I am sorry you are having problems with the system but let me help you.
Based on your description I have to point something you said and that where the issue lies.
Intel® Rapid Storage Technology requires 18.5 GB as minimum capacity of a SSD to cache the system and the Intel® Rapid Start Technology requires a hibernation partition with equal to or larger than the amount of system memory. This means that the total should be 34.5 GB of the SSD while your system has a SSD with 32 GB capacity.
I am sure the system can work with both technologies when having the correct configuration but I regret to say that with your current configuration is not possible to use both.
PD: Great nickname by the way!
Is there no way that there would be hidden features in the IRST driver available to OEM's to change minimum requirements?
I'd guess if there was anything changeable in the minimum specs (like Dell claim) it would be documented in the official Intel documentation for the driver release and would be available to everyone.
I'm just struggling to understand why Dell would state the IRST driver from 12.7 only requires 12GB cache for Rapid Storage and only 8GB (to store 16GB or RAM) for the Rapid Start feature. Here is their response quoted;
HDD + 32GB mSATA config can support both Intel Rapid Start and Intel Smart Response.
After the iRST driver ver 12.7, it needs min 12GB cache area.
Smart Response does not require dedicated cache just for itself.
Also Intel Rapid Start requires only 8GB. It does not have to be the same amount of main memory.
Thus 32GB is enough to support both function.
(yes I'm a NIN fan )
I completely understand this is frustrating for you and I am sorry for that.
From our side the driver/ Interface do not provide an option to change this. If you are using the OEM driver version, sometimes they change or manipulate the interface but that information is not available for us.
I can confirm that what I mentioned before and you also said is necessary to have both technologies up and running.