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SSD install on Dell XPS 8500

repitall 527 July 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM in Computers (4)
I haven't bought a pre-built system in years, but needed to get one up and running quickly, so
I ordered a Dell XPS 8500, which I should get next week. I plan on putting an SSD in it. It comes with a SATA III 1TB drive which I will use as a secondary drive.
I plan on creating a set of recovery disks, downloading all current drivers, then installing the SSD using those disks and then reformat the 1 TB drive. Am I missing something?

The XPS 8500 has a mSATA connection which is typically used for a caching SSD. Any reason I shouldn't used this as the primary drive connection or will it even work?

I also need an eSATA and Firewire connection. Any one know of a PCIe card that has both. Or even a USB 3.0 hub with both on it. My searching comes up with nothing. There may not be room for 2 separate cards.

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#16
shrink the boot drive to same size (or smaller) of the ssd before creating if worried.
not sure the recovery disk would care as long as it has room. will the recovery disk install any of the bloat?
You could use the free paragon backup to make an image of an updated OS/drivers.
paragon would be looking for 1tb drive on restore and complain the ssd was too small. if the image is smaller than the ssd you can enlarge after it installs
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#17
Quote from repitall View Post :
I just spoke to Dell XPS support and they would not guarantee that a recovery CD would install an SSD properly. If not, you would have to use a Win 7 disk and then use their license key.
They could not answer the question about shrinking the partitions first.

Just wondering if anyone has actually successfully installed an SSD with the Dell Recovery CD.
I have tried just for the sake of trying on a client's brand new Optiplex 790.

The computer came with a single 500GB HDD, but I had purchased a Samsung 830 128GB separately and tried what you are asking. I created the Dell Software recommended Recovery Discs (2 discs), then proceeded with installing the SSD and attempted to recover using those recovery discs.

I can confirm with you now that it does not work. It errored out, no OS was installed. I was only testing it for curiosity reasons because their bloatware was not welcomed anyways and is not part of the standard package I roll out.

Getting a copy of a retail disc and using the dell stickered windows key will also not work. You need to find yourself a Dell OEM Operating System Reinstallation DVD. No keys will be asked, and the product will be genuine.
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I beat the Kobayashi Maru
2,027 Reputation
#18
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
Just to be 100% sure, you're saying that the recovery discs can be made from his 1tb drive and then installed onto his SSD, correct?

Hey! Thanks for the link. Weird coincidence huh?


Anyway, I can confirm that creating the recovery discs worked for me. (Are there multiple kinds?)
Because I have something called HP support assistant that created the recovery discs for me(needed 5 dvds).


I had a similar situation. I bought a new PC that came with a 1TB hard drive and free photoshop and other good softwares for free. I did not want to deal with simply installing a generic O.S and then search and install drivers and call HP for the keys to the softwares...
Which is why I created the recovery discs. Took about 20 minutes to create them. I didn't want to deal with creating clones and images and all that. This was simple and it worked.
Also- In MY case, simply installing the SSD and running the recovery discs did not work. The recovery disc would keep detecting the recovery partition on the original 1TB HDD and it would begin installing there. There were no options for me to change anything.
So what I did was, disconnect the 1TB HDD , made sure that the DVD drive was placed first in the boot order and the factory reset worked beautifully. After installation, I reconnected the 1TB HDD and in the boot order, made the SSD boot first. It took about 30 minutes and I am now running Windows 7 on my new SSD, with all the preinstalled softwares.
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#19
Quote from repitall View Post :
Dell does not offer an SSD on the XPS 8500 as an option
I guess that settles it.
They just don't know.
Unless we get confirmation from elsewhere, you might be the Guinea Pig, no offense intended, perhaps "ground breaker" would be a better term.
It makes sense to me that it will work, but still don't know for sure.
What about having a dual boot system?
Do you want to set it up that way?
If so, you just leave the 1tb HD as is (and disconnected while installing the OS on the SSD) and then when the SSD is up and running, there's a free program called easyBCD that assists in making a dual boot between two different drives, without having to go into the bios each time to select between one or the other.
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#20
Quote from the.J129 View Post :
Hey! Thanks for the link. Weird coincidence huh?


Anyway, I can confirm that creating the recovery discs worked for me. (Are there multiple kinds?)
Because I have something called HP support assistant that created the recovery discs for me(needed 5 dvds).


I had a similar situation. I bought a new PC that came with a 1TB hard drive and free photoshop and other good softwares for free. I did not want to deal with simply installing a generic O.S and then search and install drivers and call HP for the keys to the softwares...
Which is why I created the recovery discs. Took about 20 minutes to create them. I didn't want to deal with creating clones and images and all that. This was simple and it worked.
Also- In MY case, simply installing the SSD and running the recovery discs did not work. The recovery disc would keep detecting the recovery partition on the original 1TB HDD and it would begin installing there. There were no options for me to change anything.
So what I did was, disconnect the 1TB HDD , made sure that the DVD drive was placed first in the boot order and the factory reset worked beautifully. After installation, I reconnected the 1TB HDD and in the boot order, made the SSD boot first. It took about 30 minutes and I am now running Windows 7 on my new SSD, with all the preinstalled softwares.
FANTASTIC !
Thanks a million for the info.
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L7: Teacher
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Original Poster
#21
Well, so far a successful attempt with HP and not so successful with Dell ( except maybe with Dell OEM Operating System Reinstallation DVD ).

AVANT:
Was the 500 Gb hard drive disconnected?

ROCKY:
If I can figure out my other drive connection issues, I would do a dual boot.
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#22
Quote from repitall View Post :
Well, so far a successful attempt with HP and not so successful with Dell ( except maybe with Dell OEM Operating System Reinstallation DVD ).

AVANT:
Was the 500 Gb hard drive disconnected?

ROCKY:
If I can figure out my other drive connection issues, I would do a dual boot.
I believe that it is now confirmed that you can make your recovery discs and then install the OS on your new SSD.
If it worked on the HP, it'll work on the Dell.
Are there any other drive connection issues right now?
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L7: Teacher
527 Reputation
Original Poster
#23
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
I believe that it is now confirmed that you can make your recovery discs and then install the OS on your new SSD.
If it worked on the HP, it'll work on the Dell.
Are there any other drive connection issues right now?
I should have said potential drive connection issues.Won't have the system til next week. It only has 4 SATA connectors.
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#24
Quote from repitall View Post :
I should have said potential drive connection issues.Won't have the system til next week. It only has 4 SATA connectors.
If you like your XPS, half as much as I like mine, you're gonna love it.
Every single PC in the world, has some shortcomings somewhere.
You give up one thing to get another.
In this case, a bit less flexibility than a home built, but a solid beast that'll never let you down.
If you really don't like it. you can send it to me and I'll pay the postage. wootwootwoot
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L7: Teacher
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Original Poster
#25
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
If you like your XPS, half as much as I like mine, you're gonna love it.
Every single PC in the world, has some shortcomings somewhere.
You give up one thing to get another.
In this case, a bit less flexibility than a home built, but a solid beast that'll never let you down.
If you really don't like it. you can send it to me and I'll pay the postage. wootwootwoot
There's one available right now for $499 ( Scratch and Dent ) vs. Refurb if your serious..they go quick.
http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnli...d=81411ad3

http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnli...2&fid=9179
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#26
Quote from repitall View Post :
There's one available right now for $499 ( Scratch and Dent ) vs. Refurb if your serious..they go quick.
http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnli...d=81411ad3

http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnli...2&fid=9179
I couldn't find any freebies where all I had to pay was postage.....shake head

I think my Dell is good for awhile to come.
I have an i7 920 with 12 gigs of ram, 2 original 7200 rpm 640 gig hard drives in RAID0 (total of 1.28 tb's but not hooked up right now, but still in the case) as well as two Intel X25 80 gig SSD's in RAID0, then a 7200 rpm 1tb drive for data, a GTX 460 SE and also an HD 5770 (not at the same time), a Cooler Master 550W (I believe) A Sound Blaster audio card, a pair of Audio Engine A2 speakers, along with a pair of Altec Lansing M812 wireless speakers (depending on the source I'm listening to), USB wifi, card reader, DVD burner, MSI webcam, a Logitech Anywhere wireless mouse, a wireless Microsoft Arc keyboard,
The PC runs a pair of 24 inch monitors, along with a 40 inch TV.
As mentioned, mine came with an eSATA port which comes in handy for 4 Fantom external 1 and 2tb drives,
Naturally I have a few trinkets too, like gaming controls, wireless headphones, Magic Jack, blah blah blah.
In short, I'm pretty well set up for both power, speed and storage space, with all the peripherals I need and I probably won't start yearning for a new PC for several years to come.
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L7: Teacher
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Original Poster
#27
Well, in all my planning in anticipation of receiving the XPS 8500. It looks like there are some significant issues with any of the PCIe x1 slots working for add-in cards as noted in many Dell forums. I was just gonna add a 1394 card and a eSATA card, but it appears this is a long shot, with the exception of maybe 1 that uses a Marvel chipset. So I may be returning the system after I get it, unless they come up with a fix soon. The issue has been going on since they started selling it. This is why I have not bought a prebuilt system in many years. I hate the proprietary motherboards and limited BIOS issues.

Anyway, maybe this thread was not a complete waste of time, since it may have helped someone with using a recovery DVD to install an SSD

Just wanted to alert anyone who is planning to buy one.
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#28
Quote from repitall View Post :
Well, in all my planning in anticipation of receiving the XPS 8500. It looks like there are some significant issues with any of the PCIe x1 slots working for add-in cards as noted in many Dell forums. I was just gonna add a 1394 card and a eSATA card, but it appears this is a long shot, with the exception of maybe 1 that uses a Marvel chipset. So I may be returning the system after I get it, unless they come up with a fix soon. The issue has been going on since they started selling it. This is why I have not bought a prebuilt system in many years. I hate the proprietary motherboards and limited BIOS issues.

Anyway, maybe this thread was not a complete waste of time, since it may have helped someone with using a recovery DVD to install an SSD

Just wanted to alert anyone who is planning to buy one.
Sorry to hear that.
I managed to work around those small PCI slots without too much inconvenience and it's a shame that you won't land up with what I consider to be a great machine, but you know best what your needs are, and what is or isn't acceptable for you.
Hope it all works out well for you in the end.
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L7: Teacher
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Original Poster
#29
Well, I thought I would update this thread for those that are interested.

Received the Dell system and immediately made the System Recovery disks.

Disconnected the c: drive and replaced it with the Samsung 830 128 GB SSD.
Booted to the Recovery DVD and it worked. It formatted the SSD and installed all software.
I have to say that I thought it was not going to, because at the first screen when a progress bar had finished, it did nothing. No HD flicker...nothing. I waited about 4-5 min's and then it proceeded to start the format. Maybe this is where some people might think it has hung up and just quit.
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#30
Quote from repitall View Post :
Well, I thought I would update this thread for those that are interested.

Received the Dell system and immediately made the System Recovery disks.

Disconnected the c: drive and replaced it with the Samsung 830 128 GB SSD.
Booted to the Recovery DVD and it worked. It formatted the SSD and installed all software.
I have to say that I thought it was not going to, because at the first screen when a progress bar had finished, it did nothing. No HD flicker...nothing. I waited about 4-5 min's and then it proceeded to start the format. Maybe this is where some people might think it has hung up and just quit.
That's great news.
How is it?
Is it all you expected?
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