1st SSD...

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by shantd, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. shantd

    shantd Gawd

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    Hey. Probably a dumb question, but this is the first time I've bought a SSD. Just wondering, do I still need to format it like a normal drive? Anything special I should know? I read somebody mention AHCI or something, no idea what it is so I just want to play it safe...
     
  2. Forceman

    Forceman [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Turn on AHCI in the BIOS before you install Windows, but as long as you are using Win 7 you can install and use it just like you would any other drive. You might consider turning off hibernation though, if it is a desktop machine, because that'll free up a couple of gigs of space. Don't bother with any "optimization" guides or anything.
     
  3. shantd

    shantd Gawd

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    Damn...I installed Windows 7 without doing any of the AHCI thing in the BIOS first. What should I do, reinstall windows now? Can I turn on AHCI after having installed Win7?
     
  4. shantd

    shantd Gawd

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  5. Forceman

    Forceman [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You can, you just need to activate the driver first (it may work just by switching it over, but if not you can follow steps below from Microsoft).

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

    If that still doesn't work, you can put it back to IDE, reboot and run a sysprep, and the reboot and change it.

    Method One on this page:
    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/135077-windows-7-installation-transfer-new-computer.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
  6. Betauser

    Betauser 2[H]4U

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    I just did this recently. Installed windows w/out the AHCI mode. After I realized it, I went back to bios and changed it to AHCI and it worked. Maybe it depends on your mobo too, but I didnt have to do any additional steps to switch from IDE to AHCI mode.
     
  7. shantd

    shantd Gawd

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    What exactly is AHCI? My drive seems to be working fine without it...
     
  8. jwcalla

    jwcalla 2[H]4U

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    It allows for some features like SATA hot-plugging and in some cases can improve performance.

    It's not necessary though.
     
  9. shantd

    shantd Gawd

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    Ah...hot plugging is always nice, but if you're using the drive as your main OS drive, how would you be able to hot plug it (whether with or without AHCI)?
     
  10. jwcalla

    jwcalla 2[H]4U

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    The funny thing is that on my Win 7 install (I think I'm using the default msachi driver), it actually allows you to eject the main OS drive. lol. I never tried it though so I'm not sure what would happen.
     
  11. Domingo

    Domingo Skip My Posts

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    I didn't turn AHCI on before I installed my recent M4 and while things seemed to work okay, it kept telling me that the drive was dynamic and wouldn't install anything to it. I could copy things to and from it, but getting an OS on there was impossible. I tried everything from drive copy software to DOS, to image recovery, to whatever.
     
  12. dustNbone

    dustNbone [H]ard|Gawd

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    The main reason you want your SSD running AHCI is for TRIM support, without which your drives performance will tend to decrease over time. Also, you gain command queueing which will help performance during heavy I/O activity.
     
  13. jwcalla

    jwcalla 2[H]4U

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    I don't think you need AHCI for TRIM support.

    The implementation might be OS-specific though.

    E.g., in Linux TRIM works in either IDE or AHCI mode.
     
  14. shantd

    shantd Gawd

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    hmmm...how about win7?
     
  15. shantd

    shantd Gawd

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    Where were you getting this message about being a dynamic drive? From within windows?

    Also, what method did you use to try to install the OS to it?
     
  16. JRS

    JRS Limp Gawd

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    My P5Q deluxe has one of the six internal intel sata ports that is meant for hot-swapping (and probably for connecting to an eSata bracket). My guess is that if I connected a boot drive to it that I would get the Windows remove device icon in the notification area (system tray).

    Maybe that is what jwcalla is experiencing.
     
  17. PGHammer

    PGHammer 2[H]4U

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    For SSDs in general with the current SF-22xx controller, TRIM is active by default (per LSI Sandforce SF-22xx documentation) regardless of whether AHCI is in use. (This is quite sensible as some chipsets, such as Intel's G4x, don't support AHCI.) This is not OS-specific behavior with SF-22xx.
     
  18. PGHammer

    PGHammer 2[H]4U

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    SATA-2 and higher supports hot-swap and hot-plug without requiring AHCI, as support for both is inherent in the specification. I've been able to hot-swap *and* hot-plug my SATA drives (as long as they were not the default boot drives) in both Windows 7 *and* Windows 8, despite G41+ICH7 *not* supporting AHCI.

    I have three physical SATA drives (two HDD and one optical) - as long as the boot drive remains attached, I can hot-swap/hot-plug the other two (despite all three being, in fact, internal drives). What mystifies *me* is that Intel's ICH7 doesn't support AHCI, as the immediate predecessor (ICH5/ICH5R) does.
     
  19. Red Squirrel

    Red Squirrel [H]ardForum Junkie

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    When I recently got mine I googled for a guide, mostly on minimizing unneeded writes.

    Basically:

    - Disable page file (this is most important one to reduce excessive wear)
    - Disable hibernation (will free up ton of space)
    - Disable system restore (unless you use it, then keep it)
    - Disable auto defrag (it's on by default)

    There was a few minor things I can't recall, but the big one is the page file. Though if you don't have lot of memory, say 4GB or less, then you might need it. But with the price of ram it makes more sense to get like 16GB and get rid of the page file.
     
  20. JRS

    JRS Limp Gawd

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    If you really won't to minize writes to your SSD, just don't turn on your PC. :p

    Minimizing SSD writes is a good idea, but taking a blanket approach is not. Everyone makes a huge deal about the fact that SSD have a limited number of writes, but how often have we seen someone post "I did it, I finally used up all my SSD writes!" I have yet to see one.

    I think disabling the page file is drastic. Windows and Window apps are designed to work with a pagefile - it is a bit odd that Windows even lets you disable it. Increasing your RAM is not an absolute given that you won't run into a problem if you don't have a pagefile. On multi-drive machines with a boot SSD I'll make the pagefile on the c: small and fixed and create a 2nd pagefile on a mechanical drive.

    Hibernation - definitely disable this if you don't use this, and this is a good idea SSD or not. But if you like to use it and have the drive space, don't disable it just to save writes to your SSD, they aren't that fragile.

    System restore - if you have a good, daily auto backup solution in place, than you can probably disable this. But, if like most people, you do not, I do not recommend disabling it.

    I do not recommend disabling auto defrag unless it is a SSD only machine. Most of the time Windows will recognize an SSD is an SSD and will remove it from the list of drives to defrag. I've replaced boot HDDs with SSDs on four Win 7 machines and everytime Windows recognized the SSD as such and removed it from the drives to defrag list. Verifying that your SSD is not on this list is enough.

    That is my two cents.
     
  21. Forceman

    Forceman [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yes, the SSD write thing is completely overblown, and has been debunked since basically the first generation of SSDs. There is no need to worry about SSD write lifespan - you aren't going to run into problems on that front. And it certainly isn't worth disabling the page file over.

    Yes, the defrag service will still be running, which confuses some people, but Win 7 will recognize the SSD and disable defrag for that drive. Don't disable the defrag service, especially if you have other non-SSDs installed.