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Last reply by 07-26-2022 Solved
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XPS 8940, Windows 11, dual boot RAID vs AHCI

Just purchased a standard build 8940 with 500GB SSD and 1TB HD.  Trying to get Linux to see Windows 11 OS but no luck.  I've read it's a RAID vs AHCI issue but so far I haven't been able to change from RAID to AHCI in BIOS without getting the dreaded BSOD. (BTW, thank you DELL for the self-repairing BIOS!)

I've tried changing the Registry ... iaStorV and storahci per a recommendation but that failed. I've seen a post by Ron here that was very simple (rebooting in Safe Mode) but haven't tried it.

With the current builds, can you switch from RAID to AHCI in Win 11 if the system comes with an SSD and HDD installed?  I don't intend to use the HDD for anything other than backups. I've also installed a second SATA HDD if that makes a difference (where my Linux OSs are installed)

If it's possible to boot in AHCI mode, how is it done?

Thank you for your time.

 

 

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@DaveinTus I believe the procedure post by Ron is this procedure: http://triplescomputers.com/blog/uncategorized/solution-switch-windows-10-from-raidide-to-ahci-opera...

Note that the procedure is for Windows 10 but I believe it should work for Windows 11 but I have no experience that it will. Note also that the BIOS change in not made until step 4 of the procedure.

I am sure what you mean by "get LInux to see Windows 11 OS". Do you mean to access the files on the Windows drive or do you mean dual booting the OSs? I don't have any experience with that although I can run Linux Mint in a virtual machine and share files with Windows 10 using a shared folder. 

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@DaveinTus I believe the procedure post by Ron is this procedure: http://triplescomputers.com/blog/uncategorized/solution-switch-windows-10-from-raidide-to-ahci-opera...

Note that the procedure is for Windows 10 but I believe it should work for Windows 11 but I have no experience that it will. Note also that the BIOS change in not made until step 4 of the procedure.

I am sure what you mean by "get LInux to see Windows 11 OS". Do you mean to access the files on the Windows drive or do you mean dual booting the OSs? I don't have any experience with that although I can run Linux Mint in a virtual machine and share files with Windows 10 using a shared folder. 

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Re: With the current builds, can you switch from RAID to AHCI in Win 11 if the system comes with an SSD and HDD installed?  I don't intend to use the HDD for anything other than backups. I've also installed a second SATA HDD if that makes a difference (where my Linux OSs are installed). If it's possible to boot in AHCI mode, how is it done?

One option is to do a clean install Win 11 or Win 10 on the stock ssd after bios sata operation is switched to AHCI and pc is restarted to boot from a bootable usb or dvd Win 11/10 installation media, when there is no second ssd or hdd installed.  After install is done then connect the hdd and delete all old partitions in disk mgmt and create a single new partition.  
For dual boot, I would repeat the same step. Remove the ssd containing Win 11/10 and hdd, keep bios on AHCI, connect the second ssd and do a clean install of OS (Linux etc.).  When done reconnect all drives.  Now at beginning of boot pc will prompt you to pick a boot drive from two that it detects.


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Vic384, I'll give it a try and post back later.

redxps630, thank you for your post. What I can't see are any of the Windows OSs listed in my linux boot menus.  It's not a big enough issue that I want to reinstall anything. I can currently boot to either my system Windows 11 or  linux by selecting them with F12 during boot.

I do have a Windows 10 retail install on my old HD that I would like to recover. I don't know if it is possible to have 2 instances of Windows on the same computer (different drives), but there are some things I'd like to access on the old Windows 10 drive. That is why I'd like to be able to see it as a boot option - and apparently for linux to see it I should have BIOS set to AHCI.

I acknowledge Dell's stance on dual boot support and don't expect them to assist - at this point I'd just like to know in general if one can change from RAID to AHCI  with a Dell 8940 install of SSD & HD combination.

Thanks for the replies.

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@DaveinTus I don't see why you can't install the old Windows 10 drive and use the F12 option to boot it (assuming that the SATA operation in the BIOS is set properly for that drive) or if you only wish to recover data from the old Windows 10 drive that you can't boot to Windows 11 and treat the old Windows 10 drive as a data disk.

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Happy (with a bit of a scare...)

Vic384, I don't know why my old Windows isn't still showing up in my grub menu on the same drive as my working linux installation, but it isn't. But enough about dual booting... for now.

I tried booting into Safe Mode - no BSOD after selecting AHCI and returning to W11. Then consternation as I couldn't get out of Safe Mode. cmd and PowerShell were not available when clicking on them, and selecting Terminal did not respond. Rebooted several times and tried logging in as a Local Administrator and nothing worked - couldn't get out of Safe Mode. After I while I thought it might be my wireless mouse and keyboard (which worked even in Safe Mode) but hard-wired kb/mouse didn't solve it.

I'm a Linux guy (15+ years) and my Windows knowledge is pretty rusty. But then I remembered Win+R, got a window and was able to run msconfig to reboot normally.

Now I'm in AHCI mode, can see the W11 drive in linux (gparted, etc) and have the Win11 options in my linux GRUB menu.  I'll have to read up on what I might have given up by forsaking RAID, but everything seems to be running fine with AHCI.

Thanks to both of you for your time and assistance.

Happy Boxing Day!

 

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Working on similar issue.  From what I've read, the method above only works if you only have a single hard drive.  Otherwise you likely have to reinstall windows after switching to AHCI.  (Also, Windows won't boot once you switch unless you switch it back.)

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