help with alienware 18


New Member
Aug 16, 2020
Leicester UK
Hi new to this found a Dell Alienware 18 in a skip as i have some knowledge of computers thought it would be worth seeing if it worked. bought a mains charger and plugged in. beep codes pointed to memory when stripped out keyboard found coffee stains on keyboard memory and wifi / bluetooth card.

put some memory in and it worked!!

replaced keyboard and decided to re load operating system as the original was locked out but cannot find any information on how to load windows again on the unit it has a 80gb board drive, a 256gb ssd drive and a 1tb sata hard drive.

it has raid?

all i want is info on how to put this back to original willing to pay but most computer shops near me know nothing much about raid i have read a bit about it but should it not have 2 identical drives,,

thought i would use for programming industrial PLC units but it just seems so complicated

i have now spent over £250 getting this up and running and think i am wasting my time any help or may just get rid of

thank you for listening


Mar 19, 2012
Adelaide, Australia
Nice find!
The 80gb drive should be an mSata and it was most likely originally used as a cache drive for the mechanical HDD. This means that the BIOS may still be set to RAID. To get the best performance it is better to install Windows onto the 256gb SSD and leave the other drives for storage. I'm not 100% sure if you can still use the mSata with the HDD as a cache when you have the primary drive on the larger SSD. In theory it should still work but I've never tried it.
To install Windows you need an 8gb USB drive. Use the Microsoft Media Creation Tool to install a Windows 10 image onto the flash drive. Stick the USB into the laptop and start her up. Spam F12 while booting to get into the Boot Menu. Select the USB and the Windows Installation will start. You will then get to a point where you select the drive to install Windows on. If you want to use the 256gb drive then find this one in the list. The drives are listed as Drive 0, Drive 1, etc... The drives may be split up into partitions, for example Drive 0 Partition 1, Drive 0 Partition 2, etc. What I do is I find the drive I want to use and Delete each partition until there are none left. You will be left with Drive 0 Unallocated. Then click New and the Next. Windows will now be installed on this Drive.
If you want to set up the mSata as a cache drive with the HDD then you need to go to Intel and install the Intel RST driver and software that allows drive acceleration. One of the drivers in the link below will do this. You may have to try different ones until it gives you the enable acceleration option when you open up the program.
The BIOS has to be in RAID to set this up.