Do I need to remove mSata SSD on Inspiron 15R-SE (7520) when upgrading SSD ?

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I noticed that my laptop has a 32gb mSata SSD working as cache for the 1TB HDD. however I am planning to drop that 1TB HDD into the DVD-Rom tray and slap in a 128GB SSD...  now the problem comes down to the mSata SSD.


the mSata ssd shows up as 'LITEONIT LMT-32', its also show as SATA_array_0001 under Intel Rapid Storage Technology, with 8gb Data Volume and 22gb Cache volume.


base on this website, to remove that mSata SSD seems like a pain in the ass that require a complete strip down.


now I am just wonder, what IF I leave that mSata SSD in there, will it try to act as cache for my SSD which is already way faster than it or will the system be smart enough to cache my HDD. Will I gain ANY performance gain/lost by leaving the mSata SSD in? if not, is there any way to disable it?

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Re: Do I need to remove mSata SSD on Inspiron 15R-SE (7520) when upgrading SSD ?

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Hi vcreation,

As correctly mentioned by you, mSATA SSD is used as cache for mechanical drives. Dell has not tested this system with a SSD as a primary drive for OS. The system might not be able to use the mSATA SSD to accelerate another SSD. However, you may follow the steps below to change the SATA Operation to AHCI in BIOS and leave the mSATA drive in the system and use it as a storage drive :

Note : The steps below might cause booting issues on system. You may refer to Microsoft article Here for making changes in registry before changing the SATA Operation.

  • Power on the computer
  • Press F2 when you see Dell logo to enter system setup
  • Highlight Advance
  • Change SATA Operation to AHCI
  • Highlight Intel Rapid Start Technology and press Enter
  • Disable iRST Support
  • Press Esc and Highlight Exit
  • Press Enter on Exit Saving Changes to save changes and exit

Hope this helps.

Thanks & Regards,
Sundeep B
To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USA;India For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here.

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RE: Do I need to remove mSata SSD on Inspiron 15R-SE (7520) when upgrading SSD ?

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I know this is a old thread or Post. But it came up when I searched the Msata to cache my storage.

I have a dell 15R se 7520....It has the 32gb cache ssd. with a 1tb spin drive.

What I plan on doing......

Upgrade to a 250GB SSD Crucial M500, use the 1tb Hard drive, in a Sata 2nd Hard drive tray, like you.

I am hoping the 32gb Samsung P830 will cache my 1tb hard drive, in the sata tray. Using the 250 Crucial as the operating system and programs, and a cache storage of 1tb.

What happened when you did all your upgrades? Did you experiment with the 32gb Cache drive? Was you able to leave everything On IRST....

On my laptop"bios A11". The rapid start is disabled, but right now I have Intel Rapid Storage enabled and using it to cache my 1tb drive-currently has my operating system on it.

I want to do all this upgrading, but I really want to see if anybody has experience with this?

I am also using efi Windows 8.1, but I might swap to legacy Windows 7.

Your help would be appreciated.

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RE: Do I need to remove mSata SSD on Inspiron 15R-SE (7520) when upgrading SSD ?

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Hello again,

So the install went very easy. I made sure that the 32gb msata,was disabled before I installed the new 240gb SSD. 

After you disable Acceleration---MAKE SURE YOU ALSO RESET TO AVAILABLE---Real important...Make sure the msata drive is empty, no partition.

I removed the 1tb drive, after I deleted the partition....do not reformat...than I placed it in a caddy and replaced the BD drive...

Leave Intel rapid storage enabled in Bios

I installed the SSD, and put the OEM Dell Windows 7 USB in and away I went...Because the other 2 drives did not have any partitions, Windows left System reserve on the SSD<<<real important, encase you need to remove the msata or storage drive later>>>Windows will throw System reserve on any other disk installed that has partitions, during installation(reason msata and 1tb drive are not formatted)

Once Windows 7 was done and installed, I download the Intel Rapid Storage driver from Dell....and went into administrative options...I formatted the 1tb drive, and only initialized the msata"no format"

Went back into Intel Rapid Storage and there it was, enable acceleration. So I only used 22gb for the acceleration, on the 1tb storage drive"older drive"..leaving me 8gb left over....Went back into Administrative options...and I formatted the 8gbs(NTFS)...I than used the 8gb for my paging file, freeing up the 8gb from the operating system"s ssd.-Great Idea, using a separate drive for the paging file!!!

I am sure you could also use the 8gb for your Rapid Start too, but I don't like to use Rapid start...

Now I have a 240gb C500, and a Cached 1tb 5400rpm Storage Drive....I never really ever use the BD drive....But I kept it just encase....Read and Writes are Great on this thing, and if I decided to load my 425gb of steam games, I can now load them on my storage drive, and it will still be superfast!!!!

Thanks for Reading and I hope you find this useful!!!!

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RE: Do I need to remove mSata SSD on Inspiron 15R-SE (7520) when upgrading SSD ?

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Can I put a 250 gigabyte msata on my notebook? And use windows on it as main?

I want to use msata how main and the hard disk how secondary.

Note: My dell  already has 32 giga slot and msata.

I think  in use this msata:

Samsung 850 EVO - 250GB - mSATA Internal SSD (MZ-M5E250BW)