My company primarily uses HP machines but I've been a long time IBM (now Lenovo) fan so I recently had IT purchase me a new Lenovo W520 (product ID 42763LU).
Once the machine arrived I had them do the following:
- Remove the 500GB HDD and replace it with an Intel 520 series 240GB SSD
- Remove the optical drive and install the 500GB hard drive that came with the machine in the optical bay (with the bay adapter of course)
- Format both drives and put a preconfigured windows 7 64-bit image on the SSD
A general summary of the system is the following:
- Intel i7-2860QM CPU
- 8GB RAM
- NVIDIA Quadro 1000M
- Intel 520 240GB SSD (primary HDD) [SSDSC2CW240A3]
- Hitachi 500GB HDD (optical bay) [HTS727550A9E365]
- Intel Advanced-N 6205 network adapter
- TouchChip Fingerprint Scanner
The machine was a few days delayed getting to me due to "hard drive driver issues" (that's what I was told). When I received the machine I immediately noticed that it was much slower than I expected (I have a custom built i5 HTPC at home running windows 7 on a Crucial SATA III SSD that I was comparing it to) and I was experiencing frequent hangs (ranging from 30 seconds to multiple minutes), super long boot times, general “slowness” at times, and occasional lock-ups. Since our "baseline" laptop here at work is the "equivalent" HP workstation my IT guys have been less than helpful in helping me to solve this issue. Being reasonably computer savvy I decided to try to try to fix the issue myself.I performed the following “troubleshooting” steps:
- One of the first issues (errors) I noticed in the event viewer was errors related to the optical drive. Clearly the image they installed on the machine was not from a machine with the same hardware configuration. So, I decided to just wipe the machine and perform a fresh install of windows 7 from the disks (well, USB). After spending multiple days installing windows, performing updates, making sure all the drivers were current, and installing only the critical software I need, I was disappointed to realize that although I fixed the optical drive errors the machine was still slow, was hanging, and locking up regularly.
- Removed the cover on the machine and removed/reinstalled the drive to verify it was secure. Everything looked good.
- Verified the latest firmware is installed on all my Intel hardware. All firmware seemed up to date.
- I performed a number of troubleshooting steps like booting the machine with/without the battery, with/without the HDD in the optical bay, installed/removed from the docking station, etc. and none of these things helped (also a note – occasionally when running on the battery I was hearing a strange “buzz” or “static” sound coming from the area around the SSD).
- Next I did some internet research and learned quite a few things. First, it sounds like others have had similar problems with this machine and/or SSD combo and there were quite a few options suggested to “fix” these issues. The general consensus for troubleshooting steps were:
- Download and install the latest Intel chipset drivers and AHCI controller drivers (overwriting whatever windows installs during updates). This didn’t fix anything.
- Turn off PCI express link state power management in the power manager. This didn’t fix anything.
- Disable superfetch, prefetch, indexing, defragmentation, page file, system restore, and hibernate. A few of these were already disabled by windows so in those cases I just verified they were disabled in the services and application editor. These things may have slightly increased performance but did not fix the major hang/lockup issues I was having.
- I followed online steps to edit the registry to disable the PCI link power management by adding ports, adding the required variables, and setting them all to 0. This did seem to have fixed the hangs and/or lock-ups but the machine is still much slower than I would expect (boot times are still pretty slow and it does “stutter” when I’m doing more than one thing at a time. Also a note here – I have the Intel SSD toolbox installed and I noticed that it was giving me a warning for DIPM not being optimized. I made the mistake of clicking “Tune!” and then started having the hang/lock-up issues again. I went back into the registry and sure enough the PCI link power management variables for ports 0 and 1 were set back to 1. I set them back to 0 and the hangs have gone away. I will not be “tuning” the DIPM through the Intel SSD toolbox again…
6. I also fixed a couple of other minor errors I was seeing in the event viewer by disabling benign services and/or making slight timeout modifications (I researched each issue on the internet to verify they were benign before I implemented any changes). These fixes didn't seem to do anything other than make some of the errors/warnings go away. So, the list of errors/warnings has become much smaller but I’m still getting the following (maybe an issue, maybe not?):
- Event ID 37 for every processor saying that they are in a reduced performance state for xx seconds since the last report
- Event ID 10002 - WLAN Extensibility Module has stopped
- Event ID 4001 - WLAN AutoConfig service has successfully stopped
- Event ID 27 – Intel® 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection link is disconnected
7. Since the machine still seemed slow I downloaded the program AS SSD and checked the performance of the SSD. When I compared my performance numbers to the benchmark numbers I found online I was very surprised to discover that I’m getting about 50% of the performance that I should (values below are read/write):
- Seq: 262.11/188.32 (s/b 504.58/298.28)
- 4K: 15.83/44.92 (s/b 21.70/62.60)
- 4K-64Thrd: 165.23/154.46 (s/b 241.38/234.08)
- Acc.time: 0.218/.294 (s/b .0186/0.208)
- Score: 207/208 (s/b 314/327)
- Overall Score: 533 (s/b 797)
So, I apologize for such a long post but I’ve spent countless hours researching and troubleshooting this problem and haven’t been able to figure out what the heck is wrong here. Am I missing something simple or do you guys think I have a SSD and/or problem with the machine itself? To say that any and all help would be greatly appreciated would be a massive understatement – I’m on the verge of pulling my hair out and I really need this machine working as quickly as possible!
Please let me know if you have any suggestions and/or need additional information. Thanks in advance for your help!