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If you planned to install a SSD drive in the Dell T3600 Workstation, I hope the article below would help ease the process.
I’ve purchased a Samsung 830 256GB Solid State Drive and intended to use it as my main boot drive and programmes. Data and program cache could go into the 1TB storage drive instead. On the contradictory, I’ve been told by an online Dell rep that I am unable to use both SSD and SATA Drive together whilst another said it should be fine. Anyway I thought the first suggestion was strange and I was pretty sure it should work although I had my reservation as there may be hardware conflicts in workstation systems. With the current SSD price drop and Samsung’s £20 cash back offer, it’s a no brainer to get one these days. I ordered a £6 plastic bracket to hold the drive and fits snugly in Dell’s slide-in bracket. So no issues here.
I though it was going to be a quick painless installation and how wrong I was. This could be due to the additional PERC H310 RAID card that came with the workstation. Also bear in mind, you may not have the same issue I had but if you do then I hope this would help. I had the system booted up with the Windows CD and initiated a clean installation, however I was unable to detect the Solid State Drive despite it showing up in the BIOS. At this point I thought ‘Great! The Rep may be right’ but I wasn’t going to give up.
So here is what I did:
I made sure it was properly formatted by going to the command prompt (under repair disk – before installation).
Type in DiskPart
Type List disk
Type Select disk 1 (or which disk the SSD is showing)
Then type Create partition primary align=1024
Type Format fs=ntfs quick
If for any reason you are unable to list disk and it shows no drive, I suspect it could be due to the RAID card. I had the initial problem until I loaded the drivers for PERC H310 available from the Dell support site. Make sure if you have downloaded and extracted the drivers to a USB stick or CD beforehand. Going back to the installation, don’t panic if you don’t see any drives showing up. Just click load Drivers and point to the USB stick and it should then detect the SSD. You could then repeat the steps above to create a partition align. Installation should be straight forward from here.
Now when the system reboots to continue with the installation, it may say ‘No System Boot‘. Don’t panic yet as I did. Just make sure you hit F12 when booting up and choose the SSD drive as your boot up drive. However I suggest that you change to UEFI because by default the system is being set to Legacy boot in the BIOS. To do this either hit ‘delete’ key when booting up or F12 and choose BIOS Setup. Under Settings -> General -> Boot Sequence -> Boot List Option -> UEFI
There should not be any issues after this and everything should work the way it is. I have kept mine on dual boot with Windows 7 on SSD and Windows 8 Preview on SATA drive and just alternating between both by choosing the boot sequence through F12.
Before SSD :-/
After SSD :-)
Hope it helps.