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Intel Smart Response Technology Configuration

Summary: Setting up or re-configuring a system for use with Smart Response - full instructions and steps detailed here.

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Table of Contents :

  1. Pre-installation notes
  2. Installation
  3. How to use Smart Response
Note: Please note that this article is only for systems that support Intel Responsiveness Technologies. Please refer to your Product Manual to check if your system supports the Intel Responsiveness Technologies before following the guide below.

Pre-installation notes


  1. If the system is in AHCI or ATA mode, Smart response cannot be configured.

  2. The Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver and application package is required for systems that support Smart Response. If the system supports it, the driver and application self-extracting executable file will be available for download from the Dell Support Site.

  3. Smart Response and Rapid Start can coexist on the same SSD device. Rapid Start configuration must take place AFTER Smart Response configuration. Smart Response configuration may erase the SSD device, including Rapid Start partition information.

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  1. BIOS: Restart the system, and press the F2 key when the Dell splash screen appears to enter the BIOS setup menu.

    1. Navigate to the SATA Operation mode menu, usually found under System Configuration or Advanced Settings.

    2. Confirm that the system BIOS is set to RAID on mode (in some system BIOS menus, this mode may be called Smart Response mode or Rapid Start mode).

Note: If the system is in AHCI or ATA mode, Smart response cannot be configured until the mode is changed.
  1. Launch the Intel® Rapid Storage Manager application (from Windows® Start-> All programs -> Intel -> Rapid Storage Manager, or by double-clicking the tray Icon, which looks like this :


  1. The Accelerate button should be visible near the top the Rapid Storage Technology manager application window. Click the Accelerate button, and a page titled Intel® Smart Response Technology will appear, similar to the picture below :


  1. Click the Enable acceleration link in the middle of the Smart Response window.

  2. A window titled Enable Acceleration for configuring Smart Response will pop up. An example of what this window looks like is included below :


  1. Follow the instructions in the Enable Acceleration window to complete configuration of Smart Response

    1. Select the SSD to be used as a cache device.

    2. Select the size from the SSD to be allocated for the cache memory. Any remaining space on the SSD may be used for data storage. A simple data disk labeled Volume_0000 will be automatically created.

      Note: If a Rapid Start will be enabled after enabling Smart Response, do not select Full disk capacity at the Select the size allocated for the cache memory prompt. Instead, select the 18.6 GB option, which will make a single-disk RAID 0 volume, labeled Volume_0000 from the remaining disk space for creating the Rapid Start partition later.
    3. Select the drive (or RAID volume) to be accelerated. It is highly recommended to accelerate the system volume or system disk for maximum performance.

    4. Select the acceleration mode. By default, Enhanced mode is selected. See How to use Smart Response for more detail regarding Enhanced and Maximized modes.

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How to use Smart Response


Once the system is configured for Smart Response, the system will automatically begin to use the cache to enhance system performance by storing frequently used data on the cache device, so that it can be retrieved faster than data stored on the HDD.

Intel Rapid Storage Manager application Settings:

Enhanced mode:

Acceleration is optimized for data protection. The data written to the cache will simultaneously be written to the hard drive to ensure data integrity in both cache and drive, but read operations will be accelerated by the cache.

Maximized mode:

Acceleration is optimized for input/output performance. The data written to the cache is not always written simultaneously to the hard drive. This improves write performance, but also allows for the possibility of data on the cache being out of sync with the HDD if an unexpected shutdown event (such as power failure) occurs.


Warning about deleting the Smart Response partition (!), or removing the Smart Response SSD cache device :

Manually deleting/erasing the Smart Response partition is strongly discouraged. Depending on the state of the system, and what files have been cached to the SSD during use, deleting the Smart Response partition could result in permanent data loss. Should the need to disable Smart Response arise, the safest way to defeat the feature is from within the Rapid Storage Manager application.

Disabling Smart Response within the Rapid Storage application:

This is the preferred method of disabling Smart Response. Doing this will allow the cache to be properly flushed back to the hard drive.

Removing the mSATA/SSD or HDD:

Before removing the HDD or cache from the system :

The Smart Response feature should be disabled in the Rapid Storage Manager application by clicking the Disable acceleration link either on the main status page, or under the Acceleration menu.

Repairing Inaccessible Cache:

  • If the HDD or mSATA/SSD cache device are replaced without disabling Smart Response first (due to a HDD repair process, or upgrades), the status of the cache may appear as Inaccessible:


  • In this scenario, the state can be restored by clicking the Disassociate link.
Note: Before disassociating the drive from the cache, make sure user data has been backed up.
  • A message will pop up explaining the risk of removing the cache devicSLN147923_en_US__51342963646763.Untitled

Clicking yes will return the mSATA or SSD cache device to a blank non-accelerated state, at which point, it can be reconfigured by following the configuration steps described in the configuration section above.

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Last Published Date

06 Jul 2021



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