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Dell XPS 8500 won't install windows 8


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Dell XPS 8500 won't install windows 8

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I've got a new Dell XPS 8500 last week.  it came with 2TB hard drive and 12GB ram.  I put in a SSD drive and try to do a fresh install of windows 8 using DVD supplied by Dell.  UEFI is enabled in the BIOS.  Boot secure mode is enabled.  And legacy OPROM is disabled.  It booted up the DVD and installation seemed fine.  After it finished copying files it rebooted itself a few times.  Then stops at a screen that complains windows installation failed, need to reinstall.  tried it many times and the result is the same.  Also tried a retail windows 8 pro DVD.  same.  The only way it will complete installation is to enable legacy OPROM but that means it won't be booting UEFI, which is what i want.  Also tried loading the Intel Rapid Store AHCI drivers before starting installation but that didn't help.  The BIOS version is the latest A09.

Dell tech support wants to replace the hard drive and motherboard.  Does that sound right?

All Replies
  • Was everything working fine before you put in the SSD drive?  Are we talking msata ssd (connect to motherboard) or regular 2.5 inch ssd?

  • yes.  and it works fine if OPROM legacy mode is enabled in the BIOS.

    it's a sandisk extreme SSD with latest firmware

  • Did you disconnect the 2TB hard drive before you installed the OS?  I'd switch it back to UEFI, then unplug the 2TB hard drive, and see if that would make a difference.  If it installs properly I would reconnect the 2TB hard drive.  Some forums have mentioned the need to disconnect the larger HD before installing OS on a SSD.

    Why does Dell think you need a new HD and motherboard?

  • yes the 2TB was disconnected.

    no idea what Dell support was thinking or not thinking.  they sound clueless...just reading from a script.

  • what i would like to know is, has anyone been able to install windows 8 on the XPS 8500 with UEFI enabled, and OPROM legacy mode disabled?

  • Yes, I have multiple times.  I have done cleans installs with both W8 and Windows 7.  That includes secure boot enabled for Windows 8.

  • great, that's good to know.  in my bios, when secure boot is enabled, UEFI automatically gets enabled and OPROM disabled.  is your bios version A09?

    maybe there is something wrong with my motherboard.

    i dont have anything plugged in other than keyboard and mouse and monitor.

  • This is exactly the same thing I am dealing with.

    First I tried creating system restore DVDs. Can't restore to a drive smaller than the original target.

    OK, I have the disc and don't mind rebuilding. Same settings as you, UEFI on, OPROM disabled, A09. 2 TB drive unplugged. 250 GB SSD Samsung Extreme plugged in.


    Install Win 8, reboot first time. Checks hardware, gets to 98%, reboots really quick.


    Now every reboot after it tells me the install is borked.


    Original 2TB drive is still available w/ Win 8 on it, installed from the factory, so it's not really too bad, except the performance of the drive could be a ton better (Windows Index 5.9, because of the HDD... stupid).


    Order this system for dirt cheap because I thought it was upgradeable. Now I'm finding it's not as easy as I thought.

  • I copied my retail Windows 8 pro DVD to a USB drive and successfully installed to my 256gb MSATA drive with UEFI and secure boot enabled and other drives unplugged. They suggest that you have no volumes installed on the target drive before you start the install.

  • this is exactly what happened to my system.  and it's due to the incompatibility of the video card with windows 8 booting UEFI.  the reboot that you see when check hardware gets to 98% is probably due to windows 8 crashing trying to load the video driver.  I pulled out the Nvidia 640 that came with the system and rebooted with the VGA port on the motherboard, and win8 64 installed fine with UEFI secure boot enabled.

    Dell has sent an AMD Radeon HD 7870.  But with the 7870 installed in my system, I don't even get the options of booting UEFI secure in the BIOS.

  • smithduluth, what video card do you have?  What is your video card BIOS version and your motherboard BIOS version?  thanks!

  • The folks here ROCK!


    So here's what I did and it worked perfectly.

    Pulled the NVIDIA card out of the system. Pulled the black cover off of the old VGA connector (for Intel video). Plugged my monitor into that.

    Removed all HDDs except the SSD. Kept BD-ROM plugged in. Booted to Win 8 retail DVD I have from another system. Installed Win 8.

    The install process completed perfectly, not a single hitch.

    Installed all drivers.

    Then I plugged the NVIDIA card back in. The system gave me a fit. Rebooted suddenly. Booted up, rebooted suddenly and took me into the system restore menus. BOOM!

    I chose advanced a couple times, until I had the option to reboot and choose Safe Mode. I chose Safe Mode.

    When I looked at Device Manager it showed I had a GT 640 installed, yet my card is the 660. Ran the driver install off of the driver CD from Dell (had no network at that point). Rebooted... and....


    Here I am, with the 660 on Windows 8, coming over my DP connection! WOOHOO!


    Thanks everyone for the pointers. I kept trying until it worked and this definitely worked for me. Now to make a system image before I do anything else, as reinstalling this way is RIDICULOUS.

  • Stock HD7570, Bios Dell Bios A09. Sorry I took so long to answer, but I do not check in here too often.

  • Hi All,

    Sorry to hi-jack this thread, but I am getting ready to do the very same thing with my new XPS 8500 and have a few questions and didn't want to start a new thread.

    I have a 1TB HDD drive that came with the OS pre-installed installed.  I picked up a separate 60GB SSD so I could load the OS onto it and use the 1TB HDD as the storage drive.


    My questions are:

    1) I do not have the media for Windows 8 Pro and cannot find it online anywhere.  Does anyone know where I can get the media from (without having to purchase another copy)?

    2) Will I need the OEM product key for Windows 8 Pro when installing to the new SSD?  I understand that the Windows 8 product keys are baked into the BIOS.  The key license sticker, etc... did not ship with the system.  I have also read that they are no longer putting the license stickers on the machines.  If I will need the product key, how do I find it?

    3) If it turns out to be too much of a hassle to get the media for Windows 8 Pro, is it recommended to mirror the OS fro the HDD onto the SSD?

    Thanks for any advice!


  • Hello DropPass.

    1) Find someone you know with the media. All you need is the disc that you can boot from, so buying a Win 8 disc is kind of wasteful. I don't believe MS will allow downloads unless you purchase say, the upgrade option over the 'net.

    2) You don't need your product key. The beauty of UEFI is that the license key is embedded in the BIOS. When you load Windows 8 on a machine w/ UEFI capability, it will query the BIOS. This also has the downside of if your PC dies and you want to try to leverage the same license key from your Dell, you can't. The license key is not accessible via any normal method and is encrypted, so it could be some time, if ever, that someone cracks that.

    So you don't have to worry about that part either.

    3) The Win 8 media is just that - it's the media. This means that if you find a disc that says "Win 8 Upgrade," it actually includes the code for every version. The license key is what controls what it actually installs.

    That being said, if you can't find any Win 8 media, cloning will work. The only issue with that is you will still have all the Dell software installed as well going this route.

    Hope that helps.