How to disable RAID-0 on Dell XPS Studio 435MT Desktop Computer with Windows Vista

In this blog, I’d like to share my experience on how to disable/remove RAID-0 on Dell XPS Studio 435MT desktop computer with Windows Vista installed. The computer has dual 300 GB hard drives with RAID-0. For RAID-0, although there are two hard drives, 300 GB each, only one drive will be shown on My Computer. Therefore, in this case, we will see only a C: drive with 600 GB. However, I want to have two independent drives with 300 GB each. To achieve it, I need to disable/remove RAID-0 setting.

*************Be aware that all data will be lost including the operating system after removing RAID-0 setting.****************

There are two main steps.

  • Reset disks to Non-RAID via RAID Bios.
  • Change SATA mode from RAID to ATA through the normal Bios.

Reset disks to Non-RAID via RAID Bios

  1. Restart the system.
  2. After the DELL logo, I pressed <Ctrl><i> to enter the RAID Bios.
  3. In the RAID Bios, there are five options to choose: (i) Create RAID Volume, (ii) Delete RAID Volume, (iii) Reset disks to Non-RAID, (iv) ….don’t remember… and (v) Exit.
  4. Since I wanted to reset disks to Non-RAID, instead of deleting RAID Volume, I selected the 3rd option.
  5. In the “Reset disks to Non-RAID”, I saw two drives. I selected each drive using a space bar,  reset it to Non-RAID, and then press <Enter>.
  6. After resetting both drives to Non-RAID, I pressed <ESC> to exit.

Turn off RAID mode in SATA through the normal Bios.

  1. Restart the system.
  2. I pressed <F2> to enter the Bios setup after the DELL log shew up.
  3. I selected the “Advanced chipset features” in the Bios setup.
  4. Then, in the SATA option, I changed mode of the SATA from [RAID] to [ATA].
  5. Then, I pressed <F10> to save, and then exited the Bios.

After restarting the system again, I saw two independent drives with 300 GB each. So, the mission accomplished.

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3 Responses to How to disable RAID-0 on Dell XPS Studio 435MT Desktop Computer with Windows Vista

  1. Larry Miller says:

    RAID 0 on a desktop is often overrated. Although the numbers on some benchmarks can be quite impressive, this often does not transfer to real-world performance. RAID 0 is good for sequential access to large files, but that just doesn’t occur very often with typical desktop use.

    RAID 0 does not do well in terms of reliability. If one drive fails you lose all data. A replace ment drive should have identical size and characteristics and that may not be difficult. If RAID is implemeted in the motherboard and it fails, you may lose all data.

    Two seperate drives, if used properly, will usually provide performance almost equal to RAID 0. Reliability will be better and recovery in case of failure will also be much easier.

    Larry Miller
    Microsoft MCSA

  2. Griff Lewis says:

    Ok so that’s the easy bit covered, but how do you restore your OS and drivers to the new SATA 0 drive.

    Can you use the Dell rescue disk or do you have to slog it through bit by bit.



  3. Steffen says:

    Attention please!
    With BIOS Versions greater than 1.0.8 the system will not boot anymore. Neither from DVD nor USB. The BIOS will stuck on “No Diagnostic Utility Partition Identified; press any key to reboot” message.
    The solution is to detach all HD drives physically. Then you can boot from DVD (e.g. Bart PE) and downgrade the BIOS.

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