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XPS 8500 and mSATA


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XPS 8500 and mSATA

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I want to install a 256GB mSATA in the mSATA slot on my XPS 8500.  I then want to use this as a drive to run application from (in particular a couple of games that I play).  Once I install it how do I configure it to be able to do this.  Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide.

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  • Hi Skip_XPS,

    mSata cannot be used as a storage device or for running the programs from. Rather it will aid your machine in running these applications by enhancing its speed. You can follow the steps below to configure it once you have added the hardware:

    1. Restart/power on your computer.
    2. As soon as you see the DELL™ logo, tap <F2> until the message Entering Setup appears.
    3. Select Advanced.

    4. Click Onboard Device Configuration. 
    5. Click SATA Mode and change it to AHCI.

    6. Save and exit.
    7. Once the computer restarts boot to Windows.
    8. Download and install Dell Intel Rapid Storage Technology software from: http://dell.to/Sfl4iT
    9. Launch the Intel Rapid Storage Manager application (from Windows Start-> All programs -> Intel -> Rapid Storage Manager).
    10. The “Accelerate” button should be visible near the top the Rapid Storage Technology manager application window. Click the “Accelerate” button, and a page titled “Intel® Smart Response Technology” will appear, similar to the picture below:

    11. Click “Enable acceleration” link in the middle of the Smart Response window.
    12. A window titled “Enable Acceleration” for configuring Smart Response will pop up. An example of what this window looks like is included below:

    13. Follow the instructions in the “Enable Acceleration” window to complete configuration of Smart Response.
    14. You can find more details on Intel Rapid Storage Manager application from: http://dell.to/PaJI0o

    Do reply with results

    Thanks & Regards
    Zohaib R
    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose
    your region US Customers; India Customers. For Dell support videos click Here
  • The information above doesn´t agree with the information in http://dell.to/PaJI0o. From this: 

    "Confirm that the system BIOS is set to RAID on mode (in some system BIOS
    menus, this mode may be called Smart Response mode or Rapid Start mode).
    Note: if the system is in AHCI or ATA mode, Smart response cannot be
    configured until the mode is changed."

    Which one is right?  

  • I am not sure that I understand the reply from Dell on this question. After a bit more research I decided to give this a try.  My 256GB mSATA card had arrived on Monday so today I installed it. I did have to get 2 screws to hold it in place, but Fry's had those (did have to buy a kit of screws, but am always needing them anyway). Anyway on to the install.

    I mounted the card in the XPS 8500 as explained in the manual.  That went well.  Buttoned everything back up and reconnected everything.  

    Powered on and pressed F2 to go into setup.

    Selected Advanced

    Selected SATA Mode

    Selected RAID

    Window7 booted with no problems

    Opened Disk Management

    The new mSATA Drive showed up on the list

    Formatted the Drive

    Named it mSATA (easy for me to recognize)

    Assigned drive letter (chose Z)

    After doing that it shows the following:

        mSATA (Z:)

        238.47GB NTFS

        Healthy (Primary Partition)

    Closed Disk Management and Rebooted

    Started Intel Rapid Storage Technology

    Looked at all the setting and left them as they were

        Port 1: Activate port LED

        Port Location: Internal

        Status: Normal

        Type: Solid-State drive

        Usage: Available

        Size: 244,198 MB

        Serial number: xxxx

        Model: xxxx

        Firmware: xxxx

    Looked at Advanced - Here is what it shows

        System Disk: No  (I wanted this for Online Games and some applications)

        Password Protected: No

        Disk data cache: Enabled

        Native command queuing: Yes

        SATA tranfer rate: 6 Gb/s  (By the way it also this for the hard drive that is on Port 0)

        Physical sector size: 512 Bytes

        Logical sector size: 512 Bytes

    Closed IRST

    Rebooted one more time

    Opened up "Computer"

    Copied Game Folder from the C drive to the z drive (mSATA)

    Changed the properties for the related desktop shortcuts to the z drive

    Started one of the online games

    Worked Perfect with some amazing load times on zone changes and no glitches in the game

    According to Intel Rapid Storage Technology my Current Configuration is:

    Port 0 - 1TB Hard Drive - SATA transfer rate of 6 Gb/s

    Port 1 - 256GB mSATA Drive - SATA transfer rate of 6 Gb/s

    Port 2 - 1TB Hard Drive - SATA tranfer rate of 3 Gb/s

    Port 5 - DVD Drive - SATA transfer rate of 1.5 Gb/s

    Port 3 - Empty

    One happy camper.

    Hope this helps anyone else who is considering doing this. It was really quite simple.

  • Skip_XPS

        I wanted to try this HD configuration  also  but for different reasons ..... your configuration solution looks a lot simpler than the one posted by dells  being a newbee to all this intell  IRST and caching tecnologies it  becomes very confusing  to say the least...based upon your stated ending  current HD configuration....... are the HDs listed on port 0 (1TB) and port 2 (1TB)  one and the same HD (because of the way intell IRST tec reports it or are they 2 distinct different HD's operating at 2 different sata speeds  6 gb/s and 3gb/s respectively  or did you partion 1 hd into 512 gb partions  also whos brand msata 256 gb did you purchase   any pros or cons concerning it ??? thanks

                                                           MAC  II

  • The HD listed on Port 0 is the orginal HD that was installed by Dell - It is a 1TB drive that has 3 partitions (Created by the original installation) - 39MB OEM Partition, 12.25GB Recovery Partition and a 919.22GB OS Partition for Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition.

    The HD listed on Port 2 is a second 1TB drive that has a single Primary Partition of 931.51GB.  It is a Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s with 64MB Cache. I found it on sale at NewEgg and decided to go with it even though it was going to be connected to a 3.0Gb/s port.

    The drives do run at 2 different speeds because of the fact that Dell only provide a single SATA 6.0Gb/s port of the 4 ports together on the Mother Board. (Not counting the mSATA port)

    As for the brand of the mSATA I bought it from Crucial Memory. It is their 256GB Crucial m4 mSATA 6Gb/s SSD.  I have used Crucial Memory stuff for years. Have never had a problem with it and tend to go back each time I need something.  I did upgrade the memory in my XPS to 16GB also using their memory.  

    I believe that this configuration will work just fine for me. Like I said I took one of the games (LOTRO) for a spin last night and load times when zoning was great. Smooth graphics even in areas with a large crowd of player characters. I feel that this is the exact solution that I was looking for. If I can help more just ask.

    Hope you have a SUPER Day!!

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