Hello there. I’m new to this forum so please be patient. I have an XPS 8920 and have never been happy with its speed. It seems slower than my old i5 computer that I replaced. However, I’ve decided to replace my mechanical “C” drive with a Samsung 500GB SSD hoping for better performance. My question is, do I have to remove the 32GB SSD cache that in plugged into the motherboard for my new SSD drive to work properly?
I can't answer that question - beyond my knowledge. But did want to tell you that you won't regret making the switch as the SSD will dramatically improve your experience. I have a clone of my SSD on a mechanical drive, and have booted from both to be sure everything works as it should. It does, but wow, the difference in speed (again, both boot and overall responsiveness) is just incredible. "I ain't never going back!"
The M.2 cache drive does not prevent the use of a SATA 3 SSD as a boot drive. You can clone the current boot drive to the SSD or install Win 10 on the SSD from scratch. In either case, disconnect the current boot drive and then boot with the new drive. Reconnect the old boot drive and reformat it for data use.
If you are planning to use an M.2 boot drive, download the Intel IRST driver to a USB. Install the new M.2 drive and disconnect all drives except the new SSD. Boot with the Win10 installation disk. When the Win 10 installer reaches the drive selection screen click the Drivers button and point the installer to the driver on the USB and install the driver. The M.2 device will then appear and you can proceed normally. Boot with the new Windows. You can then reconnect the other drives and reformat the old boot drive. My 8920 shipped with a 512GB Toshiba NVMe drive but was booting from the 2GB HDD. The above procedure was necessary to enable me to boot from the Toshiba M.2 SSD. It has worked flawlessly since. I did NOT have to switch from RAID to AHCI.
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My 8920 won't show up in the bios no matter what I do. I have been trying for 5 days and ready to give up. It's a Samsung 750 EVO nvme M.2 card installed in the proper SSD slot. I tried removing all the drives, switching to ahci, disabled secure boot, booted with a recovery thumb drive, nothing. Where it said ssd m.2 in the bios it said none and never changes.