Anybody who believes that installing/re-installing WinXP is necessary or a PITA, let me introduce you to the few simple steps that will have your system in AHCI mode in no time at all.
1.) Download the most recent drivers for your SATA interface from the manufacturers site. (eg. for me it was the ICH7 AHCI drivers)
2.) Go to Device Manger/Hardware, select the Intel SATA/IDE Host controller, the click 'update drivers/selcet driver manually/have disk' and select the path you extracted your intel files into and select your chipset (ICH7 for me).
WinXP will warn you about the driver not being right, and not to install (because you are not in AHCI mode yet), but choose install anyway.
3.) Reboot. When your BIOS screen shows, select SETUP and enable AHCI, reboot again.
That's it, it may take a little longer on that first reboot, since Windows has to finish updating the registry and drivers. But after that, XP booted from the drives in AHCI-mode without any problems. No reinstall, no registry hacking, just a driver update to the latest AHCI drivers for you before enabling AHCI
Took me only a few minutes and I converted my XP install over to AHCI ready mode, and have been using it that way ever since.
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Simple Way To Switch Your System Over To Ahci Mode, Without having to re-install or mod your registry in WinXP
OK enough with off topic stuff...
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