SATA driving running in IDE mode? What's that?

I just got done building a computer.

It is the first computer I ever built with SATA hard drives and a SATA DVD drive.

Everytime I booted the computer my Gigabyte MOBO would post a message

SATA driving running in IDE mode AHCI
Press 'Y' if you want the BIOs to run in SATA mode.

After seeing the message a few times I thought it would speed up DVD drive so I answered Yes.

After I did that the machine failed to boot. It keeps giving me the option to go to safe mode.

Who has SATA Drives?
Have you ever received a message like this?
How do I fix this?

It keeps asking me to insert the windows CD to recover.



Feb 22, 2008
You should go to BIOS and set your SATA back to IDE mode. Find any information regarding SATA mode or anything like that on your BIOS. Otherwise you should recover Windows and supply the SATA/AHCI driver for your drive. I don't see any difference between IDE mode and SATA mode, unless you want to use additional feature like hotswap and NCQ thing.


Mar 14, 2009
Back in April, Rwayne posted:

Everytime I booted the computer my Gigabyte MOBO would post a message

SATA driving running in IDE mode AHCI
Press 'Y' if you want the BIOs to run in SATA mode.

After seeing the message a few times I thought it would speed up DVD drive so I answered Yes.

Rwayne then had trouble installing Vista. antas posted a recommendation that Rwayne reset the SATA controller in BIOS back to IDE mode.

Can you change your SATA controller to IDE mode *after* Vista is installed without causing any problems?

I have a new Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-US2H mobo with AMD 780G/SB700 chipset. I, too, enabled AHCI when the BIOS asked me. Happily for me, I had no problems installing Vista Ultimate 32-bit afterwards.

However, now I discover that SMART data cannot be read in Windows with an AMD 780G chipset in AHCI mode. I have seen this documented on a few different forums, but nobody seems to have a workaround.

The jury seems to be out on both SMART and AHCI. Personally, I want to be able to use HDTune and Western Digital's tools to monitor drive temp and be aware of the problems that SMART can detect. From what I've read, it sounds like I don't really need AHCI/NCQ on my desktop/HTPC (I use it for both purposes, driving a 40" Samsung LCD HDTV)--and NCQ might actually slow my system down.

I have the latest drivers from Gigabyte for the SATA chipset. Can any of you shed some light on this?

And finally, I'll ask my main question again: with Vista installed and running smoothly, is it safe to reset the SATA controller in BIOS back to IDE mode (in order to enable SMART)?



For Rwayne, here's what I think happened. Windows up to XP (maybe VISTA? I don't know for sure) did NOT know how to use SATA from the start. You had to install a SATA driver from a floppy early in the install phase where it tells you to push "F6" to install special drivers. If you did that, everything worked just fine. So mobo makers tried to make things easier. They set the BIOS by default to treat SATA drives a little special. The mobo BIOS handles all the details of SATA in place of a Windows software driver, and makes that drive appear to be a simple IDE drive. Now, Windows already has built in the driver it needs for IDE devices, so it all works smoothly. In essence the BIOS is emulating an IDE drive using what is really a SATA drive. That's how you started.

Then you told it not to do that, but run in true SATA mode instead. So the BIOS stopped doing its emulation and Windows suddenly had no IDE drive to use! You can get out of this two ways.
1. Boot up and get into the BIOS Setup screens, usually by holding down the "Del" key - your mobo may have a different way to do this. In Setup, look for the screens that specify what drives you have and how they are managed. Find your SATA drive and set it back to the IDE emulation mode. Then check where the boot priority is set, and be sure it will boot from this drive that is now emulated IDE, and not just plain SATA. Save and reboot. Everything should be working again.

2. If you really want to run in true SATA mode or AHCI mode, do #1 above first to get you into Windows. The you need to have a disk (maybe you mobo's CD of utilities) with the correct driver for that mode. You'll need to load that driver for your SATA HDD, shut down, and reboot back into the BIOS Setup to set it to use SATA (or AHCI, as you choose), save and reboot. When you do this, Windows should be able to find the driver and load it so it can handle the HDD by itself without the emulation help from the BIOS.

For abracapocus, I'm not sure. I would GUESS it might work because Windows already has an IDE driver built in. If it suddenly found it had no SATA HDD but an IDE unit was there as a boot disk (because the BIOS makes it pretend to be IDE), it should work. Worst case, it does not, and you have to reset the BIOS back to AHCI mode using the driver already installed. If it does not work, you might have to puzzle over whether to uninstall the AHCI driver to force it to use only the IDE mode.


Aug 19, 2008

I am Using Vista -64 Bit ans installed the operating system in Native AHCI mode Still I do not see the HDD Temps.. I am Running the latest Drivers.

I Just want to use SMART to Check the Temperatures on the computer... Any suggestions???

Computer Build

OS Name Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Ultimate
Version 6.0.6001 Service Pack 1 Build 6001
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name ARJUN-PC
System Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
System Model GA-MA78GPM-DS2H
System Type x64-based PC
Processor AMD Phenom(tm) 9850 Quad-Core Processor, 2500 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Award Software International, Inc. F1, 6/3/2008
SMBIOS Version 2.4
Windows Directory C:\Windows
System Directory C:\Windows\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.0.6001.18000"
User Name Arjun-PC\Arjun
Time Zone India Standard Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 3.75 GB
Available Physical Memory 1.31 GB
Total Virtual Memory 7.70 GB
Available Virtual Memory 5.19 GB
Page File Space 4.04 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys