We’ve started rolling Windows 7 x64 Enterprise at work with new laptops and thanks to a colleague in IT I was enrolled as well for my work Dell Latitude D630 laptop running Windows XP Professional, but I was going to do it myself at home over the weekend.
After backing up my files on an external USB drive and restoring the Norton Ghost image (I did manage to restore just the system partition so I could’ve kept the others untouched, but it wasn’t worth risking), then I had to go through the recovery process and let Windows 7 repair the boot so that replaces the Windows XP boot manager. That is a nice tool and it works in most cases, what it doesn’t do is help with ATA vs AHCI modes.
And this is where the troubles begun – I understand that the image was preset for ATA mode, while previously my XP was configured for AHCI mode, and therefore I was hit hard with 0x0000007B (0xFFFFF88009A9928, 0xFFFFFFFFC0000034, 0x000000 …) BSOD.
I figured that it must be because of that so I went in BIOS and changed from AHCI to ATA. Trouble was that it didn’t solve the problem… Went again through the Windows 7 recovery mode, nothing.
Googling the problem I found that most of the solutions were suggesting to change the SATA mode in BIOS, but that didn’t solve it for me (I changed to both, reset the BIOS setting etc no luck)– some explained that Windows loads either the AHCI or ATA drive as configured. Then I found this Microsoft KB (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976) that says how to change the registry keys to enable AHCI mode.
BUT how to change the registry keys when my Windows wasn’t booting up?! What I didn’t know is that you can run regedit.exe from the recovery console and then load the SYSTEM hive from HDD, change the registry keys and then unload it!!!
Searching for “how to edit registry files from recovery console” I found this article - http://windowsxp.mvps.org/peboot.htm - which was written for something else but I could use it to load the SYSTEM hive from C:\Windows\System32\Config\SYSTEM, went in both ControlSet001 and ControlSet002 (to be sure :-) and changed the two Msahci\Start and IastorV\Start to 0 (from 3), rebooted with AHCI mode in BIOS and BINGO, my new Windows 7 was booting fine now!
Case closed - thanks to other people sharing the information, I thought I should do the same and pay it forward…
PS: If your system supports and has AHCI enabled you can install Intel Rapid Storage for an updated driver from here (search for Intel Rapid Storage – it is not detected automatically). Intel Rapid Storage Manager used to be called Intel Matrix Storage Manager.