24224: Acronis 2012 and SSD disks

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Daniel Bleumink
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Hello ,

Straight to the point:

I recently purchased 1 SSD Disk and would like to know if the new True Image 2012
has got some better support for those.

Is it safe to make backups of the SSD (Will it be properly aligned when i recover) , or are there still some
things i should take notice off before using the backup or cleanser tools ?

Thankyou in advance.

Quatrix
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Does this help? According to the text, both 2011 and 2012 handle SSD alignment.

http://kb.acronis.com/content/2699

The following Acronis products have full Solid State Drive (SSD) support:

Acronis Backup & Recovery 11
Acronis True Image Home 2011
Acronis True Image Home 2012
Acronis Disk Director 11 Home

All other Acronis products support Solid State Drives (SSD) with certain limitations:

You can perform all the same operations with SSDs as with regular hard disk drives;
There are no special partition alignment mechanisms required to keep the partitions offset which is optimal for SSD drives. In other words when you restore an image to an SSD drive, it will get the default 63 sectors offset instead of 64kb (or a multiple of 64kb) offset recommended for SSD drives even if this offset was in place when the image had been created. This may result in a drop of performance on certain models of SSD drives after the restore;

Pat L
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Daniel,

If your SSD is aligned, the image created by ATI will be aligned and restored as such: ATI doesn't break alignment.

Restoring partition by partition is the best way to go versus restoring the entire disk on a bigger disk, or when partitions need to be changed/aligned.
If your disk is not aligned, ATI will automatically create the right offset when restoring to an SSD if you restore partition by partition, for sure.
If you restore to a bigger disk, ATI will automatically create the right offset if you restore partition by partition.

Similar observation with cloning: manual cloning (versus automatic, or as is) is a better approach when cloning to a bigger disk or when partition(s) need to be changed: it provides better control of what happens.

It is safe to make backups of the SSD and restore (I do this all the time).

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Quatrix
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Pat, I think the question is more about SSD support in different versions of True Image. Only 2011 and 2012 have full, official support, which would explain why 2011 works great for you. The poster may have 2010 (like me) or earlier.

Daniel Bleumink
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@ Quatrix
I got True Image 2011 at the moment , and i didn't read anything about ssd for it ..
But now i can sleep without worying.

I will upgrade to 2012 now that i know that everything is ok ;-)
At the moment the it aint available at the dutch acronis website (i am dutch) , but as soon as it's there i will def upgrade.
( I got a NAS at home so it has some additional benefits for me)

Thank you both for your answers!

Jean Merlon
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About the SSD support in ATIH 2012 edition, why there are no references to 'SSD' or 'Solid State Drives' in official documentation at http://www.acronis.com/support/documentation/ATIH2012/#2791.html ?.

I ran a few searches and can't find anything about it.

Pat L
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With ATI 2010, you will be just fine if you work around the alignment issue; using ATI 2010 to restore a new SSD, you have to prepartition the SSD to create the 1MB offset before the first partition, create each partition you want to restore, and then restore one partition at a time to the right target.

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Jean Merlon
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Pat L
Thanks for your reply about ATI2010 but I'm talking about ATI2012 (or 2011).

There is an absolute lack of information about the actual support for SSDs.

I need to upgrade old HDs to SSDs and then maintain regular SSDs cloned onto HDs on regular basis.
Your solution clearly is not practical for these basic purposes.

This lack of up-to-date information could only force the Customers to look elsewhere in order to upgrade and maintain their hardware.

Hope this helps in order to provide decent documentation to the Acronis manual, KB and web site.
Thank you.

BOB C
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As stated in post #1.....

You do not have to make any extra movements to clone the disk back to your SSD drive. As you can see from http://kb.acronis.com/content/2699 , Acronis True Image Home 2011 has full SSD support. You do not have to worry about alignment.

Jean Merlon
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If there is full support for SSDs while there is no reference at all even on the Feature list?

http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/#requirements
*****
Supported storage media

* Hard Disk Drives
* Networked Storage Devices
* FTP servers
* CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, BD-R
* ZIP®, Jaz® and other removable media
* PATA (IDE), SATA, SCSI, SAS, IEEE1394 (Firewire), USB1/2.0/3.0 drives
* Windows Dynamic Disks and GPT volumes support available with Plus Pack add-on. Check this Knowledge Base article for more details
*****

and nothing at http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/#benefits

If Acronis shows no claims about SSD support on storage media list, while the Customer should believe in the product about SSDs management?

Jean Merlon
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Oh, I forgot: even the 2012 user manual in 228 pages does not care to claim any SSDs support.
Should you believe in KB?... I don't think so.

If this was for true, Acronis marketing & tech guys would have written something about that.

Wolle
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Sorry, but I just cloned my Win7 Boot HDD using ATIH2011 from a Dell Precision M4500 (with some small Dell specific support partitions on it) to a Crucial M4 SSD and it was absolutely not aligned. First I was happy, because the system bootetd from the SSD without any problems, but then I realized the poor performance of the SSD: Because of the wrong alignement of the boot partition!
I had to adjust the alignement with Gparted, create a 1MB-partition, move the cloned partition etc. A lot of work to do, finding the how to`s, trying it with Acronis, installing Gparted boot CDROM, the day is over.....
Know I have just upgraded to ATIH 2012 and wonder if the alignement really will work. I miss a simple step by step solution from Acronis how to upgrade a HD to a SSD. I know a lot of users who are upgrading their boot partitions to SSDs (they are getting cheaper). Then I need answers of follow up questions about potentially reinstalling ATIH at the upgraded SSD. What about activating the (second?) version on the SSD? Do I have to buy another version?

Perry Kivolowitz
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Oh no. Now another thing I have to worry about.

See the thread at http://forum.acronis.com/forum/24769#comment-79336

Pat L
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@Wolle,

According to Acronis, 2011 and 2012 have full support for SSD. Since alignment is so important for SSD, I strongly recommend to use a manual cloning or back up/restore process the first time an image is laid out on a new SSD to *ensure* that the resulting disk will be aligned.

When you choose to clone manually, or when you restore one partition at a time, you have the opportunity to specify/verify the offset and control how partitions might be resized.

Once you know that your disk is aligned, you can safely trust that ATi will keep the alignment every time it restores.

BTW, if only for the purpose of controlling how the resizing is actually done, using the manual methods is better when restoring to a new disk of different size anyway.

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pixeldroid
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I'm having some boot problems and I'm suspicious that my new SSD might be failing.
I'm backing up daily and planning my next move. One option is to switch back to a HDD.
Question, can I restore my SSD image to a HDD?
Thanks much.

Wolle
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This should be no problem, You can restore Your SSD backup to any HD. I did it after my Cruzial SSD failed. But - it failed with no warning, the screen just frozed within from one moment to the other and this was is. I don't think Your SSD has a problem, if it is damaged it will have no boot problems it just will not work :-)
Wolfgang

pixeldroid
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Wolle wrote:

This should be no problem, You can restore Your SSD backup to any HD. I did it after my Cruzial SSD failed. But - it failed with no warning, the screen just frozed within from one moment to the other and this was is. I don't think Your SSD has a problem, if it is damaged it will have no boot problems it just will not work :-)
Wolfgang


Thanks. I guess this is a bit off topic, but the problem I'm having is that often at bootup, even though the SSD is listed as a connected disk, I get a message asking to insert a boot disk.
After several attempts, the system will boot. The computer is only a few months old, and the problem started recently and the frequency is increasing.

Pat L
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pixeldroid,

I have similar symptoms on a work computer. Hard to say what is going on. If your computer is under warranty, I would contact the manufacturer as the behavior is not normal, obviously.

Run chkdsk /r on your SSD. Maybe, run your disk manufacturer's diagnostics tool also.

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pixeldroid
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Thanks for the reply.
I contacted tech support @ the vendor (Magic Micro). They told me there aren't many diagnostics that can be run on SSDs. Their suggestions are to check the boot order in the bios or and to try a different SATA connector on the Mo. Bd. I'm in the middle of a big job, so I need to minimize downtime if I have to replace the drive - hence my question about restoring from a SSD to a HDD.
Currently I'm not shutting the computer down, making daily backups, planning the next move.

ADF
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We had lots of problems with systems failing (intermittently) to detect SSD at boot.
The problem was solved by powering the SSD from a supply on the motherboard rather than the usual PSU.
Some boards will have a dedicated connection. SSD usually only need 5V.
After we discovered this the manufacturer of the board (Aaeon) also confirmed this needs to be done.

Btambori
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I have an Intel X25M and with Acronis True Image Home 2011 (purchased June, 2011) it failed to restore my SSD. It claims the backup is fine, but fails to restore the drive (sector by sector).

GroverH
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Btambori,

Be sure and restore when booted from the TI Bootable Recovery CD.

Build 6942 was released in September for version 2011--for the English version.

sam sterling
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this is really off topic. dont listen to a word they say at magic micro. i have one of their systems and have had problems with it and believe me, they know nothing. nasty Customer service too. i will never buy another pc from them. i dont even want to talk to them anymore. done...

sam sterling
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the 2012 boot cd DOES NOT work for ssds as far as i am concerned, so i dont know what you are talking about. i had to reinstall w7 because of this damn product. took 2 days to get it back. i back it up all the time and when i needed it, it did not work. acronis Customer service sucks. anyone disagree? the 2010 boot cd was able to bring my old xp install back down so i could reinstall w7. that version was able to write to my sata2 ssd. it could not even see my sata3 ssd or my sata3 WD1T hdd. really screwed me up and no one to talk to. i asked for a refund on the 2012 version. it was my 3rd version i had purchased. i just wanted to move my old ssd (c:) to the new one since it was faster. guess i should have used Gpart to do it, it would have worked (better). i still dont have it on the right ssd. also i just want to say that under windows backup and restore work fine to both ssd's BUT WHAT GOOD IS THAT IF YOU HAVE TO RESTORE THE SYSTEM....NONE. screw u acronis if u are looking at this forum.

Riddlespoon
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I have tried both cloning to a OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB SSD and restoring a backup - both fail!
Using either method Acronis wants to reboot my PC. The Acronis recovery manager then starts, I see a light blue screen with a large mouse pointer for a while then the system reboots again and nothing has happened.

I am using the most recent version of True Image home 2012 and the Plus Pack.

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5 CPU: Intel i7 950 RAM: 8GB ******* XMS3 1600MHz 9-9-9-24 Vid: NVidia Quadro FX 580 PSU: ******* HX-750 HDD: C: 2TB, R: 750GB RAID5 Array, X: 1TB, Z: 2TB, Chipset: X58 OS: Windows 7 x64 Ultimate SP1

Pat L
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Riddlespoon,

I am afrair the recovery environment, which runs a Linux version of ATI, doesn't support the drive.
You can buy the Plus Pack and create a WinPE-based recovery disk.

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sam sterling
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all i have to say is that i bought the latest version (2012) and it should support all COMMON drives available today and SSD's are common now and have been for a while now. ACRONIS, get off your ass and put the correct drivers in the linux boot. i cannot believe some the things i have seen done in linux. i cannot believe they sell a software package like this. i am not happy. anyone care to suggest another backup software system?

Perry Kivolowitz
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Acronis Truimage products do not work. No one should purchase them. Period.

WonderWrench
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Btambori wrote:

I have an Intel X25M and with Acronis True Image Home 2011 (purchased June, 2011) it failed to restore my SSD. It claims the backup is fine, but fails to restore the drive (sector by sector).


From what I understand doing a sector by sector restore is a bad idea as it writes to every block and can cause the SSD to go into protection mode blocking the restore. If the restore works you will have shortend the SSD's life for sure. Depending on the controller used writing to every block may also kill write performance temporarily or semi permanently. Cloning to an SSD does the same thing so doing so is also a bad idea.

Bill

sam sterling
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well i dont pretend to know much about the alignment on ssds. oh i have read it from several places. who knows. and to Perry, TIH actually does work well on regular hdds and it does work quite well under windows to both my ssds. actually if i did not have TIH, i would have lost everything i had when i tried to move the system ssd to another ssd. i just chose the wrong product to do it with. BUT it should have worked. it is a backup program after all and one would expect it to work. BUT YOU CANT GET ANYONE TO ANSWER A SUPPORT QUESTION ACRONIS YOU A-HOLES! i have been waiting since 12/09 for a reply even though i have sent several emails and feedback messages to them. so i continue to backup my drives and hope nothing happens. oh i suppose i could bring my C: down to my regular hdd and then Gpart it my ssd in case a disaster happens. what a pain. again, anyone know a backup software that works well???

pixeldroid
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Thanks for all the comments. Especially about powering the SSD from the Mo.Bd - I'll look into that. Mine is ASUS Sabertooth.
As for TI, I've received several followups from Acronis tech suppt - even though I don't own the product, so I can't complain about that.
HOWEVER, in addition to the boot problem, I started having system problems - my computer would no longer read flash and SSD drives (though it would read externals connected to the same ports), and RMB in explorer to open files would hang explorer. I began to think this whole new computer was cursed!!! I couldn't find anyone else having those issues, but as I searched I did find some criticism of TI. After uninstalling it, both of those problems went away, leaving me w/the original boot problem. I've further found that the boot problem is exacerbated by having various external drives plugged in at boot time - somehow it messes up the BIOS drives and boot order! But at least I don't think anything is failing. Both the SSD and computer BIOS have updates availble, but I haven't tried those yet - I'm a bit gunshy about messing w/BIOS...

Richard Virtue
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You're certainly wise to be cautious about BIOS updating. It's not something to be done casually. Sometimes, however, it's the only solution and almost any current system will include recoverable "Clear BIOS" defaults. Some motherboards even provide dual BIOS chips for backup. Just be sure to familiarize yourself thoroughly with the precautions and procedures specified by the mobo manufacturer.

pixeldroid
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Thanks for the quick reply.
My biggest apprehension: Are there obscure setting (timings, for example), that I need to write down before updating the BIOS? It seems like there is a lot in there to keep track of.

Richard Virtue
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Unless you (or some custom system builder) made changes to the motherboard's original BIOS default settings, there should be no need to make any adjustments following a straightforward BIOS update. You might just want to note the current settings for drive controller(s) -- IDE / AHCI / RAID or whatever -- to ensure that they don't get altered.

But if you're an "overclocker" enthusiast with some extreme system configuration for timings, voltages, etc., you're on your own. :^)

marty56
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I have used both the Linux and PE3.0 recovery disk to backup and restore my system with no issues. It seemd that the PE3.0 was slightly slower but both were reliable. I have a 250GB Intel 520 and AMD Fusion system if that helps. My previous system was an Intel 2600k with a Kingston 1288GB SDNow SSD which also workd from the Linus recovery disk. I never tried the PE3.0 disk on it.

pixeldroid
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Hey Richard, thanks again. I'm not a overclocker, so no mods on that front. However, as I have been trouble shooting this problem, I've read a bit about AHCI. My system is setup as IDE (the other installed drive is a WD 1T SATA III drive. It appears that hardware is in your realm of expertise - do you think I should consider switching to AHCI?
I'm in the middle of a big job, so if I can keep this system reasonably stable, I'll probably wait a couple of months before I do anything...

Richard Virtue
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No, you don't want to change from IDE to AHCI at this point. Doing so after Windows has already been installed can be tricky and it isn't likely to fix the Acronis issues. Might even make them worse. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976 for some addtional info about possible IDE->AHCI changeover problems.

Pat L
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@ Btambori,

You don't need to restore sector by sector.
If the restore fails:
- before you do the restore, click on add new disk, select the SSD, This will clean the disk. Alternatively, use the Windows installation DVD and use Diskpart to clean the disk : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766465(WS.10).aspx
- restore only one partition to start with. Before the first partition, make sure you have 1 MB offset. Mark the right partition primary active. Do not change the drive letters. After the last partition, restore the MBR+Track0 and the disk signature.

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Pat L
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@ WonderWrench

Interesting comments. Do you have a source for this information you can share with us?

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dart451
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Funny...I just installed a Crucial M4 256gig ssd...I cloned it with the software that came with the drive, EZ Gig IV...booted up fine after the cloning but...I discovered that the alignment wasn't correct. (you'd think the ssd manufacturer would make sure the ssd was aligned!?) So...I cloned it again with Acronis 2012, walla! All aligned! Did a speed test before and after and it made quite a difference. So, in my opinion, Acronis 2012 worked great! I must agree that the support is less than desirable!! Takes forever to get help!!

Win7 Pro (64)

dart451
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Richard Virtue wrote:

No, you don't want to change from IDE to AHCI at this point. Doing so after Windows has already been installed can be tricky and it isn't likely to fix the Acronis issues. Might even make them worse. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976 for some addtional info about possible IDE->AHCI changeover problems.

Can't say that I agree with this Richard...when I installed the ssd drive, I changed to AHCI in bios without problems. However, the first time I tried it, the drive would not boot. Found out that you had to turn on the AHCI in Win7 registry which was quite simple. After I did this, the drive booted and...I might add that I ran another speed test on the drive and the speed more than doubled! All the info to do this I obtained on the Crucial user forums.

pixeldroid
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I agree re: AHCI. Apparently it is necessary to realize the full benefit of SSD. There is a 'how to' video on Youtube which makes it look pretty easy and shows the results of before/after speed tests. Disappointing that my vendor didn't set it up this way. I plan to convert when I finish my current project.

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pixeldroid wrote:

I agree re: AHCI. Apparently it is necessary to realize the full benefit of SSD. There is a 'how to' video on Youtube which makes it look pretty easy and shows the results of before/after speed tests. Disappointing that my vendor didn't set it up this way. I plan to convert when I finish my current project.

I just installed two Crucial M4 128GB drives to two separate machines last night and everything went flawlessly. I'll share what I did if this might help anyone. I used Acronis True Image Home 2012 for this procedure.

1. First off, my Win 7 installs are 64 bit and I formated the HDD's using the win7 DVD originally, so both installs have the 100mb recovery partition at the beginning of the disk. From everything I've read, when you format your installs this way, your disks are aligned and will work just fine on an SSD. Hence why Windows 7 claims for SSD support are valid (in adddition to TRIM built in).

2. I went into the BIOS and made sure to enable AHCI. This was done after the original install, so I set this and booted into Windows 7 and saw the AHCI driver install and a message window stated that the install of AHCI was successfull and ready for use. Everything I've read states AHCI is necessary for SSD.

3. I defragged the hard drive and then turned off defrag.

4. I created an Acronis boot cd and booted to this and did a disk backup to an external USB drive.

5. I attached the new SSD to the exact same SATA port out of the box with no formatting at all.

6. I booted the machine to the Acronis CD and did a disk restore from the USB external to the new SSD.

Viola, everything went perfectly and the drive is functioning properly and is FAST.

A couple links you might like to check.

http://forum.crucial.com/t5/Solid-State-Drives-SSD/Tips-tweaks-and-recom...
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/windows-7-and-ssds-setup-secrets-and-tune...

mastercb
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Caveman wrote:

I just installed two Crucial M4 128GB drives to two separate machines

Please remember, NOT to use Try&Decide with SSD's.

Acronis still has NOT resolved an issue, that will corrupt your system.....

Caveman
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mastercb wrote:
Caveman wrote:

I just installed two Crucial M4 128GB drives to two separate machines

Please remember, NOT to use Try&Decide with SSD's.

Acronis still has NOT resolved an issue, that will corrupt your system.....

I didn't, but thanks for caring. :)

Pat L
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@ mastercb,

Which issue are you referring to?

- Edit -

OK, I see it now.

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jgt1942
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FYI - I installed a 180GB Corsair Force 3 SSD as my boot drive over the Christmas holiday and since then have performed several restores using the Acronis Boot CD I created from the windows installation of Acronis (ATIH2012_6154_en-US). The restore or BU takes less than 10 minutes. Currently I'm using about 70GB of the SSD, for the most part applications are stored on a HD and I only install on the SSD when I forget or I install an application that MUST be on the C drive (I have a few of these). When I installed I did a total fresh install.

After just over a month some applications are now running slower than when originally installed on the SSD, this I don't understand or have the skills to determine why.

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Pat L
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jgt1942,

Verify that you have TRIM enabled in the OS: http://www.ghacks.net/2010/09/14/verify-that-trim-is-enabled-in-windows-7/

Verify that your disk is aligned. Each partition offset should divisible by 4096. YOu can find the partition offset in msinfo32.exe, components, hardware, storage, disks.

If you had to fix something, ATA-secure erase your SSD and restore your backup, ensuring alignment. Note that ATA-secure erase is a specific kind of erase, and has nothing to do with writing random data to overwrite data (just like various data shredders).

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jgt1942
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Pat, I looked at my installation guide (this is something that I created for my personal use) and I had included a section on Trim thus my first thought was that I turned it off but when I checked I discovered that it was NOT turned off. As I further checked my documentation in this area I realized that I must have skipped this section. DAMN!

I also just installed SSD Tweak Utility (this was also in my documentation, another confirmation that I skipped this section), see http://www.elpamsoft.com/Downloads.aspx?Installed=201&Name=SSD%20Tweaker

Also in my documentation I had included a link to http://www.tech-forums.net/pc/f128/ssd-tweak-guide-236563/ for more info.

As I dig deeper I see that AHCI was NOT correctly set.

I just found a neat utility via an article at http://synsol.eu/blog/2010/03/disk-alignment-check-utility-how-to-use-di... to check and verify alignment. YEA! all of my disk are aligned - OK something went right... YEA!

OK I'll go through all of my documentation and set things up as they should be.
Pat ------ Big thanks for helping me find my goof!

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jgt
Desktop-S4 (Win7 Ultimate x64, 16GB RAM, 12TB (2-3TB RAID 1 (Win7), 1-RAID 5 (3ware card) Boot Drive 180GB Corsair Force 3 SSD , Dual Monitors, GeForce GTX470, Motherboard ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme, AMD Phenom™ II 6 core-AMD 890FX Chipset ), Laptop Lenovo W700 (Win8 x64, 4GB RAM, Boot Drive 240GB Corsair Force 3 SSD, 1-500GB (data drive), Compaq C304NR (Win8 x32) Boot Drive 160 GB SATA.

jgt1942
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Joined: 2009-08-15
Posts: 313

Ops, changing IDE to AHCI produces the BSOD - I changed back and it boots. Also with a bit of research there is a small performance gain for AHCI but I'm not sure if I will be able to see it. Normally this setting is done before you install windows (per my research). I did find one article for Intel chip sets if you have already installed windows but I have AMD. Thus at this time it seems that I've done all that I can (unless I still missed some steps in my documentation). At this time I'm not sure if I see any gain, when I open MS word it takes about 9 seconds, then if I go to recent and I open a 241 page document this takes about 12 seconds (the document library is located on a RAID 1 HDD array (two 3TB drives, 7200 RPM).

I found another post that claims that with SSD you will see the performance increase. I'll do more research later this week.

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jgt
Desktop-S4 (Win7 Ultimate x64, 16GB RAM, 12TB (2-3TB RAID 1 (Win7), 1-RAID 5 (3ware card) Boot Drive 180GB Corsair Force 3 SSD , Dual Monitors, GeForce GTX470, Motherboard ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme, AMD Phenom™ II 6 core-AMD 890FX Chipset ), Laptop Lenovo W700 (Win8 x64, 4GB RAM, Boot Drive 240GB Corsair Force 3 SSD, 1-500GB (data drive), Compaq C304NR (Win8 x32) Boot Drive 160 GB SATA.

mastercb
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Joined: 2011-09-28
Posts: 27

It is NOT true, that AHCI is only a "small" performance gain ! It is NECESSARY to enable such (SSD-)important functions like TRIM and NCQ.

If you want to enable AHCI when OS is already installed: Yust find a correct "plain" driver for your chipset (for INTEL: go to Intel website and search for "Rapid storage manger F6" files (the "F6" are the "plain driver"-downloads; In your case look for appropriate AMD driver). Then open device manger, open your HDD controller and select "update driver", then select "do not search, but select manually" and than again the option to select the drive yourself. Then select browse for the driver location and choose the AHCI driver version. NOTE: Windows will remark, that the driver is not appropriate for this device and recommends, not to install it: DO IT ! After confirming: REBOOT as wanted by the device manager and start your BIOS Setup immediately to switch from "IDE-Compatible" to AHCI. Then: Pray and hope it boots correctly.
Hint: Please be sure to have a valid backup before performing the above ! I successfully did so on more than 20 different PC's with this procedure, but I can give you no warranty, it will work on every machine.