Dell XPS: How to enable Intel's RST CTRL+I option when booting?

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by chuck1000, May 8, 2015.

  1. chuck1000

    May 8, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I have a Dell XPS L521X notebook. It came with a 64GB mSata drive and a 1TB mechanical drive. There was a CTRL+I option to get into the Intel RST Legacy Option ROM. The drives were configured for RAID and the 64GB mSata drive was being used as the cache drive.

    The 1TB drive failed so I had to replace it. In the CTRL+I config menu, there was an error about mismatched cache so I deleted the RAID set, thinking that I would be able to re-enable it afterwards. I rebooted and have not seen the CTRL+I option since!

    I installed a fresh copy of Windows and am able to setup the mSata drive as an RST cache drive, by setting the SATA mode in the BIOS to "Intel Smart Response Technology".

    This method for enabling the Intel RST acceleration only allows you to use a max of 32GB on the cache drive. I want to go back to the original Dell RAID config that used the entire 64GB mSata drive. It also seems that this method uses software RAID (RST drivers) and the original used hardware RAID.

    Things to note...
    - under the original Dell config, the mSata drive did not show up in the Device Manager (as expected with hardware RAID)
    - under the new config, the mSata drive does show up in the Device Manager

    Things I've tried...
    - booting with blank, unpartitioned drives
    - removing the battery, and the CMOS battery (to completely clear the BIOS settings)
    - various partitioning schemes as noted in several forums (like creating a small, OEM partition on the mSata drive)
    - booting in "AHCI" and "ATA" sata mode then back into "Intel Smart Response Technology" mode
    - flashing the BIOS with the latest version, flashing with the oldest version (that I could find)
    - booting without the mSata drive, then with it connected again

    There doesn't seem to be any way to trigger the Intel Option ROM to start showing the CTRL+I option again so I can reconfigure the hardware RAID setup.

    Any ideas on how to re-enable the CTRL+I option or to recreate the original RAID info on the mSata drive?

  2. Davros


    Jun 7, 2004
    Likes Received:
    #2 Davros, May 9, 2015
    Last edited: May 9, 2015

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