1 2 Previous Next 24 Replies Latest reply on Jan 14, 2010 5:44 PM by rick7653

    New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions

    germanjulian

      Hi,

      getting my  Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD in 2 days. I have windows 7 currently installed on a normal HD and I was wondering if I can use a partition copy program like Acronis to copy it over to the new SSD without any issues?

       

      Also browsing though here it looks like Windows 7 does not do a lot of the things its supposed to do when an SSD is used as the system drive (disable prefetch, trim etc). Is this really the case?

       

      Anything else I should know or configure? I have a core 2 due with a Intel 975X/Intel ICH7R motherboard Asus P5W DH Deluxe 

        • 1. Re: New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions
          gordo

          I can't speak to your plan to copy partitions. Personally, I would install fresh on the new SSD when it comes, but you're certainly free to  try the move.

           

          For me, Win7 doesn't disable defrag altogether, but it clearly blacklists/ignores the SSD and just defrags my spinning disks. I disabled superfetch right after installing, so I don't know if Win7 would have properly disabled it for the SSD.

           

          I happen to have the same motherboard as you and have been using Win7 64-bit, so I can offer you information that got TRIM working for me.

           

          First  of all, go into the P5W DH Deluxe BIOS and make a note of any important  custom settings, then update your motherboard firmware to 3001 (or at  least make sure it's reasonably recent, say 2801 or above). Re-apply  your settings if necesary (mine were saved going from 2901 to 3001).

           

          Next, download the latest Intel G2 firmware and put it  on a CD or USB bootable key. In the BIOS again, set the onboard SATA  controller to normal mode (can't remember exactly what it's called, but it's not RAID and not AHCI). Ensure the system is set to boot first from CD or USB  key, and flash your SSD firmware to the latest.

           

          Install (or copy?) Windows 7 onto the SSD.

           

          After completing the full install, reboot and set the SATA controller for AHCI mode in the BIOS.

           

          Now go into Control Panel --> Device Manager and "View --> Devices by Connection", then search for the SSD. For me, the motherboard's SATA controller kept coming up as an Intel ...blah blah blah... something or other controller. If you go into the controller's properties and view driver details, you'll notice that the controller does not list msahci.sys but lists instead intelide.sys (or something like that) as one of the loaded drivers. You can also confirm with the "AS SSD" benchmark program (do a Google search).

           

          At this point, trim was NOT working for me. I know this because I ran the system like this for about 10 days and noticed that when I ran the "AS SSD" benchmark program, I would get varying degrees of performance, but it was clearly slowing down a bit every few days as I installed apps and used the computer.

           

          The way I found to get TRIM working was to go into Device Manager and manually force Windows to load the driver for the "Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller" (only do this for the SATA controller itself). Windows complained, but I am here to tell you that the ICH7R SATA controller on our motherboard is compatible with the standard AHCI SATA driver. Once I made this change and rebooted, I noted that the msahci.sys was loaded and my Intel 160GB G2 has been pegged in AS SSD at 250MB/s sequential reads and 100MB/s writes ever since.

          • 2. Re: New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions
            germanjulian

            Hi Gordo,

             

            thank you for the detailed post, looks like quite a few steps but I will do them. However one question I do have how exactly do I do this:

            gordo wrote:

            The way I found to get TRIM working was to go into Device Manager and manually force Windows to load the driver for the "Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller" (only do this for the SATA controller itself). Windows complained, but I am here to tell you that the ICH7R SATA controller on our motherboard is compatible with the standard AHCI SATA driver. Once I made this change and rebooted, I noted that the msahci.sys was loaded and my Intel 160GB G2 has been pegged in AS SSD at 250MB/s sequential reads and 100MB/s writes ever since.

             

            How do I force a driver update or how do I force that particular drive to load?

            • 3. Re: New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions
              gordo

              Device Manager -- right click on the SATA controller --> Update driver software --> browse my computer... --> Let me pick... --> uncheck "show compaitble hardware" --> Find Standard AHCI... --> Next

               

              and follow the prompts.

              • 4. Re: New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions
                germanjulian

                Hi,

                 

                did a fresh install of Win7 64 bit and I also enabled the AHCI mode in my bios prior to installing windows.

                Everything works great and I use the right msahci drivers but Win7 did not configure itself for SSD usage, defrag and superfetch where still on etc.

                 

                Will see if trim works by monitoring performance the next 3 weeks... if not I can live with the Intel SSD toolbox

                 

                Love the speed of the SSD

                • 5. Re: New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions
                  ambizytl

                  "Also browsing though here it looks like Windows 7 does not do a lot of the things its supposed to do when an SSD is used as the system drive (disable prefetch, trim etc). Is this really the case?"

                   

                  Yes, and I believe this is a Windows 7 issue, happens with other brands of SSD as well.

                  • 6. Re: New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions
                    gordo

                    Like I said, Win7 doesn't disable defrag altogether, but it clearly  blacklists/ignores the SSD. Go to defrag and click "configure schedule. Is your SSD listed? Mine isn't listed, because Win7 recognizes it as an SSD

                    • 7. Re: New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions
                      ambizytl

                      If Windows 7 recognized your SSD, do you have Superfetch and prefetch disabled?

                      • 8. Re: New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions
                        gordo

                        Superfetch service is set to automatic, but it doesn't start. Not sure why... I may have disabled it with SSD Tweaker... i was playing around with that when I first installed. So I don't know to be honest.

                        • 9. Re: New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions
                          ZXTT95

                          I know that Superfetch/Prefetching is not supposed to be performed from an SSD, but has anything been written by MS that says the services will be disabled?  It isn't the same thing.

                           

                          On my system, which was installed on a mechanical hard drive, and imaged to the SSD, I have observed the following:

                           

                          Auto defrag is disabled for the SSD.  My mechanical drives may be selected.

                          According to the eventlog, boot defrag completes successfully on the SSD.  However, I don't know if it actually moves files or simply notes that nothing needs to be done and reports success to the log.  Even if it does move the files, the relatively small boot optimization defrag won't affect the life of the drive in a meaningful way.

                          The boot prefetch log (ntos-boodfaad.pf or something like that) has not been updated since the day I installed the SSD.

                          My impression is that Superfetching is not occurring as much as usual or at all, but with Win7 I don't think it's as easy to tell as with Vista because Win7 is supposed to wait 1-2 mins after booting completes before it starts Superfetching.  Since I have mechanical drives, I would expect some Superfetching, although most data that would normally be fetched is on the SSD.  I'll have watch the system more closely sometime to see what's going on.

                          • 10. Re: New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions
                            germanjulian

                            Hi,

                             

                            my two cent. I can still perform defrag on my SSD so it definatly not an SSD for Windows 7.

                             

                            I would disable superfetch if I where you, the benefit is marginal even if you have some apps on non ssd disks

                            • 11. Re: New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions
                              gordo

                              Win7 isn't supposed to prevent you from being able to manually defrag your SSD, but it will not schedule the defrag to happen. Did you try to schedule a defrag as I explained in the above post? If your SSD does not show when you try to create a schedule, then rest assured Win7 is seeing your drive as an SSD.

                              • 12. Re: New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions
                                germanjulian

                                Gordo, you are right

                                 

                                sorry.

                                • 13. Re: New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions
                                  CZZ

                                  ZXTT95:

                                   

                                  MS on SSDs in Win7:

                                   

                                  "This post looks at the way we have tuned Windows 7 to the current generation of SSDs"


                                  http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/05/05/support-and-q-a-for-solid-state-drives-and.aspx

                                  • 14. Re: New to Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, some questions
                                    rick7653

                                    One of the more important things you need to do first is align the partition. Then if you use Acronis there is a method to retaining that partition alignment. If you just clone the drive over to your SSD it will revert back to the partition alignment of a rotating drive. You don't want that so do some research on how to align your SSD first. There are some articles on the net also about how to restore from Acronis without screwing up the alignment you jsut did.

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