I just purchased a Dell XPS 8500 that comes with a 2TB mechanical HDD + 32GB SSD that is configured to use Intel's SRT.

I'm planning to dual boot Win7 and Ubuntu, but it seems like SRT drivers are not available in linux. So I'd like to disable SRT and use the 32GB SSD as a regular disk to have Ubuntu run on it (my priority is to optimize Ubuntu). Additionally I'd like to run Win7 on the 2TB HDD.

I've found plenty resources on how to enable SRT properly but haven't found a in-depth article on disabling it.

Is it as simple as turning the feature off in the SRT UI (in windows) and in the BIOS configuring your HDD to run in AHCI mode rather than SATA0?

Also, is it a good idea to dual boot on 2 separate drives as mentioned above (the 32GB SSD was included as a part of the XPS package so I'd like to use it)?

  • I don't think you can use the 32ssd as a bootable device or install an OS to it, if you find out different post it.
    – Moab
    Sep 18 '12 at 22:26
  • Why do you say that? Is there something special to the SSD that ships with SRT enabled? I can't find any literature on SSDs that come with pre built systems but it seems like SRT is mostly software based and works with any SSD.
    – fo_x86
    Sep 19 '12 at 2:27

In your BIOS you should be able to disable the intel SRT feature. Once you do this, use GParted, to format this drive ( I also had to create a partition table on the drive.) Go ahead and install windows and linux. grub did the rest for me automatically. But first do check that your BIOS can also find the SSD.

If your windows is still not installed then just dont install the driver for SRT. Otherwise I guess you'd have to disable it first. I deleted windows soon after buying the PC so I didn't have to do this.

In any, case I am currently back to the way the laptop was shipped (almost) and looking for ways of trying to cache with ubuntu. If its even possible!

PS: I was first just trying to install with dual boot. I saw that for the ubuntu installer to find the HDD I had to type in dmraid -E -r /dev/sdX with X being the drive. After I did this and rebooted I got a sscreen printing the HDD + SSD RAID(fakeraid) setup and asked to to press Ctrl + i to configure. I went here and this is where I was able to fully disable the SSD caching and use the drive for installing ubuntu.

  • See this link for the full and proper instructions. ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2060108
    – kapad
    Sep 19 '12 at 22:25
  • Thanks! I basically did what you suggested. 1. Disabled SRT in the UI 2. Set SATA mode to AHCI in the BIOS 3. Booted into Ubuntu live to execute dmraid -E -r /dev/sdb 4. Installed Ubuntu and GRUB on sdb 5. GRUB magically picked up my windows boot loader from sda. Do you know if it is necessary to also dmraid -E -r /dev/sda (the HDD that windows is in? will this screw up windows?)
    – fo_x86
    Sep 20 '12 at 13:03
  • Don't think so. dmraid is only for raid partitions. The partition for windows is /dev/sdaX which will be on your mechanical HDD, not the SSD.
    – kapad
    Sep 21 '12 at 13:10

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