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May 20, 2015

Dell Inspiron 3050 Micro Teardown #HTPCGeek

This post has over 350 comments on upgrades, Linux installation, Windows 10 and more. Thanks to all who have contributed their knowledge and experiences!  Be sure to click the "Load More" link at the very bottom of the comments to see the latest comments as only 100 comments are loaded at a time.
Looking for the 3050 SATA cable?  Click here for my post with photos and part number for that cable.

This week Dell responded to HP's recent release of the HP Mini Stream with a palm-sized Windows 8.1 PC of its own: the Dell Inspiron 3050 Micro Desktop.  Like the HP Mini Stream, the 3050 is a tiny desktop system under $200 providing a great step up for those getting their streaming media via a Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire USB stick or the like.

Although all the usual media outlets dutifully reported on the 3050 Micro's release, none that I've found have included any breakdown information on this new system or how it might be upgraded.

In this post I'll answer a number of common questions such as "Can I add more RAM?" and "Is the 3050 fanless?" and "Does the Inspiron 3050 Micro support VESA mounting?" and "Is there room for a secondary drive like in the HP Mini systems?"

Read on for the answers and even a few breakdown photos...

Dell Inspiron 3050 Micro versus HP Stream Mini / Pavilion Mini
Many initial reports have incorrectly compared the Dell 3050 to HP's "Mini" offerings.  The 3050 is either cited as a cost-effective alternative to the $300+ HP Pavilion Mini or as a beefier version of the $180 HP Stream Mini.  The 3050 is neither.  And both.

The 3050 is offered with a wider range of configurations than either the HP Stream Mini or Pavillion Mini. Where HP has divided a system into two distinct models, Dell has opted for a single model with two different levels of CPUs.  It is not enough to compare the Dell to either the Stream Mini or the Pavillion Mini.  A proper comparison should pit the basic 3050 configuration against the Stream Mini and the upper 3050 configuration against the Pavilion Mini.

For this post I'm only looking at the basic 3050 configuration with the Celeron CPU rather than the Pentium CPU.  I do have an opinion on which system, Dell or HP, offers the most bang for the buck but I'll save that for the end.  For now, let's take a look at the inside of the 3050.


Teardown: Dell Inspiron 3050 Micro
The Inspiron 3050 Micro provides several
upgrade options and, yes, a CPU fan.
Dell only began taking orders on the 3050 a couple of days ago - even before the Dell support website offered drivers or documentation on the machine.  Unfortunately Dell's marketing and sales page information doesn't include anything about the system's internals other than the included CPU, packaged RAM, SSD size and type of wireless networking.  In other words, there is no information related to options for end-user upgrades.

I contacted one of the company's support lines and requested copies of the system documents.  Today I have those documents and can answer a number of "can I upgrade it?" questions.

Question #1: Is it fanless?
Answer: No

There is no case fan but there is a CPU fan. (This is also true for HP's Mini systems.)  That said, I happen to use the similarly-spec'd HP Stream Mini as our family's primary HTPC and I have yet to hear its CPU fan.  I would expect the same quiet performance from the Inspiron 3050 Micro.

Question #2: Can I add more RAM?
The system board without the
CPU fan or memory module.
Answer: Yes and No

The Dell Inspiron 3050 Micro features only a single slot for RAM. You can't add a second memory stick, but you *can* replace the stock 2GB stick with a larger one.  A 4GB stick of well-regarded Crucial memory currently sells at Newegg for $28 shipped.




Question #3:  Can I upgrade the 32GB SSD?
Answer: Yes


NGFF M.2 SSD modules of different lengths.
The 3050 reportedly uses a 42mm module.
Although you'll probably prefer to duplicate (exact disk copy, not a regular file copy) the contents of the Dell-supplied drive to any new drive to ensure all needed drivers are present and properly configured, you *can* replace the stock 32GB solid-state card with a larger option.

That said, there is still scant information on the precise drive supplied with the system  The 3050 system guide photos suggest this is a M.2 NGFF (Next Generation Form Factor) card.  UPDATE:  Fellow geek John Overath reports that the 3050 ships with a 42mm M.2 card.  Note that these cards come in different lengths and are secured by either a clip or screw at the end so the length matters in terms of having the card mount properly in your system.  Such cards can use either SATA or a faster PCIe connection for communication.  The 42mm versions currently sell on Newegg.com for $40 for 64GB or $60 for 128GB.

UPDATE:  Some owners have reported problems using M.2 cards larger than 128GB (others have confirmed success with 256GB cards).

There is, however, another factor to consider... (see question #4)


Question #4:  Can I add a "normal" (2.5 inch) disk drive?
Answer: Yes...and Maybe Definitely!

In my opinion the biggest unadvertised feature of the 3050 Micro is this:  there is a mount for a standard 2.5" laptop SATA drive!

Diagram showing M.2 card, 2.5 inch
drive mount and SATA cable.
(Click image to open full size)
There are a couple of items to note:
  1. Dell does not specify whether the stock 32GB of storage will be supplied by an M.2 PCIe card or a SATA SSD drive.  Due to cost savings and better performance it will almost certainly be the PCIe card but there is no guarantee of this -- you could conceivably open your 3050 Micro and discover you have a 2.5" SSD rather than a PCIe card!

    UPDATE:  Reports from two new 3050 owners (see comments section) confirm the internal storage is provided by a M.2 card as expected. A stock 3050 will therefore have available space to add a 2.5" SATA drive.
    UPDATE #2:  The onboard SATA controller only supports ONE DRIVE.  Therefore, if you add a 2.5-inch SATA drive you will no longer be able to use the supplied M.2 NGFF drive.
    UPDATE #3:  It has been reported by several 3050 owners that it *is* possible to use both the stock M.2 card and an add-on 2.5 SATA at the same time. Please note that you will need a special cable to add a SATA drive (see item 2, below).
    Read through the comments section, below, for tips on how to set up a 2.5-inch SATA drive.

     
  2. Even if the system comes with an M.2 PCIe card, there is no guarantee that Dell will include the proprietary SATA cable for the 2.5" drive bay.

    Update:  Dell now has a SATA cable that works for the 3050! 
    Unfortunately Dell does not offer the cable on the Dell Parts website.  Click here for my newer post that includes photos and the part number (thanks, Ken Olson) for the Dell SATA cable.


        http://www.atxgeek.me/2016/02/dell-inspiron-3050-sata-cable-htpcgeek.html


    HP does not currently offer the SATA cable for the $180 Stream Mini's internal drive bay, opting instead to push interested customers up to the $300+ Pavilion Mini which features the same case and drive bay but includes a SATA drive and the proprietary SATA cable.  Dell is not currently offering 2.5" drive options for the 3050 and the company might choose to mimic HP and withhold the SATA cable.  Dell Parts has no information on the 3050 so it is unknown whether the SATA cable will be offered as a user-replaceable part if it is not included with the system.

    This SATA cable from HP has been confirmed as working but you must trim some edges in order to make it fit (see more info from other 3050 owners in the comments section, below):



    HP Envy 17 J Series 1st Hard Drive HDD SATA Cable Adapter model 
    6017B0421501


Question #5:  Does the 3050 support VESA mounting?Answer: No (not yet)

The bottom of the Inspiron 3050 Micro has four screws within four "feet" (nubs, really) which hold the case together.  There is no included VESA mount option.  However, the square arrangement of the 3050's case screws might make the system workable with some existing VESA PC mounts (using longer screws, of course).

The lack of a VESA mount option might seem like a missed opportunity as inexpensive, reliable, pint-sized systems with Windows licenses are popular with small businesses.  However, costs increase for VESA-mount-capable systems since such systems typically require an additional mounting plate.  The low end configuration option of the Inspiron 3050 is clearly trying to compete with the (also non-VESA-mount) HP Stream Mini's $180 price tag so every dollar counts.


Bang for the Buck:  HP Mini versus Dell 3050 Micro
Ok, we've only really looked at the Dell Inspiron 3050 Micro and really not even talked about performance.  Is it even viable as a Windows system and, if so, how does it compare to its closest competitor?

Short answer:  Yes, the 3050 will work fine as a basic Windows system as long as you restrict to one task at a time.  It will even work for gaming as long as you don't demand too much by way of framerates or resolution.

Bumping the RAM to 4GB (or even 8GB) is probably the single best upgrade you can make.  The next best /easiest upgrade would be to add an external USB 3.0 drive and let the stock M.2 drive be the Windows drive with nothing else (you can set Windows to use the external drive as the default "Documents" folder drive, for instance).  If Dell ships your 3050 with the internal SATA cable then adding an internal drive would probably be preferable -- but again, don't count on that SATA cable being there. As of Septermber, 2015, Dell does not supply a SATA cable for this system.


Which is better: the HP Stream Mini or the Inspiron 3050 Micro basic configuration option?
Short answer:  the HP Stream Mini.

RAM
As with all current variants of the Inspiron 3050 Micro, the $180 HP Stream Mini comes with a single 2GB stick of RAM.  However, the HP Stream Mini features two slots for RAM and so is ready to accept an upgrade without having to ditch the stock memory.  Also you can opt to upgrade to a pair of matched RAM sticks and (potentially) benefit from dual-channel memory.

CPU
The CPUs are both dual-core Celerons though different models -- J1800 for the Dell and 2957U for the HP.  Both CPUs were released near the end of 2013 and so neither one is "newer" than the other.  The J1800 has 1MB of L2 cache, a base frequency of 2.41 GHz, supports up to 8GB of RAM and had an initial price of $72.  The 2957U has 2MB of cache, 1.4GHz base frequency, supports up to 16GB of RAM and had an initial price of $107.  It would appear that the HP's 2957U Celeron is positioned as the more advanced of the two CPUs.

STORAGE
Like the 3050 Micro, the HP Mini has a mount for an internal 2.5" drive.  Unfortunately the Stream Mini does not include HP's proprietary SATA cable and HP does not sell it separately.  If Dell includes a SATA cable in the 3050 it will have a leg up on the HP Stream Mini.  Dell does not currently supply or offer an internal SATA cable for this system.  You can, however, use a certain HP cable for the job -- see comments section, below.  For my Stream Mini I used a minimally-sized SATA-to-USB 3.0 adapter ($15) and ran the cable to one of the HP's external USB 3.0 ports.

PORTS
On that note, the HP Stream mini has multiple USB 3.0 ports compared to the 3050's single USB 3.0 port.  The systems are equal with regards to other ports.


Do you have a Dell Inspiron 3050 Micro?  What do you use it for?  How has it performed?  Share in the comments!

NOTE: The comments below contain a wealth of good information but only 100 comments are shown at a time, starting with the oldest comments first.  Click the "Load More" link at the very bottom of the comments to load the next 100 comments.  You'll need to click this at least a couple of times to get down to the newest comments.





455 comments:

  1. i bought one and it's very small compare to other similar product so far so good alas it comes with that dreadful win 8.1 anyway will be gone soon with win 10. Now I'll bet Dell won't innovate on the cheap just for fun but it will use up its stock check this :Dell Adamo13 Drive Caddy Hard Drive Cable DDOSS5TH200 0631-0062-0000 W294K it will work if not, then it was just $13 dollars.

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    1. (Prior comment replaced to correct a reference.)

      Thanks for sharing -- I'd be interested to see what your long-term impressions are after you've lived with the 3050 Micro for a while.

      The mainboard end of that Adamo cable *does* look quite similar to the cable pictured in Dell's 3050 documentation. Good point also regarding Dell not intentionally altering cable design for the sake of an inexpensive system. However, Dell no longer assembles many of its systems and Dell has always sourced its micro-desktop designs from other companies. Little known fact: the first Dell small-form-factor (SFF) desktop was actually made by Acer and was sold in limited quantities in the Japanese market starting in the latter half of 1999. At the time Dell had no small form-factor platform and was losing business in the Japanese enterprise market where SFFs were in demand. This predated Dell's first "official" SFF release, the GX1, which did not premiere until 2001.

      Cable compatibility between the Adamo and the 3050 Micro might come down to whether the "true" OEM of the Adamo is the same OEM of the Micro -- or perhaps whether Dell dictated to the makers that the same cable be used in order to minimize part variations and simplify service support.

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    2. Which model did you go with? The basic 3050, or the more expensive P J2900?

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  2. @tornado4u2 Did you open it? Can you tell us if its PCIe card or 2.5" drive? Anyone try the cable?

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  3. Hi ted, yes sure i did opened, mine came with the with the NGFF M.2 SSD modules, 60mm, it's fast but i need more real estate so I'm going to install a 2.5 SATA drive, by the way Marlon was right the Adamo ribbon cable is a proprietary Dell connector so no go there because the adapter for the SATA disk is different, you know Dell adds a little adapter so to sale their "especialty cable" but in the good side I called Dell and after 2 different sales associate i did manage to order the part: C2G 180� TO 90� - Serial ATA cable - 7 pin Serial ATA - 7 pin Serial ATA - 1.5 ft - 90 degree connector, in the manual page 47, it is called "SATA Interposer". I added a 4gb memory chip and it sent me straight to F12 to reconfigure the memory ram, odd. it seems this little darling love to be mistreated after the small upgrade i run some videos and open several appz win 8 metro style and gave me no problems although i noticed a slow down in responsiveness. but it is what it is, a toy.

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  4. forgot the Item number A0609388 - C2G 180� TO 90� - Serial ATA cable - 7 pin Serial ATA - 7 pin Serial ATA - 1.5 ft - 90 degree connector

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for spreading the knowledge -- great info on the 3050 SATA cable. I expect to see tons of forum postings asking for that item number in the coming weeks.

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  5. How much was the cable? Do you have a link to it per chance? Thanks for the info!

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    1. Here's the link to the SATA cable part "A0609388" cited by tornado4u2. Dell has the part listed at a very reasonable $7.99 + shipping:

      http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/category.aspx?k=A0609388

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  6. Awesome. Big thanks to @tornado4u2 and @Marion. The good information is hard to find on this device. I really appreciate the replies!

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  7. So I used the chat function on dells website and told them I was unhappy about paying shipping for the cable since I just paid shipping for the 3050 so they gave me free shipping. Total for the cable was $8.57, which is great.

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  8. i hate to do this but Dell send me the wrong part, it was to good to be true. hold on do not purchase this part yet!

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  9. no worries just wait for it to arrive and then call them and let them know they send you the wrong part, after 2 hours and 3 sale's reps it seems we have a cable, i will let you all know after i install the sata drive and have it funcional. no more goofing around.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Looking forward to the results.

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    2. Thinking of pulling the plug. Just waiting for your cable update. Any news?

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    3. So tornado4u2, were you able to able to successfully install the sata drive?

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    4. I haven't receive the cable from Dell yet, I'm planning on removing the NGF N2 and leave the sata drive as primary then install win 7 since Dell Bios is 2.1 there should be no problems installing it. I want to find out how far i can push this machine. win 10 would be perfect but I'm also want to especulate with Ubuntu and some other distros. my main concern is drivers but i will find out soon enough. as I said an inconspicuous fine HTPC is the main goal here. Will let you guys know.

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    5. Reviews about the Micro are trickling into the Dell site. Apparently the 32GB drive just ain't cutting it. Unless your sata drive install is successful, I'll be leaning more towards a Chromebox solution.
      Have you received the cable yet, tornado4u2?

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    6. I don't doubt it a second, I told you this box is making some noise. No, not yet. According to the UPS tracking is due tomorrow so I'm almost there. By the way I love Asus, in my opinion it's one of the best, now specifications for the chromebox are as follows:

      Intel Celeron 2955U Processor 1.4GHz
      Google Chrome OS
      2GB DDR3-1600 RAM
      16GB Solid State Drive
      Intel HD
      2-in-1 Media Card Reader
      10/100/1000 Network
      802.11a/b/g/n Wireless
      Bluetooth 4.0
      Display Not Included

      Not to brag but it's almost the same isn't it?, I'm talking about the Dell Mini cheap option and chances are we might end up with the same predicament, maybe not. But until we get to see Intel Pentium 3,5 or 7 on any of this compact computers there will be no real quality or bigger difference among them. Truth is there isn't much to shop around, we are doom! lol

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  10. LL asked:Which model did you go with? The basic 3050, or the more expensive P J2900?

    If you look at specifications every single one of them is the same, regarding hardware with the exception of adding a wireless keyboard and mouse and the most "expensive" adds a monitor (useless, since fairly new tv's can perform better than monitors and cheaper, plus the add bonus of having local antenna), i picked the least expensive knowing of adding better upgrades later on.

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  11. you will not notice performance variations on Intel Celeron Processor J1800 (1M Cache, up to 2.58 GHz) and Intel Pentium Processor J2900 (2M Cache, up to 2.67 GHz) because the difference is in the chipset driver and it seems to be the same. besides the memory allocation is handle by faster L3 RAM so the more Ram the better or am I wrong? any thoughts anyone?

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  12. The chipset is call BayTrail, this from Intel site: Bay Trail: The new Intel multicore SoC built on the Silvermont architecture is from Intel’s powerful processor family for mobile and desktop devices. Bay Trail is manufactured on Intel’s industry-leading tri-gate 22nm process technology. This new SoC family, formally code named “Bay Trail,” consists of Intel Atom™ for tablets and 2 in 1 devices, Intel Celeron™ and Intel Pentium™ for entry 2 in 1 devices, laptops, desktop PCs and All in One PCs.

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  13. see what I meant? an Atom is an Atom.

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  14. Compared to the J1800, the J2900 is identical with added benefits of double the cores (4 vs 2), double the threads (4 vs 2), double the amount of L2 cache (2MB vs 1MB) and a slightly higher turbo speed (2.67 GHz vs 2.58 GHz). That being said, CPUBoss' standard battery of tests resulted in only a *slight* preference for the J2900. In my opinion that isn't enough to justify the cost of the higher-end config unless you happen to want the other added/upgraded items included.

    http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Pentium-J2900-vs-Intel-Celeron-J1800

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  15. That's what I thought Marlon not a significant improve in speed. I believe Dell went cold feet on this one, they have the perfect designer, the enclosure is beautiful compare to their competitors, small, handy, light and frosty finish on the sides as to reject reflections from peripherals. if and only if...they have decided to go heavy weight (better hardware) Dell would have been so busy selling Mini's like hot cakes. But alas, I hope they learn from their shorthand foresight. C'mon Dell go for it!

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  16. I haven't received my Micro yet but I did opt for the Pentium over the Celeron. I plan on running debian on it however.

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  17. hope you don't have a field day finding Debian drivers for the 3050 since is fairly new 2013, although Linux has a very large community supporting its development. That's an adventure i will be most eager to anticipate its results, since a good HTPC is the main goal here.

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  18. Can confirm the M.2 SSD is a 42mm. Unfortunately the ADATA one I got (128GB) seems to be having some issues. Finally seems to be installing Windows 10, but we will see if it keeps working.

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    Replies
    1. No it's a 42mm SSD. Not as common as a 60 but they do exist.

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    2. Oooh.. thanks, John. Good to know it's 42mm rather than 60mm -- that distinction is tough to make from the breakdown photos. I'll update the post accordingly and cite your comment.

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  19. This is the drive I bought: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LBDJZBA?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00

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    1. Can't seem to get AHCI mode to work. drive disappears after a bit. Have to power off then back on to get it to be recognized in the BIOS again. ATA mode works but would really like AHCI.

      ADATA doesn't seem to have a firmware update for the drive either.

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    2. check this link regarding AHCI drivers it might help.

      http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2181126/windows-boot-ssd-ahci-mode.html

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    3. I tied the safe mode trick, it boots far enough to let me log in but as it tries to load the desktop it crashes. If I soft reboot the drive doesn't show in the BIOS. Hard reboot and it comes back. No issues if I stay in ATA mode.

      Installing in AHCI mode is also a no go.

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  20. Dell has renewed it's 3050 Micro promotional price (in the US) of $169 + free shipping. That includes the wired keyboard and mouse.

    http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-3050-micro-desktop/pd?oc=fddosak101bu

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  21. This may seem like an odd request but could someone with a 3050 most a picture of the power cable? preferable the end that plugs into the wall :)

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  22. very odd but why not, here: http://i.imgur.com/uF0zewR.jpg

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  23. Awesome. Im preparing a home for it and wanted to know if it was a small 3-prong or some huge brick at the end.

    Many Thanks!

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  24. An update. No joy on the ribbon cable once again Dell technical salesman sent me the wrong cable, again, I spoke to him, I emailed him a picture of the interposer to his company email, he told me he received the email, he saw the email and he was shipping me the interposer describe on the manual. nope he sent me a U589F laptop interposer which of course doesn't even simulate the ribbon cable describe on the manual. back to the drawing board.

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    Replies
    1. Wow. You would think with Dells Piss Poor reputation and products that they would be doing everything they can to make their customers happy these days. They could had just made the port standard. Guess they will never learn.

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    2. I see here (http://goo.gl/guWv9u) the part number is JV5H9. Whether thats right or not, who knows. :)

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    3. nope another wild goose chase, i tell you this much i'm going with my first instinct since Dell is a sad story, i'm petty sure this might work :HP Envy 17 J Series 1st Hard Drive HDD SATA Cable Adapter 6017B0421501 it has the exact measurements as the Dell Interposer and i rather spent the money than dealing with Dell terrible technical service. shame on Dell Support.

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  25. sad, as usual they will shower you with phone calls asking about your shopping experience, they will talk to you like if they were your best friends but eventually they have no experience whatsoever. sorry Dell. it's time to grow up. Outsourcing doesn't pay in the States.

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  26. Does anyone know the Ethernet onboard chipset on these?

    I am trying to get ESXi installed on my Micro but it needs a custom driver for the NIC.

    Thanks

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  27. only reference i've got is "Realtek Pcie GBE family controller", @ the system file it is referered as Rt630x64.sys but you can trace it with the hardware ID: Pci\ven_10EC&DEV_8168&SUBSYS_07031028&REV_0C ,for your intended use.

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  28. RTL8111G , anyone got it working with ESXi yet?

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  29. Got my 3050 today. Ill post some debian info soon but my biggest problem at the moment is the machine will not boot unless a monitor is attached. Any ideas on that? I don't see anything in the BIOS to disable.

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  30. So Debian...

    Everything works. Installation from a thumb drive was fine. There were a few firmware warnings but those can be skipped during install.

    The only real issue I came across was getting the WiFi to work (which is related to the firmware warnings).

    You can download the firmware here:

    https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/iwlwifi?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=iwlwifi-3160-ucode-22.15.8.0.tgz

    Or I made a direct link to the .tgz via google drive:

    https://goo.gl/MZ9Tig

    simply unpack
    mkdir /lib/firmware
    copy the .ucode into /lib/firmware
    reboot

    Here is an image showing various things:

    https://goo.gl/o1YZUI

    The crappy thing is I may return this simply because I can not run it headless. I don't understand that logic from Dell at all. I am infuriated about it and there doesn't seem to be a solution.

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  31. I'm able to run it headless.

    I am running Hyper-V on it:

    I did have HDMI hooked up to a TV . But I just did the following with no issues:

    1) shutdown Micro
    2) remove HDMI from back of Micro
    3) power back on
    4) confirm pings back

    I would be just as upset probably if not able to use headless.

    Maybe it's OS specific? I was trying ESXi but it kept freezing during final stages of install and I did run across a workaround for toggling a headless option during install but I still could not get ESXi, so moved over to Hyper-V

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  32. Hmm. If I remove the HDMI cable I get flashing order light and the 3050 doesn't boot. It only boots when I attach HDMI.

    Perhaps it is related to Debian. Ill look around. The are others in the Dell forums having similar problems as well.

    Ive never had a problem running headless Debian or Ubuntu though. Ive been running them for years on many different computers. I just can't see them all of the sudden making a monitor required somewhere.

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  33. Yeah, I completely agree with you and wasn't real confident in my shot in the dark

    But that's about the only thing I could think of. I did just receive mine yesterday so maybe it's a BIOS/firmware update issue as well.

    I'll keep an eye on this thread, I did also change a few of the boot options for legacy mode, etc but I am sure you have done the same so I agree, #headscratcher

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  34. I have tried some various boot options. Are you using GRUB? What are your options?

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  35. Thinking about maybe trying this but another $15 + shipping. ugh!

    http://www.amazon.com/CompuLab-fit-Headless-Display-Emulator/dp/B00FLZXGJ6

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    Replies
    1. Wanted to report that I bought and received this dongle and it works great. I no longer need a monitor to be plugged in to boot. The one I linked does not seem to be for sale anymore however, only the 4k one. But I don't see a problem with using that instead:

      http://www.amazon.com/CompuLab-4K-Display-Emulator-fit-Headless/dp/B00JKFTYA8/ref=pd_sim_147_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=01FGA0RYHFQ1PWN1GQVD

      Delete
    2. may I ask, do you have several units connected into a main network and control each one from a dedicated station?

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    3. No, just the one 3050 connected via ETH to an airport extreme.

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  36. Ladies & Gentlemen,

    "habemus cable.....lol", after my humongous disappointment with Dell Technical Support I decided to follow my instinct on the cable issue since it was obvious I was on my own.
    And true to itself, i discover a way not to work (failed miserably) with my first intent, the Adamo cable was a no go, no joy!; But my second try did function, with just a "minor manual adjustment" to the ribbon cable. I am talking about the:

    HP Envy 17 J Series 1st Hard Drive HDD SATA Cable Adapter 6017B0421501

    which I found on Ebay for $14.95 S&H included and ......."It's Alive" it did work!
    Now for the small modification you are going to need, a scissor to cut the two little plastic tabs at the Envy 17 ribbon cable end to the main board, you can't miss it, just two simple straight line cuts in order to have the ribbon cable fit properly and deep inside the ribbon SATA holder on the 3050 board and Voila! make sure to pull the little white holder outward with your fingernails or a little screwdriver, it's very easy.

    I used a 500gb SATA disk from my old HP2000 laptop with Win 8 on the disk and the 3050 system add it without major manipulation from user. Unlike the memory upgrade.
    Please check this photos for confirmation by Bios and win 8 from 3050 OS.

    http://imgur.com/a/HLLhv

    Experiments will follow soon. I hope it help.

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    1. What did you have to do for the MEM upgrade?

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  37. two more pictures of the ribbon cable:

    http://i.imgur.com/wc5gnPw.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/2HreGaO.jpg

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  38. Awesome! This is a huge help. I picked one up off of eBay as well. Thanks!

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  39. For the memory, after you replace the SO-DIM you will have to go F2 to reload for some reason (beats me why) the memory count, i did hit F2 it got me to the BIOS at the last tab choose, save and reboot that's all but it will force you to do it or Win 8 will go nuts. Also make sure your USB keyboard is a simple unit from Dell, or it will never let you into the BIOS (of course, Dell), my Microsoft keyboard 3000 didn't let me in. it will by pass the setup screen and boot in to Win 8 but not to the BIOS. maybe I miss something but this was my experience.

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    Replies
    1. When I installed the new 4GB Ram, the unit did not boot up. Maybe is a compatibility issue. DId anyone had the same issue?

      Delete
    2. Captaingus- Can you provide detail on the brand and exact model of memory you tried?

      Delete
    3. Marlon - Is the PNY 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1x4GB. the only thing is the speed is 1333Mhz instead of 1600Mhz.

      Delete
  40. For a final nail into this coffin I contacted Dell sales and technical support regarding the wrong cable they had sent me. not to my surprise i was transferred to 5 different technical support individuals and by the end of the last one he advised of that particular part the SATA HDD ribbon cable for the Inspiron 3050 mini was not available or made for this particular computer, when i asked the guy to remember that our conversation was being recorded by for the company, his voice tremble and immediately told me they have that part not in stock but for me to check every other 5 days regarding this part with them. It is quite obvious they do not want to get sue for false advertising. So my verdict is simple, do not waste your time with Dell technical or Sales support and just buy something else.

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  41. Did you keep the unit or return it? If kept, hows the 2nd drive so far?

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  42. No i did not returned, after finding out about that cable ( basically lucky break because my sister Laptop's disk drive broke down and I remembered that connector) it would have been a shame from my part to let it go without messing out with it. The SATA is working flawlessly, i have disconnected the 3050 completely hoping to have any problems but none whatsoever.
    Now, i did installed TVMC and Winrar both almost took most of the real estate on the M2 drive (of course only 32gb) along with the OS updates it's almost full, i have to remove most of Dell's crap-ware earnestly.
    TVMC is terrible with wireless network connection, much faster if Net wired but then remember I am only using 4 gb of memory and we are talking about an Atom brain not much to brag about. I have been using the inter web like crazy and there is not much difference to be noted, truly it's fast enough.
    ah, I have it connected with a Vizio HDTV and the sound coming out of the liitle box is terrible, I have not mess with sound drivers yet so, take it with a grain of salt. I want to try Ubuntu and some other like Android OS or perhaps something more exotic who knows. for some reason I see potential with the 3050 mini box. what has been your experience with the 3050 mini so far?

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    1. So far its been great. Debian runs perfectly and its perfectly fast to suit my needs. While 2GB seems plenty so far I will probably buy an 8GB chip in the future as they are only around $50. My drive cable comes this week so am looking forward to trying that out. I also bought the HDMI dummy plug so hopefully that fixes my problems with needing a monitor to stay connected to boot up, I will know more in a few days on that.

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  43. I using win 8.1 and so far the hiccups i had experience had been OS related, for example the ms store is always connecting (don't know why), also amazon keeps on calling home I'm petty sure they are eavesdropping and need to "phone home" desperately. the desk space cleanup manager is working 24-7 no matter what, also SoftThinks agent service keeps on calling home, if you want to have fun go to Windows Firewall and see who has the right to "Phone Home" jajajaaja Dell is getting worse than Microsoft LOL.

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  44. Just ordered a 3050. My aim is to use it as either a HTPC (assuming I can get MythTV and XBMC working well), or as desktop - running Debian Jessie in either case.

    My question to Ted G and others is: how did you load Linux on this sucker? Did you add it to the tiny SSD for a dual boot, or did you overwrite the entire drive, or are you booting off an external drive? According to Ted G's comment at June 19, 2015 at 12:55 PM, it sounds like booting off a thumb drive to do the install - is that correct? And if so, were there any issues (e.g. BIOS changes)?

    TIA

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Hello Jim,
      Using my Mac I flashed a USB thumb drive with Debian (https://www.debian.org/CD/faq/#write-usb). After flashing insert the drive into 3050 and hit (F12 or F2 i forget) during boot to select the thumb drive. I completely overwrote the 3050 drive during install. No changes to the BIOS were made.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the quick response, Ted.

      One more (really quick) question: did you do a 32 bit or 64 bit install?

      Delete
  45. thanks for all the great info! apologies if i've missed this. what bios settings need to be changed to enable external boot devices (usb in this case), and does windows still boot from ssd after?

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    Replies
    1. To boot from a USB thumb drive, I had to make these changes in the BIOS "Boot" secton:
      1) Boot List Option: Legacy
      2) Secure Boot: Disabled

      This results in 6 boot devices (USB Storage Device, CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive, etc) that can be prioritized by reordering.

      I changed the boot priority of "USB Storage Device" to highest - i.e. moved it to "1st Boot Priority".

      With these changes, you can boot from a USB device. However, you can no longer boot Windows from the SSD - you're warned this may happen when you change one of the 2 options above. Reverting the settings allows Windows to boot again.

      FWIW, so far it looks good for both XBMC and MythTV using VAAPI acceleraton. Need to next attach the box to a home theatre receiver (and real TV) to try out HDMI. I'm running Debian Jessie and am currently running strictly off a USB 3.0 thumbdrive.

      Also I was able to boot without a monitor attached. Perhaps whether you can or not is a function of the above mentioned BIOS settings?

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    2. I agree with JimR here as well, I believe the headless booting is dependent upon the BIOS settings.

      I also disabled the same 2 settings and I have had no trouble booting with ONLY a ethernet cable and power cable to the Micro.

      I got my second one today, and both are serving as Hyper-V hosts with 8gb of RAM, enough to have a few 4-5 VM's on each, etc.

      And a great replacement for my former 400w ESXi host

      Delete
  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  48. I purchased this unit, and it's going on over ten weeks that I'm still trying to get it to work with upgraded memory and SATA hard drive.
    Purchased the unit twice. Took Five (05) weeks. Count them. FIVE weeks to get the thing, all the while, days and days passing by because they called back informing me the order was on hold until my Dell account was confirmed and authorized. It would have made too much sense to do that the same day that the order was placed.
    The initial purchase just didn't work, plain and simple with 2GB memory and 32GB hard drive. Don't ask why, because the answer is now simple in retrospect. By the time this system installs all of the bullshit onto the OS drive when first setting it up, there's virtually NO room left to do anything. And just try to use it on a large screen TV with a mouse. The memory is so inadequate that it barely does that, if any at all. That’s the intended purpose. To use it as a direct internet connection device to steam where and
    what I want.

    Spent several days and untold hours on telephone support. In short, as the article stated, the unit came out; NO, make that RUSHED out before anyone at Dell had ANY idea of support for it. Those people are virtually clueless to begin with, yet this just underscored their incompetence all the more.
    I ordered an 8GB memory stick and a 2.5 SATA 750GB mechanical hard drive. The PROBLEM as the article ALSO states is that there is NO SATA to interposer ribbon cable to connect the hard drive to the MOBO.
    Ask Dell about it? One word. CLUELESS! Some techs informed me that the unit was not designed for those upgrades. Others told me to order it preconfigured as such. Still others told me not to purchase the 3050, but instead a completely, larger unit, completely negating the reason WHY my choice for it in the first place! Of course, THEY know better than me what’s best for me. Just like the government knows better.
    Ended up getting the cable from a local computer shop. Cost: $60
    Now I’m at the cost of the 3050, memory, hard drive and ribbon cable, NOT to mention
    that the hard drive ships with NO bracket screws. Don’t have any and want to purchase some from Dell you say? Eh, eh. THAT took another half day on the phone only to
    be informed that each screw was $7.95 EACH SCREW! Ended up getting some free
    screws at yet another local computer guy. AGAIN, the locals helped me out where Dell could NOT! THEY ARE COMPLETE AND UTTER FAILURES, NOT TO MENTION UTTERLY INCOMPETANT AS WELL!

    Then I had to get the OS onto the new mechanical drive. THAT was ANOTHER
    day and countless hours spent trying to CONVINCE them to ship me a thumb drive
    with the OS on it. SOMETHING THAT ALL FREAKING COMPUTERS SHOULD
    COME WITH ANYWAY, BUT THESE SOB’s ARE TOO CHEAP TO DO.

    Couldn’t get the ‘memory stick’ as they seem to enjoy calling it to install the OS.

    BACK to Dell. Was told to return everything and reorder directly with that configuration
    from them. Had to BEG getting them to send me UPS labels for this return, and even at THAT, they sent labels that forced be to drop off the return at a UPS store or collection box rather than arranged for a pick-up at the house. Not even after all the BS they knew I had been through up to that point. FORGET about asking them to send the packaging to support your return issue. Mehhhh……..

    Sent it all back. Got back from the UPS store and get on line to re-order. All’s fine now? NOT EVEN CLOSE! It comes to misinformation again from Dell. You know. The case where the left hand NEVER, EVER knows what the right is doing. It boils
    down to the fact that there ARE NO OTHER configurations offered. What you see is
    what they have. PERIOD!

    (continued below)

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  49. (continued from above)

    So this time I order the unit again, but without the hard drive, because I had a new 1TB drive I harvested from a new Dell Inspiron 7720 RSE laptop and decided to use it and save myself some money, since I NOW KNEW FOR SURE that the laptop drive is the SAME as the 720 originally sold me, but only in a little larger capacity. Of course, I couldn’t get that answered from Dell initially. Like everything else, I had no other choice but trial and error and to learn on my own. Unfortunately, THAT system eats up time and blood pressure!

    So now I wait ANOTHER five weeks and EVEN MORE DELAYS in shipment for the same call from Dell that the order was ‘STILL’ on hold, as if it were ME causing it and as if it were ME that even KNEW Dell was awaiting my Dell Account authorization.

    So get it now? Right now I’m currently at 10+ weeks with this and STILL at square ONE!

    Now, I STILL have issues getting the OS onto the hard drive. Their ‘memory stick’ installs the OS ALL THE WAY UNTIL THE VERY BITTER END AND THEN STATES THAT THE INSTALLATION FAILED AND MUST UNINSTALL EVERYTHING AND REVERT THE SYSTEM BACK TO FACTORY SETTINGS.

    Sometimes the flash drive they sent will work while other times it does not and still while other times it is erratic in its performance. Absolutely NO consistency!

    I could NOT get the system to BOOT from their ‘stick’ that I ‘begged’ for, but I could eventually get it to the RESET system screen. But ONLY after speaking with Support and them telling me that it was a SOFTWARE matter and NOT covered under warranty for ANY items, new or otherwise. $124 for a one-time support ticket or $239 for a one year support ticket.

    Needless to say, because I’m a freaking IDIOT, I was tired, abused and just plain fed up at this junction, so I went ahead with the year plan. Additionally she told me that the call would be transferred to another agent and I would NOT have to update him or her with ANYTHING, as the account records were noted as such and that a new ‘stick’ was already in the system showing to be sent out. Think that happened? And pigs fly too by the way.

    BUT, as they were attempting to fix it, I was watching HOW they got into the BIOS screens and other places that are almost impossible to find on one’s own without this inside knowledge that THEY KEEP TO THEMSELVES FOR JUST THAT GREEDY REASON!

    While waiting for call backs from support, armed with the knowledge I gleaned from that little bit with their tech while working on a FREAKING PAID SUPPORT issue now, I was able to RESET the system and get the OS finally loaded as stated above. NOT from a boot from the disk AS IT SHOULD BE, but through a rather back door method. A Reset. But the end result is all that counts at this junction. The means to the end was lost WEEKS AGO!

    NOT DONE YET. HOLD ON!

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  50. (continued yet some more from above)

    NOW I come to find that the drivers required to use the 3050 do NOT come on their ‘stick’. Oh no. Of course not. Like the military and government, THAT would make things TOO easy. Of course not.

    After another few days and hours upon hours on phone support, they recommend I simply go to the website and get the drivers. Fine. I do that. I even got to a point that I had escalated supervisors talking with me now and who gave me the EXACT drivers needed and what order to install them.

    NOPE. NOT DONE YET!

    Currently, I am able to get all of the drivers installed but one, and IT is the ONE that I need. The wireless driver so that I can get connected to the outside world and finish setting up this FREAKING PIECE OF SHIT BOX COMPUTER!

    I’ve tried and tried and tried and even with Dell Support, cannot get this driver to install. Neither could Dell Support. It and other wireless drivers recommended all stop the installation informing the user that it cannot be installed on that system.

    So THAT is where I’m currently at with this thing. Basically, I currently own a $600 FUCKING DOOR STOP!

    Do yourselves a HUGE favor and NEVER purchase from Dell. They are all HOT AIR, FLUFF and EMPTY. Not only empty as in promises, but empty HEADED as well!

    ANY QUESTIONS?

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    Replies
    1. I guess my question is why you didnt do more homework before purchasing this device? This Blog for example would had given you all the part information you need without a single call to Dell.

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  51. I DID do a LOT of research prior to the purchase, but NOTHING would have helped prevent the issues that I ran into, including this article. In any case, I had a new in the box wireless antenna and CD that I purchased for a Raspberry, but never used and put it on the 3050. It's working flawlessly now.

    It makes for a great computer and streaming box addition to the entertainment system.

    Was it worth it in the end? I honestly can't answer that because I'm still too exhausted from the experience with the Dell numbnuts.

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  52. OMG, I just cannot believe the merry go around they gave you, you see I do not blame Dell, remember "supply and demand", they are in the business of making money and not interested in pursue customer care, that's a given!, when i bought the box i knew from day one this "toy" was not to be taking seriously, In my experience with Dell you are better of just buying what they offer plainly without any alterations, that's the way they arrive from the factory in china. do not make any changes unless you have a little experience tinkering with computers and soft, other than that and you will open a can of worms. by the way, excellent choice with that Raspberry, i know they just came out with a bit more advance unit the
    Newark Raspberry Pi Model B RASPBRRY-PCBA512 Motherboard/CPU/VGA Combo Broadcom BCM2835 700MHz ARM1176JZFS

    it's a feast for the eyes.
    p.s.: don't take it too hard on you mate, we all have been through this little inferno, not only with Dell but also the rest.

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  53. hi i just can not believe it , just put in 8 gigs of memory , and proceed to add a crucial 500gb SSD , then i grabbed the:HP Envy 17 J Series 1st Hard Drive HDD SATA Cable Adapter 6017B0421501 and trimmed the tabs and tried to insert the connector in to the white receptacle and then fubar , i failed to read the comments by tornado , and did not lift the white tab, could not figure out how to lift the tab , and then noticed that in my effort to connect the ribbon the the gold connectors were no longer in place , ribbon now useless , will be buy a new one,but how do i elevate the white tab to insert and the ribbon gold side is up facing me , thanks ahead of time

    thenks dalec

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  54. it has happen to all of us, one way or another, anyway with a sharp small screwdriver just pull out toward you the tab on both sides of the connector at the motherboard, expand this photo to see the white tab:
    http://i.imgur.com/wc5gnPw.jpg
    tender to the right out, to the left outward, it won't break. for more info download the service manual @ Dell there it shows you how to.

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  55. Having trouble posting - are these the white tabs ?

    http://imgur.com/VBJlbH4

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    Replies
    1. yes jeff s those are the litle tabs on the side of the ribbon cable just 2 simple straight cuts.

      Delete
    2. forgot to mention: remember pull out toward your chest, with a small screwdriver or a toothpick, or something sharp, the connector tab, it won't break and hold it while inserting the ribbon cable in, then just push inward slow but firm and you are done.

      Delete
  56. Ok, finally a post worked - I kept typing and losing it.

    Anyway, glad to find this blog.

    Just got this, pretty cool box, pretty low spec'd, had trouble using windows update because of the low storage

    Managed to get it to upgrade to Windows 10, only be creating media on separate machine and running install off usb from within OS, not on boot, you can boot from usb after messing with bios but issue is that it needs product key for 10 which is only generated after you do update from within 8.1 - once I did it, used a script to get Windows 10 key and emailed it to myself so I would have it, ended up doing a clean install from boot using the product key - didn't even update Dell drivers yet - still have to test wifi though - Dell has posted updated W10 drivers on their site

    it sucks that it has like 10gb dedicated to a recovery partition that I have not been able to delete - not sure if I should delete -

    using a 128gb thumb drive for most of my stuff - trying to install programs on it - not sure if I want to mess with hard drive yet but maybe when I order ram I will as I have a Seagate 500gb Hybrid that I took out of another machine I put an SSD into
    Plex Home Theater having issues with playing some 720p which strangely works fine in plex web app - server of course on another machine as this one could probably not handle it

    Price was $179 but got chat to remove mouse and keyboard (wired useless, have plenty) which cut it down to $139 and then used a $64 rewards about to expire from a pc purchased a few months ago. Note: Old HP keyboard worked fine with F2/F12

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  57. since you managed to install a legit copy of win10 there should be no reason to delete that "real state area" and having the key gives you the opportunity to a fresh install without Dell's crap. it's your prerogative!

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  58. It seems to me this a good idea : http://downloads.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_inspiron_desktop/inspiron-3050-micro-desktop_Service%20Manual_en-us.pdf

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  60. Hello I just purchased this unit from Dell and I was wondering, I use my old Pc just to run the following and not all at the same time however could I run two programs at the same time? I use plex to stream local media off my external HD to my amazon fire tv, itunes, utorrent, also surf the web at times. But it's rare that I use utorrent or itunes its mostly my kids.

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  61. this box is a bit strong, all depends on the amount of memory and the size of your SSD card, i've got the 32 gigs and i filled it up completely with just windows updates and Kodi. get yourself a 128g or higher if planning to use it as your old pc.

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  62. quick question - any suggestions where to get an 8gb stick of ram that is compatible ?

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    Replies
    1. CT102464BF160B is a single 8GB DDR3 1.35V Notebook module that operates at speeds up to 1600 MT/s and has a CL11 latency.

      42.99 at amazon

      Delete
  63. Try micro center, fry's, amazon, ebay just copy the specs from eric day.

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  64. Can I use an external SSD as opposed to an internal?

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  65. sure you can for storage i doubt it in place of the ssd M.2 card to boot the unit from.

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  66. well got thru placing the ribbon cable right , slide it in , closed the box , booted up hit F2 and there it was the 500gb ssd , continued to windows and got a windows message that there was a major problem and the OS was going to correct it , finally got the windows 8 up and went to device manger , no joy! the drive was not there , redid everything and got the same deal SSD 500gb in the bios and then more of the above and reboot and went to the bios and were the drive was before now it just had NONE , anybody have a IDEA

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  67. note to the above , i am running the dell thru a KVM switch , i do note that the dell does not recognize the dell KB, it sees it as a generic KB could this be the problem ??

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  69. I'm a bit confuse 4winds, did you install a 500gb SATA 2.5 internal disk drive or the new SSD 500gb? if so, was it brand new or from another computer?, also remember windows 8 or 8.1 was formatted with the new/old ReFs file system if you took that hard disk from another computer with win8, it will be an easy setup, if it is formatted differently "stupid" windows 8 won't recognize it. no matter what you do. you would be better off installing win 10 on your box and start from scratch there again. if you have another computer with win 8 just attach the SATA externally and format it using win 8. unless of course my fellow cybernauts had a different opinion on the matter.
    ps: also the mini can only support a single SSD not two at the same time, unless i'm wrong. also check your BIOS settings for master and slave, only one disk can boot on secure mode.

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  70. I bought a stick of ram and removed the screws but do not see how to get the cover off. I looked at the pic in the manual but still I do not see where to separate it ?

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  71. just push the screw pillars inward and hold the case with your left while doing so.

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  72. FOR ANYONE NEEDING THE SATA CABLE TO HOOK UP A 2.5 HARD DRIVE, PLEASE READ HERE. I'VE BEEN THROUGH THE RINGER WITH THIS ALL BEFORE ANYONE EVEN HEARD OF THIS 3050 UNIT.

    THERE IS IN FACT A MICRO INTERPOSER RIBBON CABLE THAT CAN BE USED ON THE 3050 MICRO BOARD AND CONNECTED TO A 2.5 SATA DRIVE. I KNOW, BECAUSE I'VE DONE IT, BUT ONLY THROUGH SOME REAL TOUGH TIMES, CALLS, SEARCHES AND SO FORTH.

    THE ONLY WAY I WAS ABLE TO GET THE CABLE WAS THROUGH A LOCAL COMPUTER STORE AND THE OWNER KNEW HIS SHIT. LOOKING AT MY RECEIPT, HE CLEVERLY DID NOT LIST ANY INFORMATION ON THE CABLE SO THAT I COULD FOLLOW THROUGH WITH OTHER PURCHASES ON MY OWN.

    BUT HE DID MENTION THAT THE CABLE WAS GOTTEN THROUGH HEWLETT PACKARD AND IS NOT, I REPEAT, NOT AN ABNORMAL CABLE. ONE JUST HAS TO HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE TO BE ABLE TO KNOW WHAT IT IS AND WHERE TO GO FOR IT.

    I REALLY WISH I COULD PROVIDE THE EXACT PART NUMBER, BUT I'M STILL HAVING DIFFICULTY FINDING IT EVEN NOW THAT I HAVE THE CABLE AND THE SYSTEM IS UP AND RUNNING.

    IN ANY EVENT, THE ONE END OF THE CABLE IS NATURALLY A STANDARD ESATA CONNECTION FOR A 2.5 DRIVE. IT'S THE OTHER END THAT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND INFORMATION ON. MY COMPUTER GUY TOLD ME, AND LIKE AN IDIOT, I THOUGHT I WOULD REMEMBER THE NAME.

    BUT THE CONNECTOR ON THE OPPOSITE END IS VERY TINY. I MEAN TINY HERE GUYS. SOMETHING ON THE ORDER OF ONLY A QUARTER INCH IN WIDTH FROM WHAT I CAN REMEMBER AND NOT RE-OPENING MY 3050. IT IS TINY, TINY, TINY.

    I AM SURE IT CAN BE GOTTEN FROM A LOCAL COMPUTER SHOP IN YOUR AREAS IF YOU ARE DEALING WITH A SHOP THAT KNOWS ITS SHIT.

    HOPE THIS HELPS YOU GUYS 'CAUSE I CERTAINLY KNOW THAT MORE ARE GOING TO GO THROUGH THE TORTURE I WENT THROUGH AND IF THERE'S ANYTHING I CAN DO TO EASE THAT FOR ANY OF YOU GUYS, THEN I'M HOPING THIS WILL HELP.

    CIAO

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  73. this is the cable, HP Envy 17 J Series 1st Hard Drive HDD SATA Cable Adapter 6017B0421501 you can buy it on ebay , one note , this system is designed to run only one ssd , so if you are a dope like me and bought a 500gb ssd , the bios will see it but the windows will reject it , so one has to get the OS system disk , windows 8.1 recovery media for windows products 64-bits(note the S on products ),dell sent me on for free ( do you believe this ) then you need a external usb dvd drive and make it the boot disk , and load the os on the 2.5 SSD , thus i do believe the POS ssd 32 gb , gets dropped by windows

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  74. by the way thanks to Tornado4u2 the man did the leg and brain work on this cable (read above)

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  75. @Fox, why not just call the guy and find out the name of the cable he sold you so you can help us out , assuming its different than the HP one that you have to make modifications to

    @4winds - the cable you mention is the one where you have to make modifications? can you confirm I circled the correct tabs earlier in the blog

    also - I have a 500gb hybrid that has about 8gb ssd - I do not really care about the SSD portion so that should work ?

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  76. Jeff S, windows 8 needs 23.9 GB of real state, windows 10 uses 15.5GB with updates. anything less than 32GB won't work on SSD and if you want to instal windows, besides take into consideration the only reason for Dell and others to use NGFF M.2 SSD modules 32GB or larger is to comply with new secure boot policies from microsoft, they just want to keep track of sales. you could disable secure boot and install a 2.5 SATA huge Disk on Legacy Bios, setup win7, upgrade to win 10 and forget about the SSD portion of the 3050. unless of course you want to buy a larger NGFF M.2 SSD module which will be expensive. choices, choices, don't you love geeks lol.

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  77. the only problem you will face installing win 7 is the lack of drivers but it should work, i have tested it and found out wifi drivers are a problem, you will use wifi drivers for regular pc use but for a media center device you will need hardwired networking is faster and wifi sucks.

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  80. @ Jeff S. I haven't called the guy at the computer store because he's always helped me out with difficult situations and his time is money being a small shop, so I don't want to ask him, because that's the same as coming out and asking a mechanic what, where and how he repaired your vehicle so that you can bypass him next time, and I don't want to burn that bridge, because even though he's somewhat secretive and expensive, in this case, the guy saved me a TON of time and headache, and thereby, his fee was worth it to me. I'm REALLY sorry dude. I would LOVE to get that information not only for you, but for myself as well, which is why I've scoured my searches and have still come up empty handed. Which is why I do NOT want to burn that bridge with this guy. You know yourself, that some people and some businesses, especially small time operators, can have their own peculiar oddities amongst themselves. So I'm caught between wanting to help you guys out and at the same time not hurt myself in the long run. In any event, I am STILL searching for the damned thing and as soon as I find it, if I do, I will be more than happy to forward it to you guys if you want to leave your addresses to send data and a photo of it.

    @4winds. Without even referring to the blog to circle as you requested, I can tell you that the cable my computer guy got for me was NOT a modified cable NOR did it require any modification. I installed the cable as it came from him. It's ready to go out of the box so to speak. It's longer at approximately 4" from my memory, than the cable Dell may or may not ever supply, but it's small, thin and very easy to tuck in and out of the way with absolutely no problems. Again, as I informed Jeff above, I am still searching and if I find the damned thing, hopefully through HP somewhere, I will forward it to you guys if you want to forward your addressees. I will forward the part number and a photo. As for your hybrid, I cannot answer if that will work or not because the only hybrid I am familiar with is the 4TB I have in my workstation and that is a full form factor 3.5 drive size. If your drive, hybrid or otherwise is a standard 2.5 with normal SATA connections for a 2.5 smaller footprint size, then I would say it would work. But being that it is a hybrid, I just don't know what your final connection on the drive is. You know. Whether it's the standard SATA for the 2.5 small factor size or some other connection BECAUSE of the hybrid status. I'm not a technician, so I can't answer that. I can only answer those things I've personally had experiences with, and that particular one I have not at this point. And I do believe you respect me better for telling you that I don't have the exact answer rather than guessing and sending you on a wild goose chase.

    Sorry I couldn't help you guys all the way thru, but I will stay with you for any further help if I can provide it until you get to where you both need to be. I can offer that at the very least. What help I can give that is. All you have to do is get in touch with me. My address is foxonly525 outlook com

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  81. @tornado I already am running Windows 10 with latest updates, deleted recovery partition and modified boot. I was thinking of just using the sata portion of the drive and ignoring the hybrid ssd part

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  82. @Fox B never burn your bridges, especially for geeks, they will be happy to be let wonder off in the wild, it's in their nature.......but if cutting two little tabs seems a daunting task, you are better off sticking around to your comp-tech my friend.

    @jeff S Way to go jeff! that's right solve the problem let's not make it more difficult by guessing!

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  85. By God I think Tornado4u2 got the right HP part number for this cable, because for as small as the photos are that I've looked at, they DO in almost fact look just like the cable my cable guy got for me.

    So I'm going to jump the gun here before even knowing and say A HUGE KUDOS TO tornado4u2 even before I'm sure

    PLEASE let me know guys if you get this cable and it works, 'cause I'm dying to know myself.

    HP Envy 17 J Series 1st Hard Drive HDD SATA Cable Adapter 6017B0421501

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  86. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  87. Yeah your computer guy may have snipped the tabs too -. Jeff

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  88. Yeah your computer guy may have snipped the tabs too -. Jeff

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  89. @tornado, what did you mean by guessing : confused:

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  90. I guess my age is showing , "To snip or not to snip that is the question , we small band of brother bound by the snip , shall see the next day in geekdom and they all shall be my brothers , , still plodding along to get it up and right !!!!! let some humor enter each soul , in the pursuit of a perfect geekdom

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  91. @ unknown: usually when we face a problem or get stuck, we get desperate, it had happen to me too, then we begin to try different options that lead us stray instead of work the problem, read the service manual, get specifications and so on. it is a great comfort when we, ourselves get something to work. once that particular project ends we move on confident in a fact: a man made it, a man can fix it!

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  92. @ Fox B: yes friend it works, just follow the paper trail.

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  93. Thanks Tornado. I appreciate that confirmation. I will be sure to put that part number in my database now so that I have it for future reference to archive should I ever need it in the future. I just wish that I would have been able to provide you guys with the part number since I had the cable all along instead of you having had to rack your brains out for it. But the end is all that matters now and I am very happy to hear that you guys finally nailed down the part. Kudos again to you dude. fox

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  94. I was able to locate the cable, snip the end and install my new SSD drive. It is being recognized in the bios and the operating system. I would like to only use the new drive instead of the 32 gig card that came installed. I know I have to clone it so everything is transferred. Has anyone done this ? any tips or gotchas? Would love to get win 10 on this little machine.

    Thanks!!!

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  95. First, thank you all for this great blog, very helpful.
    I have a Dell Micro Desktop 3050. Like many others here, I'd need more space. 120 or 240 GB will be sufficient. I am considering either using the SSD M.2 or the 2.5 HDD slot. I asked Dell Technical support, and here is the answer I got:

    "This system supports either SSD: NGFF M.2 16 GB/32 GB/64 GB/128 GB or a 2.5" SATA 7mm (1-platter) HDD / 2.5" SATA 9.5mm HDD (includes hybrid): Supports 500 GB/1TB Drives. The system is limited to this configuration."

    In terms of the SSD M.2 slot, can anyone in here help me understand the following:

    Which “Key” – A, B, E or M?
    Card Measurement, 2242, 2260, 2280, etc.? Sounds like 2242
    Interface, PCIe x4, SATA?
    Capacity - Why would the M.2 SSD slot / motherboard not support 256GB?

    Thanks,
    Kasper

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  96. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  97. @ larry johnstone

    You can ONLY use ONE drive at a time. If you are installing the SSD as you state, then you HAVE to remove the (absolutely useless) 32GB card from the system, otherwise the OS will not properly load and the system will not perform correctly. Take it from me. I inadvertently removed the wireless card, thinking it was the SSD all along and it did in fact load the OS incorrectly. Also, Dell states that only one drive at a time can be used as well. I know they're brain dead there, but that set of instructions appears to be correct so far.

    As for transferring the OS, the simplest method would be to just have Dell ship you FOR FREE, the OS Recovery Media Thumb Drive , or as they like to keep referring to it, as the Micro Recovery Media Flash Drive. You install the OS from that thumb drive they send you and then you simply go to the Dell Support page for the appropriate drivers needed, copy them on to a thumb drive of your own and then install them onto your 3050 after the OS has been laid down first.

    I have the EXACT files you need to copy -AND- the ORDER they MUST be installed in, otherwise you will be asking for trouble. Again, please trust me on this. I have been to hell and back with it all.

    Below are those very instructions: The NUMBERS that precursor each file indicate the SEQUENCE of installation. AND MAKE SURE TO RE-BOOT THE SYSTEM AFTER EACH SUCCESSIVE DRIVER INSTALLATION JUST TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE. IT WILL BE WELL WORTH YOUR TIME EXPENDED! AGAIN. TRUST ME ON THIS!

    Hope all works out smoother for you than it did for me having to obtain all of this information the long, hard, time consuming, headache(y), arduous way. Take care dude.


    Drivers for 3050 and installation order

    Chipset

    1.) Intel Chipset Device Software Driver
    3050_Chipset_Driver_NCW9J_WN32_9.4.4.1005_A00.EXE | Update Package for Microsoft® Windows® (19 MB)
    Chipset|Release date 25 May 2015|Last Updated 25 May 2015|Recommended
    Version 9.4.4.1005,A00

    7.) Realtek RTS5229 CardReader Driver
    3050_Chipset_Driver_RN3D6_WN32_6.3.9600.29084_A00.EXE | Update Package for Microsoft® Windows® (22 MB)
    Chipset|Release date 25 May 2015|Last Updated 26 May 2015|Recommended
    Version 6.3.9600.29084,A00


    Network

    2.) Realtek RTL8111G Ethernet Controller Driver
    3050_Network_Driver_V50FD_WN32_8.36.826.2014_A00.EXE | Update Package for Microsoft® Windows® (21 MB)
    Network|Release date 26 May 2015|Last Updated 27 May 2015|Recommended
    Version 8.36.826.2014,A00

    3.) Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160 WiFi Driver
    3050_Network_Driver_PT3CJ_WN32_17.13.11.5_A00.EXE | Update Package for Microsoft® Windows® (192 MB)
    Network|Release date 25 May 2015|Last Updated 25 May 2015|Recommended
    Version 17.13.11.5,A00

    6.) Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160 Bluetooth Driver
    3050_Network_Driver_17CH5_WN32_17.1.1501.512_A01.EXE | Update Package for Microsoft® Windows® (46 MB)
    Network|Release date 25 May 2015|Last Updated 25 May 2015|Recommended
    Version 17.1.1501.512,A01

    Video

    4.) Only the one driver to download and install
    Intel HD Graphics Family Driver
    3050_Video_Driver_01W7Y_WN32_10.18.10.3958_A00.EXE | Update Package for Microsoft® Windows® (136 MB)
    Video|Release date 25 May 2015|Last Updated 25 May 2015|Recommended
    Version 10.18.10.3958,A00


    Audio

    5.) Only the one driver to download and install
    Realtek ALC3661 Audio Codec Driver
    3050_Audio_Driver_RMYM5_WN32_6.0.1.7414_A00.EXE | Update Package for Microsoft® Windows® (46 MB)
    Audio|Release date 25 May 2015|Last Updated 26 May 2015|Recommended
    Version 6.0.1.7414,A00


    Installation order

    Dell recommends that you install the drivers in this order:

    Application, Drivers
    Firmware and BIOS

    If drivers are installed out of order, they may fail on installation and/or your device might not work correctly.

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  98. @Larry. you can upgrade to win10 from misery win8 but some options.....Option 1: you won't be able to install win8 on the SATA drive since you will need secure boot in order to, the Micro 3050 has 2.1 Dell Bios so you can install win7 on it and then upgrade to win10. Option 2: upgrade the Dell 3050 from win 8.1 to win 10, register it properly, make win10 USB media installer, then delete or remove, or just switch the BIOS from secure boot to Legacy boot,this will turn off the M.2 card, clean install win10 on SATA, once registered win10 will activate by itself on the SATA legacy drive.
    option 3: buy a larger M.2 card, clone m.2 card, upgrade to win10 live happily ever after.

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  99. @Larry.
    Secure boot is a Microsoft scam to keep track of OS sales, especially that crappy win8 they desperately tried to shovel it down our throat, having said that win10 is more flexible and open to hardware changes without having to "call home" for a piracy check! Remember you have to upgrade to win 10 first (Legit) then do a clean install. Once again your prerogative!

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    Replies
    1. I'd even suggest once upgraded fully to win10 and setup/ happy, perform a system image backup from within Windows and keep that *.img in a safe place.

      I did so, and then restored the *.img as a VM into hyper-v

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    2. I got my 3050 a few days ago and just wanted to comment that I'm very pleased with it. I bought it to to use it as a HTPC to stream video and it works like a champ with the sources I've tried on the web. Out of the box, the HD video flows smoothly without hesitation. I was quite surprised and pleased at how fast it boots with the SSD. It's almost instantaneous. I plan to run Windows 8.1 for a few months and then update it to Win10 when it settles down some. Overall I'm very pleased.

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  100. @wxo if you like performance under win8 upgrade to win10 for top of the line, small footprint and space on your hard drive. Get classic shell for a win7 look and feel and you will be a'right!

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    1. I decided to bite the bullet and embark on the Win 10 upgrade. It turned into a wild ride. First I saved an image of the SSD using Windows backup. No problem. It seemed to work. Then I uninstalled all unnecessary programs and ran disk cleanup to clean up the SSD as much as possible. When I ran Win 10 install, it still wanted 5.5 gb more space and the SSD simply didn't have it because of the Recovery Partition. So I set out to try to delete the recovery partition. I read that it could be done through Win 8.1 by copying the partition to a USB drive and then you will have the option to delete the partition. No such luck! The option wasn't there but I had a copy of the recovery partition on the USB drive. Then I tried "diskpart" on the command line using the run command. It refused to delete the partition also. Finally, I downloaded a free app called AOMEI Partition Assistant.
      This did delete the recovery partition, but low and behold, the system would not boot anymore. To get a running system back, I tried all permutations of booting the USB recovery drive, but nothing would work. Finally I called Dell and they stated that the only way to recover is to use the Recovery Thumb drive they were going to send me. They stated that it would boot with Safe Boot enabled. I hope it does. Finally I asked about the recovery partition and they stated that this Recovery thumb drive would NOT recreate the Recovery Partition on the SSD so I will have space to install the Win 10 upgrade. Now I have to wait until the solution arrives and try again.

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  101. The best way to upgrade is to download the W10 from the Microsoft site, choosing the regular version and to install on another pc. I downloaded it on another computer. One you have your bootable install usb, don't boot to it, instead run the setup from within the OS . This worked. I also deleted recovery partition using command line disk part but xommand falls if you specify partition after already selecting it... Ie select partiion 1, delete partition 1 would fail as no need to type partition 1 in the 2nd statement

    Jeff jms515

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    1. Jeff, I did the install under the Win 8.1 OS from the thumb drive.
      I didn't boot it. For some reason, the install wanted 5.5gb extra and I had no more to give except for the Recovery Partition. That's how I got into trouble...trying to delete the RP.

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  102. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  103. @wxo: Did you buy the 3050 with a 32gb m.2 card? if that's the case then that's your problem not enough space, there is no need to do a back up in win 8, it's already there from factory, all you had to do is upgrade within windows pal (if lacking hard disk space). when you receive the thumb drive do a factory or clean install, do not try to repair anything, windows 8 is not as forgiving as windows XP or 7. you'll have to start from scratch. Once again win10 is better, much much better than win8.

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  104. For those who can boot into W8.

    1, Create a usb using Media Creation Tool, select home version, not pro of course and create it using another computer. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

    2. Stick the usb in the 3050, boot to 8 and then run setup

    3. To get your 8.1 and 10 product keys put this in a .bat file and run from cmd line using cscipt.exe filename.bat

    Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    'MsgBox ConvertToKey(WshShell.RegRead("HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\DigitalProductId"))
    wscript.echo ConvertToKey(WshShell.RegRead("HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\DigitalProductId"))

    Function ConvertToKey(Key)
    Const KeyOffset = 52
    i = 28
    Chars = "BCDFGHJKMPQRTVWXY2346789"
    Do
    Cur = 0
    x = 14
    Do
    Cur = Cur * 256
    Cur = Key(x + KeyOffset) + Cur
    Key(x + KeyOffset) = (Cur \ 24) And 255
    Cur = Cur Mod 24
    x = x -1
    Loop While x >= 0
    i = i -1
    KeyOutput = Mid(Chars, Cur + 1, 1) & KeyOutput
    If (((29 - i) Mod 6) = 0) And (i <> -1) Then
    i = i -1
    KeyOutput = "-" & KeyOutput
    End If
    Loop While i >= 0
    ConvertToKey = KeyOutput
    End Function

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  105. Just to add, once you get your 10 product key you can then boot to the usb (may need to modify bios) and do a clean install and then update dell drivers

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  106. According to Microsoft once upgraded there will be no need for an installation key, just bypass the key input while installation win10 and windows will activate by itself (once done registered with the upgrade) this will apply while doing a clean install to get rid of OEM crap-ware.

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  107. Not entirely true. It will not prompt you for a key when you upgrade however if following the upgrade you try a clean install it will ask you for the key unless they updated something, this was my first hand experience

    Jeff...when logging in from phone it calls me unknown :-)

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    Replies
    1. OK, guys, I'm making headway here. Without help from Dell support I was finally able to install and activate Win 10 on my 32gb SSD. Now I'm left with only one question:
      How do I get rid of that infernal Recovery Partition. Every time I've successfully deleted it, the system won't boot. What steps did you guys take to rid yourself if this menace?

      Delete
  108. I did a clean install after the upgrade using a cd i made in another computer, it did asked me for a cd key but i did not enter anything and continue with the installation, reboot, went to system in control panel and it was activated. my experience, by the way i had win 7 ultimate when upgraded perhaps with home edition is a different deal.

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  109. @WXO the recovery partition is required by any version of windows beginning with NT, win saved some recovery and start up files in there, it's been designed like that, you won't be able to delete that area without major punishment to windows, unless of course a USB boot up device is use.

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  110. Thank you all for the great info on this page. Today I installed a 1TB HHD with the SATA cable as instructed, upgraded to 4GB RAM and upgraded to Windows 10. Now this little machine is awesome.

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  111. Just wondering if I could remove the factory 32gb ssd and run a single 500gb harddrive with the modified cable .

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  112. yes you can! just upgrade to win 10 from within 8 with the 32gb m.2 in position, have it registered properly, you will end up with more or less half the space. once registered, turn it off go to BIOS select Legacy boot choose your USB as first boot, your 5geeks SATA disk as second, shut it down completely, disconnected the power from the cord, once off press the on button as if you want it to turn it on (this to flush any power remaining in any capacitors) for about 30 seconds. dismantle the unit remove the M.2 card, it's on top (CAREFULLY) you don't want to damage anything remember the M.2 cards are expensive now but eventually it will become cheap to get. if you have no idea how to remove it follow the instructions on the service manual, there is a link up there in the paper trail. reboot from usb with win 10 media on it. setup, load missing drivers if any........., enjoy. Keys are generic for everybody, I'm sure you will end up with win10 home edition so google is your geek friend too.

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  113. Now that we have control this issue with the 3050 and win10 is the new OS to be reckon with i found this very interesting article on the net, with your permission, if you please Marlon, I found it interesting for us all here :

    http://bgr.com/2015/08/28/windows-10-features-spying-windows-7-8/

    once again guys just follow procedure!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for this reply and all the other info you've shared so far, tornado4u2. I'm so pleased that my initial post has helped to serve as a nexus for upgrade info via other owners' comments on this reasonably-priced little gem from Dell. I also agree with the general sentiment that Dell could do itself some favors by directly offering system upgrade info as well as that elusive SATA cable instead of driving everyone to blogs like mine and having to integrate modified HP cables. Thanks for your continued responses to so many posted questions from other owners!

      Delete
    2. you're welcome my friend it's been a team work for the benefit of all.

      Delete
  114. And another one just for fun:

    http://www.ghacks.net/2015/07/30/windows-10-and-privacy/

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  115. tornado4u2, I just wanted to thank you for your persistence in trying to explain the installation process to me. Booting the Win10 upgrade USB drive allowed me to do the clean install of Win10 as per your advice. I deleted the Dell recovery partition and expanded the system partition before the install. Now I have about 10gb to play with while running Win10. It works very well. The only problem I'll be focusing on next is erratic behavior from both of my USB wireless mice. Wired mouse works fine. Thanks for the great forum and your help.

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  116. Someone said long ago, whoever recognize the merit also share's it. I would like to give a big shout out to Marlon for his decision to address this issues about the Dell 3050 and its inconveniences which allow us all to share our experiences, a long journey usually start with one step. the entire community deserves a pat on the back, Well done m8's,well done!

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  117. Thank you for the quick reply tornado4u2. I've going to get the cable on order this weekend. So by next weekend I'll have something to do besides mowing grass. And thank all of you guys for the information collected here.

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  118. Ok so I had a few questions again.
    I want to delete the recovery/dell back up to free some memory up if I do that is there anything else I have to do besides just delete it?

    I eventually want to get a SSD but my questions were after installing the SSD how would I go about installing the OS? I'm new to this but been reading this blog and i have a little knowledge of computers. Would it come with windows 8?
    So from reading the comments
    I wanted to buy a ssd i think 128g would be ok for my needs can anyone recommend one? I see the cable needed is HP ENVY 17 j series 1st hard drive hdd sata cable. Thanks in advance.

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  119. Hi Roger, in order to avoid troubles with WIN8 just upgrade to win10 from there on you could do with your little wonder whatever your heart desire with it. Dell crapware is only good if you have purchase the extended support but win10 repair by itself so you can rely on it much much better that win8. Just follow the paper trail and you will be fine. Any ssd will work but only if you are going to use secure boot, there is no major improvement on speed it will be hardly noticeable so a SATA drive will do just fine plus the added bonus of a large disk drive.

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  120. Once again Secure Boot doesn't mean you won't be hacked, it only means Microsoft have a proper count of how many windows copies have been sold. Google it.

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  121. Just got HP cable in mail, does this look the correct cable ?
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1zrjTRF-UJBYUJCSFB3d3hKbTFINUxRUDZ5Vjc4c1JhUHN3/view?usp=sharing

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1zrjTRF-UJBYzJKRXpoMjJqTUJRTjFqSEo2YjREcUptMG9B/view?usp=sharing

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  122. That's the one! Just follow procedure and you'll be fine.

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  123. hello gents , after a large amount of bulling and the buying power of my agency , i was able to get a recovery dvd , without a windows 8 key , but a little more harassment dell tech support sent me a new MB , with a windows key , ,removed the 32 gig drive,
    (Maybe i will put on a chain and hang it around my neck)
    went in to the bios , changed over legacy , changed to sata ATA
    setting,booted the external DVD drive( 20.bucks on ebay) loaded windows 8.1 , and now have a crucial 500gig ssd up and running using the hp imposter (trimmed off tabs , ) did have to down load some drivers and install network , sound , video cards and some bios up dates but she is alive , now all i need is a methology to load windows 10 , any ideas ????

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  124. Have you managed to activate your win 8 copy? If so, just go ahead and upgrade through windows update, is the best way to get win10 free.

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  125. Anyone know what version of Intel HD graphics card is on board ?

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  126. it's on the CPU,Intel HD Graphic (integrated). Version 10.18.10.3958,A00

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  127. Cheers. So rather than HD Graphics 530, HD Graphics 535, Iris Graphics 540, etc etc it's just HD Graphics based on the Silvermount architecture by the looks of it.

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  128. yep , used the windows key that came with aforementioned MB , used the 25 number/letter key loaded the 8.1 and activated windows

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    Replies
    1. My method above works for upgrading to 10.

      Jeff

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  129. @Jeff S. Jeff, I can't say with absolute certainty without actually having physical contact with the cable you purchased, and although your photos of it are excellent, you know as well as I that no matter how good the photo, in many instances it's just not as good as having the actual item in hand. BUT, with THAT said, BECAUSE the photos are so excellent and my going by memory and without having to physically open my system to check my own cable, I would give you a BIG KUDOS, because those photos give me a high confidence level of 99.9% that you got the correct cable. You've probably already found that out already as I'm late in responding, but I still wanted to confirm your request of confirmation of the cable just the same. Hope all goes well with the upgrade this point forward. fox

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  130. My Dell 3050 sometimes drop connection, and I'm unable to reconnect it until I reset the router. Other devices in my house have no problem using the router. So look like the Dell is the culprit. Anyone has the same issue?

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  131. unknown: run "sfc /scannow" and/or verify Dell's wifi and lan drivers, windows update keeps reinstalling ms crap generic drivers causing this kind of behaviour. you will have to reinstall dell drivers again for this two pieces of hardware.

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  132. Frys had a special on these this last weekend for $138. Read this blog and ordered the HP zif to SATA connector (trim the little tabs off the zif connector carefully and it works a treat) and 4 gigs RAM. Added a 1 TB WD Blue HDD with the HP cable I got for $14. So with the 4 gigs RAM, the cable and the HDD (also on deep sale at Frys) I have a little over $200 in it. Kubuntu 15.04 installed flawlessly. Everything works. Perfect little media center/file server you can stick in your coat pocket and take away. With the 32 gig M.2 mSSD and 4 gigs of RAM it is quite competent for everyday stuff. Boots almost instantly. Thanks for posting all this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Steven, for the tip regarding Fry's sale price -- I very nearly ran out immediately to buy one at that price (we have a Fry's here in Austin about 10 minutes from my house).

      Delete
  133. Glad it worked for you Steven and that's exactly what i've done with it, put it my pocket and head out with it. Remember the more the merrier: more memory faster execution, bigger hard disk more "landscape" to play with, (open to debate since we tend to use hard disk's to store movies mostly lol) the most important part is: remember to have fun!

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  134. Thanks tornado4u2 and everyone for comments about RAM and HDD. I update RAM and bought cable already, hopefully I can upgrade HDD soon.

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  135. Thanks for this excellent thread! I have purchased the cable and now have a WD 500Gb drive working as D: I have also upgraded the RAM.
    What I would like to do is start all over again, installing Win10 on the SATA drive and then blank/wipe about the existing C drive, inc the recovery partition, so that I have a blank 32Gb SSD secondary D drive.
    Is that possible? What changes and order do I need to make to the BIOS to achieve this and is there any pre-cursor work/registration I have to do first of all?

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  136. I should add that have Win10 Pro ready to boot/install fro a USB Drive.

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  137. @Unknown: it's not feasible to use the first M.2 device as an extension drive, at least within windows. the setup from the BIOS has been deem to use the secure boot option as the main imposition for booting "windows", A+B then C is the norm, in theory you are not to use anything else (how dare 'em!) that's the reason behind upgrading to win 10 as soon as possible without any changes on hardware and software to win8, as i said before win10 is much more resilience to hardware changes. I have not play with it but perhaps our geek friends using Devian and such might have had a different experience.... I know for sure anything is possible under Linux.

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    Replies
    1. Success! I bit the bullet and trashed everything and started again and it works.

      I modified the BIOS to legacy load, and ordered the USB drive first. Booted into Windows 10 Pro Installer from my USB Drive, selected Drive 0 (500GB SATA Drive) to install to and let the installer format it. I then deleted all partitions on Drive 1 (32GB SSD Drive) and made it one drive and let the installer format it. Within a couple of hours the install was done, after a short while longer, all the updates and settings were done and I have a rebuilt machine with the OS on Drive C (SATA) and an extension drive Drive D (SSD).

      Thought I would share in case anyone else wanted to do it - it works fine. I went to the Dell website after, downloaded their official drivers and all good :)

      Delete
  138. Oh wow as great news. I stand corrected regarding use of m.2 drive as an extension. Great news indeed.

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  139. The solution to operating headless I found with xubuntu 15.04, in the bios disable secure boot, this allows legacy to be enabled and it runs headless seamlessly

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  140. I was lucky to get my 3050 from Dell for only $149. Since then I added 8g of crucial ram ($53), an old samsung pro 128 ssd (using the HP envy connector) and upgraded the m.2 to 128g ($52 Mydigital). Everything works great. Great everyday machine for about $260 out of pocket.
    While I have a couple gaming machines I find myself using this for all my everyday data & net work. Also the sd reader is great for copying photos from my digital camera to PSE.

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  141. Can anyone tell me the name of the Dell Utility that sits in the System Notification area displaying a white icon with an arrow on it? Since rebuilding my system I have installed all the drivers etc. from the Dell site perfectly ok but I remember there being a utility that would provide updates (checking every 3 to 5 days or so) when they were made available. On searching the Dell website, I cannot find it or the download link.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A "white (notification) icon with an arrow in it" sounds a lot like the standard Windows "Show Hidden Icons" icon when the mouse is hovering over it.

      I'm not aware of a Dell-provided auto-update utility for anything outside of their enterprise lines of business (Latitude, Optiplex, Precision, and Dell servers). For those you would use the "Dell Client System Update" (DCSU) tool.

      Is it possible you were seeing the standard Windows update icon (which automatically shows up or goes away based on whether you have pending updates) in conjunction with the "Show Hidden Icons" notification icon?

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the reply - no it was definitely a Dell Utility Icon comprised of an arrow and a cog possibly?!? It may also have listed in the Dell folder under all Apps, from the Start Menu.

      Delete
  142. Dear All, can you help me with connection of SATA? I used HP cable as you suggested. However, I do not know why Dell did not recognize it. Please see two pictures below for details. Thanks.
    http://imgur.com/Rcyk32z
    http://imgur.com/m9c2Riy

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  143. first did you make sure the gold finger tabs on the ribbon cable must face down the green board, try turn the cable upside down. reboot, tell.....

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    1. Hi, I try turn cable upside down. However, it still did not work. Do I need to adjust BIOS or remove white plastic in cable? See picture for detail: http://imgur.com/m9c2Riy
      I installed 128 GB 42mm and 8GB RAM already. This is second cable I tried. Last time, I thought cable is damage! Thanks

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