SSD accelerator cache device

Following my call to Dell regarding the error "Check media [Fail]", an engineer came over to replace the hard disk and install Windows as well as the typical drivers for Alienware. I was happy that the error was no longer there.

Later, however, I noticed that the laptop was running much slower than before. So, due to my previous research, I checked Intel RST (Rapid Storage Technology) window and lo behold it reported that the cache device, the SSD (solid state drive), was inaccessible. I did a reinstallation to factory setting but the problem still persisted. So I called Dell support again.

The technician didn't seem to understand what SSD was. I had to ask him to google "SSD accelerator". He guessed that physically disconnecting and reconnecting the SSD may solve the problem. He asked me whether I could do it and I said that I wouldn't want to do that because I'm IT illiterate. He then asked for some time to figure out how to help me and said that he would either call or e-mail me.

I was quite distressed by then. It was past midnight and so I stopped trying to troubleshoot (via research on the net) and slept.

Next day, I tried googling using different keywords and stumbled upon an explanation and solution. It seems that the SSD should be temporarily disconnected before Windows is installed. Regardless of whether this explanation applies to my case or not, the solution worked for me. I needed to get into the Configuration Utility (by firstly changing the boot type from UEFI to Legacy and then Ctrl-I) and choose Option 4 to change all disks to Non-RAID. Then I got into Intel RST window to choose acceleration again.

Thank goodness it worked! My laptop performance seems to have reverted to the quick performance it used to do. Although I suspect this configuration is suboptimal, I'm happy with it as I can't tell the difference if it does exist.

Although I'm disappointed in the competency of the engineer (but at least he did what he could and it appeared to solve the initial problem), I'm most unhappy with the technician who didn't call or e-mail me at all.

Hopefully this is my first and last bad experience with Dell. Hopefully my laptop will be problem-free from now on *cross fingers and toes*
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