Dell XPS- 8500 - Adding second drive

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Dell XPS- 8500 - Adding second drive

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I bought a second hard drive which I was about to install to night  -  only to find THREE surprises in the first10 seconds !!!

 a) the cheap <Amin Note: Post Edited per TOU policy> at Dell did not provide a spare SATA cable ( I will get one tomorrow),

b) there is no longer a simple slide in arraignment ( hard drive on rails) ...but rather its like to was 10 years ago where you need to remove the entire cage.   <Amin Note: Post Edited per TOU policy>, but ok.. swill take much time now.

c) there are 4 connectors : two are currently in use:

- top left - blue - sata 0 - hard drive
- bottom left -orangey -  sata 1  - DVD
- both are described as SATA 3.0 in the manual

 The two spares are described as SATA 2.0

 QUESTIONS

 1) They all look like the same connectors in the manual  I assume there are, so any SATA cable should be fine - correct?

2) should I simply connect the back up drive to either of the spare SATA 2.0 ports... or should I rearrange things and put the DVD on the SATA2.0 and put the backup drive on a SATA 3.0 port?

 

 

 

All Replies
  • Sheldon G

    You will need to buy a SATA date cable, there should be a spare SATA power connector attached to the wiring harness, inside the case for an additional hard drive.

    The XPS 8500 motherboard has four SATA connectors for four SATA drives.

    The XPS 8500 supports 4 X SATA internal devices, usually 2 x 3.5" SATA hard drives and 2 x 5.25" optical drives.

    You will also, need 4 x 6-32X1/4, phillips head screws to attach the hard drive to the hard drive cage.

    More details in PDF form, for installing a XPS 8500 secondary internal SATA hard drive, are here:

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/xps8500/en/om/om_en.pdf

    You should bw able to connect the second HD's SATA data cable to an open SATA connector on the motherboard.

     If the drive is recognized in the setup, for Windows to recognize the second hard drive, it must be patitioned, formatted and assigned a drive letter, using Windows 7 Disk Management.

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Create-and-format-a-hard-disk-partition

    Bev.



     

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  • Thanks.. 1) I assume there is a removable cage. Do I have to remove the cage to add the second drive? I assume yes, as I would only have access to two screws if leave the cage in. 2) I gather the SATA2.0 vs SATA3.0 differences are not a performance concern???
  • Sheldon G

    1) Yes, you need to remove the cage, I've alrady posted a link with the procedure for this.

    2) That is correct, SATA 3.0 is backwards compatible.

    Bev.

     

     

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  • It's a weird design. Looks like four screws secure the primary drive (unrelated to a cage), and three other screws hold the cage for the second drive. So I'll try the empty cage removal first. As to that Sata ports, yes I know they are compatible and will work ; it's just that I preferred not to connect a Sata 3 drive to a Sata 2 port. If I use the spares as is, i will have: First Sata 3 port = main drive ; Second Sata 3 port = DVD; First Sata 2 port = backup drive; Second Sata 2 port = empty. What might be better is : First Sata 3 port = main drive; Second Sata 3 port =backup drive; First Sata 2 port = DVD; Second Sata 2 port = empty.
  • ok done.

    Definitely non standard. Normally its either slide-in the drives,  or remove a cage with contains the drives. On this unit, its netiher. One drive is affixed to the chassis ( 4 srewes), that the other needs to go in a cage that wraps around the first drive. The second drive is affixed to the cage with 4 screws, and the cage is affixed to the chassis with 3 screws.

    So to add a second drive on the 8500, the actual sequnece (not well stated in the manual) is this:

    1) purchase a sata 2 or 3 cable. Purchase or prepare 4 hard-drive screws. Set these supplies aside.

    2) temporarily remove the existing sata and power cable from the primary drive ( as they block the cage)

    3) remove the three cage screws and remove the wrap-around cage

    4) affix the second drive, with four screws,  to the back of the cage - same orientation as the primary drive.

    5) carefully place the cage back in the chassis, wrapping around the primary drive. Affix with three screws

    6) connect the new sata cable to the motherboard one of the spares) and to the second hard drive

    7) connect the existing spare power cable to the second hard drive

    8) reconnect the sata and power cables to the primary drive.

     

     

     

  • Sheldon G,

    Yep, that sounds about right.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell