SSD on Windows 7

Posted by on May 12, 2012 in Letters | 6 Comments

This time I am not going to write you about photography or any other kind of esoteric or cultural thoughts. This time it is pure computer note, so please feel free to take a look at my lat photograph if you do not feel like reading about SSD, RAID, CPU and similar.

Well, at the start I should mentioned that all this is caused by my attempt to setup computer dedicated to Photography. Computer which should have maximal performance with connection to Lightroom and NIK software as well as be very quick not only with graphics but also over the network where my data store is.
One of the steps was to use SSD as my boot drive. I have rather older main-board from Asus P5K PRO using 3GHz Core 2 Duo Intel CPU. Radeon HD6700 series video card is delivering enough performance. Local storage RAID 0 of total capacity of 2GB is fast enough and backed up by 1GB network to RAID5 iSCSI target NAS device.
The last thing I wanted to improve was loading the system and starting of software as I often switch between Lightroom, Photoshop, NIK SEP and sometimes Picture Window Pro. So I decided to incorporate SSD for this reason as my boot drive. I have, based on some reading, decided to purchase SanDisk Extreme 120GB version. My main-board has only SATA II, but I was hoping that it will outperform my original RAID 0 with two WD RE3 disks.
After connecting the SanDisk SSD to my SATA it all looks well until I wanted to install Windows 7 on it. Windows refuse it with message that it can’t create partition or recognize any suitable partition for installing. Hm, I though what strange as far as diskpart from the same Windows 7 install disk could do all of it. Well with exception of installing the system of course. I have connected the disk to eSATA on my notebook and upgraded the firmware of the SSD disk to its R201 revision. Situation didn’t improve, but changed. Windows installation disk informed me that there is a chance that my BIOS is not able to boot from this disk. I tried all kinds of suggestion from the internet, but nothing seems to help. I switched my SATA from RAID mode to AHCI and disabled in BIOS other disks. NO improvement.
I loaded drivers for my SATA Intel controller and loaded with help of the Windows install DVD. NO help, only very strangely Windows install could see disabled disks suddenly. I moved SATA to ATA mode. I was able to install Windows 7, but after I set SATA controller back to RAID mode (to see and use my RAID 0) the SSD was not able to boot.

Well to make the story shorter, I downloaded latest Windows 7 installation DVD (now with SP1 in it) and physically disconnected the all other HDD from SATA controller. Switched it back to RAID mode and all started to work!!!

Writing this to you who may be having similar problem connecting latest hardware to few years all controller and motherboard. Now my disk went from 6.9 rating in windows to 7.6 and my system boots now in 4 seconds. I need to install now all the software and if you like I can let you know what actual effect it will all have for using my photography software. I decide to build this photo machine on SSD which is plugged to docking station on my desk and connected to eSATA connector. My other boot disk can be replaced it and it will boot my normal system with iTunes, email and rest. I wanted to have dedicated photo system where no internet will disturb me from work and no other software will effect performance. Now to switch from one to other is question of few seconds to reboot machine with disk swap in between.

6 Comments

  1. JPH
    Sun, 13. May , 2012

    Okay, I can’t believe I actually read all of that :-)

    Anyway, I had been thinking of doing the exact same thing recently, of having a solely online computer, and one that is not online… or, having a computer, and then maybe acquiring an iPad to use as my tool to access the web and all that stuff.

    Whenever Apple finally gets around to doing it (it had been rumored that it was going to be announced sometime this month), them releasing a new 15″ MacBook Pro, which is suppose to have the new form factor similar to the MacBook Airs, as well as be equipped with a retina display… I am wanting to pick that up, and have that be my main computer, as again, in a month and half or so, my being mobile and doing who knows what, and going who knows where, a laptop will be better than my desktop here (which I will give to my nieces, to replace the older eMac I gave them, when I got this here iMac). And, having an iPad to supplement the MacBook, to use for all online use, leaving the MacBook for work only… which I too would only have SSD installed (that is, if unlike the Airs, they have the option between traditional HD and SSD, it will only have SSD), as my 13″ Air (that I lovingly just gave to my younger brother and his wife), that is one thing I loved best about it, the SSD and instant startup, no moving parts of a HD…

    Anyway… will see. Glad you got it to work for you though!

    Reply
  2. admin
    Sun, 13. May , 2012

    So Jeff, was this too long? You not use to text as long as one page from me, I know. It may as well become more often in future. Isn’t it strange that when browsing everything whihc is longer than four lines is too long?

    Reply
  3. JPH
    Sun, 13. May , 2012

    Oh no, sorry… it was just a stupid thing to say, and almost deleted it, and just should have.

    No, I just put it, because some of it was over my head in technical jargon, that I half understood, and half didn’t… really, just disregard it.

    It certainly though had nothing to do with the length of it… you should know better than that with someone like me who writes novels even on the most mundane of things! :-)

    Reply
    • richo
      Sun, 13. May , 2012

      Don’t trouble yourself about it I have found it just funny. I am glad that you did read it until the end.

      Reply
  4. Karel Fiedler
    Thu, 16. August , 2012

    OK, but for me isn’t a problem delay by system start, program start or load file, but I need to be more faster by using Photoshop, Nik Software etc. in the each numerous steps …
    Dows help SSD extremly with it ? I thing that it is possible such as cache using … Doesn’t, it ?

    Reply
    • richo
      Thu, 16. August , 2012

      Karel, do you speak Czech? If you do let me know please.

      To your question: I am really happy with SSD on my system. It is very fast and responsive even I do not have latest CPU not SATA-3 controller.

      Reply

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