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renatonm
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New Dell XPS 15 SSD cache acceleration feature is not enabled by default - crashes if enabled

Hi Dell Community,

I need to share what happened to me as a Dell customer so that other people don't go through the same experience:

I've got a new Dell XPS 15 four days ago. I need to say that this has been the most ANNOYING and FRUSTRATING experience I've ever had with a new computer so far. The reason is: I've been having a lot of issues with its internal mSSD drive. The model I ordered has a regular 1TB hard disk and a 128 SSD.

I was quite surprised to discover that the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (that allow faster data access by using the SSD as cache) is not enabled by default. I tried to enable it but no success. An "unknown error" message box showed up when I attempted to do so. That was really strange, considering that the only thing that I've done so far in my computer was installing MS Office and Google Chrome.

I contacted the tech support three days ago and I was told to reset my computer to factory default and try again. After a long wait for system restoration I enabled the acceleration mode in the Intel Rapid Storage software. Everything proceeded according to expected, but when I rebooted my computer it failed to detect any bootable device. I can't even access the system restoration by pressing F8 during initialization now. I asked for the tech support to help me with this new issue and we couldn't solve the problem, even after 5 hours trying.

This is indeed a very frustrating experience - especially when we consider that this shouldn't be happening in a premium $1,999 model. Also, shouldn't this KEY feature (caching with SSD) be enabled out of the box?

I must say that I am a very patient customer. For instance, I'm waiting for a 3rd contact from the tech support to solve this issue. By the time I'm writing this review, they are 30 minutes late from our previously scheduled time.
I'm still willing to solve this issue, but after 4 days of frustration from this computer I find it hard to recommend this machine to anyone else. Before all these issues happened I was considering tell my family and friends about the sleek design from the new XPS series. But unfortunately Dell has presented me a somewhat amateur software/hardware setup that causes an error to show up as soon as I get the computer and enable SSD cache acceleration by Intel Rapid Storage Technology.

I can't use my computer 4 days after getting it. Such problem doesn't seem to bother Dell! They are aware of my problem and keep postponing any position towards my situation!

The only thing I can think of now is: ask for a refund and return this computer to Dell. I'll be better with any other more competent brand. I feel like other companies could be able to send me a computer that really works out of the box with no annoyances and no need to spend so much time with tech support.

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12 Replies
P Gould
1 Nickel

Re: DON'T BUY: New Dell XPS 15 SSD cache acceleration feature is not enabled by default - crashes if enabled

I just want to confirm the issue that is described above by Renatonm. I too have a brand new XPS 15 with the regular 1TB hard disk and a 128 SSD. Experienced the same problems and the "unknown error" message trying to enable acceleration. When I contacted Dell support, we spent 3 hours trying a number things including updating the Rapid Storage Technology Driver. All that did was make the "Accererate" tab disappear entirely. Dell suggested that I reinstall the OS on the SSD drive - my response was no they needed to fix the problem as this was a brand new high-end XPS in a pristine state - allI did was update the BIOS to version A12 and apply some Microsoft updates.

At that point, Delll support said tha a number of customers were experiencing the problem and that there would be a new driver released December 17th. They sais they will be in touch - I am skeptical.

At this point my computer still functions - just slowly. i suspect that RST was not enabled by default for areason. very frustrating and disappointing.

Is this a common problem wih this configuration - any other suggestions to fix this?

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renatonm
1 Nickel

Re: DON'T BUY: New Dell XPS 15 SSD cache acceleration feature is not enabled by default - crashes if enabled

That's exactly what happened with my laptop. The only thing I did before trying to enable Intel Rapid Storage was to update the BIOS. And then I got the exact same error.

In my case I spent almost 3 entire days until I got the problem solved. I had to perform a factory reset (which is not enough, since the reset image only applies to C: drive) and then Dell tech support took control of my computer by remote assistance and performed the rest. They basically had to update the drivers for both Intel Rapid Storage and Rapid Start, deassign and reassign the cache partition on Intel Rapid Storage software,  force disk manager to create a hibernation partition on the 55GB left on SATA and then I got everything working. But this is not the kind of procedure I would expect to perform on a brand new computer.

I'm pretty sure Dell is aware of this problem but they basically seem not to care about selling an non-optimized system (hoping people simply don't notice this issue).

This is a very disrespectful attitude Dell takes towards their customers. I'm glad I had my problem solved, but I found it quite disrespectful of them to make their customers go through thousands of annoyances with a new computer. In my opinion this is just wrong!

There should be no such a thing as a common problem in a pristine state laptop, and that is exactly what Dell is selling people...

Oh! I forgot to mention a very important part: They only cared about providing me a faster support after mentioning that I was willing to return my laptop and ask for a refund. My problem was solved 20 minutes after that.  

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P Gould
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Re: DON'T BUY: New Dell XPS 15 SSD cache acceleration feature is not enabled by default - crashes if enabled

Thanks for the update Renatonm. I'm glad that you finally got your machine working. Would you be willing to share a case number (or any other reference or information) that I can provide Delll support with so they can fix my laptop? At this point they are just telling me to wait until an updated version of the Rapid Storage Technology Driver comes out later in December.

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Raczo
2 Iron

Re: DON'T BUY: New Dell XPS 15 SSD cache acceleration feature is not enabled by default - crashes if enabled

Do you want to use a 128 GB SSD as a cache? You can install Windows in a 128 GB SSD. I had understand that SSD cache was only usable in a 32 or maximum 64 GB cache.

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renatonm
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Re: DON'T BUY: New Dell XPS 15 SSD cache acceleration feature is not enabled by default - crashes if enabled

Hi P Gould.

You do understand how absurd is Dell requesting you to wait for them to fix a broken product they sold you, right?

Anyways, here is my Service Request Number: <ADMIN NOTE: service request number removed per privacy policy> . Hope it helps!

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renatonm
1 Nickel

Re: DON'T BUY: New Dell XPS 15 SSD cache acceleration feature is not enabled by default - crashes if enabled

As for the cache size, 64 GB is far more than enough for me. This is the maximum allowed by the Rapid Storage Software by Intel...

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P Gould
1 Nickel

Re: DON'T BUY: New Dell XPS 15 SSD cache acceleration feature is not enabled by default - crashes if enabled

Hi Renatonm

Looks like Dell won't even let us share service request numbers. Yes I do understand how absurd it it is.

64GB of cache is fien for me as well.

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P Gould
1 Nickel

Re: DON'T BUY: New Dell XPS 15 SSD cache acceleration feature is not enabled by default - crashes if enabled

Raczo,

Yes I could install windows on a 128GB SSD. I have done it a couple of times on older laptops. I have an older xps 15 (L502x) with a 180gb ssd and the original 750gb hdd installed now in what was originally the optical drive bay - works amazing.

However with the new L521x I don't feel I should have to totally rebuild the machine to take advantage of what is supposed to work from the factory. That is the issue and the fact that Dell support won't, can't fix it is the frustrating part.

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P Gould
1 Nickel

Re: DON'T BUY: New Dell XPS 15 SSD cache acceleration feature is not enabled by default - crashes if enabled

Thought I would give a what I hope is a final update. After another 3 hours with tech support I was told it was likely a hardware issue and was offered the option of either a repair to the existing machine or a new replacement. I opted for the new replacement which arrived 3 days later. Fist thing I did once Windows was set up was to check whether the cache was enabled - lo and behold it enabled from the start. See the following screenshot. I am now working through all the windows and driver updates - but I will hold off on any updates to the RST or fast start drivers.  emoticon.Smile.title

 

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