Forum Thread

SSD install on Dell XPS 8500

repitall 2,148 543 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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#31
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
That's great news.
How is it?
Is it all you expected?
The SSD is blazing fast and will have to wait and see how it does in real world applications.

I forgot to mention that the recovery disks also installs a recovery partition which I wasn't expecting. I did get a OEM Operating System Reinstallation DVD with the system, so not sure if it would have done that. Thats an extra 13 GB I'm not sure I wanted. I can already tell that I would not recommend anything smaller than 128 GB SSD to any power user.

As far as the XPS is concerned, I'm still in limbo because of PCIe issues, so kind of disappointed. Dell has just now acknowledged that there is a problem. I would like to keep it if they can come up with a fix before my 21 day return is up. Not holding my breath though.
I can tell you they are not built the way they use to be, flimsy cases with cheap sheet metal and plastic. Its hard to go from Mid Tower ATX to a Mini Tower Micro ATX setup. But partly that is me getting use to doing some things differently, especially with storage etc..
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#32
Good news rep!
I've had a few BS while using my adata 64gb. Many memory problem BS. put this Samsung SSD in and haven't had any problems. Now I can put this machine to sleep and wake without issues. It's ready to go by the time LCD shows the screen.
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#33
Were you able to plug your hard drive back up as storage using the SSD for windows and program files?
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#34
Quote from tlc1680 View Post :
Were you able to plug your hard drive back up as storage using the SSD for windows and program files?
Not sure who your asking, but thats what I did. Put the original drive on a SATA II port, left the original OS in place and shrunk the volume to create a separate partition for Data and SSD image after I got all my programs installed.
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#35
Installed a 256 GB Samsung 830 in my new Dell XPS today. The toughest part was screwing in the 3.5" mounting bracket in the drive bay. Fortunately, my gf has small hands so she was able to get in there and do it. Other than that, it was easy using the instructions from the thread and system recovery disks that I burned on DVDs. I didn't bother downloading any drivers beforehand or updating the SSD's firmware (I tried to after everything was complete but it came with the latest firmware), which was fine.

Thanks for instructions and guidance Smilie
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#36
Quote from gutter2d View Post :
Installed a 256 GB Samsung 830 in my new Dell XPS today. The toughest part was screwing in the 3.5" mounting bracket in the drive bay. Fortunately, my gf has small hands so she was able to get in there and do it. Other than that, it was easy using the instructions from the thread and system recovery disks that I burned on DVDs. I didn't bother downloading any drivers beforehand or updating the SSD's firmware (I tried to after everything was complete but it came with the latest firmware), which was fine.

Thanks for instructions and guidance Smilie
Glad it worked easily for you. If you have any trouble with adding ( getting recognized in device manager ) PCIe X1 add-in cards, download and install the A09 Bios. If your not adding anything then just leave it as is.
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#37
Quote from gutter2d View Post :
Installed a 256 GB Samsung 830 in my new Dell XPS today. The toughest part was screwing in the 3.5" mounting bracket in the drive bay. Fortunately, my gf has small hands so she was able to get in there and do it. Other than that, it was easy using the instructions from the thread and system recovery disks that I burned on DVDs. I didn't bother downloading any drivers beforehand or updating the SSD's firmware (I tried to after everything was complete but it came with the latest firmware), which was fine.

Thanks for instructions and guidance Smilie
You're lucky that you have the space to use the mounting kit.
I'm all out of room in my XPS, with 3 spinner hard drives, so my two SSD's just dangle from the wires, leaning up against the bottom of the case.
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#38
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
You're lucky that you have the space to use the mounting kit.
I'm all out of room in my XPS, with 3 spinner hard drives, so my two SSD's just dangle from the wires, leaning up against the bottom of the case.
my SSD drive sits in the secondary DVD drive slots... got 2 3.5 HDD mounted... all the wiring and cable holds the SSD in place, lol.
would like more HDDs but mb only has 4 SATA slots...
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#39
Quote from Albort View Post :
my SSD drive sits in the secondary DVD drive slots... got 2 3.5 HDD mounted... all the wiring and cable holds the SSD in place, lol.
would like more HDDs but mb only has 4 SATA slots...
Add an eSATA PCIe card and you can with the internal connectors. You will have to update the Bios if its an XPS 8500
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#40
Quote from repitall View Post :
Add an eSATA PCIe card and you can with the internal connectors. You will have to update the Bios if its an XPS 8500
i have an esata port in the back... but it would look tacky lol...

im short of yours... i have XPS 8300...
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#41
Quote from Albort View Post :
my SSD drive sits in the secondary DVD drive slots... got 2 3.5 HDD mounted... all the wiring and cable holds the SSD in place, lol.
would like more HDDs but mb only has 4 SATA slots...
Same here, only 4 SATA slots.
The puter came with two 640 gig 7200 rpm drives in RAID0 and I added a 1tb for storage.
Despite replacing the two spinners with two SSD's in RAID0, I don't want to remove the original drives, for a few reasons, like keeping it stock, in case I sell the PC and I would keep the Intel SSD's, plus if ever anything goes wrong with the system, I can switch over to the spinners in 1 minute flat and continue my work.
There is space higher up in the case, but then some of the wires won't reach, not that I couldn't do something about that.
If I ever had to move my PC, then I would definitely want everything firmly mounted, but it never goes anywhere, plus the SSD's aren't impact sensitive like the spinners are.
Between all those drives, a GPU that takes double space and a sound card, there's not much room left in there.
The cooling has been fine, and it doesn't run any hotter or noisier than the day I bought it, almost 3 years now.
I couldn't be more pleased with a PC, than I am with this XPS. It's tough, still looks brand new, no corrosion (we get a lot of that here from the high humidity and salt air) anywhere, everything works fine.
I understand why the gamers might want to build their own, for the sake of expansion and fancy cooling systems, but for my usage, nothing beats an XPS.
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#42
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
Same here, only 4 SATA slots.
The puter came with two 640 gig 7200 rpm drives in RAID0 and I added a 1tb for storage.
Despite replacing the two spinners with two SSD's in RAID0, I don't want to remove the original drives, for a few reasons, like keeping it stock, in case I sell the PC and I would keep the Intel SSD's, plus if ever anything goes wrong with the system, I can switch over to the spinners in 1 minute flat and continue my work.
There is space higher up in the case, but then some of the wires won't reach, not that I couldn't do something about that.
If I ever had to move my PC, then I would definitely want everything firmly mounted, but it never goes anywhere, plus the SSD's aren't impact sensitive like the spinners are.
Between all those drives, a GPU that takes double space and a sound card, there's not much room left in there.
The cooling has been fine, and it doesn't run any hotter or noisier than the day I bought it, almost 3 years now.
I couldn't be more pleased with a PC, than I am with this XPS. It's tough, still looks brand new, no corrosion (we get a lot of that here from the high humidity and salt air) anywhere, everything works fine.
I understand why the gamers might want to build their own, for the sake of expansion and fancy cooling systems, but for my usage, nothing beats an XPS.
wished my xps would be better, lol. my GPU takes up A LOT of space... not to mention, my PSU doesnt fit in my case so it sits slanted, haha. lame case design... Wished best buy had a better XPS but this was the best computer they had at best buys...
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#43
Well, I'm glad the ssd install is working for some of you. I am having some major struggles I got my new XPS 8500 system and tried an install of a new 180 GB Intel ssd. Unfortunately, it is not going well.

When I opened my new 8500, the first thing I did was make recovery disks. I opened the system, removed the 1TB drive and installed the ssd. I booted from the recovery disks, but unfortunately received the following message:

"Your hard drive is not supported for this process. Please use a hard drive with at least 931 GB in size."

OK, well that didn't work. It seems like the recovery disk will only recover back into a hard drive of the same original size? That isn't how I thought this worked.

The next step was to forgo the recovery disk and try and clone the drive. I installed both drives and downloaded the cloning software from Intel. Unfortunately, that didn't work either. I got this message:

"Failed to move the selected data. Make sure that your new hard drive is not smaller than your old one and your partitions do not contain errors. You can check for the errors and correct them using a special utility."

Wow. What an unhelpful message - what "special utility"? and of course my new hard drive (ssd) is smaller than my old one (1TB).

So then I looked into partitioning my 1TB drive into a <128 GB partition. Unfortunately, I cannot do that. When I try to shrink the drive, I can only split it up into about half size. I can make a new 458 GB partition, but that still leaves my original partition at 461 GB and I can't get it smaller.

So I am stuck, and pretty bummed. Does anyone have any ideas? I would install a fresh Windows 8 OS to the ssd, if Dell would have given me the darned disk. Does anyone know if there is any way for Dell to do this?
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#44
Sorry its not working for you, should be a simple procedure. Is Bios set for ACHI and the SSD is set for the first boot device and you have the SSD on the SATA III connector? Also do you have A09 bios installed? Not sure any of these should matter, but just covering the bases.

You really don't want to clone the drive, fresh install is best.

Edit: you mention Windows 8. Is that what the system came installed with?
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#45
Quote from Jiggyfly View Post :
Well, I'm glad the ssd install is working for some of you. I am having some major struggles I got my new XPS 8500 system and tried an install of a new 180 GB Intel ssd. Unfortunately, it is not going well.

When I opened my new 8500, the first thing I did was make recovery disks. I opened the system, removed the 1TB drive and installed the ssd. I booted from the recovery disks, but unfortunately received the following message:

"Your hard drive is not supported for this process. Please use a hard drive with at least 931 GB in size."

OK, well that didn't work. It seems like the recovery disk will only recover back into a hard drive of the same original size? That isn't how I thought this worked.

The next step was to forgo the recovery disk and try and clone the drive. I installed both drives and downloaded the cloning software from Intel. Unfortunately, that didn't work either. I got this message:

"Failed to move the selected data. Make sure that your new hard drive is not smaller than your old one and your partitions do not contain errors. You can check for the errors and correct them using a special utility."

Wow. What an unhelpful message - what "special utility"? and of course my new hard drive (ssd) is smaller than my old one (1TB).

So then I looked into partitioning my 1TB drive into a <128 GB partition. Unfortunately, I cannot do that. When I try to shrink the drive, I can only split it up into about half size. I can make a new 458 GB partition, but that still leaves my original partition at 461 GB and I can't get it smaller.

So I am stuck, and pretty bummed. Does anyone have any ideas? I would install a fresh Windows 8 OS to the ssd, if Dell would have given me the darned disk. Does anyone know if there is any way for Dell to do this?
I never use the recovery disc system, but I was told it worked fine, going from a big to a small hard drive, so either the info is incorrect, or the recovery disc method you used is different.
That aside, the next step is not too complicated. There are only two possibilities. One is to use cloning software that can accept the image coming from a bigger drive than the one on which the system will be installed, or a clean install.
I can't remember which free cloning software is always recommended here on SD, but someone will surely tell you shortly.
As for a clean install, there are legit sites for downloading the version of Windows you have, then you activate it with the key supplied with your machine. If it won't activate by just entering the key, it might cost you a phone call to MSC.
Naturally, the clean install is by far the best for performance, but if you don't want to lose some special software that you have no other way to recover, except by cloning, then I understand why that would be a preferable option for you.
So that's it.
You'll need a link to the correct free cloning software, and I'm sure that it won't be long before someone provides you with what you need.
Here are some links to downloading Win 7.

Windows 7 Home Premium (x86) - X17-58996 [digitalrivercontent.net]

• Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) - X17-58997 [digitalrivercontent.net]

All versions
[mydigitallife.info].
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