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SSD freezing using IDE-SATA adapter

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January 24, 2013 9:08:05 AM

I decided to get a Samsung 830 120Gb SSD as a speed boost for my old Aspire 5630 laptop (2007) - there's a YouTube clip showing an SSD working well in the exact same machine. Anyway, should have done my research more thoroughly as I realised after receiving the SSD that my particular 5630 only has an IDE interface. So, I got hold of an IDE-SATA in line adapter (this has the JMicron 20330 chip on it) and squeezed the new drive in. After a fresh install of win7, the OS boots (fairly quickly) but the system is almost unusable due to regular "freezes" lasting 10-15 seconds, apparently at random times. These freezes mean I have to wait for programs to load / right click context menus to appear / web pages to load. Lots of spinning blue circles and pauses with programs "Not Responding"... overall much slower than with the old HDD. During the freezes resource manager shows zero disk I/O activity and 100% Highest Active Time and the disk light is off. Here's some background info and steps I've tried which have so far not helped:

CPU / Mobo / BIOS:
C2D T5500, Intel ICH7-M chipset; this includes a "Serial ATA Storage Controller" which appears in Device Manager under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. Apparently it supports AHCI but there is no option for selecting IDE or AHCI in the BIOS (latest version) so this feature is redundant. Device Manager also shows ATA Channel 1 and ATA Channel 0 controllers.

OS: Windows 7 Pro SP1. I have disabled PreFetch, Indexing and defragment

SSD: Has the latest firmware version and I've run the Samsung Magician software to optimize the disk. AS SSD benchmarking confirms that the disk is working in IDE mode.

IDE-SATA adapter; there is no sign of this in Device Manager... I don't think drivers are required though.

I'm not expecting miracles from an old system, but when the drive is working nicely it's amazingly fast - its just the regular pauses that are making the system unusable. I'd be grateful for any ideas as to how I can stop these freezes...

Thank you!!
a b G Storage
January 24, 2013 3:12:11 PM

This is just a thought, maybe someone has some other ideas on why your PC is acting up but it could be 2 things. One might be the IDE-SATA adapter and the other might be that your PC can't handle the SSD (without writing some code). I have seen videos of people installing Win 95 on a SSD & it works fine but i don't know how they did it (they might of had to write code to get it to work properly) and whether the same process would work in all IDE PCs.
a b G Storage
January 26, 2013 2:19:21 AM

+1

The JMicron controller is mostly likely the issue. It is always recommended to install an SSD on the Intel controlled sata ports and have AHCI enabled for the SSD.
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a c 311 G Storage
January 26, 2013 3:04:41 AM

You have an older motherboard that does not support modern 3rd generation SATA 3 6Gb/s solid state drives.The Intel ICH7-M chipset only supports SATA 1.5 Gb/s drives. Sometimes a modern ssd will work but at SATA 1.5Gb/s levels and sometimes it won't. BUMMER!!!
January 27, 2013 6:22:09 PM

Thanks all.
Samsung claim this drive is backward compatible to SATA 1 (1.5Gb/s) but I guess real-world usage is a different matter. I'm also suspicious that the JMicron chip is proving to be a bottle-neck, e.g can only handle brief bursts of SSD activity before freezing disk access whilst it clears the backlog.

Does anyone know whether it is possible to force the SSD to operate at SATA 1 speeds? If not I'll have to consider reverting back to the old HDD - this is a real shame as when the SSD is being accessed normally the speed is excellent and the system is running very cool and quiet. Bummer indeed.
a b G Storage
January 27, 2013 6:50:13 PM

Not that I'm aware of, its all handled on board via the controller.
a c 311 G Storage
January 27, 2013 7:21:20 PM

You might want to check if there were any updates for your motherboard.
a b G Storage
January 28, 2013 3:43:01 AM

medward20000 said:

Does anyone know whether it is possible to force the SSD to operate at SATA 1 speeds? If not I'll have to consider reverting back to the old HDD - this is a real shame as when the SSD is being accessed normally the speed is excellent and the system is running very cool and quiet. Bummer indeed.


I know on many hard drives there is a jumper that you can limit the speeds with. I don't know about SSDs' though.

Best thing you can do is research it. Ask questions. It might be possible to use it but like i said you have to research and have a bit of determination to do that. Something i don't really have the patience for.
January 30, 2013 9:55:09 PM

Dear all,
Well I don't think this was meant to be. MidnightDistort, the SSD doesn't have any jumpers or software ability to throttle the speed. JohnnyLucky, the BIOS was updated to the latest version but is still very basic with no AHCI possibility.

Thanks for your efforts but I've reverted back to the old HDD - I guess what might be theoretically possible on paper doesn't always translate to something that is usable in the real world. The SSD will either go into my Microserver or be saved for a future fast and silent desktop build.

Cheers.
a b G Storage
January 31, 2013 4:45:03 AM

Something seen or read on the inter-t00bs should always to be taken with a grain of salt!
!