Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Help with SDD/Windows 8 upgrade to my first home-build

Tags:
  • Motherboards
  • AHCI
  • Storage
  • Gigabyte
  • Samsung SSD
  • Build
  • Windows 8
  • SSD
Last response: in Storage
Share
November 5, 2013 11:20:51 AM

Hi, I've been doing my due diligence on the very common topic of installing a new SSD correctly, but as often happens, I am seeing conflicting opinions, and I continue to discover new factors I might end up overlooking. I'm hoping that after having done my homework, I can run an approach by the crew here to see what approach will suit my particular situation (SSD, fresh Win 8 install, AHCI (I presume) but no RAID).

I'll quote some of posts that I've read that are steering me in this particular direction in the Sources section at the bottom.

New Hard-/Software:
- Samsung 840 Pro SSD (256GB)
- Windows 8 (from an upgrade bought in January)

My Machine:
- Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3 (rev. 1)
- Intel i7-860
- 3 Current HDDs, WD Caviar Black/Green and a Samsung HDD
- Windows 7 currently installed with the BIOS in IDE mode
- 1 mid-to-low-end nVidia graphics card (will post the model later, it was like $80 in 2010) that I'd like to upgrade for video/photo processing. I'm very amateur but would like better performance if I can get it, so I might want to either add another graphics card or upgrade the current one (thoughts?)

I am installing the new SSD as a system drive, and I'm using that Windows license plus the $10(?) upgrade I bought in January to install (hopefully) a fresh installation on the new drive. Windows on the old drive can die soon, although it would be great if I had the option to switch back (after temporarily resetting the BIOS to IDE from AHCI?) to the current Win7 drive a few times for the first month as I get everything transferred (to solve the inevitable "oh crap, I forgot to export my registry settings for TextPad" or "Boy it would have been easier if I'd done an export from ____ program first").

I'd like to install the SSD in AHCI mode, but no RAID. It sounds like I can just:


  1. Disconnect the current HDDs.
  2. Change the BIOS to AHCI (only 1 setting to change, it sounds like)
  3. Install Windows 8 (I hope I can do this from my upgrade I bought - see Source 2)
  4. Install driver updates (from Intel? Gigabyte?)


  • So here are my questions:


    1. Do I want to use the Intel connection instead of Marvell? It's SATA 2 vs. SATA 3, but I hear the Marvell controller is not actually any faster and might slow down my other components (PCI/USB 3.0).
    2. Do I have to install any drivers before the OS? Sounds like with Windows 8 I no longer have to as long as I use the Intel controller.
    3. Will the 3 HDDs work fine (as data drives) after switching the BIOS to AHCI? It sounds like the issue is just that I can't boot Windows 7 on the old drive without a registry hack.
    4. Are there any steps that I need to take that wouldn't be obvious? For example, being sure to unplug the 3 HDDs before trying to install Win on the SSD. What else am I missing?
    5. Some of the drivers on the Gigabyte site (see Source 3) are from 2010. Am I better off sticking with all of those, or should I get some others from other manufacturers' sites like Intel (and if so, which ones)?


  • Sources

    1. Quote:
      Windows 8 includes the native Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers which should work beautifully with 3/4/5/6/7 series motherboards. Other devices may lack Windows 8 drivers, but not the chipset. As long as you make sure to use the Intel storage ports (you should have 6 SATA-II ports connected to the Intel storage controller) rather than the Marvell ports you should be okay. The marvell SATA-III controller is connected to the PCH via a single PCIe 2.0 lane, which means that it will actually be slower than the native PCH ports despite having SATA-III interface speeds. Add-in SATA-III controllers are a complete joke, just use the native SATA-II ports as only top grade SSDs and external RAID enclosures can come close to saturating a SATA-II link.

    2. http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windows-8/a/clean-install...
    3. http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...


  • Thanks in advance!
  • More about : sdd windows upgrade home build

    a b V Motherboard
    a b G Storage
    a b * Windows 8
    November 5, 2013 11:44:56 AM


    1. Do I want to use the Intel connection instead of Marvell?
    - i prefer Intel controller
    2. Do I have to install any drivers before the OS?
    - the Win 7 & 8 will do this for you
    3. Will the 3 HDDs work fine (as data drives) after switching the BIOS to AHCI?
    - yes
    4. Are there any steps that I need to take that wouldn't be obvious?
    For example, being sure to unplug the 3 HDDs before trying to install Win on the SSD.
    - you can do this - it will not harm if you add 3 x HDD after SSD instal
    5. What else am I missing?
    - first step - switch ACHI mode in bios before SSD setup
    - read you mobo manual -> look for SATA3 ( 6Gbit ) connectors - use them prior the SATA2 (3Gbit)
    especialy for SSD !
    - you need some SSD tuning on the OS after setup finish - f.e. you can use SSD Fresh
    - i also DISABLE the Page file on SSD and enable it on the others HDD`s
    - i also turn off the HYBERNATION of the system
    The last 2 tweaks will save you 10 -20 GB of you SSD space ( depens on RAM size )
    The page file by default is RAM Size x 1 -> on 16 GB RAM = 16 GB page file
    - another good aproche on SSD is to Move User data - Documents ; Downloads e.t.c on HDD`s not SSD -> migrate User`s Data folders

    And that`s it :) 

    m
    0
    l
    November 5, 2013 1:43:46 PM

    Thanks, Nikolay. I'll definitely turn off hibernation and think about some of the other suggestions. I have a couple of answers about your responses:

    Nikolay Savov said:

    1. Do I want to use the Intel connection instead of Marvell?
    - i prefer Intel controller

    Is there a reason why?

    Nikolay Savov said:

    2. Do I have to install any drivers before the OS?
    - the Win 7 & 8 will do this for you

    Hm, all the posts that I saw regarding the need to preinstall AHCI and/or Intel Rapid Storage Technology were regarding Windows 7. Is there a difference in Windows 8?

    Nikolay Savov said:

    4. Are there any steps that I need to take that wouldn't be obvious?
    For example, being sure to unplug the 3 HDDs before trying to install Win on the SSD.
    - you can do this - it will not harm if you add 3 x HDD after SSD instal

    I was under the understanding that I MUST do this, or the OS will not install correctly (or at least won't be bootable).

    Nikolay Savov said:

    - read you mobo manual -> look for SATA3 ( 6Gbit ) connectors - use them prior the SATA2 (3Gbit) especialy for SSD !

    Yes, I read the full manual, but it doesn't make recommendations about which to use (SATA3 or SATA2). However, the SATA3 controller is Marvell. The Intel controller is SATA2. So I can't do both SATA3 and Intel. That's why I have a specific case that seems to have an answer that is specific to the GA-P55-UD3 mobo.

    Nikolay Savov said:

    - i also DISABLE the Page file on SSD and enable it on the others HDD`s

    Sounds like a good way to save space if need be, but not optimal if you are paging a lot. I'll keep it in mind as I fill up the drive. I'm also planning to move a lot of the User Data out, although I'm not sure I want to move everything out (and I may just move Pics/Vids/Music out).

    m
    0
    l
    Related resources

    Best solution

    a c 104 V Motherboard
    a c 971 G Storage
    a b * Windows 8
    November 5, 2013 3:14:48 PM

    1: definitely the Intel ports.
    2: no pre-install drivers needed.
    3: yes all HDD's will work fine
    4: looks like you have a handle on it - yes unplug all the other drives.
    5: - Switch your win7 install to AHCI first. Click "Fix it" 1/2 down on this page then reboot into the bios and make the change. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976
    - Your motherbd is old enought that the factory disk won't have win8 drivers on it.
    - You might want to make sure your motherbd bios is up to date.
    - try to have drivers already downloaded.
    Here's your usb3: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?Dwnld...

    Lastly - be sure to follow one of the many ssd optimization guides.
    Share
    a b V Motherboard
    a b G Storage
    a b * Windows 8
    November 5, 2013 3:18:13 PM

    kghastie said:
    Thanks, Nikolay. I'll definitely turn off hibernation and think about some of the other suggestions. I have a couple of answers about your responses:

    Nikolay Savov said:

    1. Do I want to use the Intel connection instead of Marvell?
    - i prefer Intel controller

    Is there a reason why?

    - you don`t need F6 driver to continue OS setup
    - in the Intel case Win 7 and 8 are fine with Intel drivers


    kghastie said:
    Nikolay Savov said:

    2. Do I have to install any drivers before the OS?
    - the Win 7 & 8 will do this for you

    Hm, all the posts that I saw regarding the need to preinstall AHCI and/or Intel Rapid Storage Technology were regarding Windows 7. Is there a difference in Windows 8?

    - nope - the OS setup will finish fresh instal over ACHI enabled SSD
    - no extra diver needed for the setup
    - yes you can add Intel Rapid Storage Technology after the OS is installed


    kghastie said:
    Nikolay Savov said:

    4. Are there any steps that I need to take that wouldn't be obvious?
    For example, being sure to unplug the 3 HDDs before trying to install Win on the SSD.
    - you can do this - it will not harm if you add 3 x HDD after SSD instal

    I was under the understanding that I MUST do this, or the OS will not install correctly (or at least won't be bootable).

    - this wil make you life easyer
    - in some cases the boot-loader goes to some random HDD instead of SSD
    - setup OS with only SSD will easy the job for you ....


    kghastie said:
    Nikolay Savov said:

    - read you mobo manual -> look for SATA3 ( 6Gbit ) connectors - use them prior the SATA2 (3Gbit) especialy for SSD !

    Yes, I read the full manual, but it doesn't make recommendations about which to use (SATA3 or SATA2). However, the SATA3 controller is Marvell. The Intel controller is SATA2. So I can't do both SATA3 and Intel. That's why I have a specific case that seems to have an answer that is specific to the GA-P55-UD3 mobo.

    - Dude You Only Have Marvell SATA3 6Gb/s which is SLOWER than Intel sata2
    <corrected by moderator>. - The ver 2 board has marvell Sata3 ports.

    kghastie said:
    Nikolay Savov said:

    - i also DISABLE the Page file on SSD and enable it on the others HDD`s

    Sounds like a good way to save space if need be, but not optimal if you are paging a lot. I'll keep it in mind as I fill up the drive. I'm also planning to move a lot of the User Data out, although I'm not sure I want to move everything out (and I may just move Pics/Vids/Music out).


    This will take some time :) 
    This is not Space Aimed tweak !
    Paging is BAD for SSD -> lower theyr Life Span Cicles
    The same goes to some old Windows aproches to lower the HDD negative impact on OS performance - prefetch , indexing etc. .... you must use tools ( provided with the SSD or you can google for SSDFresh ) that will do this SSD twek to disable some WIndows features BAD for SSD`s ...
    That`s why you disable paging on C: (SSD) and you enable it on HDD ( D ; E ; F .... X )
    If you have 8 GB RAM you don`t need paging on the HDD !
    The only case is you need one is if you run like 10 Virtual Machines and Virtualisation scenarios ...
    So disabeling the page will keep you SSD performance longer !
    m
    0
    l
    November 5, 2013 3:44:23 PM

    Thanks, popatim.
    popatim said:
    5: - Switch your win7 install to AHCI first. Click "Fix it" 1/2 down on this page then reboot into the bios and make the change. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976
    - Your motherbd is old enought that the factory disk won't have win8 drivers on it.
    - You might want to make sure your motherbd bios is up to date.
    - try to have drivers already downloaded.


    - I'll def. look into switching over to AHCI in my Win7 install.
    - Per the drivers, I am talking about the drivers on the Gigabyte website (Source link #3), which are fresher than the ones on the mobo driver disk. So are you saying I should go with the Intel latest version for all the Intel ones? That's counter to my understanding of the recommended approach being to favor a mobo manuf's drivers over the more generic Intel ones, but it makes sense. What about the other drivers (like the Realtek LAN/Audio and NEC USB)?

    I'll try pasting the list of driver versions/dates, but it might be more readable on the gigabyte site:

    1. Audio Version Size Date
    2. Realtek Function driver for Realtek Azalia audio chip (Including Microsoft UAA Driver in English edition) 5.10.0.6642 118.29 MB 10/25/2012
    3. Chipset
    4. Intel Management Engine Interface 6.0.0.1179 2.82 MB 11/12/2010
    5. Intel INF installation 9.1.2.1007 1.19 MB 4/29/2010
    6. LAN
    7. Realtek Ethernet Diagnostic Utility 2.0.2.1 4.10 MB 8/9/2012
    8. Realtek LAN Driver 7.049.0927.2011 3.48 MB 3/21/2012
    9. SATA RAID/AHCI
    10. Intel SATA Preinstall driver 10.6.0.1002 0.39 MB 6/22/2011
    11. (For AHCI / RAID Mode)
    12. Note: Press F6 during Windows setup to read from floppy.
    13. Intel® Rapid Storage Technology 10.6.0.1002 10.54 MB 6/22/2011
    14. Marvell RAID Preinstall Driver (SATA3) for AHCI Mode 1.0.0.1036 0.28 MB 4/29/2010
    15. Note: Press F6 during Windows setup to read from floppy.
    16. Marvell RAID Utility (SATA3) 4.1.0.1700 36.81 MB 4/29/2010
    17. (Please install Marvell Console Driver before install Marvell RAID Utility)
    18. Marvell RAID Driver (SATA3) for AHCI Mode 1.0.0.1036 0.99 MB 4/29/2010
    19. Marvell Console Driver (SATA3) 1.0.0.1027 0.30 MB 11/10/2009
    20. USB 3.0
    21. NEC USB 3.0 Driver 2.0.30.0 5.61 MB 12/21/2010

    m
    0
    l
    November 5, 2013 3:46:59 PM

    Nikolay Savov said:

    - Dude You Only Have Marvell SATA3 6Gb/s which is SLOWER than Intel sata2
    <corrected by moderator>. - The ver 2 board has marvell Sata3 ports.

    It's my understanding the rev 1 also has Marvel SATA3. Here's a quote from the spec (rev 1 specific) linked to in Source link #3 in my original post:
    Quote:

    Chipset:

    6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2_0, SATA2_1, SATA2_2, SATA2_3, SATA2_4, SATA2_5) supporting up to 6 SATA 3Gb/s devices
    Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10

    Marvell 9128 chip:

    2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3_6, GSATA3_7) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
    Support for SATA RAID 0 and RAID 1

    * SATA3 RAID 0 4x and SATA3 2x performance are maximum theoretical values. Actual performance may vary by system configuration.
    * SATA3 SSDs are not recommended for use in RAID 0 mode on Marvell SE9128 ports.


    m
    0
    l
    a b V Motherboard
    a b G Storage
    a b * Windows 8
    November 5, 2013 4:15:36 PM

    kghastie said:
    11871512,0,1298653 said:

    - Dude You Only Have Marvell SATA3 6Gb/s which is SLOWER than Intel sata2
    <corrected by moderator>. - The ver 2 board has marvell Sata3 ports.
    said:


    Yes - correct !
    10x for the moderator - clearing this out !
    kghastie - too many typing for sutcha easy job ......
    Dude just go for it ...... take the SSD and then you can play around with the setup ......
    In any whay you end up is going to be 10x better than HDD system ,,,,


    m
    0
    l
    November 5, 2013 6:22:26 PM

    BTW Nikolay, I see what you are saying about the wear and tear with the paging file. I am at 4gB right now, and multitask a ton, so I am paging quite a bit. Another 4gB of RAM is probably next up on my agenda, though, after which it won't be a concern.

    OK, so here's the new plan:

    1. Install MS Fix to allow AHCI for current HDDs
    2. Switch BIOS to AHCI (BIOS is already latest version)
    3. Install Windows 8 on SSD
    4. Install Intel Driver Update Utility and install anything it recommends
    5. Install drivers in this order(?)

  • a. Chipset (INF?)
    b. Intel Management Engine Interface?
    c. Intel Rapid Storage technology
    d. USB 3.0 Drivers (from Gigabyte? Realtek? Windows update?) (or can I skip since I have no 3.0 devices now)?
    e. LAN driver (from Gigabyte? Realtek? Windows update?)
    f. Wireless Driver (from where?)
    g. INTEL/AMD/NVIDIA Display Driver (from nVidia or Windows update)?
    h. Audio driver (from Gigabyte? Realtek? Windows update?)

    (I realize the driver order is off the original topic, but it follows from the conversation here.)

    The problem I have is that I have an XP way of looking at driver installations I think. How much do I really need to do manually vs. letting Windows update take care of it? (I've seen posts indicating that Windows is actually doing a good job of that now.)
    m
    0
    l
    a b V Motherboard
    a b G Storage
    a b * Windows 8
    November 6, 2013 4:34:49 AM

    kghastie said:
    BTW Nikolay, I see what you are saying about the wear and tear with the paging file. I am at 4gB right now, and multitask a ton, so I am paging quite a bit. Another 4gB of RAM is probably next up on my agenda, though, after which it won't be a concern.

    OK, so here's the new plan:

    1. Install MS Fix to allow AHCI for current HDDs
    2. Switch BIOS to AHCI (BIOS is already latest version)
    3. Install Windows 8 on SSD
    4. Install Intel Driver Update Utility and install anything it recommends
    5. Install drivers in this order(?)

  • a. Chipset (INF?)
    b. Intel Management Engine Interface?
    c. Intel Rapid Storage technology
    d. USB 3.0 Drivers (from Gigabyte? Realtek? Windows update?) (or can I skip since I have no 3.0 devices now)?
    e. LAN driver (from Gigabyte? Realtek? Windows update?)
    f. Wireless Driver (from where?)
    g. INTEL/AMD/NVIDIA Display Driver (from nVidia or Windows update)?
    h. Audio driver (from Gigabyte? Realtek? Windows update?)

    (I realize the driver order is off the original topic, but it follows from the conversation here.)

    The problem I have is that I have an XP way of looking at driver installations I think. How much do I really need to do manually vs. letting Windows update take care of it? (I've seen posts indicating that Windows is actually doing a good job of that now.)


  • What is that i do on Win 7 & 8
    - ACHI in the BIOS
    - OS setup
    - Chipset driver
    - LAN or WiFi driver
    - Windows Update
    - GPU driver
    - Missing drivers if there is any .....

    If you have just 4 GB RAM then you must enable the paging on other old HDD - BUT NOT on SSD
    f.e. in manual mode - you set paging on C: ( SSD ) to none and paging on D: ( old HDD ) to - 4096 GB
    m
    0
    l
    a b G Storage
    November 6, 2013 9:00:32 AM

    kghastie said:
    Thanks, Nikolay. I'll definitely turn off hibernation and think about some of the other suggestions. I have a couple of answers about your responses:

    Nikolay Savov said:

    1. Do I want to use the Intel connection instead of Marvell?
    - i prefer Intel controller

    Is there a reason why?

    Nikolay Savov said:

    2. Do I have to install any drivers before the OS?
    - the Win 7 & 8 will do this for you

    Hm, all the posts that I saw regarding the need to preinstall AHCI and/or Intel Rapid Storage Technology were regarding Windows 7. Is there a difference in Windows 8?

    Nikolay Savov said:

    4. Are there any steps that I need to take that wouldn't be obvious?
    For example, being sure to unplug the 3 HDDs before trying to install Win on the SSD.
    - you can do this - it will not harm if you add 3 x HDD after SSD instal

    I was under the understanding that I MUST do this, or the OS will not install correctly (or at least won't be bootable).

    Nikolay Savov said:

    - read you mobo manual -> look for SATA3 ( 6Gbit ) connectors - use them prior the SATA2 (3Gbit) especialy for SSD !

    Yes, I read the full manual, but it doesn't make recommendations about which to use (SATA3 or SATA2). However, the SATA3 controller is Marvell. The Intel controller is SATA2. So I can't do both SATA3 and Intel. That's why I have a specific case that seems to have an answer that is specific to the GA-P55-UD3 mobo.

    Nikolay Savov said:

    - i also DISABLE the Page file on SSD and enable it on the others HDD`s

    Sounds like a good way to save space if need be, but not optimal if you are paging a lot. I'll keep it in mind as I fill up the drive. I'm also planning to move a lot of the User Data out, although I'm not sure I want to move everything out (and I may just move Pics/Vids/Music out).



    1. The Marvell controllers are known to give bad Performance with SSDs, so you are better off with the Intel Sata 2

    2. Samsung SSDs use windows generic drivers, so you don't need to preload drivers.

    4. If you have other drives plugged into the computer, the windows installation will span across the the SSDs and one of the other drives, so if you take that other hdd out of the sstem for w/e reason, you won't be able to boot, so just make sure the SSD is the only thing in the system during OS install.

    Also, if you have more than like 8 gb of RAM, you don't need a page file.
    m
    0
    l
    November 6, 2013 9:26:28 AM

    OK, thanks all. I still am not sure about where to get the other drivers, but that's probably better moved to a different topic. I'm also a little chicken to do the registry patch to switch the current Win7 installation to AHCI, since I don't want to knock myself out of the current install before I get the new one up and running.
    m
    0
    l
    November 7, 2013 10:45:41 AM

    So I chickened out on switching the original Windows install to AHCI, but otherwise the suggestions worked. I unplugged the other drives, installed the new ssd on the intel controller, did a normal installation and did windows updates. Drive is obviously fine since I got that far. I wasn't able to get clarity on what drivers I should get from where (the Intel Driver Utility basically recognized nothing, including the chipset), so I have thus far only installed the windows updates (and 8.1).

    Thanks!
    m
    0
    l
    !