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  1. #16
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Yes, updating the BIOS would be my next step. The instructions given by your Dell forum helper seem quite straightforward.

  2. #17
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Just be sure to do the BIOS update with AC power plugged in. Losing power in the middle of a bios update could brick your laptop. Otherwise, as Satrow said, the update procedure is straight forward.

    Jerry

  3. #18
    5 Star Lounger
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    John, hello.
    I find your situation normal here. When I do a clone and restart the machine with the USB clone still connected, it will not boot. I presume that there is a conflict somewhere as both are "bootable" as they are identical, it does not know, ( nor do I ) where to boot from. If you can eliminate the boot sector from your second drive, you might have a winner. YMMV a lot, way over my head !
    I found out in BIOS lore, that some of them are OEM'd as to whatever customers want, specially banks, law firms etc. I just recently got hold of a Lenovo Think Center that was part of a network and it was locked to its BIOS, no user access permitted ! Ouch ! Wikipedia shows that the CMOS holding the BIOS is two-faced, it has a basic BIOS and an OEM one. To get back to the basic one, I had to pull two jumpers and also remove the small cell that keeps the BIOS and the RTC live . This made the CMOS revert to the small basic BIOS programme and this is what I wanted. You might have to go this route if this is your case. Jean.
    Last edited by handcuff36; 2014-03-07 at 08:29.

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  5. #19
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    Hi Jean,
    My BIOS allows me to chose drive bay 1 and/or drive bay 2 for boot. I have it set for drive bay 1 only, and it still will not boot with both drives in place. I wlll probably update the BIOS; nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong... It is probably safer to just run with the SSD in bay 1 if I can install the drive image on the SSD with the ACRONIS True Image WD Edition from my 2 TB WD My Book, and use the 2 TB external drive for my file collection. It would be nice to have a large drive in drive bay 2, and store my current Seagate HDD for when the SSD dies. I do not want to risk my only laptop on a BIOS update until I have something else that will run. Thanks for your input.
    John

  6. #20
    5 Star Lounger
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    Good morning, John.
    I had read about these Dells that will accept a 2nd HD into their designed rack. Why ? I can not see the use of this capability, in my mind. The same goes for portioning a HD, why not just open a folder that would be a small partition, but this is me !
    As the addressing of any device is first done when booting, ( BIOS ), there might be an opening for you there, ie: burn a new BIOS CMOS. Not for the faint of heart but doable. I must have done 20 or so BIOS upgrades so far in as many years of binary machinery and so far, not a hiccup, so do not shy away, making sure that as it is a laptop and Jerry mentioned it, keep it connected to the grid. I presume that Dell's BIOS will address this device as they designed it. Let us know. Jean.

    NB: Spring forward !

  7. #21
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    Just reading all comments when I recalled a desktop computer that a woman brought to me about a year ago. Skipping the details, (much of it I've forgotten), the problem stemmed from a similar situation. Somebody installed a new hard drive and attached the old one as a secondary drive. Specifically, having two bootable drives. After saving the data on the secondary drive, I formattted it then copied the data back onto it. Then went into BIOS and corrected the boot drive settings(I don't remember exactly how it was set, but it was wrong). Just thinking having two bootable drives and maybe a BIOS setting is where to look.

  8. #22
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    rje49,
    Certainly a BIOS problem is possible, but when i first put the new SSD in bay 2, it was not partitioned or formatted, and the laptop would not boot even to the F2 or F12 point. Just to test the drive, I removed the old drive from bay 1, replaced it with the new SSD, and then partitioned and formatted it, followed by a Win-XP installation. Two active partitions could possibly be a problem from this point on. I will try flashing the BIOS, but not until I get my old desktop running again. Thanks all for your suggestions. John

  9. #23
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    Was not willing to risk a personally owned >$1500 laptop on the BIOS flash. Safer to just have one SSD and use external 2 TB drives for backup and cold storage. Big problem was getting new SSD to boot:

    1. Made both drive and partitions backups on WD 2 TB external drives using Acronis WD edition. It recognized my brand new WD drive, but not my 3-year old model. I can back up to old WD drive, but only when new drive is connected to the system. 'Verified' all backups.

    2. New drive would not boot after restore.

    3. Used Acronis 'Add a New Drive' tool to repartition and reformat the new SSD, increasing the C: drive from 40 GB to 80 GB. This was tricky, as the old drive had an OEM partition at the front, and a Dell 'MediaDirect' partition at the end, both hidden.

    4. Restored the whole drive, and the individual partitions to the new SSD: it still would not boot either way.

    5. Restored the MBR, OEM partition, and the C: system partition one at a time: still would not boot.

    6. Reinstalled the OEM and system partitions again, making both active: it booted from the SSD.

    It was worth the trouble, as the laptop is now the fastest I have ever run. I did not have to reinstall 6 years of software. The Acronis partitioning and reformating aligned the partitions, which I checked by dividing the offsets by 4096 and getting an unit number. The Intel tool pronounced it 100% healthy, with 100% useful life. It also has a trim function for XP. So far so good.

    John

  10. #24
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Have you considered taking it in to a reputable repair shop to have it looked at?
    Mind you, all you'd have to do is have them look at it and make a proper diagnosis.
    After that's been done you could then decide whether it's worth the repair cost.

    There's no reason that you can't use two drives in the laptop.

    There is little risk with a BIOS flash provided you do so while it is PLUGGED in to mains power.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2014-03-26 at 18:20.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  11. #25
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    Things aren't really too bad right now. I can pick up the laptop when running and move it without any concerns about gyroscopic effects on a hard drive. Rather convenient not having to shut down or put in standby, which did not always shut down the hard drive. Life is good.

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