I came here looking for an answer to the same question.
Anyone know if the M1330 will see an SSD in one of the mini-pcie slots? I don't care if it will boot off it or not, I just want something to store files on.
Same here, I have the same question and I have not found any answer after googling for a couple of hours.
My laptop is not an XPS but a Latitude D820, anyaway, I also have a spare mini-pci slot, so wondering if this would work...
Otherwise, use express card SSD, but I have read they are not as fast.
Hopefully some engineer from dell will give us an answer.
I can not unswer your question, but I have answered mine. It is not possible.
I have taken the MiniPCI-e SSD card from my colleague Asus EEE, and inserted it in the spare slot from my Latitude. Even though the form factor is not 100%compatible (the SSD is bigger than the UMTS card), it is still able to be inserted, since the pinout is the same.
However, nothing in the BIOS appears as to be detected when this memory is installed.
So, I guess it is a feature that need to be "on purpose" built in the BIOS. However, don't know if your XPS is new enough to have this feature in it.
I definitely find it a REALLY PERFECT combination, not sure why manufacturers do not go this way. Listen Dell? A very high speed SSD (8-16Gb) on the MiniPCI slot for the system (boot, programs...), plus a 500Gb 4.5krpm for DATA. Perfect integration!
I offer myself as proff on concept tester 🙂
The Mini PCI SSD (EEEpc, Dell netbook, etc) have a few different pins (in use) from the standard spec. The pins allow access to Hard drives and other system calls that the normal PCI spec does not support.
I found this out from trying to custom load Linux on a MiniPCI flash card in a Dell Latitude E6500 series to have Linux at a touch of a button with the Latitude ON flash reader. This reader that is appearing in some of the Latitude series has an ARM based processor with 170 or so MB of flash. This flash has a bootloader that accesses a NTFS formatted partition on the hard drive and loads further things from there, bypassing the Intel based processor.
It seems to be too prepritory to do anything useful with. Most kernels I found could not support this ARM processor.
You could format a generic MINI PCI SSD or flash device with a bootloader and the BIOS should see it as a bootable device. The OS or other things could be loaded with GRUB or another bootloader that could point to the OS on the flash, however if the bios does not recognize the device, you would have to force the boot to the area of the PCI card by loading GRUB off the hard drive, then pointing it to the "boot sector" of the flash device.