In Reference with this post: http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/t/19464083.aspx, I tried to install windows 8 by switching the SATA mode to Intel Rapid Storage Technology in BIOS. However when I try to install, the hard drive will not show up. In that post, DELL-Rakesh Ro had explained the steps to follow while reinstallation, but he had not said any specific way on how to got to RAID BIOS. I would be grateful if somebody would explain how to do this. Currently, I am not able to boot Windows. Please help me.
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You shouldn't have to enter the "raid bios". I just finished doing a clean install of windows 8 on a new 14z.
The new Win 8 laptops hold the windows key in the bios, so unless you already have another key you will need a dell oem copy of windows 8 to do the install.
I used the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool to make a bootable usb drive with the dell oem copy of windows 8. I then downloaded the WINDOWS 8 Intel rapid storage drivers from dell drivers page and extracted them to the root of the usb key.
After booting with the usb key, it will ask for drivers since it will not see the hard drive If you have sata mode set to intel rapid start. Select the drivers you copied onto the usb key and the hard drive should show up.
Also make sure the bios is in uefi mode, or windows will give you an error saying it can't install onto a gpt partition.
There is no harm in leaving all of the recovery partitions intact, just in case you want them someday.
after installation completes, you probably want to setup intel rapid start. http://communities.intel.com/thread/29776
after that is done, you can install the intel rapid storage, Just make sure when you attempt to start it, select "custom" size and not full capacity, should be about 22gb left, depending on how much you used for the rapid start.
The laptop was purchased at Costco, so I called their phone support. All they did was take my info then transfer me to dell support, but I might have made a difference with the level of support I received. I had a few problems with the laptop, it was missing a few of the rubber screw covers on the bottom, I still will not connect to secure wireless on my router and It didn't come with any recovery media. It did include a drivers disc. I let them know that I wanted them to send out the replacement screw covers and OS media. The Dell "tech" kept insisting on running diagnostics and troubleshooting the laptop, I was just persistent in letting him know that all I wanted was the covers and the disc and they would never hear from me again. He said they would be sent out, and they showed up a day or 2 later.
The mSATA 32 GB SSD is too small to support a Windows 7/8.1 installation and hence is setup as a cache drive. In this configuration the STA configuration has to be set to Intel Rapid Storage Technology and the SATA drivers may need to be loaded during the Windows setup. The Cache SSD is an intermediate in terms of performance of a native install on a SSD and an install on a conventional HDD.
At the time of purchase the SSDs were expensive however now a 128 - 256 GB SSD mSATA drive can be had for quite cheap. Thus the mSATA drive can readily be replaced by a larger capacity mSATA drive such as a Samsung Evo 840 or Crucial M500. In this configuration the SATA operation should be changed to AHCI, again some SATA drivers may need to be loaded during the Windows setup.