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      • 15. Re: Booting from a PCIe attached drive
        Intel Corporation
        This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

        Hi CMN,
        We would be waiting your results.
        Mike C

        • 16. Re: Booting from a PCIe attached drive


          I have now tested a Sedna PCIe SATA III SSD Adaptor with a PNY CL4100 480 GB SSD drive into an Intel D945GNT system board running Windows 7 Pro 64 bit and there are three main points to make about it:


          1. Physically, this adaptor is excellent. The SSD fits very securely onto the PCIe card and uses the cards inbuilt SATA power and data connectors - this is a huge improvement over having to fit the SSD into a standard drive bay and then run cables between whatever PCIe SATA card is used and the SSD and also run a power cable from the PSU.


          If you want to just add a single SSD to a system,. this is by far the neatest solution.


          2. As far as booting from the SSD when it's in this adaptor card is concerned, it works very well. I formatted the SSD, installed Windows 7 Pro 64 bit on it and the system booted up from it very well. So, again, is you're happy with a single, non-RAID SSD, this is an excellent solution.


          3. The big problem that arose though was that, having installed this card, I couldn't boot from anything else. It simply would not let me boot up into my original configuration (4 physical HDDs attached to the D945GNT system board and configured as two RAID 1 pairs).


          I tried going into the BIOS and changing the boot order of the drives, so that my original configuration should have booted before the SSD - but, whatever I tried, the SSD in its adaptor card always took precedence when it came to actual booting. The only way I could find to enable me to boot again from my original configuration was to take this card out of the system altogether - which is what I've done.


          And, incidentally, it's impossible to install the drivers for this card into my original Windows configuration because I can't boot into that configuration with the card installed and I the drivers won't install without the card installed!


          All of this means that you can't use this adaptor card just to add a single SSD for use as a non-boot drive - it has to be the boot drive, at least on my system.


          I've tried emailing the manufacturers technical support for advice but, a week on, I haven't been able to get any response from them.


          I'd be interested in any comments, in case I've overlooked anything.

          • 17. Re: Booting from a PCIe attached drive

            Most adapters like this (i.e. that have an Option ROM (OpROM) that provides a BIOS driver to support booting) have a special key sequence (for example, CTRL-I, which is what Intel's RAID OpROM uses) that can be used to enter a dialog that allows you to configure how this boot feature will work (if at all). Usually, if the OpROM produces an on-screen banner, this key sequence is identified in the banner. Check for this capability. Note that you may have to reconfigure the BIOS to allow this banner to be displayed (I can't remember if the feature allowing OpROM output to be disabled existed as far back as this board's BIOS, however). They may also say something about it in the (likely scant) documentation that came with the adapter...


            Hope this helps,


            • 18. Re: Booting from a PCIe attached drive

              I can't find any way of configuring this PCIe SSD adaptor card.


              The on-screen banner at start-up gives no key sequence and there's no documentation, either printed or on the driver disc, that comes with the card.


              I've tried a few key combinations, such as Ctrl-I (which, as you say, invokes the Intel RAID configuration) and Ctrl-S and F2 (which invokes the system board BIOS) but I can't find anything that has any effect.


              This, coupled with the fact that I have still been unable to get any response from the manufacturers, leads me to think that this card is non-configurable and that it will only function as the boot drive, overriding any other drives in precedence - unless, of course, it's just a matter of the combination of this SSD adaptor card with my Intel D945GNT system board.

              • 19. Re: Booting from a PCIe attached drive

                I have now removed the Sedna SSD adaptor and installed a StarTech PEXSAT32 2 port PCIe SATA adaptor - this seems to work well, without any problems, allowing the attached SSD to be used as an additional drive.


                Therefore, I think there is a problem with the Sedna Adaptor inasmuch as it will only function when attached drives are used as a boot drive.

                • 20. Re: Booting from a PCIe attached drive

                  Yea, I was not able to find any configuration capability either. Too bad. But, I will stick with it as I definitely want the SSD to be my boot drive.

                  • 21. Re: Booting from a PCIe attached drive

                    Having installed the SSD using the StarTech adaptor, I have configured it using Windows ReadyBoost with the maximum 32 GB cache size.


                    I haven't carried out any formal benchmarks, but my impression is that it's speeded things up quite a bit; and, being only a cache, it hasn't compromised data security.

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