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Dell Studio XPS 435MT - Installing SSD and Windows 7 64bit

By Poke13
Jan 15, 2014
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  1. Hello all!

    I wonder if anyone could help me shed some light on the best process for the above subject.

    I currently have a Dell Studio XPS 435MT (Vista 64bit) running two HDD's in RAID 0 (as from factory) I need to install Windows 7 64bit and would like to also install it onto the new SSD I have bought (Crucial 128GB) as an upgrade.

    Could I simply take the current HDD's out (after backing up essential data) to keep safe as backup plan and add the SSD into slot 0 and install Windows 7?? Then possibly add say a 1tb storage drive to the system later?

    One solution someone has sent my way is to clone the two 500gb RAID 0 drives to a single 1tb drive then install Windows 7 onto the new SSD and have both drives on a multiboot? Could this work?

    I have seen/heard many versions of how to go about this install but no real evidence of a true way?

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Kind regards,

  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 21,263   +183

    It takes 3-500GB drives to give you 1.3TB of storage space because of formatting over-head. 2-500GB drives will be considerably less than 1TB. Keep the 2-500's in a single RAID array and set the SSD as a separate partition for Windows 7
  3. Poke13

    Poke13 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thanks Tmagic650 for thr info although I am not too bothered with loosing a bit of space on disks, one reason I would like to switch to one drive instead of two is to have a copy and also renew the disk as the two 500gb drives are now around 5 years old+.

    I am still in the dark over whether I could install the SSD in RAID mode (to enable SATA speeds and TRIM) but then also add the 1tb drive in either IDE/SATA depending on which works there?
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 21,263   +183

    Set the IDE controller to AHCI and install the SSD on any SATA 3 port. The 500GB drives will work with this setting...
  5. Poke13

    Poke13 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thanks for the info so far guys just wanted to update on the progress with this.

    This is where I have got to:

    - I used Paragon Backup (free) to create a backup to an ext usb drive.

    - Then I have connected my new 1tb drive to the spare sata port.

    - The drive has been recognised within Paragon in Windows so I then restored the partitions from usb ext drive to the new 1tb drive.

    - The new drive now looks exactly the same as my original RAID 0 array but the partitions have no drive letters?! (see below pic)


    My question now is if I disconnect the RAID 0 drives and set the new drive as boot will the system boot and what happens to the drive letters?

    Am I on the right track or should I start again using something like Acronis?

    Any help would be much appreciated!

    Thanks, Jonny/Poke13

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