Have just added SSD drive to as boot driver on an Alienware X51, how do I properly configure a secondary hard drive (HDD)?

To briefly explain what I've done, I have added a brand new Samsung EVO 250GB SSD to my Dell Alienware X51 R1 (which only supports up to Sata2 rather than Sata3 which is what the drive is, but I have still noticed a huge increase in speed in terms of quicker boot time and much snappier in general). Anyway, I obviously had to do a clean install of Windows 7-64 bit on the new SSD, and kept my original 1TB HDD unplugged during the process of installing windows on the SSD as recommended by others. I've now come to the point of installing drivers, etc on the SSD, and the HDD is now reconnected. So if I want to use the SSD as the boot drive with the OS on, and with some of my most used programs and games, and then the original HDD (which I have still yet to format so has Windows 7-64 bit on it plus a load of programs, games, other docs on it) is intended for use as secondary drive which contains a load of other programs and games, as well as photos, videos, etc..... Then how do I properly configure all of this? I intend on this 1TB HDD being formatted so has to wipe everything on it (have backed up all of my useful docs which I intend on later putting back on there)?
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  1. If this is of any use in addition to the above info I gave, I am pretty certain RAID isn't supported on my system having researched it and spoken to the guys at Dell.
  2. I don't know if you're still around, I see the last time you posted on the site was october. Hopefully you'll get an email regarding a response to this old thread, or possibly check on it soon....

    RAID is designed to combine multiple physical drives into one logical drive... Which means that you have two disks that Windows reads as C:/ combined. It sounds to me like that isn't what you want to do here, and I definitely wouldn't try running a HDD and a SSD in RAID together anyway. It sounds like you want to run SSD as C:/ and the HDD as D:/ (or E or F or w/e, if you have other drives installed.) This is actually very simple to do. There should be a jumper on the back side of the HDD that will allow you to select one of several modes. Master, Slave and Cable Select (There are additional modes, most drives have 8 pins that allow you to use a combination of two or more jumpers to select a "custom" mode, but 95% of the time the 3 main modes are all that is needed.) If you are not going to boot from this drive and intend on using it as a secondary storage drive, putting the jumper on slave will be sufficient. The back of the drive should be marked to show where to put the jumper to attain this. After you complete this, it's time to plug it in.

    The best port configuration for SATA and IDE is generally to put your boot drive on IDE0 or SATA0, which will be marked on the MOBO. Any other drives follow afterwards, storage before reader devices, such as CD or DVD ROM drives. I.E Boot drive is SATA0, Storage drive is SATA1 and DVD drive is SATA2. After you have installed the proper cables into the proper ports, go into BIOS and ensure that all the drives are recognized, and in the order that you installed them in. BIOS should recognize which device is plugged into each port, showing that the boot drive is in SATA0 and the storage drive is in SATA1. Inside BIOS you should be able to edit the boot order, either allowing you to individually select the drive to boot from or select boot from internal storage/CD/USB etc. If you're able to select the individual drive, place your SSD in 1st place on the boot order, if not ensure that internal storage is selected as #1 on the boot order. By moving the jumper on the HDD to slave and plugging it into a port after the boot drive, BIOS will not attempt to boot from this drive unless there is no other bootable drive present, and even then it shouldn't be able to due to the slave setting.

    I hope that by now you've come to a solution yourself, but if not I hope that this answers your question, and any others who may come to view this question. If not feel free to elaborate as to what it is that you wish to achieve and I'll be sure to come back and attempt to assist further.
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