XPS M1730 Second Hard Drive Installation Help

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XPS M1730 Second Hard Drive Installation Help

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Hi

I have a just over one year old (no warranty left) XPS M1730 laptop with Seagate 200GB 7200RPM drive.

Due to the space shortage, I've installed a second Samsung 500GB 5400RPM drive. Unfortunately, laptop BIOS does not see that drive and shows {none}

So, I switched the two drives by installing new Samsung at the Primary SATA0 and existing Seagate at the SATA1. This time, BIOS found the new drive with correct brand, size, and failed to see the existing Seagate drive. 

I phoned Dell support to seek some help, and I was told that I have to replace the motherboard at Dell Or buy a new motherboard and install at your own high street local PC repair shop. As I do not have any warranty left, that solution is too expensive for me. Laptop is working absolutely fine apart from the space shortage.

I've seen some threads with similar story on this forum and I would like to know how they end up with their problems.  Some say the SATA cable connector for second drive won't work unless you ordered the two drives spec laptop from Dell. My decision is I will not replace the motherboard just to get some extra place. But, I would like to try with a new SATA cable with two working connectors.

I would like to gamble by buying a new SATA cable to see whether the problem is at the motherboard or not. My current SATA cable might not have any circuit for the second connector. The big problem Dell spare part dept told me that they don't sell that cable.

Please somebody help me to solve this problem. Is it any software solution to enable the secondary drive or how/where can I buy a SATA cable with 2 (working) connectors?

Many thanks.

  

All Replies
  • Before you buy anything, did you enable the other drive in BIOS setup?

     

  • Hi

    Thank you for the reply. The answer is No. Where/How can I do it? I believe we are talking about the same XPS M1730 laptop. Thanks again.

  • Go into the BIOS setup.  Somewhere in there will be the option to enable the second SATA channel.  If it is not enabled, you will not see the hard drive.

     

  • Hi

    Thank you again for your kind help.

    I haven't see anything like that in the BIOS. It has a SATA Configuration under the Onboard  Configuration. This is where you select RAID/Auto Detect RAID... and so on.  I am at work and laptop is at home. Therefore, I cannot list out all the available command. If you know please tell me.

    Thank you again.

     

  • Somewhere there has to be a setting to enable the second drive.  I've never seen a Dell BIOS that didn't have that option - and it is needed or you will not see the drive.

     

  • Thank you, Thank you... Thanks Million. I will check that when I got home and let you know the result. Have a Great Day.

  • Hi

    Here we go. I phoned Dell for that setting. Support staff told me that there is no separate command to enable the second hard drive as they are plug and play.

    But, set the Load Default command from the System Maintenance will do the trick.

    Thanks.

  • I am watching this post .....I just tried to install a second X25-E in the available second bay in preparation for a dual boot Vista 64 and Windows 7 RC1 (X25 on Win7 to take advantage of the SSD defrag benefits) Now, I tried every configuration imaginable and I cannot get the two drives recognized on one OS. More specifically, if I have a single drive installed in either of the available slots, the notebook recognizes it. However, when I have both together in the notebook, neither is recognized....? I thought it could be the ribbon cable as well, but, I don't know.....I am still under warranty and will check with support to see what a solution is. I am glad I am not the only one. I can't live with only the X25-E as a standalone drive in the M1730 because it is only 32GB...., But I want the speed option available with the X25-E as a separate boot.....I reseated the drives multiple times, connected disconnected removed installed etc.......Can it be the ribbon cable? Or is it the MBoard?

    XPS 730 Intel Core2 Quad Q9550
    8GB DDR3 SDRAM PC3 12800 (1600MHz)
    PNY GEForce GTX-470 XLR8 default settings (608/1215/1674)
    500gb Serial ATA Hard Drive
    Windows Vista Ultimate X64/Win 7 x64
    16X DVD-ROM and 16X DVD+/-RW
    X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty pro PCIe Sound Card

    HP 2408 (24”) 1920 X 1200

  • I found more info outlined below in the article found HERE:

    .......................”Here is a summary of what I have discovered. Normally there are three main options available for storage controllers: AHCI, RAID or IDE mode. Most people run IDE mode as this is the most compatible, and provides good performance. If selecting the AHCI mode, this choice needs to be made before installing Windows because switching between AHCI or IDE modes will usually result in boot failure with a BSOD.

    AHCI's main benefit is that it fully utilizes SATA's advanced capabilities, resulting in more optimal operation, especially when the drive is multi-tasking. This means less drive noise, and less wear and tear for platter drives. A better explanation, and more importantly, a range of performance benchmarks, can be found in this article. Windows Vista and Windows 7 are the only OSes which natively support AHCI.

    There are some quirks you should be aware of if you want to use AHCI. The first and most obvious is that as noted earlier, if you wish to enable AHCI, it is strongly recommended that you set it in your BIOS before installing Windows. If you insist on switching from IDE to AHCI on your current install, you'll need to use the method detailed in this Microsoft Article, and it's not without risk, so backup before doing it. The other issue is that you also need to install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager for AHCI to work properly on Intel motherboards. The Intel INF Chipset Utility which is necessary for all Intel chipset motherboards is not enough; the Matrix Storage Manager is not only for RAID setups, it also applies to single-disk AHCI setups as well. I admit I'd overlooked this step and had not examined the Matrix Storage Manager driver closely. Once I install the latest Intel Matrix Storage Manager I hope that everything will be fixed.”.....................

     

    I’ll let you know what the result is when I make my second attempt at installing this drive to sit alongside the other platter drive.........

     

    XPS 730 Intel Core2 Quad Q9550
    8GB DDR3 SDRAM PC3 12800 (1600MHz)
    PNY GEForce GTX-470 XLR8 default settings (608/1215/1674)
    500gb Serial ATA Hard Drive
    Windows Vista Ultimate X64/Win 7 x64
    16X DVD-ROM and 16X DVD+/-RW
    X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty pro PCIe Sound Card

    HP 2408 (24”) 1920 X 1200

  • No Luck installing the second SSD drive...... Never contacted Dell.....Both HDD from factory and X25-E if installed alone without any other drives installed work fine. I just cannot get them to work together......Any ideas anyone?....It may have something to do with the AHCI, but I do not think so.....When I did get both drives to be recognized in the bios, it did not want to boot, it acted as though the drives were in PIO mode and taking forever to startup. I mean hours....so I just gave up. Hopefully someone can figure this out.

    XPS 730 Intel Core2 Quad Q9550
    8GB DDR3 SDRAM PC3 12800 (1600MHz)
    PNY GEForce GTX-470 XLR8 default settings (608/1215/1674)
    500gb Serial ATA Hard Drive
    Windows Vista Ultimate X64/Win 7 x64
    16X DVD-ROM and 16X DVD+/-RW
    X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty pro PCIe Sound Card

    HP 2408 (24”) 1920 X 1200

  • I too bought a second drive from Dell expecting to plug it into the cable in the drive bay.  No luck.  It shows up in Device Manager, but nowhere else.  If this cannot be made to work, I wish Dell would say that up front.  I suppose I can replace my 120 GB with the new 360 or whatever it is and be ahead of where I was, but reinstalling the OS, all my apps and data will be a pain.

    Are we really out of luck, or has anyone solved this?

    Maybe I should look for or start a thread about the pros and cons of partitioning the new drive when I get around to tackling that.

  • Hi

    Can you see that second drive in BIOS?

    If your machine comes with only one hard drive, the second connector is dummy and no connection to the system.

    You need to order a new hard disk cable for dual disk drive.

    I've gone through this pain asking many things on the forum and Dell support.

    Good luck.

    Thant Zin

  • I do not see it in the BIOS, but Device Manager can see it, so the cable apparently goes somewhere.  What does the new cable do, "T" into the primary cable?  Where can one get it if not from Dell?

  • If you don't see that second drive in the BIOS, you will definitely need that cable I mentioned in my previous email.

    Phone Dell support and explain your requirement. They know and available from Dell. If you still have warranty, you should get it for free.

    It looks exactly the same cable as the one from your laptop.

    Good luck.

  • I have solved the problem. After installing a second hard drive in my M1730, I was confounded when I discovered that the second drive was visible in BIOS and in the Device Manager, but not anywhere else. After much searching I discovered the way to fix it, detailed below:

    1. Go to the Control Panel and open Administrative Tools. From there, open Computer Management.

    2. Here you should see a window that shows the condition and contents of both the original and new hard drives. Use the menu on the left to select Storage, then Disk Management. On my computer, the original C drive was listed in the lower portion of the window as Disk 0, and the second one was Disk 1.

    3. Right-click the new drive (probably Disk 1). I don't remember exactly what the option was called, but it was something to the effect of "Create New Volume." I'm pretty sure it had "Volume" in it, at least. When you've picked the correct option, you'll be rewarded with a series of windows asking you what you want the new drive to be like (Drive letter, drive name, storage space, file system, etc.), so just follow the steps and wait for the new drive to be formatted. Voilà.

     

    Edited to include step I forgot.