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Hard disk not recognised by bootable diagostics...because of AHCI mode in BIOS

Posted on 2015-01-05
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a Dell Alienware PC here.

Bootable diagnostic utilities do not recognise presence of disk because in the BIOS
AHCI mode is set AND there is no option to change it back to IDE mode.

How do I run diagnostics on it's HDD?
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Question by:furuno
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40531576
AHCI mode is set AND there is no option to change it back to IDE mode.

Is there an option to set AHCI to Compatibility Mode?  If so, that should work.
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noxcho earned 500 total points
ID: 40531584
If you are not able to change the AHCI to IDE Compatible mode then I would suggest that you slave the drive to another PC and perform there scan with your Diagnostics tool in Windows. Every HDD vendor provides a Windows and DOS based diagnostics tools.
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by:rindi
ID: 40531651
Those diagnostics I have used up to now have never had any issue with AHCI mode. You only start to get issues when you try to start or install an OS like Windows. Are you sure the disk is even recognized by the BIOS? If the BIOS doesn't recognize the disk, no utility will either. Are you trying to run the correct utility? If you run the utility of the wrong disk manufacturer on a disk, it usually won't recognize the disk either, or it will recognize it, but refuse to diagnoze it. What diagnostic are you trying to run?
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by:garycase
ID: 40531844
Look very carefully in the BIOS ... it's almost certain that there will be a way to change the SATA mode.    It may not say "IDE" ... it may be a "RAID Mode" setting with Disabled, RAID, and AHCI options or something along those lines -- setting it to Disabled will enabled IDE mode access.

Be sure to look carefully at the various submenus -- some of these settings can be hard to find, depending on the BIOS structure.    But I'd be very surprised if an Alienware system doesn't have that option.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40532984
what model is it?
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Author Comment

by:furuno
ID: 40533430
As suggested by Gary, I dug very deep in the BIOS and "IDE" "compatibility" "RAID" or any other mode that might suggest an alternative to AHCI  was nowhere to be found.

Nobus, it was an Alienware X51.

I ended up slaving the hdd to another PC to run diagnostics.

HDD manufacturers should really offer a bootable diagnostic that can be used in AHCI mode!

Thanks guys for all your help.
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