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Intel RST and SSD

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September 1, 2011 12:15:29 PM

So, this is supposed to be easy, and I'm sure it is and that I'm over looking something. I downloaded the latest version of Intel Rapid Storage Technology, have two WD 1.5 TB HDDs and one Crucial M4 SSD 64GB. I have thrown my installation onto one of the WD HDDs. I can view all the hard drives on "My Computer", but they aren't recognized by Intel RST. I have changed BIOS for the SATAs to the RAID configuration, and still nothing. My computer isn't utilizing the SSD for caching. I went into its properties and formatted it for ReadyBoost, which I think is something else. That only allows me to partition 32GB for ReadyBoost. I read on the help menu for the Intel RST that the SSD has to be formatted for caching, which is why I tried this. I'm looking for help if anyone has it. What steps do I need to take in order to get the SSD caching to boost performance?

MoBo - ASUS P8Z68-V Pro
CPU - Intel i7 2600K
RAM - 4x4GB (16GB) G.Skill Ripjaws series
PSU - CoolerMaster 800W 80+ Gold
GPU - MSI GeForce 560 TI Twin Frozr III
Two Western Digital 1.5TB Caviar Black
64GB Crucial M4 SSD

I have the SSD hooked up to the SATA 3 MoBo connection as well.

More about : intel rst ssd

a b G Storage
September 1, 2011 12:24:51 PM

Welcome to the forums!

Rather than enabling RST, you would be much better served my simply installing Windows and your most commonly used apps on the SSD directly.
This will give you less hassles and much higher performance that RST possibly could.
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September 1, 2011 12:29:35 PM

I tried that last night, but I have a number of programs that are decently sized and was concerned with running out of disk space. I think I had used up most of the SSD last night and I had just installed it an hour prior. The problem is I don't know how to access or run applications from a secondary drive. I'm still learning my way around the finer parts of computers. For instance, I know Office has to run from the boot drive. So, how would I store applications on the HDD and use them with the boot on the SSD? This could be the 3rd time to install the OS in the last 24 hours lol.
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Related resources
September 1, 2011 12:34:50 PM

office can be installed on a second drive like all other programs from the 21st century.

you just have to use "custom install" instead of "default install" or what ever developers call it for their program.

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September 1, 2011 12:39:19 PM

This is good info. Fortunately, if I end up re-re-re-installing Windows 7, I have stored all the drivers and what not to my external. Perhaps I'll move over the program folder as well... reinstalling drivers and windows updates takes forever. Does anyone have more info on this? I'm not really concerned with loading times for documents, but the rare game I do play, I'd enjoy a faster load time as well as the very nice boost to start up. It takes the windows score from 5.9 to 7.6.
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September 1, 2011 12:43:24 PM

do not move your program folder over, you have to install the programs and tell it to install on the other drive
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September 1, 2011 12:45:52 PM

Do you have any additional information on how this installation is done? I've never worked with multiple hard drives (all internal) and this was my first computer build. I'm rather happy with the job so far, just figuring out the subtle things experts know that sets them apart would be wonderful.
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September 1, 2011 12:50:33 PM

when ever you run an install file to install a program it will at some point give you an option to specify where to put the program files.. that directory can be on what ever hard drive you have in your machine.
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a b G Storage
September 1, 2011 12:56:31 PM

Here are a pair of links to get you started:
Change the Location of your 'My Documents' Folders
Changing your Default Instillation Path

Basically the procedure would be as follows:

1) Install Windows with only the SSD attached.
2) Install all drivers, all Windows updates and your commonly used applications that do not take up to much space.
3) Shut down and connect your mechanical hard drives.
4) Reboot and change the location of your 'My Documents' folders and the default install directory to whichever drive you would like.

If you run into any issues with changing the default instillation path you can normally manually select the instillation directory during instillation by performing an 'Advanced' or 'Custom' instillation.
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September 1, 2011 1:03:31 PM

i would change the location of each program that you install..

here is a example:
install windows 7. on the SDD.
install office on your 1.5 TB disk called D: or E:
install all programs like CAD, OFFICE, WHATEVER :)  on the 1.5 TB disk.
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September 1, 2011 1:45:55 PM

Alright, thanks to you both... I'm almost done installing the OS and all drivers on the SSD. I may have additional questions when I move to hook up the other hard drives. I will likely hook up the blank 1.5 TB disk first and ensure that the files will copy over just fine, then hook up the 1.5 TB disk I had everything on and do a clean format of it. Could I hook the two 1.5 TB disks together in RAID so that the redundant drive acts as an automatic back up? I _hate_ having to double save stuff to have back ups and I'm using this machine for dissertation work, so I'd love to not have to double save everything a couple times a day.
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September 1, 2011 1:50:47 PM

Alright, another random question... my SSD says I've used up 40GB already and I just have the OS and a 1.2 GB game and the drivers saved on it... The OS folder when you click properties is no where near 40GB... where is all the storage going?
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September 1, 2011 3:09:08 PM

look up on the internet how to "disable hibernation", and make your "swap file smaller".
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a b G Storage
September 1, 2011 3:21:20 PM

Jup, those are two major contributers to Win 7's large foot print.
I would recommend disabling both hibernation and the swap file completely.
With 16GB of RAM, it is extremely unlikely that you will ever wright to the swap file in the first place...
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September 2, 2011 11:47:36 AM

aright, I disabled the hibernate function but couldn't find anything too great about the swap file. Even so, I got the free space opened up by a ton. I also did some cable management last night and this morning to help finish off the build. Wire conduit is wonderful stuff. So, the next question... can I run a back-up hard drive as a mirror drive of the primary hard drive and how do I do this? This will house my dissertation and all relevant data so I would like to not have to worry about having it backed up if possible. Also, Windows score says 7.9 from 5.9 so I'm happy with that, and boot times are good.

Oh! And I have this "System Reserved" drive. It says it's the D: drive and has a cap of 99MB, using 62MB but it's empty when you open it. First... what is it? Second... how do I get rid of it? I don't like seeing random stuff I can't use, so I'd like to either know if it's important (and if so, how to hide it) and if it isn't, how to get rid of it. Thanks!
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a b å Intel
a c 353 G Storage
September 2, 2011 12:29:24 PM

That 99MB partition is created buy windows 7 install. DO NOT delete it. Beside some important files it is also used to set alignment of C partition (I Think) - important for SSD, not for HDDs. What I did was change it's drive letter to ".J"

As outlaw stated you could set this to zero, Windows will give you a waring which you can ignore. HOWEVER ther are a few programs that may balk. I have 16 gigs Ram and what I did was set the min/max to 512 mb (was about 6 Gigs).

Steps.
Control panel -> System and Security
Select System
then on left side select advanced
then in pop up window select advance @ top, then under performance select settings, then advanced. Under vitual memory select Change.
Select custom size and enter 512 for both min and max. Note I always do this as it stops windows from changing the size on the fly.


NOW if You really need the 512 Megs space on the SSD, then select a HDD and creat a swap file on it (what ever size you want, but again do a custom with min/max the same size and since on HDD you can set to a larger value, but 512 should be fine.. Select your C drive and specify none.

Also change restore points as these tend to GROW.
You can disable this function if you seldom have to "Restore" your system after a bad program installation.

If you use the excellent windows 7 back up program, Under control panel, (New to Win 7) and create an Image file of your C drive it will allow you to restor the C drive (Both Operating system AND the programs you have installed rather painlessly. You Only need to do this periodically, Not like backingup your files/data which should be done more often.
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a b å Intel
a c 353 G Storage
September 2, 2011 12:52:10 PM

More on System restore:
Quote To store restore points, you need at least 300 megabytes (MB) of free space on each hard disk that has System Protection turned on. System Restore might use up to 15 percent of the space on each disk. As the amount of space fills up with restore points, System Restore will delete older restore points to make room for new ones. END QUOTE Also in the link below - how to turn restore points off.
Ref: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/System...

NOTE the Up to 15% of disk space may be used!!! for thes restore points.
To change the amount of disk space:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/How-much-di...
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September 2, 2011 2:00:42 PM

Alright, I think I have that changed. Is there anything else I should do now? I haven't done the RAID1 yet, but all seems to be operating smoothly.
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a b å Intel
a c 353 G Storage
September 2, 2011 2:54:16 PM

Lets drop back and punt like mad.

(1) Did you install Windows 7 with the bios set to AHCI or Raid ??
(2) Are you installing the two HDD on the same controller as the SSD ??

If you are using the same controller and the BIOS was set to AHCI and change it to Raid (For the 2 HDD), you probably will not be able to boot to win7. You can use the "Raid" function to Install windows 7 and TRIM will work as long as the SSD is NOT a member drive of a raid configuration. Installing the Intel RST will allow the INTEL iastor driver to be used for the SSD and the SSD will be treated as a AHCI drive.

If SSD is on intel controller and is set for AHCI, then you could use the marvel controller for the HDDs as long as it supports Raid - NOTE a waste of SATA IIII Ports.

If you want the SSD and the HDDs both on the Intel controller. IF the Bios allows you to configure the 2 SATA III ports as AHCI and the 4 SATA II ports as raid you are fine. IF not, recommend changing BIOS to RAID and reinstalling Windows 7 (SSD connected to INTEL sata III port, and HDDs DISCONNECTED. When done connect up HDD and set up raid volume.
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September 2, 2011 7:01:35 PM

1) Windows 7 was installed with just the SSD connected in AHCI as a boot drive.
2) I'm not sure what a "controller" is... I'm new to computer building and tinkering.

I don't want Windows 7 on the HDD because that defeats the purpose of having the SSD as the boot drive. I had tried to do the Intel RST and had major issues getting anything to be recognized correctly. Can we "dumb it down" for me? lol
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a b å Intel
a c 353 G Storage
September 2, 2011 7:58:49 PM

I'll try.

You have 6 SATA connectors (Ports) on the MB.
The top 2 are controlled By a Marvel Chipset (controller) and are Sata III. Can not use for Raid. You could attach your SSD to one of these two and install the Marvel AHCI driver. Generally SSDs perform Better on the Intel Port.

The Middle two and bottom two SATA Connectors are controlled by the Intel chipset (Controller). The Middle two are SATA III and the Bottom 2 are SATA II.

If you want to use raid1 for your HDDs then you would have to connect them to the Intel controller, ie the bottom two connectors. You would attach the SSD to the first SATA III INtel connector and set the Intel mode to Raid. With the Bios set to Raid the SSD would still use ahci since it is NOT a member drive of a raid0 or raid1 setup.

Please review the Following, then ask away.
Pg 22 shows the SATA connectors (9,10,& 11)
Pg 2-20 & 21 shows which are controlled by marvel and which are controlled by Intel

3.5.4 Explains the diff modes (IDE, AHCI, and RAID)
4.4 explains Raid setup in detail.
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September 2, 2011 8:16:09 PM

Yeah, I understand your explanation a lot more now. I currently have the SSD hooked up to the Marvel, and one of the HDDs as well. I'm using the bottom two for CD/DVD drive and to plug in my top ports of my HAF 922, but I still have two of those open for HDD if needed. I could move the SSD down to the Intel SATA III. Shutting down to do that and restarting.
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a b å Intel
a c 353 G Storage
September 2, 2011 8:43:00 PM

If moving to the INTEL controll, I THink you will have to re-install windows. NOTE I think some one else just did this and noted an improvement.
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September 2, 2011 8:44:20 PM

Epic fail... as soon as I moved the HDD, it decided to not recognize the SSD. It then said BOOTMGR couldn't be found. So, I moved my HDD to the bottom two SATAII (light blue) connectors, moved the SSD to the white SATAIII. I ultimately had to change it to IDE mode before the SSD would show up.

Is there a reason I'm having these problems? Also, how can I get the "Initializing Marvel" screen to go away? Especially now that I don't have anything plugged in there, it's pointless and annoying.
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a b å Intel
a c 353 G Storage
September 2, 2011 9:17:26 PM

As soon as you said you where moving it, I wrote back - Probably have a problem.
I really would recommend a fresh installation with the SSD on the Intel Sata III port. (If you do, don't forget to disconnect the HDDs during the install. can reconnect after install.

On the marvel splash screen try going into bios and see if you can disable it.
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September 2, 2011 9:29:21 PM

it never lets me interject during the marvel screen. And yeah, I noticed that as soon as you replied. I'll try to do the fresh install some time later this week. I hate the "reinstallation" of everything (drivers, updates, ect)
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September 3, 2011 12:37:56 PM

Ok, did some researching and apparently BIOS doesn't "see" the Marvell controller so you hit control M during the Marvell screen and disable it that way.
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September 3, 2011 7:09:43 PM

Ok, so I re-installed the OS in RAID, and then hooked up the two hard drives in RAID. Now I can't find the hard drives anywhere. I went to see if maybe they needed formatted, but they don't exist for formatting. Is it possible they are both functioning as a back up to the SSD? How do I change this?

Alright, I think I needed to "verify" them. It's currently 27% complete initializing that step...
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a b å Intel
a c 353 G Storage
September 3, 2011 9:32:31 PM

You need to set them up. If in raid then create the raid volume. Once you have that completed go to control panel, disk management and initialize and partion/formate them.
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September 3, 2011 9:40:08 PM

The RAID volume was created, I hadn't initialized/verified them, so I guess that's why they weren't showing up. It's currently 37% complete with initializing them as a RAID (Labels them as Array_0000) and shows the two HDD are clearly tied to each other in the RAID1. I'm hoping they'll be ready to go after this, since it's such a looooong process.
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a b å Intel
a c 353 G Storage
September 3, 2011 9:48:07 PM

ENJOY
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September 3, 2011 10:05:02 PM

In all fairness, letting the computer do the work isn't exactly that bad. Much better than reinstalling the OS 17 times :uhh:

7:04 PM central time and we're 92%
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September 4, 2011 12:35:50 AM

Alright, so that process is done... but I STILL don't see it anywhere. It said it had initialized it and the drivers had installed (as a pop up), but I don't see it anywhere. Sigh, i would love to start installing programs and what not... if I could figure out how to get the RAID to pop up as a hard drive location (like a D: drive)
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September 4, 2011 12:44:18 AM

AHHHHHH, I think I got it! I had to format the RAID1 array after initializing and I had to do a simple format or something... but it showed up!
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!