6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 15, 2018 2:31 PM by TTW

    How to setup Intel Rapid Storage Technology for hybrid drive (SSHD)?

    TTW

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      Recently after upgrading my HP dv6 (Windows 7, Intel i7-3610QM) laptop's HDD to a Seagate 2TB Firecuda SSHD (hybrid drive combining 8GB SSD with 2TB HDD), every time during bootup, the "Intel Rapid Storage Technology" screen shows up (see first photo). It has something to do with RAID that I know nothing about. If I press <CTRL-I>, the next screen shows up (see second photo), but I don't know what to do so I just exited.  Question is: What option should I chose on this second screen in order to properly set up and optimize the hybrid drive?  Since I am a non-tech person, I would appreciate common language and step-by-step instructions. Thank you very much.

       

      P.S. If I don't do anything, after 10-15 seconds, the "Intel Rapid Storage Technology" screen disappears and the computer seems to boot to windows normally. However, it is annoying to have this delay every time I turn on the computer; also I am concerned that without proper setup of "Intel Rapid Storage Technology", I may not be getting the full performance benefit of the SSHD. Thanks.

        • 1. Re: How to setup Intel Rapid Storage Technology for hybrid drive (SSHD)?
          N.Scott.Pearson

          This screen appearing means that you have the SATA Mode configured to RAID within the BIOS. What I see in the RST display is that you have a 32GB SSD that you previously had been using to accelerate the performance of a hard drive (but not the SSHD that you have in there now).

           

          If you, in BIOS Setup, change the SATA Mode (back) to AHCI, the RST screens will not appear any longer. But (and it's a big but), doing so could cause your system to no longer boot from your SSHD. As a result, my recommendation is that you do nothing. This screen will fly by when you are booting, but you can just ignore it.

           

          You do not need to optimize the SSHD. It does this on its own. The longer you continue to boot from this SSHD, the better it will cache the boot files and speed up your normal processes.

           

          If, by 'optimize', you were talking about defragmenting your SSHD, I believe that you can do this using the Disk Defragmenter program in Windows. I do not recommend that you do this, however, as it will shorten the life of the SSD inside your SSHD.

           

          Hope this helps,

          ...S

          • 2. Re: How to setup Intel Rapid Storage Technology for hybrid drive (SSHD)?
            TTW

            Thank you Scott for detailed answer. It is strange because the laptop originally came from HP only with a 1GB HDD without any SSD. After I upgraded it to SSHD, it should now have an 8GB SSD integrated with a 2TB HDD.  I don't know where the 32GB SSD came from.

            It is nice to know that I can ignore the Intel RST, but is there a safe way to keep it from popping up during booting just to make boot up faster? Thank you.

            • 3. Re: How to setup Intel Rapid Storage Technology for hybrid drive (SSHD)?
              N.Scott.Pearson

              If SRT caching was turned on, you wouldn't have seen the MSATA SSD; you would simply see the HDD being cached. You broke this association when you removed the HDD, however. Know that this solution, with a 32GB MSATA SSD, should eventially outperform the SSHD with its smaller 8GB SSD.

               

              As I said, you can go into BIOS Setup and disable RST (and SRT) by changing the SATA Mode from RAID to AHCI. As I also said, doing so may cause your SSHD to stop booting. If this is the case, you have two choices, (1) change the SATA Mode back to RAID (and ignore it), or (2) reformat the SSHD and reinstall Windows. Again, this *might* happen; if you are lucky, changing the SATA Mode to AHCI will have no ill affects and you can simply remove the MSATA SSD.

               

              ...S

              • 4. Re: How to setup Intel Rapid Storage Technology for hybrid drive (SSHD)?
                TTW

                Thanks Scott. My original reason to upgrade the HDD was to get more storage and I chose the SSHD because it supposed to have faster performance. I was totally unaware the laptop had hidden 32GB mSATA SSD in addition to the HDD.  With that in mind, does it make sense to ditch the SSHD, and upgrade with a regular HDD?  Would that automatically restore the original association between the 32GB mSATA SSD and the HDD and eventually give me faster performance than SSHD? As a non-tech person, I am hesitant about changing settings in BIOS; therefore, I would greatly appreciate your advice.

                • 5. Re: How to setup Intel Rapid Storage Technology for hybrid drive (SSHD)?
                  N.Scott.Pearson

                  You have three choices:

                   

                  1. Replace the SSHD with a HDD and accelerate it using mSATA SSD as cache.

                   

                  The advantages of this choice include:

                   

                    1. Larger HDDs are available (versus SSHDs).
                    2. mSATA SSD will provide larger cache (compared to the SSD within the SSHD) and thus could eventually (i.e. once the often-accessed files are all cached) offer better acceleration.

                   

                  The disadvantages of this choice include:

                   

                    1. Some complex setup steps.
                    2. Reinstallation of Windows onto the HDD.

                   

                  To set this up, you would need to do the following:

                   

                    1. During BIOS POST, use CTRL-I to enter RST Setup window. Ensure both the HDD and mSATA SSD as marked as being normal drives.
                    2. Install Windows onto the HDD and update with all necessary driver packages (including RST).
                    3. Use the RST program to accelerate the HDD using the mSATA SSD.

                   

                  2. Use the mSATA SSD as a normal SSD, installing Windows to it, and use the SSHD as your data drive.

                   

                  The advantages of this choice include:

                   

                    1. Fastest performance for Windows System drive.
                    2. SSHD accelerates accesses to your data.

                   

                  The disadvantages of this choice include:

                   

                    1. Some complex setup steps.
                    2. System drive is fairly small and will eventually run out of space unless you are diligent to install most of your software packages to the SSHD.
                    3. Reinstallation of Windows to the mSATA SSD.

                   

                  To set this up, you would need to do the following:

                   

                    1. During BIOS POST, use CTRL-I to enter RST Setup window. Ensure both the SSHD and mSATA SSD as marked as being normal drives.
                    2. Install Windows onto the HDD and update with all necessary driver packages (but RST not needed).

                   

                  3. Remove the mSATA SSD and stick with the SSHD.

                   

                  The advantages of this choice include:

                   

                    1. Fairly simple to set up.

                   

                  The disadvantages of this choice include:

                   

                    1. Wasting that mSATA SSD.

                   

                  To set this up, you would need to do the following:

                   

                    1. Remove the mSATA SSD.
                    2. In BIOS Setup, change the SATA Mode parameter from RAID to AHCI.
                    3. Install Windows onto the SSHD (if you haven't already or it is required by change made in Step 2).

                   

                  Optional step(s):

                   

                    1. Before removing mSATA SSD and before changing SATA Mode parameter, during BIOS POST, use CTRL-I to enter RST Setup window. Ensure that the mSATA SSD as marked as being normal drive. This ensures you will have no issues using it in another computer.

                   

                   

                  So, which do I recommend? If it was me doing it for me, I would do Option 2. Since it is you doing it for you, I think you should just go with Option 3 - and forget the complex optional step. My rationale is as follows:

                   

                  1. It is the simplest.
                  2. Advantage of the mSATA SSD as a cache versus the SSD in the SSHD is pretty small and probably not worth it for you.
                  3. Using - and managing over time - the mSATA SSD as a SSD can be a complex thing as you need to watch where you are installing things and make complex decisions regarding use of SSD space versus performance, etc.

                   

                  Hope this helps,

                  ...S

                  • 6. Re: How to setup Intel Rapid Storage Technology for hybrid drive (SSHD)?
                    TTW

                    Thanks. I would like to ask a redundant question about Option 1:

                     

                    What if I take out the SSHD, put back the original 1TB HDD (I haven't made any changes to it, it still has Windows 7 and all the data on it), clone it to a new 2TB HDD then put it into the laptop?  So, in effect, the only thing changed is increasing the storage medium from 1TB to 2TB HDD without introducing the complexity of SSHD. Do you think the 32GB mSATA SSD will automatically re-establish association with the new 2TB HDD without me having to make any additional BIOS or RAID setups?  If I do have to make setup changes, what are they in step-by-step fashion?

                     

                    I really hope this is feasible because I am a novice in BIOS or RAID setups and I don't want to brick the machine.

                    The alternative is to do nothing and live with the annoyance of "Intel Rapid Storage Technology" screen every time I turn on the computer.

                     

                    I would appreciate your opinion. Thanks.