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williambog
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XPS 435MT SSD

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Hi I'm trying to install a SSD for my XPS 435MT PC.  Samsung 830 series.  I need to but the PC in AHCI mode.  My bios only has SATA or Raid.  Dell tech support says to select SATA.  I select SATA in the bios disconnected all other HD and connect the SSD.  Did a clean install of windows 7. I saw no improvement in my system.  Ran window bench mark and should the same results as my hard drive. Ran Samsung Magician Software to optimize the drive and OS.  It keep reporting that PC was not in AHCI mode.  Is there another setting in the BIOS I missed.  Do I have to do a manual tweak to Windows 7.

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8 Krypton

RE: XPS 435MT SSD

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I just got a Samsung 850 Evo 120 GB SSD installed today on my Dell XPS 435MT. My configuration was a single 500GB HDD with around 100 MB of partition for windows C:, a recovery partition E: and a large data partition 😧
Basic process I followed was

  1. Install the two softwares provided by Samsung
  2. Shutdown the system. 
  3. Disconnect the DVD drive and instead plug in the SSD. I did this mainly because I did not have a spare SATA cable. I will have to buy one soon. For now, I used the one for my DVD/ BD drive since I almost never use the drive.
  4. In the BIOS I changed from IDE to RAID but that caused some reboot so I changed it back to the way it was.
  5. Booted into Windows as normal and did the cloning using the Migrate software I installed in step 1.
  6. Cloning got over in 11 minutes for data around 40 GB of C: drive
  7. After cloning I was prompted to reboot
  8. In BIOS I set booting from SSD - basically changed the boot sequence
  9. Rebooted
  10. Windows from my SSD was up and running. My older Windows partition was changed from C: to F:. The new Windows from my SSD got drive letter C:
  11. Did a check on the performance
  12. I got a figure around 180 MB/s and around 250 MB/s for reads and writes respectively
  13. Did performance tuning and OS optimization
  14. Now the read and writes are well beyond the actual specs. I get 2500  and 2100 respectively.I still see Magician telling me that I should be in AHCI mode. I am not sure what would happen if I try to put into RAID. In step 4 I tried that but Windows would not boot. System would reboot every time.

I am happy with the initial performance improvement that I see.

It took me just 1 hour to do all of the above.

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8 Krypton

RE: XPS 435MT SSD

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The windows fix discussed in the forum allows you to change to RAID after install.  At least that's my understanding.

support.microsoft.com/.../922976

If RAID isn't enabled you won't have AHCI - which means you don't have trim.  So you have to find a way to get RAID enabled.  The Fix at the above link should allow you to enable RAID and then boot into windows 7.

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Re: XPS 435MT SSD

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Hi williambog,

The XPS 435 MT is not designed to work with the Intel Responsiveness Technologies that make the system faster. This technology needs an mSATA module apart from the SSD and the SSD would only act as a caching drive.

For more information on Intel Responsiveness Technologies, please visit the link below:

http://intel.ly/VlCsF9

When used on your system, the SSD would act just as an ordinary hard drive. The only benefit would be the longevity of the SSD over conventional hard drives. The difference in speed in this case would hardly be noticeable.

Let me know if you need further information or assistance.

Thanks and regards,
GauravS
#iworkfordell

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williambog
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Re: XPS 435MT SSD

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Hi GauravS

Thanks for the reply, but is does not make sense the link you supplied says I need an intel 7 chip set which started shipping in august.  So no PC manufactured prior to august can use a SSD for speed gain.  mSATA refers to lap top SATA.  I really need to get AHCI enabled.  Dell tech support said I only need to select ATA in my bios, but that did not work.  I know of people who have older PC that got AHCI enabled and get 20 second boot time.  That is all I'm looking for.

Bill

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Re: XPS 435MT SSD

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Hi Bill,

Thank you replying.

The BIOS on the Studio XPS 435MT does not have the option for AHCI mode. It only supports SATA and RAID modes. On your system, the SSD would only work as a regular hard drive.

Let me know if you need further information or assistance. I will be glad to help.

Thanks and regards,
GauravS
#iworkfordell

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williambog
1 Copper

Re: XPS 435MT SSD

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Hi

This is what I learned this weekend talked to Samsung and searched the WEB it appears that as GauravS said is correct the XPS 435MT does not support AHCI, Dell support said it did.  The XPS 435MT supports SATA revision 1.0 transfer rate is 1.5 Gbit/s.  I bought a Vantec PCI host Card ($23.00) that supports SATA revision 2.0 3 Gbit/s transfer rate.  The directions were vague and installation was not a smooth as I had hope.  Will keep you posted on how it works out.

Bill

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Re: XPS 435MT SSD

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Thank you for replying.

I understand that you have installed a SATA 2.0 PCI card on the system. You should get higher data transfer rate from the SSD now.

Let me know if you need further information or assistance. I will be glad to help.

Thanks and regards,
GauravS
#iworkfordell

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9Hoku
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Re: XPS 435MT SSD

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I bought my Studio XPS 435MT in April of 2009.  The specs on my invoice state SATA 2.0 with a 3Gbit/s transfer rate.

Installing a SSD in the 435MT is not straightforward. There are a few "Catch 22" issues in that regard. TRIM support is absolutely vital with a SSD. Without it the SSD will eventually become as slow or slower than a regular HDD. In order for TRIM to function, the SSD must use an AHCI driver. It also will enable NCQ, giving you all the speed your SSD is capable of over SATA 2.0, which is a max of 3 Gbits/second. A side benefit is that it makes your SATA and eSATA ports hot-plug capable, though not necessarily hot-swap capable. (The difference is hot-plug means you can add a drive but not remove it, while hot-swap means you can add or remove a drive with the system running.)

Unfortunately, the Intel X58 + ICH10 chipset on the XPS 435MT's mobo is not full featured. Dell limits the chipset's capabilities. While the onboard Intel SATA controllers can support AHCI, they run in IDE mode by default. The BIOS is also limited to say the least, more like crippled actually. In the BIOS, under Advanced Chipset Features > SATA Mode, there is only a choice between IDE or RAID with IDE being the default. However, by selecting RAID for the SATA Mode, AHCI is enabled on all four SATA ports as well as eSATA. Of course, if you enable RAID after your OS is installed, everything on your SSD or HDD will be lost and you will have to reinstall the OS again. So, enable RAID in the 435MT's BIOS before installing the OS on your new SSD.

The next problem you will likely encounter is a failed install of your OS. This is described in the MS Knowledge Base Article 2466753 available here:

support.microsoft.com/.../2466753

This is a known issue with both Windows 7 and Windows 8. Don't know about Vista though. There are workarounds involving editing the system registry by creating keys, subkeys, and values, as well as workarounds to the workarounds depending on what controller your SSD uses. Assuming at some point you get your system up and running from your SSD, there is one other problem that crops up when you insert a blank optical disk into your burner. Your system will likely either freeze or crash entirely. This is due to your optical drive(s) also running AHCI drivers when they should be using IDE/UDMA. When you select the RAID option for the SATA Mode in the BIOS, all the SATA ports switch over to AHCI. So, before you use your optical drive(s), check in Device Manager to see if you can change the driver for the optical drive's SATA controller in the OS to IDE/UDMA.

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9Hoku
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Re: XPS 435MT SSD

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BTW, it's called "Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST)", not "Intel Responsiveness Technologies"

CPU-Z report for Dell Studio XPS 435MT:

Chipset & Memory:

Northbridge Intel X58 rev. 12

Southbridge Intel 82801JR (ICH10R) rev. 00

Intel Rapid Storage Technology Specifications for ICH10R Controller Hub list "TRIM support in Windows 7* (in AHCI and RAID mode for drives not part of a RAID volume)"

See this URL: www.intel.com/.../CS-022304.htm

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8 Krypton

Re: XPS 435MT SSD

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I didn't quite follow you at the end - were you saying that it is possible to switch the optical drive back to IDE using Device manager - or were you leaving that as an open question?  I am (was) interested in installing an SSD - but your comments about "workarounds to the workarounds" scared me a bit.  Were you successful?

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8 Krypton

Re: XPS 435MT SSD

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I followed the advice in this and other threads to install a Corsair Neutron 240g in my dell studio xps 435mt.  This went surprising well - I had been rather intimadated.  

Below I've listed an overview of the steps to provide help and assurance - google the keywords in each step for greater detail.  A couple of postings indicated that complicated work-arounds are needed - they are over-stated.  As long as you follow the correct order and used the Paragon software this is actually not that difficult.  Glad I went ahead despite my tredpidations

Lots of discussion about TRIM, RAID, AHCI, & IDE in the forums.  Don't worry about these issues.  Just follow the steps below  - that will get you the drivers and AHCI - and all will work out.  Just make sure you do the FIX first or you will run into boot problems.

1. Backed up to an external hard drive and made a boot CD.

2. Ran Microsoft Fix it 50470 to make the registry changes.  Must do prior to next steps.  support.microsoft.com/.../922976

3. Installed the Intel controller (download and install Intel Matrix Storage) and drivers.

4. Enabled RAID (F2 during reboot)

5. Installed the SSD (C Drive) in the 0 slot and moved the HD (F Drive) to extra slot.  The 3.5 bracket provided by Corsair doesn't match the frame - I ended up using tape to supplement the bracket as suggested in another forum.

6. Used Paragon to migrate - worked like a charm - worth the $20.  Did not move music, video, photos, or documents to leave maximum space on SSD.  Migration takes a couple of hours.

7. Changed boot order to make sure SSD was first. (F2 during reboot)

8. Defined the location for documents, music, photos, videos (eg right click on My Photos and move location to F Drive where my photos are now located).

9. Made sure Media Center knew where libraries were located - it took a while for MC to re-index photos, etc.

10. Adjusted settings on a few programs that pointed to C for data when data was on F.

My system is working great.  Many thanks to all that helped.