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Intel SSD 530 not recognized by BIOS, Dell XPS 1645

I too am having problems with a 480Gb 530 SSD not being recognized by a BIOS.

Computer: Dell Studio XPS 1645 Laptop, Bios Version A13 (latest), 8Gb ram

Intel 530 480Gb SSD Firmware: DC33

I am trying to replace a 240Gb 520 series SSD for more space. The 240Gb SSD works fine on the internal connection (after repeatedly exchanging it with the 530 series 480Gb drive in the same position).

The odd thing is that the 480Gb drive can be accessed (both by the BIOS and by an OS) when placed in an external eSATA enclosure and connected to the laptop through it's eSATA port (which is internally driven by the same Intel-based SATA controller on the motherboard.) I was able to clone the 240Gb drive to the 480Gb drive in that configuration.

The Dell 1645 had a 500Gb HDD as an option so the problem should not be one of capacity incompatibility with the BIOS.

When connected through the eSATA port the 480Gb drive passes both the short and long tests in the Intel SSD toolkit utility. There are no errors in the SMART data.

There are no other devices (display, USB, etc) connected to the laptop. The 480Gb drive is inaccessible both on cold boot nor after a soft reset.

Any other suggestions before I return the drive for a refund? The laptop is discontinued so it is highly unlikely Dell will be coming out with any further BIOS updates.



I remembered the external drive box (Addonics "Ruby") had fingers for a standard SATA connection. So I tried connecting the 480Gb drive, while it was mounted in the external enclosure to the internal drive connector. The BIOS was able to see the drive!

So now I'm wondering if there is the possibility of an impedance mismatch that would cause a short SATA connector+cable distance to the controller to cause serious enough errors that the drive is useless. Adding another 2 inches of cable distance (roughly the length of the PC board traces in the external drive SATA fingers to the connection point to the drive) might be enough to smooth out the mismatch so the signal integrity is tolerable to the drive/controller PHYs.

Is there any diagnostic information recorded in the drive regarding connection error rate from the SATA PHY? Can it be retrieved with something like the SSD toolkit?

I have another internal SATA connector on order from a supplier on eBay to rule out that the connector is bad (which I think unlikely since it works with the 520 series 240Gb drive flawlessly, and the drives are mounted in exactly the same position).

Comments from our Intel experts?

Edited with new information about making the drive work on the internal connection.

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I'm having the same issue so I just want to see if there is any update on this.

My hardware setup:

Intel Core i7-4770K

Asus Z87-PRO

Intel 530 240GB SSD

EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB

Got two new Dell U2414U (DP & HDMI) monitors with my original Dell 3008WFP (DVI) monitor. I start experiencing the cold boot issue and found out about this thread. When I remove DP connection from one of my monitor, then it will boot up properly (BIOS can find the 530 drive). It's a hassle to turn off the power of the monitor connecting with Displayport though. Help please!