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M18x R2 Drive Configuration & Troubleshooting - Ask your questions here

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by Mr. Fox, May 6, 2012.

  1. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Temporarily Unavailable Moderator

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    There have been many questions about the drive configuration of the M18x R2. For some strange reason it seems that every time a question arises people feel compelled to create a brand new thread instead of participating in an existing discussion. I will merge new threads asking questions on the subject into this thread to minimize clutter and confusion by having a single repository for the topic. It is easier to search and read through one thread than it is dozens of random threads. Merging threads can make discussion difficult to follow, so whenever possible, please search the forum and choose the right place for discussion before posting questions.

    For questions or discussion about setting up Windows in general, or creating a RAID0 membership, please review the opening post for technical details and the discussions that follow in this thread: http://forum.notebookreview.com/ali...llation-questions-troubleshooting-thread.html

    M18xR2-DriveConfig.jpg

    Here is a helpful video from our friends at Alienware:

    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/vv9eCWFaV1o?hl=en_US&version=3&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="853" height="480" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true">

    [HR][/HR]
    For some reason the SATA interposer (ribbon) cable is defective on a fair number of M18x R2 systems before the box is opened. A bad interposer causes the drives to intermittently disappear or not be detected, and it causes drives to drop from SATA-3 6.0GB/s down to SATA-2 3.0GB/s speeds. It is very simple to replace and Alienware can sent you one to replace the defective part that came from the factory. Use caution when working with this component or you will break the clamp that secures the ribbon cable to the motherboard. This part is not serviced and requires replacement of the motherboard if broken. See quote and images below.

    [HR][/HR]
    How can I say I agree with the most emphasis possible? Absolutely, yes... tetsussaiga is correct. You will not regret the performance. It will make you despise using a HDD. You can feel the difference in everything thing you do, from the moment you press the power button. The only drawback to SSD is cost per MB is too high. Be sure to not buy too small of an SSD to save money because you will run out of space for apps and games. You can install them to a HDD, but they will run slower. A large HDD is fine for data storage. A 128GB SSD is the minimum I would suggest. You will fill it up quickly and it will be an impediment rather than an asset if you don't have another drive on which to install apps that don't need to be fast (MS Office, for example) and store data.
     
  2. aungoun

    aungoun Notebook Guru

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    I orderd m18x r2 with 256gb ssd option that use only one hdd bay in caddy, I guess one caddy has two bay.

    I have a some question with add second hdd.

    first question.
    Can I install this?
    This is 6.4cm(2.5inch)
    Seagate 750GB Momentus XT ST750LX003 (SATA3/7200/32M/for laptop)

    second.
    Following ordered hdd option that just one 256ssd installed(it using one bay)
    So, if I wish assemble a second hdd in caddy, number of screw is enough? or not?
    The one of hdd already installed bay in caddy that had screw(for screw up) but how about the other blank bay's screw is included? or not?

    Sorry for bad english, Please someone let me know.
     
  3. mpearson

    mpearson Notebook Geek

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    Hi all,

    It's finally time to take the plunge and upgrade the HDD's in my beast.

    At the moment I have 2 500Gb Hybrid Drives installed from manufacture.

    I want to replace the primary drive with a SSD and the secondary with at least a 2TB HDD.

    1) Which drives do you all recommend for the SSD and the HDD
    2) I have never opened my M18X before. How do I know which drive is the primary one?

    Cheers

    MP:)
     
  4. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Temporarily Unavailable Moderator

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    I recommend the Crucial M4 SSD. They're awesome drives, and so are the Samsung PM830. I don't think you can fit a 12.5mm HDD in the M18x drive caddy. The highest capacity 9.5mm HDDs that I am aware of are generally no more than 1TB. There is a 1TB Hitachi that is rated at SATA 3.0 6GB/s, but it is only 5400RPM. Be careful not to get a low power HDD, as they often sacrifice performance for the sake of "energy savings." :mad: Green is good for lawns, money and NVIDIA, but not much else, LOL.

    It does not really matter as far as functionality is concerned which port you use, but as a matter of principle and common sense, Port0 would be the primary and Port1 the secondary. You will find the side of the caddy has a "0" and a "1" stamped on it.

    Remove your battery. Remove the four screws in the battery opening. Slide the bottom cover off. It slides from front to rear. You will immediately see the HDD caddy.

    If you need any help getting things set up, the first page of the http://forum.notebookreview.com/ali...llation-questions-troubleshooting-thread.html invaluable.

    Two tips: (1) leave the BIOS set to RAID, not AHCI, even if you are not configuring the drives in RAID. (2) Do not clone your installation from HDD to SSD. You'll end up with an underperforming SSD if you do that.
     
  5. TheMatrixHacker

    TheMatrixHacker Notebook Evangelist

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    The Drive Caddy also has 0 and 1 written on it if I remember correctly. (Fox pointed out same thing above) Either way its an easy upgrade and congratulations! an SSD will rock your system! I also had a stock drive, and after installing the SSD I was very impressed! It also took my Windows Index Experience from 5.4/8.0 to 7.1/8.0 :)
     
  6. GaryO

    GaryO Notebook Geek

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    Just as a footnote to the great info already given I found this on my travels but its very expensive and 15mm high so not sure it will fit ?

    1TB Seagate ST91000640NS Constellation.2, 2.5" HDD, 15 mm, SATA III - 6Gb/s, 7200rpm, 64MB Cache, 8.5ms
     
  7. Tsunade_Hime

    Tsunade_Hime such bacon. wow Super Moderator

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    Depends on your budget, but I'd opt for the 830 series from Samsung over the M4 (well documented stuttering issues), but both are at amazingly low price points. You can also take a look at the PM810 (Samsung 470 series), it has a proven track record for reliability.
     
  8. steviejones133

    steviejones133 Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Only thing with the PM810 or 470 series is that it is Sata II and not Sata III. Still a good drive but just not AS good as the 830 series.

    Note to the OP:

    Following on from your other thread concerning respawning a factory image, as you will be going from x2 500gb drives in RAID to a single SSD & large storage drive, I am in doubt wether you will be able to restore your factory image to your new hardware configuration.

    Looks like clean install time......check your thread and I have posted some useful links there for you. You can always try a respawn as it wont hurt anything - I just think it's doubtful that it will work with such a hardware change from your image.....but you never know until you try - if it doesnt work, at least you can clean install by following the links on your other thread!
     
  9. Guswut

    Guswut Notebook Consultant

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    That drive will almost certainly not fit, nor will the laptop be able to supply the correct voltage to it. I'd love to be proven wrong on this, though, so feel free to go ahead with it, heh heh.
     
  10. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Temporarily Unavailable Moderator

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    I agree... too thick for the space allowed. Newegg.com - Seagate Constellation.2 ST91000640NS 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 2.5&#34; SATA 6.0Gb&#47;s Enterprise-class Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
     
  11. Joseph M.

    Joseph M. Newbie

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    Hey guys,

    I recently ordered my alienware m18x r2 laptop and I ordered it with a 228g ssd.

    I want to put another HDD in it so I can store pictures, music, and other things I don't use often on it.

    What all do I need to do to install a 500 or 750g HDD in the laptop? Is it as simple as just ordering it, unscrewing the back and placing it? Or do I need some sort of bay or something?

    Would it be better to take it somewhere and have DELL install it?

    Lastly, what HDD should I buy for it?

    Thanks for the help! :)
     
  12. Peter

    Peter Notebook Evangelist

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  13. Tsunade_Hime

    Tsunade_Hime such bacon. wow Super Moderator

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    A 750 GB or 500 GB Scorpio Black are good choices, I've had both for extended periods, both been working great.
     
  14. Joseph M.

    Joseph M. Newbie

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    Awesome. Looks good :D Thanks

    Sadly, now I noticed a distorted sound in the right speaker when something is playing. After testing the speakers, neither of them emit any sound. Looking for a fix.

    Suggestions?
     
  15. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Temporarily Unavailable Moderator

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    I'm also very happy with my Seagate Momentus 750GB HDD.
    Could be an audio codecs issue. Try uninstalling the audio drivers, reboot into safe mode, run CCleaner's registry tool, reboot in to Windows normally and then reinstall the audio drivers.

    Also, be sure "Speakers / Headphones" is set as the default device. Launch the Control Panel > Sound applet or right-click the system tray speaker icon and select "Playback devices" to get there faster. It should have a green check mark and say "Default Device" (see image below).
    [IMAGE=350]http://i.imgur.com/P7CrE.jpg[/IMAGE]
     
  16. Alienware-L_Porras

    Alienware-L_Porras Company Representative

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    Hi Joseph, it is pretty simple to remove the hard drive on this Alienware machine, we have a complete Tear down guide on our website, here's the HDD part of it, How to remove the hard drives on the Alienware M18x R2 | Dell . When you need to disassemble something just type on the search bar at support.dell.com "how to remove m18x R2" and you will get all the links to the articles. I will recommend you a 750GB HDD, the seagate momentus is an amazing one as Mr. Fox and Peter mentioned, if you need any other technical information for upgrades on your machine please send us an e-mail to AWUpgrades@dell.com and we will answer all of them, also if you need technical assistance with the issue on your computer's speakers you can let us know by sending an e-mail to AWSocalMedia@dell.com including your service tag, phone number and a brief description of the issue. #IWork4AW
     
  17. Heihachi88

    Heihachi88 Notebook Deity

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    Nice guide, can you please tell - port0 to port2 is counting from up to down?
     
  18. Alienware-L_Porras

    Alienware-L_Porras Company Representative

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    Exactly, they are Port 0 on top then port one in the middle and port 2 at the bottom. #IWork4AW
     
  19. Heihachi88

    Heihachi88 Notebook Deity

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    Thanks, port0 and port1 is SATA III (6gb/s) and port2 is SATA II, right?
     
  20. Alienware-L_Porras

    Alienware-L_Porras Company Representative

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    That's right, an awesome machine by the way, you just got yourself our biggest, fastest and best machines. #IWork4AW
     

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