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My WD Raptor died...

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November 8, 2011 1:31:04 AM

The title says it all. Here are my current system specs:

Windows 7 SP1 64 bit Home Premium
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775
GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 (see http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s
Seagate Barracuda ST3500641AS-RK 500GB 7,200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
Diamond Radeon 6850 1GB
Antec earthwatts EA500 500W PSU

So I've had that raptor since August 2006 and without warning it died on me yesterday (like 2 months after the 5 yr warranty expired). I ran the OS off of that drive and used the seagate for backup. I desperately need this PC to start working again and I read through the sticky on SSDs and after browsing around I'm thinking of sticking with an Intel 120 GB SSD if I can find it at my local Fry's.

I'm kind of hesitant because even though an SSD can't suffer mechanical failure there does seem to be a lot of electrical failure. Plus I'm not sure if I should go with the 520 or 310 model (I don't plan to run RAID). What do you guys think, should I go for another HDD SATA with a 5 year warranty? or should I get an SSD?

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November 8, 2011 1:55:11 AM

Personally I say go SSD. Just got a Crucial M4 myself for a boot drive & put an Intel into a friend's laptop and I'm not looking back! My computer boots about 12 seconds quicker and is much more responsive for things like launching applications. Don't have any game loading comparisons or anything yet. If you are concerned with stability I would stick with an Intel, Samsung or Crucial branded drive. Also the Kingston V100 and V+100s seem to be reliable but stay away from the HyperX and anything else on a sandforce controller.
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November 8, 2011 2:04:23 AM

Do most of Intel and Crucial SSDs use a Marvell controller?

Thanks for your help, i heard a lot of crap about the sandforce controller across a bunch of different sites. Btw what do you guys think of the controller on this samsung? http://www.frys.com/product/6553603?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN...
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a c 119 G Storage
November 8, 2011 2:11:42 AM

When it comes to computer parts or anything for that matter , there is always the chance of defects and bad consruction and things just stopping working. You can have guarenties and warrenties and thats not going to prevent mechanical things from breaking. The only thing you can do is buy from reputable established companies that have a track record of making reliable parts.
A SSD has no moving parts so you eliminate that area of failure and since a SSD and a HDD are both electrical either one can fail in that area. I would go with the SSD , Crucial , Corsair , Intel or Samsung.
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November 8, 2011 2:22:05 AM

The newer Intels (510 series) use the marvell controller, as does the crucial m4. The older Intel's use controllers made by intel. The samsungs use a samsung controller (470 series and 830 series).

As your machine is older you wouldn't be compromising currently to get a SATA II SSD such as an intel 320 (intel controller), kingston v100 (jmicron controller), kingston V+100 (toshiba controller) or the samsung 470, which is what you linked. However, if you were to update your hardware and carry over the SSD the top end transfer rates would be capped by the SSD only being sata II as opposed to Sata III.

For Sata 3 you have the intel 510, crucial C300 & m4 series and the samsung 830 series.

But either way you choose, it is still a significant improvement over a mechanical drive.

EDIT: Also this plextor is a good drive as well and it's on newegg daily deal for $199, not sure how long it will last though.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 8, 2011 3:36:04 AM

Well guys, based on your feedback I just came home with a an Intel 320 SSD 120GB! The local Frys price matched amazon at $199. I have two concerns before I open the box:

1) I saw online that there were some firmware issues, is there a way to check the labeling on the box to see if it matches Intel's current firmware (it was released August 17 and the pack date on the box lists September 21, so maybe I'm just being paranoid) : http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&...

2) I still have that 500 GB Seagate SATA hard drive, with backed up data on it, if I enable AHCI in BIOS will that screw up that drive?

Thanks for all your help
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a b G Storage
November 8, 2011 3:47:29 AM

its probably of no consequence, but the new firmware on my vertex 3 max iops fixed the bluescreens
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November 8, 2011 3:57:08 AM

Btw what happens if I don't enable AHCI when I install the SSD? I read Windows only loads the drives during install, but I noticed on my mobo that when I enabled it, the 500 GB drive just disappeared from the BIOS menu.
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a c 119 G Storage
November 8, 2011 5:11:01 AM

When you enable AHCI it changes the way you view the hdd's in the bios , you can now select the ahci tab and the ports will be listed there and you should also see your 500gb hdd there.
The Inte SSD will have the firmware verson listed on the label it should be on the right side near the top of the label.
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November 8, 2011 6:23:22 AM

download the intel SSD toolbox 3.0 (http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=18455) and it will allow you to check and update the firmware directly in windows itself if it is not the latest firmware but it most likely is. The one I just got for my friend was packaged in august and was already up to date.

If AHCI is not enabled in your bios and you have the option to turn it on but have already installed windows you first have to enable AHCI in the registry (http://www.ithinkdiff.com/how-to-enable-ahci-in-windows-7-rc-after-installation/), reboot and then enable it in the bios when it starts up again. If you try to change it in the bios but have not done so in windows then it just won't boot and you have to change it back to ide mode to get back into windows. Once AHCI is enabled open a command prompt and type without quotes "fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify", if it returns the value 0 then trim is enabled, if it returns a value other than 0 type without quotes "fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0". You may have to run that at an elevated command prompt (right click and choose run as administrator).

If you do not have AHCI available to you all is not lost, the intel SSD toolbox has a function to TRIM the hard drive, you should just run it periodically as a maintenance procedure.

Congrats on your new purchase, I hope all is well!
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