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achi vs sata windows 7 compatibility

Last Modified: 2016-11-23
recently I purchased a used Dell Precision T3500. Nice machine Xeon processor, 12 GB, came with w7 Pro 64 preinstalled on a 300 GB drive on SATA drive 0. But I wanted to take the old W7 Pro drive out of my old Dell OptiPlex GX280 and just boot up from that. So I removed the boot drive that came with the T3500 and plugged in the SATA boot drive from the GX280.  No joy.  Windows now able to load, tried restoring to an earlier point, no joy, did not want to reinstall Windows.  The bios offered me AHCI with RAID auto-detect, AHCI or RAID only.  I was using auto-detect.  

Is there a basic incompatibility between AHCI and older SATA drives?  Is there some quick fix I could have found?  

FWIW, I ended up using the 64 bit W7 that came with the new computer but that meant I had to spend 4 hours installing all the apps.  I
Sure hope someone has the real scoop on the difference between ACHI and the older SATA operation.  It just seems like the drivers could have been made to detect the difference when booting and causing the W7 correct driver to be loaded.

Hope someone knows more about this than I do.

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