Howto move Vista from PC with ATA hard disk controller PC with AHCI controller

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This article is about migrating Windows Vista from a Dell D620 laptop with ATA to Dell D630 laptop with Intel(R) Matrix Storage Manager AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface).

If move an existing Vista installation from a PC with ATA hard disk controller to one with an AHCI controller Windows Vista will not boot, after loading crcdisk.sys it crashes.

This happens because Vista needs the correct drivers for AHCI.

The only supported ways to install them is pressing F6 during Windows Vista installation. This can either be done during the initial installation of Vista or during a repair install of VIsta.

If you don’t want to reinstall or repair install here is a quick way to do it.

  1. Download CPU-Z and start it (on the new machine, if Vista is not preinstalled you need to make a temperary installation to do this) to figure out what the exact type of your AHCI hard disk controller you have. In my case 82801HBM (ICH8-ME).
    ATA to AHCI 1.png
  2. Download the latest drivers for your AHCI hardware (the same drivers used to make the F6 install disk).
  3. Boot up your disk (either on the old machine where it works, or) on your new machine after setting disk interface mode to ATA in the bios.
  4. Open the Device Manager and locate the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.
  5. “Right click on Intel(R) ICH8M 3 port Serial ATA Storage Controller – 2828” and select “Update Driver Software”.
    ATA to AHCI 2.png
  6. Select:
    Browse my computer for driver software
    Locate and install driver software manually.
    ATA to AHCI 3.png
  7. Select:
    Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer
    ATA to AHCI 4.png
  8. Press “Have Disk” and locate the folder with the “F6 Disk” drivers for your ACHI disk controller.
    ATA to AHCI 5.png
  9. Important: Select the correct Controller and press Next.
    If you select a wrong one then you won’t be able to boot.
    In this case as CPU-Z told us in the beginning. It is the HBM one.
    If you can’t figure out what the correct one is try to install Vista on the target PC and see what you ends up with in the Device Manager.
    ATA to AHCI 6.png
  10. Now you will get a warning, say “Yes” to update the driver.
    ATA to AHCI 7.png
  11. ATA to AHCI 8.png
  12. ATA to AHCI 9.png
  13. If you did this on your old PC (D620) shut down and move the disk to your new (D630). If you did it on your new machine (after setting BIOS to ATA) go into the BIOS and enable AHCI and the cache again before booting. After restarting the first time you will be asked to restart to apply the changes. Choose to “Restart Now”.
    ATA to AHCI 10.png