Nametag
1 Copper

XPS 8930 SE, storage HD model, RAID setup

Hi, I have a refurbished XPS 8930 Special Edition on the way. It's a pretty new model, with i7 9700, and 500GB M.2 HD plus 2TB 7200RPM storage HD. 

- Does anyone have one or know what types of HD generally would come in this for the 2TB storage drive?

I want to purchase a second 2TB drive so my storage drives can be in a RAID 1 setup. I"ve generally bought duplicate pairs of drives for RAID, though I'm guessing this isn't 100% mandatory?!? Just wanted to get something ordered so it can get here about the same time, and want the best compatibility & performance.

- And will I need any additional connectors or hardware for the second internal SATA drive? What if I wanted to add a 3rd SATA HD temporarily to transfer my old data to the new RAID efficiently once setup?

- Any tips or instructions on setting up the RAID 1 on this computer would be welcomed!

I haven't had a name-brand computer for many years (custom-built my current computer 8-10 years ago, still running strong) so not sure of the limitations to expect...

THANKS!

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12 Replies
Vic384
4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8930 SE - Storage HD Model + RAID Setup

If you know the Service Tag for the computer you could go to www.dell.com/support and look up System configuration / Original configuration. That should give you a part number for the HDD. If you search using the part number you will likely find the manufacturer's part number. In most cases, it is likely to be a Seagate drive, but Dell does use other brands.
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7- Thorium

Re: XPS 8930 SE - Storage HD Model + RAID Setup

Do you know this motherboard will support RAID1 on your two storage HDDs...?

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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Nametag
1 Copper

Re: XPS 8930 SE - Storage HD Model + RAID Setup

Hi, thanks for the replies. I don't see anything like a Service Tag number that I can tell. When I check the item details, I see this:

Item #: KJK14
Details: Module,Hard Drive,2T,S3,7.2K,#2,GRDABP2

I tried searching for a couple of those numbers, but it was unclear how accurate results were. Are any of those numbers specific enough to search, or are they generic part numbers?

And I certainly HOPE this computer can do at least a basic RAID 1! My 10+ year-old computer has no problems with this using the Intel Rapid Storage Tech. I saw this article which seems to indicate it should be available. This is a pretty new & high-performance desktop, so would be sad if not possible. Would probably return and build my own.

- Anyone have specific experience setting up a RAID 1 in a 8930 SE?

- Any ideas if I'll need any cables, connectors, etc. (especially to allow for 3 internal SATA HDs)?

Thanks again!

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Vic384
4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8930 SE - Storage HD Model + RAID Setup

In the original configuration listing if you had clicked on the arrowhead to the left of the "KJK14" I think it would have revealed the part number of "NYR3N". A search of that part number would show it is a Seagate ST2000Dm001 hard drive.

I have no experience with RAID setup but I saw the same article.

The only cables you need are SATA III data cables. A right angle on one end would help because the mounting location on the bottom of the case puts the connector close to the side panel and a straight connector may interfere with closing the side panel. There should be enough SATA power connectors.

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7- Thorium

Re: XPS 8930 SE - Storage HD Model + RAID Setup

I'm not saying RAID isn't available on the XPS 8930. But RAID is typically used for the boot drive and a secondary drive, not for two secondary drives, as you're proposing.

And if you set BIOS to RAID, that's likely going to require the boot hard drive be part of the RAID array (and reinstallation of Windows).

I don't know if what you're proposing can/can't be done. If it were me, I'd hold off on buying another internal hard drive, unless you're sure that RAID can work the way you want.

You might want to look into possibility of using an external USB hard drive and imaging software that can be set to schedule an automatic image of the internal secondary drive on the external drive.

I'll ping my Dell tech contact to see if he can add anything to this discussion...

 

 

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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Stileguru
1 Copper

Re: XPS 8930 SE - Storage HD Model + RAID Setup

The spare power cables are already there. They are tucked away in the PSU cage. You just need to carefully pull them out. Should be 2 spare connectors to cover the 2 hard drive bays. The SATA data cables, as said elsewhere you have to buy those as they're not included. Get ones with a right angle connector at one end.
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7- Thorium

Re: XPS 8930 SE - Storage HD Model + RAID Setup

OK, so here's the scoop...

You probably don't want a RAID array. You probably want a "mirrored volume" for data on the 1st internal data hard drive to be stored on the 2nd internal data hard drive. 

The 2nd drive should be at least the same size as the original (a larger 2nd drive is okay)... Read this for more info on how to set up a mirrored volume in Win 10.

But before you do any of that, take a few days to make sure the PC hardware and OS are working correctly, and Win 10 is fully-up-to-date before you start getting fancy. Since this is a reburb PC, it probably won't have the latest Win 10 build 1809 on it so you probably want to do that update.  :Idea: 

And before you create the mirror, you'll probably want Win 10 to move default folders onto the 1st internal hard drive so only the OS and apps are stored on your SSD and all your data files are stored on the 1st hard drive, and then mirrored.  And when you install apps, be sure to configure them to save their data on the first internal drive (D: ) too.

Hope this helps...

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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Nametag
1 Copper

Re: XPS 8930 SE - Storage HD Model + RAID Setup

Thanks a lot for the additional insight here! Much appreciated.

Since I'm still on Windows 7 here, I wasn't aware that Windows 10 has it's own 'software RAID' system. That's very interesting. I'm curious what the pros/cons are between it and the BIOS/Intel Rapid Storage Tech implementation, especially in regards to performance. As both I suppose are technically software RAIDs, I'm guessing performance might be similar. I'll try to find some info comparing if possible.

And I've ordered the more updated model of Seagate Baracuda HD and a few SATA cables. I would typically go HGST or maybe WD Black, but those would have taken longer to get find & get here. Hopefully the Seagate will last OK (my current system had 2 RAID 1 mirrors - 4 drives - all Seagate Baracudas. Lasted almost 10 years with no issues.)...

We'll see which method seems best to use for the storage drive mirroring. In my current system, I have the default folders & libraries mapped to my storage drive(s), so thanks for the tip on setting this up in Windows 10. I'm sure there are a lot of things I'll have to get up-to-speed on in Win 10.

Computer scheduled to deliver tomorrow, so let's hope for the best!

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7- Thorium

Re: XPS 8930 SE - Storage HD Model + RAID Setup

You're welcome.

Like I've already said, I don't know if you can set up a RAID1 array on this model that doesn't include the boot drive.  My Dell tech contact didn't know the answer to that question either.

So post back and let everyone know if that's possible - or not - so we can all learn something new.

If MS took the trouble to code mirror volumes into Win 10, I suspect it's not equivalent to RAID in one way or another. Whether that's performance, ease of setup and/or use, better reliability, or something else, I don't know.  I use imaging software to backup my internal data drive on a USB drive automatically so don't need RAID or mirror volumes.

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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