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Milgi
1 Copper

Upgrading XPS 8500 to Windows 8

I am trying to upgrade an xps 8500 to windows 8 pro. It's an i7 system with 16 gig RAM. It was running windows 7 64 bit.

I made the first upgrade. It seemed to work fine. I updated drivers but when I attempted to add the windows media center the system failed -- on reboot it indicated the update could not be made and the previous version of windows 8 pro had been restored. I tried again, and this time it indicated that there were corrupted files and the system could no longer boot (error was 0xc000021a). It was not able to fix the disk issue automatically.

With the help of Microsoft I created a windows 8 pro boot drive on USB. At first the software would not even recognize a drive on which to install the operating system. That was resolved, and I was able to install windows 8 pro. But now every time I restart, the system goes back to the original problem (corrupt files), meaning I have to reinstall windows 8 pro, and so on. I have formatted the HDD as part of the installs: Partition 3 of Drive 0 (the other partitions are: Drive 0 partition 1 (1 meg used) OEM (reserved), partition 2 recovery (8.2 meg used) and drive 1 29.8 meg unallocated.

Windows installs updates (22 in number) automatically on restart, and these may be the source of the problem.

I have checked the drivers. They all seem up-to-date. The Bios is A09 (I think, in any case it is the latest version).

Any thoughts would be appreciated. This is driving me mad.

BTW, Dell has been no help at all, since apparently it does not support windows 8 upgrades (something to keep in mind if you are doing an upgrade).

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9 Replies
Mary G
6 Indium

Re: Upgrading XPS 8500 to Windows 8

The MS Windows Forum would be a better place to ask this question. Mention how you are installing win 8--from a disk or thumb drive you made or with the Windows Upgrade Assistant. One thing to keep in mind--win 8 is an upgrade and you must not format the drive before you boot to the install disk. Windows 7 must still be on the drive to qualify for the upgrade. If you remove it or reformat beforehand, windows 8 might  install but will not be activated. To reinstall the upgrade you will have to reinstall win 7. There is no retail full version of win 8 that is supported by MS. Skip the updates until you know win 8 is running properly. 

Don't install the media center until you get win 8 running OK and after you request and receive the product key from MS. Then use the Add Features utility to install it.

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Philip_Yip
6 Indium

Re: Upgrading XPS 8500 to Windows 8

Is this by any chance an XPS 8500 with a 32 GB mSATA SSD cache drive?

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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Milgi
1 Copper

Re: Upgrading XPS 8500 to Windows 8

To answer both Mary G -- Windows 8 does seem to install and run until I do a restart or try to add the media center. I guess that Windows 7 is in one of those other partitions on drive 0. I will try that other forum.

And for natakuc4 -- yes the system does have the 32 GB SSD drive. I have been told that this may be some sort of disk-drive issue, but nothing more.

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Philip_Yip
6 Indium

Re: Upgrading XPS 8500 to Windows 8

My guess would be the cache on this is somehow interfering with the Windows 8 and I would recommend trying to disable it within the system BIOS and then reinstalling Windows 8. An alternative is to replace this mSATA with a larger SSD e.g. 128 GB or 256 GB and using it as a boot drive (see here).

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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Milgi
1 Copper

Re: Upgrading XPS 8500 to Windows 8

Thanks -- Is there anything vital on the SSD that will be lost or inaccessible if I disable it?

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Milgi
1 Copper

Re: Upgrading XPS 8500 to Windows 8

Oh, and you suggest disabling it and then reinstalling the Windows 8 pro upgrade? And is this as simple as going into BIOS and disabling the drive?

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Philip_Yip
6 Indium

Re: Upgrading XPS 8500 to Windows 8

Change the SATA Operation from IRST to AHCI.

It should be something like the instructions here:

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/software-os/w/microsoft_os/4075.sata-operation-b.aspx

Disabling the Cache will make the system slower but it is better for the system to boot and be slower than the system to be faster and not boot.

For optimal results however, replace the mSATA SSD with a 128 GB or 256 GB one and install the Windows 8 on that, it will be faster than the cache and probably be more reliable.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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Milgi
1 Copper

Re: Upgrading XPS 8500 to Windows 8

I have installed a 128 GB SSD. Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium is running on it (Windows 8 is for the future, since I want 7 to work well first). Trouble is Windows no longer sees the 2TB HDD which is in the system. BIOS does see it (Disk 0 Partition 0 2000 MB). SATA mode is AHCI. I have run the Windows trouble shooter, and also fully installed all the updates. At one point I did receive a message about a Marvell driver being missing, but I did not note down all the details.

Any thoughts?

I was not able to disable the 32 GB cache, and I gather it is on the system board in anycase not part of the HDD. I didn't check if it was still visible in BIOS on my last visit there.

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Philip_Yip
6 Indium

Re: Upgrading XPS 8500 to Windows 8

If the SATA operation is changed from IRST to AHCI then the cache drive is disabled. Didn't you have to remove a mSATA SSD to place the 128 GB one in.

Check does the 2 TB hard drive display at all in disc manager? Press [Win] + [ e ] to take you to computer. Select Contol Panel on the top.

In the Control Panel Select System and Security > Administrator Tools > Computer Management.

In this program select the Disk Management under Storage.

Do you see the 2 TB HDD now? If so you may need to make a new partition on it. To do this right click the drive (if it says unallocated space - black in colour) and select make new partition. Make partitions as desired.

 

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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