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Billy86

Please help. Can't set SSD as boot drive in a new Dell XPS 8930

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So.  A couple of weeks ago, my DAW computer died. 

Just bought an 8930 i9 with the standard 1 tb 7200rpm HDD. I'm trying to add a 1tb Samsung NVMe M2 970EVO SSD. Want to make the SSD the Win 10/OS boot drive/CbB  program drive, etc., and the factory HDD storage drive, like so many people here. Haven't been able to do it. Dell technical support is telling me I can't set it up that way. What???

- Installed the SSD... ran into a problem because the system was factory-set to RAID by default. I saw the AHCI option I needed, read up on to change it in BIOS  and did that. Went fine. 
- Ran Samsung Magician Software to set up the SSD, updated the driver. Everything looks fine.
- Cloned the HDD to the SDD with Samsung migration software. Fine.

- Rebooted/F2 into BIOS. Can see the SSD listed on the Main page.
- Went to Boot tab/boot options. The SSD isn't there.
Only Windows Boot Manager...
ORSI USB Stick Boot Entry...
Onboard NIC (IPV4)...
Onboard NIC (IPV6)...
and Disabled. Those are the options.

In Disc Management, new SSD (Disk 1) was listed as offline because it was (I'm guessing) n conflict with the HDD (Disk 0). I right-clicked it to bring it online, and it was assigned Drive letter OS E: I can see in File Explorer, it's an exact copy of OS on the C Drive (the factory HDD)

Called Tech Support for help. They said I can't set it up like I want because the system is configured at the factory as RAID and simply won't work the way I want it to. WHAT??? They wanted to charge me to set it up as a single drive SSD, and said the factory HDD won't work any longer. It's RAID Only, and if I want primary and secondary drives they have to be the exact same form factor. What???

Have wasted hours trying to get this to work. The SSD is recognized in the system. And there it sits. Really frustrated. Don't know what to do. Couldn't believe his information was accurate. No where in any sales documentation, did it say this ships in some sort of RAID-only configuration. I even read the service manual before I purchased. The tech couldn't tell me where that was pointed out for buyers. 

I'm totally stuck. Any help would really be appreciated. Thank you! Billy

Edited by Billy86

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Bill this is why people have systems built for them or build them selves !   there should be a option in the bios to select boot order and you can try F8 on boot !

PLAN B Return it .. I or others here can give you a parts list to have built .. that will save you $$ and blow Dell builds away !

 

Edited by StarTekh

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Just realized you did what I posted.... DELL and HP have a lot of proprietary drivers on them, so certain things become a PITA to achieve.

Edited by mettelus

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My thoughts may be an amateur idea...
I guess the Windows boot image on cloned SSD from HDD does not have NVMe driver so can't boot from it.

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19 hours ago, Colin Nicholls said:

This may sound crazy but in the past I have booted my Windows PC on a Linux Mint "Live" USB just so that I could use gparted to take a look around at how the drives are recognized...

Thank you, Colin. Unfortunately, I wouldn't know what I'm looking at. I'm not all that techie. 

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19 hours ago, StarTekh said:

Bill this is why people have systems built for them or build them selves !   there should be a option in the bios to select boot order and you can try F8 on boot !

PLAN B Return it .. I or others here can give you a parts list to have built .. that will save you $$ and blow Dell builds away !

 

 Thanks for the info. The boot order appears "hidden" behind a Windows Boot Manager listing in the BIOS. It doesn't list a specific drive. I think I may have botched the sequence of steps in installing the SSD,  no now I don't know where the "poison pill(s)" are lurking. The SSD is listed on the main tab of the BIOS (acccessed by F2 during boot up on this Dell), but not in the boot tab, or one-time boot options, accessed by F12 on this Dell.

Thanks for the offer of a parts list. It may come to that if I go to Plan B! 

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7 hours ago, HIBI said:

My thoughts may be an amateur idea...
I guess the Windows boot image on cloned SSD from HDD does not have NVMe driver so can't boot from it.

Interesting... I installed the latest NVMe driver from Samsung. 

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I don't have an NVME drive, but I heard you have to configure your BIOS to use one as your boot drive. I found that articles on Tom's Hardware are accurate.  Look here.

"The NVMe M.2 drive should be the only storage drive connected.

NVMe SSDs do not appear within the BIOS until Windows creates the system partition with the EFI Boot Sector. Your M.2 SSD contains UEFI driver information within the firmware. By disabling the CSM module Windows will read and utilize the M.2-specific UEFI driver

Go into the bios, under the boot tab there is an option for CSM, make sure it is disabled.

Click on secure boot option below and make sure it is set to other OS, not windows UEFI.

Click on key management and clear secure boot keys.

Insert a USB memory stick with a bootable UEFI USB drive with Windows 10 Setup* on it, USB3 is quicker but USB2 works also. A Windows DVD won’t work unless you’ve created your own UEFI Bootable DVD.

Press F10 to save, exit and reboot.

Windows 10 will now start installing to your NVME drive as it has its own NVME driver built in.

When the PC reboots hit F2 to go back into the BIOS, you will see under boot priority that windows boot manager now lists your NVME drive.

Click on secure boot again but now set it to WIndows UEFI mode.

Click on key management and install default secure boot keys

Press F10 to save and exit and windows will finish the install. Once you have Windows up and running, shutdown the PC and reconnect your other SATA drives.

*How to create a bootable UEFI USB drive with Windows 10 Setup
https://winaero.com/blog/how-to-create-a-bootable-uefi-...

The Windows 10 ISO link is broken in the above. You can obtain the ISO file here:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 "

Edited by razor7music

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This should be simple. I have done it plenty of times. I just did the other day on my son's dell where I cloned his original drive to the SSD. I went to the BIOS and told it to boot the SSD. SImple enough. You can access the Bios on most Dell computers by pressing F2. Once in the bios, you have to find the boot order. You can tell it which drive to boot first. There is a way to move it to the top of the list. If yours isnt booting to the new WIndows 10 drive, what is it doing?  I did not read this entire thread but there wasnt much info in your post. What drive were you using before? is it still in the Dell so that you have two separate drives with OS on them?  What happens if you remove the original drive so you only have an SSD drive?

Edited by TVR PRODUCTIONS

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32 minutes ago, TVR PRODUCTIONS said:

This should be simple. I have done it plenty of times. I just did the other day on my son's dell where I cloned his original drive to the SSD. I went to the BIOS and told it to boot the SSD. SImple enough. You can access the Bios on most Dell computers by pressing F2. Once in the bios, you have to find the boot order. You can tell it which drive to boot first. There is a way to move it to the top of the list. If yours isnt booting to the new WIndows 10 drive, what is it doing?  I did not read this entire thread but there wasnt much info in your post. What drive were you using before? is it still in the Dell so that you have two separate drives with OS on them?  What happens if you remove the original drive so you only have an SSD drive?

Thanks to everyone who weighed in. After much research, and patient, generous support from a couple of (non-Dell) guys on the Dell Community board, I'm in good shape. Finally!

TVR, yes, I agree, it should be simple! WTH!! I had previously done this exact thing on a Dell 8500; only difference is it was a SATA SSD, while this is an NVMe form factor.  Had no problem with the 8500. It was six generations old, and the only thing I can figure is that Dell BIOS must have been configured differently back in 2012.

The 8930 BIOS does NOT have a way to change the boot order. Everything seems to be locked in a black box called "Windows Boot Manager," and it seems inaccessible (at least at my tech skill level, which is beginner/mediocre at best. I go into a cold sweat when someone mentions "registry" values!)  I could see no way to access the in BIOS.

Long story short... was able to boot via the cloned SSD -- a Samsung 970 Evo Plus, via Samsung Data Migration software, and installed Samsung Magician and Samsung NVMe driver --  in F12 environment. This is where I COULD manipulate the Boot order, but it's a one-time deal. Booted into the SSD, so I could tell it was working if the machine could FIND it in the boot sequence "tree." Detached the original HDD (which would ALWAYS boot first) and rebooted. It then found the SSD and booted up fine.  And is it fast! Shut down and rebooted several times and it found the SSD every time (with the HDD detached). I'm letting things stabilize to make sure things are good.  The HDD is sidelined at this point.

At some point, I'll re-initiate the HDD to use it for storage, once I'm sure the SDD is rock solid. (I also have a USB Restore stick I created before going down this rabbit hole.

The maddening part was... brand new machine. 8930/i9. Couldn't figure it out how to set up the SSD as the main OS drive, and the installed HDD as a storage drive. I KNEW it could be done. Everybody does it! But, at my wit's end, I called Dell technical support, and TWO of their techs told me I couldn't set it up this way because it was factory-set-up as RAID (the Samsung drive required AHCI mode).  Whaaaat? That was the first hurdle. Figuring out how to changing the existing setup from RAID TO AHCI. Hmmm... speaking of which, I may have to create another Restore USB, because the one I have was created off the factory HDD with its devilish RAID set up.) 

Anyway... Finally poised to start making some music again! Was pulling out my hair! IT SHOULDN'T BE THIS HARD, DELL! 

Thanks again to everyone who weighed in! -- Billy

 

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On 9/16/2019 at 7:50 PM, Colin Nicholls said:

This may sound crazy but in the past I have booted my Windows PC on a Linux Mint "Live" USB just so that I could use gparted to take a look around at how the drives are recognized...

When you clone, the new drive has the same drive ID as the old one, so this causes boot issues. Since each boot volume looks identical, the system will often boot the first one detected, or even a random one (so rebooting a lot can eventually get it to boot from the correct drive).

Easiest way to fix this is to remove the old drive and put it in a usb drive enclosure. After you boot off the new drive, plug in and format the old drive. 

Then, put it back in the machine - all is well. 

Since these cloning solutions are online, they cannot prevent This issue by doing an offline integrity check on the new drive and reformatting the bike drive if all is well (since you're running the OS off of it still).

Most people cloning with a Linux Live Distro will just do This themselves before rebooting the system, so they don't run i to the issue 😉

This is a common issue with people upgrading laptops with NVMe slots that ship with a HDD or SSHD OOTB. I ran into this in an ASUS machine. It also makes upgrading the NVMe to a higher capacity later a PITA, if you have to use the other (SATA) SSD as an intermediate when you replace the NVMe

Since NVMe to USB enclosures do not pass through vendor ID, they cannot be used with OEM cloning software - like Samsung Magician.

You will run into the same issue regardless of what software you use, if you do a full system clone operation and leave both drives in the system.

The boot volume IDs will match and you will end up with boot issues. The system will not know which instance the boot manager is referring to.

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