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Memory Hog
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XPS 14 with two drives - why not boot from the SSD?

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Hi all,

I recently received my new XPS 14 (L421x) ultrabook.  Out of the box, this machine has a 500Gb C: drive labeled "OS" and a second 110Gb SSD D: drive labeled "Data".  Windows 8 is installed on the C: drive.  There is absolutely nothing on the D: drive.

Does this sound right?  I would have thought that you would want to have the OS on the SSD and boot from that (much faster?) drive.

Please let me know what I'm missing here.

Thanks!

Julian

 

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8 Replies

Re: XPS 14 with two drives - why not boot from the SSD?

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Hi Julian,

The system is working as designed. The operating system should be installed on the normal HDD. It seems the SSD shipped with the system is mSATA card (Please refer to the picture). It is used for cache purpose, for a faster boot.

Some of the features of SSD are listed below:

  • Faster — The SSD has much faster access times than a conventional hard drive. In some tests, the operating system loads almost twice as fast.
  • More reliable — Since the drive has no moving parts, it is more reliable than standard hard drives or other drives that require motion to work.
  • More durable — No moving parts also will result in less chance of damage from bumps or impact.
  • Improved power savings — Conventional hard drives require motors to spin the platters that store data. Eliminating the motor on an SSD creates power savings.

Please reply for any further questions. I will be glad to assist you.

Thanks & Regards
Amogh G
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USAIndia. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here

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Memory Hog
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Re: XPS 14 with two drives - why not boot from the SSD?

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Thanks for that response.  However, it seems to have spawned a couple more questions:

1) When and how much of this "cache" drive is used?  

2) What dictates the amount of space that is used for the fast boot cache?

3) Could the 110Gb be used for its cache function and also be the boot disk as well?  Looking at the benefits that you listed (i.e. faster, more reliable etc), why *wouldn't* you boot from it???

Thanks.

Julian

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Re: XPS 14 with two drives - why not boot from the SSD?

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Hi Julian,

1)      The mSATA drive uses approximately 18 GB of space for cache purpose.

2)      The amount of space used for fast boot cache is allocated automatically by the operating system.

3)      You can use the remaining 110 GB for storage purpose. However, it is not possible to use mSATA as both cache drive and boot disk at the same time. It can either be used as cache drive or bootable device.

Please reply for any further questions. I will be glad to assist further. 

Thanks & Regards
Amogh G
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USAIndia. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here

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Memory Hog
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Re: XPS 14 with two drives - why not boot from the SSD?

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Thanks again!

From your answer, it would seem that I could choose to use the SSD to hold the OS and boot from it.  You said that the cache and the OS should not be on the same drive though.  This prompted a couple more questions:

   1) Why do you think this is?  How is the cache configured that would prevent that?

   2) Presumably, I could partition the SSD into two drives if the cache config really is an issue?

   4) Do you think disabling the cache (how do you do that?) and having the OS on the SSD and booting from that would be quicker that the standard config I have now?

Finally, is there any kind of online user manual for this machine that might get down to this kind of detail? I didn't even get any document or link that describes anything at all about my machine, hardware, ports etc.

Kind regards.

Julian

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Re: XPS 14 with two drives - why not boot from the SSD?

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Hi Julian,

You may go ahead and try various configurations. Theoretically, it should work.  However, Dell and Intel have neither tried nor recommend this. The mSATA card is designed basically to be used as cache drive to accelerate the HDD. Dell and Intel recommend installing operating system on HDD and using mSATA to accelerate it.

If the operating system is installed on SSD, system will surely be able to boot faster and you won’t require a cache drive for a faster boot.

For more information on ISRT, you may refer to the link: http://intel.ly/wB9Xgk.

For system’s Owner’s Manual, please refer to the link: http://bit.ly/ZtvpqH.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to reply for any further questions. 

Thanks & Regards
Amogh G
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USAIndia. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here

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QaziShahbaz
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RE: XPS 14 with two drives - why not boot from the SSD?

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by using ssd as cache drive only those files puts on ssd which is necessory of a fast boot and the same time same data on hard drive and ssd this make posible faster boot e.g at the time 0 when a file transfer from ssd to ram there is also another file transfer occour from hdd to ram. same type of technology is used by high performance intel RST
in this case if u have a data 0123456789 and 2 hard drives of equal size so 0 store on 1st one n 1 store on second n its actually increases the data bandwidth of transfer at same time.  

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Memory Hog
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RE: XPS 14 with two drives - why not boot from the SSD?

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Hello all,

I know this is a REALLY old thread but I actually posted this thread 4 years ago!  I still own XPS 14 (now running Windows 10 Pro) and would now like to try and extend its life a little more by replacing the HDD with an SDD.  To this end, I just bought an ADATA SU800 512GB 3D-NAND 400TB TBW SSD.

I doubt strongly that allowing the internal 128GB caching drive to continue operating as a cache will improve the performance of my new SSD.  In fact, it might well slow the new drive down.

Can anyone tell me how to switch off the caching function on the machine please?

Cheers!

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Memory Hog
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RE: XPS 14 with two drives - why not boot from the SSD?

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Ignore my question as I have reposted it in a fresh thread.

Chjers!

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