Solved Dell Latitude. Can't Clean-Install because of "AHCI" and "RAID" complications.


I once had the issue with installing when there were 2 HDDs connected to the motherboard. The BIOS had a setting for AHCI/RAID [couldn't choose between them] and Windows automatically chose RAID, removal of the "second" drive broke the boot process. To this day I will not install the OS with 2 or more drives connected, can always do that after things are working. My use of RAID 1 is a NAS drive on my LAN.

EDIT: thinking further I forgot to mention it wasn't an OEM computer with my issue but a Gigabyte motherboard with AMD Athlon CPU in a custom build.
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro RTM
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3400
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 11th Gen. 2.40GHz
    Memory
    12GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 10th Gen. 2.90GHz
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
    Monitor(s) Displays
    24" Dell
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD NVMe, 2TB WDC HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender/Microsoft Security
NO, please 😂

Take a step back and stop fighting me. 😄

DO you start the setup process from the Windows desktop?
Sorry, I wasn't being sarcastic then. I have actually got those pictures now and I will just format them and put them in a reply now...
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude 7430
OK cool. Was just worried about embeded versions in your firmware but ignore that.

William… 3 observations though
1. It might be best if you pick a forum. Coross posting isn’t really helpful to you or us. It just complicates matters (obviously)
2. If you’re booting to your USB properly, you shouldn’t need to be having any of these issues. Go to your BIOS and setup the boot sequence to boot from the UEFI USB you created
3. Please listen to SlicEnDicE 🙏
We might have got what the issue is...

I'll continue to use as many fori as possible to cast for the broadest scope of help possible. Sorry if that's inconvenient for you, but getting computer-help on the internet is already as taxing as finding water in the desert without reducing my options even further.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude 7430
We might have got what the issue is...

I'll continue to use as many fori as possible to cast for the broadest scope of help possible. Sorry if that's inconvenient for you, but getting computer-help on the internet is already as taxing as finding water in the desert without reducing my options even further.
Good luck with it then.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 Build: 22631.3593
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Sin-built
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (4th Gen?)
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula
    Memory
    32.0 GB of I forget and the box is in storage.
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6GB
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
    Screen Resolution
    All over the place
    Hard Drives
    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
    PSU
    Silverstone 1500
    Case
    NZXT Phantom 820 Full-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Elite Class Dual Tower CPU Cooler / 6 x EziDIY 120mm / 2 x Corsair 140mm somethings / 1 x 140mm Thermaltake something / 2 x 200mm Corsair.
    Keyboard
    Corsair K95 / Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech G402 / G502 / Mx Masters / MX Air Cordless
    Internet Speed
    100/40Mbps
    Browser
    All sorts
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Premium
    Other Info
    I’m on a horse.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    LENOVO Yoga 7i EVO OLED 14" Touchscreen i5 12 Core 16GB/512GB
    CPU
    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
    Memory
    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
    Screen Resolution
    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    Hard Drives
    M.2 512GB
    Other Info
    …still on a horse.
The steps to CLEAN INSTALL your system:

1. Create an installation media using the Media Creation Tool (An USB thumbdrive)
2. Reboot
3. Enter BIOS and set your mode to ACHI if it is not that yet.
4. Boot and make sure your system is welcomed by the Windows Setup screen. If not, you have to manually select the boot device during boot. Select your USB stick here.
5. In setup, you want to install clean so you need to choose custom setup
6. When setup asks you for where to install Windows, you should see a bunch of partitions on the screen. If not then the setup media is missing a driver and can not find your drive. Then you need to grab that driver on another computer first onto another usb stick and install that driver on your laptop while in setup mode
7. Once you see the drive, delete ALL partitions from the drive you want to install to
8. Press continue and Windows will automatically create all required partitions for you
9. Then the setup will proceed copying some files, installing drivers and rebooting
10. At some point you should get into the Windows Welcome screen, read carefully what it asks for and make decisions accordingly.
11. VOILA! You are now logged in to Windows Desktop in a clean installed system.
Here is an imgur link for the screenshots of the process the Windows Media Creation Tool takes me through. I think maybe the problem is your step number 7, which I didn't do, not wanting to erase the Dell BIOS Recovery Tool installed there; but I think that gets re-installed whenever I get a BIOS-update anyway, so I don't actually need to worry about it. I guess I'll try re-installing a third time tomorrow then but including that step this time...
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude 7430
I guess I'll try re-installing a third time tomorrow then but including that step this time...
Good luck and please report back whatever the outcome.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 15 9510
    CPU
    11th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-11800H @ 2.30GHz (16 CPUs
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
    Hard Drives
    512GB Solid State Drive
    Browser
    Chrome
Given your experiences so far, MAKE A FULL SYSTEM BACKUP before you do something that is irreversible. If you wipe the OEM system recovery partition, you'll never get it back.

It is possible to roll out your own version that you can even update with time, but that is a complex and lengthy process. It's worth learning if you want that feature though. But the learning curve is very high.

If I were you, I'd recover the system to its original state, uninstall the bloat you don't want and then update to latest version of Windows, make a system backup of this barebones system and finally add software you want. This way you have a very stable system to revert to.

After this you can add all the software you want and if it doesn't work out you can revert to the latest working state of your computer. But if it works out well, do another full system backup. Then you can revert to this state in case something goes wrong in the future. The benefit is that you don't have to reinstall all the software you need, everytime something doesn't go as planned.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 build 10.0.22631.3296 (Release Channel) / Linux Mint 21.3 Cinnamon
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo A485
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 2700U Pro
    Motherboard
    Lenovo (WiFi/BT module upgraded to Intel Wireless-AC-9260)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    iGPU Vega 10
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" FHD (built-in) + 14" Lenovo Thinkvision M14t (touch+pen) + 32" Asus PB328
    Screen Resolution
    FHD + FHD + 1440p
    Hard Drives
    Intel 660p m.2 nVME PCIe3.0 x2 512GB
    PSU
    65W
    Keyboard
    Thinkpad / Logitech MX Keys
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Internet Speed
    600/300Mbit
    Browser
    Edge (Chromium)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    SecureBoot: Enabled
    TPM2.0: Enabled
    AMD-V: Enabled
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 build 10.0.22631.3296(Release Preview Channel)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    i7-7700k @4.8GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus PRIME Z270-A
    Memory
    32GB 2x16GB 2133MHz CL15
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA GTX1080Ti FTW 11GB
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    32" 10-bit Asus PB328Q
    Screen Resolution
    WQHD 2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    512GB ADATA SX8000NP NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x4
    PSU
    850W
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Keyboard
    Logitech MX Keys
    Internet Speed
    600/300Mbit
    Browser
    Edge (Cromium)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    AC WiFi Card
@SlicEnDicE Thanks. I was assured on anther forum that the BIOS Recovery Tool would re-install automatically whenever a new BIOS-update comes around. So I don't need to worry about that. I'm not aware that there's anything else on the computer could affect. I have my personal data all safe elsewhere, of course.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude 7430
@SlicEnDicE Thanks. I was assured on anther forum that the BIOS Recovery Tool would re-install automatically whenever a new BIOS-update comes around. So I don't need to worry about that. I'm not aware that there's anything else on the computer could affect. I have my personal data all safe elsewhere, of course.
Yes, Dell software will add the latest BIOS to the EFI partition, but you must ensure during your full Wipe of the drive that the EFI partition has enough free disk space. Windows created default may or may not be big enough. In either case, you can also put the latest file on a thumb drive and recover BIOS from there. The process is still the same as the BIOS recovery feature scans first all your USB storage, then the disk drive.

What you now have on your drive is the DELL OS recovery partition, which you have noticed is ran every time you have tried to clean install. If you wipe this partition, this recovery process will not work anymore.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 build 10.0.22631.3296 (Release Channel) / Linux Mint 21.3 Cinnamon
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo A485
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 2700U Pro
    Motherboard
    Lenovo (WiFi/BT module upgraded to Intel Wireless-AC-9260)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    iGPU Vega 10
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" FHD (built-in) + 14" Lenovo Thinkvision M14t (touch+pen) + 32" Asus PB328
    Screen Resolution
    FHD + FHD + 1440p
    Hard Drives
    Intel 660p m.2 nVME PCIe3.0 x2 512GB
    PSU
    65W
    Keyboard
    Thinkpad / Logitech MX Keys
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Internet Speed
    600/300Mbit
    Browser
    Edge (Chromium)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    SecureBoot: Enabled
    TPM2.0: Enabled
    AMD-V: Enabled
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 build 10.0.22631.3296(Release Preview Channel)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    i7-7700k @4.8GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus PRIME Z270-A
    Memory
    32GB 2x16GB 2133MHz CL15
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA GTX1080Ti FTW 11GB
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    32" 10-bit Asus PB328Q
    Screen Resolution
    WQHD 2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    512GB ADATA SX8000NP NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x4
    PSU
    850W
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Keyboard
    Logitech MX Keys
    Internet Speed
    600/300Mbit
    Browser
    Edge (Cromium)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    AC WiFi Card

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 15 9510
    CPU
    11th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-11800H @ 2.30GHz (16 CPUs
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
    Hard Drives
    512GB Solid State Drive
    Browser
    Chrome
The OP{ keeps noting that in AHCI mode, it is supposedly not possible to perform a clean install. However, unless I have missed it, it has never been said exactly what happens when trying to perform a clean install in AHCI mode. I would like to know what it is that happens.

The assertion that it is not possible to perform a clean install in AHCI is nonsense (just to eliminate that idea completely).
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home Built
    CPU
    Intel i7-11700K
    Motherboard
    ASUS Prime Z590-A
    Memory
    128GB Crucial Ballistix 3200MHz DRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    No GPU - CPU graphics only (for now)
    Sound Card
    Realtek (on motherboard)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP Envy 32
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1 x 1TB NVMe Gen 4 x 4 SSD
    1 x 2TB NVMe Gen 3 x 4 SSD
    2 x 512GB 2.5" SSDs
    2 x 8TB HD
    PSU
    Corsair HX850i
    Case
    Corsair iCue 5000X RGB
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black cooler + 10 case fans
    Keyboard
    CODE backlit mechanical keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1 Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Additional options installed:
    WiFi 6E PCIe adapter
    ASUS ThunderboltEX 4 PCIe adapter
  • Operating System
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkBook 13x Gen 2
    CPU
    Intel i7-1255U
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC3306-CG codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3-inch IPS Display
    Screen Resolution
    WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
    Hard Drives
    2 TB 4 x 4 NVMe SSD
    PSU
    USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 Power / Charging
    Mouse
    Buttonless Glass Precision Touchpad
    Keyboard
    Backlit, spill resistant keyboard
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    WiFi 6e / Bluetooth 5.1 / Facial Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / ToF (Time of Flight) Human Presence Sensor
The OP{ keeps noting that in AHCI mode, it is supposedly not possible to perform a clean install. However, unless I have missed it, it has never been said exactly what happens when trying to perform a clean install in AHCI mode. I would like to know what it is that happens.

The assertion that it is not possible to perform a clean install in AHCI is nonsense (just to eliminate that idea completely).
Poor information gathered from some guy from the game of thrones on the Dell website. (As per the first post in this thread)
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 Build: 22631.3593
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Sin-built
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (4th Gen?)
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula
    Memory
    32.0 GB of I forget and the box is in storage.
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6GB
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
    Screen Resolution
    All over the place
    Hard Drives
    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
    PSU
    Silverstone 1500
    Case
    NZXT Phantom 820 Full-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Elite Class Dual Tower CPU Cooler / 6 x EziDIY 120mm / 2 x Corsair 140mm somethings / 1 x 140mm Thermaltake something / 2 x 200mm Corsair.
    Keyboard
    Corsair K95 / Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech G402 / G502 / Mx Masters / MX Air Cordless
    Internet Speed
    100/40Mbps
    Browser
    All sorts
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Premium
    Other Info
    I’m on a horse.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    LENOVO Yoga 7i EVO OLED 14" Touchscreen i5 12 Core 16GB/512GB
    CPU
    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
    Memory
    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
    Screen Resolution
    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    Hard Drives
    M.2 512GB
    Other Info
    …still on a horse.
Yes, Dell software will add the latest BIOS to the EFI partition, but you must ensure during your full Wipe of the drive that the EFI partition has enough free disk space. Windows created default may or may not be big enough. In either case, you can also put the latest file on a thumb drive and recover BIOS from there. The process is still the same as the BIOS recovery feature scans first all your USB storage, then the disk drive.

What you now have on your drive is the DELL OS recovery partition, which you have noticed is ran every time you have tried to clean install. If you wipe this partition, this recovery process will not work anymore.
Alright. Great. I'll probably just make a note now of how big those partitions are and then after the Clean-Install just make sure I leave enough space for them to automatically "Extend" or "Shrink" as soever they may need.

One other thing. I understand RAID a bit better now; it seems to only really pertain to computer-systems that utilise more than one internal Hard-Drive simultaneously. I'm almost certain mine only has a single internal Hard-Drive. Nonetheless, on this webpage, in the summary section where it gives bullet-points about whether to use AHCI or RAID it says "[...] if you have an Intel system, implement RAID for the system hard drive." I do have an Intel CPU. Could you possibly explain what they meant there? You can see that section of that webpage in the attached picture.

1.jpg
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude 7430
@SlicEnDicE Thanks. I was assured on anther forum that the BIOS Recovery Tool would re-install automatically whenever a new BIOS-update comes around. So I don't need to worry about that. I'm not aware that there's anything else on the computer could affect. I have my personal data all safe elsewhere, of course.
Edit: "I'm not aware that there's anything else important on the computer that could be affected by the Clean-Install."
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude 7430
Alright. Great. I'll probably just make a note now of how big those partitions are and then after the Clean-Install just make sure I leave enough space for them to automatically "Extend" or "Shrink" as soever they may need.

One other thing. I understand RAID a bit better now; it seems to only really pertain to computer-systems that utilise more than one internal Hard-Drive simultaneously. I'm almost certain mine only has a single internal Hard-Drive. Nonetheless, on this webpage, in the summary section where it gives bullet-points about whether to use AHCI or RAID it says "[...] if you have an Intel system, implement RAID for the system hard drive." I do have an Intel CPU. Could you possibly explain what they meant there? You can see that section of that webpage in the attached picture.

View attachment 90529
Yeah stop reading up on too much information on the internet...those bullet points are misleading.

If you have one disk drive in your system, use AHCI, but if you have two or more disk drives and want redundancy or faster speeds or even both at the same time using 2-3 or more disks, then use RAID.

Most users will use AHCI because RAID complicates a lot of things.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 build 10.0.22631.3296 (Release Channel) / Linux Mint 21.3 Cinnamon
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo A485
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 2700U Pro
    Motherboard
    Lenovo (WiFi/BT module upgraded to Intel Wireless-AC-9260)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    iGPU Vega 10
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" FHD (built-in) + 14" Lenovo Thinkvision M14t (touch+pen) + 32" Asus PB328
    Screen Resolution
    FHD + FHD + 1440p
    Hard Drives
    Intel 660p m.2 nVME PCIe3.0 x2 512GB
    PSU
    65W
    Keyboard
    Thinkpad / Logitech MX Keys
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Internet Speed
    600/300Mbit
    Browser
    Edge (Chromium)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    SecureBoot: Enabled
    TPM2.0: Enabled
    AMD-V: Enabled
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 build 10.0.22631.3296(Release Preview Channel)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    i7-7700k @4.8GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus PRIME Z270-A
    Memory
    32GB 2x16GB 2133MHz CL15
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA GTX1080Ti FTW 11GB
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    32" 10-bit Asus PB328Q
    Screen Resolution
    WQHD 2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    512GB ADATA SX8000NP NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x4
    PSU
    850W
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Keyboard
    Logitech MX Keys
    Internet Speed
    600/300Mbit
    Browser
    Edge (Cromium)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    AC WiFi Card
Alright. Great. I'll probably just make a note now of how big those partitions are and then after the Clean-Install just make sure I leave enough space for them to automatically "Extend" or "Shrink" as soever they may need.

One other thing. I understand RAID a bit better now; it seems to only really pertain to computer-systems that utilise more than one internal Hard-Drive simultaneously. I'm almost certain mine only has a single internal Hard-Drive. Nonetheless, on this webpage, in the summary section where it gives bullet-points about whether to use AHCI or RAID it says "[...] if you have an Intel system, implement RAID for the system hard drive." I do have an Intel CPU. Could you possibly explain what they meant there? You can see that section of that webpage in the attached picture.

View attachment 90529
I think your understanding of RAID is still lacking. It has nothing to do if using more than one drive but HOW you wish to use multiple drives. RAID is typically used in the Enterprise environments for data redundancy. Thus the link you posted is on a "Enterprise Storage Forum." Which tends to lean to Enterprise Storage solutions....RAID. For individual users on a single system setup like most users RAID is more or less an added bonus rarely needed.
And RAID has little to do with it being an Intel system. The issue on whether RAID is needed or not is dependent on other conditions. Specifically with Dell see this little nugget I posted elsewhere on the forum. Are IRST drivers really required?

Also if you go into your motherboard bios/UEFI and change the RAID option to AHCI and then attempt a Hardware Reset if will probably fail as the Hardware Reset will restore the OS load using defaults which is RAID On however since you disabled that in the Bios/UEFI the system will attempt to boot using the default RAID settings however the Bios in AHCI mode will cause confusion.

And FWIW using the term Hardware Reset is probably not the best term to use since basically this is in reality a software reset. The recovery will basically reinstall the OS as loaded when the user initially turned on the system. Someone above mentioned preserving this hidden partition on your drive. This will be a special Dell recovery partition that not only includes the Bios/UEFI update utility but also all the software required for a reinstallation of all default software. So larger than the normal Recovery Partition. As mentioned you may or may not wish to preserve that or simply wipe the whole drive for a clean install. All or most of the files needed for a reinstall are available via Dell Support pages.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 7/10/11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    I'm a computer enthusiast so have quite a few systems that I run. More like an advanced hobby.
I see now I've spelled wrong AHCI as ACHI almost in every post in this thread. Why didn't anyone point this out? 😂

Anyways, sorry for that. 😊
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 build 10.0.22631.3296 (Release Channel) / Linux Mint 21.3 Cinnamon
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo A485
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 2700U Pro
    Motherboard
    Lenovo (WiFi/BT module upgraded to Intel Wireless-AC-9260)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    iGPU Vega 10
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" FHD (built-in) + 14" Lenovo Thinkvision M14t (touch+pen) + 32" Asus PB328
    Screen Resolution
    FHD + FHD + 1440p
    Hard Drives
    Intel 660p m.2 nVME PCIe3.0 x2 512GB
    PSU
    65W
    Keyboard
    Thinkpad / Logitech MX Keys
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Internet Speed
    600/300Mbit
    Browser
    Edge (Chromium)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    SecureBoot: Enabled
    TPM2.0: Enabled
    AMD-V: Enabled
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 build 10.0.22631.3296(Release Preview Channel)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    i7-7700k @4.8GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus PRIME Z270-A
    Memory
    32GB 2x16GB 2133MHz CL15
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA GTX1080Ti FTW 11GB
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    32" 10-bit Asus PB328Q
    Screen Resolution
    WQHD 2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    512GB ADATA SX8000NP NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x4
    PSU
    850W
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Keyboard
    Logitech MX Keys
    Internet Speed
    600/300Mbit
    Browser
    Edge (Cromium)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    AC WiFi Card
In My Opinion:

Unless you have made an image of ALL partitions on your laptop, I would not fresh install Windows.
Unless since yesterday you all of a sudden became properly versed in what is involved, I would not fresh install Windows

There is a benefit to having the Recovery Partition, especially if you are a novice, which you are.
If you fresh install Windows that partition is gone. No going back, unless of course as mentioned above you imaged ALL partitions, and even then I am not so sure. I have known Recovery Partitions to not work on laptops after taking over the laptop with a fresh install of Windows, even with the image created. Don’t ask me why, I can not recall specifics.

A lot of SSD manufacturers recommend that AHCI mode can be used for SSD drives. But many paople believe that it has little impact on optimizing the performance of SSDs. There are people who believe AHCI shortens the lifespan of your drive. RAID is widely used for HDD and hybrid array data protection. But I personally don’t believe it matters which one you use, the only time it would matter, in my opinion, is if you have a plan to take advantage of RAID’s advantages.

If it is already set to RAID, just leave it, it really doesn’t matter, in my opinion.

I honestly believe you should just factory reset until you understand what you are doing a lot better than you currently do.
You seem confused, I think it’s because you are galavanting all over the internet picking up a non sequential guide to what it is you want to do.
TRUST the members in here, they are extremely good at what they do and with giving the advice you need.
WINDOWS is what they are good at. (hence the name of the Forums)

Factory reset then do an In-Place Upgrade to achieve the latest Windows 11 Pro 23H2 Build 22631.3235
You can easily remove Bloatware if you so chose to using REVO.

Something to make note of (I have done this before) This is a get out of jail free card.
If all fails
, you have lost the recovery partition, Windows install was a hack and didn’t work, you can (On another computer)

Download the Dell Operating System Recovery Image


This will create a USB with the Operating System you had when bought and should replace the Recovery Partition also.
 
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My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 Build: 22631.3593
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Sin-built
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (4th Gen?)
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula
    Memory
    32.0 GB of I forget and the box is in storage.
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6GB
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
    Screen Resolution
    All over the place
    Hard Drives
    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
    PSU
    Silverstone 1500
    Case
    NZXT Phantom 820 Full-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Elite Class Dual Tower CPU Cooler / 6 x EziDIY 120mm / 2 x Corsair 140mm somethings / 1 x 140mm Thermaltake something / 2 x 200mm Corsair.
    Keyboard
    Corsair K95 / Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech G402 / G502 / Mx Masters / MX Air Cordless
    Internet Speed
    100/40Mbps
    Browser
    All sorts
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Premium
    Other Info
    I’m on a horse.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    LENOVO Yoga 7i EVO OLED 14" Touchscreen i5 12 Core 16GB/512GB
    CPU
    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
    Memory
    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
    Screen Resolution
    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    Hard Drives
    M.2 512GB
    Other Info
    …still on a horse.

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