-RAID Forum!

Which AHCI driver are you using with Win7 and which one with Win10?
If I were you, I would stick with the AHCI mode, but try to use the exactly same Intel AHCI driver for both Operating Systems.

It is clear, that you get an “INACCESSABLE_BOOT_DEVICE” error, when you simply set the SATA Controller within the BIOS from “AHCI” to “IDE” (or vice versa) and reboot thereafter.
To prevent such message while trying to switch from “AHCI” to “IDE” mode, you may try the following steps:

  1. Installation of the currently “wrong” generic MS IDE driver named PCIIDE.SYS by “updating” the driver of the related Intel SATA AHCI Controller (you have to force it by using the “Have Disk” option). The related INF file is named “mshdc.inf” and the name of the desired device is “Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller”.
  2. After having completed the forced “update” to a currently wrong driver choose the option “Reboot”, but enter immediately the BIOS while rebooting and switch the SATA mode of the Intel SATA Controller to “IDE”.
  3. Reboot into the desired OS. This should work now, because the bootloader uses now the correct IDE driver for your Intel SATA Controller running in “IDE” mode.

Good luck!
Dieter (alias Fernando)

Hi and thank you to both.

EmmaRoyd, my purpose is to avoid reinstalling anything from scratch, if possible (the system is an old one that I will maintain for legacy purposes, and the new one is already in route).
The whole multiple bootloader architecture was working well, before I took the decision of going AHCI in order to solve a problem (and instead I opened another one… :slight_smile: )

Fernando, the AHCI driver in Win10 should be the Asmedia 106x SATA Controller (I will have the PC available later today so I’ll double check).
There should be no AHCI driver installed for Seven or XP, which explains the behavior of these OS.
What prevents me to install the AHCI driver in each of the OS is the fact that the Audio XP partition has very limited functionalities, and I’m sure that could work only on IDE - hence the path you suggest seems the best one.
A noobish question: where could I find the PCIIDE.SYS driver in order to install it?

Thank you again!

You can find both files (pciide.sys and mshdc.inf) within the folder C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\mshdc.inf_xxxxxxx (the last characters vary).
Don’t forget to set a Restore Point, before you start with the operation.

@Tranfa , i can only report my own findings with an AMD A88X system, i work with audio and video.

Uhm…in Device Manager, under “IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers”, I have only two instances of “Standard SATA AHCI Controller” (both presenting mshdc.inf as Inf Name).

I don’t find “Intel SATA AHCI Controller” among the devices, so I don’t know what and how to update.

@Tranfa :
The listed “Standard SATA AHCI Controller” is either the Intel or the ASMedia SATA AHCI Controller, which is currently using the generic MS in-box AHCI driver.
You can check the manufacturer of the Controller by doing a right-click onto it and choosing the options “Properties” > “Details” > “Property” > “HardwareIDs”.
The shown VendorID VEN_8086 is Intel, whereas ASMedia has the VendorID VEN_1B21.
At least it doesn’t matter, if you want to run the related Controller in IDE mode. The procedure is exactly the same.

@EmmaRoyd :
Yes, an XP Audio driver thread within >this< Sub-Forum is welcome!
Thanks in advance for writing about this topic here.

@EmmaRoyd :

Emma, the XP was actually lighted through NTLite; this happened around 2010, and I’ve lost the instruction I followed (they were in an Italian audiophile forum that has been discontinued).
I still have the image though; would it be of any help?

@EmmaRoyd :
No problem - our XP Sub-Forum is not restricted to the topic “Drivers”.

Interesting…the driver installation (possible only through the “Have disk”, as you pointed out), is taking ages…and doesn’s seem to come to an end…

It doesn’t allow me to stop the wizard…

Sorry EmmaRoyd,

The partition with Audio XP was created with nLite (not NT, my bad).

But the issue of the neverending installation is on the Win10 partition, not the Audio XP…

I need to add the IDE drivers in Win10, not Audio XP…

@Fernando , I have edited some of my posts that do not directly relate to the driver question. :slight_smile:

@EmmaRoyd :
It is your decision where you want to start the XP Audio thread.

Tried again after having had to stop manually the PC.
Seemed to install the requested .inf file, but upon restart the situation remains the same, with the AHCI device working and no sign of the IDE device in device manager.
Mast have done something wrong.

@Tranfa :
Did you switch the SATA mode of the SATA Controller to “IDE” before you finally rebooted?
If yes, are you sure, that you did it with the correct SATA Controller (Intel or ASMedia), where your system drive is connected?

Yes to both, unfortunately…
I think the “driver update” didn’t go through, for some reason.

Yes, the switch from AHCI to IDE (or vice versa) from within a running OS is risky, because the Windows Hardware Detection doesn’t like to install a mass storage driver, which doesn’t match the HardwareIDs of the SATA Controller, where the system drive is connected (the DeviceIDs of the SATA Controller depends on the SATA mode and are different in IDE, AHCI and RAID mode).
That is why I always recommend to do a fresh OS installation, when the user wants to switch the SATA mode.

Another question: Are you sure, that you saved the changed SATA mode setting, before you have quit the BIOS?

Yes I did. I’ll try to solve with a sort of equivalent of a fresh install: a restore of the whole disk backup. Thanks a lot for your help and knowledge sharing, Fernando.