All the storage drivers (Hard Disk) connected to your computer require a SATA AHCI Controller Driver. Without these drivers installed in Windows 10, you will start having issues while accessing the drives of your PC. And if the SATA AHCI drivers get corrupted or outdated, then you should update them right away. But since there are a lot of motherboards and processors out there, finding the correct driver for your storage drives can be a little difficult. Therefore today we are here with the full guide on Download Standard SATA AHCI Controller Drivers for Windows 10. You will also learn about the importance of these drivers in Windows 10 as well as how you can install them.
What is SATA?
SATA or Serial ATA stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment and is used with all modern storage drives. Chances are that the hard disk drives and solid state drives connected to your computer are using SATA. As of right now, most devices use the latest SATA 3 protocol for proper drive functions. Unlike IDE which uses parallel signaling, SATA uses serial signaling due to which the S in SATA stands for serial. Compared to older technology, SATA provides much faster speeds for file transfers.
What is AHCI?
AHCI stands for Advanced Host Controller Interface and it is responsible for providing communication between Windows 10 and SATA devices. It is essentially a protocol which is used by the AHCI SATA controller of your motherboard. You can enable the AHCI protocol via the UEFI BIOS of your computer which will switch all SATA devices to AHCI mode. AHCI allows you to hot-swap disk drives in your computer due to which you can remove or connect any SATA devices to your computer without turning it off. Before AHCI, this was not possible and every time you had to turn off your computer which was an issue for servers. Not only that but you also get faster access time with AHCI which makes Windows 10 more responsive while using a hard drive as your boot drive.
What is a SATA AHCI Controller?
SATA AHCI is basically a controller mode in the BIOS of your computer. As the name suggests, it basically controls all the storage drives of your computer with AHCI protocols. This means that if you are using SATA AHCI controller, you will be able to use all the features of AHCI mentioned above. Apart from that you also get Native Command Queuing which optimizes the operation of SSDs and HDDs in your computer being used at the same time. It also improves the transfer speeds for large data files.
What are IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers in Windows 10?
IDE, which is commonly known as ATP, is an older technology for handling storage drives in the computer. It was used until all computer manufactures moved over to SATA AHCI which is much faster and better. IDE stands for Integrated Drive Electronics which was found in older storage drives. And ATA is the older name of PATA which stands for Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment. But since these protocols are older than AHCI SATA and have fewer features, IDE ATA/ATAPI is no longer used.
What is the Difference Between AHCI and IDE mode?
Some of you might be wondering about the differences between AHCI and IDE mode for Windows 10. And because of these differences, AHCI SATA is preferred over IDE ATA controllers due to which knowing the differences can be quite useful. The biggest difference between these two controller types is hot-swapping ability. Unlike IDE, AHCI allows you to replace disk drives without turning off the computer which is quite handy in servers.
Not only that but IDE lacks the support for native command queuing. This feature results in much faster speeds and increased response times for both HDDs and SSDs in the case of AHCI SATA controllers. Talking about physical differences, the SATA connector is quite small as compared to IDE connectors. The connector cable itself is also quite thin and flexible for the case of SATA. Overall, AHCI SATA is much better compared to IDE which is why all modern devices use SATA instead of ATA.
How to Find What SATA Mode is Being Used?
Thankfully to know what SATA controller mode is being used is possible right from Windows itself and doesn’t require rebooting and access BIOS settings. To know what SATA controller is being used on your system,
- Press Windows Key + X keyboard shortcut to launch Quick Menu
- Now to got Device Manager and open it
- Inside Device Manager, look for IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers and expand it.
- That’s it, if you see Standard SATA AHCI Controller in the list that means your system is using AHCI mode.
How to Switch from SATA IDE to AHCI Mode?
In order to switch SATA mode from IDE to AHCI you will have to restart your Windows 10 PC. Do keep in mind that it is not recommended to switch SATA mode if you have already installed Windows 10. Doing so will result in INACCESSABLE_BOOT_DEVICE blue screen error. Only make a switch if you planning to install fresh Windows installation using bootable media.
- Restart your PC and press Delete key to enter into BIOS/UEFI settings.
- Inside BIOS/UEFI settings look for Advanced or Standard Configuration or Storage Configuration.
- You will see SATA configuration section or OnChip SATA Controller settings
- Click on “Configure SATA” or “SATA Type” and from the list select AHCI.
- Hit F10 key to save the settings to CMOS and let your system reboot.
Download Drivers for SATA AHCI Controller for Windows 10
By now you must know the importance of SATA AHCI Controllers in your computer. And the drivers for this controller are equally important as they provide communication between Windows 10 and the actual controller on your computer’s motherboard itself. Therefore, if due to some reason these drivers are either outdated or corrupted, you will start facing many issues. In such a case you have to update the SATA AHCI drivers in Windows 10.
But before we proceed further to the update instructions, make sure to download the latest version of drivers in Windows 10. As there are a large number of motherboards and processors out there, finding the correct driver version for your computer can be a little difficult. Therefore, you can download the standard SATA AHCI controller drivers for either Intel or AMD on your Windows 10 PC from the download links mentioned below:
Standard SATA AHCI Controller drivers for Windows 10 AMD:
You can download the latest version of SATA drivers for your AMD computer from this download link. This driver can be highly useful if you are not able to find the correct drivers on your computer manufacturer’s website.
Standard SATA AHCI Controller drivers for Windows 10 Intel:
Similarly, if you have an Intel computer and want to update the AHCI driver, then you can get them from this download link. If you are not able to the latest driver online, then this driver will certainly work for you as it is the standard version.
How to Update Drivers for SATA AHCI Controller in Windows 10?
Now that you have downloaded the latest version of, you can go ahead and update the drivers. The whole process for updating the drivers is quite easy in Windows 10. Once you go through the download links, it will download an EXE file that you have to install like any other EXE file on your device. And once you have done that, the SATA AHCI driver in Windows 10 will be updated to the latest version.
Although, if this update method is not working for you, then you can also do it via the Device Manager in Windows 10. You can do this quite easily as shown in these steps:
- Press Windows Key + X on your keyboard and select Device Manager.
- In here, expand IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers which will show you the SATA controller in Windows 10.
- After that, right-click on all of these one by one and select Update Driver.
- Finally, a new window will open where you have to select Search automatically for updated driver software. Once you have selected this, Windows 10 will update the SATA AHCI drivers of your computer to the latest version using your internet connection.