Tremolux
1 Copper

XPS 8500, Turn off Intel RST cache?

Specs: Dell XPS 8500 desktop, Service Tag <Service Tag removed>, Win7 Home Premium, Core i7-3440 @ 3.40Ghz, 32Gb SSD, 2Tb HDD, 12Gb RAM, Radeon HD 7700 graphics. BIOS version A13.

Problem: This is a hybrid system that uses the 32Gb SSD to cache read/writes and speed up the system in conjunction with the 2Tb HDD using Intel's Rapids Storage Technology. It works fine as-is. What it won't do is allow me to set up a dual boot system using a Linux distribution alongside Win7.

Is there a simple way to bypass the SSD and disable/uninstall Intel's RST and use the 2Tb HDD to boot directly to Win7 and then set up a dual boot system with Linux and Win7?

I don't have a full copy of Win7 to do a full reinstall. All I have are the back up, repair and restore DVDs/CDs that came with the system when I bought it and the ones I made when I first set up the PC.

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8 Replies
Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: XPS 8500 - Turn Off Intel RST Cache?


@Tremoluxwrote:

@Specs: Dell XPS 8500 desktop, Service Tag <Service Tag removed>, Win7 Home Premium, Core i7-3440 @ 3.40Ghz, 32Gb SSD, 2Tb HDD, 12Gb RAM, Radeon HD 7700 graphics. BIOS version A13.

1. Problem: This is a hybrid system that uses the 32Gb SSD to cache read/writes and speed up the system in conjunction with the 2Tb HDD using Intel's Rapids Storage Technology. It works fine as-is. What it won't do is allow me to set up a dual boot system using a Linux distribution alongside Win7.

2. Is there a simple way to bypass the SSD and disable/uninstall Intel's RST and use the 2Tb HDD to boot directly to Win7 and then set up a dual boot system with Linux and Win7?

3. I don't have a full copy of Win7 to do a full reinstall. All I have are the back up, repair and restore DVDs/CDs that came with the system when I bought it and the ones I made when I first set up the PC.


1. This is fairly lame performance anyway (from the days when SSDs were expensive). I suggest you finally ditch it. You can get a famous-maker (like Kingston) 128gb SATA SSd for under $50. 256gb is just a bit more.

2. I like to clean-install Windows, and never install Intel-RST. No cache RAID (see above) ... no RAID-0 or 1 on a desktop. No need for it ... keep-it-lean and use Windows supplied drivers. I pretty much hate Intel-RST ... can you tell? :Smile:

3. The (tattoo-ed) Dell-OEM Windows-7 DVD-ROM that matches your CoA sticker (and will Auto-Activate) is easy to find. Dell might even send you a copy if you ask nicely and pay the shipping.

That key will also Activate on Windows-10 64bit ISO from microsoft.com (I think that's what I would do).


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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: XPS 8500 - Turn Off Intel RST Cache?

Also, just thinking (I know, dangerous) :Stickouttongue:

I was thinking you would just remove baby 32Gb SSD (since I don't think Linux would fit on it) ... however,

1. Maybe it would (barely) 

2. Maybe a "whole system boot disk" with just the "loaders" on it

3. A disk formatted so that you could easily share data between the 2 OSes.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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Tremolux
1 Copper

Re: XPS 8500 - Turn Off Intel RST Cache?

Thanks for your response. I guess I'm feeling a bit dense today. Are you saying the only way to get around my issue is to uninstall IRST, unplug the SSD, and reinstall Win7 without reinstalling IRST? Just a plain old Windows installation?

Further, after doing that, I can just set up the dual boot scenario I mentioned?

 

When I went into IRST from the system tray, there is an option to turn off acceleration. I don't suppose it would be that simple to accomplish what I want to do.

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: XPS 8500 - Turn Off Intel RST Cache?


@Tremoluxwrote:

1. Thanks for your response. I guess I'm feeling a bit dense today.

2. Are you saying the only way to get around my issue is to uninstall IRST, unplug the SSD, and reinstall Win7 without reinstalling IRST? Just a plain old Windows installation?

3. Further, after doing that, I can just set up the dual boot scenario I mentioned?

4. When I went into IRST from the system tray, there is an option to turn off acceleration. I don't suppose it would be that simple to accomplish what I want to do.


1. Hmm. Maybe have some coffee and re-read. :Smile:

I'm proposing you undo the Intel-RAID-caching non-sense. For one, then your system will be "normal" again, and you can do your Linux stuff.

2. I've never had much success uninstalling Intel-RST. I had to clean-install to get rid of it.

3. You do your "Linux thing". I don't play there. I'm just familiar with Windows and Apple (macOS, iOS, and tvOS).

4. AFAIK, you are correct (It's NOT that simple) :Smile:


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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Tremolux
1 Copper

Re: XPS 8500 - Turn Off Intel RST Cache?

So, to do what I want to do, I have to reformat my 2Tb HDD, lose all my apps and data (absent any back-up), and do a fresh reinstall? No install over-the-top?

 

If that's the case, I guess I'll just live with the system as-is.

If just kind of cheeses me off that Dell & Intel makes this stuff so incredibly user unfriendly when they could just as simply made it a 'wax on - wax off' situation and given us the option. It's the old 'if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride' deal.

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: XPS 8500 - Turn Off Intel RST Cache?


@Tremoluxwrote:

So, to do what I want to do, I have to reformat my 2Tb HDD, lose all my apps and data (absent any back-up), and do a fresh reinstall? No install over-the-top?

 


You can try uninstalling Intel-RST and see if it will completely uninstall. I just never had any luck doing that back years ago (it would just uninstall the UI front-end ... and leave the core-driver). Maybe the new versions on Windows-10 are better in that regard now (not sure). I think it's because it replaces Microsoft's SATA driver, and you can't run Windows without one.

Personally, I would install a 120-256gb SSD, clean-install Windows-10 64bit to it (with your Win-7 CoA sticker key). It will fast and current.

Then, install your Linux as a dual-boot whatever-it-is.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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Tremolux
1 Copper

Re: XPS 8500 - Turn Off Intel RST Cache?

I've been reading up on methods to uninstall IRST and its drivers and installing Windows AHCI drivers. If I get enough whiskey or tequila in me, I may give it a go. Of course I'll dig up my restore/repair disks and set a restore point before hand.

 

Question: Since Win7 is already installed on the 2Tb HDD and the 32Gb SSD is just used for cache purposes, wouldn't getting rid of IRST and its drivers make Win7 'blind' to the SSD and ignore it on boot up? Assuming that Win7 had an AHCI driver installed?

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: XPS 8500 - Turn Off Intel RST Cache?


@Tremoluxwrote:

1. I've been reading up on methods to uninstall IRST and its drivers and installing Windows AHCI drivers. If I get enough whiskey or tequila in me, I may give it a go. Of course I'll dig up my restore/repair disks and set a restore point before hand.

 

2. Question: Since Win7 is already installed on the 2Tb HDD and the 32Gb SSD is just used for cache purposes, wouldn't getting rid of IRST and its drivers make Win7 'blind' to the SSD and ignore it on boot up? Assuming that Win7 had an AHCI driver installed?


1. Oh good, sounds like you found the right threads. :Smile: Now you know why I don't use it and avoid it at all costs.

I would settle for nothing less than a full Macrium Reflect Image before I started.

2. Try posting in those threads you found or at Intel's forums.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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