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Reinstalling WIndows 7 on an SSD - Formatting Issue

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October 3, 2011 9:30:54 PM

Hi All,

I just built a system but got infected with some malware. I got the malware removed but wanted to start fresh again with a reinstall of win7. I also forgot to enable AHCI so I'm in IDE mode...sigh. I have the kingston 120gb hyperx.

Questions:

Will doing a quick format of my ssd hurt the read/write performance?
Should I do a quick format or a full format?
Should I do a secure erase and if so, please link me to a guide as I am not familiar with the procedure.

Thanks for answering my questions
a c 415 G Storage
October 3, 2011 9:44:08 PM

Use the "advanced" option of the Windows 7 installation to delete and recreate the partitions - that's all you really need to make sure the old virus has been wiped. As long as you use Windows 7 to do this it won't hurt the performance of your drive (providing, if you manually format the partition, you use "quick" format and not "full").
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October 3, 2011 9:47:10 PM

I also want to switch to AHCI instead of IDE - I was told you cannot do this without a reinstall of windows.
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a b G Storage
October 3, 2011 9:49:56 PM

chillin15 said:
Hi All,

I just built a system but got infected with some malware. I got the malware removed but wanted to start fresh again with a reinstall of win7. I also forgot to enable AHCI so I'm in IDE mode...sigh. I have the kingston 120gb hyperx.

Questions:

Will doing a quick format of my ssd hurt the read/write performance?
Should I do a quick format or a full format?
Should I do a secure erase and if so, please link me to a guide as I am not familiar with the procedure.

Thanks for answering my questions


You should do a quick format, never do a full format. This should bring your drive back to original performance, or very close. You probably have discovered now, before doing a fresh windows install put your drive(s) in AHCI mode, then start the install.

The format should take care of any lingering crap on your drive, however I would run both AV and antispyware on any other drives that may be attached to the system. My friend had a bug once that somehow got into his router and no matter how many formats or re-installs he did, it still kept showing back up. Anyway, the point is you can't be too careful with these things.

However deleting causes it's own problems with SSds. I would stick with the quick format with the SSD itself.
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a c 415 G Storage
October 3, 2011 10:54:49 PM

chillin15 said:
I also want to switch to AHCI instead of IDE - I was told you cannot do this without a reinstall of windows.
You said in your original post that you wanted to reinstall Windows anyway, so going to AHCI mode shouldn't be an issue. Even if you have data drives, they'll continue to work just fine in AHCI mode. Just make sure that the controller is set to use AHCI in the BIOS setup menu before the begin the install.

You actually can change between IDE and AHCI modes without reinstalling Windows by doing the following Registry tweak:

1) Run the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
2) Navigate to Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci
3) Set the "Start" value to 0 (zero)
4) Navigate to Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Pciide
5) Set the "Start" value to 0 (zero)
6) Shut down
7) Start up again, but before Windows boots go into the BIOS configuration screens and change the disk mode to "AHCI". Save the new BIOS configuration and restart so that Windows boots.

When Windows starts, it will detect the change, load new disk drivers, and do one more reboot to start up with them.
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October 4, 2011 1:45:40 AM

Wow, I did that and it worked. That was much less painless than a reinstall..although I'm still worried about the virus.

Quick questions - I am now in AHCI mode but every time I boot up, it hangs for about 3 secs to check for the ata drives....check this thread:

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2187442

Can you help me locate this setting?

Also, testing with AS SSD, my write speeds and access times are much slower than normal...

4k write speed is 47MB/sec and access time is .108ms when I hear norm should be less than .05.

Thanks again - you have been a lot of help.


sminlal said:
You said in your original post that you wanted to reinstall Windows anyway, so going to AHCI mode shouldn't be an issue. Even if you have data drives, they'll continue to work just fine in AHCI mode. Just make sure that the controller is set to use AHCI in the BIOS setup menu before the begin the install.

You actually can change between IDE and AHCI modes without reinstalling Windows by doing the following Registry tweak:

1) Run the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
2) Navigate to Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci
3) Set the "Start" value to 0 (zero)
4) Navigate to Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Pciide
5) Set the "Start" value to 0 (zero)
6) Shut down
7) Start up again, but before Windows boots go into the BIOS configuration screens and change the disk mode to "AHCI". Save the new BIOS configuration and restart so that Windows boots.

When Windows starts, it will detect the change, load new disk drivers, and do one more reboot to start up with them.

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!