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So I installed a X25 M 80gb... issue/question

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September 16, 2010 3:09:07 PM

Hi, I'll try to keep this brief. Two nights ago I first installed the X25 M but I didn't exactly do it "right". I plugged it into SATA port 5 because I didn't want to remove a ton of cables... seemed to work ok, at boot up it asked which Win 7 to boot up (1 version on SSD, 1 on my HDDs). In the BIOS I couldn't seem to set the SSD as "master", if I switched it up it would tell me I had an invalid boot drive or something along those lines right after POST.

Fed up with that, last night I unplugged my HDDs and reinstalled Win 7 on the SSD (which I also plugged into SATA port 1). This time seemed better, it was definitely "snappier" as they say. I spent a few hours updating and installing drivers. It was going well. But I made a mistake and had the SSD set to AHCI, so when I plugged my HDDs back in and set it to RAID, well, BSOD at loading. Not good! Luckily tho, Microsoft actually released a fix and it worked, and now it's working fine in RAID mode. However, it detected a "third" drive (a partition of my RAID volume) which was called "System Reserved" and was 100mb. Apparently this is normal to have, but not normal to see... again, found a fix where you just go into Admin Tools and can remove the drive label. So far so good.

Steam works fine off the HDDs and I don't have to reinstall those games, but my non-Steam games might be an issue. Haven't really checked yet.

One thing I noticed, however, is that after getting it working with my RAID volume, my shutdown time went from about 4 seconds to 20 or 30 seconds. I don't understand why, so if someone could explain or make an educated guess I'd like to hear it. Boot up seems just as fast, Windows loads up all the gadgets instantly, the tray icons are all there within about 5 more seconds, and I can open up Opera or iTunes after maybe 7-10 seconds of seeing the desktop so, so far I'm sure it's still running fast... just confused why shutdown is taking longer. Nothing should really be loading onto the HDDs as far as file paging or caching (Note: in Performance Monitor window, my file paging appears to be only 128mb. I have yet to look at the options, which I'll do tonight, but that seems a little odd. Not that I'm complaining :D )

I'm a little concerned with having reinstalled Windows right overtop of my last install. First thing I did was delete the Windows.old file. Since it was in ACHI mode at this time, I feel somewhat confident it would have also TRIMmed (otherwise my SSD has more than 50% of the blocks used). I downloaded the Intel RAID 9.6 driver/app which offers support for TRIM with SSDs set to RAID, if they aren't themselves in a RAID volume... however, I noticed something. I had this installed before plugging the HDDs in, while set to ACHI, and my SSD did appear in the app. Now, tho, only my RAID volume appears in there... so I don't know if TRIM is still going to be working or what. I definitely want TRIM to work, as it is such a good and, supposedly, hassle free maintenance system.
September 16, 2010 4:06:00 PM

My first SSD arrived few days ago, so I'm new to this stuff!
Did you install other programs that might take long time to terminate? Could it be steam? Uninstall them one by one and see. And it could be the system reserved partion on the HDDs (from the previous installation) causing some conflict and messing things up. Try deleting it
After trying those, If I were you I would set the bios to raid mode, disconnect the HDDs, install a fresh windows 7 copy and reconnect the HDDs, I know it's a PITA but that's the only way I would guarantee everything to be set right!
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September 16, 2010 8:34:23 PM

Hey I just replied to the other thread haha but yes, at this point I'm thinking it's probably Steam. After connecting the HDDs, one of the first things I did was move the Steam folder to D:/Steam and open it, it "updated" itself and then works just like normal. I wish it were possible to save games in different locations, then I'd run Steam on the SSD and most games on the RAID volume (apparently, there is a way but it's a PITA, as you put it). Anyway I wouldn't be surprised if Steam is the slow down. Next time I'll try closing Steam before shutting down and see what happens. When first loading, Steam is easily the last one to open.

But yeah, so far so good. I really don't want to waste yet another evening on reinstalling Win 7, unless loading a backup will restore it to its current state... I'll look into that.
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September 17, 2010 2:24:31 AM

For steam there's a way to backup your games files to the HDDs (right click on each game then choose back up files), next time you format the primary partition (SSD) and install new windows, install a fresh copy of steam, you can restore the games from the backup, it takes time but it beats downloading them again! It is one of the great features of steam, the only drawback is that each game will take double its size (backup version + the active installed version) but it's no problem since HDDs are priced reasonably.
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September 17, 2010 4:42:35 AM

Well to be honest, everything seems to be running perfectly so far. The shutdown is still slower than with purely an SSD but otherwise the system is running really well. I found out about something called symbolic links so you can move, for example, steam game folders on the SSD but "mlink" to them so that Steam thinks they're still in it's folder (on my HDDs). I might even try doing it the other way, and stick Steam itself on the SSD but make it think it's also on the HDD too lol, just to see if it makes it open faster.
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