PXE-M0F error when installing hard drive in AW18

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by Ghost 350, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. Ghost 350

    Ghost 350 Notebook Consultant

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    So I have an Alienware 18 and wanted to do a hard drive upgrade. I wanna remove the 1tb mechanical drive it came with and change it out to a SSD. But when I did that, I got a PXE-M0F cable connection error message and wouldn't boot into Windows. Under the BIOS, it detects the new hard drive installed however. Under the Boot Settings menu I ran diagnostics and everything came back green. But after I installed the mechanical hard drive back, everything boots up fine. Any help here would be appreciated. Specs are in signature. Using BIOS A14. I have Windows installed on the mSATA SSD and not the HDD I am trying to replace. I used Macrium Reflect free edition cloned the HDD to the SSD thinking it had a boot partition and I swapped them back and got a PXE-MOF no boot device found/check cable connection. When I go into the BIOS, it detects the ssd just fine. But again when I put the mechanical drive in, the system boots. In the BIOS it's set up as RAID even though my primary boot drive (256gb mSATA with Windows on it doesn't match the 1tb HDD). I tried switching it ACHI and got a blue screen with the error Windows failed to start and it tries to do a system restore. But when I put it back in RAID, it boots up fine again. Any help?
     
  2. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    Personally I would Clean install Windows on the new SSD. I hate the idea of cloning drives.
    If the BIOS detects the drive then there shouldn't be any reason you can't install Windows on it and it will be fresh and zippy. Windows 10 auto installs just about every driver you need so it's not as tedious as Windows 7 used to be. If all your data/games are on a single HDD then you should be able to keep everything without deleting anything but you can always move everything over to an external drive just to be safe.
     
  3. Ghost 350

    Ghost 350 Notebook Consultant

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    I am not looking to install Windows on the SSD though. All I am trying to do is replace the 1tb HDD with a 2tb SSD. I have Windows installed on the 256gb mSATA drive already. The only reason why I cloned the HDD was because I thought it had a boot partition on it and the BIOS wasn't detecting it with the HDD removed. So I cloned it to the SSD and tried to boot it up with only the mSATA and the SSD in the machine and it didn't work. Got an error message. But when I put the HDD back in the laptop, it boots up just fine.
     
  4. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    Ok that's weird then. It shouldn't affect your boot at all.
    Is the mSata listed as a separate device in File Explorer? The only thing I can think of is that the mSata is set up as a cache drive and linked to the HDD. This would explain the RAID setup and that it doesn't boot without the HDD. Can you post a screenshot your 'This PC' page?
     
  5. Ghost 350

    Ghost 350 Notebook Consultant

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    Capture2.JPG

    Here you go. Ignore the drives F and H as those are external drives.
     

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  6. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    Very strange indeed. Have you tried to boot with only the mSata installed and not the HDD or SSD?
     
  7. Ghost 350

    Ghost 350 Notebook Consultant

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    I'll give it a try and let you know. Thanks.
     
  8. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    If it still doesn't boot just have a look through your HDD files and see if there are any Windows folders, check you mSata too. If there are folders in both then you have possibly set up your mSata and HDD in RAID 0 together.
     
  9. Ghost 350

    Ghost 350 Notebook Consultant

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    I haven't tried it yet since I have some work to do but my mSATA drive has my Windows folder with system32, program files, user, appdata, program data and all that on it for sure. My HDD is just used for media. Not a single Windows folder in it as far as I can tell. Even checked shown hidden folders in explorer and there aren't any hidden Windows files. However there is this thing when I open up Disk Managment it shows the HDD as Disk 0 having 100mb of system reserved with stating Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition) and the remaining 931gb showing as media saying Healthy (Primary Partition). Underneath that it shows my mSATA as Disk 2 showing C: Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition). Disk 1 is an empty slot as of now.
     
  10. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    It all sounds pretty normal then. It really shouldn't make any difference if you try to boot with the SSD installed. If it doesn't boot with the HDD or SSD installed then I can only assume it's the way the drives have been set up.
    I don't like suggesting to people to mess with their BIOS settings but I would try booting with just the mSata installed and then jumping into the BIOS or the Boot Menu (F12) and see if the mSata is listed on its own as a boot option. If it is then I would select it and see what happens.
     
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