I ran into a situation with a Dell Vostro V131 workstation where the installation of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit needs to be run in AHCI Mode, because of McAfee Endpoint Encryption deployment, which the base requirement is.

So the problem starts after I deploy McAfee Endpoint Encryption 7.0 to one of our client notebook, and start encrypting until the end of workdays.  Tomorrow morning, user powering on the laptop as usual, and face problem. System can’t boot up in the middle of encryption process. After searching in McAfee Knowledge Center, I found that the disk must be in AHCI mode.

Luckily, after much ‘Googling’, I found a procedure that allowed me to install the SATA AHCI drivers without reinstalling Windows 7. Thanks to Windows7Themes.net for having the answer:

  • Basically, change the following registry key to 0:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\services\msahci\Start
  • Restart the computer once (without changing any BIOS settings) and Windows will load default AHCI drivers. You may not notice anything happening, so let Windows sit for a minute or two after reboot to give it enough time to make sure this process happened.
  • Restart the computer again and change the SATA operation to AHCI in BIOS. Save the BIOS settings and when Windows boots again, it should not crash with a blue screen. This time you should notice that Windows is installing new hardware, which includes several SATA AHCI components (similar to what the picture above shows). Windows will probably ask to restart once more.

This whole problem could have been avoided if Windows 7 would have installed the AHCI drivers properly in the first place. Hopefully this will help for your McAfee Deployment.

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