It looks like there is some support for SATA drives in Hurd, but almost not tested at all.
So I belive here, on debian-hurd, seems more appropriate (seems to be just an early untested implementation... rather than a bug [I admit it is not black and white]).
There is a quite more simple way to set AHCI (SATA) emulation with QEMU:
I believe this is the most recent machine emulated.
being the default
So I have tried:
qemu-system-i386 -m 1G -M q35 -hda hd.img
where hd.img was installed with default machine (-M pc)
It see the hard disk, but complains it is impossible to have 255 physical heads.
At the end, it does not work.
Also, with previous line where no cdrom is specified, it complains that
sd1, is a not supported CDROM drive.
qemu-system-i386 -m 1.3G -M q35 -cdrom debian-sid-hurd-i386-DVD-1.iso
... it see sd0 as a not libatapi supported CDROM drive
it does use ext2fs with gunzip:device:rd0
I don't really know what is this rd0 device.
But id does not find the files for the installation.
I guess startup program does a good part of this... I should take a look.