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How do I add SSD as Boot drive on new ALX

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New ALX - nothing added yet. Want to boot from the SSD, and make the HDD for backup data storage.

Have made a Recovery USB via Respawn.

Installed Samsung 1Tb SSD in spare HD dock with Icy Dock adapter.

Run Samsung Magician - all looks good. SSD appears as a separate drive.

Cannot get Samsung Data Migration to work. In any case, I am worried about doing it because it will wipe the HDD and, at the moment, I cannot change the boot order anyway.

The SSD is listed, in the BIOS, under the LEGACY BOOT: heading as P1 (the HDD is P0). However, the SSD does not appear under the UEFI BOOT: heading - only the HDD. This is all very confusing. Tried booting from LEGACY list (HDD and SSD), but it would not boot - had to go back to UEFI boot.

1. How do I load Windows 7 (via the Recovery USB!?) onto the SSD?

2. How do I get the SSD to appear under the UEFI Boot list

Any help will be gratefully rec'd.

 

 

Aurora ALX; Bios A11 Intel i7 975 3.6GHz; 12GB DDR3 1333MHz; Intel X58 Express Chipset;

Nvidia Gforce GTX 690 ; Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

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10 Replies
Tesla1856
6 Thallium

RE: How do I add SSD as Boot drive on new ALX

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I think this should cover it:

http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/3746/p/19567309/20584895.aspx#20584895

I'll add this to above link info:

- Remember you can always disconnect original spinning HDD and save it as the fail-safe backup.

- You can change SATA boot order in BIOS

- Some have reported that if you created Dell Recovery Media (like to USB-Flash or USB-HDD) it can be used to restore machine with dis-similar hardware (ie with SSD installed as boot drive).

- Not sure why Samsung migrate/cloning tool doesn't work (it should). I use bootable Acronis disc for bare-metal restores (outside of Windows). There are other free Tools, including Windows-7 Imaging Backup and these:

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/download.html

http://www.easeus.com/disk-copy/home-edition/

Seagate and Western-Digital also have free cloning tools if you have their drives installed.

All above said ... a clean/fresh install is really better ... and doesn't really take that long:

http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/3746/t/19376654.aspx

 


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RE: How do I add SSD as Boot drive on new ALX

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Thanks for the response, Tesla.

My first problem is to change the SATA boot order in BIOS. 

When I enter the BIOS boot screen, the SSD does not appear under UEFI BOOT: heading - only the HDD.

Both HDD and SSD appear under LEGACY BOOT heading, but the computer will not let me boot from there.

How do I get the SSD to appear under UEFI? Does the SSD need to be formatted in a particular way?

Aurora ALX; Bios A11 Intel i7 975 3.6GHz; 12GB DDR3 1333MHz; Intel X58 Express Chipset;

Nvidia Gforce GTX 690 ; Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

RE: How do I add SSD as Boot drive on new ALX

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It sounds like it can tell there is no OS on it, so it's not going to let you select it as bootable. I think that is by design.

After you clone to it or clean-install Windows to it (basically, get Windows properly installed on it), it should let you ... or it might do it itself if it's in bay 0.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Gaming when I'm not programming.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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RE: How do I add SSD as Boot drive on new ALX

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Can I use my Recovery USB (via Respawn) to load the OS on to the SSD?

If so, how?

I have tried to use the Alienware recovery disks, but it doesn't give me an option to load to the SSD, only the HDD (which already has the OS on it).

Aurora ALX; Bios A11 Intel i7 975 3.6GHz; 12GB DDR3 1333MHz; Intel X58 Express Chipset;

Nvidia Gforce GTX 690 ; Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

RE: How do I add SSD as Boot drive on new ALX

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I'm pretty sure it works like this ...

Use whatever Dell or Alienware PRE-INSTALLED to create a USB Recovery Drive. 

Disconnect and remove spinning drive (that's your fail-safe backup) and put it somewhere safe.

Install SSD in Bay-0.

Insert USB Recovery Drive

Press F12 as machine turns on and do a one-time-boot from the USB drive.

Use Dell Recovery to write the Factory software load to the boot drive or C: (which is now the SSD).

After it finishes, machine should boot from SSD.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Gaming when I'm not programming.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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RE: How do I add SSD as Boot drive on new ALX

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OK - do I need to format the SSD before doing this?

If yes, which format should I use?

From memory, there are two options - one is Master Boot Record (sorry, at work and can't remember the other format type)

cheers

Aurora ALX; Bios A11 Intel i7 975 3.6GHz; 12GB DDR3 1333MHz; Intel X58 Express Chipset;

Nvidia Gforce GTX 690 ; Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

RE: How do I add SSD as Boot drive on new ALX

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1. OK - do I need to format the SSD before doing this?

 

2. If yes, which format should I use?

 

From memory, there are two options - one is Master Boot Record (sorry, at work and can't remember the other format type)

 

cheers

 
1. If using the Dell Recovery USB way ... it should take care of that for you (I would think).
 
If doing it the clean-installing Windows way ... to a blank drive ... it will partition and format for you as part of the Install process. 
 
2. These small drives on Windows computer ... you use MBR.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Gaming when I'm not programming.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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RE: How do I add SSD as Boot drive on new ALX

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This worked a treat! Thanks a lot, Tesla1856

am up and running with a 1Tb SSD boot drive, and a 2Tb data/back-up drive.

Aurora ALX; Bios A11 Intel i7 975 3.6GHz; 12GB DDR3 1333MHz; Intel X58 Express Chipset;

Nvidia Gforce GTX 690 ; Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

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virgoOne
1 Copper

RE: How do I add SSD as Boot drive on new ALX

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Hi

I have exactly the same problem as Lancelot but with a DELL INSPIRON N5010.

I installed a 128GB SATA Drive in my optical drive bay and then cloned the existing hard drive onto the SSD using EaseUS. I am now trying to get the laptop to boot from the optical bay SSD but i cant seem to get the laptop to do so. I see the cloned partitions on the SSD as drives A(Recovery) and  Drive B(with OS).

How do I designate the SSD as the primary boot? Note that I have changed the boot priority in the BIOS to the folllowing

1 CD/DVD/CD-R DRIVE   2 eSATA    3 Hard Drive   4 USB STORAGE DEVICE 5 DISKETTE DRIVE  6 NETWORK

I see two possible reasons why this i am having this issue...

1) cloning process was not perfect - unlikely as i can see in compute disk management as Active Healthy partition.

2) BIOS does not recognize the HDD in the DVD Drive as a DVD Drive but as a hard disk and so ignores it. i.e. there is some way it distinguishes between a SATA HDD and a SATA DVD Drive and ignores the HDD for boot priority 1 Therefore it skips to the second option which is HDD and the assumes that the existing HDD is what provides the best boot option.

The BIOS version on the laptop is A15 (latest available) on the DELL website. However I cant seem to find an option in this BIOS to choose which HD to boot from. Other UEFI BIOSs do have it.

Alternately, is there a way to temporarily disable the HDD from the BIOS so it can be tricked into booting from the alternate HDD (which is hte SSD). How did LANCELOT DU LAC disable his drive? 

One alternative is to swap the 2 drives with the SSD in the main bay but that is a major challenge to do give the HDD is so deeply embedded into the laptop.

Any ideas will be appreciated.

Thanks,

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