XPS Desktops

Last reply by 01-09-2022 Unsolved
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XPS 8940/8930, max HDD capacity, total drives?


Last year I purchased an XPS 8930, that has 4 bays for hard drives.

The machine came with 2 drives installed: 250GB SSD & 1 TB HDD

& 2 empty hard drive bays.  I wanted to install 2 more hard drives in the 8930.

I spent over 20 hours between Dell Customer Service, Technical Support & Parts (Chats & Phone Calls),

and nobody from Dell support could tell me the following:

1) Is there a limitation to the total number of TB's that I can install in the XPS 8930: 

i.e. Can I put in 4 10TB hard Drives? can the machine handle 40TB of hard drive capacity?

2) What are the specifications of the hard drives for the 2 empty bays?  Size, RPM, gbps?

Finally, after a ridiculous amount of calls (and disconnections) and pleas for someone with some technical information,

I was given the specifications for the additional 2 hard drives, and sold 2 Cables, and told to buy an Carrier for one of the bays, and was told that the screws were in the machine (they were not, but, fortunately, I had screws from an old repair kit).

But, I was told something odd.  I was told, but several of the Dell Reps that Windows 10 would not support more than a total of 4TB in the machine.  That did not sound correct. I tried to find out if it was a limitation of the XPS 8930, but they all insisted that it is a limitation of Windows.  (obviously there are Windows machines that run a lot more than 4TB, but what was I to do?).

So, I installed 2 more hard drives, a 1TB & a 2TB with a total of 4TB between 3 drives, and the 1st drive the 250GB SSD (I went a bit over the 4TB).

Does anyone know if there is a hard drive  capacity limitation on the XPS 8930?


So, now I am looking at the XPS 8940 with dual drives pre-installed, each 2TB. That would mean that I have 4TB in the XPS 8940 on delivery.  The manual shows 2 2.5" bays empty.  I would like to install 2 more hard drives.  I was hoping that Dell Support might be more informed/educated by now. But, again, this week, I have gone through the same torture.  Not only were my questions not answered, but I was sent links that do not work, and I was told incorrect specifications as to the sizes of the bays, even though I was showing them the page on the manual!  I spoke to Customer Support (for purchase) & the Parts Departments.  I am unable to ask these questions of Technical Support, because the dell system demands a Service Tag first.  And, none of the Dell Reps that I spoke to would access their supervisors (always in a meeting) or access technical support.  I wanted to buy the XPS 8940 and buy the 3rd &4th hard drives at the same time.

So, these are the questions for the XPS 8940:

1) What is the total capacity of all hard drives that can be installed in the XPS 8940? Is it 4 drives at 2TB each, equally a total of 8TB of capacity?  What can the machine handle?  Can I put 3 drives each of 2 TB and 1 of 4TB = 10TB?  Can I go larger? Am I forced to go smaller?

2) Is there a limitation on the size of each drive? I.e. can each drive handle up to 2TB or 4TB or more?  If so, are certain bays limited more than others?

3) What are the specifications for the 2.5" bays for the drives?

4) The manual shows that 1 of the 2.5" bays has the cable, but the other doesn't.  What is the HDD cable specification?  How is it ordered.

5) Do the 2.5" bays need carriers?

6) What are the specifications of the screws?


So, the hard drive capacity questions are the same for both the XPS 8930 & XPS 8940,

can someone assist with any of these questions?


thanks so much!



Replies (11)
5 Rhenium

@Rachelq007 I think I can answer some of your questions. Some answers can be found in this forum, in the XPS 8940 Setup and Specifications, or the Service Manual.

1) The Setup and Specifications indicate the 3.5" drive capacity is 'up to 2 TB'. I think that larger drives will work. The specs for the XPS 8930 indicates 'up to 4 TB' but in this forum post, one user was able to get a 10 TB drive to work and in another post a user got 8 TB drives to work..

2) See Setup and Specifications 6 GBps

3) See Setup and Specifications 32 GBps

4) The HDD cable is a standard SATA III cable but a right-angled SATA connector on the drive end may help. SATA cables are standard, you can buy them from almost anyone that sells computer supplies.

5) The Service Manual shows carriers but I am not sure you can mount the drives with just screws.

6) There is a list of screws in Table 1 of the Service Manual.



Thank you so much for your help!

Thank you, I have also seen the posts where another user had installed a 10TB.

But, since many Dell reps told me that the 'system' could not handle more than a total of 4TB, I am concerned. And, I would like to know if the XPS 8930 or XPS 8940 have any specific limitations to overall Hard Drive Capacity.  As it is, sometimes my XPS 8930 sometimes sticks, I mean, suddenly the mouse will disappear, and then it needs several seconds before it recoups.    The last thing that I would like to do is spend $ on hard drives, that will not work properly or slow the system down or crash the system, because of some configuration of the XPS 8930 & XPS 8940 that I am not informed about.

So, the question to Dell Representatives, and anyone who is in the know, or who has designed these XPS Desktops, is: are there capacity limitations for each hard drive, and for the total amount of hard drive capacity in these XPS machines?  I looked in the manuals, and I do not see any information on the subject.  I have googled the same, and do not find anything.  I have asked 15 Dell Reps (Customer Service & Parts & Tech support), and the answers I get are vague, and then several say that the total is 4TB, but they say that is an Windows issue and not an XPS issue, which makes me doubt the validity of the information.

Thank you so much!  And, if you have any ideas on how to find out the info, I would really appreciate it! I am very, very grateful for the information that you have shared, it is really helpful!  thank you!


@Rachelq007 One correction, in #3 you asked about the 2.5" bays for 2.5" SATA drives and I quoted the incorrect transfer speed. The speed I quoted was for the M.2 NVMe port, the speed of the 2.5" drive is the same as the 3.5" drive, a SATA III speed of 6 Gbps.


"are there capacity limitations for each hard drive?"
Dell cannot know if larger sized drives will work because we did not test/validate them. We have to go off of the tested/validated drive sizes.

XPS 8940 largest tested/validated HDD =
T5CTD Seagate V11 4TB

XPS 8940 largest tested/validated SSD =
53J86 Toshiba XG6 2TB
D2GDK Samsung PM981 2TB
MHG36 Samsung PM981A 2TB

XPS 8930 largest tested/validated HDD =
T5CTD Seagate V11 4TB

XPS 8930 largest tested/validated SSD =
MGHFP Toshiba XG5 2TB
53J86 Toshiba XG6 2TB
H3GWX Samsung PM981 2TB
MHG36 Samsung PM981A 2TB

"and for the total amount of hard drive capacity in these XPS machines?"
I have never heard of limiter from a PC BIOS. So the cap would have to stem from the operating system.

If still under warranty, click the "Get help now" icon on the right to start a live chat session.
Find your Service Tag


thank you!


Hi Chris,

Thank you for the information & specifications, I really appreciate it.

For some reason, several of the Dell Representatives (in Customer Service, Parts & Tech Support), told me that the total capacity of hard drives that the XPS 8930 & XPS 8940 were able to handle was a total of 4TB.  They all referenced the Windows, and said that it is a limitation of Windows in the XPS, which is odd....

Do you know of any information which limits the Total Hard Drive Capacity of all the Drives installed in either the XPS 8940 or the XPS 8930?

I am trying to figure out if the 4TB information that they kept quoting me, was really about the highest capacity of the HDD that was validated for the machines?  thoughts?  


According to your information, the largest drive validated for the XPS 8940, is 

T5CTD Seagate V11 4TB,

and the others are 2TB.

So, would you think that I would be able to install 1 4TB, and 3 2TB's = a total of 10TB in the XPS's, and I shouldn't have any issues?



I have another issue, the XPS 8930 that I have is hanging, sometimes.

The XPS 8930 that I am currently on, came with 1 SSD 250GB & 1 HDD 1TB, and then I installed 1 HDD 1TB, & 1 HDD 2TB.  Every now and then this XPS 8930 just hangs, the mouse arrow disappears (the mouse is a USB mouse), and I have to wait a few seconds for it to reappear.  I happens when I am in the documents folder, or typing an email.  I am not referencing the other drives when it happens.  I am not sure what is causing the lag/delay.  Ideas?

thanks so much!





Hi Vic, 

thank you for the specs, they are really helfpul!


Helpful :-)!


@Rachelq007 wrote:

I have another issue, the XPS 8930 that I have is hanging, sometimes.

The XPS 8930 that I am currently on, came with 1 SSD 250GB & 1 HDD 1TB, and then I installed 1 HDD 1TB, & 1 HDD 2TB.  Every now and then this XPS 8930 just hangs, the mouse arrow disappears (the mouse is a USB mouse), and I have to wait a few seconds for it to reappear.

There are lots of threads about ~2-3 sec lags on the XPS 8930. Mine had it straight out of the box. This is what I did to fix it:

Click Start>Run and type in: services.msc and click OK. When services.msc opens, scroll down the list and look for SupportAssist, SupportAssist Remediation Service and Dell Update. If you find them, double-click each one and set its Startup type to Disabled. Don't change anything else in services.msc. When you're done, exit services.msc and reboot. See if that solves this problem. 

Just keep in mind that SupportAssist and Dell Update won't be able to offer you driver updates, etc, when those services are disabled, but you can always look for updates manually using your Service Tag on the Support page. (Don't post Service Tag here.)

If this doesn't stop the lags, there are some other things that can be tried with the XPS 8930 for this issue. So let us know.

As for adding all those extra drives to an XPS 8940, is heat going to become an issue...?


  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

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