Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

2 Part SSD Question- Formatting and Page File

Last response: in Storage
Share
October 16, 2010 12:09:04 PM

Two part question, and any help is appreciated.

1. I recently purchased a G.Skill Phoenix Pro 120GB Solid State Drive and when I went to do a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate it only showed 110gb available. I could see there was 10gb used for something, but I did not know what. So I installed Windows and now I only have 90gb from a 120gb drive. Is this normal? If not, do I need to reinstall Windows in some other way?


2. I have heard that I should do away with the page file on my SSD because it will cause it is not good for the drive. I have 8 gigs of ram and I heard that because I had 8 gigs there would be no adverse effect from turning off the page file? Good move or bad?

Thanks!

Best solution

a c 353 G Storage
October 16, 2010 4:06:33 PM

(1) I also have the Pheonix Pro 120 gig. I just checked properties and win 7 shows 111 gigs. I'm quessing that you have not disabled Hibernation which will use 8 gigs (Hidden file). Not sure if this is subtacted, But will decrease available. Just google disable hibernation for windows 7. After disabling you will need to reboot and verify that the file has been deleted, if not rune diskcleanup. Not this is a hidden file and is placed at the very end of the Disk.

(2) On page file. Pros and cons. Performance wise, best to have on SSD. Cons does increase writes. Suggestion. 1st set max and min to same value (since you have 8 gigs use a smale value like 1 gig) leave it on fthe SSD for a week or too, then move it to a HDD. If you notice NO performance change, then leave it on the HDD. Note: it's not going to decrease lifespan of your SSD by a appreaciable amount.

(3) During Install, did you use the Intel RST (ver 9) driver. You have to use the F6 driver load during Win 7 load. Then after install must install them. With the SF1200 controller you will take a performance hit if you just do a normal install and use the default uSoft AHCI driver.

Editted
Steps to disable hibernation:
Click Start, and then type cmd in the Start Search box.
In the search results list, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as Administrator.
When you are prompted by User Account Control, click Continue.
At the command prompt, type powercfg.exe /hibernate off, and then press ENTER.
Type exit and then press ENTER to close the Command Prompt window.

To check:
Open a cmd window.
Go to root directory - Type cd.. (Enter) until prompt is C:\>
Then enter without quotes "Dir hiberfil.sys /s /A:H" (The /s tills to search all directory the /A:H is for showing Hidden files)
Share
October 16, 2010 9:01:43 PM

Best answer selected by nativeson8803.
m
0
l
Related resources
October 16, 2010 9:09:05 PM

Thanks for the detailed answer. I set the page file to 1gb like you recommended and I was able to erase the hibernation file, freeing up over 4gigs, so thank you for that too. My initial question wasn't even that, but I'm glad I asked because I didn't know about the hibernation file. Sort of a noob mistake, but but happened is that I was reading 120 gigs as 120 when in fact it is only 111. See what I did there? :|

However, it would be really helpful to me if you could describe how to update the drivers because I did not do that when I installed Windows. As I type this I'm weeding through a whole bunch of stuff on the G. Skill forum about tweaking my drive, but it's a lot to go over.

By the way, do you have any games on you SSD, and if so, are any of them Steam games? I'm thinking that I want to put my top three favorite games on the drive but wasn't sure if I'd see a benefit in fps or just loading times.

Thanks again for the great response!

Edits:

Hi, I wonder if I can ask you one more thing. How do you manage the recycle bin on you SSD? I set mine to 1gb randomly. Also, do you use a third party uninstaller? I used to use Youruninstaller2008 on my old hard disk and it was great because it got everything, even the reg keys. Is this necessary for uninstalling apps and games from SSD?
m
0
l
a c 353 G Storage
October 16, 2010 11:28:54 PM

I took care of the recycle bin the easy way - I just told window to delete, and NOT to put in recycle Bin. If I delete somethink I shouldn't have - to bad, But normally can retrieve from back-up

Do not use a 3rd party uninstaller. But periodically run CCleaner to clean out registry.

To the best of my knowledge, if you installed using default uSoft AHCI driver the only way to get the RST driver is to re-install using F6 option. If you just try to update to the RST driver you get a error message.
m
0
l
October 17, 2010 2:37:24 AM

Oh that's too bad.. I just finished installing the majority of my apps and programs. What I did was to enable AHCI in BIOS before installing and nothing else. Does that mean I have the default uSoft AHCI driver? Would you recommend reinstalling?

I'll take your advice on the recycle bin.
m
0
l
a c 353 G Storage
October 17, 2010 4:08:17 AM

Yes, you have the default uSoft AHCI driver.
Download crstalDiskmark and run it (You do not want to run a Benchmark to often on an SSD). I think you find that your Sequential read/writes, and the 512K read/writes are considerably below secs. BUT your 4k random read/writes should be close to specs.

Also If you run windows WEI, your Disk score will probably be around 7.1->7.3. This is par for low end SSds, But the Phenoxi Pro should be around 7.8

I'm pretty much in the same boat. What I did was make an image file of my 80 gig Intel G2 SSD (used windows 7 Back-up to create a Image of C drive). I then used windows 7 restore and put the image on the New SSD - same as doing a clean instal with all my programs intact. But this means that the driver was default. If I want to get the most out of the SSD I too have to do a clean install and re-install all my programs - UCK.
Been holding off.

Just how much diff there will be, don't know. The random 4 K and access time are the most important specs and thoes are great. The sequencial read/writes have less effect unless working with large files like Pictures,and video files or large databases. Reason I've not done it yet.

Check this thread (axipher). He posted a shot of his vortex-2 (Almost Identical to Pheonix pro).
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

You asked about stream/games - Couldn't answer as I'm not a gamer. I'm in electronics and computers is more a hobby/work related thing with me.
m
0
l
October 17, 2010 5:57:24 AM

Actually, you can install the Intel AHCI driver after the operating system is installed.

-Open the device manager by clicking the start menu and typing that in.
-Press enter and it should open up.
-Expand the "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers" section.
-Right click the entry in there. It's name depends on the driver you have installed and I can't remember the name when you're running the default driver
-Click update driver software.
-Click "Browse my computer for driver software"
-Locate the folder where you have saved the Intel driver and then click next.
-It should install properly and then ask for a reboot.
m
0
l
October 17, 2010 8:41:04 AM

Thanks for the heads up- I was just getting ready to reinstall windows and so I tried it. In fact, if you go to the intel site you can download an installer and it does it for you then asks you if you want to reboot. Once it comes back up there's a little utility which tells you it worked and you can check under device manager. Unfortunately, I did not run any benchmark beforehand.

Here's the bad news:

my windows experience score went DOWN from 7.3 to 5.9

Oh ***. It feels pretty fast still but what the hell! Any suggestions on what to do now or why this happened?

:\

Edit:

Okay, now this is really weird (but at least better!), I waited about 5 minutes and re-ran WEI and now my score has returned to 7.3.

I will re-run it again and report back. I also opened Steam and rebooted and I couldn't notice any difference in speed, but maybe I need to do a benchmark.

Edit:

I waited a while and rebooted and the score is back at 7.3. The 5.9 must have been a fluke because surely it is not that slow. I must say that I am disappointed that the score did not go up..

Something else come to my attention and it may be related to the new driver:

1.) I now have an icon in my tray for "Safely Remove Devices" and it is troubling me because all of my HDD's and my system SSD are on there and can be ejected just like an ipod or other such device. Is there some way to disable this? I accidentally ejected one of my HDD's and it came back when I rebooted, but what if I was to accidentally eject the SSD? I'd really rather this not be an option!
m
0
l
a c 353 G Storage
October 17, 2010 7:00:53 PM

Did a little more digging (as I'm in the same Boat)

(1) Definitely need the Latest Intel driver (9.6). One response in the Gskill forum, was “recommended re-install” Not sure if Update driver and a clean install using F6 will produce the same overall results. Myself I’ll do the clean install. Intended to do it this week end, but other things cane up.

(2) Gskill has posted their results using various Benchmark programs (They use the Intel RST AHCI driver) and there is considerable difference between theirs and mine using the uSoft driver. The only thing I changed was the SSD (Went from the Intel G2 -> Phoenix Pro).

(3) While uSoft WEI is NOT a good benchmark, it is a fair indicator that the setup is good. That is if a number of people are hitting 7.7 and 7.8 with a given Drive and (WE) are only getting 7.1 -> 7.3, something is amiss. From Newegg 7 hit 7.8, 3 hit 7.7, 2 hit 7.6 only 2 below 7.6. My guess is that those hitting the 7.6 + used the Intel Driver although only one indicated so.

(4) Sounds like a Firmware revision is in the works.
m
0
l
October 17, 2010 7:13:40 PM

Nice, thanks for that information- I imagine that this thread will be useful to lots of other people. If there is a firmware update, do we have to do clean installs for that?

Now I'm torn. If this is a driver issue then I can *possibly* fix it and get better performance with a clean install, but there's no telling. I guess I wouldn't care as much if I hadn't had the drive for only two days, and come on, don't we all want to get what we paid for? I guess I will lurk over there at G Skill for a bit and see what I can see, but I definitely don't have the time to do any more installs for a couple of weeks. My main concerns are 1.) is my drive functioning properly for a new drive, hardware-wise? and 2.) would I even notice a real-world difference from worrying about it (is it worth a clean install?)?
m
0
l
October 18, 2010 12:45:29 AM

I have never heard that doing a clean install would be any different than just updating.

For firmware updates, there are some which are destructive to the data on the SSD and there are others that are not (most of them, I believe). It will specify in the update. For the non-destructive, a clean install will do nothing for performance and for a destructive, I would guess the same (if you put a backup image back on it) but I'm not certain.
m
0
l
a c 353 G Storage
October 18, 2010 1:03:23 AM

I would have agreed with you, but that apparently did not work for naviveson. It is possible that just doing an update leaves something in the registry that is causing a problem. Also it's not really an update to an exisiting driver, it is changing the AHCI driver from a uSoft driver to a Intel driver. So may be more than meets the eye

In my case I get an error message when running the setup.
m
0
l
October 18, 2010 5:51:41 PM

No it certainly did not work to improve performance but at least as far as I can tell it has not gotten worse. Strange how it dipped down to 5.9 then went right back to 7.3.

RetiredChief: Will running WEI degrade my SSD? I don't want to keep doing it if so, but wasn't sure if it makes writes to the system. Btw, I'm not doing any more clean installs I'm just going to wait for firmware I guess.

So, if I make a backup image and then do a clean install using the F6 method, would I be able to restore all my programs *and* consider that a clean install with the new drivers?
m
0
l
a c 353 G Storage
October 18, 2010 6:20:21 PM

(1) Running Any benchmark on a SSD is not recommended. I also noted on the Gskill forum that athoug Gskill provides results, Crystal diskmark is not recommended. It uses compressed data, SF-1200 is better with uncompressed data - SO what. Any way if you run crystal then chance the number of Passes from five down to 1, or 2.

(2) You can not make an Image of c drive and then just put your programs back after a clean install.

(3) on clean install. down load "Ultimate Boot CD. Use the iso to create a bootable CD. Run the HHDEreas on the SSD before reinstalling Win7 (Check the GSkill forum).

Did you try to load the Intel RST with the F6 option and then once windows was installed install the RST
m
0
l
October 23, 2010 12:57:16 AM

Chief!

I fixed my problem, but I'm not quite sure what did it. I was told over at G Skill forums to use a different SATA controller on my mobo than what I was using (purple instead of blue). I had been using the blue ones because I couldn't get to the purple ones easily when I installed it.

However, I do not know if this fixed it or not because when I did that I was forced to do a clean install of Windows. Apparently (maybe you can verify this), when you change your drives to different SATA ports on your motherboard your computer will require a clean install. I was not able to repair the problem and my computer just kept coming up with "boot manager missing" so I finally just reinstalled.

When I reinstalled I formatted the drive in Windows setup (I didn't use HDDerase) and then I used the F6 method to install the IRST drivers.

Now I am at 7.7, up from the original 7.3. I'm satisfied with that. Any thoughts on this? I guess I'll never know what the problem was since I basically did 2 different things at the same time.

Thanks for your help!
m
0
l
a c 353 G Storage
October 23, 2010 2:23:58 AM

Generally when there are multcolor Sata connectors, they represent two different controllers (ie on mine I have the Intel ICHxx and a Jmicron) SSDs general perform poorly on the Jmicron controller. It is possible that you had placed the SSD on the 2ndary controller and by switching you moved it to the Intel controller.

Glad you got it going - I have to fix mine, Been putting it off. Hope I've helped.
m
0
l
!