Replacing Manufacturer AHCI drivers with standard Microsoft SATA drivers

Crucial Employee
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Abnormal performance in Windows operating systems after upgrading to an SSD, such as slower benchmarks than expected or system crashes, can result from outdated or poorly supported storage controller drivers. Besides updating to your motherboard or system manufacturer's most recent drivers, changing your drivers to Windows' built-in drivers can improve or eliminate performance issues.


To do this, open the Device Manager (type Device Manager into the search field).


Windows 10 Screen.png


In Device Manager you will see a list of different driver categories. You will want to look for a category called IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers and expand it.


If you cannot find the IDE ATA/ATAPI section, then your system is most likely not running in AHCI mode. Refer to your Operating System (OS) and system manufacturer documentation and follow their steps to ensure your system is configured for AHCI mode for best performance of single SSD configurations.


You will see a few entries for the AHCI controller (such as the Intel drivers shown below).



Right click on this and select Properties, then click on the Driver tab, then Update Driver Software.


Then select Browse my computer for driver software.


In the next screen select "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer."

let me pick.PNG

In the list under Model, you will see the current drivers as well as the Microsoft one, called Standard AHCI1.0 Serial ATA Controller. Select that one and click Next.


The Microsoft driver will now be installed and you will need to do a restart for the changes to take effect (sometimes several restarts are required). You can also go back into Device Manager and verify that the Microsoft Standard drivers are now installed.


If you are still experiencing problems after making this change, please reach out to our support team for further assistance.




Kilobyte Kid

Coin is 50/50. On the flipside, going to Manuf. driver to standard works if you do indeed gain faster speeds, but at what cost in therms of stability? More often than not, most of us will not see the differences in speed, especially when running at minimum 3Gbps (300MB/s), 6Gbps (600MB/s). In this case, it could the exception to the rule.


If the manufacturer does not have the latest driver, there are also other ways to see if you can determine and find an updated driver. The first is go to your device manager, go to IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers and see if if lists your Controller. For example, my controller, is an Intel 8 Series/C220 Chipset Family SATA AHCI controller by Intel.


How else can you find your chipset? Well look to none other than your Universal Serial Bus Controller section listed. On my computer, I see Intel 8 Series/C220 eries USB ECHI. This is an indication of what AHCI SATA driver you should look for. Intel has several versions of the Intel RST storage driver. So it's important to view the inf file of the driver to see if it lists your controller series in there.


We went over this with a warehouse computer running Windwos 10 but that computer runs the ICH10 chipset. So, it made sense to find the latest chipset that contains this. The driver that had ICH10R worked and solved the freezing issues we were experiencing.


There are several driver webites that may contain the driver you need. Intel many not necessarily contain the proper driver. If you have an AMD chipset, it is a good idea to check AMD's website instead.


What was different in our case, was the Standard AHCI driver did not solve freezing issues where the computer would grind to a near halt, however, updated to the latest driver helped.


There is a small amount of danger when doing this. If Windows complains in a pop up box that installing an incompatible driver would cause the computer to have instability or prevent itself from sucessfully booting correctly. If your chipset may not be listed, it could work but it would not be officially supported by Intel in this regard.


Remember to make backups of your hard drive to an a secondary or external source in case something goes wrong. It also helps to have System restore with a recent restore point to quickly to back to a point where your system last successfully booted into Windows.


The OP is correct in outdated drivers can result in unstable or poor performance. Standard ACHI use should be last resort, in my opinion, if the manufactur or your manufactuerer of your chipset does not have a newer driver available than what your currently have.