2 Bronze

XPS 8390, default HDD partition arrangement.

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Hi,

My wifes XPS 8390, purchased Dec/2018, has just got a BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO Windows 10 blue screen and we can't boot the machine. The machines has no SSD, just a single 1TB HDD  (PD31W : Module,Hard Drive,1TB,7.2K,512 E,PH-OASIS)

Reinstalling Windows 10 is now looking likely,  I just wanted to know if anyone knew what the default partition arrangement from Dell was: Is Windows 10 installed in is own partition, or does the drive just have a single partitiion. Obvioulsy I'm wondering if all the data on the drive goes or just Windows 10 Op sys if I  have to re-install windows.

Thanks for your help .

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2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8390 (2018) Default HDD Partition Arrangement.

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Ok I have decided to answer my own question and document the process myself.

I decided to replace the single HDD with a Sandisk SSD Plus 240GB to be used as the boot disc and a separate 2TB HDD for Data, around 1TB of photos & images. The current C-drive was only using around 60GB for Windows 10 and other installed program so 240GB was more than enough.

Dell has removable drive bay cradles which accommodate either a SDD or HDD drive, but you need a SATA data cable, securing screws and the 8930 with spare power cables. I think you can get kits which include all that for about £5.

Note 2, when you receive your SDD drive, make a note of the serial number, it’s on the back of the drive you need it to register the product on the Sandisk Website. If you don’t take a note of it before you install the SDD, you’ll have to uninstall and re-install it all over again.

Installation is easy, just install a cradle, screw the SDD to it, connect your SATA Data Cable and power cable.

My SDD was to be used as a bootable drive, to hold windows and all installed programs. The easiest way to do that is to use Acronis Software, (which is free if using a Sandisk or WD drive, link on the Sandisk website) and clone your existing drive. The existing HDD drive was 1TB, but with only around 450GB used. 320GB of that was photos, the SDD is 240GB. So I backed up all the data on the existing C:Drive to an external portable 2TB HDD, then removed all the photos from the existing C drive, reducing it down to about 110GB, which meant it would easily fit on the 240GB SDD.

In Windows 10 use the Disk Management program (best to access that via Computer Management program, (run as administrator eg Left click)) to first initialise your SDD, so that the computer will recognise it. Just set it up as a “ Simple” partition, use full size, doesn’t matter what Drive number you assign, but don’t use A, B, or G. Windows will re-assign the bootable drive to C: when it restarts.

Run Acronis, select the clone tool, choose automatic mode which will clone all partitions. The amount of data on the source disk must be less than that available on the destination SDD. I have 5 partitions on my HDD C drive. 4 recovery and EFI. These are replicated exactly by Acronis, the remaining C: partition holding the Boot, and OS and Data is automatically shrunk down into the remaining space. Follow the instructions, restart the computer, and Acronis will take over and clone.

When cloning is complete, PC will shut down. What I did then is unplug the Data cable from the old HDD, and swapped it over to connect to the SDD, that way you don’t have to amend the Boot order in the BIOS, if you don’t do that you have to amend the BIOS.

The SDD worked a treat, must faster startup, shutdown and program load and I could then bin the old HDD and replace it with a new 2TB HDD which only holds data.

Thanks again for all those who replied earlier in the thread, which I will now close

 

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5 Tungsten

Re: XPS 8390 (2018) Default HDD Partition Arrangement.

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Well all that depends on what is wrong, !

did you boot w10 THREE time to do the magic, , 3 times failed , automatic self repair, all w10 do that.

that is first.

then run eSPA,  Diagnositics,  power on cold , hammer f12 and splash and see F12 screen click diagnositics

first.  just to make sure too that the HDD is still ok,,  it must pass, or any new OS will fail for sure.

 

 

I am not Dell, I am retired from this industry since 2009,
All answers for out of warranty PC desktops/Servers
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2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8390 (2018) Default HDD Partition Arrangement.

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Hi Savvy2,

Thanks for your feedback

I did NOT boot 3 times when I posted this, but was just doing so when I read your post on my phone. Dell SuppportAssist started up. It detected OS_BOOT_FAILURE. It then went into diagnostics checking Partition Table, Boot Files and Windows Health. No isssues were detected.

It restarted PC in the familiar loop:. On boot up "problems detected", does diagnostics, attempts & fails Automatic Repair, Dell SupportAssist then kicks in again etc.

HDD seems OK, as I have accessed the command prompt (no access via safe mode), run notepad.exe that allows you to open up a "mini windows explorer" so that I could copy to USB hard drive any files from the last 3 weeks that were not in the last monthly backup, so the HDD is working, though of course I appreciate some sector might not be.

I ran the eSPA Diagnotics, the DVD, Fan, CPU and initial Memory tests were all fine. I have let it continue to do the full memory test, but it will be aroun 3 hours 45 mins for that to complete.

Previous to my posting I had tried a system restore, it failed to complete, no files or upates were therefore made. I tried to role back both previous feature and quality, got message that is was unable to even start doing those.

I had looked into bootrec, FixBoot for the BCD etc via Command Prompt,  but got access denied. Command Prompt takes you ot X:\windows\system32 rather than C: so I had assumed windows was in a seperate partition.

I also contemplated doing a Windows Registry backup on the Default, SAM, Security, System and Software files but there were no backup files in x:\windows\system32 config\RegBack only 2 directories "." and ".." Might have been hidden files, I didn't check that so I haven't done that.

So a bit flummuxed now.

The PC was on WIndows 10 version 1909, build 4306.25, BIOS 1.1.8 and of course was an XPS 8930 rather than 8390

 

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2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8390 (2018) Default HDD Partition Arrangement.

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OK the extended thorough test finally completed. It reports that the HDD and everything else is fine, no problems detected at all. But it still won't boot up.

Any suggestions other than re-install windows ?

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2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8390 (2018) Default HDD Partition Arrangement.

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Hi savvy2

"did you boot w10 THREE time to do the magic,"

See my other replies to you re this, but after doing the 3xMagic I am now in a Automatci Repair loop.

Turn on power, Detects issue fails to boot, tries Auto Repair, fails, roboots - repeat ad infinitum.

How do I get out of this loop ?

Thanks

 

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4 Beryllium

Re: XPS 8390 (2018) Default HDD Partition Arrangement.

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Windows 10 has its own partition, but there are several other partitions, not just a single partition. There is a WINRETOOLS partition (450MB NFTS), 500MB EFI System Partition, OS (Windows) partition (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary), and 500MB NTFS OEM partition.

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2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8390 (2018) Default HDD Partition Arrangement.

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Thanks Vic384

I made a wondows recovery disk (USB) when we got the PC the end of 2018, it was then on version 1809 of Windows 10. When I went into troubleshooting / advance options etc from failed bootup, I think I saw the option to Reinstall WIndows with 2 options 1) to keep data files, 2) to effective delete all files and fresh install.

When I tried a reboot using my USB windows recovery disk via F12, I don't think I saw the first option to keep data files. Does that sound "right" ? In which case if I re-install wndows I'm going to have re-install everything, data included.

Can't check troubleshooting / advance options now I'm afraid, as I'm still running the eSPA on the HDD.

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4 Beryllium

Re: XPS 8390 (2018) Default HDD Partition Arrangement.

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I believe if you are re-installing Windows from within Windows you will see the two options you mentioned. But if you cannot get Windows to boot then you can try Automatic Repair by using the Media Creation Tool to create a bootable DVD or USB. See this: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-update/reinstalling-windows-10-over-a-c...

If Automatic Repair does not work you will have to do a fresh install from the bootable DVD or USB. A fresh install will require re-installing everything, applications and data.

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2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8390 (2018) Default HDD Partition Arrangement.

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Thanks for the link Vic384

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8 Xenon

Re: XPS 8390 (2018) Default HDD Partition Arrangement.

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That error is an indication of Physically bad hard drive.

Startup repair and Recovery will also fail.

BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO bug check has a value of 0x00000074

  • Use installation media to reinstall Windows.

For more information, see Recovery options in Windows 10

 


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