XPS Desktops

Last reply by 07-30-2022 Solved
Start a Discussion
2 Bronze
2 Bronze
999

XPS 8700, upgrades to be a Photo Editing beast for my wife

i7-4790
16GB Ram
2TB HD
3TB HDD
256 Samsung 850 mSATA

What I'm hoping to accomplish is to have the OS on 1 SSD (the mSATA port so that I can max out the amount of drives I can put in this computer) and another one to be used as a 'Scratch Disc' (for doing edits, ie. photoshop, lightroom & a bazillion other programs & presets she has).

I had a guy set it up for me with the components listed above but my wife didn't use the drives in a manner she needed to (stored some photos on the SSD & filled it to max. capacity... & actually filled all of the drives to max although they are now ~ 1/2 filled.... she also has ~15TB of space on external drives).  She never had it working close to how I'd hoped to have it run for her.... I wanted it to ZOOM!   (fwiw, I didn't even know what was happening with her computer at the time but do now as I just recently took a look at it   )

More 'new' upgrades:

512 GB mSATA Kingston SSD
1TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD
6TB WD Black HDD
GPU:  Zotac GTX 1650 4GB  (Installed & running now, picked this one up due to low wattage requirement, Very small and fits in the DELL perfectly and also to help with the editing while using a 32i" 4K BenQ monitor (which is still in the box since last Christmas due to the DELL not working optimally)
32GB Ram (4x 8GB DDR3 1600) installed and running now
Case fan:  Noctua NF-A9 92mm (also have a 120mm Silent Series R2 Fractal I may add later inside the front of case)

I have Win10 on the mSATA SSD (moved from the original 32GB ssd that it came with by a tech guy I paid when I first attempted to upgrade her tower a couple yrs. ago.  I'm not 100% sure he even used the Win10 she already had in there as he wasn't interested in taking down any links I gave him for moving the Win that the Dell originally came with as I'd read there were a few things one needed to do to make this happen (I'm not computer savvy at all... can you tell yet?).  I do have another brand new (unused) win10 PRO that I purchased for my wife's mother's computer but she never ended up using it. (maybe I should use it?).

I'm wanting to either transfer Win10 from the 256 mSATA SSD to the new 512GB mSATA SSD.  How do I do this? (do I need to move it to another HDD and then install the new mSATA SSD and transfer stuff from the HDD to the new mSATA SSD?).  fwiw, I don't know how to install my new Win10 PRO as I have a 'product key' for it and not a disc.

At my disposal I also have the following:

2x 3.0 SanDisk  flash drives (32GB & 64GB)

UGREEN External HD Enclosure Adapter 3.5 USB 3.0 to SATA HD Case Housing with Power Adapter for 3.5/2.5" Sandisk, WD, Toshiba, Samsung, Hitachi SATA III, HDD, SSD

Sabrent 2.5" SATA to USB 3.0 External HD Enclosure (Optimized for SSD, Support UASP SATA III)

and another functioning tower (mine) with tons of space inside (will hold many HD's but a single 250GB SSD is all I need for what I use it for).

I'm looking for help.  If someone could give me some thoughts/ideas of how to go about the final stages of getting my wife's Photo Editing Beast up & running 'optimally' I (we) would really appreciate it.  I've tried a couple different puter tech guys in our area and both left me feeling very disappointed.  Why have I taken soooo long to finish this for my wife?  We've had a very rough past couple years with many deaths in our families (we both lost a brother, we both lost our mothers, she also lost her father and most recently we lost our daughter ).  A great Christmas present this year would be to get the previous 'years' presents functioning properly.

One thing I know that I did do correctly was the acquisition of parts for upgrading her DELL XPS 8700 and I was able to get most of my ideas/info. from the people here in this forum    So... thanks again for that!

Solutions (2)

Accepted Solutions
902

You can get Win 10 from your existing 256  GB mSATA onto your new 512 GB  mSATA by imaging all the partitions on the 256 GB drive and then restoring them to the 512 GB drive. You could store the images on your 1 TB SSD. The tool to use is Macrium Reflect Free Edition to image the 256 GB drive. Then using Macrium you also create Rescue Media onto a bootable USB, install the 512 GB drive, then boot the Rescue Media and restore the images to the new drive. Be sure to image all the partitions (Recovery (there may be more than one), EFI, & OS) and restore the partitions one at a time (in the same order, look at the drive with Disk Management) and when you restore the OS partition expand it on the target drive to use the additional space. Download the Macrium Reflect user guide and see the chapter on Backup, imaging, and cloning.

View solution in original post

3 Zinc
890

@BellsDells , it seems that you are well prepare and are receiving good information for your upgrading plan.  I'd like to add some info that may help.

  • Go over BIOS settings to match with your hardware environments.
  • Make sure you have back up data off the old mSATA and export file of your browsers.
  • A clean install will give you the latest build of Windows and rid of old patches, broken registries, etc...cleaner windows.
  • Unplug all current drives while installing Windows on your new Kingston to avoid any error, mistake.  Plan ahead if you want to set up the XPS as a local account (more privacy) or with a Microsoft account (more services from MS)
  • Your XPS may have Windows 8 license injected into BIOS and the installation will just proceed without asking you to enter key.  If it's Home version and you want Pro version, you can do so after the installation, just go to Settings => Update => Activation => Change Product Key, and enter your Pro version key. 
  • Install all required drivers and updates.  Test your machine well before reinstall software and drives.

Your XPS also works well with Windows 11.  If you like to check it out, now is your chance (test it for a day or two).  People knowledges are vary, I didn't want to bore you with the details but I hope the suggestions will help you with your upgrade process.

View solution in original post

Replies (12)
6 Indium
964

Re: I'm wanting to either transfer Win10 from the 256 mSATA SSD to the new 512GB mSATA SSD.  How do I do this? 

that is difficult as you do not have a pc that has two mSATA ports on same motherboard.  can you do a fresh clean install of Win 10 on the new 512GB mSATA?  

Re: I don't know how to install my new Win10 PRO as I have a 'product key' for it and not a disc.

it is quite easy using Microsoft windows 10 media creation tool to prepare a bootable USB drive https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

At beginning of install choose I do not have product key.

Your product key is useful for activation after completing clean Win 10 install.

if you still want to clone from mSATA to mSATA, you may consider a PCIe mSATA adapter such as this one.

I would recommend clean install though which is simpler and does entail additional cost.  But if you plan to use the old 256 mSATA also in 8700 for additional storage, then the adapter may be an option.  I would install the new mSATA on mobo, and the old one in adapter.  This is because I am not sure mobo could boot from ssd mounted in adapter (more complicated that way and sometimes does not work).


943

What if I cloned the 256GB mSATA to another HD or SSD (a new one.. as I do actually have 'another' 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSD that I haven't used at all, as well as two more HDD's that haven't been used at all either.  

Would I be able to do a fresh install using my old Win10 product key? (how do I even find out what that is?  The computer originally came with Win8 and it was already installed without a disc and I recall reading on this forum that it was a bit difficult to move it to another HDD/SSD (although apparently the puter tech guy I paid to do it a few years ago must've been successful... unless he used a different Win10 on there and not my wife's original one ).

What I would prefer to do though is.... whatever is easiest!  So if that means doing a fresh install of the Win10 PRO onto the 512GB mSATA SSD then so be it. (& I guess I just toss out the old one as I don't think I'll have any use for it).

And >>> no plans on using the 256 mSATA SSD for additional storage.  I have 12.5 TB of storage for the tower along with another 15 TB of usb 3.2 WD external drives (maybe closer to 20TB)

 

tks for your help!

940

hmm... now I'm thinking I wouldn't mind getting one of those PCIe mSATA adapters.    lol (not sure if my wife could tolerate my waiting on another Amazon delivery & tbh there could be some delays as I'm in British Columbia and the flooding is causing some major problems on transporting goods.

5 Rhenium
967

@BellsDells You can solve your storage problem (filling up your SSD) by utilizing Windows 10 capability to specify a different location for additional storage. To specify another drive for additional storage, go to All settings / System / Storage / click on 'Change where new content is saved' / then change where new apps, new documents, new music, new photos, new movies, etc. are saved. Note that existing documents, music, photos, movies, etc. remain in their cuurent locations.and have to be moved (copied to the new locations and deleted (if you wish) from the old locations). Existing apps have to be uninstalled and reinstalled in the new location, except that some apps prefer to be installed on the OS drive. Also, some apps default to saving content on the C drive. Because you did not specify a different location to saved user created content, Windows 10 defaults to the C drive and your SSD filled up. You could have prevented this problem by periodically copying you data from the C drive to one of your other drives and then deleting the data from the C drive, but because your C drive is small you have to do this often. 

It appears that your Windows 10 is working and I don't believe you need to switch to Windows 10 Pro. Also, I don't think it is worth the effort to switch to the 512 GB mSATA SSD. If you think that you really need the space for your wife's apps I would consider installing Windows 10 on the 1 TB Samsung SSD. I know you indicated you wish to maximize the number of drives but mSATA is old technology and is not any faster than SATA, The XPS 8700 has five SATA ports, so you can have four HDD/SSD and one CD/DVD drive.

947

I'm aware that the C drive was filling up due to other content not being re-directed.   

fwiw, the other HDD's have been quickly filled to capacity as well (but periodically stuff was copied to external drives as well & then deleted from the HDD).

I already own the new 512 GB mSATA SSD.   And I won't be using the one that is currently in the tower (the 256 GB Samsung 850 PRO mSATA SSD).  I also already have a new 1TB Samsung 860 EVO (not an mSATA SSD) which I am hoping to use as a 'scratch disc'.  From prior research on some photography forums I had learned that this is the ideal way in which to work with one's photos & photo editing.  The files fill up FAST!  I'm pretty sure she'll need the 1TB of space on that SSD just for this use as she's working in RAW files (I've also read that it's better to have an SSD that is a fair bit bigger than the amount of stuff you plan on having on it at any one given time... leaving it 1/2 to 2/3 empty as it will keep it running faster).

I realize the mSATA is not new technology and isn't any faster than a SATA III SSD.  But it's because of the additional spot for it that I'd like to be able to use it as I will also be needing all the rest of the five SATA ports (1x 1TB SSD, 1x dvd drive, 1x 6TB HDD (3.5" 7,200 rpm), 1x 3TB HDD, 1x 2TB HDD) & due to already owning one (512GB mSATA SSD) that hasn't been used at all.

I'm just unsure of how to get the Win10 from my existing 256 mSATA onto my new 512GB mSATA & is why I was wondering/considering just using the new Win10 PRO instead (also because I have this copy of Win10 PRO just sitting there unused for maybe 3yrs. now and I really have no other use for it at all)

940

Re: Would I be able to do a fresh install using my old Win10 product key?

yes.  You may type it in at the beginning of Windows 10 install using bootable usb prepared by Microsoft media creation tool, or you may choose I do not have a key and then proceed to finish the install then later activate it by entering the key.


903

You can get Win 10 from your existing 256  GB mSATA onto your new 512 GB  mSATA by imaging all the partitions on the 256 GB drive and then restoring them to the 512 GB drive. You could store the images on your 1 TB SSD. The tool to use is Macrium Reflect Free Edition to image the 256 GB drive. Then using Macrium you also create Rescue Media onto a bootable USB, install the 512 GB drive, then boot the Rescue Media and restore the images to the new drive. Be sure to image all the partitions (Recovery (there may be more than one), EFI, & OS) and restore the partitions one at a time (in the same order, look at the drive with Disk Management) and when you restore the OS partition expand it on the target drive to use the additional space. Download the Macrium Reflect user guide and see the chapter on Backup, imaging, and cloning.

3 Zinc
891

@BellsDells , it seems that you are well prepare and are receiving good information for your upgrading plan.  I'd like to add some info that may help.

  • Go over BIOS settings to match with your hardware environments.
  • Make sure you have back up data off the old mSATA and export file of your browsers.
  • A clean install will give you the latest build of Windows and rid of old patches, broken registries, etc...cleaner windows.
  • Unplug all current drives while installing Windows on your new Kingston to avoid any error, mistake.  Plan ahead if you want to set up the XPS as a local account (more privacy) or with a Microsoft account (more services from MS)
  • Your XPS may have Windows 8 license injected into BIOS and the installation will just proceed without asking you to enter key.  If it's Home version and you want Pro version, you can do so after the installation, just go to Settings => Update => Activation => Change Product Key, and enter your Pro version key. 
  • Install all required drivers and updates.  Test your machine well before reinstall software and drives.

Your XPS also works well with Windows 11.  If you like to check it out, now is your chance (test it for a day or two).  People knowledges are vary, I didn't want to bore you with the details but I hope the suggestions will help you with your upgrade process.

170

Thanks for your help.  Yes... I still have not done this   

We had some horrendous events, leading to deaths in our family & I am just now back to getting this Dell computer functioning again.

You haven't 'bored me with any details'... in fact I've had to google search some of the things you've mentioned because I am not very knowledgeable with computers when it comes to OS & HD's.  I am quite familiar with the hardware in the machines, compatibility, etc.  I've done my research well on what I need... now I just need to figure out how to get it going again. (I've installed new GPU & increased Ram to 32GB now I just need to get these drives organized & Win10 moved to new mSATA SSD).

Latest Solutions
Top Contributor