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Odd hard drive behaviour

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Since I received my new laptop (Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook, review forthcoming), I’ve experienced some strange hard drive behaviour. The very first time I tried to partition it, I essentially corrupted my Windows installation. I thought I’d determined this to be a problem with Intel’s Smart Response Technology and Rapid Start Technology, both of which use the SSD to speed up the system. I have also since installed Windows 7 afresh after disabling those technologies, and partitioning the hard drive worked flawlessly.

Then I attempted to upgrade to Windows 8, however it failed, and I was left unable to recover Windows 7. Similarly I could not install Windows 8 cleanly for an error I fail to remember, and installing Windows 7 cleanly was also impossible without first removing the second partition on the hard drive. I don’t know why this was the case but it seems ridiculous, faults I presume lie within the Windows setup program.

The second attempt to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 8 worked correctly, and all was well until a few days ago where I tried to partition the hard drive again. This time when I rebooted into Windows, the second partition was not recognised, echoing the first problem I had with Intel’s various technologies. These are still however, disabled in the BIOS.

So again I’m left with a somewhat corrupted Windows installation, which although appears to be functioning, does not instil much confidence. I don’t understand why this has happened, everything seems to be working fine with Linux, is it a problem with Windows 8 or the hard drive? Either way I’m rather sick of it, I have not had much luck with any computer I’ve bought so far - ironic, considering my career choice. I suppose I have some work to do getting to the bottom of this.

Update 29/12/2012:
Of all fixes, using a different USB port to install Windows 7 or Windows 8 fixed the errors and problems of partitioning and I having to remove the second partition of the hard drive. Additionally it seems using GParted to resize Windows partitions doesn’t work as well as you’d expect - resizing in Windows 8 refuses to shrink past a certain value, and I’d gone way past that using GParted, which probably explains the corruption.