- Start VirtualBox, but do not boot your guest.
- Open Settings for your Win XP guest and select "Hard Disks"
- Check "Enable Additional Controller" and choose "SATA (AHCI)"
- Save your Settings changes and boot your guest
- Inside your guest, download the appropriate SATA controller software from Intel
- Install the Intel software
- Shutdown your guest
- Go back into VirtualBox Settings for your guest. Select Harddrives again.
- Now change the slot associated with your Windows XP attachments/harddisk(s) from IDE to "SATA Port 0"
- Save your settings
- Start your guest and enjoy the performance boost!
Improving VirtualBox performance
I run VirtualBox on an Ubuntu 64-bit Host with a 32-bit Windows XP guest. I was searching for a way to boost performance and came across this post related to configuring a SATA controller for drive access. Matt includes some great info there, but the step-by-step left something to be desired IMHO. Here are my revised instructions for configuring SATA support on your Win XP guest: