E6420 problems with SATA3 SSD

Disk Drives

Disk Drives
Disk Drives (Floppy, USB, HDD, CD/DVD/BD) discussion

E6420 problems with SATA3 SSD

This question is answered

I've been running my E6420 with a standard Hitachi 7k RPM disk for over a year with no problems.  For reference the disk's label shows SATA 3Gb/s (i.e. SATA2).

I recently got a Corsair Neutron GTX SSD, which of course supports SATA3.  When installing into my E6420's internal SATA bay, the BIOS usually doesn't recognize the disk at all, although sometimes the BIOS sees it, but then Windows 7 won't boot with various "I/O error" and/or "general read error" and/or "missing bootmgr" messages.

Interestingly, if I put the SSD into an eSATA enclosure, the SSD is consistently identified correctly in BIOS, and Windows 7 installs and boots quite nicely, although at the slow speeds of the eSATA port.

Now...  Before we point to the drive being bad, I installed the SSD into a desktop that has a SATA3 port, and the SSD ran flawlessly at full speed.

So, it appears NOT to be a problem with the drive.

That said, it's still a weird situation that, apparently, my E6420's internal SATA bay is quite happy driving a Hitachi 7k RPM disk at SATA2 speeds, but is having problems with a SATA3 SSD.

Any ideas?  Is there any way to control the internal SATA bay, and maybe force it to SATA3 or SATA2 mode?  I'm assuming all that should be automatic...

Thanks!

Verified Answer
  • Well, I'm happy to report that my Corsair Neutron GTX is now running nicely in my E6420.  It unfortunately took 2 motherboard replacements, but now I'm all good!  ATTO shows 450-500 MB/s, which is awesome!  Thanks for all the tips along the way, everyone - but looks like it was just a hardware problem in the end.

All Replies
  • Hi rkodey,

    The internal SATA bay in Latitude E6420 is SATA-II compatible. However SATA-III drive should work in SATA-II ports at 3 Gb/s, as it is backward compatible. I would suggest you to update the system BIOS, please refer to the link: http://dell.to/15yKHPL.

    Note: Before updating BIOS please ensure that:
    *Battery is 10%> or >10% charged
    *Battery charger should be connected
    *No external devices (flash drives, printers, external hard drives) should be connected.
    *All other programs should be closed and documents saved

    You may reset BIOS to defaults. Please follow the steps below:

    •  Power on the system and tap <F2> 3-4 times at Dell logo to enter BIOS.
    • Click ‘Load Defaults’ tab at the bottom.
    • Press <Esc> to ‘Save Changes and Exit’

    Keep me posted with the results. I will be glad to assist further.

    Thanks & Regards
    Amogh G
    #iworkfordell
    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USAIndia. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here

  • Thanks!  SATA-II only?  I didn't know that.  Anyway, yes - it should still work, as you mention.

    I'm on A17, so I already have the latest BIOS.  (Sorry - I should have mentioned that in my first post.)

    Does that suggest a hardware issue?

  • Hi rkodey,

    It seems the issue is with motherboard.  If the system is under warranty you may provide me the Service Tag and the name as it appears on the account via private message (click my username and then click Start Conversation) so I may access your records and we will take it from there.

    If the system is not covered under warranty and you are residing in US, you may contact Dell Out of Warranty Repairs (OWR) department at 1- 800-288-4410 to check the time and cost involved for repairs.

    Keep me posted. I will be glad to assist further.

    Thanks & Regards
    Amogh G
    #iworkfordell
    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USAIndia. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here

  • Hello Rkodey,

    If there is a way to do it, try re-flashing the BIOS (A17) with the SSD drive installed in the drive bay of your PC.  Then run the "F2" command on boot and reset the BIOS to defaults, if possible.  I just recently upgraded a seven-year-old XPS M-1210 to a Kingston 240 Gb SSD drive (I'm running Windows 7 with BIOS A08 - the latest version) and have encountered no problems.  I did "clone" the drive using the software bundled with the drive - Acronis, I believe.  Operation has been flawless.

    Steve

  • Thanks.  I can't think of a way to re-flash while the drive is installed, since it won't boot at all with the drive in it.  I have since updated the BIOS (to A19, actually), and done a "load defaults" with it, and no luck.  Looks like they're going to try replacing the motherboard - I'm hoping for the best.  Thanks, again!

  • Well, I'm happy to report that my Corsair Neutron GTX is now running nicely in my E6420.  It unfortunately took 2 motherboard replacements, but now I'm all good!  ATTO shows 450-500 MB/s, which is awesome!  Thanks for all the tips along the way, everyone - but looks like it was just a hardware problem in the end.