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


Posts: 14   +0
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,



Posts: 17,233   +234
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


Posts: 14   +0
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?


Posts: 17,233   +234
Set the IDE controller to AHCI and install the SSD on any SATA 3 port. The 500GB drives will work with this setting...


Posts: 14   +0
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


I just got a Samsung 850 Evo 120 GB SSD installed today on my Dell XPS 435MT.
Basic process I followed was
  1. Install the two softwares provided by Samsung
  2. Shutdown the system.
  3. Disconnect the DVD drive and instead plug in the SSD
  4. In the BIOS I changed from IDE to RAID but that caused some reboot so I changed it back to the way it was.
  5. Booted into Windows as normal and did the cloning using the Migrate software I installed in step 1.
  6. Cloning got over in 11 minutes for my 40 GB of C: data
  7. After cloning I was prompted to reboot
  8. In BIOS I set booting from SSD
  9. Rebooted
  10. Windows from my SSD was up and running
  11. Did a check on the performance
  12. I got a figure around 180 reads and around 250 writes
  13. Did performance tuning and OS optimization
  14. Now the read and writes are well beyond the actual specs. I get 2500 and 2100 respectively.
  15. I still see Magician telling me that I should be in AHCI mode.
  16. I am not sure what would happen if I try to put into RAID. In step 4 I tried that but Windows would not boot. System would reboot every time.


Posts: 921   +11
AHCI mode is not RAID, and yes AHCI is what any SSD should be set to although if it was not set that that way first it might not boot, and u might have to reinstall Windows. that is not for shure on the MBs from the 1990s it would be that way.