1. Joined : Jun 2016
    Posts : 19
    Windows 10
       19 Oct 2016 #1

    Lenovo X250 - Messed up windows installation onto M2 Cache Drive


    So I was doing a clean install of Windows on my Lenovo x250. It has a 16gb SSD M.2 "Cache" drive and a standard 500gb main drive.

    Unfortunately I selected the M2 drive as the installation path and formatted the other drive. So I have Windows on the smaller SSD which is now the "C" drive.

    What I'd like to do is make the larger drive the C drive, install windows on that drive, and then use the smaller SSD as the cache drive like before.

    I have tried diskpart and the Admin tools in the Control panel to attempt to change the drive letter on the C: drive, but it keeps giving me an error ("The Parameter is incorrect"), regardless of what drive letter I try.

    I'm wondering if I simply can't change the C: drive this way, and what other options I have?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : Jun 2016
    Posts : 19
    Windows 10
       20 Oct 2016 #2

    Okay, so have tried multiple things to no avail. Looks like the issue is that there are two drives on the system and the Windows installer just doesn't like this. Resolution is typically to remove all other drives other than the one you want to install on. However, in this case the SSD M2 drive removal would require me literally taking apart the system, and for some unknown reason there is no ability to disable the drive in the BIOS (thanks for that Lenovo!).

    Any other options anyone can think of?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Joined : Jun 2016
    Posts : 19
    Windows 10
       20 Oct 2016 #3

    Some of things I tried:

    Converting the disk to GPT (ended up with the "can't install due to GPT partition style" error).
    Using Diskpart to Clean the disk.
    Trying to Clean the disk then format as NTFS, setting it as Active, etc.

    The only way I can install Windows on it is to first install it on the M2 drive, and then install again on the other drive. However, I end up with two installations of Windows with a dual boot. Then I end up with the M2 drive being the C: drive and no ability to change this or format that drive (if I do the machine won't boot off the second drive, likely because it wasn't the primary C drive).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 6,423
    Windows 10 Pro
       20 Oct 2016 #4

    First make sure the boot order set in UEFI is the 500 GB hard drive first.

    Then boot from a Windows 10 Installation USB flash drive or DVD. Select the custom install option. Delete all partitions listed on both drives. This will erase EVERYTHING. Then pick the unallocated space on the 500 GB hard drive to install to and just click next.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5.    20 Oct 2016 #5

    PBC: NavyLCDR is right on the money as usual. Once you get the OS set up on the big drive, you can then dig into what's called Intel Rapid Storage Technology/Smart Response Technology to use your smaller SSD as a cache for the bigger spinning disk. However, you should also be aware that if you're willing to root around the guts of your laptop (I've done it with mSATA on two Lenovos myself: an X220 Tablet and a T520 notebook) you can install a larger M.2 SATA SSD and use it as your primary drive instead. There are plenty of guides around online that show you exactly how to do this (video and/or photo based) that are fairly easy to follow and implement.
    The Smart Response Stuff is further documented on its own web page and in this how-to guide. You'll need those links: I've used it myself, on older systems, and it still works OK.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Joined : Jun 2016
    Posts : 19
    Windows 10
       20 Oct 2016 #6

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    First make sure the boot order set in UEFI is the 500 GB hard drive first.

    Then boot from a Windows 10 Installation USB flash drive or DVD. Select the custom install option. Delete all partitions listed on both drives. This will erase EVERYTHING. Then pick the unallocated space on the 500 GB hard drive to install to and just click next.
    Tried this, but still couldn't install. Can't recall if I was getting the 0x80300024 error or the "can't install on GBT" issue at this point since I've tried several things.

    Going through this tutorial now to give it a go..

    UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 8 with

    The laptop has a native Windows 8.1 installed which I have to upgrade to Windows 10 after the fact. Hopefully using a UEFI bootable USB Windows drive does the trick.

    As for replacing the M2 and using it as the primary, I may ultimately go that route in the future. Wasn't sure how much advantage there was running a cache drive..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Joined : Jun 2016
    Posts : 19
    Windows 10
       20 Oct 2016 #7

    Looks like the above link is doing the trick as the installation has actually commenced. Ed, tanks for the rapidcache link. However, in the x250 bios, I don't recall seeing any options for this:


    1. When starting the computer, press the F2 key to enter the BIOS setup menu.
    2. Go to Configuration SATA Drives.
    3. Select the setting for Chipset SATA Mode and change the value to RAID.
    4. Press the F10 key to save settings and restart the system.


    For some reason the bios has no SATA or drive options anywhere in it from what I recall but will have a look again once it's done.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8.    20 Oct 2016 #8

    It's not always going to work on every system. If you can't use Smart Response, please think about getting a 128 GB or larger M.2 driver. I think yours is a small package -- 42mm -- so I think you're still limited to a maximum of 256 GB for that form factor. But that's plenty big enough for a boot/system drive for your Lenovo and will be a LOT faster than the conventional spinning disk you're currently using.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  9. Joined : Jun 2016
    Posts : 19
    Windows 10
       20 Oct 2016 #9

    Thanks, maybe I'll pick up a 2242 M.2 drive. I think the x250 actually has 2 slots for 2 M.2's if desired. Would it be okay to use 1 of them as the main OS drive and keep the 16gb one as a cache drive?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10.    20 Oct 2016 #10

    Sure thing: as long as you can "see" both devices in BIOS, you can use them however you like. BUT if you're booting from the SSD, you can't use a second SSD as a cache for that drive. The only reason you do it with a conventional HDD is for the speed boost it confers. IF you have an SSD boot drive, there's no need for an SSD cache. My advice? Don't bother with a cache: you can use the 16 GB for a regular drive, and move your documents, pictures, and so forth over there to free up space on the primary SSD. If it were me, I'd buy TWO 256 GB SSDs and use one for system/boot, the other for data.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 


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