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Samsung 850 EVO SSD

Posted on 2015-02-04
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hello! I just purchased a Samsung 850 EVO SSD and have been trying to PXE boot through my Windows Deployment Server to install Windows 7 Professional.  I have installed the SSD in my Dell T5600 Workstation and the drive itself is detected through BIOS. Raid controller is On and AHCI is set to ATA.

The boot image loads up fine, allows me to select which image I want to install, but when I get to the drive selection window, the SSD is not available as a selection. I wanted to see if anyone had seen this issue before and if they were aware of a possible solution. I'm thinking I need a specific set of drivers to inject but I'm not sure where I should be going for these. Thank you!
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Question by:municenterit
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by:Dirk Mare
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You mentioned that you enabled raid in the BIOS..

1. After doing this did you create a raid array.. Why did you enable RAID you did not metion you have more than one drive? Disable the RAID and try again.
2. If you are using RAID and you created the raid array in the raid BIOS.. Did you inject the raid controller drivers into the image or onto a flash drive.. To specify you are using a raid controller?

DirkMare
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by:rindi
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SSD's should always be installed in AHCI, and not IDE mode. Otherwise you loose a lot of the performance advantages an SSD gives you. RAID on the other hand shouldn't be enabled, unless the disk controller is very strange and has no options for other settings.

You need the controller's drivers for Windows to recognize the disk.
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municenterit earned 0 total points
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So I just disabled the Raid Controller, turned AHCI to ATA, used a new SATA cable and plugged it into the MOBO's SATA0 port after trying HDD0 and SATA1 port and it is now detecting properly.

I'm thinking that maybe there may have been an issue with the HDD0 port but I don't understand why BIOS was detecting it just fine yet the Windows Installer couldn't see it.

Thanks for the help guys. Have a good one!
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by:municenterit
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I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for municenterit's comment #a40589552
Assisted answer: 250 points for Dirk Mare's comment #a40589446
Assisted answer: 250 points for rindi's comment #a40589534

for the following reason:

The physical change over resolved the issue but I don't know if it was, indeed, the best/only solution to this issue. The advice from the experts on the RAID configuration and AHCI settings definitely provided some good insight and will help others with similar issues.  

Also, from what I've seen working with these Dell's, they often come with the RAID controller enabled. Even with models that only have a single HDD.
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by:rindi
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RAID and AHCI need the disk controller's drivers, as those aren't included in windows unless they are older controllers. You should still not use ATA or IDE mode, but rather AHCI SATA mode, or your SSD's won't perform as well as they should. You should be able to add the controller's drivers during the installation. It is very hard to add those drivers after the system was installed. So once you have installed using IDE mode you are stuck with that.
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by:Dirk Mare
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Please assign points as the correct info was provided..
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Author Closing Comment

by:municenterit
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My question may not have been directly related to PXE booting as much as it was with the way the Dell hardware handles its SATA controllers. In this one scenario, a physical swap of the SATA cables resolved the detection issue.

I did end up switching to AHCI and the HDD still detected correctly.
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