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February 24th, 2018 12:00

Inspiron 3268, adding 500GB SSD?

Hi,

 

I recently bought Dell Insipron 3268. I upgraded my RAM to 16GB. I wanted to upgrade my hard disk. But, I want to keep my existing 1TB HDD, and on that add new SSD (around 500GB).

As it is a Small Factor Desktop. I wanted to know if this upgrade was a feasible upgrade?

Can anyone please suggest me on this?

If upgrade is possible. Will it support Sata, PCIE/ M2, which is the best option?

9 Posts

April 2nd, 2018 08:00

Hello,

I am in a similar boat, and have spent the past several days looking at options ... here's what I've found and where I'm heading...

  • Option A: replace HDD with larger HDD (HDD, SSD, or Hybrid)
    • Too expensive -- SSD's are super fast but 2TB+ SSDs are still quite pricey

With the above research in place, I have ordered a PCIe addon card from Amazon that supports two M.2 cards; one NVME/PCIe (which I won't be able to use on my 3268) and the other with a SATA connector on it.  That means the PCIe addon card will provide a physical location to mount my new SSD, as well as provide power to it.  This card's second M.2 slot has a SATA connector, so I'll just get a SATA cable and connect it to SATA2 on the Inspiron 3268's mainboard (under the DVD drive).

Here are the parts I just ordered from Amazon:

SilverStone Technology M.2 PCIE Adapter for SATA or PCIE NVMe SSD with Advanced Thermal Solution (ECM22)

Samsung 860 EVO 250GB M.2 SATA Internal SSD (MZ-N6E250BW)

If this works, I will attempt to disk-duplicate the 1TB that came with the 3268 to the new SSD, then wipe the 1TB for user data.  Otherwise, I'll do a fresh install on the M.2.   Once Win10 is booting from the new SSD, I'll follow the guide below to relocate the entirety of the C:\Users folder tree to the 1TB HDD:

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/1964-move-users-folder-location-windows-10-a.html

Also, I've also been doing some other research, and while Dell firmly indicates a max of 16GB RAM for this machine, I have read elsewhere that the H110 chipset supports "up to 32GB."   So, I'm taking a (big) risk and ordering two 1x16GB sticks.  This will be a family computer with half a dozen people using it (and most likely only ever "switching users" rather than actually "logging off"), so the RAM will be mostly used to keep multiple logins in place (and avoid paging to HDD on every user-switch) moreso than supporting any sort of intensive application (it's not going to be an engineering workstation)...

Parts arrive in a few days.  If I can remember, I'll post back here my results next week...

cheers,
..dane

2 Posts

April 8th, 2018 03:00

Hi,

I did not see this post earlier. i think you should even consider power compatibility with new adapter. This small form factor PC just supports around 180W power. (there might be different version based on region.)

I bought a sata SSD , Now i am searching for compatible hard drive bracket.

Did it work. I am curious to know the result.

Thanks & Regards,

Suraj 

9 Posts

April 8th, 2018 18:00

Hello!

Well my last massive reply got deleted because I wasn't logged in and Dell's website apparently isn't smart enough to hold on to it while you're logging in.  :(

Before I begin; Public Service Announcement (PSA) -- make backups before doing anything.  I used the built-in windows Recovery Image creator and ended up using that image a handful of times before I got it "right."  I'll yell it again -- MAKE BACKUPS FIRST!  You'll kick yourself if something goes wrong and you don't have a recovery image.

Long story short.  RAM didn't work.  (a) it was too tall (small form factor 3268 doesn't have enough room for RAM sticks with heatsinks, apparently), and (b) computer gave amber two-blink error (No RAM Detected) on power-up.  So I will have to return and get 2x8GB instead.  Boooooooooooooooo..

SSD works like a charm.  It took a week of fighting but I got it.  Simple solution was to use Samsung SSD's "Data Migration" software (new SSD is a Samsung).  Migrated ESP and C: (OS) partitions and after powering down and pulling the HDD SATA cable off (so test the SSD only), it booted up before I could say Microsoft Windows 10!  It was amazingly fast.  Downside is the Samsung Data Migration, while SUPER easy, did not copy ALL partitions.

Longer story re: SSD; I tried numerous attempts with Clonezilla (yes, the 'alternative' build that supports UEFI), Parted Magic, and Window's own Image Backup and Restore.  None worked.   I finally (reluctantly) downloaded EaseUS Disk Clone software (https://www.easeus.com/disk-copy).  I don' tknow anything about it or what kind of spy/mal/etc-ware may be loaded on it.   But I was at my wit's end trying to maintain a working clone of Windows *with* the Dell recovery image partitions left in-tact.  It ended up working nearly perfectly.  I don't think my SSD installation can 'see' my recovery paritions, but they're at least present on the SSD, and my windows partition boots.  I'll call that good enough for now!

Next post will be about my attempts to move my user folder data to the HDD while leaving OS+Apps on SSD.

cheers,
..dane

9 Posts

April 8th, 2018 18:00

Next up was to move user data to the larger, slower but larger HDD, and leave all the OS and programs on the faster but smaller SSD.

Again, long story short; I had seen enough instructions online regarding how to move the c:\users folder completely, but apparently didn't read the fine print first.  It turns out that while moving the entirety of the C:\Users folder *SHOULD* be supported natively by @Microsoft, it apparently isn't.  Well, it is with caveats.  You can do it, Windows will work, but updates to Windows will seemingly fail until you move it back to the OS's root partition.  Then you can update Windows, and move the \Users folder back to wherever it was before (off "C" drive).

Umm... no thanks, I am *not* looking for that much hassle.

So instead, I set out to look at other alternatives.  Another approach was to use an NTFS mount-point (boot into recovery mode's commandline, move all the c:\user folder to another drive, and then use DISKPART to mount the other partition as c:\users).  I tried for a day to find online resources that explained the differences between soft links, hard links, junction points (aka reparse points), and ntfs mounting.  At the end of the day I didn't see anyone reporting whether using an NTFS mount-point as suggesting that it was a better fix than the other solutions (that restrict updating Windows on a regular basis).

I then attempted to use Windows to "move" all the special folders for each user ... right-click a folder (e.g. "Documents"), click Location, Move, etc.  Boy was that an UTTER NIGHTMARE.  Do you know how many "special folders" exist for each user?  And then there's DropBox settings, and all sorts of other here and there stuff.  And even then, I downloaded a file using the Edge browser (bios update or something like that) and the Edge browser didn't even honor the moved downloads location!  It simply *re-created* the c:\user\{username}\Downloads folder and put it there!   Ugh, what a pain!!  All that work and my first application test didnt' even honor it.   Blech.  Major major blech.

So I spun my own solution.  I left my users folder in-place, as well as each login that I have on this PC. Through several hours of trial-and-error, I created a batch file that copies the contents of each NON-junction-linked folder in a C:\Users\{username} folder to another HDD, moves the copied folder to a "copied" subfolder (in case I made an error in my batch file -- which I did -- SEVERAL times!), and then creates a junction point with the folder name pointing to the larger HDD's own D:\Users\{username} subfolder.  To actually run the script, I booted into the recovery console again.  (PSA: make sure the recovery console assigns the same drive letters as a normal boot process; I had to swap the DVD and HDD so that the HDD was "D:\" for both normal windows boot and the recovery console.)

The advantage with this approach is that Windows is none-the-wiser.  At least that's my hope.  The user profile folder is STILL on the C:\Users location, and all the temporary and roaming app-data is also still on the SSD (which should be fine, and also encourage super speediness for applications settings loading).  It's all the OTHER folders (videos, music, documents, downloads, links, 3d objects, etc) that have been moved to a larger, slower HDD and linked back to the original C:\Users folder.

Time will tell if I am able to perform regular Windows updates.  I hope so.

I'll post some pictures and my batch file next..

9 Posts

April 8th, 2018 19:00

Here's the batch file that I ended up with ... it went through multiple revisions (like to handle spaces such as the "3D Objects" folder as well as other gotchas) ... it's still NOT PERFECT ... use at your own risk!!

https://gist.github.com/audiodane/16ec3079030dfe9bed135821a59dc8f1

Here's the net result after the move:

Clipboard02.jpg

Here's another, more complete image; note that all of the "system" folders (e.g. hidden folders) were NOT touched, changed, or moved.  They were left completely alone ....

Clipboard01.jpg

I hope the information that I posted here can help others...  I'll copy this information over to my website eventually, but wanted to post here first for the benefit of others..

cheers,
..dane

9 Posts

April 8th, 2018 20:00

Along with the previously posted GIST of the batch file itself, I have created a super simple GitHub repository to capture this stuff...   The GIST will not be maintained; the GitHub repo will (assuming there are changes in the future, which there may not ever be..)

https://github.com/audiodane/movefolders

cheers,
..dane

8 Wizard

 • 

17K Posts

April 8th, 2018 21:00


@audiodanewrote:

Along with the previously posted GIST of the batch file itself, I have created a super simple GitHub repository to capture this stuff...   The GIST will not be maintained; the GitHub repo will (assuming there are changes in the future, which there may not ever be..)

https://github.com/audiodane/movefolders

cheers,
..dane


A good effort, and thanks for posting the final code.

However, for some people, this way might suffice.

https://www.isumsoft.com/windows-10/change-location-where-new-content-saved.html

As for Cloning and Imaging ... I've found that Macrium Reflect 7 (free) works fine. It even does "bare-metal restores". Anything it can't handle, well ... it's probably better to do a clean Windows install anyway.

I also use it for scheduled system backups (Monthly Full, Daily Differential) with Verify.

9 Posts

April 8th, 2018 23:00

I was hopeful and tried that very thing myself first also -- but even after doing so, the next time I opened the Edge browser and downloaded a file, it did not honor my request.  It still saved it to c:\users\dane\downloads, instead of the secondary drive..   Quite disappointing.   

Have you used that option extensively yourself and noticed any other discrepancies?   I imagine it is likely one of those settings that is followed by applications coded smartly enough to look for such a setting, rather than defaulting to the user\downloads or some other folder...  

I'm trying to create a system where I have fewer locations to find files, not more.  :)

cheers,
..dane

9 Posts

April 8th, 2018 23:00

One last update before bed ...  on the Windows Recovery Environment (WindowsRE) ... I can't find the website now that I found my solution, or I would link it here.  In short, after much failed trial and error, and even though I had properly copied all partitions from my HDD to my SSD, I had no Windows Recovery Environment, and had to keep using a recovery SD Card to get into even a WindowsRE command prompt.

Long story short, even though running "reagentc /info" reported the "Windows RE Status: Disabled" message, I still ran "reagentc /disable" followed by "reagentc /enable" and poof- running "reagentc /info" again now properly reported that the Windows RE status was now enabled!

Must have been a glitch from the drive cloning, or something -- disabling and reenabling automagically fixed it.  Now I can boot into a recovery command prompt without a recovery SDCard, and I can run the Dell SupportAssist OS and factory reset options and everything.  I am quite the happy camper!

Next up, run the movefolders.bat script for the other family members and begin migrating data into this PC so we can start using it.  

Woot!

..dane

8 Wizard

 • 

17K Posts

April 9th, 2018 10:00


@audiodanewrote:

1. the next time I opened the Edge browser and downloaded a file, it did not honor my request. 

2. It still saved it to c:\users\dane\downloads, instead of the secondary drive..   Quite disappointing.   

3. Have you used that option extensively yourself and noticed any other discrepancies?  


1. I think that's Edge doing that, not Windows. 

2. I don't see "Downloads" on that list. I really only use that as a temporary recent DL holding area anyway.

3. No. I just save to C: or change to my E: Storage drive or my NAS. It's easy to have Pinned Quick-Access or just put a ShortCut-to-E: in those default C: folders. For speed, my Outlook.PST file needs to be on C:-SSD anyway.

As for backups, you might think it would be nice to just backup data-files on E:-Storage. I used to think that way. However, it would take days to rebuild my C: Windows build-up. Plus, I (or Windows) still stores some unique data on C:. So, I now use Macrium Reflect to Image whole machine (C:, D:, E: ) ... Monthly-Full, Daily-Differential. I can restore quickly (from USB-HDD) up to about 3-months back.

 

88 Posts

April 26th, 2018 07:00

Maybe I should be posting this someplace else but it's kinda relevant.  I just got my 3268 last night, first thing I did was installed another stick of 8 gb ram off the dell web site.  Haven't had a second to run speed test but the bios sees it and it boots.  When I had the machine open I think I'm seeing only one drive bay 3.5 for the spinner drive it comes with.  Is there another bay I didn't see someplace?  There are markings on the bracket I assume there's probably another bracket that didn't come with the machine for a 2.5 ssd or laptop hard drive.  Not worried about it because one of the samsung ssd i have came with an adapter for a 3.5 bay but if it's possible to keep the spinner and the new ssd which is going to be primarily for the OS and perhaps one of the light duty mmo games I play I want to do so.

I also put an add in video card in the big slot but that's for a different thread.  

9 Posts

April 26th, 2018 08:00


@Tesla1856wrote:
 

1. I think that's Edge doing that, not Windows. 

2. I don't see "Downloads" on that list. I really only use that as a temporary recent DL holding area anyway.

3. No. I just save to C: or change to my E: Storage drive or my NAS. It's easy to have Pinned Quick-Access or just put a ShortCut-to-E: in those default C: folders. For speed, my Outlook.PST file needs to be on C:-SSD anyway.

As for backups, you might think it would be nice to just backup data-files on E:-Storage. I used to think that way. However, it would take days to rebuild my C: Windows build-up. Plus, I (or Windows) still stores some unique data on C:. So, I now use Macrium Reflect to Image whole machine (C:, D:, E: ) ... Monthly-Full, Daily-Differential. I can restore quickly (from USB-HDD) up to about 3-months back.

 


Right.  I agree that I think it was Edge doing that (not honoring the new download location), but that exposes the reality that there are likely plenty of apps that might not be updated to look for new locations either.  Setting up symbolic links the way I have means that even older apps that use more fixed folder names/locations, will still be pointed to keeping data on the HDD and I won't have to periodically go "clean things up."

Again -- I make it a habit to work extra hard up-front to avoid back end maintenance work.  And I hope that my efforts here will have those same results.  This will be a family computer used by lots of people -- esp. by people who don't well understand how and where to save files.   So by doing all the symbolic link work up front that I've described here, I hop to minimize data location confusion by young users...   

cheers,
..dane

9 Posts

April 26th, 2018 08:00


@suemccartinwrote:

Maybe I should be posting this someplace else but it's kinda relevant.  I just got my 3268 last night, first thing I did was installed another stick of 8 gb ram off the dell web site.  Haven't had a second to run speed test but the bios sees it and it boots.  When I had the machine open I think I'm seeing only one drive bay 3.5 for the spinner drive it comes with.  Is there another bay I didn't see someplace?  There are markings on the bracket I assume there's probably another bracket that didn't come with the machine for a 2.5 ssd or laptop hard drive.  Not worried about it because one of the samsung ssd i have came with an adapter for a 3.5 bay but if it's possible to keep the spinner and the new ssd which is going to be primarily for the OS and perhaps one of the light duty mmo games I play I want to do so.

I also put an add in video card in the big slot but that's for a different thread.  


Yeah I hve another 8GB stick arriving this week.  The two 16GB sticks did not work, unfortunately.  :(

Also, I puchased the 3268 in the small desktop form factor, so it only has one CDROM and one HDD bay.  I ended up adding an SSD on a PCI card for OS & Apps and kept the "spinner" mounted in the HDD location bay for larger/slower data storage.   See my earlier post for more details on that ....

cheers,
..dane

8 Wizard

 • 

17K Posts

July 22nd, 2018 13:00


@BLMOA wrote:

1. I'm sad that I bought this thing now, not very upgradeable and slow too.

2. I think I will go back to HP desktops in the future.


1. The Inspiron line are Dell's entry-level budget computers. People like them because they are cheap. An Inspiron's goal in life it to be a inexpensive (barely a) computer. They are not built to be fast or upgradable.

https://dell.com/community/Inspiron-Desktops/Dell-Inspiron-24-3475-AIO-Brutal/m-p/6116227/highlight/true#M6145

Next time, I suggest you shop the higher lines and models. A computer's performance and dependability is determined by a sum of its parts. You get what you pay for.

2. That is fine, but be careful what you buy because HP also sells budget computers. Consumers love cheap so manufacturers always offer a line that is "good enough for a while". In our now disposable society, they just throw it away in a couple of years and buy a new (cheap) one.

2 Posts

July 22nd, 2018 13:00

Which video card did you install and did it work?

I spoke to Dell and they said that no video card will work in the 3268 because the power supply is only 180 watts. I asked Dell if there was a replacement 300-watt power supply and they said there is not. I'm sad that I bought this thing now, not very upgradeable and slow too. I think I will go back to HP desktops in the future.

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