dperry112
2 Iron

XPS 8910 RAID to replacement SSD

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Following advice in this forum, I installed a 500 GB Samsung SSD in a new XPS 8910. The model was outfitted with a 2 TB hard drive and the 32 GB SSD. They were in RAID configuration. What I should gave done was to reboot the system, load the Intel utility (Ctrl-I) and delete the RAID then change the SATA status from RAID to UEFI.  What I did was skip the step on deleting the RAID configuration. I removed the 32 GB SSD with the 500 GB one and disconnected the SATA cable from the hard drive. I then reinstalled Windows 10. When I hooked up the SATA cable, no hard drive in Disk Management though it was recognized by there BIOS. There was an Intel error message that the hard drive was "incompatible."  I ended up swapping out another hard drive from the XPS 8700 I was upgrading and went ahead and completed installing the 8910. I put the 2 TB hard drive into the 8700 where it again was not appearing in Disk Management. I found a Seagate utility to zero fill the disk but it could not find the drive either.

I guess what happened is that changing the RAID to UEFI left the hard drive (and presumably the 32 GB SSD) in some sort of unreadable state. In theory I could put the little SSD and hard drive back in the 8910, change the SATA back to RAID and then reboot, go into the RAID utility to delete the RAID, then change back to UEFI. Maybe that would get back the functionality of the hard disk and small SSD.

On the other hand, I don't think it is worth the bother. I am interested in whether anyone has gone through this process and whether this would make the two drives compatible.

If anyone is interested in writing up the whole process of installing a SSD as a boot drive into these systems, the less common scenario of the details of how to delete the RAID then change the SATA status should be emphasized.

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evnbehr
1 Nickel

RE: XPS 8910 RAID to replacement SSD

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I also had fun trying to figure this out. I installed a Samsung 960 EVO 500GB PCIe NVMe and wanted to set it up as the primary Windows 10 boot drive and use the factory HDD as a secondary storage drive. I had problems trying to boot from the USB recovery media. I finally somehow got it to work.

After reading your BIOS settings, I'm confused about what you said about changing from RAID to UEFI.

What I had to do in the BIOS to get the Samsung Magician software and the Samsung driver to recognize the Samsung SSD drive was change the SATA setting in the BIOS under the Advanced Tab from RAID to AHCI. That's the only option available for the SATA setting.

The boot settings in the BIOS says UEFI.

The BIOS setting from the factory with the original HDD was set to RAID.

So right now everything is working fine for me. The Samsung SSD is installed booting and running windows. The factory HDD is plugged in and running as a Secondary "D:"drive.

The BIOS is currently set to SATA Setting "AHCI"

Secure boot is "Enabled"

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Koeven
2 Iron

RE: XPS 8910 RAID to replacement SSD

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I ran into something similar, though not quite the same.  My 8910 was set for RAID in the bios from the factory, not sure why.  I had a new Samsung EVO 960 1TB PCIe NVMe drive and had already created a restore drive.  After installing it and restoring using the USB drive I was running into a couple of strange problems - I couldn't get the Samsung Magician software to recognize the drive and I couldn't get Samsung NVMe driver to install.  I finally figured it had to be the RAID setting.

I disconnected all drives with only the EVO in the M.2 slot and went into the BIOS and changed from RAID to AHCI, ignored all of the warnings and then reinstalled the OS again.  It worked perfectly and then I went in and connected my two other SATA drives.  I could then install the Samsung Magician and the Samsung NVMe driver.  The Magician found the drive and indicated I needed to do a firmware upgrade which took all of 30 seconds.  I hope that helps.  

FYI - I created two different restore drives, one using the OS recovery method and the other was downloading the recovery image from the Dell site.  The Dell one was a real pain as it was pre-1607 Windows Anniversary Edition and took about four more hours to update to all of the latest MS updates.  The recovery drive created using the OS was already 100% up to date and I was restoring my personal files and applications in less than an hour after starting the whole rebuild process.

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dperry112
2 Iron

RE: XPS 8910 RAID to replacement SSD

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This process is more complicated than many of the posts here or on line would indicate. The only good thing that came out of having an incompatible 2 TB drive is that I moved all my data stored on the 3 TB drive in my old  system which sped things up markedly.

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evnbehr
1 Nickel

RE: XPS 8910 RAID to replacement SSD

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I also had fun trying to figure this out. I installed a Samsung 960 EVO 500GB PCIe NVMe and wanted to set it up as the primary Windows 10 boot drive and use the factory HDD as a secondary storage drive. I had problems trying to boot from the USB recovery media. I finally somehow got it to work.

After reading your BIOS settings, I'm confused about what you said about changing from RAID to UEFI.

What I had to do in the BIOS to get the Samsung Magician software and the Samsung driver to recognize the Samsung SSD drive was change the SATA setting in the BIOS under the Advanced Tab from RAID to AHCI. That's the only option available for the SATA setting.

The boot settings in the BIOS says UEFI.

The BIOS setting from the factory with the original HDD was set to RAID.

So right now everything is working fine for me. The Samsung SSD is installed booting and running windows. The factory HDD is plugged in and running as a Secondary "D:"drive.

The BIOS is currently set to SATA Setting "AHCI"

Secure boot is "Enabled"

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dperry112
2 Iron

RE: XPS 8910 RAID to replacement SSD

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You're right.  AHCI is what is needed for the SSD. Not sure why I ended up with a hard drive that is incompatible.

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Koeven
2 Iron

RE: XPS 8910 RAID to replacement SSD

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Thanks for catching my error - it was AHCI, not UEFI that I changed my SATA setting to.

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dperry112
2 Iron

RE: XPS 8910 RAID to replacement SSD

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I finally fixed it by using a utility from blancco, Blancco Disk Eraser. It was a free trial version that identified the hard disk and erased it--took 3 hours. After that, I could identify and format it in Disk Management.

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qualen
1 Copper

RE: XPS 8910 RAID to replacement SSD

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AHCI is only needed if you want to use the Samsung driver/Magician in the m.2 slot. In the default setting, RAID, it works fine when using in a PCIe adapter. My system came with a 512gb ssd in m.2 slot and I added a 1gb 960 evo with adapter. I didn't have a problem until I swapped the drive positions to use the 960 evo in the m.2 slot. It worked but, I was forced to use microsoft driver till I went AHCI in bios.

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rh310
2 Iron

RE: XPS 8910 RAID to replacement SSD

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So the 960 m.2 NVMe will not boot in an 8920 unless the BIOS is set to RAID.  

Do I understand that the 8910 can boot from this same drive in ACHI mode?

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