Upgrading from m.2 SATA to Crucial NVMe drive on Latitude 7490


Dell Latitude 7490 with existing SATA m.2 SSD. We want to upgrade to larger NVMe drive (Crucial 1Tb).

First tried new drive in Startech NVMe USB enclosure (M2E1BMU31C). Downloaded Crucial cloning software (locked version of Acronis). Problem – not recognised as Crucial drive so Acronis won’t run.

Posts suggest that the new drive should be installed in the laptop first and the system booted via USB. So take current drive out and put it in a SATA USB m.2 enclosure. Attach this to USB-C port and reboot.

This doesn’t work. What does work is attaching it to a USB-A port instead. Then it boots with no intervention.

After that the disk was clones (with no reboot necessary!), the old dive disconnected and the system booted happily from the new drive.

Dell Latitude 7490 freezing when unplugging USB3 WD15 dock

Setup – Dell Latitude 7490 running Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic and Dell WD15 USB-C dock.

Problem – system freezes when dock unplugged.

This problem started after updates. The solution found was to revert to the previous kernel (4.15.0-43-generic) from 4.15.0-44-generic. Did this by setting GRUB to remember the boot setting – change /etc/grub/grub with:


and run


Then hit esc at the loading screen to get to the grub menu.

Reset BIOS Admin password on Optiplex 780 SFF

To reset BIOS passwords on Optiplex 780 (small form factor shown here);

  1. Power off system and remove jumper (normally blue) from PSWD1
  2. Boot system – BIOS should alert about password disabled.
  3. Power down and replace jumper
  4. Password should now be cleared – check in BIOS settings.
Dell Optiplex 780 Small Form Factor BIOS password reset jumper.
Dell Optiplex 780 Small Form Factor BIOS password reset jumper.

Dell OMSA install on Server 2012 R2 issues

  • Did install first as network admin – couldn’t get page to display and update patch (from 7.4.0 to didn’t complete. Scrubbed and reinstalled as local admin – no problems.
  • firewall exception may be required for remote access.
  • https listener warning isn’t relevant for the https web interface!
  • send test email button didn’t work in ie11, does in chrome.

RAID Monitoring: PERC H710 Mini and Debian

Debian 7 works with the PERC H710 Mini in a Dell R520 out of the box. To monitor this however you need a binary from LSI. Helpfully, this comes in a packaged form from http://hwraid.le-vert.net/wiki/DebianPackages

http://blog.mattandanne.org/2012/01/hardware-raid-controllersrequire.html pointed me in the right direction. To install, add the repo in a .list file:

deb http://hwraid.le-vert.net/debian wheezy main

and then add the key:

wget -O - http://hwraid.le-vert.net/debian/hwraid.le-vert.net.gpg.key | apt-key add -

Update the repository lists, and then install the relevant package:

apt-get install megaclisas-status

Running megaclisas-status should then give the status of the array(s). The script is set up by default to email root every two hours if there is a problem. These defaults can be overridden using a defaults file:


You need to create this if necessary. The defaults are:

MAILTO=root # Where to report problems
PERIOD=600 # Seconds between each check (default 10 minutes)
REMIND=7200 # Seconds between each reminder (default 2 hours)

(can be found in)


If you have the system set up to divert root email to you then it should just work.

Replacing heatsink on Dell Precision T1500

This should be a five-minute job, and if Dell used the standard mountings it would be. Guess what…

The T1500 has the mounting holes in the standard places for a LGA 1156 socket, but has screw bosses in these holes, presumably held there by a backing plate behind the motherboard. The stock heatsink screws into these with captive screws – springs hold the bracket down. In theory if the bosses were removed a standard heatsink would clip in, but this would require the motherboard to be removed. Alternatively, the screws with the ~2mm stand-off bits (from the old-style green plastic CD drive mounting rails with the anti-vibration mounts) fit and work quite well. Note the stand-off in these is not quite right, so you probably don’t want to tighten them fully – just enough to hold the heatsink down firmly (It’s best to lay the system down so that the heatsink can rest on the processor to fine-tune the position).

Akasa AK-CCE-7101CP in Dell Precision T1500

(Why not just replace the fan? Because although it’s a standard size (80x80x25mm) it’s a high airflow model. RS and CPC don’t have anything similar with a 4-pin plug. And as a new heatsink and fan could be got for less than a tenner (before shipping charges) from Misco…)