Inspiron 530S - "AHCI BIOS not installed" - error came out of nowhere.

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Inspiron 530S - "AHCI BIOS not installed" - error came out of nowhere.

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My Inspiron 530S is about 8-9 months old.  In November 2008, I installed a second harddrive as I work from home and my business requires that I use Windows XP.  So, I have the factory harddrive as my secondary and it has Vista on it, and I have my new HD as the primary with Windows XP on it.  It has been working like a dream until Monday morning.

My computer froze up while I was working, and I was forced to restart.  When it tried to restart it just sat at the black screen with "Dell" on it for what seemed like a good 20-30 minutes with nothing happening.  I tried numerous times to re-boot, and kept getting the same issue.  Finally, I just let it sit, and then it started to boot, VERY VERY SLOWLY.  The Win XP load screen slowly faded into view and then it booted semi-normally.  Well, after some digging, I got some ideas of what was wrong (Issues with SATA, RAID, drivers... and a lot of Greek).  I tried a few fixes suggested on other forums, but could not get it to work.  Someone suggested removing the battery from the motherboard and then replacing it, and that helped boost my speed on start-up a small amount, but now, everytime it boots it goes into CHKDSC and only wants to check my Vista harddrive (Which is odd, b/c it says that it is the Win XP chkdsk but it's checking my Vista HD...) and then it boots up again. Otherwise, it seems to be functioning normally, but this is concerning for me.  I don't want to run into future problems

So - can anyone help?  I'm trying to fix this without incuring a few hundred dollars in service charges at a repair shop.

All Replies
  • melissab1103,

    Looks like you did your research but didn't say if you re-installed your AHCI drivers.

    I just put in a SATA to eSATA cable and switched my BIOS SATA setting from IDE to RAID. It worked for a couple of days then pulled a forced shut down. I re-installed the origional Dell drivers and it was up and running again. Then went to the Intel site and downloaded the newest drivers for RAID and the Matrix Storage Manager (Intel 8.8.0.1009 version) installed it and no problems for about a month now.

    Have you updated your BIOS? The last one I saw was 1.0.18.

    Are both disks able to boot up? 

    The XP disk only?

    Does Vista boot up at all?

    Try the newest drivers from Intel, if you haven't already.

    Hope this helps,

    Dave

     

     

    _______________________________

    Inspiron 530s, Intel Core2 E7200, 6 GB DDR2 800MHz, 500GB SATA II 7200RPM, 22" Widescreen LCD w/2 MP Webcam,Radeon HD4650, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit,  eSATA port 

    Studio Laptop 1737, Intel Core2 Duo T6400 800MHz , 4GB DDR2 memory 800MHz, Intel X25-V 40GB SSD, 320GB SATA II,17" WXGA w/2.0-megl webcam, Facial recognition, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Vista Premium 64-bit,  eSATA port,  9-cell battery 
    External HDD: A.C.Ryan w/500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA II 7200RPM w/eSATA, WD My Book 500GB 7200RPM w/USB
    Custom Rig, i5-750, Gigabyte UD4P, Intel X25M 120GB SSD, 8GB Corsair Venegance CL8, XFX HD 5770, Corsair HX 650 PSU, 1TB and 500GB HDDs. Win7 Ultimate 64bit.
  • I'm having the exact problem but I have only the one HD. I recently installed a 2nd DVD burner but up until tonight everything was working normal. I'm no staring at a black screen with only the mouse showing....very very slow booting.

    Please help my sorry a$$

  • Artibus welcome to the Dell Community,

     

    Have you tried what I mentioned on 12 May?

    If it's a SATA port DVD burner and your using ACHI or RAID setting re-load the SATA drivers.

    Check the Dell support 'Drivers & Downloads' for the latest version of the Intel Driver (G31/G33/Q33/Q35 Graphics Controller) 7.14.10.1409, A03.

    Re-load it as per the instructions on the 'Drivers & Download' site, if you have a Inspiron 530S it's here.

    You can get a newer driver from Intel directly, I'm using the Intel 8.9.0.1023 (Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R/DO/PCH SATA RAID Controller).

    Let me know if you have any questions about these drivers. I can give a bit more info if needed. Let me know the exact model you have.

    You can check your current driver by typing 'Device Manager' in the search box at the start button, click it, click the drop box under 'Storage controllers' it should list the Dell driver (mine is the Intel driver 'Intel(R)ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R/DO/PCH SATA RAID Controller) right click the driver and click 'properties' then the 'Driver' tab, Check the driver date against the driver date from the Dell site, If it's the same just re-install it, if it's different install it.

    This should get your computer booting normally again.

     

    Let me know how it's going.

     

    _______________________________

    Inspiron 530s, Intel Core2 E7200, 6 GB DDR2 800MHz, 500GB SATA II 7200RPM, 22" Widescreen LCD w/2 MP Webcam,Radeon HD4650, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit,  eSATA port 

    Studio Laptop 1737, Intel Core2 Duo T6400 800MHz , 4GB DDR2 memory 800MHz, Intel X25-V 40GB SSD, 320GB SATA II,17" WXGA w/2.0-megl webcam, Facial recognition, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Vista Premium 64-bit,  eSATA port,  9-cell battery 
    External HDD: A.C.Ryan w/500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA II 7200RPM w/eSATA, WD My Book 500GB 7200RPM w/USB
    Custom Rig, i5-750, Gigabyte UD4P, Intel X25M 120GB SSD, 8GB Corsair Venegance CL8, XFX HD 5770, Corsair HX 650 PSU, 1TB and 500GB HDDs. Win7 Ultimate 64bit.
  •  I have the same issues with my Inspiron 530s.  Fortunately, I purchased a warranty.  I am preparing to replace the 3rd motherboard in a year.

    Replacing the motherboard is the only thing that fixes it for me ... I upgraded to Win 7 (and the system requirements more than handle it), but Dell told me today that it was the Win 7 upgrade that is causing my issue and I am requird to have Vista.  So they keep replacing motherboards. 

    This machine was too early for the Dell upgrade CD from Vista to Win 7 - but they said that those who go through that upgrade path don't have the issue.

  • I have the same problem, my 530S had a blue-screen Windows halt, and since then will not re-boot. After the Dell logo startup screen, it goes to a black screen with a blinking cursor. I've done a WinXP repair, by booting from the CDROM, but that did not fix the problem. The diagnostic tests (from the Utilities CD) don't indicate there are any problems. The "AHCI bios not installed" error messages flashes on the screen very briefly before it goes black. I've disconnected all the USB devices, that didn't help. At this point, I'm stuck and frustrated. I'd appreciate any suggestions on where to go from here.

    Thanks.

  • What BIOS version do you have?

     

    Can you access BIOS from the F2 key when the computer starts?

    If you can check the RAID setting is still selected, your choices are IDE or RAID at least mine are. 

    RAID will give you the same functions as AHCI, even if your HDDs are not in a RAID array.

     

    Check and write down all your settings as mentioned in your Inspiron 530S Owners Manual page 185.

    Then reset the BIOS to defaults, if your IDE/RAID was set to RAID change it back to RAID.

    Boot your computer, if the problem persists then you will need to clear CMOS.

    This is described on page 194 of your manual.

    Boot your computer, if the problem persists then replace the CMOS battery, manual page 157.

    After the new battery is installed clear the CMOS again.

     

    These series of steps should resolve your BIOS Post failure.

     

    Hope this helps,

     

    _______________________________

    Inspiron 530s, Intel Core2 E7200, 6 GB DDR2 800MHz, 500GB SATA II 7200RPM, 22" Widescreen LCD w/2 MP Webcam,Radeon HD4650, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit,  eSATA port 

    Studio Laptop 1737, Intel Core2 Duo T6400 800MHz , 4GB DDR2 memory 800MHz, Intel X25-V 40GB SSD, 320GB SATA II,17" WXGA w/2.0-megl webcam, Facial recognition, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Vista Premium 64-bit,  eSATA port,  9-cell battery 
    External HDD: A.C.Ryan w/500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA II 7200RPM w/eSATA, WD My Book 500GB 7200RPM w/USB
    Custom Rig, i5-750, Gigabyte UD4P, Intel X25M 120GB SSD, 8GB Corsair Venegance CL8, XFX HD 5770, Corsair HX 650 PSU, 1TB and 500GB HDDs. Win7 Ultimate 64bit.
  • Thanks for your help.

    Yes, F2 will take me to the BIOS settings. The BIOS is 1.0.15

    The SATA Mode is set to IDE. Should I try the RAID setting? The machine has only one hard drive.

    I measured the battery voltage as 3.2 volts, so I suspect the battery isn't the problem.

    I'll try your procedure and report back.

     

  • Your error code mentions AHCI, that is a AHCI or RAID error code, nothing to do with IDE settings.

    You shouldn't get this error if you're in IDE mode.

     

    How long have you had the computer?

    The battery may still be an issue.

    _______________________________

    Inspiron 530s, Intel Core2 E7200, 6 GB DDR2 800MHz, 500GB SATA II 7200RPM, 22" Widescreen LCD w/2 MP Webcam,Radeon HD4650, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit,  eSATA port 

    Studio Laptop 1737, Intel Core2 Duo T6400 800MHz , 4GB DDR2 memory 800MHz, Intel X25-V 40GB SSD, 320GB SATA II,17" WXGA w/2.0-megl webcam, Facial recognition, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Vista Premium 64-bit,  eSATA port,  9-cell battery 
    External HDD: A.C.Ryan w/500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA II 7200RPM w/eSATA, WD My Book 500GB 7200RPM w/USB
    Custom Rig, i5-750, Gigabyte UD4P, Intel X25M 120GB SSD, 8GB Corsair Venegance CL8, XFX HD 5770, Corsair HX 650 PSU, 1TB and 500GB HDDs. Win7 Ultimate 64bit.
  • Purchased in December 2008.

    I worked through the procedure, including putting in a new battery. The problem wasn't fixed. I remain puzzled.

    I'm trying to avoid reinstalling Windows, because there are some important files on it that I don't want to lose. 

    Any more ideas?

  • Got it fixed. After trying everything else without success, I used the recovery console to fix the master boot record (fixmbr).

  • By the way, I think the original issue of this thread  ("AHCI BIOS not installed") didn't have a thing to do with the boot-up problem. That was probably just an existing setup issue that wasn't noticed until the machine had it's boot-up problem.

  • I think the splash screen for the AHCI issue passes by so quickly no one noitices, under MOST circumstances. It might be a master boot problem that slows teh start so much a it seems stuck while the initial boot is hosed.

    Once the DELL splash screen starts I get similar frozen screen.

    Once Windows starts however all is good.

    I read in this thread "Fixed the Master Boot Record from the console"

    Where is this and how is THAT done ?

     

  • Hi,

    I have Dell I530 Q6600 6Gb also and have the same problem. Recently I formatted C: drive because I had a lot of different issues with this computer and then reloaded Vista from original disk. After that computer starts to work but I decided update BIOS also from 1.0.13 to latest 1.0.18. Immediately after that I started to have slow booting problem with msg"AHCI BIOS not installed". If I force (Ctrl+Alt+Del) computer to restart as a Normal it is loaded more fast. But if I restart computer from Start menu it again loads about 10 minutes. On one forum I found recommendation to run "chkdsk c: /R". I did that without success. 

    Please describe detailed what you did to fix master reboot record or any other solution. Thanks.

     

     

     

  • same here but this is different my 1-13 Card Reader and my TSST DVD/CD Rom wont pick up right.Tongue Tied and i get an error "AHCI BIOS IS NOT INSTALLED press CTRL-S" on my "Dell Inspiron 530S" and i get an error "0 Diskette Drive Read Failure Press F1 to continue Press F2 to go into  Setup.

  • Dave:

    I have a Dell Inspiron 530 (32 Bit), running WinXP (SP3), with the same "AHCI BIOS not installed" error. I've had this puter for roughly 3-4 yrs now, and just started getting this error last week. I downloaded your above recommended file, but it appears to be for the 64 Bit system. Is there one for the 32 Bit system?

    Thank You