I think that’s the problem…

Mate of mine and a neighbour is a ‘scrappy’. Unusually, he’s one of the rare polite ones. Noticed a skip outside someone’ house, knocked and asked if there was anything they wanted to chuck.

They gave him two suggered lappy’s. One had a knackered keyboard, a parallel port, Win XP, no power supply or wireless, but ethernet, but has USB, so I sorted, updated and cleaned that up easy enough.

The other is a Dell Inspiron 910. 1 gig mem, nice little Atom processor @1.6, 8 gig SSD, knackered power plug, no power supply (sigh). Keyboard fine, bios fine, memory great, screen hunky dory.

However, with a bit of wiggling of a power brick I have, and wrapping the wire around the darn thing, I got it to go. Except it won’t see the SSD. Bios see’s it fine.

I’ve been able to boot into Knoppix and Kubuntu live CD’s, via an external DVD drive, get wireless working, but they don’t see the SSD, neither does a Win XP disk in recovery console.

Fixing the power prob will prob take a couple of solder dabs.

This is my first experience of SSD’s. I know it looks stuffed, but I’d appreciate any advice. Oh, and as far as I can see, the Dell diagnostics are on a ‘partition’ on the SSD (hit zero on boot), but I just get a flashing cursor.


Back a step first, make sure the SSD is physically there and connected securely. Also wonder if it could it be a driver support issue as far as the OSes are concerned if its connected by any weird way?

Yeh, it’s there. I’m old enough to remember Speccy rampack wobble, so I took it out, cleaned the contacts with an eraser, and held it it in as far as I could while I put the retaining screws in.

No joy :slight_smile: Bios sees it, but it just says ‘no operating system available’ on boot.

So, thinks I, get the latest Kubuntu, (10.10) which includes Auto Netbook desktop detect. It doesn’t see the SSD device.

I have a spare 2 gig little chip, 1.83 formatted (FAT) and that was detected on the side slot, - but unfortunately Kbuntu 10.10 needs a minimum of 2.2 gig formatted . Sugar. Failed.

I’m trying to get this little monkey running - it was found free after all - but there’s the fun :slight_smile:

I’m a bit puzzled why the bios sees it but neither Kbunto nor Xp setup from a usb DVD drive doesn’t.

What connection method does the SSD use? I’m just thinking if it’s not SATA then would specific drivers be needed? At least for XP anyway… any disk config options in the bios? Just guessing here! Are there any linux distros which explicitly specify support for it?

Those Mini Pci SSD in the Dell’s are prone to going t!t$ up

Had to replace the one in my Dell Mini 9 (aka the 910).

50mm mPCI-e SSD

Replace mine with…

Made a massive difference over the orginal using STD WinXp

Digging around the web, I think your right PMM.

Unfortunately, technically, the Mini 9 isn’t mine, it belongs to my ‘scrappy’ mate. Who was given it for a frebbie. He knows sugar all about computers. As far as I can see, it’s now discontinued by Dell. I suspect it’ll only get used for Facebook, YouTube, and GoCompare.

So, if I was to hit him with a bill for parts, I’d have to fix the power socket - he wasn’t given a power supply, and I’m using a sub, and have to wiggle it, and tension it in place by wrapping the lead around it :D. Soldering job there.

So he’ll need a power supply (no idea how much that would cost) and £67 worth of SSD at least. 1 gig mem seems fine, wireless and ethernet fine, same with keyboard and screen cool too.

What do think? Worth making him a silly offer?

Only indication of performance I have is booting up externally from live cd/dvd linux disks.

If he just wants to use it on a desk and not carry it around, Ebuyer have a 120Gb external drive for £23
Not sure if it supports booting over USB mind, may need further research.

You could get a cheaper SSD but that one linked (Although out of stock at the moment) is the fastest of that form factor for the Dell Mini 9.

Personaly I’d go for it, though you will need an XP disk to reinstall XP and external Drive - end of day its a freebie and with the cost of the fixes it could be sold for more than the fixing costs.

For general web surfing etc it will be pretty nippy, If i remember right I used to just do a suspend to disk rather than a clean shutdown and you can be back at your desktop in about 8 seconds but boot up and switch off is pretty quick compared to the orginal SSD.

PSU supply your looking at less than £8

I ended up buying a new Dell Mini 1012 when the SSD on the Mini 9 went as I replaced the SSD but it went again (Turns out I had duff SSD replacement).

But since replacing the SSD with the Runcore its a very nippy netbook with general apps like websurfing / office apps - one of the reasons I have upgraded my Dell 1012 to SSD because that ran Windows 7 on a Mechanical and it became crazy slow and the Mini 9 just seemed in a different league.