Installing SSD as primary HDD in new 17R SE 7720--help please?

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Installing SSD as primary HDD in new 17R SE 7720--help please?

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I just received delivery on a 17R SE notebook, service tag # 9S9X1W1 , with windows 8 preinstalled.  Came with a Dell "windows 8 recovery media" DVD. It came with the 1 tb 5400 HDD and the 32 gig SSD cache enabled.

I have a kingston 120 GB SSD that I want to make primary, with the 1 tb drive remaining secondary.  Ideally, I would like to put the 32g SSD to some use too, tho that is not critical.

How exactly should I do this, please?  I see several posts on this subject in the archives, but the detailed ones I found pertain to windows 7, not systems with 8 preinstalled.  TIA.

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  • Well, not hearing back from Dell, I went ahead and used the recovery media to sucessfully do what I wanted.  Here's what I did:

    -Opened the case, removed the mSATA card, moved the HDD into bay 2, and put the SSD into bay one.

    -Went into the bios, changed boot from "secure" to "legacy" so that I could enable booting by the DVD drive, and changed SATA settings from Intel SET to ACHI.

    -Booted up via the recovery disk, deleted all partitions on the HDD, and installed the OS into the SSD.

    Actually was quite impressed at how easy it all was.  I didn't have to do much updating the OS, and I had a clean install minus bloatware like McAfee trial.

    Hope that helps someone else.

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  • You will need a Windows 8 install DVD to do it - and though it is technically doable within the license terms, it's equally true that Microsoft isn't allowing OEMs to release full Windows 8 discs with new systems -- so, practically speaking, the only real way to do it may be to purchase a Windows 8 license yourself, so you have a disc to use.

    You CANNOT use the Dell recovery media (which you make from within windows) if the SSD is lower in capacity than the hard drive the system comes with.

    Also note that while 120G will get you going with a Windows install, it will require you be vigilant about what you install along the way -- it is VERY easy to fill up a 120G windows drive.

  • Thanks for replying so fast ejn63.  I've used SSDs on several windows 7 machines, and am aware that I'll have to monitor space closely (though having a 1tb data drive will make it not too tough).

    Really wondering how to deal with things like bios settings, reinstall, etc. as I know it can be done, just want to minimize chances of problems.

  • Like you, I have also just received my 17RSE and have today tried to install an SSD for the OS. I have spent many wasted hours trying to clone the hard drive to the SSD 9Easy enough to do)  and then to amend the BIOS to accept the SSD as the primary drive, but It appears to be impossible.

    I then did a clean install of Windows 7, followed by an immediate upgrade to Windows 8. Unfortunately the Win 8 key which on my Dell is used to activate the OS is not one which Microsoft will allow to be used with the retail  version of Windows 8.

    Having failed with that, I am now back with Windows 7 which is where I will probably stay. 

    The long and short of it is that we do not have the necessary software (Windows DVD) with which to build a revised hardware configuration.

    After paying $1,000+ for a laptop, I think that is disgusting!

    Dell and Microsoft should hang their heads in shame. 

  • Well, not hearing back from Dell, I went ahead and used the recovery media to sucessfully do what I wanted.  Here's what I did:

    -Opened the case, removed the mSATA card, moved the HDD into bay 2, and put the SSD into bay one.

    -Went into the bios, changed boot from "secure" to "legacy" so that I could enable booting by the DVD drive, and changed SATA settings from Intel SET to ACHI.

    -Booted up via the recovery disk, deleted all partitions on the HDD, and installed the OS into the SSD.

    Actually was quite impressed at how easy it all was.  I didn't have to do much updating the OS, and I had a clean install minus bloatware like McAfee trial.

    Hope that helps someone else.

  • I just created an account just to thank you for the instructions! Googled for a couple of hours, trying to find a solution to the very same problem (same laptop model and SSD as yours). Worked like a charm and a pleasant surprise that all the Dell and McAfee bloatware is nowhere to be seen.

    Many thanks!

  • how do i install it without a windows 8 disk?

  • You need the Windows 8 install disc. Dell can supply the disc if you raise a support request with them.