INSPIRON 15Z - CAN'T INSTALL WINDOWS 7 - DOESN'T DETECT DRIVES - Disk Drives (HDD, CD/DVD, Blu-ray) Forum - Disk Drives - Dell Community


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i recently bought a DELL Insîron 15Z with a 500gb hard drive and 32gb SSD. It came with Windows 8 pre-installed. However, i am not a big fan of WIndows 8 and i want to install my legal copy of Windows 7.  During installation, when it comes to select where do i want to install windows, i cannot see any drives available. (Note that i can see both my HDD and my SSD in my BIOS). I have heard that if i change my SATA operation settings to AHCI, i could make it work (I have not tried this). However, i wouldn't be able to use the Intel Smart Response Technology. Can someone please help me? I've had this computer for less than 2 weeks and i feel frustrated that i can't use it with the operating system of my choice.

Thank you for your time.

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  • Hi juanjo195,

    I suggest you to disable the acceleration from the Intel Smart Response Technology application in Windows 8. Change the SATA operation in BIOS to AHCI. The hard drive would be detected and you can install Windows 7. You will need to install the application again in Windows 7, change the settings to ISRT in BIOS and enable “Acceleration” from the application.

    Please let me know if you need further assistance.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Rajath N
    Dell Social Media and Community Professional
    Order Status :
    Download Drivers :

  • HI, using the ACHI method worked. I was able to install Windows normally. However i make a HUGE MISTAKE. When choosing which drive did i want to use to install windows, i accidentally erased the SSD partition, which i believe is present to improve the system performance and response time while resuming from hibernate mode, using the Intel Smart Response Technology!

    When i reset the SATA operation to ISRT, windows crashes. And the ISRT application doesnt even show the ACCELERATE option. Can you please help me getting this fixed?

    Thank you for your time !


  • Hi Juan,

    Thank you for your reply and apologize for the delay is responding to your request. Did you install the copy of Windows on the mSATA SSD or on the main hard drive?

    Please reply with the requested information, so that I can help you further.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Rajath N
    Dell Social Media and Community Professional
    Order Status :
    Download Drivers :

  • Hi Rajath,

    i also recently bought a DELL Insîron 15Z with a 320gb hard drive and 32gb SSD. It came with Windows 8 pre-installed. 

    But i want to use Windows 7.  I tried to install and find the same problem as faced by Juan. Not able to find hard drive.

    I request you to provide the Step need to change in BIOS setting before Installation and after installation of Windows 7. like what are the other setting to change & software requires.

    Please also, Suggest which drive i should use to install the copy of Windows?

    Good on the mSATA SSD or on the main hard drive?

    Thanks in advance 

    Himanshu Shekhar

  • Hi Himanshu Shekhar,

    It is advisable to install the Operating System on the SATA Drive not the SSD. Here are the step by step instructions for installing the Operating System afresh:

    1. Download and save the “Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver” in a USB Key (other than Windows 7 USB Key). Click here to download the “Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver”.

    Before re-installing the operating system, disable the Intel Smart Response technology. To disable the Intel Smart Response technology:

    1. Launch Intel Rapid Storage Technology application by clicking the Intel Rapid Storage Technology icon from the system tray.
    2. Select Accelerate tab and then click Disable acceleration.
    3. Under SSD Configuration, click “Reset to available” to reset volume.
    4. Restart the computer.
    5. When the Dell Logo appears access System Setup by pressing <F2>
    6. Select the “Advanced” tab.
    7. Select “SATA Operation” and hit “Enter”.
    8. Ensure that SATA Operation is set to Intel Smart Response Technology.
    9. Initiate the operating system re-installation. On the “Where do you want to install Windows” Screen, click Load Driver to load Intel Rapid Storage driver.
    10. Connect the USB memory key (used in step 1) and click Browse to locate the folder that contains the driver.
    11. Continue with the operating system installation.

    Once the operating system is re-installed, re-enable Intel Smart Response Technology. To re-enable Intel Smart Response Technology:

    1. Install the Intel Rapid Storage Technology application.
    2. Launch the Intel Rapid Storage Technology application and go to Accelerate tab.
    3. Click Enable acceleration.
    4. Select 18.6 GB as the size of the cache memory, set acceleration mode to “Enhanced mode” and then click OK. Once this done, the SSD will not be visible within Windows.
    5. Open Disk Management (right-click the “Computer Icon” and select “Manage”, from the left pane select “Disk Management”). Right-click the SSD and select “Initialize Disk”.
    6. Select “MBR (Master Boot Record)” as the partition style and click OK.
    7. On the Disk Management, right-click the box that contains partition information and select “New Simple Volume”.
    8. Specify the volume size and click Next. Follow the wizard and create the new volume.
    9. On the last screen of the wizard, click Finish.
    10. Launch Command Prompt as an administrator (click start and type “cmd” in the search box and hit “ctrl+shift+enter”).
    11. Type the following commands:
      1. DISKPART and press <ENTER>.
      2. LIST VOLUME and press <ENTER>.
      3. SELECT VOLUME X (where x is the volume number of your new partition created of size 11.22 GB) and press <ENTER>.
      4. set id=84 override and press <ENTER>.
      5. EXIT and press <ENTER>.
    12. Go to Disk Management (step 5) and check if the hibernation partition created.

    The settings for the Intel Smart Response technology are complete and now you may continue to use your computer.

    Please revert for clarification.

    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
  • Hello, I Have almost similar problem with my dell 17r laptop, when i tried installing windows in ISRT, it dint find my drive. so i installed in AHCI. but when i try to revert back to ISRT, it says windows encounhtered an error. and carries out an automatic repair, which requsts for a system restore. when i try to restore the system, it says the drive windows was installed on is locked. Please, how do i use ISRT becaue anytime i install a driver in AHCI mode, it encounters an error on restart. I really need to fix this system. Help!
  • Now when i try installing Intel Rapid Storage Technology application, it tells me my computer does not meet the minimum requirements for this software. what  do i do?