Question Newly Installed Blank M.2 SSD Being Used As Boot Drive

mrcanada11

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Oct 31, 2019
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I own an Alienware 15 laptop, the 2015 edition. At install, it used a small SSD as the boot drive and the HDD as storage. When I purchased it, the original owner had removed the SSD and ported Windows over to the HDD. Fine, no problem. Not a huge issue, since I use it only for work. However, boot times and the HDD get SEVERELY lagged, so I bought a new 1TB Intel SSD 6 to use as the boot drive and remove Win10 from the HDD.

However, when I install the SSD, which is blank and has never been formatted or used, the laptop won't boot. When I remove the SSD, the normal boot sequence occurs.

I went to go into the BIOS to update the boot order, but the settings are in UEFI. I went into the Boot menu to see about adjusting the booting order over to the HDD, but it only displays Windows Boot Manager, and then an IVP4 and IVP6 option (or something similar - updating this from memory and I'm old!). I tried downgrading the SATA operation setting to AHCI, but it just constantly boot loops the machine and doesn't fix it.

How do I go into the settings to set the HDD as the top priority, with the SSD installed?
 

mrcanada11

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Oct 31, 2019
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That probably means - nvme drive gets used as cache drive for hdd.

Disconnect hdd,
install nvme drive,
change sata mode to ahci,
boot from windows installation media and
install windows.
Went to do this, but the machine still doesn't power on. Not sure if I should mention it, but the M.2 drive hasn't been formatted in any way. Won't even boot to the BIOS page.

EDIT - also noticed that both bays are labeled NGFF 1 & 2. The SSD is plugged into 1.
 
Last edited:

jojesa

Illustrious
If your Alienware 15 laptop have an Intel 4th gen CPU then it only supports M.2 SATA.
If your Alienware 15 laptop came with an Intel 6th gen CPU then, (I think) it supports M.2 SATA & M.2 NVMe.

Around 3 years ago, I installed a Samsung PM951 512GB NVMe on the Alienware 15 laptop with an Intel 6th gen CPU and it worked just fine.

Maybe the Intel 660p has not been validated to work on that laptop.
Try updating the BIOS to the latest available.
 
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mrcanada11

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Oct 31, 2019
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If your Alienware 15 laptop have an Intel 4th gen CPU then it only supports M.2 SATA.
If your Alienware 15 laptop came with an Intel 6th gen CPU then, (I think) it supports M.2 SATA & M.2 NVMe.

Around 3 years ago, I installed a Samsung PM951 512GB NVMe on the Alienware 15 laptop with an Intel 6th gen CPU and it worked just fine.

Maybe the Intel 660p has not been validated to work on that laptop.
Try updating the BIOS to the latest available.
This. I went and did a manual check through Dell on the MoBo. The R1 only supports M.2 SATA, not NVMe. I'll have to return the part and order one that fits. Thanks for the help, everyone!
 

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