How to access "RAID Configuration Utility" with only one hard drive on Dell XPS 410? - General Hardware - Desktop - Dell Community

How to access "RAID Configuration Utility" with only one hard drive on Dell XPS 410?


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How to access "RAID Configuration Utility" with only one hard drive on Dell XPS 410?

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  I need to get into the RAID configuration utility. However, I only have one hard drive and unlike those with 2, these isn't a screen that comes up allowing me to enter crt-i to access it. Any ideas?





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  • Hi again.  The requirement for gaining access to the Intel RAID ROM setup screen are 1) your controller is set to RAID On, and 2) you must have two eligible hard drives connected to the system.  Really.  When I had only one drive on my XPS 410 the CTRL-i hot keys would not work.  Even though I saw the RAID status screen.  As soon as I connected two drives I had only to hit CTRL-i at the same time to bring up the RAID setup screen.

    Evidently the firmware isn't set up like hardware RAID controllers; with those you often need to go to the setup screen and establish a RAID 0 with one drive before the computer can communicate with the drive.  With the Intel RAID you must have eligible hardware before it will allow you to connect with the setup screen.  As I think I told you earlier, I also have an E520 that is capable of RAID 1, has the controller set to RAID On, has only one hard drive, I can see the RAID status screen, and absolutely will not let me into the RAID ROM setup screen no matter how much I tap CTRL-i.

    Is there something you want to do that can only be accomplished with the RAID setup?

    EDIT:  Forgot to state that you must hit CTRL-i while the RAID status screen is showing.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Ah the joys of Intel hybrid software RAID....

    That being said, SATA operation must be RAID to access the IMSM menu at POST.


    Notes: You can set up a RAID 0 with 1 drive from here. The only other reason I can think of to go here is take what used to be part of a RAID and use the Reset to non-Raid Disk option. Remember, from this menu you have only 4 options:

    Create RAID

    Break RAID

    Reset to non-RAID


  • Hey.

    Thanks for the info everyone. What I need to go is to go into BIOS, turn RAID On. (which I did)

    Then that should allow me to access the utility screen and I need to turn RAID disk off.

    XANDRAIUS- Are you saying there's a way to do it without adding another hard drive?

    If possible, can you be a bit more specific when you say "access the IMSM menu at POST." I've never heard of this before.

    I need more of a specific set of instructions.

    I do however appreciate the responses I've received so far.





    (Mholtz2323--google talk)

  • IMSM = Intel Matrix Storage Manager.

    I believe we could help more if we knew what you are trying to do.  The statements you have made so far don't make a lot of sense.  If your operating system (Windows Vista or XP or whatever) was installed in the AHCI mode, your SATA controller should be ok set to RAID Autodetect/AHCI or RAID On, whichever is listed as an option.  When the controller is set to RAID On, in addition to being in the AHCI mode, the controller will support a RAID consisting of two hard drives.  You typically get a status screen when the controller is set to RAID On that tells how your hard drive is doing.  You cannot turn this screen off on most Dells other than by setting it to RAID Autodetect/ATA; this is an IDE compatible mode used for Windows XP and earlier operating systems that do not have self contained drivers for the AHCI, the Advanced Host Controller Interface, which is the native SATA mode.

    If your operating system has been installed with the controller set to any of the AHCI modes, and you then switch the controller to RAID Autodetect/ATA, your computer will not boot because the operating system does not have the IDE drivers installed.  The same thing happens if you install the OS with the controller set to RAID Autodetect/ATA and then switch the controller to RAID On or RAID Autodetect/AHCI.  There are procedures to switch back and forth, but it doesn't happen automatically.

    I'm not sure what you mean when you state that you want to turn the RAID disk off, but if what you mean by that is that you want to eliminate the RAID status message, and think you can do that by turning off the RAID disk, it isn't going to happen.  The computer detects the disk as a RAID supporting disk because the computer's RAID ROM has written parametric data to it so that it is under the control of the RAID ROM.  This is transparent to you while using the computer and only means something to the computer hardware.  If you decided you wanted your computer to have a RAID, having the computer operating in this mode facilitates the incorporation of a second disk.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • If I understand correctly, you have a drive that WAS set as RAID and you need it non-RAID. This is cake,

    1) Have the drive connected

    2) Power on and set SATA operation to RAID

    3) Reboot, use Control + I at post

    4) From the menu, select the option "Reset to non RAID disk"

    5) Reboot and set SATA operation to AHCI or ATA as needed.


  • Hi

    Thanks for the help first of all.

    1) The drive is already connected (remember, only one hard drive) and windows 7 is installed. Is this ok?

    2) I set SATA operation to RAID

    3) I never get the chance to press Control + I at post. Other people that have 2 hard drives get to do this, but I can't.


    I'm not sure if what you want me to do is clear everything off the hard drive and then setup the hard drive as though it was new?

    Or, if it doesn't matter if windows 7 is installed.

    I actually have a laptop hard drive. Is there anyway I could connect this thing to the desktop? I know there are connections via USB that will allow access to the hard drive, but I don't really need that. I need to get to the RAID Configuration Utility (by pressing Control + I)




  • Excuse my interjection, but you still haven't explained why you want to use the RAID Configuration Utility.  Tongue Tied

    Unless you have at least 2 internal hard drives, there's no reason to access the RAID utility and it serves zero purpose for you even if you could access it because you don't have a RAID array.

    And to be clear, a RAID array allows you to set up 2 (or more) hard drives for faster disk access (RAID0) or for automatic backup (RAID1). A RAID0 array means that neither drive has a complete copy of any file. So if either drive fails you lose everything. Very risky from my point of view.

    RAID1 means that everything written on the first drive is automatically copied on the second drive. A good way to backup automatically without any manual effort. If either drive fails, you don't lose anything and you can recreate the array with the remaining functional drive.



    If this answers your question, please click  Yes


    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Hi again. Thanks for all the help once again.

    I am trying to install another operating system. I don't need any help in regards to installing or the setup I need, but more getting into the RAID configuration utility. It's a step that needs to be done, regardless of changing RAID disk on or off in the BIOS.

    If I were to install another hard drive, would the option to hit present Control + i present itself or does it need to be activated somehow?

    Also, if i were to get a friend to loan me a used drive, install it and enter the config utility. Change the settings that need to be changed and then reboot. Disconnect the borrowed hard drive and give it back...would this disable the settings I changed in the configuration utility or will they be saved for the remaining hard drive?


    Thanks again