Discussion:
Solid State Drive Fragmantation?
(too old to reply)
cameo
2013-02-20 20:45:10 UTC
Permalink
Can solid state drives also slow down over time like traditional hard
drives due to fragmantation or some other reason that is specific to
solid state drives?
Scott
2013-02-20 20:53:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by cameo
Can solid state drives also slow down over time like traditional hard
drives due to fragmantation or some other reason that is specific to
solid state drives?
Those more expert than me can provide a definitive answer but my
understanding is that fragmentation is not an issue with SDD and
indeed you should turn off defragmentation (and indexing) as such
processes may shorten the product life.
Andy Burns
2013-02-20 20:56:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by cameo
Can solid state drives also slow down over time like traditional hard
drives due to fragmantation or some other reason that is specific to
solid state drives?
They can, but don't run a traditional de-fragmenter on them, that can
shorten their life and make things worse.

Should we presume you're running Win7? If it recognises the drive as an
SSD, it should enable TRIM support and disable the inbuild defrag
scheduled task ... that's all that's required

Start cmd.exe as administrator

fsutil.exe behavior query disabledeletenotify

If you see "DisableDeleteNotify = 0" everything is fine.
s|b
2013-02-20 21:36:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by cameo
Can solid state drives also slow down over time like traditional hard
drives due to fragmantation or some other reason that is specific to
solid state drives?
When I bought an SSD I did some reading and I can only confirm what Andy
says. Defragmenting was disabled under W7 and CrystamDiskInfo confirmed
that TRIM (and NCQ) are enabled.

Because I have an Intel SSD I can use Intel SSD Toolbox to check some
other settings and to weekly optimize using Trim functionality.
--
s|b
charlie
2013-02-21 02:07:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by s|b
Post by cameo
Can solid state drives also slow down over time like traditional hard
drives due to fragmantation or some other reason that is specific to
solid state drives?
When I bought an SSD I did some reading and I can only confirm what Andy
says. Defragmenting was disabled under W7 and CrystamDiskInfo confirmed
that TRIM (and NCQ) are enabled.
Because I have an Intel SSD I can use Intel SSD Toolbox to check some
other settings and to weekly optimize using Trim functionality.
Samsung 840 SSDs also have a utility that supposedly takes care of such
things.
Scott
2013-02-21 08:01:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by charlie
Post by s|b
Post by cameo
Can solid state drives also slow down over time like traditional hard
drives due to fragmantation or some other reason that is specific to
solid state drives?
When I bought an SSD I did some reading and I can only confirm what Andy
says. Defragmenting was disabled under W7 and CrystamDiskInfo confirmed
that TRIM (and NCQ) are enabled.
Because I have an Intel SSD I can use Intel SSD Toolbox to check some
other settings and to weekly optimize using Trim functionality.
Samsung 840 SSDs also have a utility that supposedly takes care of such
things.
Samsung SSD Magician.
Yousuf Khan
2013-02-22 00:01:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by cameo
Can solid state drives also slow down over time like traditional hard
drives due to fragmantation or some other reason that is specific to
solid state drives?
Not due to fragmentation, so don't ever run a defragmenter on it.

But SSD's use some reserved flash cells to speed up writing. As the SSD
gets filled up, these reserves start dwindling, especially in older,
smaller SSD's. So it takes longer to erase these cells before they can
be re-written on. So write speeds may go down, but read speeds should
not be affected at all.

Yousuf Khan
VanguardLH
2013-02-22 03:22:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by cameo
Can solid state drives also slow down over time like traditional hard
drives due to fragmantation or some other reason that is specific to
solid state drives?
RAM = Random Accessed Memory

Takes the same amount of time to access any memory address as another
or, conversely, doesn't take any more time to access one memory location
than another.

There is some tiny organizational overhead to manage the file system.
SSDs also incorporate wear levelling to maximize their lifespan; else,
reusing the same location for the same temporary data would result in
corrupted data when that block failed. Also, there is reserved space
(just like for hard disks) to map out bad blocks. Redirection due to
masking incurs a small overhead. None of these factor in regarding
fragmentation of files on a SSD. They are overhead for its normal
operation regardless of fragmentation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive
Fragmentation
There is limited benefit to reading data sequentially (beyond typical FS
block sizes, say 4kB), making fragmentation negligible for SSDs.[79]
Defragmentation would cause wear by making additional writes of the NAND
flash cells, which have a limited cycle life.[80][81]

For SSDs and regarding defragmentation: don't do it. No benefit but
generates further and unnecessary junction oxide stress (wear).
cameo
2013-02-22 03:40:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by VanguardLH
Post by cameo
Can solid state drives also slow down over time like traditional hard
drives due to fragmantation or some other reason that is specific to
solid state drives?
RAM = Random Accessed Memory
Takes the same amount of time to access any memory address as another
or, conversely, doesn't take any more time to access one memory location
than another.
There is some tiny organizational overhead to manage the file system.
SSDs also incorporate wear levelling to maximize their lifespan; else,
reusing the same location for the same temporary data would result in
corrupted data when that block failed. Also, there is reserved space
(just like for hard disks) to map out bad blocks. Redirection due to
masking incurs a small overhead. None of these factor in regarding
fragmentation of files on a SSD. They are overhead for its normal
operation regardless of fragmentation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive
Fragmentation
There is limited benefit to reading data sequentially (beyond typical FS
block sizes, say 4kB), making fragmentation negligible for SSDs.[79]
Defragmentation would cause wear by making additional writes of the NAND
flash cells, which have a limited cycle life.[80][81]
For SSDs and regarding defragmentation: don't do it. No benefit but
generates further and unnecessary junction oxide stress (wear).
OK, thanks, though I always understood RAM to be the fast memory that
the CPU accesses directly, such DDR3, etc., not SSD.
VanguardLH
2013-02-22 04:32:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by cameo
Post by VanguardLH
Post by cameo
Can solid state drives also slow down over time like traditional hard
drives due to fragmantation or some other reason that is specific to
solid state drives?
RAM = Random Accessed Memory
Takes the same amount of time to access any memory address as another
or, conversely, doesn't take any more time to access one memory location
than another.
There is some tiny organizational overhead to manage the file system.
SSDs also incorporate wear levelling to maximize their lifespan; else,
reusing the same location for the same temporary data would result in
corrupted data when that block failed. Also, there is reserved space
(just like for hard disks) to map out bad blocks. Redirection due to
masking incurs a small overhead. None of these factor in regarding
fragmentation of files on a SSD. They are overhead for its normal
operation regardless of fragmentation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive
Fragmentation
There is limited benefit to reading data sequentially (beyond typical FS
block sizes, say 4kB), making fragmentation negligible for SSDs.[79]
Defragmentation would cause wear by making additional writes of the NAND
flash cells, which have a limited cycle life.[80][81]
For SSDs and regarding defragmentation: don't do it. No benefit but
generates further and unnecessary junction oxide stress (wear).
OK, thanks, though I always understood RAM to be the fast memory that
the CPU accesses directly, such DDR3, etc., not SSD.
SSD = Solid State Drive

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ssd
"uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data
persistently"

Memory-based mass storage devices (aka drives) are not new. I remember
seeing some over 30 years ago but they were very low capacity because
memory was extremely pricey back then. They were also huge in size.
Gene E. Bloch
2013-02-22 05:26:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by cameo
OK, thanks, though I always understood RAM to be the fast memory that
the CPU accesses directly, such DDR3, etc., not SSD.
RAM means Random Access Memory, i.e., memory that is access by directly
addressing a location. It is used as you say, but that is not the only
use.

PROMs, SSDs, thumb drives, SD cards, BIOS ROMs are a few uses of RAM.
Although people do not usually refer to some of those as RAM, they
really are.

On some level, even magnetic or optical disk drives are random access -
they just require a bit of maneuvering to get to the addressed
locations. But *nobody* ever calls them RAM :-)
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
DanS
2013-02-22 23:52:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by cameo
OK, thanks, though I always understood RAM to be the fast memory that
the CPU accesses directly, such DDR3, etc., not SSD.
RAM means Random Access Memory, i.e., memory that is access by directly
addressing a location. It is used as you say, but that is not the only
use.
PROMs, SSDs, thumb drives, SD cards, BIOS ROMs are a few uses of RAM.
Although people do not usually refer to some of those as RAM, they
really are.
On some level, even magnetic or optical disk drives are random access -
they just require a bit of maneuvering to get to the addressed
locations. But *nobody* ever calls them RAM :-)
Not necessarily true.......

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD-RAM
Gene E. Bloch
2013-02-23 00:34:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by DanS
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by cameo
OK, thanks, though I always understood RAM to be the fast memory that
the CPU accesses directly, such DDR3, etc., not SSD.
RAM means Random Access Memory, i.e., memory that is access by directly
addressing a location. It is used as you say, but that is not the only
use.
PROMs, SSDs, thumb drives, SD cards, BIOS ROMs are a few uses of RAM.
Although people do not usually refer to some of those as RAM, they
really are.
On some level, even magnetic or optical disk drives are random access -
they just require a bit of maneuvering to get to the addressed
locations. But *nobody* ever calls them RAM :-)
Not necessarily true.......
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD-RAM
Ah! I had forgotten about that - and I even have some and have played
with them :-)
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
VanguardLH
2013-02-23 02:38:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by cameo
OK, thanks, though I always understood RAM to be the fast memory that
the CPU accesses directly, such DDR3, etc., not SSD.
RAM means Random Access Memory, i.e., memory that is access by directly
addressing a location. It is used as you say, but that is not the only
use.
PROMs, SSDs, thumb drives, SD cards, BIOS ROMs are a few uses of RAM.
Although people do not usually refer to some of those as RAM, they
really are.
On some level, even magnetic or optical disk drives are random access -
they just require a bit of maneuvering to get to the addressed
locations. But *nobody* ever calls them RAM :-)
The typical delineation is between "memory" and "mass storage subsystem"
to differentiate those types of devices. However, there once was
magnetic bubble memory that use magnetism as do hard disks to control
the dipolar alignment of the bubble "bits". Unlike memory of that day
that requires voltage to maintain the junction latch state, you could
completely remove power from bubble memory. Despite the much higher
price, HDD makers got scared so they upped their capacity to outstrip
and nullify the permanence of bubble memory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_memory

As far as I remember, bubble memory was slow but it was non-destructive.
EEPROMs used for flash memory (USB thumb drives, SSDs) is destructive
due to oxide stress and why they incorporate wear levelling and bad
block remapping.

Although switching between cylinders which are groups of tracks to move
between sections of memory is something like switching between blocks of
memory (bits aren't accessed but blocks, like bytes or more likely
words), that's a bit of a stretch. Probably better delineation is one
based on how the device is physically fabricated: semiconductors with
dielectric charges versus dipolar alignment in magnetic media.
Differentiation is more about how they are made rather than on their
hardware interface.
a***@wind.net
2013-02-22 15:45:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by cameo
Can solid state drives also slow down over time like traditional hard
drives due to fragmantation or some other reason that is specific to
solid state drives?
When I bought my SSD from Crucial and discussed the issue with them
they also said not to defrag the disk.

They did say that about once a month I should start the system to the
BIOS and leave it overnight. "It will take care of itself."

Don't have a clue as to what "it" does.
Paul
2013-02-22 19:57:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@wind.net
Post by cameo
Can solid state drives also slow down over time like traditional hard
drives due to fragmantation or some other reason that is specific to
solid state drives?
When I bought my SSD from Crucial and discussed the issue with them
they also said not to defrag the disk.
They did say that about once a month I should start the system to the
BIOS and leave it overnight. "It will take care of itself."
Don't have a clue as to what "it" does.
The SSD has its own processor inside, and firmware.

The processor and firmware, run in the background, and rearrange
data to suit wear leveling and future performance.

The reference to "leave it overnight", applies to "4KB-sized torture tests".
The natural block size of SSDs is rather large. And they don't deal with small
files well. If you pummel the SSD with random small files like that (as Anandtech
does in some of its testing), the SSD drive needs significant time in the
background, to unravel the mess. The files are recorded instantly, the mess
is cleaned up later. The blocks would be moved around to consolidate space.
And it really does take all night.

If the drive is not allowed to do that, you could go from a drive that
has a 250MB/sec write rate, to dropping down to 100MB/sec. If you leave
the drive overnight, and powered up, the SSD processor and firmware
move those 4KB file fragments around. The drive then has the 250MB/sec
performance the next morning. Doing such movements, costs something
in terms of SSD lifetime.

More info here if you're curious. Or one of the many articles
on Anandtech probably explains it as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Write_amplification

The 4KB random file test, is a pathological one. If you're doing
activities like email or web surfing, the SSD likely isn't compromised
at all, and ten minutes of background work is enough to maintain it.
But if you use one of those special "torture test" programs, then
you'll need all night to restore full SSD write speed.

Other options for resetting an SSD, might include Secure Erase, which
is a feature of the ATA command set. That might be a quicker way to
straighten up an SSD that has received a torture test. But that
also erases the data.

There's plenty written about the care and feeding of SSDs out
there, but I don't have the time to read it all. It's worth
reading though, if you own one.

Paul
Robin Bignall
2013-02-22 21:21:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul
The reference to "leave it overnight", applies to "4KB-sized torture tests".
The natural block size of SSDs is rather large. And they don't deal with small
files well. If you pummel the SSD with random small files like that (as Anandtech
does in some of its testing), the SSD drive needs significant time in the
background, to unravel the mess. The files are recorded instantly, the mess
is cleaned up later. The blocks would be moved around to consolidate space.
And it really does take all night.
Thanks for yet another very informative post, Paul. Is it merely
necessary to leave the system switched on overnight, or does one
actually have to boot into BIOS and leave it there overnight. In other
words, is an idle Windows 7 idle enough to accomplish the task or not?
--
Robin Bignall
Herts, England
Gene E. Bloch
2013-02-22 22:58:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Paul
The reference to "leave it overnight", applies to "4KB-sized torture tests".
The natural block size of SSDs is rather large. And they don't deal with small
files well. If you pummel the SSD with random small files like that (as Anandtech
does in some of its testing), the SSD drive needs significant time in the
background, to unravel the mess. The files are recorded instantly, the mess
is cleaned up later. The blocks would be moved around to consolidate space.
And it really does take all night.
Thanks for yet another very informative post, Paul. Is it merely
necessary to leave the system switched on overnight, or does one
actually have to boot into BIOS and leave it there overnight. In other
words, is an idle Windows 7 idle enough to accomplish the task or not?
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.

My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.

Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
Paul
2013-02-22 23:24:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Paul
The reference to "leave it overnight", applies to "4KB-sized torture tests".
The natural block size of SSDs is rather large. And they don't deal with small
files well. If you pummel the SSD with random small files like that (as Anandtech
does in some of its testing), the SSD drive needs significant time in the
background, to unravel the mess. The files are recorded instantly, the mess
is cleaned up later. The blocks would be moved around to consolidate space.
And it really does take all night.
Thanks for yet another very informative post, Paul. Is it merely
necessary to leave the system switched on overnight, or does one
actually have to boot into BIOS and leave it there overnight. In other
words, is an idle Windows 7 idle enough to accomplish the task or not?
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
There's some difference between drives that support TRIM, and the
system is set up for TRIM. Some SSDs have the capability to tidy
up, even without TRIM, and those can run overnight. Just needs
power to work.

The difficult part, is figuring out what the drive is doing.
There is no need for a disk activity light, when the SSD drive
does stuff in the background. One way to determine that is going on,
would be to monitor the power consumption, which is a bit difficult.
A Molex to SATA power cable, a clamp-on ammeter, and you could monitor
for current flow. At some point, the current should drop back when the
drive is idle internally.

Paul
Robin Bignall
2013-02-23 00:48:24 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 22 Feb 2013 14:58:48 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Paul
The reference to "leave it overnight", applies to "4KB-sized torture tests".
The natural block size of SSDs is rather large. And they don't deal with small
files well. If you pummel the SSD with random small files like that (as Anandtech
does in some of its testing), the SSD drive needs significant time in the
background, to unravel the mess. The files are recorded instantly, the mess
is cleaned up later. The blocks would be moved around to consolidate space.
And it really does take all night.
Thanks for yet another very informative post, Paul. Is it merely
necessary to leave the system switched on overnight, or does one
actually have to boot into BIOS and leave it there overnight. In other
words, is an idle Windows 7 idle enough to accomplish the task or not?
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
I just had a look at Task Mgr / Performance with nothing running except
background tasks. I then exited most of those except virus checker.
After a few seconds it settles down to 0-1% CPU usage, with the idle
task mainly at 99%. That's probable even more idle than the average
British navvy, and should do.
--
Robin Bignall
Herts, England
Gene E. Bloch
2013-02-23 23:26:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Gene E. Bloch
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
I just had a look at Task Mgr / Performance with nothing running except
background tasks. I then exited most of those except virus checker.
After a few seconds it settles down to 0-1% CPU usage, with the idle
task mainly at 99%. That's probable even more idle than the average
British navvy, and should do.
Funny analogy. But being on the wrong side of the ocean, I *did* have to
look up navvy, a word whose meaning I have forgotten (or never knew).
But my spell checker doesn't know it either - par for the course, I'm
afraid :-)

But I was thinking about *disk* activity, not CPU activity. My idea was
that if the firmware and the OS were both writing to disk, surprising
things might happen.
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
Robin Bignall
2013-02-24 00:21:02 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 23 Feb 2013 15:26:12 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Gene E. Bloch
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
I just had a look at Task Mgr / Performance with nothing running except
background tasks. I then exited most of those except virus checker.
After a few seconds it settles down to 0-1% CPU usage, with the idle
task mainly at 99%. That's probable even more idle than the average
British navvy, and should do.
Funny analogy. But being on the wrong side of the ocean, I *did* have to
look up navvy, a word whose meaning I have forgotten (or never knew).
But my spell checker doesn't know it either - par for the course, I'm
afraid :-)
COD:
navvy
· n. (pl. navvies) Brit. dated, a labourer employed in the excavation
and construction of a road, railway, or canal.
– ORIGIN C19: abbrev. of navigator.

I was being rude about British manual labourers.
Post by Gene E. Bloch
But I was thinking about *disk* activity, not CPU activity. My idea was
that if the firmware and the OS were both writing to disk, surprising
things might happen.
I guess the firmware sorts that out. I wonder how one knows if and when
the SSD has beavered away doing this good stuff.
--
Robin Bignall
Herts, England
Gene E. Bloch
2013-02-24 01:41:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robin Bignall
On Sat, 23 Feb 2013 15:26:12 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Gene E. Bloch
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
I just had a look at Task Mgr / Performance with nothing running except
background tasks. I then exited most of those except virus checker.
After a few seconds it settles down to 0-1% CPU usage, with the idle
task mainly at 99%. That's probable even more idle than the average
British navvy, and should do.
Funny analogy. But being on the wrong side of the ocean, I *did* have to
look up navvy, a word whose meaning I have forgotten (or never knew).
But my spell checker doesn't know it either - par for the course, I'm
afraid :-)
navvy
· n. (pl. navvies) Brit. dated, a labourer employed in the excavation
and construction of a road, railway, or canal.
– ORIGIN C19: abbrev. of navigator.
I was being rude about British manual labourers.
Note that I said that I had to look it up - that implies (to me at least
:-) ) that I *did* look it up.

The definition I found was similar and brought it up to date a bit:
"Navvy, pl. navvies: Originally, a laborer on canals for internal
navigation; hence a laborer on other public works, as in building
railroads, embankments, etc." (Webster)

I would've said labourer, but my spell checker is again out of step with
the British way. Also the American way, quite frequently :-)
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Gene E. Bloch
But I was thinking about *disk* activity, not CPU activity. My idea was
that if the firmware and the OS were both writing to disk, surprising
things might happen.
I guess the firmware sorts that out. I wonder how one knows if and when
the SSD has beavered away doing this good stuff.
You're likely right - I was just being sort of paranoid about the whole
thing, but by proxy: I don't have a SSD (or an SSD).
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
Dave-UK
2013-02-24 09:53:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robin Bignall
On Sat, 23 Feb 2013 15:26:12 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Gene E. Bloch
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
I just had a look at Task Mgr / Performance with nothing running except
background tasks. I then exited most of those except virus checker.
After a few seconds it settles down to 0-1% CPU usage, with the idle
task mainly at 99%. That's probable even more idle than the average
British navvy, and should do.
I guess the firmware sorts that out. I wonder how one knows if and when
the SSD has beavered away doing this good stuff.
I bought a Kingston 120 G/B SSD the other day to speed up a laptop.
It came in a plastic shrink-wrap with an 'installation' leaflet of
many languages. The installation instructions were mostly about
physically fixing the drive into a computer.
It just said the BIOS should recognize the drive automatically on switch on.
If not, then enter the BIOS and 'instruct the system to autodetect the new drive'.

There is no mention of any low level sector alignment, defrag settings or any
of the dangers often mentioned in newsgroup posts. If it were that important
I would have thought the manufacturer of the drive would mention it somewhere.

There is a data migration video on their website and it is basically a simple
cloning operation, no messing about with BIOS settings.
http://www.kingston.com/en/ssd/v
Scott
2013-02-24 10:23:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave-UK
Post by Robin Bignall
On Sat, 23 Feb 2013 15:26:12 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Gene E. Bloch
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
I just had a look at Task Mgr / Performance with nothing running except
background tasks. I then exited most of those except virus checker.
After a few seconds it settles down to 0-1% CPU usage, with the idle
task mainly at 99%. That's probable even more idle than the average
British navvy, and should do.
I guess the firmware sorts that out. I wonder how one knows if and when
the SSD has beavered away doing this good stuff.
I bought a Kingston 120 G/B SSD the other day to speed up a laptop.
It came in a plastic shrink-wrap with an 'installation' leaflet of
many languages. The installation instructions were mostly about
physically fixing the drive into a computer.
It just said the BIOS should recognize the drive automatically on switch on.
If not, then enter the BIOS and 'instruct the system to autodetect the new drive'.
There is no mention of any low level sector alignment, defrag settings or any
of the dangers often mentioned in newsgroup posts. If it were that important
I would have thought the manufacturer of the drive would mention it somewhere.
There is a data migration video on their website and it is basically a simple
cloning operation, no messing about with BIOS settings.
http://www.kingston.com/en/ssd/v
Mine (Samsung) says you should switch off defragmentation and indexing
to reduce wear and because they are unnecessary given the way a SSD
works. It provides a program to do this (Samsung Magician).

It also recommends changing the BIOS to AHCI but my computer shop
advises this is marginal and may cause compatibility issues.
Robin Bignall
2013-02-24 17:26:33 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 24 Feb 2013 10:23:11 +0000, Scott
Post by Scott
Post by Dave-UK
Post by Robin Bignall
On Sat, 23 Feb 2013 15:26:12 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Gene E. Bloch
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
I just had a look at Task Mgr / Performance with nothing running except
background tasks. I then exited most of those except virus checker.
After a few seconds it settles down to 0-1% CPU usage, with the idle
task mainly at 99%. That's probable even more idle than the average
British navvy, and should do.
I guess the firmware sorts that out. I wonder how one knows if and when
the SSD has beavered away doing this good stuff.
I bought a Kingston 120 G/B SSD the other day to speed up a laptop.
It came in a plastic shrink-wrap with an 'installation' leaflet of
many languages. The installation instructions were mostly about
physically fixing the drive into a computer.
It just said the BIOS should recognize the drive automatically on switch on.
If not, then enter the BIOS and 'instruct the system to autodetect the new drive'.
There is no mention of any low level sector alignment, defrag settings or any
of the dangers often mentioned in newsgroup posts. If it were that important
I would have thought the manufacturer of the drive would mention it somewhere.
There is a data migration video on their website and it is basically a simple
cloning operation, no messing about with BIOS settings.
http://www.kingston.com/en/ssd/v
Mine (Samsung) says you should switch off defragmentation and indexing
to reduce wear and because they are unnecessary given the way a SSD
works. It provides a program to do this (Samsung Magician).
My Crucial just had physical fixing instructions. No mention of any
settings, defrag, indexing at all.
Post by Scott
It also recommends changing the BIOS to AHCI but my computer shop
advises this is marginal and may cause compatibility issues.
Did I not read that AHCI is a prerequisite for enabling the Windows TRIM
command?
--
Robin Bignall
Herts, England
Yousuf Khan
2013-02-27 15:46:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robin Bignall
On Sun, 24 Feb 2013 10:23:11 +0000, Scott
Post by Scott
It also recommends changing the BIOS to AHCI but my computer shop
advises this is marginal and may cause compatibility issues.
Did I not read that AHCI is a prerequisite for enabling the Windows TRIM
command?
TRIM is supported even under IDE mode, I've done the test. It's not
directly part of the ATA specs, it's just an extended command that's
part of SSD's.

Yousuf Khan
Robin Bignall
2013-02-27 16:28:12 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:46:42 -0500, Yousuf Khan
Post by Yousuf Khan
Post by Robin Bignall
On Sun, 24 Feb 2013 10:23:11 +0000, Scott
Post by Scott
It also recommends changing the BIOS to AHCI but my computer shop
advises this is marginal and may cause compatibility issues.
Did I not read that AHCI is a prerequisite for enabling the Windows TRIM
command?
TRIM is supported even under IDE mode, I've done the test. It's not
directly part of the ATA specs, it's just an extended command that's
part of SSD's.
Thanks.
--
Robin Bignall
Herts, England
Paul
2013-02-24 19:07:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robin Bignall
On Sat, 23 Feb 2013 15:26:12 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Gene E. Bloch
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
I just had a look at Task Mgr / Performance with nothing running except
background tasks. I then exited most of those except virus checker.
After a few seconds it settles down to 0-1% CPU usage, with the idle
task mainly at 99%. That's probable even more idle than the average
British navvy, and should do.
I guess the firmware sorts that out. I wonder how one knows if and when
the SSD has beavered away doing this good stuff.
I bought a Kingston 120 G/B SSD the other day to speed up a laptop. It
came in a plastic shrink-wrap with an 'installation' leaflet of many
languages. The installation instructions were mostly about physically
fixing the drive into a computer. It just said the BIOS should recognize
the drive automatically on switch on. If not, then enter the BIOS and
'instruct the system to autodetect the new drive'.
There is no mention of any low level sector alignment, defrag settings or any
of the dangers often mentioned in newsgroup posts. If it were that important
I would have thought the manufacturer of the drive would mention it somewhere.
There is a data migration video on their website and it is basically a simple
cloning operation, no messing about with BIOS settings.
http://www.kingston.com/en/ssd/v
SSDs work, with no intervention.

And to some manufacturers, that's all that matters.

The fact they don't work *well*, is your problem.

Many users will never benchmark their purchase, and
discover it could be working better.

To give another example of this, I have a Seagate hard drive.
Performance was suboptimal under NTFS. I couldn't figure out why.
Just the other day, I reformatted the partition, and used 64K
as the allocation size, and performance popped right up.
So even hard drives, can need some tuning, if the hard drive
design (controller board) is deficient. I have no idea what's
going on there. Something related to their cache design perhaps
(a design which was changed to support 512e, and is
quite different than previous designs).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Format#512e

So even so-called mature technology, it's still your
responsibility, to tune it. If that means visiting
"overclocker sites" for instructions on how to do it,
so be it.

My hard drive was working, out of the box, but not
working all that well. Transfer speed was lethargic.
And initially, I thought it was bad blocks.

Paul
Dave-UK
2013-02-24 19:52:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul
I bought a Kingston 120 G/B SSD the other day to speed up a laptop. It
came in a plastic shrink-wrap with an 'installation' leaflet of many
languages. The installation instructions were mostly about physically
fixing the drive into a computer. It just said the BIOS should recognize
the drive automatically on switch on. If not, then enter the BIOS and
'instruct the system to autodetect the new drive'.
There is no mention of any low level sector alignment, defrag settings or any
of the dangers often mentioned in newsgroup posts. If it were that important
I would have thought the manufacturer of the drive would mention it somewhere.
There is a data migration video on their website and it is basically a simple
cloning operation, no messing about with BIOS settings.
http://www.kingston.com/en/ssd/v
SSDs work, with no intervention.
And to some manufacturers, that's all that matters.
The fact they don't work *well*, is your problem.
Many users will never benchmark their purchase, and
discover it could be working better.
To give another example of this, I have a Seagate hard drive.
Performance was suboptimal under NTFS. I couldn't figure out why.
Just the other day, I reformatted the partition, and used 64K
as the allocation size, and performance popped right up.
So even hard drives, can need some tuning, if the hard drive
design (controller board) is deficient. I have no idea what's
going on there. Something related to their cache design perhaps
(a design which was changed to support 512e, and is
quite different than previous designs).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Format#512e
So even so-called mature technology, it's still your
responsibility, to tune it. If that means visiting
"overclocker sites" for instructions on how to do it,
so be it.
My hard drive was working, out of the box, but not
working all that well. Transfer speed was lethargic.
And initially, I thought it was bad blocks.
Paul
It isn't a 'fact' that they don't work well.
They do work well, so I don't have a problem.

I would rather believe what an SSD manufacturer says about their
product than mess about benchmarking and trying to achieve an
'improvement' that for practical use in the real world is irrelevant.

Your Seagate problems are immaterial as this thread is about solid
state drives.
charlie
2013-02-24 21:42:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robin Bignall
On Sat, 23 Feb 2013 15:26:12 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Gene E. Bloch
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
I just had a look at Task Mgr / Performance with nothing running except
background tasks. I then exited most of those except virus checker.
After a few seconds it settles down to 0-1% CPU usage, with the idle
task mainly at 99%. That's probable even more idle than the average
British navvy, and should do.
I guess the firmware sorts that out. I wonder how one knows if and when
the SSD has beavered away doing this good stuff.
I bought a Kingston 120 G/B SSD the other day to speed up a laptop. It
came in a plastic shrink-wrap with an 'installation' leaflet of many
languages. The installation instructions were mostly about physically
fixing the drive into a computer. It just said the BIOS should recognize
the drive automatically on switch on. If not, then enter the BIOS and
'instruct the system to autodetect the new drive'.
There is no mention of any low level sector alignment, defrag settings or any
of the dangers often mentioned in newsgroup posts. If it were that important
I would have thought the manufacturer of the drive would mention it somewhere.
There is a data migration video on their website and it is basically a simple
cloning operation, no messing about with BIOS settings.
http://www.kingston.com/en/ssd/v
The Kingston 120GB SSD I bought was from Newegg, several months ago.
First intended use was for a laptop, running Vista. The 120GB was just a
shade small, so I eventually ended up using a 240GB SSD. This desktop,
an older MBD based Phenom IIx4, was the recipient.

Things worked well, except that an SSD firmware update was needed.
That update was sort of a pain, since the SATA chipset drivers had to be
changed from the normal AMD drivers for the chipset back to the MS
drivers, do the firmware update, and back again to the AMD drivers.
All five of the SSD's I bought in the last few months had a one back
firmware version out of the box. (2 120GB. 2 240GB, and one 512GB.)

I don't know if it's a gimmick to sell larger drives, but some of the
mfrs claim that the features of the SSDs work much better if the drive
has plenty of free space, much as a conventional HD and defrag.
Dave-UK
2013-02-25 09:22:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by charlie
The Kingston 120GB SSD I bought was from Newegg, several months ago.
First intended use was for a laptop, running Vista. The 120GB was just a
shade small, so I eventually ended up using a 240GB SSD. This desktop,
an older MBD based Phenom IIx4, was the recipient.
Things worked well, except that an SSD firmware update was needed.
Who or what told you a firmware update was needed ?
Did the drive fail somehow ?
charlie
2013-02-26 18:25:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave-UK
Post by charlie
Post by charlie
The Kingston 120GB SSD I bought was from Newegg, several months ago.
First intended use was for a laptop, running Vista. The 120GB was just
a shade small, so I eventually ended up using a 240GB SSD. This
desktop, an older MBD based Phenom IIx4, was the recipient.
Things worked well, except that an SSD firmware update was needed.
Who or what told you a firmware update was needed ?
Did the drive fail somehow ?
The update had to do with the Samsung SSD controller chip and, as I
remember, Trim. MS driver and Intel SSD chipset drivers supposedly work
for the updates, and the AMD drivers do not. The firmware update
utilities give a cannot update error with the AMD drivers installed.
(At least with Vista and Win 7, didn't try with Win 8)
The older (2007) Vista laptop has an Intel processor, with an AMD
support chipset, and the other desktops use AMD processors and chip sets.
After initial does it work testing, I usually check components such as
HDs and SSDs for firmware updates, and install them if it makes sense to
do so.
Dave-UK
2013-02-27 09:05:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by charlie
Post by Dave-UK
Post by charlie
Post by charlie
The Kingston 120GB SSD I bought was from Newegg, several months ago.
First intended use was for a laptop, running Vista. The 120GB was just
a shade small, so I eventually ended up using a 240GB SSD. This
desktop, an older MBD based Phenom IIx4, was the recipient.
Things worked well, except that an SSD firmware update was needed.
Who or what told you a firmware update was needed ?
Did the drive fail somehow ?
The update had to do with the Samsung SSD controller chip and, as I
remember, Trim. MS driver and Intel SSD chipset drivers supposedly work
for the updates, and the AMD drivers do not. The firmware update
utilities give a cannot update error with the AMD drivers installed.
(At least with Vista and Win 7, didn't try with Win 8)
The older (2007) Vista laptop has an Intel processor, with an AMD
support chipset, and the other desktops use AMD processors and chip sets.
After initial does it work testing, I usually check components such as
HDs and SSDs for firmware updates, and install them if it makes sense to
do so.
I see, so if I've read your post correctly the drive was performing well
but you decided to seek out a firmware update from the manufacturer's site
just because you like to have the latest version number.
That's something that a normal user would have no need to do or would even
know about, because the drive was working OK.
Paul
2013-02-27 10:09:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave-UK
Post by charlie
Post by Dave-UK
Post by charlie
Post by charlie
The Kingston 120GB SSD I bought was from Newegg, several months ago.
First intended use was for a laptop, running Vista. The 120GB was just
a shade small, so I eventually ended up using a 240GB SSD. This
desktop, an older MBD based Phenom IIx4, was the recipient.
Things worked well, except that an SSD firmware update was needed.
Who or what told you a firmware update was needed ?
Did the drive fail somehow ?
The update had to do with the Samsung SSD controller chip and, as I
remember, Trim. MS driver and Intel SSD chipset drivers supposedly work
for the updates, and the AMD drivers do not. The firmware update
utilities give a cannot update error with the AMD drivers installed.
(At least with Vista and Win 7, didn't try with Win 8)
The older (2007) Vista laptop has an Intel processor, with an AMD
support chipset, and the other desktops use AMD processors and chip sets.
After initial does it work testing, I usually check components such as
HDs and SSDs for firmware updates, and install them if it makes sense
to do so.
I see, so if I've read your post correctly the drive was performing well
but you decided to seek out a firmware update from the manufacturer's site
just because you like to have the latest version number.
That's something that a normal user would have no need to do or would even
know about, because the drive was working OK.
Dave, some of these SSD firmware updates, are to avoid drives that brick themselves.
It's not all knob polishing. There have been some generations of SSD drives,
that were an unmitigated disaster with respect to firmware. Check back
through the articles on Anandtech, for some of the history.

Paul
charlie
2013-02-27 16:38:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul
Post by Dave-UK
Post by charlie
Post by Dave-UK
Post by charlie
Post by charlie
The Kingston 120GB SSD I bought was from Newegg, several months ago.
First intended use was for a laptop, running Vista. The 120GB was just
a shade small, so I eventually ended up using a 240GB SSD. This
desktop, an older MBD based Phenom IIx4, was the recipient.
Things worked well, except that an SSD firmware update was needed.
Who or what told you a firmware update was needed ?
Did the drive fail somehow ?
The update had to do with the Samsung SSD controller chip and, as I
remember, Trim. MS driver and Intel SSD chipset drivers supposedly work
for the updates, and the AMD drivers do not. The firmware update
utilities give a cannot update error with the AMD drivers installed.
(At least with Vista and Win 7, didn't try with Win 8)
The older (2007) Vista laptop has an Intel processor, with an AMD
support chipset, and the other desktops use AMD processors and chip sets.
After initial does it work testing, I usually check components such
as HDs and SSDs for firmware updates, and install them if it makes
sense to do so.
I see, so if I've read your post correctly the drive was performing well
but you decided to seek out a firmware update from the manufacturer's site
just because you like to have the latest version number.
That's something that a normal user would have no need to do or would even
know about, because the drive was working OK.
Dave, some of these SSD firmware updates, are to avoid drives that brick themselves.
It's not all knob polishing. There have been some generations of SSD drives,
that were an unmitigated disaster with respect to firmware. Check back
through the articles on Anandtech, for some of the history.
Paul
When I get involved with (to me) new hardware, I generally try to make
sure that I am aware of the various details. Then there is the concern
that's related to buying sale items. (Why were/are they on sale?)
SSD's were a new area to deal with, older windows ops systems were not
"optimized" for use with them, and so forth. As a result, I generally
look up what a mfr has to say about things like video cards, SSD's, HD's
and so on before I get into putting them into actual use.

Initially, the concern with SSD's was to establish a reliable process to
deal with transferring the contents of a larger HD boot drive to a
smaller SSD. Then, how to "optimize" for best speed of the SSD.

I will say that at least one of the SSD firmware updates supposedly
improved reliability and service life at the expense of a small decrease
in speed.

It was also an exercise in finding the differences between spec'd
performance numbers and real world numbers.

I'd rather tell a customer/user what can be reasonably expected, based
upon experience, rather that a mfr's ideal spec.
Scott
2013-02-27 18:50:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave-UK
Post by charlie
Post by Dave-UK
Post by charlie
Post by charlie
The Kingston 120GB SSD I bought was from Newegg, several months ago.
First intended use was for a laptop, running Vista. The 120GB was just
a shade small, so I eventually ended up using a 240GB SSD. This
desktop, an older MBD based Phenom IIx4, was the recipient.
Things worked well, except that an SSD firmware update was needed.
Who or what told you a firmware update was needed ?
Did the drive fail somehow ?
The update had to do with the Samsung SSD controller chip and, as I
remember, Trim. MS driver and Intel SSD chipset drivers supposedly work
for the updates, and the AMD drivers do not. The firmware update
utilities give a cannot update error with the AMD drivers installed.
(At least with Vista and Win 7, didn't try with Win 8)
The older (2007) Vista laptop has an Intel processor, with an AMD
support chipset, and the other desktops use AMD processors and chip sets.
After initial does it work testing, I usually check components such as
HDs and SSDs for firmware updates, and install them if it makes sense to
do so.
I see, so if I've read your post correctly the drive was performing well
but you decided to seek out a firmware update from the manufacturer's site
just because you like to have the latest version number.
That's something that a normal user would have no need to do or would even
know about, because the drive was working OK.
To be fair, I routinely carry out software updates without spending
time investigating what the update has to offer and what the benefits
might be. I just think it makes sense to have the latest version. I
expect a lot of people think the same.
Dave-UK
2013-02-27 20:04:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott
Post by Dave-UK
Post by charlie
Post by Dave-UK
Post by charlie
Post by charlie
The Kingston 120GB SSD I bought was from Newegg, several months ago.
First intended use was for a laptop, running Vista. The 120GB was just
a shade small, so I eventually ended up using a 240GB SSD. This
desktop, an older MBD based Phenom IIx4, was the recipient.
Things worked well, except that an SSD firmware update was needed.
Who or what told you a firmware update was needed ?
Did the drive fail somehow ?
The update had to do with the Samsung SSD controller chip and, as I
remember, Trim. MS driver and Intel SSD chipset drivers supposedly work
for the updates, and the AMD drivers do not. The firmware update
utilities give a cannot update error with the AMD drivers installed.
(At least with Vista and Win 7, didn't try with Win 8)
The older (2007) Vista laptop has an Intel processor, with an AMD
support chipset, and the other desktops use AMD processors and chip sets.
After initial does it work testing, I usually check components such as
HDs and SSDs for firmware updates, and install them if it makes sense to
do so.
I see, so if I've read your post correctly the drive was performing well
but you decided to seek out a firmware update from the manufacturer's site
just because you like to have the latest version number.
That's something that a normal user would have no need to do or would even
know about, because the drive was working OK.
To be fair, I routinely carry out software updates without spending
time investigating what the update has to offer and what the benefits
might be. I just think it makes sense to have the latest version. I
expect a lot of people think the same.
I think software updates are different from a firmware update.
The SSD can't phone home or tell you it has an update available.
Yes, you or I might update firmware because we tinker around with
the hardware but if the SSD is working OK then the average user
will have no idea about any update that may be available.
Do you update your motherboard's BIOS just because there's one
available, because I don't unless I have a problem that the update will fix.
Scott
2013-02-27 20:15:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave-UK
Post by Scott
Post by Dave-UK
Post by charlie
Post by Dave-UK
Post by charlie
Post by charlie
The Kingston 120GB SSD I bought was from Newegg, several months ago.
First intended use was for a laptop, running Vista. The 120GB was just
a shade small, so I eventually ended up using a 240GB SSD. This
desktop, an older MBD based Phenom IIx4, was the recipient.
Things worked well, except that an SSD firmware update was needed.
Who or what told you a firmware update was needed ?
Did the drive fail somehow ?
The update had to do with the Samsung SSD controller chip and, as I
remember, Trim. MS driver and Intel SSD chipset drivers supposedly work
for the updates, and the AMD drivers do not. The firmware update
utilities give a cannot update error with the AMD drivers installed.
(At least with Vista and Win 7, didn't try with Win 8)
The older (2007) Vista laptop has an Intel processor, with an AMD
support chipset, and the other desktops use AMD processors and chip sets.
After initial does it work testing, I usually check components such as
HDs and SSDs for firmware updates, and install them if it makes sense to
do so.
I see, so if I've read your post correctly the drive was performing well
but you decided to seek out a firmware update from the manufacturer's site
just because you like to have the latest version number.
That's something that a normal user would have no need to do or would even
know about, because the drive was working OK.
To be fair, I routinely carry out software updates without spending
time investigating what the update has to offer and what the benefits
might be. I just think it makes sense to have the latest version. I
expect a lot of people think the same.
I think software updates are different from a firmware update.
The SSD can't phone home or tell you it has an update available.
Yes, you or I might update firmware because we tinker around with
the hardware but if the SSD is working OK then the average user
will have no idea about any update that may be available.
Do you update your motherboard's BIOS just because there's one
available, because I don't unless I have a problem that the update will fix.
With my SSD the Samsung Magician will readily indicate whether a
firmware upgrade is available and I would install it anyway on the
assumption that Samsung know what they are doing. But I would not
update the BIOS so I am not consistent!
a***@wind.net
2013-03-06 20:27:37 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 22 Feb 2013 14:58:48 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Paul
The reference to "leave it overnight", applies to "4KB-sized torture tests".
The natural block size of SSDs is rather large. And they don't deal with small
files well. If you pummel the SSD with random small files like that (as Anandtech
does in some of its testing), the SSD drive needs significant time in the
background, to unravel the mess. The files are recorded instantly, the mess
is cleaned up later. The blocks would be moved around to consolidate space.
And it really does take all night.
Thanks for yet another very informative post, Paul. Is it merely
necessary to leave the system switched on overnight, or does one
actually have to boot into BIOS and leave it there overnight. In other
words, is an idle Windows 7 idle enough to accomplish the task or not?
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
Gene's post made me wonder if I had heard incorrectly so today I
finally got time to contact Crucial again and they confirmed that
there is management software that does take care of the drive and that
the reason to go to BIOS is that the drive needs to be idle.
"Overnight" was clarified to be "5 or 6 hours".

Sorry Gene.

Score a point for Paul.
Gene E. Bloch
2013-03-06 21:37:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robin Bignall
On Fri, 22 Feb 2013 14:58:48 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Paul
The reference to "leave it overnight", applies to "4KB-sized torture tests".
The natural block size of SSDs is rather large. And they don't deal with small
files well. If you pummel the SSD with random small files like that (as Anandtech
does in some of its testing), the SSD drive needs significant time in the
background, to unravel the mess. The files are recorded instantly, the mess
is cleaned up later. The blocks would be moved around to consolidate space.
And it really does take all night.
Thanks for yet another very informative post, Paul. Is it merely
necessary to leave the system switched on overnight, or does one
actually have to boot into BIOS and leave it there overnight. In other
words, is an idle Windows 7 idle enough to accomplish the task or not?
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
Gene's post made me wonder if I had heard incorrectly so today I
finally got time to contact Crucial again and they confirmed that
there is management software that does take care of the drive and that
the reason to go to BIOS is that the drive needs to be idle.
"Overnight" was clarified to be "5 or 6 hours".
Sorry Gene.
Score a point for Paul.
Actually, also score a point for you for finding out and reporting it.

I was originally speculating, but now I (and others) know :-)
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
Scott
2013-03-06 22:47:06 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 6 Mar 2013 13:37:46 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Robin Bignall
On Fri, 22 Feb 2013 14:58:48 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Paul
The reference to "leave it overnight", applies to "4KB-sized torture tests".
The natural block size of SSDs is rather large. And they don't deal with small
files well. If you pummel the SSD with random small files like that (as Anandtech
does in some of its testing), the SSD drive needs significant time in the
background, to unravel the mess. The files are recorded instantly, the mess
is cleaned up later. The blocks would be moved around to consolidate space.
And it really does take all night.
Thanks for yet another very informative post, Paul. Is it merely
necessary to leave the system switched on overnight, or does one
actually have to boot into BIOS and leave it there overnight. In other
words, is an idle Windows 7 idle enough to accomplish the task or not?
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
Gene's post made me wonder if I had heard incorrectly so today I
finally got time to contact Crucial again and they confirmed that
there is management software that does take care of the drive and that
the reason to go to BIOS is that the drive needs to be idle.
"Overnight" was clarified to be "5 or 6 hours".
Sorry Gene.
Score a point for Paul.
Actually, also score a point for you for finding out and reporting it.
I was originally speculating, but now I (and others) know :-)
I'm not entirely following this (bit too technical) but am I correct
in understanding that if TRIM is enabled the foregoing process is not
required?
Paul
2013-03-07 02:55:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott
On Wed, 6 Mar 2013 13:37:46 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Robin Bignall
On Fri, 22 Feb 2013 14:58:48 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Paul
The reference to "leave it overnight", applies to "4KB-sized torture tests".
The natural block size of SSDs is rather large. And they don't deal with small
files well. If you pummel the SSD with random small files like that (as Anandtech
does in some of its testing), the SSD drive needs significant time in the
background, to unravel the mess. The files are recorded instantly, the mess
is cleaned up later. The blocks would be moved around to consolidate space.
And it really does take all night.
Thanks for yet another very informative post, Paul. Is it merely
necessary to leave the system switched on overnight, or does one
actually have to boot into BIOS and leave it there overnight. In other
words, is an idle Windows 7 idle enough to accomplish the task or not?
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
Gene's post made me wonder if I had heard incorrectly so today I
finally got time to contact Crucial again and they confirmed that
there is management software that does take care of the drive and that
the reason to go to BIOS is that the drive needs to be idle.
"Overnight" was clarified to be "5 or 6 hours".
Sorry Gene.
Score a point for Paul.
Actually, also score a point for you for finding out and reporting it.
I was originally speculating, but now I (and others) know :-)
I'm not entirely following this (bit too technical) but am I correct
in understanding that if TRIM is enabled the foregoing process is not
required?
Going through the TRIM article on Wikipedia, TRIM seems to make
the drive aware of more parts of the drive being reusable. If
the drive and partition are not "full", then the drive can add
the unused bits to its unused pool. And then, find more opportunities
for garbage collection and rearranging the data. Take my Windows 7 partition,
with its 26GB or so of data. If that was sitting on an 80GB SSD, then
the drive would then know about another (80GB - 26GB) being free.
Whereas, on a well used drive, without TRIM, the entire 80GB could
be seemingly occupied with data (as far as the drive is concerned),
meaning, when the drive does GC, the only spares it has, are the
hidden spares from when the drive was commissioned. (An 80GB drive, might
have 10 or 15GB reserved, out of reach of the user. Each drive has some
level of unused blocks, which will be unused even when the drive
is full as far as the user is aware.)

Keep in mind as well, that there is one level of indirection involved
in flash drives. (That's done, so the drive can do wear leveling.)
You as the user, think you've stored something in
Sector 0. The SSD keeps a mapping table, and knows sector 0 is stored
at located 123456 at the moment. If you rewrite sector 0 as the user,
the drive may allocate another block 342546 and store sector 0 there.
Because of the indirection and mapping notion, it's possible for the
storage state of the SSD internally, to bear no resemblance to how
you think the data is stored at the file system level. Garbage
collection makes no sense, unless you're aware there is indirection
present, and only the SSD knows the mapping between sector number,
and where in the flash, the data is actually stored. If that mapping
is ever corrupted, you're screwed.

Garbage collection then, is tidying up the internal organization, so
that high-speed writing is possible when the user asks for it. If the
drive didn't GC, perhaps write speed would be pathetically slow when
you needed it.

I don't get the impression, that TRIM solves garbage collection. Garbage
collection still has to run. And should be running, any time the disk
is idle. Exactly what the definition of idle is, I haven't a clue. In
"hardware land", this could be any time there is nothing sitting in a
command queue. Meaning, the drive could work on GC the instant it
finishes the last command. If a command comes in, it may require the
GC to "replan" the last operation it was going to do, in case the
system state changed such as to invalidate the move it was planning to do.
Maybe all it would take, is a "blip" to the disk every two seconds,
to prevent it from making any forward progress on GC (because it's forced
to replan things, and that may take some time).

Without any other tools here to work on it, if I wanted to intuit
what a drive was doing, I'd monitor DC current flow into the SSD
as a function of time. That might help me to determine, when the drive
has gone idle, and when it is busy. Some drives (SandForce), the
available data suggests a big current flow difference between being
active and being idle. Some other brands, the specs seem to indicate
the current flow levels are ridiculously (unbelievably) low. So perhaps
I could definitely tell you a SandForce was doing something in the background,
whereas on a Samsung, maybe the numbers would be too small to reliably
use. If the drive had an "internal activity LED", we wouldn't need
to come up with ideas like this. But otherwise, I don't know of a way
to determine what a drive is doing.

Even your hard drive, is busy behind the scenes. Only, in the case
of a hard drive, it's "not doing anything evil". A hard drive, runs
internal SMART routines when it's not busy, intended to test that
certain things still work on the drive. On at least one SCSI drive,
noted in the past, you can tell there is internal activity, because
the drive used to make an audible "buzz" sound of head movement,
every 71 seconds. It was so loud, that it drove several users
right round the bend. That's how you find out a hard drive,
has its own processor, and it can be doing things internally
when you think it is otherwise idle. Since the drive was intended
for servers, the disk manufacturer didn't consider the noise
level to be a problem. But people with that drive in a bedroom,
it didn't stay powered there for long.

Paul
Scott
2013-03-07 18:21:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul
Post by Scott
On Wed, 6 Mar 2013 13:37:46 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Robin Bignall
On Fri, 22 Feb 2013 14:58:48 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Robin Bignall
Post by Paul
The reference to "leave it overnight", applies to "4KB-sized torture tests".
The natural block size of SSDs is rather large. And they don't deal with small
files well. If you pummel the SSD with random small files like that (as Anandtech
does in some of its testing), the SSD drive needs significant time in the
background, to unravel the mess. The files are recorded instantly, the mess
is cleaned up later. The blocks would be moved around to consolidate space.
And it really does take all night.
Thanks for yet another very informative post, Paul. Is it merely
necessary to leave the system switched on overnight, or does one
actually have to boot into BIOS and leave it there overnight. In other
words, is an idle Windows 7 idle enough to accomplish the task or not?
My guess is that since being in the BIOS avoids disk activity, it's not
gong to be at cross-purposes with the drives' firmware, whereas Windows
might do enough, even when ostensibly not being used, to confuse the
process.
My other guess is that the advice that athiker got is actually bogus.
Of course, in both cases, the operative phrase is "my guess".
Gene's post made me wonder if I had heard incorrectly so today I
finally got time to contact Crucial again and they confirmed that
there is management software that does take care of the drive and that
the reason to go to BIOS is that the drive needs to be idle.
"Overnight" was clarified to be "5 or 6 hours".
Sorry Gene.
Score a point for Paul.
Actually, also score a point for you for finding out and reporting it.
I was originally speculating, but now I (and others) know :-)
I'm not entirely following this (bit too technical) but am I correct
in understanding that if TRIM is enabled the foregoing process is not
required?
Going through the TRIM article on Wikipedia, TRIM seems to make
the drive aware of more parts of the drive being reusable. If
the drive and partition are not "full", then the drive can add
the unused bits to its unused pool. And then, find more opportunities
for garbage collection and rearranging the data. Take my Windows 7 partition,
with its 26GB or so of data. If that was sitting on an 80GB SSD, then
the drive would then know about another (80GB - 26GB) being free.
Whereas, on a well used drive, without TRIM, the entire 80GB could
be seemingly occupied with data (as far as the drive is concerned),
meaning, when the drive does GC, the only spares it has, are the
hidden spares from when the drive was commissioned. (An 80GB drive, might
have 10 or 15GB reserved, out of reach of the user. Each drive has some
level of unused blocks, which will be unused even when the drive
is full as far as the user is aware.)
Keep in mind as well, that there is one level of indirection involved
in flash drives. (That's done, so the drive can do wear leveling.)
You as the user, think you've stored something in
Sector 0. The SSD keeps a mapping table, and knows sector 0 is stored
at located 123456 at the moment. If you rewrite sector 0 as the user,
the drive may allocate another block 342546 and store sector 0 there.
Because of the indirection and mapping notion, it's possible for the
storage state of the SSD internally, to bear no resemblance to how
you think the data is stored at the file system level. Garbage
collection makes no sense, unless you're aware there is indirection
present, and only the SSD knows the mapping between sector number,
and where in the flash, the data is actually stored. If that mapping
is ever corrupted, you're screwed.
Garbage collection then, is tidying up the internal organization, so
that high-speed writing is possible when the user asks for it. If the
drive didn't GC, perhaps write speed would be pathetically slow when
you needed it.
I don't get the impression, that TRIM solves garbage collection. Garbage
collection still has to run. And should be running, any time the disk
is idle. Exactly what the definition of idle is, I haven't a clue. In
"hardware land", this could be any time there is nothing sitting in a
command queue. Meaning, the drive could work on GC the instant it
finishes the last command. If a command comes in, it may require the
GC to "replan" the last operation it was going to do, in case the
system state changed such as to invalidate the move it was planning to do.
Maybe all it would take, is a "blip" to the disk every two seconds,
to prevent it from making any forward progress on GC (because it's forced
to replan things, and that may take some time).
Without any other tools here to work on it, if I wanted to intuit
what a drive was doing, I'd monitor DC current flow into the SSD
as a function of time. That might help me to determine, when the drive
has gone idle, and when it is busy. Some drives (SandForce), the
available data suggests a big current flow difference between being
active and being idle. Some other brands, the specs seem to indicate
the current flow levels are ridiculously (unbelievably) low. So perhaps
I could definitely tell you a SandForce was doing something in the background,
whereas on a Samsung, maybe the numbers would be too small to reliably
use. If the drive had an "internal activity LED", we wouldn't need
to come up with ideas like this. But otherwise, I don't know of a way
to determine what a drive is doing.
Even your hard drive, is busy behind the scenes. Only, in the case
of a hard drive, it's "not doing anything evil". A hard drive, runs
internal SMART routines when it's not busy, intended to test that
certain things still work on the drive. On at least one SCSI drive,
noted in the past, you can tell there is internal activity, because
the drive used to make an audible "buzz" sound of head movement,
every 71 seconds. It was so loud, that it drove several users
right round the bend. That's how you find out a hard drive,
has its own processor, and it can be doing things internally
when you think it is otherwise idle. Since the drive was intended
for servers, the disk manufacturer didn't consider the noise
level to be a problem. But people with that drive in a bedroom,
it didn't stay powered there for long.
Thanks for this interesting explanation. It sounds as though running
on BIOS is of benefit after all. However, I am not sure what is
meant by this. Do you just start the computer then use the command
that takes you to the BIOS then leave it overnight? How does the
computer know to do anything if there is no operating system, or is
this part of the BIOS function?

I assume you would switch off the screen as presumably screensaver
will not work.

One more mystery: if you have wireless keyboard, how can you enter
BIOS at all? Is there a keyboard driver in BIOS without needing
Windows?
Gene E. Bloch
2013-03-07 19:30:59 UTC
Permalink
See inline -
Post by Scott
Thanks for this interesting explanation. It sounds as though running
on BIOS is of benefit after all. However, I am not sure what is
meant by this. Do you just start the computer then use the command
that takes you to the BIOS then leave it overnight? How does the
computer know to do anything if there is no operating system, or is
this part of the BIOS function?
Go to the BIOS and don't do anything. The function is part of the SSD's
BIOS, not the motherboard's - according to what I have read in this
thread. Just leave the BIOS waiting for you - it is very patient. Then
next morning, tell the BIOS to continue the boot process and go on to
read your newsgroups when booting is complete.
Post by Scott
I assume you would switch off the screen as presumably screensaver
will not work.
Only if you have a CRT monitor. LCD monitors aren't subject to burn-in.
Screensavers are no longer anything but entertainment. Unless the $0.03
worth of electricity is of concern to you.
Post by Scott
One more mystery: if you have wireless keyboard, how can you enter
BIOS at all? Is there a keyboard driver in BIOS without needing
Windows?
There is no difference to the BIOS between a wireless keyboard and a
wired keyboard. The dongle looks like any other keyboard connection, as
far as the BIOS can tell.
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
Scott
2013-03-07 19:35:42 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 11:30:59 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
See inline -
Post by Scott
Thanks for this interesting explanation. It sounds as though running
on BIOS is of benefit after all. However, I am not sure what is
meant by this. Do you just start the computer then use the command
that takes you to the BIOS then leave it overnight? How does the
computer know to do anything if there is no operating system, or is
this part of the BIOS function?
Go to the BIOS and don't do anything. The function is part of the SSD's
BIOS, not the motherboard's - according to what I have read in this
thread. Just leave the BIOS waiting for you - it is very patient. Then
next morning, tell the BIOS to continue the boot process and go on to
read your newsgroups when booting is complete.
Post by Scott
I assume you would switch off the screen as presumably screensaver
will not work.
Only if you have a CRT monitor. LCD monitors aren't subject to burn-in.
Screensavers are no longer anything but entertainment. Unless the $0.03
worth of electricity is of concern to you.
Post by Scott
One more mystery: if you have wireless keyboard, how can you enter
BIOS at all? Is there a keyboard driver in BIOS without needing
Windows?
There is no difference to the BIOS between a wireless keyboard and a
wired keyboard. The dongle looks like any other keyboard connection, as
far as the BIOS can tell.
Great. Thanks very much. I shall follow these instructions.
Gene E. Bloch
2013-03-07 19:44:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott
On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 11:30:59 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
See inline -
Post by Scott
Thanks for this interesting explanation. It sounds as though running
on BIOS is of benefit after all. However, I am not sure what is
meant by this. Do you just start the computer then use the command
that takes you to the BIOS then leave it overnight? How does the
computer know to do anything if there is no operating system, or is
this part of the BIOS function?
Go to the BIOS and don't do anything. The function is part of the SSD's
BIOS, not the motherboard's - according to what I have read in this
thread. Just leave the BIOS waiting for you - it is very patient. Then
next morning, tell the BIOS to continue the boot process and go on to
read your newsgroups when booting is complete.
Post by Scott
I assume you would switch off the screen as presumably screensaver
will not work.
Only if you have a CRT monitor. LCD monitors aren't subject to burn-in.
Screensavers are no longer anything but entertainment. Unless the $0.03
worth of electricity is of concern to you.
Post by Scott
One more mystery: if you have wireless keyboard, how can you enter
BIOS at all? Is there a keyboard driver in BIOS without needing
Windows?
There is no difference to the BIOS between a wireless keyboard and a
wired keyboard. The dongle looks like any other keyboard connection, as
far as the BIOS can tell.
Great. Thanks very much. I shall follow these instructions.
I just recalled something that was a problem with keyboard and mice, so
I should pass that info along, although I no longer recall the exact
details.

I had a keyboard with two USB ports on it, i.e., a built-in USB hub. The
BIOS would never recognize keystrokes on that keyboard when I had a
mouse plugged into one of its ports. I tossed it.
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
Scott
2013-03-07 20:16:35 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 11:44:08 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 11:30:59 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
See inline -
Post by Scott
Thanks for this interesting explanation. It sounds as though running
on BIOS is of benefit after all. However, I am not sure what is
meant by this. Do you just start the computer then use the command
that takes you to the BIOS then leave it overnight? How does the
computer know to do anything if there is no operating system, or is
this part of the BIOS function?
Go to the BIOS and don't do anything. The function is part of the SSD's
BIOS, not the motherboard's - according to what I have read in this
thread. Just leave the BIOS waiting for you - it is very patient. Then
next morning, tell the BIOS to continue the boot process and go on to
read your newsgroups when booting is complete.
Post by Scott
I assume you would switch off the screen as presumably screensaver
will not work.
Only if you have a CRT monitor. LCD monitors aren't subject to burn-in.
Screensavers are no longer anything but entertainment. Unless the $0.03
worth of electricity is of concern to you.
Post by Scott
One more mystery: if you have wireless keyboard, how can you enter
BIOS at all? Is there a keyboard driver in BIOS without needing
Windows?
There is no difference to the BIOS between a wireless keyboard and a
wired keyboard. The dongle looks like any other keyboard connection, as
far as the BIOS can tell.
Great. Thanks very much. I shall follow these instructions.
I just recalled something that was a problem with keyboard and mice, so
I should pass that info along, although I no longer recall the exact
details.
I had a keyboard with two USB ports on it, i.e., a built-in USB hub. The
BIOS would never recognize keystrokes on that keyboard when I had a
mouse plugged into one of its ports. I tossed it.
Bizarrely it won't let me into BIOS. If I press F10 or Esc nothing
happens. It says to press Control I but this does nothing either. Can
you get to BIOS from Windows after Windows has loaded?
Paul
2013-03-07 22:16:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott
On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 11:44:08 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 11:30:59 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
See inline -
Post by Scott
Thanks for this interesting explanation. It sounds as though running
on BIOS is of benefit after all. However, I am not sure what is
meant by this. Do you just start the computer then use the command
that takes you to the BIOS then leave it overnight? How does the
computer know to do anything if there is no operating system, or is
this part of the BIOS function?
Go to the BIOS and don't do anything. The function is part of the SSD's
BIOS, not the motherboard's - according to what I have read in this
thread. Just leave the BIOS waiting for you - it is very patient. Then
next morning, tell the BIOS to continue the boot process and go on to
read your newsgroups when booting is complete.
Post by Scott
I assume you would switch off the screen as presumably screensaver
will not work.
Only if you have a CRT monitor. LCD monitors aren't subject to burn-in.
Screensavers are no longer anything but entertainment. Unless the $0.03
worth of electricity is of concern to you.
Post by Scott
One more mystery: if you have wireless keyboard, how can you enter
BIOS at all? Is there a keyboard driver in BIOS without needing
Windows?
There is no difference to the BIOS between a wireless keyboard and a
wired keyboard. The dongle looks like any other keyboard connection, as
far as the BIOS can tell.
Great. Thanks very much. I shall follow these instructions.
I just recalled something that was a problem with keyboard and mice, so
I should pass that info along, although I no longer recall the exact
details.
I had a keyboard with two USB ports on it, i.e., a built-in USB hub. The
BIOS would never recognize keystrokes on that keyboard when I had a
mouse plugged into one of its ports. I tossed it.
Bizarrely it won't let me into BIOS. If I press F10 or Esc nothing
happens. It says to press Control I but this does nothing either. Can
you get to BIOS from Windows after Windows has loaded?
The history of USB HID devices is spotty. There have been cases of
hardware combinations, where a USB keyboard can't deliver a character
to the BIOS, so you can enter setup. Some users back then, would
keep a USB and a PS/2 keyboard connected, using the PS/2 keyboard
purely for the BIOS Setup screen.

On the wireless devices, the more modern your wireless dongle and
wireless keyboard are, the more likely they work properly at startup.
Again, some ancient wireless ones, didn't work at BIOS level. That
should be fixed by now. On older computers, you have to check
a separate BIOS setup page, which is just for configuring USB,
and enable certain legacy functions (so a USB key press, is
actually stuffed by the BIOS, into the PS/2 processing queue).

If your keyboard won't work for you, to enter the BIOS, then you'll
have a problem entering BIOS Setup. You could try another keyboard,
say a wired one, which you keep off to the side of the PC, and only
use it to press the "magic key" to enter the BIOS. The BIOS screen
should have printed on it, during POST, what keys to use. It should
not involve the Control key as a rule. (The control key is used for
things like <control>-I for an Intel RAID setup screen or the like.
The <control> key combo tends to be used for RAID screens.) Vanilla
BIOS setup can be F2 or Delete, as a couple examples. My laptop uses
F2 for BIOS Setup and F12 for the popup boot menu. Either would work
for the purposes of BIOS parking. Once the BIOS settles down for
around 20 seconds, there should be no further activity with respect
to storage devices. And in the BIOS popup screen, it's "quiet" enough,
I can even unplug flash boot devices safely.

Another key you can use at BIOS level, is Pause/Break. If you
press the Pause key, that stops the printing to the screen by
the BIOS. It's intended to allow the user some time to read the
screen. On my laptop with the Insyde branded BIOS, there is only
a BIOS screen visible for one second, so you have to be damn fast
to press any necessary key. Using the Pause key, is how I got
that screen to stand still long enough, to read that I needed
to press F2 or F12 :-)

You have to have reflexes like a Ninja, to use my laptop...

The only other idea that comes to mind, to make the disk
"quiet", would be booting a Linux LiveCD. Linux still
looks at disks at startup, to see what's on them (for
example, using a swap partition if it can find one). But
perhaps after that, if you don't click anything, it
should stay quiescent. On some of those, if you
don't like the spinning CD noise all night long,
you can enter "TORAM=yes" on the boot command
line, which copies the boot CD into RAM, and then
you're "allowed" to eject the CD. Linux LiveCDs can
also be copied to USB pen drives (a method I use
for my Ubuntu key).

Even an MSDOS boot floppy, would be better than nothing.
You stay at the A: prompt all night, the drives sleep
nicely and so on. I have an MSDOS floppy that still
works on my Core2 machine. I don't use it that often though.
One of the floppies I have, has FreeDOS on it. Which
would be another way to do it.

Paul
Gene E. Bloch
2013-03-08 20:08:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott
On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 11:44:08 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 11:30:59 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
See inline -
Post by Scott
Thanks for this interesting explanation. It sounds as though running
on BIOS is of benefit after all. However, I am not sure what is
meant by this. Do you just start the computer then use the command
that takes you to the BIOS then leave it overnight? How does the
computer know to do anything if there is no operating system, or is
this part of the BIOS function?
Go to the BIOS and don't do anything. The function is part of the SSD's
BIOS, not the motherboard's - according to what I have read in this
thread. Just leave the BIOS waiting for you - it is very patient. Then
next morning, tell the BIOS to continue the boot process and go on to
read your newsgroups when booting is complete.
Post by Scott
I assume you would switch off the screen as presumably screensaver
will not work.
Only if you have a CRT monitor. LCD monitors aren't subject to burn-in.
Screensavers are no longer anything but entertainment. Unless the $0.03
worth of electricity is of concern to you.
Post by Scott
One more mystery: if you have wireless keyboard, how can you enter
BIOS at all? Is there a keyboard driver in BIOS without needing
Windows?
There is no difference to the BIOS between a wireless keyboard and a
wired keyboard. The dongle looks like any other keyboard connection, as
far as the BIOS can tell.
Great. Thanks very much. I shall follow these instructions.
I just recalled something that was a problem with keyboard and mice, so
I should pass that info along, although I no longer recall the exact
details.
I had a keyboard with two USB ports on it, i.e., a built-in USB hub. The
BIOS would never recognize keystrokes on that keyboard when I had a
mouse plugged into one of its ports. I tossed it.
Bizarrely it won't let me into BIOS. If I press F10 or Esc nothing
happens. It says to press Control I but this does nothing either. Can
you get to BIOS from Windows after Windows has loaded?
You can't get there from Windows. That's a pretty definitive statement,
but maybe someone has devised a way to do it (probably from a boot CD,
rather than from inside Windows). Either way, although I'm happy to go
into the BIOS the regular way, I'd be scared to try one of those methods
:-)

What I did with my problem KB was to plug in a regular (hubless, I mean)
KB, or plug the mouse directly into the computer. I forgot which one of
those I did, but it worked. As I said, I got a better KB/Mouse combo
eventually.

Did F10 or Ctrl-I work for you before? They are unfamiliar to me. F2 or
Delete are the keys I've seen before, although I've seen F12 or Esc work
to get into a boot menu, from which the BIOS is possibly available.
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
Scott
2013-03-08 23:44:06 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 8 Mar 2013 12:08:36 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
<not-***@other.invalid> wrote:

[snip]
Post by Gene E. Bloch
You can't get there from Windows. That's a pretty definitive statement,
but maybe someone has devised a way to do it (probably from a boot CD,
rather than from inside Windows). Either way, although I'm happy to go
into the BIOS the regular way, I'd be scared to try one of those methods
:-)
That's what I thought.
Post by Gene E. Bloch
What I did with my problem KB was to plug in a regular (hubless, I mean)
KB, or plug the mouse directly into the computer. I forgot which one of
those I did, but it worked. As I said, I got a better KB/Mouse combo
eventually.
If I do that, can I then adjust the settings to make it recognise the
wireless keyboard in future?
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Did F10 or Ctrl-I work for you before? They are unfamiliar to me. F2 or
Delete are the keys I've seen before, although I've seen F12 or Esc work
to get into a boot menu, from which the BIOS is possibly available.
F10 I think is the key for HP machines. Ctrl-I has never worked but
seems to be suggested from the screen so I tried it and it does
nothing. I think the problem only occurred after installing the
solid state drive, so I wonder if the guy that installed it disturbed
the BIOS settings.
Gene E. Bloch
2013-03-10 00:25:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott
On Fri, 8 Mar 2013 12:08:36 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
[snip]
Post by Gene E. Bloch
You can't get there from Windows. That's a pretty definitive statement,
but maybe someone has devised a way to do it (probably from a boot CD,
rather than from inside Windows). Either way, although I'm happy to go
into the BIOS the regular way, I'd be scared to try one of those methods
:-)
That's what I thought.
Post by Gene E. Bloch
What I did with my problem KB was to plug in a regular (hubless, I mean)
KB, or plug the mouse directly into the computer. I forgot which one of
those I did, but it worked. As I said, I got a better KB/Mouse combo
eventually.
If I do that, can I then adjust the settings to make it recognise the
wireless keyboard in future?
Not unless you can do it now.
Post by Scott
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Did F10 or Ctrl-I work for you before? They are unfamiliar to me. F2 or
Delete are the keys I've seen before, although I've seen F12 or Esc work
to get into a boot menu, from which the BIOS is possibly available.
F10 I think is the key for HP machines. Ctrl-I has never worked but
seems to be suggested from the screen so I tried it and it does
nothing. I think the problem only occurred after installing the
solid state drive, so I wonder if the guy that installed it disturbed
the BIOS settings.
If so, it's surely worth plugging another keyboard in long enough to fix
the problem, yes?
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
Gene E. Bloch
2013-03-10 00:45:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
If I do that, can I then adjust the settings to make it recognise the
wireless keyboard in future?
Not unless you can do it now.
I think what I wrote is ambiguous.

What I mean is that if it couldn't already (i.e. before your troubles)
be set to recognize the wireless KB, it never will be.

And AFAIK, as I said before, a wireless keyboard looks just the same as
a wired keyboard to the BIOS. The dongle is just the near end of a USB
cable as far as the USB port is concerned, unless it takes more than
500ma to run, in which case it is not compliant to the USB standard.

I forgot - did you say whether your dongle is plugged directly into a
USB port, rather than into a hub?
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
Scott
2013-03-10 10:21:25 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 9 Mar 2013 16:45:47 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
If I do that, can I then adjust the settings to make it recognise the
wireless keyboard in future?
Not unless you can do it now.
I think what I wrote is ambiguous.
What I mean is that if it couldn't already (i.e. before your troubles)
be set to recognize the wireless KB, it never will be.
It did work previously.
Post by Gene E. Bloch
And AFAIK, as I said before, a wireless keyboard looks just the same as
a wired keyboard to the BIOS. The dongle is just the near end of a USB
cable as far as the USB port is concerned, unless it takes more than
500ma to run, in which case it is not compliant to the USB standard.
I forgot - did you say whether your dongle is plugged directly into a
USB port, rather than into a hub?
That is truly inspirational. When I reassembled the wiring I may well
have put the dongle into a different USB port. It did not occur to me
that there was any difference. If the second port is a hub that could
explain the problem.
Gene E. Bloch
2013-03-16 21:42:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott
On Sat, 9 Mar 2013 16:45:47 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
If I do that, can I then adjust the settings to make it recognise the
wireless keyboard in future?
Not unless you can do it now.
I think what I wrote is ambiguous.
What I mean is that if it couldn't already (i.e. before your troubles)
be set to recognize the wireless KB, it never will be.
It did work previously.
Post by Gene E. Bloch
And AFAIK, as I said before, a wireless keyboard looks just the same as
a wired keyboard to the BIOS. The dongle is just the near end of a USB
cable as far as the USB port is concerned, unless it takes more than
500ma to run, in which case it is not compliant to the USB standard.
I forgot - did you say whether your dongle is plugged directly into a
USB port, rather than into a hub?
That is truly inspirational. When I reassembled the wiring I may well
have put the dongle into a different USB port. It did not occur to me
that there was any difference. If the second port is a hub that could
explain the problem.
(Been away)

A hub is an external device (or usually is). It's like an extension
cord, expanding one USB port into two or more (I've seen as many as 8).

Since the base port is limited to supplying 500 ma of current, a port
without an external supply can't power very many devices. But the worst
thing is that some devices don't play well through hubs even without a
power problem.

From what you say, it sounds like that wouldn't be your problem
(although behind the scenes, a front panel device with four ports might
happen to be a hub).
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
Scott
2013-03-10 10:55:54 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 9 Mar 2013 16:45:47 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
If I do that, can I then adjust the settings to make it recognise the
wireless keyboard in future?
Not unless you can do it now.
I think what I wrote is ambiguous.
What I mean is that if it couldn't already (i.e. before your troubles)
be set to recognize the wireless KB, it never will be.
And AFAIK, as I said before, a wireless keyboard looks just the same as
a wired keyboard to the BIOS. The dongle is just the near end of a USB
cable as far as the USB port is concerned, unless it takes more than
500ma to run, in which case it is not compliant to the USB standard.
I forgot - did you say whether your dongle is plugged directly into a
USB port, rather than into a hub?
Brilliant! It was plugged into the USB 3.0 port. I have moved it to
the USB 2.0 port and the problem is solved.
Gene E. Bloch
2013-03-16 21:45:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott
On Sat, 9 Mar 2013 16:45:47 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
If I do that, can I then adjust the settings to make it recognise the
wireless keyboard in future?
Not unless you can do it now.
I think what I wrote is ambiguous.
What I mean is that if it couldn't already (i.e. before your troubles)
be set to recognize the wireless KB, it never will be.
And AFAIK, as I said before, a wireless keyboard looks just the same as
a wired keyboard to the BIOS. The dongle is just the near end of a USB
cable as far as the USB port is concerned, unless it takes more than
500ma to run, in which case it is not compliant to the USB standard.
I forgot - did you say whether your dongle is plugged directly into a
USB port, rather than into a hub?
Brilliant! It was plugged into the USB 3.0 port. I have moved it to
the USB 2.0 port and the problem is solved.
Now *that* amazes me! USB 3 should be totally backwards compatible with
USB 2...

But in the face of concrete evidence, I can't argue :-)

That also makes my remarks above about hubs moot.

I'm glad you solved it!
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
Paul
2013-03-16 23:01:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
On Sat, 9 Mar 2013 16:45:47 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
If I do that, can I then adjust the settings to make it recognise the
wireless keyboard in future?
Not unless you can do it now.
I think what I wrote is ambiguous.
What I mean is that if it couldn't already (i.e. before your troubles)
be set to recognize the wireless KB, it never will be.
And AFAIK, as I said before, a wireless keyboard looks just the same as
a wired keyboard to the BIOS. The dongle is just the near end of a USB
cable as far as the USB port is concerned, unless it takes more than
500ma to run, in which case it is not compliant to the USB standard.
I forgot - did you say whether your dongle is plugged directly into a
USB port, rather than into a hub?
Brilliant! It was plugged into the USB 3.0 port. I have moved it to
the USB 2.0 port and the problem is solved.
Now *that* amazes me! USB 3 should be totally backwards compatible with
USB 2...
But in the face of concrete evidence, I can't argue :-)
That also makes my remarks above about hubs moot.
I'm glad you solved it!
The BIOS treats USB ports differently. It all depends on
where they're terminated in hardware.

CPU
|
NB
|
SB ------- Add-on Chip (NEC, Asmedia, Etron etc)
| |
USB USB3
Ports

The BIOS typically has "full" code, for the vertical column
of stuff. That code is written by the likes of AMI/Award/Phoenix.
The motherboard companies don't write as much code as you'd think.
They buy it, as a package for the chipset.

The Add-on chip, could have a BIOS code module, but it might
not have complete functionality. That leaves in question,
whether the BIOS can boot from an add-on USB3 port, or
work a HID device (mouse/keyboard) at BIOS level. Or
for that matter, listen to the wireless dongle of your
HID devices.

Once the OS is booted, the treatment of the ports, is as good
as the built-in OS driver can do. Or can be augmented with
a separate driver. WinXP might not know what to do with an
add-on USB3 chip for example, and need a separate USB3 driver.

There are a few chipsets (AMD A75, Intel Z77), where the USB3
is on the Southbridge (SB). In which case, AMI/Award/Phoenix
would include some kind of code for the built-in ports.

So understanding what happened, is easier if you know whether
the port in question, is off SB, or is coming from a separate
chip. The vast majority of boards to date, would have used
an add-on chip like the NEC. Integrated ports aren't all that
common, due to the late ship of USB3 on motherboard chipsets.
The add-on chips had a large head start.

Paul
Scott
2013-03-16 23:03:58 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 16 Mar 2013 14:45:23 -0700, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
On Sat, 9 Mar 2013 16:45:47 -0800, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
If I do that, can I then adjust the settings to make it recognise the
wireless keyboard in future?
Not unless you can do it now.
I think what I wrote is ambiguous.
What I mean is that if it couldn't already (i.e. before your troubles)
be set to recognize the wireless KB, it never will be.
And AFAIK, as I said before, a wireless keyboard looks just the same as
a wired keyboard to the BIOS. The dongle is just the near end of a USB
cable as far as the USB port is concerned, unless it takes more than
500ma to run, in which case it is not compliant to the USB standard.
I forgot - did you say whether your dongle is plugged directly into a
USB port, rather than into a hub?
Brilliant! It was plugged into the USB 3.0 port. I have moved it to
the USB 2.0 port and the problem is solved.
Now *that* amazes me! USB 3 should be totally backwards compatible with
USB 2...
I think it's because the USB 3 is on a card in a separate slot and the
USB 2 is part of the original building of the computer so by the time
the card gets recognised it is too late to interrupt the Windows
start-up.
Post by Gene E. Bloch
But in the face of concrete evidence, I can't argue :-)
That also makes my remarks above about hubs moot.
I'm glad you solved it!
Gene E. Bloch
2013-03-17 00:41:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Brilliant! It was plugged into the USB 3.0 port. I have moved it to
the USB 2.0 port and the problem is solved.
Now *that* amazes me! USB 3 should be totally backwards compatible with
USB 2...
I think it's because the USB 3 is on a card in a separate slot and the
USB 2 is part of the original building of the computer so by the time
the card gets recognised it is too late to interrupt the Windows
start-up.
OK, thanks. Besides now making sense to me, it also fits with what I
think Paul said.

This MB has built-in USB3 (only two ports on the back panel), and I
assumed (without thinking!) that your USB3 was similar.
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
Paul
2013-03-17 04:09:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Brilliant! It was plugged into the USB 3.0 port. I have moved it to
the USB 2.0 port and the problem is solved.
Now *that* amazes me! USB 3 should be totally backwards compatible with
USB 2...
I think it's because the USB 3 is on a card in a separate slot and the
USB 2 is part of the original building of the computer so by the time
the card gets recognised it is too late to interrupt the Windows
start-up.
OK, thanks. Besides now making sense to me, it also fits with what I
think Paul said.
This MB has built-in USB3 (only two ports on the back panel), and I
assumed (without thinking!) that your USB3 was similar.
What's your chipset or motherboard make and model number ?

That'll make it easy to verify, one way or the other.

Paul
Gene E. Bloch
2013-03-18 18:07:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Brilliant! It was plugged into the USB 3.0 port. I have moved it to
the USB 2.0 port and the problem is solved.
Now *that* amazes me! USB 3 should be totally backwards compatible with
USB 2...
I think it's because the USB 3 is on a card in a separate slot and the
USB 2 is part of the original building of the computer so by the time
the card gets recognised it is too late to interrupt the Windows
start-up.
OK, thanks. Besides now making sense to me, it also fits with what I
think Paul said.
This MB has built-in USB3 (only two ports on the back panel), and I
assumed (without thinking!) that your USB3 was similar.
What's your chipset or motherboard make and model number ?
That'll make it easy to verify, one way or the other.
Paul
To verify what?

That I have two USB3 ports on the back panel? Yes, I do - I can see
them. I have used them.

That Scott has a plug-in USB3 port? I have to believe him, and anyway,
my MB specs have no bearing on that.

Asus P8 H67-M EVO
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
Scott
2013-03-18 19:56:41 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 18 Mar 2013 11:07:59 -0700, "Gene E. Bloch"
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Paul
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Brilliant! It was plugged into the USB 3.0 port. I have moved it to
the USB 2.0 port and the problem is solved.
Now *that* amazes me! USB 3 should be totally backwards compatible with
USB 2...
I think it's because the USB 3 is on a card in a separate slot and the
USB 2 is part of the original building of the computer so by the time
the card gets recognised it is too late to interrupt the Windows
start-up.
OK, thanks. Besides now making sense to me, it also fits with what I
think Paul said.
This MB has built-in USB3 (only two ports on the back panel), and I
assumed (without thinking!) that your USB3 was similar.
What's your chipset or motherboard make and model number ?
That'll make it easy to verify, one way or the other.
Paul
To verify what?
That I have two USB3 ports on the back panel? Yes, I do - I can see
them. I have used them.
That Scott has a plug-in USB3 port? I have to believe him, and anyway,
my MB specs have no bearing on that.
I can assure you that is true. I bought it and fitted it myself.
Paul
2013-03-18 19:59:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Paul
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Brilliant! It was plugged into the USB 3.0 port. I have moved it to
the USB 2.0 port and the problem is solved.
Now *that* amazes me! USB 3 should be totally backwards compatible with
USB 2...
I think it's because the USB 3 is on a card in a separate slot and the
USB 2 is part of the original building of the computer so by the time
the card gets recognised it is too late to interrupt the Windows
start-up.
OK, thanks. Besides now making sense to me, it also fits with what I
think Paul said.
This MB has built-in USB3 (only two ports on the back panel), and I
assumed (without thinking!) that your USB3 was similar.
What's your chipset or motherboard make and model number ?
That'll make it easy to verify, one way or the other.
Paul
To verify what?
That I have two USB3 ports on the back panel? Yes, I do - I can see
them. I have used them.
That Scott has a plug-in USB3 port? I have to believe him, and anyway,
my MB specs have no bearing on that.
Asus P8 H67-M EVO
H67 chip has only USB2 on it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_chipsets

That means your USB3 come from a separate chip, increasing the odds
of surprises at the BIOS level, if using the USB3 ports. (I can't
guarantee what the surprises would be, but it might include not
booting from USB3 ports, or keyboard not working on USB3 port.)
And this is just a BIOS level issue - once Windows
starts, things should be working by then.

Paul
Mellowed
2013-03-18 20:24:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Paul
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Brilliant! It was plugged into the USB 3.0 port. I have moved it to
the USB 2.0 port and the problem is solved.
Now *that* amazes me! USB 3 should be totally backwards
compatible with
USB 2...
I think it's because the USB 3 is on a card in a separate slot and the
USB 2 is part of the original building of the computer so by the time
the card gets recognised it is too late to interrupt the Windows
start-up.
OK, thanks. Besides now making sense to me, it also fits with what I
think Paul said.
This MB has built-in USB3 (only two ports on the back panel), and I
assumed (without thinking!) that your USB3 was similar.
What's your chipset or motherboard make and model number ?
That'll make it easy to verify, one way or the other.
Paul
To verify what?
That I have two USB3 ports on the back panel? Yes, I do - I can see
them. I have used them.
That Scott has a plug-in USB3 port? I have to believe him, and anyway,
my MB specs have no bearing on that.
Asus P8 H67-M EVO
H67 chip has only USB2 on it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_chipsets
That means your USB3 come from a separate chip, increasing the odds
of surprises at the BIOS level, if using the USB3 ports. (I can't
guarantee what the surprises would be, but it might include not
booting from USB3 ports, or keyboard not working on USB3 port.)
And this is just a BIOS level issue - once Windows
starts, things should be working by then.
Paul
I see what you are saying, but the ASUS spec
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P8H67M_EVO/ for the MB clearly states
that it has USB 3.0. http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P8H67/

ASUS has a B3 Rev that updates the original.
Paul
2013-03-18 23:17:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mellowed
Post by Paul
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Paul
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Brilliant! It was plugged into the USB 3.0 port. I have moved it to
the USB 2.0 port and the problem is solved.
Now *that* amazes me! USB 3 should be totally backwards
compatible with
USB 2...
I think it's because the USB 3 is on a card in a separate slot and the
USB 2 is part of the original building of the computer so by the time
the card gets recognised it is too late to interrupt the Windows
start-up.
OK, thanks. Besides now making sense to me, it also fits with what I
think Paul said.
This MB has built-in USB3 (only two ports on the back panel), and I
assumed (without thinking!) that your USB3 was similar.
What's your chipset or motherboard make and model number ?
That'll make it easy to verify, one way or the other.
Paul
To verify what?
That I have two USB3 ports on the back panel? Yes, I do - I can see
them. I have used them.
That Scott has a plug-in USB3 port? I have to believe him, and anyway,
my MB specs have no bearing on that.
Asus P8 H67-M EVO
H67 chip has only USB2 on it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_chipsets
That means your USB3 come from a separate chip, increasing the odds
of surprises at the BIOS level, if using the USB3 ports. (I can't
guarantee what the surprises would be, but it might include not
booting from USB3 ports, or keyboard not working on USB3 port.)
And this is just a BIOS level issue - once Windows
starts, things should be working by then.
Paul
I see what you are saying, but the ASUS spec
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P8H67M_EVO/ for the MB clearly states
that it has USB 3.0. http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P8H67/
ASUS has a B3 Rev that updates the original.
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P8H67M_EVO/#specifications

"USB Ports ASMedia USB 3.0 controller : 2 x USB 3.0 port(s)
(2 at back panel, blue)

Intel H67(B3) chipset : 12 x USB 2.0 port(s)
(4 at back panel, black,
8 at mid-board)"

The B3 revision just fixes a transistor on the SATA III ports,
so they won't blow out. The feature set of the H67 (Southbridge) chip,
is constant across revisions. And it looks like Intel paid "full freight"
on that bug.

Paul
Gene E. Bloch
2013-03-19 00:39:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Paul
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Post by Gene E. Bloch
Post by Scott
Brilliant! It was plugged into the USB 3.0 port. I have moved it to
the USB 2.0 port and the problem is solved.
Now *that* amazes me! USB 3 should be totally backwards compatible with
USB 2...
I think it's because the USB 3 is on a card in a separate slot and the
USB 2 is part of the original building of the computer so by the time
the card gets recognised it is too late to interrupt the Windows
start-up.
OK, thanks. Besides now making sense to me, it also fits with what I
think Paul said.
This MB has built-in USB3 (only two ports on the back panel), and I
assumed (without thinking!) that your USB3 was similar.
What's your chipset or motherboard make and model number ?
That'll make it easy to verify, one way or the other.
Paul
To verify what?
That I have two USB3 ports on the back panel? Yes, I do - I can see
them. I have used them.
That Scott has a plug-in USB3 port? I have to believe him, and anyway,
my MB specs have no bearing on that.
Asus P8 H67-M EVO
H67 chip has only USB2 on it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_chipsets
That means your USB3 come from a separate chip, increasing the odds
of surprises at the BIOS level, if using the USB3 ports. (I can't
guarantee what the surprises would be, but it might include not
booting from USB3 ports, or keyboard not working on USB3 port.)
And this is just a BIOS level issue - once Windows
starts, things should be working by then.
Paul
Luckily, I haven't had any USB3 surprises yet; maybe it's because I
don't tend to use them for USB2 items.
--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
Robin Bignall
2013-03-07 20:44:08 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 07 Mar 2013 18:21:56 +0000, Scott
<***@gefion.myzen.co.uk> wrote:

[SSD]
Post by Scott
Thanks for this interesting explanation. It sounds as though running
on BIOS is of benefit after all. However, I am not sure what is
meant by this. Do you just start the computer then use the command
that takes you to the BIOS then leave it overnight? How does the
computer know to do anything if there is no operating system, or is
this part of the BIOS function?
It appears that the SSD does the garbage collection itself, when it is
idle. I don't know what 'idle' means either, but I left the machine
booted into BIOS overnight last night.
Post by Scott
I assume you would switch off the screen as presumably screensaver
will not work.
Yes.
Post by Scott
One more mystery: if you have wireless keyboard, how can you enter
BIOS at all? Is there a keyboard driver in BIOS without needing
Windows?
Modern BIOS handles USB.

I did all of that, without seeing any appreciable difference, so I don't
have any idea of whether it was successful, or did absolutely nothing.
--
Robin Bignall
Herts, England
Paul
2013-03-07 22:16:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robin Bignall
On Thu, 07 Mar 2013 18:21:56 +0000, Scott
[SSD]
Post by Scott
Thanks for this interesting explanation. It sounds as though running
on BIOS is of benefit after all. However, I am not sure what is
meant by this. Do you just start the computer then use the command
that takes you to the BIOS then leave it overnight? How does the
computer know to do anything if there is no operating system, or is
this part of the BIOS function?
It appears that the SSD does the garbage collection itself, when it is
idle. I don't know what 'idle' means either, but I left the machine
booted into BIOS overnight last night.
Post by Scott
I assume you would switch off the screen as presumably screensaver
will not work.
Yes.
Post by Scott
One more mystery: if you have wireless keyboard, how can you enter
BIOS at all? Is there a keyboard driver in BIOS without needing
Windows?
Modern BIOS handles USB.
I did all of that, without seeing any appreciable difference, so I don't
have any idea of whether it was successful, or did absolutely nothing.
Paul
2013-03-07 22:26:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robin Bignall
On Thu, 07 Mar 2013 18:21:56 +0000, Scott
[SSD]
Post by Scott
Thanks for this interesting explanation. It sounds as though running
on BIOS is of benefit after all. However, I am not sure what is
meant by this. Do you just start the computer then use the command
that takes you to the BIOS then leave it overnight? How does the
computer know to do anything if there is no operating system, or is
this part of the BIOS function?
It appears that the SSD does the garbage collection itself, when it is
idle. I don't know what 'idle' means either, but I left the machine
booted into BIOS overnight last night.
Post by Scott
I assume you would switch off the screen as presumably screensaver
will not work.
Yes.
Post by Scott
One more mystery: if you have wireless keyboard, how can you enter
BIOS at all? Is there a keyboard driver in BIOS without needing
Windows?
Modern BIOS handles USB.
I did all of that, without seeing any appreciable difference, so I don't
have any idea of whether it was successful, or did absolutely nothing.
Oops. Empty post there...

If you wanted to see it make a difference, you'd need to abuse your
drive with a 4KB random file write test. Then see whether an overnight
"rest" helps it. Monitor performance with HDTune Pro (write/read test)
and the like.

And it's not really practical to do those tests, on your SSD system drive.

If the sustained write speed is as good now, as it was the day you
got the drive, then GC must be working. If the drive is a lot slower,
you could experiment with "resting it". Or worst case, use
"Secure Erase" program, to reset the thing. (Then, restore from
backup.) I was reading the claim, that Secure Erase is supposed to
reset internal state information on the drive (because Secure Erase
uses a single command, and the drive processor does all the work,
and the drive then knows it is back to T=0 conditions). Secure
Erase, is a command added to the ATA command set, by people
at this facility. They proposed it.

http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml

Paul
a***@wind.net
2013-02-23 17:36:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul
Post by a***@wind.net
Post by cameo
Can solid state drives also slow down over time like traditional hard
drives due to fragmantation or some other reason that is specific to
solid state drives?
When I bought my SSD from Crucial and discussed the issue with them
they also said not to defrag the disk.
They did say that about once a month I should start the system to the
BIOS and leave it overnight. "It will take care of itself."
Don't have a clue as to what "it" does.
The SSD has its own processor inside, and firmware.
The processor and firmware, run in the background, and rearrange
data to suit wear leveling and future performance.
The reference to "leave it overnight", applies to "4KB-sized torture tests".
The natural block size of SSDs is rather large. And they don't deal with small
files well. If you pummel the SSD with random small files like that (as Anandtech
does in some of its testing), the SSD drive needs significant time in the
background, to unravel the mess. The files are recorded instantly, the mess
is cleaned up later. The blocks would be moved around to consolidate space.
And it really does take all night.
If the drive is not allowed to do that, you could go from a drive that
has a 250MB/sec write rate, to dropping down to 100MB/sec. If you leave
the drive overnight, and powered up, the SSD processor and firmware
move those 4KB file fragments around. The drive then has the 250MB/sec
performance the next morning. Doing such movements, costs something
in terms of SSD lifetime.
More info here if you're curious. Or one of the many articles
on Anandtech probably explains it as well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Write_amplification
The 4KB random file test, is a pathological one. If you're doing
activities like email or web surfing, the SSD likely isn't compromised
at all, and ten minutes of background work is enough to maintain it.
But if you use one of those special "torture test" programs, then
you'll need all night to restore full SSD write speed.
Other options for resetting an SSD, might include Secure Erase, which
is a feature of the ATA command set. That might be a quicker way to
straighten up an SSD that has received a torture test. But that
also erases the data.
There's plenty written about the care and feeding of SSDs out
there, but I don't have the time to read it all. It's worth
reading though, if you own one.
Paul
Paul,

Thanks for the links and explanation.
VanguardLH
2013-02-23 02:43:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@wind.net
Post by cameo
Can solid state drives also slow down over time like traditional hard
drives due to fragmantation or some other reason that is specific to
solid state drives?
When I bought my SSD from Crucial and discussed the issue with them
they also said not to defrag the disk.
They did say that about once a month I should start the system to the
BIOS and leave it overnight. "It will take care of itself."
Don't have a clue as to what "it" does.
Many drives (SSDs and even HDDs) use their own firmware during idle
periods to retest any suspect sectors (or blocks of them). During
operation an error may occur during a read operation but later reads
pass. The sector becomes pending and gets tested later to see if it is
okay. Errors can be caused by gamma radiation, other hardware, or some
other glitch in the system beyond the device itself or even within the
device but it is not a critical or repeatable failure. I forget the
actual name of this feature but is is something a quiescent diagnosis
and correction procedure that is built into the device.
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