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2 Bronze
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Why can we not add 2nd SSD to 9710 laptop?

XPS 17 9710

Why are we not allowed to add a 2nd hard drive to our laptops? the 512 is barely sufficient for anything but an OS and program platform, but some dev and design work requires more space. In all the manuals, it says that you can update ONLY if you have one preconfigured in the slot?  

What gives? I've never had a limitation on any Dell box on what I was allowed to use, and adding supported hardware should always be allowed? 

PLEASE give us the logic for this ridiculous constraint...

Thank you.  

Solution (1)

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@OldWarEagle07 wrote:

 

0. HOWEVER, when you say un-block in Properties..  this another layer in 11? 

1. Looks like a service call... dang it..

2. Neither install gets past the RST warning message...   

 

Thanks!..

 


0. Yeah, you click "More Options" or similar and it brings up the whole list and you can click Properties. I use the Registry hack that makes it more like Windows-10. Either way, it works fine.

1a. That would be last resort. I really doubt anything is wrong with your motherboard. 

1b. Are you running the latest BIOS?

2. Weird. Sounds like a corrupt Windows install. Instead of trying to fix it, I would just clean install Windows-11. Create the perfect flash drive here:

https://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows11

Only the 512gb NVMe SSD should be installed/connected inside for now (as C-Drive still). New SSD in desk drawer.

Verify laptop has the latest BIOS.

Be sure it passes ePSA Diagnostics (outside of Windows).

If you leave BIOS on RAID, you will need to install Intel Optane MaSM v18.x after doing Windows-11 First Time Setup and a few reboots.

If instead switching to AHCI, do that now (before installing Windows-11). If AHCI, then NO Intel Optane MaSM (or other Intel VMD) should installed on laptop (ever).

Only AC-Adapter connected. Boot flash-drive and clean install Windows to blank SSD. Install to "Unpartitioned Space".

Do the Windows-11 First Time Setup and reboot. It will Activate genuine automatically.

Install Windows-Updates. Work toward a "clean" Device-Manager (ie, all devices detected and working with no error-ed devices).

Write back.

 

 


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
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Replies (21)
8 Krypton
302

Here's what the storage information actually says

Storage

This section lists the storage options on your XPS 17 9710.

Your XPS 17 9710 supports one of the following storage options:
  • One M.2 2230 solid-state drive (requires an M.2 2230 solid-state drive thermal bracket)
  • One M.2 2280 solid-state drive
  • Two M.2 2280 solid-state drives
  • One M.2 2230 solid-state drive (requires an M.2 2230 solid-state drive thermal bracket) and one M.2 2280 solid-state drive
Table 1. Storage specifications
STORAGE TYPE INTERFACE TYPE CAPACITY

M.2 2230 solid-state drive

PCIe NVMe Gen3 x4, up to 32 Gbps

Up to 256 GB

M.2 2280 solid-state drive

PCIe NVMe Gen3 x4, up to 32 Gbps

Up to 1 TB

M.2 2280 solid-state drive

PCIe NVMe Gen4 x4, up to 64 Gbps

Up to 4 TB

 

While it is true you may require mounting hardware that the system does not include if you ordered with just one SSD, you can purchase that from Dell, parts-people.com, etc. and install a second drive youreself.

 

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
299

Yeah,   I got all that.. 

I have an M2 2280 2TB gen 4 PICe NVMe from Crucial that is specific to Dell.  I don't want to crack the case if all I can do is just see it in the BIOS.   This is what I have found on the web, so I'm a little hesitant about going through the pain.  OR just putting the drive in a case and using it externally as it defeats the purpose of a laptop (everything in one package)...

And the service manual indicates everything is there for the mount, just need the drive... 

Thanks. 

8 Platinum
294

While I don't think that a 512gb NVMe-SSD is quite as "space challenged" as you describe, you can surely install another inside. That's where I would put it (inside).

I suggest you read less Internet and more XPS-9710 Service Manual PDF (and other Dell XPS-9710 PDFs docs). If you have specific questions, we will be glad to help (questions that don't require us to actually own a XPS-9710, that we must open and look inside for you).

If you are not up to the task, I suggest you visit your local reputable computer shop. I'm sure they can help you out.


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.
2 Bronze
2 Bronze
290

I've read the service manuals, and the setup pdf's.  Been doing this for a while, so yeah, I look at the Internet when I need an idea, but really don't take it as gospel.  And the drive is in the box and is seen by the BIOS, but it looks like it is the Intel VMD that hoses the NVMe detection as there doesn't seem to be a way to update that with the Crucial signature / driver required.  Drivers shouldn't be an issue as this is Dell specific, but I am continuing to look through everything. 

And between my photography and Tensor / ML stuff, 512 gets full pretty quick..  I have 9TB on my desktop and it's sketchy at times. 

Thanks.

-Sam 

282

Not sure what external enclosure you are using, but between it's interface and translation software, who knows. Lets ignore all that for now because you want it installed inside anyway.

First, there is no "Dell Specific" M.2/2280/NVMe SSD. It will use any industry standard one. There are also no Dell drivers required.

Sounds like you have the XPS-9710 BIOS set to RAID (which is fine). So yes, inside Windows you should have Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management (Intel's current VMD software) installed.

Install the completely blank SSD inside the laptop.
It will likely appear in BIOS.
Inside Windows, go to Disk Management
Is should detect the new SSD. Initialize as GPT, partition it as a Simple Volume, and format as NTFS.

By Blank, I mean no partitions and completely raw and un-initialized. The DiskPart clean command will do this for you.

Finally, it doesn't sound like you are running in AHCI mode, but it should be noted that there are not any special AHCI drivers either (Windows 10/11 has everything you need). My testing revealed that using (single disk) RAID-Mode and Intel-Optane-MaSM is faster than vanilla AHCI in my XPS-9520.


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.
2 Bronze
2 Bronze
275

Umm ..  Yep.. 

  • Blank SSD.  Shows in BIOS.. 
  • Does NOT show in Disk Management.  
  • IS running in the default RAID / VMD setup.  I have considered swapping that mode, but waiting for time to do OS recovery as it won't read the current boot partition when mode is swapped. 
  • "Dell Specific" is only relating to hardware is listed as acceptable (and sold) by Dell and the vendor (in this case Crucial) says it is also compatible with Dell systems.  I used to work on Gateway and original Compaq's who's internals were proprietary (which is why they are not here any more, for the most part).

SO I am thinking I may have to switch to the AHCI/NVMe option (as listed in the BIOS), but was hoping there was some way I could avoid it.  I am going back through my software listings and making sure I hadn't missed anything else that may assist. 

At least I only have my tools loaded, and no major data dumps in place. 

Thanks.

 

 

8 Krypton
274

The disc will not show up in Windows until you partition and format it.

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-format-new-hard-drive-windows-10

 

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
268

Disk does not show up in the Disk Management tool. Can't format or partition it if the OS doesn't acknowledge it exists.  Only BIOS sees it. 

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
264

Also, the reason I need to get the space, I run VMWare Workstation and usually run 2 small server class machines for testing, so the 512 does tend to evaporate quickly when you put up a couple of 2 core, 120Gig machines at a single time. 

I didn't think to mention as it is something I always do so it is in background, both on the PC and in my thought processes...

Thanks.

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