• Real-life SSD reliability must be managed

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    #2484795

    HARDWARE By Ben Myers Solid-state drives did not have a very good week here recently, but it was not their fault. Here are the facts about a trifecta
    [See the full post at: Real-life SSD reliability must be managed]

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    • #2484810

      Acer, Blixem, Fanxiang, Fledging, FYUU, GIGABYTE, Inland, KingSpec, Kingston, Leven, ORICO, PNY, Sabrent, Silicon Power, TEAMGROUP, Timetec, and on and on.

      Some of these are not well known, but you would seriously avoid a Kingston SSD? Several others also have a long standing SSD business, with well reviewed SSDs, for example Sabrent.

      Would you also have avoided SanDisk before WD bought them? One of the best SSDs I’ve ever had was a pre-WD SanDisk.

      One of the worst is a Crucial.

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      • #2484847

        I would not call Acer, Gigabyte, Inland, Kingston, Orico, PNY, Sabrent, Silicon Power, or Teamgroup unknown. Kingston and PNY (and to a lesser degree, Teamgroup) are established and respected manufacturers of RAM, while Acer and Gigabyte are manufacturers of motherboards or PCs (and if they can handle that, a SSD is easy). The others are up and coming and certainly worth a shot if everything else (warranty!) looks good.

        Information on the embedded controller and NAND type can be found in reviews on reputable sites across the web (I would never buy a SSD merely on the manufacturer’s specs), though there is a caveat… several manufacturers, including some that are generally considered reputable, have been caught quietly changing the spec on a given part number, conveniently after the initial round of reviews (generally done when the item is introduced) have already gone to “print” (pixel?). These lower-spec dopplegangers often have substantially worse performance than the versions initially introduced under the same part number. It’s a shady practice that should not happen, but it does, so best to be aware of it.

        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed
        XPG Xenia 14, i7-1165G7/32GB, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed
        XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

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        • #2485133

          The original Sandisk was one of the oldest manufacturers of sold state drives, dating back to the last century.  Prior to its acquisition by Western Digital, it had close ties to Toshiba and used primarily Toshiba flash chips in its flash memory products.  I have never hesitated to use SanDisk SSDs.

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          • #2485716

            I have three Sandisk ReadyCache SSD’s (32Gb) that were intended to be used in conjuction with existing HDD’s with the operating system. Add them to the system, install the software and reboot. These were ideal for those who didn’t want to re-install the entire OS and programs but wanted a performance boost.
            These are now ideal sata III SSD’s for netbooks and older laptops for linux.

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      • #2485127

        Well, maybe I would do Kingston, but it is not my preferred choice.

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    • #2484825

      I had to see about the health of the SSD inside the Latitude, so Clear Disk Info

      Sorry but Clear Disk Info is not to be used and the SSD is probably fine. You should have used CrystalDiskInfo instead.

      https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/clear-disk-info-warning-status-on-ssd/

      https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/our-world-is-not-very-s-m-a-r-t-about-ssds/

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    • #2484841

      Simple math shows that the number of hours equates to 133 days of use 24/7, or 400 eight-hour days, not very much use for a computer over four years old. Yet most of the SSD’s life was gone.

      That doesn’t sound right. Like you say, not much use! I have a small 128GB SSD from another reputable South Korean manufacturer that I bought over 8.5 years ago. It now has over 42,000 hours of use, and I have never taken it easy on that drive. I’ve never given its service life a moment of thought; I used it and I used it hard.

      When I was using Windows 7, I used to run hundreds of tabs in Firefox, and that was when Firefox was bound and determined to use up every last iota of RAM (a situation that has returned of late, unfortunately, for me a least). With a HDD, the system would grind nearly to a halt as the drive thrashed… it was only the speed of the SSD that kept the system usable in high RAM pressure situations. I would push on until I was finished doing what I was doing, with the system in a high memory pressure state for extended periods of time. You should have seen what the Sysinternals tool (whose name I have forgotten; it’s been a few years since I used Windows tools) reported. It was paging nearly everything out to the SSD, even the important stuff that is preferred to remain resident.

      I uninstalled and reinstalled OSes and changed partition schemes constantly, restoring from backup each time, and I never disabled any service to preserve that SSD. I had Windows indexing off because I did not use Windows search, but the indexing from the aftermarket search tool that I did use, Everything, was enabled. A SSD is a consumable item, after all (and is easily removable; I would never buy a unit with it soldered), and my reasoning was that by the time it is at the end of its rated write cycle count (which does not necessarily mean its actual useful life is over), it will be obsolete, or at least very cheap to replace.

      That drive now has 67% of its rated writes left, after almost nine years and 42,000 hours of use.

      I know that not all drives have the write endurance of any other, and in 2014, my Samsung 840 Pro was the best you can get for that, but it’s nearly a decade old by now, and even budget drives now have write endurance better than the 840 Pro.

      Is it possible the software in question has misinterpreted the SMART data? Perhaps there is a tool that will give you the data in terms of TB of host writes (like the Samsung Magician software for my 840). If it truly is worn down, I would suspect there is something other than just the normal writes through indexing and such going on.

      The processor cooling fan spun readily and was free of debris.

      But was the heat sink? A laptop fan can be clean in appearance and spin freely even though there is a large wad of debris on the heat sink fins blocking most or all of the airflow. You essentially have to separate the fan from the heatsink assembly to see and remove the junk, which some laptop manufacturers don’t make easy. Ideally, the fan(s) should be removable without undoing the heat sink assembly (which requires repasting if you remove it from the CPU or GPU), but with some designs (like the Dell XPS 9310), the entire assembly has to come out to separate the fans.

      This wad of debris is made mostly of fibrous items like clothing fibers (particularly an issue if the unit is used as a literal “laptop”), pet hairs, and stuff like that. Pure dust tends to accumulate to a point and then reach sort of an equilibrium, but fibers will collect across the heat sink fins and make what looks like a little gray felt pad right across the heat sink fins where the air is supposed to pass.

      FWIW, PC temps are customarily reported in Celsius, even in the metric-eschewing USA. As one of those metric-phobic Americans, I have no “feel” for how far a given distance in kilometers is, or how fast a given speed in kph might be, or whether a weather report using metric units is telling me that it is hot or cold. I have to convert these to Imperial measurements to have any feel for what they mean, with the lone exception is PC temps. Tell me 130 F or 170 F and it’s like telling me it’s 14 C outside. I have to convert it to more familiar units to “get” it.

      My bet is that the hot PC has a plugged heat sink, and that is why the air temps inside the case get so hot. Those kind of temps are going to cook the battery in short order too.

       

      Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed
      XPG Xenia 14, i7-1165G7/32GB, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed
      XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

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      • #2485128

        Maybe a plugged heat sink in the HP Envy.  Maybe not. I have no idea, because the cover over the heat sink and memory could not be removed.  It was not screwed down and it was not attached with tabs.  It was more or less integral to the motherboard.  Had I been able to remove it, there might possibly have been a way to improve its cooling.  This is yet another example of laptop manufacturers following Apple’s lead, making laptops harder to maintain and repair.

        As for the Dell Latitude with 4GB of memory and a 256GB SSD, I dealt with a very similar MacBook Air issue a couple of years ago.  As you know, Apple uses proprietary SSDs.  My client brought me the MacBook a couple weeks out of warranty. It had 4GB of memory and a 128GB SSD, and it would not boot.  Its SSD was worn out and unreadable, so all I could do was install another SSD and reinstall MacOS.

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        • #2485155

          Just FYI, the HP Envy x360 Convertible PC service guide you referenced was for the 2020 model (Document Part Number: L84426-001).

          Document Part Number: L18687-001 from 2018 shows overall drawings that match the photo you provided, including the heat shields. Unfortunately, it gave only a generic close-up color drawing of both the NVMe SSD and the memory modules without indicating where they were located on the system board, and no text mention of the shield.

          I found a YouTube video from HP showing disassembly of this exact model cp0000: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdljTs8jldc

          At the 2:00 mark, you can see the system board with the shield removed and the tiny clips around its edge holding it in place.

        • #2485264

          The heat sink assembly is attached to the cover you speak of with tape. You do not need to remove the RF shield (the cover over the SSD and RAM) to get the heat sink out. Just peel back the tape between the RF shield and the heat sink’s cold plate, remove the three screws holding the fan to the motherboard and the four screws (they are captive, so they won’t come all the way out) holding the cold plate to the CPU, unplug the fan from the motherboard, and the assembly should come right out.

          It might not be necessary to remove the three fan screws until you get the whole thing out, but since HP does not have a service manual available for the Envy x360 15m-cn0000, I can’t tell for sure. Once it’s out, the fan should be able to be separated from the heat sink at that point.

          As for the RF shield… I did find a service guide for a model that has the shield, but there are no instructions on how to remove it. It just says “remove the RAM cover.”

          That RF shield is certainly not there to prevent being able to service the unit. HP could just have their RAM and SSD integrated into the motherboard to accomplish that, as Apple has. It must have been necessary to meet the regulatory standards for RFI for where the unit was sold originally.

           

          Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed
          XPG Xenia 14, i7-1165G7/32GB, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed
          XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

    • #2484832

      I concluded that it was not worth the time and labor to clone and replace the SSD with a new one, and then kick system memory up to at least 16GB. So I simply added another 4GB of memory to get the laptop working better and told the owner to consider another one when the SSD failed.

      I fail to understand how it’s less time consuming to do a full, bare-metal restore (if a recent one exists) for a failed SSD than to spend an hour (possibly two) cloning and replacing the existing drive. Most of that time is spent waiting for the disk to clone, which doesn’t take up your personal time. That Dell Latitude with 16 or 32GB of memory is more than adequate for a business environment. If it’s being used for gaming or heavy personal use, then the laptop should be replaced immediately with a more powerful CPU than the Intel 7th gen i5.

      • #2485134

        The difference between a full bare metal restore or a reinstallation of Windows AND cloning a drive is the customer’s programs and data.  As you might surmise, many people do not back up their data, let alone their programs, so the only choice is to clone the drive and preserve the data and programs.

        I was put off by the age of the Dell Latitude and especially its 1366×768 screen resolution, else I would have done more.  My time is not free, and the time to replace the SSD, clone the 128GB SDD, upgrade the memory and run extensive memory diagnostics would add up along with the cost of the parts, and the upgrades would be not far from the cost of a replacement with better specs.  To put it differently, a 4+ year old laptop with substandard screen is not worth the upgrade.  I would not sell one as a refurb.

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    • #2484876

      You failed to mention when you said, “Number one on my list is to disable search indexing on SSDs”, that after unchecking Indexing it would ask if I wanted to do it to just Drive C or also all the subfolders. Presumably it would not make sense to just do the Drive without the subfolders so I checked subfolders and an avalanche of processing of thousands of subfolders started up. Since the whole purpose was to reduce drive writes to extend drive life, I think all these processing writes probably just shortened the life of my drive.

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      • #2485126

        Disable search indexing for the entire drive. Takes a while to undo it.

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        • #2485664

          Re:  “Takes a while to undo it.”

          That’s exactly why we do that immediately after initially formatting any NTFS partition.

          No waiting!

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    • #2484957

      I always use Samsung SSDs. Never had a problem. No worries here! Fast, reliable!

      - Thinkpad P15s Gen1 20T4-002KUS, i7-10510U, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 500GB M.2.
      - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 500G M.2.
      - Win 10 22H2. WuMgr. HP laserjets M254dw & P1606dn, Epson 2480 scanner.

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      • #2485135

        Samsung SSDs have a well-deserved reputation for quality. The only downside is that if one has a computer with an OEM Samsung SSD, Samsung’s consumer-oriented utilities do not work.  At least, they did not the last time I tried them.

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        • #2485395

          Ditto SK Hynix. Not a household name, and a long-time OEM supplier to name brands, although they have recently packaged retail SSDs.

          And a heck of an introduction it has been!

          Like @krism, I have preferred Samsung SSDs, and until recently, the only non-Samsung I ever bought was a Sandisk Ultra II that was on sale. But when it came time to buy a new SSD for my Dell XPS 13 (which I use on battery power a lot), after reading many reviews and tests, I went with the SK Hynix Gold P31. It has all the performance of a Samsung, but its power consumption is lower than anything else out there. On a desktop this would not make a noticeable difference in power usage, but when it comes to preserving battery charge, every bit helps. I bought the 1 TB model first, and when the 2 TB model arrived, I bought that and moved the 1 TB into my Dell G3 gaming laptop, and then into the Xenia when I bought it. The Xenia now has the 1 TB SK Hynix as a boot drive and a 1 TB SATA M.2 Samsung 860 Evo as a storage drive.

          I do not have enough years of experience with the SK Hynix models to establish their long-term reliability, but given the brand’s experience in the OEM market, I am confident. The 2 TB unit has an endurance rating of 1.2 petabytes!

          Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed
          XPG Xenia 14, i7-1165G7/32GB, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed
          XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

      • #2485700

        I should comment further on this:

        I do not hesitate to defrag the win 11 partition or the win 10 VM in VMWARE in Mint 21. I do NOT shut off any caching things. I DO leave indexing enabled as I discovered that some things (like opening picture wallpaper) don’t work without it.

        Samsung SSDs and NVMEs simply take it. That’s why I stick with them. And I don’t give them “special care”. Don’t know about the samsung magician not working on certain OEMs.

        I do trim occasionally (easily done in win11 – its’ build in defragger – just tell it to defrag and it just senses that it is an SSD and trim’s it in about 1 sec.) I use things like defraggler to actually defrag it. People say it’s not needed but I have found many times over the years that the result is a more responsive system.

        Save money or avoid self abuse? I chose the latter.

        - Thinkpad P15s Gen1 20T4-002KUS, i7-10510U, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 500GB M.2.
        - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 500G M.2.
        - Win 10 22H2. WuMgr. HP laserjets M254dw & P1606dn, Epson 2480 scanner.

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        • #2485706

          ditto your experience with Samsung SSDs

          Nevertheless, SanDisk was offering excellent 2.5″ SSDs even before Western Digital acquired that company and, after that acquisition, WDC’s “blue” line of 2.5″ SSDs continued SanDisk’s quality and reliability.

          I’m also pretty loyal to Western Digital for manufacturing so many great storage drives over the years; e.g. their “Black” HDDs are stellar, particularly the 2TB version that works with almost all SATA hosts right out of the box.

          On our backup storage PCs, we simplify those by hosting C: on a WDC 1TB “blue” 2.5″ SSD cabled to the first integrated SATA port, then at least one 2TB WDC “Black” HDD for archival storage cabled to the second integrated SATA port.

          KISS = Keep It Simple, Sally!

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    • #2484958

      On my Windows 10 21H2, I go to Settings, search for “search”, and choose “Windows Search Settings”. There I scroll down and click “Advanced Search Indexer Settings”.

      An “Indexing Window” opens, which shows the list of folders I had chosen in the past to be indexed.

      Is this the search restriction you wanted, or is this something else which has tricked me into thinking it is?

      The 33,006 items indexed shown in this window agrees with the number shown on the Windows Search Settings page.

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    • #2485085

      I have run ClearDiskInfo.exe on two Dell Win10/Pro 21H2 laptops. I keep the two laptops synchronized so that they have the same programs and the same data files on them. Laptop A is the master and Laptop B synchronizes to it.

      Laptop A: 6 years old, has a SATA M.2 SSD from LITEON, has 12 GB of memory, has 1.81 GB of page file space, has a power-on count of 5,939 hours & a power-cycle count of 3,350, and has written 23,434 GB and has read 52,294 GB. Yet, its lifetime remaining is 51%.

      Laptop B: 3 years old, has a NVMe SSD from SK Hynix, has 16 GB of memory, has 16 GB of page file space, has a power-on count of 556 hours & a power-cycle count of 1,581, but has written 23,014,916 GB and has read 69,637,205 GB. Its lifetime remaining is 100%.

      Laptop B’s figures for GBs written and read are staggering, given that it is newer, has run a tenth of the hours that Laptop A has run, and the number of times it has powered up is 1/3 of that of Laptop B. Yet, its lifetime remaining is 100%. How could this be, given the volume of GBs written and read??? This is a big surprise. One would expect with that volume of reads and writes, despite its large page file space, that its lifetime remaining would be less than 100%.

      Why are the GBs written and read for Laptop B soo high? It is newer, has run far fewer hours, has powered up far fewer times, and has a very large page file space. Does it have anything to do with the fact that it is a NVMe SSD? Or that it synchronizes from Laptop A?

      And, there must be something that explains why the astronomical volume of reads and writes has not affected its lifetime remaining. Could this be due simply to the quality of the SSD (SK Hynix vs LITEON)? LITEON isn’t mentioned in your article, but maybe DELL procured the SSD in Laptop A from an obsure manufacturer?

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      • #2485138

        Yes, those are unusual figures.

        Liteon has been a long time manufacturer of lots of different parts and attachments, serving as an OEM supplier to name brands for many years.  I have to guess that Liteon manufactures its own SSDs, putting together flash chip and controllers made by another manufacturer, but I am unsure.  For people who rip computers apart regularly, Liteon is a familiar brand, but hardly one known at retail.  I have encountered a few Liteon SSDs.

        Ditto SK Hynix.  Not a household name, and a long-time OEM supplier to name brands, although they have recently packaged retail SSDs.

        I have seen about the same numbers of DIMM memory sticks from Hynix and Samsung.

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    • #2485096

      Thanks for the interesting article, and the tips to prolong SSD life, no matter whatever else might be going on.

      To your tips I would add:

      1. You can restrict browser caching by specifying the maximum size of the cache.  In the old days, there was a setting to do that, today there is probably a utility that will let you do it if the OS doesn’t.
      2. Likewise with the paging file size.  If you’re running 32 GB (OK, not less than 16 GB), you can limit the paging file size to something quite small (or turn it off altogether) , so the OS just can’t page stuff out to the SSD.

      But the best advice overall is to monitor your SSD at least a couple of times a year (e.g. each time the clocks change), using perhaps CrystalDiskInfo, as somebody recommended above.

      — AWRon

       

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      • #2485665

        Re:  “restrict browser caching”

        we prefer to move the Firefox browser cache to a ramdisk

        performance is great, and it offloads wear that would otherwise occur with an SSD or HDD

        last time I checked, the freeware version from Dataram can be as large as 1GB

        http://dataram.com/

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        • #2485668

          browser.cache.disk.enable set it FALSE
          browser.cache.memory.enable set to TRUE
          I used these performance tweaks within Firefox about:config to save on SSD writes before Mozilla changed the defaults waaaayyyyy back in time 😉

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          • #2485676

            Works great!

            Using it for a long time…. Restricted the amount of using Ram to 1GB.

            * _being virtually exiled in some Guantánamo Bay ought to be forbidden_ *
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          • #2485683

            Thanks!

            How much RAM does Firefox allocate with those settings?

            In the past, we chose to enable a discrete ramdisk with NTFS drive letter, so that all browsers e.g. Chrome etc. could utilize the same partition — for speed and to off-load C: .

            Such a discrete ramdisk with separate drive letter also permits quick testing and comparisons of file system performance with other drives (SSD, HDD, USB etc.)

            • #2485684

              Personally, I’ve had no issues using these settings on various systems whether it be Windows™ or Linux. No crashes relating to memory on systems with 4Gb RAM – 16Gb RAM. The main thing is that this setting reduces SSD writes..which is what this article relates to.
              I done a shed load of research when I got our first SSD before even installing Windows 7. I tend to look after the hardware first, then tweak the OS accordingly to suit. YMMV

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            • #2485693

              before the M.2 form factor became standard, our most powerful XP workstations hosted the OS on a RAID-0 array of 4 x Samsung 2.5″ SSDs, then later 4 x Western Digital “blue” 2.5″ SSDs

              these RAID arrays were managed by a Highpoint RocketRAID 2720SGL add-in card:

              that Highpoint controller has been superlative, as far as reliability is concerned;  their documentation was not very good, at first, but has since improved a lot

              the OS partition was typically re-sized at 64-to-100GB, and the remainder was formatted as a dedicated data partition with drive letter E:

              having 4 x SSDs in RAID-0 was our attempt to do “load leveling” at a low level, and every one of those RAID arrays has functioned extremely well:  I don’t think I have ever needed to replace any single array member drive

              most recently, I configured the same C: / E: partition setup with a Highpoint SSD7103 hosting a bootable RAID-0 array with 4 x Samsung M.2 NVMe EVO SSDs, and that HP Z220 workstation burns rubber — it’s that fast, so fast in fact that it performs almost as fast as a ramdisk enabled on that same workstation with 32GB of DDR3

              https://www.highpoint-tech.com/product-page/ssd7103

              see attached CDM measurement:  11,697 MB/second READS with SSD7103

              Attachments:
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            • #2485725

              According to https://smallbusiness.chron.com/set-ram-cache-firefox-41282.html after setting browser.cache.memory.enable to true, you can set browser.cache.memory.capacity to -1 (the default) to let Firefox choose the size of its cache depending on your computer’s installed RAM capacity. Or you can set it to a specific integer, e.g., “128000” for a fixed 128MB cache.

          • #2485690

            browser.cache.memory.enable set to TRUE

            In FF 105.0.2, this seems to BE the default now, so no need to change.

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            • #2485692

              I used these performance tweaks within Firefox about:config to save on SSD writes before Mozilla changed the defaults waaaayyyyy back in time

              as already stated 🙂

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            • #2485701

              as already stated

              Sorry, I misunderstood, because the default for the other one, browser.cache.disk.enable is not FALSE, but is TRUE.

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            • #2485711

              as already stated 🙂

              I know that I am swimming with sharks here, but I try to glean what I can.

              Any more FF tricks to reduce wear and tear on a SSD??

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            • #2485715

              If the Firefox browser cache is hosted in a ramdisk (as we do routinely), I don’t know what Firefox does when the ramdisk partition is full.

              In any event, there is a simple sequence that deletes the contents of that browser cache:

              Tools | Settings | Privacy & Security | Clear Data | UNcheck “Cookies & Site Data”

              I asked Mozilla experts to add a one-button equivalent, but they declined.

            • #2487053

              Re:  “swimming with sharks”

              “You’re going to need a bigger boat.” — famous line from “Jaws”

    • #2485113

      pursuant to reading the suggestion to uncheck “contents indexed on this drive” , I unchecked for the C: drive, thinking that this would stop any further indexing.  instead the drive went into high gear, apparently resetting every file on the drive.  there are thousands.

      after watching this activity continue for several minutes, I hit ‘cancel’.

      these were mostly  all systemfiles with likely nothing in them to index and likely to have never changed to cause re-indexing.

      unchecking probably  caused more drive usage than leaving it checked.

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      • #2486391

        We’ve been formatting the primary drive with drive letters C: and E: for the OS, and for private data files, respectively, and doing so for such a long time, I can’t remember when we started doing this routinely.

        If you want to try it, Partition Wizard allows the C: partition to be shrunk.  We now size it at 100GB on all workstations.  Then, the remainder is formatted as drive letter E: .

        E: became our standard, mainly because D: is often assigned to an optical drive during a fresh install of a Windows OS.

        The best time to disable indexing is immediately after E: is formatted:  because there are no user files at that point, this one step happens almost instantly.

        Another backup step that we always perform is to run Partition Wizard’s “Migrate OS” feature, to create a bootable copy of a working OS on a secondary drive.

        I can’t tell you how many times this has facilitated rapid recovery from malware infections and other serious OS malfunctions.

        Thus, assuming only 2 physical drives — “primary” and “secondary” — our Windows NTFS drive letters look like this:

        C: / E:  on primary drive

        D:  is the first optical drive

        F: / G:  on secondary drive mirror C: and E:, where F: is a bootable exact copy of C: .

        Drive images of C: are written by Acronis software to G:, then each drive image on G: is copied to E: .

        The latter approach was confirmed to be THE BEST overall method to preserve RAID device drivers whenever C: is hosted on a RAID-0 array.

        (The recovery CDs that Acronis writes do NOT save RAID device drivers, last time I checked.)

        The copy of C: that is “migrated” to F: has all required drivers, which enables F: to be “dual bootable” — by simply changing the boot drive in the motherboard BIOS.

        Thus, the copy of Acronis software on F: can be run to restore the latest drive image to C: .

        And, Users who want perfection can quickly check if drive image copies are identical e.g. in Command Prompt:

        fc  E:\acronis.image.001\*.*  G:\acronis.image.001\*.* /b

        fc  E:\acronis.image.002\*.*  G:\acronis.image.002\*.* /b

        etc.

        Hope this helps.

        • #2486393

          p.s.  We always end up with at least 3 identical copies of any given drive image of C: .

          There is a lot to recommend the power of this logic:

          if A = B

          and

          if B = C

          then

          C = A

          so, when running the “FC” command,

          compare A and B

          then

          compare B and C

          if both comparisons are identical, there is no need to compare A and C

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    • #2485223

      I have run ClearDiskInfo.exe on two Dell Win10/Pro 21H2 laptops

      We consider Clear Disk Info to be an unreliable indicator of disk life – see the links above from Alex. Run CrystalDiskInfo standard edition (zip) and compare the results.

      cheers, Paul

      5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2485685

        We consider Clear Disk Info to be an unreliable indicator of disk life –

        Let’s say a ‘variable‘ indicator of disk life.

        Yesterday, ClearDisk said there was 51% of Lifetime Remaining on the SSD and today it says there is 65% of Lifetime Remaining!! And a small increase in Power-on Hours Count and in Power Cycle Count today. However, the temp yesterday was 129F degrees, and today the temp is 118F degrees. Temperature must play a significant role in the ClearDisk’s formula for its guess for Percentage LifeTime Remaining.

        So, not necessarily ‘unreliable’ (since the report is likely true to its formula), but as the indicators vary, especially temperature, so does the Percentage LifeTime Remaining.

        My office is colder in the winter than the summer, so I expect a greater Percentage LifeTime Remaining coming up. {I have no experience with opening the computer and fixing fans and heat shields, and it’s not worth screwing things up.}

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2485691

        I tend to favour the OEM SSD utilities over any 3rd party utils YMMV

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2485831

          All well and good, if the OEM provides an SSD utility for one’s specific model of drive.  Samsung’s utilities only do a complete job with its retail packaged SSDs, work comprehensively for either “retail” or “enterprise” SSDs, with two different sets of Samsung Magician.  Samsung OEM SSDs sold to brand name companies are neither, of course.

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    • #2485225

      An “Indexing Window” opens, which shows the list of folders I had chosen in the past to be indexed.

      This and Ben Myers’ article has opened a whole another world. My list of folders has only couple thousand. However, I saw a whole bunch of new options I did not know existed. It has a choice of Classic or Enhanced search. There is a list of excluded files. There is a choice of File properties only to search or add on Content to the search. Also found a Microsoft help article with all kinds of stuff on Indexing – what it does and how it works. Whew! When I get a spare week I will have to go back into all this!! But again the question – to Index or not to Index??

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2485228

        Don’t index, use Everything instead.  🙂

        cheers, Paul

        6 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2485663

          The very first thing I do after an SSD OS installation is to right click the drive(s) and untick indexing, been doing that since 2010 on every installation..second nature now

          OCZ were a good brand (prior to Toshiba buy-out) if I were to go back in-time, I’d buy them all again and more 🙂

           

          2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2485315

      Run CrystalDiskInfo standard edition (zip)

      Thanks for this info. I had checked the CrystalDisk website, but wasn’t sure of which one to download.

      I’ve run CrystalDisk on one of my laptops now. I didn’t see any real difference in what ClearDisk reports and what CrystalDisk Reports, other than the fact that ClearDisk was run late yesterday and CrystalDisk was run early this morning (which accounts for small differences in the two reports).

      However, CrystalDisk did not provide a figure for Percent Lifetime Remaining. Does this mean that ClearDisk is hazarding a guess on this (51%), but CrystalDisk prefers to remain silent?

      I DO have a question about some CrystalDiskInfo numbers, though:
      Total Host Writes: 732 GB hexidecimal is 000000005B96 (which translates to decimal 23446). ClearDisk yesterday said 23434 and said this number was GBs.

      Total Host Reads: 1634 GB hexidecimal is 00000000CC54 (which translates to decimal 52308). ClearDisk yesterday said 52294 and said this number was GBs.

      How does CrystalDisk’s decimal 23446 get to be the 732 GB that it reports?? and how does decimal 52308 get to be 1634 GB??

      There seems to be some problem in labelling the units for Writes and Reads, either in ClearDisk or CrystalDisk. ClearDisk says the units similar to CrystalDisk’s units are GB, but CrystalDisk has another number that it says are GBs and this differs by a factor of 32 from the raw number (i.e. hexidecimal) that it reports in another place.

      See attachment

      Attachments:
      • #2485830

        I probably should have posted the entire ClearDiskInfo screen for the Dell Latitude’s SKHynix 256GB SSD.  Unfortunately, the small 1366×768 screen did not display all the data, but I could have taken two screen shots and put them together.  If the drive reports enough SMART data, ClearDiskInfo is able to estimate remaining life based on counters of bad blocks and/or number of spare blocks remaining.

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    • #2485350

      Ben, you are one of THE best examples I have seen proving there is no substitute for experience.

      MANY THANKS!

    • #2485451

      Change the CDI values to 10 [DEC] in Function > Advanced Feature > Raw Values.
      Much easier to read.

      The disk does not appear to provide a lifetime marker (mine has a “percentage used” value) so any estimate is a calculation based on other values. One of the issues with SMART, there is no standard.

      Maybe the manufacturer has a test utility that will give you additional info.

      cheers, Paul

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2485648

      Newegg turns up mouth-watering prices for SSDs with many interesting brand names, some of them familiar from their forays into other technology: Acer, Blixem, Fanxiang, Fledging, FYUU, GIGABYTE, Inland, KingSpec, Kingston, Leven, ORICO, PNY, Sabrent, Silicon Power, TEAMGROUP, Timetec, and on and on. Who are these companies? What kind of flash chips and controller chips do they use? I am not about to bet my reputation on a cheaper SSD with an obscure brand name.

      Kingston – a memory manufacturer for decades. While I probably wouldn’t buy them for top-tier performance, their customer support (should it be needed) is excellent.

      Silicon Power – I’m going to strike through what I said here; I found I may not be correct regarding their relationship with Silicon Motion (though they have used their controllers). They make some decent stuff.

      Gigabyte – Would I use them? Probably not for an SSD, but one of the “big three” of motherboard manufacturers (ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte). And I’m picky; me not using them doesn’t mean bad.

      Sabrent is probably not my first-choice vendor personally, but is also well-known in the enthusiast world for some of the faster SSDs.

      None of these four are obscure, especially Kingston, but the others are industry brands.  The remainder are indeed lower-tier items I probably wouldn’t use, just as I myself won’t use QLC SSDs; if they’re cutting prices on the flash memory (QLC is lower endurance), where else are they cutting?

      We are SysAdmins.
      We walk in the wiring closets no others will enter.
      We stand on the bridge, and no malware may pass.
      We engage in tech support, we do not retreat.
      We live for the LAN.
      We die for the LAN.

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      • #2485705

        As someone else who was more picky about hardware, if Abit had brought out an SSD, I wouldn’t have bought it but I did like their motherboards 😉
        Well established brand names expand..but not necessarily in the right direction and often to their own demise.
        Gigabyte..too many returns RMA’s in the past for any hardware..our survey says No!
        Kingston have been in the memory marketplace for years, so they know what’s what as have samsung. It all comes down to component quality used to manufacture the end product, Quality over quantity wins IMO

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2485828

          With many of these SSD brands, it is extremely difficult to assess product quality and specs, even when the brand name is well known for other products, like Gigabyte or Acer.  Two or three years ago, I ordered a pair of inexpensive SSDs from Newegg, its apparent house brand TeamGroup. In installed one in a laptop I sold.  Fortunately, that laptop is still running.  But when I installed the second SSD, it simply did not work, so returned it, never to order TeamGroup anything ever again.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2485721

        Be careful with Newegg’s “Marketplace Sellers”.

        They are falsely claiming “Ships from United States” and they are accepting payments when they have zero inventory in stock to ship.

        With several of our orders, these “Marketplace Sellers” promptly emailed a “tracking number”, but failed to transfer the product to the shipper.

        After a week or so of no updates, we have contacted the alleged “shipper” only to be told by UPS or FedEx that they do NOT have the package in question.

        One item that “Ships from United States” was later confirmed lost in Hong Kong somewhere!

        We’ve had to report these abuses to Newegg’s CEO several times already.

        Their prices are notably less than companies based in the USA, which are battling with rampant inflation now.

        So, with a lower price and reportedly “Ships from United States”, it’s easy to get snagged by these same “Marketplace Seller” abuses.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2485726

          ugly tactic..the same is prevalent on fleabay and has been for years, which was one of the reasons I closed my account a good while back after 18 years or so being a member. Their loss, I used to buy and sell lots of PC hardware on a calculated risk assesment (100% buyer/ seller)

          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2485731

          Be careful with Newegg’s “Marketplace Sellers”. They are falsely claiming “Ships from United States” and they are accepting payments when they have zero inventory in stock to ship.

          I regularly shop at Newegg and got burned once by a “Marketplace Seller” myself so I always select the “Sold by Newegg” & “Shipped by Newegg‘ options whenever I shop there now.

          BTW, I’ve noticed a lot of on-line shopping sites now allow “Marketplace Sellers” (amazon, walmart, target, etc.) so I always make sure the “Retailer” option is set for the site itself to eliminate possibly getting burned by one again.

          3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2485746

            Re:  “always make sure the “Retailer” option is set for the site itself”

            Thanks for that tip.

            Where does one set that “Retailer” option for the site?

             

            Re:  “always select the “Sold by Newegg” & “Shipped by Newegg‘ options”

            Sometimes I just forget, especially if my mind is somewhere else, like disabling driver signature enforcement etc.

            • #2485752

              Where does one set that “Retailer” option for the site?

              Normally it’ll be one of the “options” you can choose on the left side of the screen to limit how many items are display when searching for something on a site.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2485765

              We recently ordered a Vantec brand twin slot fan to cool our 10GbE PCIe add-in card:

              https://www.newegg.com/vantec-sp-fc70-bl-pci-slot-case-cooler/p/N82E16835888112?Item=9SIB45TJJV3856

              Newegg’s Marketplace Seller CANCELLED our order for no apparent reason.

              We opted to CHAT with a Newegg agent, and they emailed the Seller to request an explanation.

              Here’s the explanation we received via email:

              “We can’t deliver the goods due to the customer’s region. I’m very sorry, my friend “

            • #2485770

              Here’s another way to demonstrate the problem with Newegg’s “Marketplace Sellers”:

              I searched for “slot fan” and, by scrolling down the left margin, the following choices are presented, but some of those Sellers are NOT shipping from “United States” EVEN THOUGH their product pages claim that they are:

              ships.from_.united.states

              Attachments:
          • #2485773

            Another Newegg “Marketplace Seller” chose to re-ship a replacement for a package that was lost in transit — a pair of Micron DDR4 memory sticks.

            They shipped 2 Crucial brand memory sticks, but they did NOT work in an industry-standard HP workstation — instead of booting normally at STARTUP, that workstation generated beep codes indicating a memory problem.

            I attempted to return those DIMMs to Crucial, after following their RMA procedure.

            After receiving my RMA shipment, Crucial’s RMA team emailed me to explain that the DIMMs I shipped to them were not genuine Crucial brand products, EVEN THOUGH they bore what appeared to be a standard Crucial stick-on product label.

            Evidently, those DIMMs were COUNTERFEITS!

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2485967

              This is unfortunately a big problem in the electronics industry (among others). Did you contact Newegg and pursue a refund?

              I recently posted about my experience buying a “Chicony” power adapter for my Xenia laptop that turned out to be a counterfeit. This was on eBay. I was able to get a refund for that.

              Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed
              XPG Xenia 14, i7-1165G7/32GB, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed
              XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2486025

              No.  Instead, I purchased replacements from a different supplier in the USA.  I just did not want to wait any longer for DIMMs that worked AOK.

              I wanted to play fair at my end, in the event that my RMA request to Crucial escalated into a major counterfeit investigation.

              When I thought about it, I came to suspect that a single counterfeit DIMM would necessarily imply a copy-cat factory designing and fabricating millions of same, most probably somewhere in China.

              I left that matter with Newegg’s CEO and Crucial’s RMA team.  The latter should still maintain custody of the COUNTERFEITS because I declined to request that they be returned to me.

               

    • #2485654

      Yes, those are unusual figures.

      Liteon has been a long time manufacturer of lots of different parts and attachments, serving as an OEM supplier to name brands for many years.  I have to guess that Liteon manufactures its own SSDs, putting together flash chip and controllers made by another manufacturer, but I am unsure.  For people who rip computers apart regularly, Liteon is a familiar brand, but hardly one known at retail.  I have encountered a few Liteon SSDs.

      Ditto SK Hynix.  Not a household name, and a long-time OEM supplier to name brands, although they have recently packaged retail SSDs.

      I have seen about the same numbers of DIMM memory sticks from Hynix and Samsung.

      LiteOn makes a number of OEM SSDs. They’re not going to be sold to consumers, but like SK Hynix and Kioxia, Dell has used them for some laptop models; I’m sure a few other OEMs do as well.

      The SK Hynix retail SSDs, the P31 Gold (PCIe 3 NVMe) and P41 Platinum (PCIe 4 NVMe) are rated as two of the better drives on the market. I chose a P41 Platinum 2TB as an upgrade for my new ThinkPad P1 Gen 5, which can support PCIe 4.

      We are SysAdmins.
      We walk in the wiring closets no others will enter.
      We stand on the bridge, and no malware may pass.
      We engage in tech support, we do not retreat.
      We live for the LAN.
      We die for the LAN.

    • #2485808

      “How to avoid short lifespan when using SSD in Retro PC”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdNG7YImRQQ

      Oct 4, 2022 A Solid State Drives or SSD is built differently to a traditional mechanical Hard Disk Drive.

      When using a modern SSD in a Retro PC, it is important to make sure partitions are aligned as unaligned partitions reduce the lifespan of your SSD.

      In this video I show you a few methods for aligning partitions that are using with DOS, Windows 98 or Windows XP Retro PC.

      • #2485823

        Thank you for the link.  It will be useful in my current project in which I will graft an mSATA SSD onto a PATA/IDE cable, part of an ancient Pentium running DOS to control an expensive factory machine. I am awaiting delivery of the part I need to do this.  Why am I doing this?  Factory machine is reliable and its replacement is $200,000+.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2485969

          A while back, I tried a StarTech IDE-to-SATA adapter that plugs into a motherboard’s integrated PATA port. But, for some reason that I never resolved, the motherboard BIOS got confused.

          I found that adapter at Newegg here:

          https://www.newegg.com/startech-pata2sata2-ide-to-sata/p/N82E16812200196

          BUT, when I search StarTech’s website for “PATA2SATA2”, that search turns up empty.

          I believe this is StarTech’s latest version of that adapter:

          https://www.startech.com/en-us/hdd/pata2sata3

          See also this similar adapter:

          https://www.startech.com/en-us/hdd/ide2sat25

          NB both need a floppy power connector.

          • #2486627

            I recently ordered a 2.5″ container for an mSATA SSD and with a 44-pin PATA connector.  I expect it to arrive on Monday.  Will use to replace a PATA drive in a DOS system. I get to deal with unusual computer work here.  That’s why I have an ever-expanding collection of Had to even relearn some of DOS.  Not sure how interesting an SSD running thru a PATA interface is to other people these days.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2486646

              I admire you, Ben, for surviving so long on the “bleeding edge”.

              Please let us know how it goes, after your 2.5″ container arrives.

              A thought occurred to me today:  given the enormous replacement cost for that expensive machine you described, it might be worth a try to ask engineers at StarTech if they would build a custom adapter for your client.

              These custom designs tend to be rather expensive, but nothing like the cost to replace that machine.  If they can build an adapter that works, have them build two:  that way, each one will be HALF-PRICE  — LOL!!!

               

              PC Users admonish me for keeping 2 x Windows XP computers running.

              Just today, I tried cabling a perfectly good HP ScanJet 5400c to an HP Windows 10 workstation.

              ERRRRRR !!

              After searching the Internet, I found quite a few HP customers who have been unable to locate a Windows 10 device driver for that scanner.

              Best part: there is no Windows 7 device driver for that scanner either.

              So, looks like I’ll be keeping those XP PCs around for a few more years!

            • #2486981

              How about looking at vuescan (https://www.hamrick.com/) if you’re looking for manual control of scanning?

              I use it with an ancient canon flatbed where no drivers exist for Win1o.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2487047

              I looked at their website:  for the HP ScanJet 5400c, they still require an HP driver for their software to work with that scanner.

            • #2487018

              I understand why you would want to keep using a 5400c.  There are 2400 reasons.  Its maximum scanning resolution is hard to find unless you want to bleed out your credit card.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2487022

              Thanks!

              I ended up buying two, one of which was pretty cheap because I found it at a computer recycling company in Seattle.

              I also needed to replace both AC adapters, because the color scans were skewing white background to a pink hue.

              That problem was cured with new AC adapters.

              So, I have 2 perfectly good HP ScanJet models 5400c, and 2 relatively new AC adapters.

              I have succeeded in teaching the host XP PC to write scan output to a Windows 7 Ultimate PC on our home lab, so I’ll be keeping that XP PC around for the duration.

              For me, Windows 7 has become a useful “common denominator” because it talks with XP and it also talks with Windows 10 — but not without lots of trial-and-error.

            • #2487023

              Ben, another thought occurred to me this morning about your mSATA project.

              You mentioned a DOS host:  I don’t believe DOS recognizes NTFS formats, and the ALIGN option in Partition Wizard may require an NTFS format.

              I’m not totally sure on these details, because it’s been so long since I have done any work with DOS.

              So, here’s a sequence that should circumvent those barriers:

              (1) format the mSATA as NTFS on a local workstation

              (2) try ALIGN in the freeware version of Partition Wizard

              (3) change NTFS to FAT16 or FAT32 (which ever is correct)

              (4) test mSATA in expensive factory machine.

               

              Hope this helps.  GOOD LUCK!!

            • #2486665

              FYI at YouTube:

              Not all SATA to IDE Adapters Are The Same

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXShc_hDuqQ

              I would like to have seen him discuss the IDE settings in his motherboard BIOS.

              e.g. our older StarTech model came with a jumper that needed to be set one way when only 1 x SATA drive was connected and set a different way when 2 x SATA drives were connected.

              With 2 x SATA drives attached, I believe one was recognized as IDE “Master” and the other as IDE “Slave”.

              Also, I don’t remember the details, but with only 1 x SATA drive connected, that configuration only worked correctly when using one SATA port but not the other SATA port.

              As such, it was possible to set the jumper for 1 x SATA drive, but to connect the SATA cable to the wrong SATA port on that older StarTech adapter.

              I see that StarTech are now selling a newer version (see my previous REPLY above).

            • #2486685

              for an mSATA SSD and with a 44-pin PATA connector

              PATA on an SSD? Is PATA even a thing these days? Motherboards are now serial via PCIe (maybe with a PCI parallel slot for old hardware).

              cheers, Paul

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2486731

              Is PATA even a thing these days?

              Yes, for older systems.

              Also, believe it or not, back when SSD’s first came on the market they sold IDE/PATA versions.

              I know because I bought a Transcend 32GB IDE/PATA SSD back in Dec 2010 for my old Compaq laptop ($110 @ newegg) and, when I finally disposed of it because it couldn’t be upgrade to Win7, I put the SSD in the docking station I used with my Dell D830 until I build my current desktop in Dec 2019.

              2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2486757

              There are 2 generic ways to “adapt” or “bridge” from PATA to SATA:

              (1) a 40-pin female adapter is plugged into a HDD’s 40-pin male connector, and the motherboard’s integrated SATA port is wired to that adapter + a floppy power connector

              (2) a 40-pin female adapter is plugged into a motherboard’s integrated 40-pin male connector, and a standard SATA cable connects that adapter to the SATA data connector on the drive

               

              The latest StarTech model works in both modes:

              Bi-Directional support for IDE-to-SATA or SATA-to-IDE communication

              https://www.startech.com/en-us/hdd/pata2sata3

               

              A variation of (2) has a 40-pin male connector that plugs into a PATA / IDE cable, and its standard SATA power and data connectors attach to a SATA drive, like this StarTech model:

              https://www.newegg.com/startech-ide2sat2-ide-to-sata-with-odd-support/p/N82E16812400465

              NB the jumpers in one of the photos.

               

              If you have the time, this YT video shows how poor controller designs can lead to poor performance:

              Not all SATA to IDE Adapters Are The Same

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXShc_hDuqQ

              I did not see the latter discuss motherboard ATA-133 / IDE settings (if any), and also he failed to ALIGN his SSD.

              I would have formatted his SSD using the ALIGN option in Partition Wizard, as one trial-and-error step to confirm if that made any difference with the problems he demonstrates.

              Alternatively, as of Windows 7, SSD alignment happens by default when an SSD is formatted.

               

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2486868

              Re:  “2.5″ container for an mSATA SSD and with a 44-pin PATA connector

              There’s a brief mention in this 286 project that may be helpful to you:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHhEdgd7shk

              @ 1:45 / 7:32 on the counter

              … where he talks about the voltage difference:

              NB  5V vs. 3.3V

              jump to 2:25 on the counter for an adapter that has a jumper that allows both 5V and 3.3V

               

            • #2486869

              Is the part you ordered like this one?

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t23Fpp1xx7c

              How to use mSATA SSD by MPC1000

              NB where he removes a jumper from one pair of male pins.

              jumper

              Attachments:
            • #2486871

              Re: “graft an mSATA SSD onto a PATA/IDE cable”

              If you’re only connecting an existing PATA/IDE cable to an existing 2.5″ laptop HDD, something like this adapter should be plug-compatible with that cable:

              https://www.amazon.com/mSATA-SSD-conversion-adapter-KRHK-MSATA/dp/B00EUXS7WG/ref=sr_1_31?dchild=1&keywords=IDE+to+mSATA+KRHK-MSATA%2FI9&qid=1616369687&sr=8-31

               

              Specification:  mSATA SSD → 2.5 type IDE SSD

              Connection interface:  2.5 type IDE 44 pin (max ATA 133)

               

              There should already be a cable that powers the drive you are replacing with an mSATA drive.  Something like this cable:

              https://www.newegg.com/p/0ZF-0108-005A7?Description=power%20cable%20for%202.5%22%20laptop%20drive&cm_re=power_cable%20for%202.5%22%20laptop%20drive-_-0ZF-0108-005A7-_-Product

               

              If power and data are transmitted via the host socket instead of an IDE cable, that socket should already have 44 pins:  40 + 4

               

              mSATA.adapter

              Attachments:
        • #2485972

          Also, you might try downloading the freeware version of Partition Wizard:

          https://www.partitionwizard.com/free-partition-manager.html

          Unless they disabled it in the latter free version, Partition Wizard has an option to “ALIGN” an SSD on systems prior to Windows 7:

          https://www.partitionwizard.com/help/align-partition.html

          We used that feature reliably on our XP Pro x32 workstations.

        • #2485973

          Do you have a link to the part you ordered already?

          I’m now recalling one issue that you might want to take into consideration when using one of these adapters:

          As you must already know, IDE/PATA cables are designed to function with “master” and “slave” jumpers on a PATA HDD. And, some motherboards also supported “cable select”.

          If a PATA cable has only one connector at each end, then it should default to “master”.

          I contacted StarTech to ask about the jumper on their PATA2SATA2 adapter, but their advice did NOT fix the problem I was having with an older ASUS motherboard.

          I would contact StarTech customer support, to discuss whether these are also issues with their latest versions of their adapter.

    • #2486000

      I will upvote Samsung SSDs. I have been using them exclusively for 5 years without a failure.

      My first Samsung SSD [850 EVO 250GB], at 5 years old, is still running strong with good drive health at 22,937 power on hours, and 2,717 power on cycles. Crystal Disk Info shows 89% life remaining.

      So I don’t think that minimizing solid state drive wear is anything to be concerned about in the real world with modern SSD drives on modern PCs. 34.9TB written. S.M.A.R.T. raw total LBAs written: 74989573929.

      I just acquired my first SSD in NVMe M.2 form factor, so now I have 4 Samsung SSDs. Always bought on sale, of course! 🙂

      This thing is really fast! Sequential reads/writes show a dramatic improvement. Here is a Crystal Disk Mark performance benchmark with the new M.2 drive: CrystalDiskMark-C-drive-new-NVMe-M.2-2022-09-27

      Compared to my old SATA 2.5″ version:CrystalDiskMark-C-drive-2022-05-20

       

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      • #2486009

        Yes, indeed!

        It was truly amazing to witness just how close Samsung had come to zero controller overhead:

        PCIe 3.0 128b/130b “jumbo frame” = 130 bits / 16 bytes  =  8.125 bits per byte

        8G / 8.125 bits per byte  =  984.6 MB/second per x1 PCIe 3.0 lane

        x4 PCIe 3.0 lanes @ 984.6  =  3,938 MB/second MAX HEADROOM

        3,460 / 3,938  =  87.8%

        Here’s what CDM measured with our RAID-0 array of 4 x Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 NVMe SSDs:

        CDM.screen.shot_.1-1
        CDM.screen.shot_.5-1

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      • #2486033

        561 MB/second is just about PURR-FECT for a 6G SATA-III SSD:

        SATA-III uses the 8b/10b “legacy frame”:

        1 start bit + 8 data bits + 1 stop bit

        6G / 10 bits per byte  =  600 MB/second MAX HEADROOM

        561 / 600  =  93.5%

        As such, measured in that manner, SATA-III controllers in SSDs are more efficient than Samsung M.2 NVMe SSDs.  That’s not totally surprising, when we realize that managing x4 PCIe 3.0 lanes in parallel requires extra data management by a drive’s internal controller.

        We compute our efficiency formula like this:

        1 – (561 / 600)  =  6.5% controller overhead

        p.s.  It’s too bad that the IT industry oligopoly has “chosen to frozen” the SATA standard.

        adopting the PCIe 3.0 jumbo frame and the 8G PCIe 3.0 clock would be a nice boost for future SATA-IV devices:  MAX HEADROOM is then 984.6 MB/second vs. 600.

        (x1 PCIe <=> “serial” conductor)

        auto-detection would also enable future SATA-IV devices to sync with all future PCIe generations e.g. 16G, 32G etc. and, hosts would then “down-clock” if an older SATA device is connected, just as current SATA-III SSDs likewise “down-clock” to sync with 3G and 1.5G motherboard ports

        All of the latest GbE network adapters we have been studying lately support auto-detection of multiple raw speeds.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2486657

      PC Users admonish me for keeping 2 x Windows XP computers running. Just today, I tried cabling a perfectly good HP ScanJet 5400c to an HP Windows 10 workstation. ERRRRRR !! After searching the Internet, I found quite a few HP customers who have been unable to locate a Windows 10 device driver for that scanner. Best part: there is no Windows 7 device driver for that scanner either.

      I think it’s outrageous that hardware manufacturers can attempt to obsolete perfectly fine working hardware by not providing driver updates for the latest OS. That should be against the law!

      Not hardware related, but I still keep a Win XP VM running so that I can access some old software.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2486660

        Pay attention to this documentation:

        https://www.hamrick.com/vuescan/hp_scanjet_5400c.html#technical-information

        VueScan is compatible with the HP ScanJet 5400c on Windows and macOS.

        [Oh, GREAT!]

        You need to install the HP driver to use this scanner on Windows and macOS.

        [MAY NOT?]

        If there isn’t an HP driver at http://www.hp.com for your operating system, then unfortunately VueScan won’t work with this scanner.

        VueScan uses a plugin library that’s installed with the HP drivers to talk to this scanner, and doesn’t work with this scanner without this plugin library.

        [DEFINITELY NOT!!]

        [end quote]

         

        THERE IS NO HP DRIVER AT http://WWW.HP.COM !!!!

         

      • #2487014

        For decades, ever since Windows came into widespread use, hardware manufacturers have bolstered sales of new gear by simply not updating drivers for their products to work with the latest Windows release.  It is doubly outrageous when the hardware device was very expensive originally and it works flawlessly with no sign of impending malfunction.  Scanners and printers are the most used equipment that falls in the no longer supported category.  There are workarounds sometimes, but they are often painful, either to find or to implement.  Microsoft has long been complicit in making hardware obsolete by simply tweaking its driver model, forcing rewrites of drivers by manufacturers who want to stay in the Windows game.

        Of course, we all hear crickets from both Microsoft and hardware manufacturers when this issue gets some attention.  To the dismay of hardware manufacturers, the Windows “NT” driver model has become more stable after more than 20 years, leading to the possibility of forcefitting drivers into Windows 10 and 11 setups.  It takes some knowhow to do so.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2487032

          And, most recently a 10GbE adapter, TP-Link model TX401, would not install in a Windows 7 Ultimate x64 PC, because the supplied driver is “not signed”; and the fix that worked for a StarTech model ST10GSPEXNB did NOT work for this TX401 (disabling signature enforcement temporarily during unsigned driver installation).

          TP-Link’s Tech Support have responded timely to request screen shots.

          However, I pulled the TX401 from a Windows 7 PC and installed it in a Windows 10 PC where it works OK.

          The StarTech model was working in a Windows 7 PC, so I re-installed it in that PC.

    • #2486725

      Just a little footnote on Inland SSDs. Like all inland products, there is a strong tie-in with the Micro Center retail and online stores. That’s the only place I routinely encounter that brand. This says nothing about the origins and quality of the Inland components, just one reason many of us are very familiar with that brand.

      I would truly trust only a few brands of SSDs, among them Western Digital (Blue or Black) and Samsung (EVO series).  For critical systems, those are the only brands I will consider.

      -- rc primak

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2486938

        Just a little footnote on Inland SSDs. Like all inland products, there is a strong tie-in with the Micro Center retail and online stores. That’s the only place I routinely encounter that brand. This says nothing about the origins and quality of the Inland components, just one reason many of us are very familiar with that brand.

        I would truly trust only a few brands of SSDs, among them Western Digital (Blue or Black) and Samsung (EVO series).  For critical systems, those are the only brands I will consider.

        Caveat emptor. My one bad experience with an M.2 NVmE SSD was with a Samsung EVO 980 Pro. Within 30 days of purchase from Newegg the drive developed problems, resulting in strange reboots at odd times. The Samsung software tool flagged the problem but could not give a diagnosis. Dealing with a warranty replacement was a nightmare of finger pointing between Samsung (not our problem, file a claim with Newegg) and Newegg (not our problem, file a claim with Samsung). When the agent at Samsung (when I finally spoke to a real person) started yelling at me for being so stupid, I hung up and will never, ever buy a Samsung product, much less their SSDs, again. I have had far better success with Intel or WD drives. That was a CAD$600 lesson I did not need.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2487035

          I have not yet had a Samsung SSD fail. So I can’t speak to your unfortunate experience with Samsung or NewEgg regarding their customer service or tech support.

          When my Intel NUC’s OEM no-name SSD failed, I was dealing with SimplyNUC’s support and sales people. All were pleasant. The tech support people were actual system builders, so they knew what was going on and did not argue with me. They agreed to upgrade me to a better grade of SSD, still in a small size. That SSD lives inside an external enclosure now.

          (In light of the recent Windows 11 22H2 upgrade issues, I’m beginning to wish I had returned the whole NUC for a tune-up and a few upgrades. SimplyNUC did offer to let me do that.)

          My Samsung EVO SSD from my original NUC has been in use for six years with no issues, and now lives inside an enclosure, having outlived the NUC itself. I have at least one Samsung EVO 860 inside an enclosure and at least one WD Blue SSD inside my new tower PC. All the brand name drives have performed well with no failures.

          So I would say your experience with a Samsung drive is highly unusual, unless someone else here knows otherwise. As I say, I can’t speak to Samsung customer support in the event of an SSD failure.

          -- rc primak

          2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2487024

      Within 30 days of purchase from Newegg the drive developed problems, resulting in strange reboots at odd times. The Samsung software tool flagged the problem but could not give a diagnosis. Dealing with a warranty replacement was a nightmare of finger pointing between Samsung (not our problem, file a claim with Newegg) and Newegg (not our problem, file a claim with Samsung).

      Was this product sold and shipped by Newegg and labeled with the 30-Day Hassle-Free Returns badge?

      For any products listed on the Site as “Sold and Shipped” by a third-party seller, this product is covered by the seller’s return policy.

      Newegg Return Policy: https://www.newegg.com/promotions/nepro/22-0073/index.html

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2487036

      To the dismay of hardware manufacturers, the Windows “NT” driver model has become more stable after more than 20 years, leading to the possibility of forcefitting drivers into Windows 10 and 11 setups. It takes some knowhow to do so.

      I had an audio device that fell into this gap when the manufacturer was acquired and all of the former products were declared “legacy” and end-of-lifed. So no new drivers beyond the existing Windows 7 driver were to be developed. Fortunately for me, the Windows 7 driver continued to work under Windows 10, probably due to essentially the same driver model. 🙂

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2487052

      This is a great forum thread and I will read it with attention!

      BUT here’s a neat trick for you — taking an old Dell Optiplex 7010 Mini-Tower, which normally CANNOT boot from an NVMe M.2, and modding its BIOS so it CAN boot from an NVMe M.2 inserted into an adapter that’s inserted into a PCIe slot.  See this AMAZING article — https://www.tachytelic.net/2021/12/dell-optiplex-7010-pcie-nvme/  And read all the comments below the article.

      I’ve done it, using a Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2, and the 7010’s throughput is now 15 times higher, now getting 3400 MBps ± on CrystalDiskMark.  I’m delighted – this will become the fourth production workhorse in my wife’s mini-office.

      BUT a question —

      I might do this again on a second used Dell Optiplex 7010 Mini-Tower — per the same Tachytelic article I link to above and its helpful comments.

      Question: I could buy either a
      Western Digital 2TB WD Blue SN570 NVMe Internal Solid State Drive SSD – Gen3 x4 PCIe 8Gb/s, M.2 2280, Up to 3,500 MB/s – WDS200T3B0C for USD $170 on Amazon ◄ cheap
      or (again)
      Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB NVMe M.2 Internal Solid State Hard Drive w/ V-NAND Technology, Storage and Memory Expansion for Gaming, Graphics w/ Heat Control, Max Speed, MZ-V7S2T0B/AM for USD $210 on Amazon ◄ not so cheap

      Is there much difference between the two?

      Thanks.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2487057

        We added the smaller WDC M.2 to a refurbished HP Z240 workstation, but we opted for the model with integrated heatsink.

        We also added an internal 80mm fan for active cooling.

        We found this next photo on the Internet; this is NOT our Z240, however:

        m.2.SSD_.installed.2

        Attachments:
        • #2487059

          HP’s “front card guide” for the Z240 workstation is now hard to find.

          This drawing is close, but not the exact version for the Z240:

          front.card_.guide_

           

          Attachments:
        • #2487078

          All PCIe expansion slots in the Z240 are PCIe 3.0 at present, we’ve added a Realtec 2.5GbE adapter to the x1 slot (circle 17) an M.2 adapter with second WDC NVMe SSD in x4 slot (circle 19), and a TP-link TX401 10GbE adapter in the lower x16 slot (circle 20).

          We’re saving the full x16 PCIe slot (circle 18) for a Highpoint SSD6204:

          https://www.newegg.com/highpoint-ssd6204-pci-express/p/N82E16816115317

          HP.Z240.Tower_.PCIe_.expansion.slots_

          Attachments:
      • #2487065

        Re:  “Is there much difference between the two?

        My best guess:  probably NOT enough to justify an extra $40 USD.

        I would spend that difference on a WDC model with a factory heatsink.

        I’m also VERY loyal to Western Digital, so take my bias into account  🙂

      • #2487077

        Yes, the Optiplex 7010 NVMe article is way cool.  Read it a few weeks ago and the guy did so well to figure all this out.  He has also put bootable NVMe in other elderly name brand computers.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2487083

          Yes, that mod is WAAAY KOOOOL!

          However, until further notice I’m sticking with refurbished HP workstations, for lots of reasons — too many to enumerate here.

          PCIe 3.0 is at least one gen back of the “bleeding edge”;  and the hardware that comes with refurbished workstations is almost free, when the retail cost of OEM Windows 10 is factored in.

          The experts at PC Server and Parts will pre-install Windows 10 x64 on an M.2 NVMe SSD:  this may require a “custom order”:

          https://pcserverandparts.com/

          https://pcserverandparts.com/workstations/hp-workstations/hp-z240-workstation/

          We then populate the internal drive bays with 2 x 3.5″ HDDs + 1 x 2.5″ SSD and “migrate OS” to the latter 2.5″ SSD (for redundancy purposes).

          One of our many reasons is HP’s excellent “HP Support Assistant” which makes motherboard BIOS upgrades very easy.

          Plus, HP always manufactures a large quantity of replacement parts, which can be easily found on the Internet.

          As I understand it, that Optiplex upgrade requires a motherboard BIOS mod.

    • #2487137

      I had an upper edge Toshiba laptop (I don’t remember the exact type) and after a few years I replaced the original 512GB ssd with a 1TB Samsung evo. When I had to throw away the then broken laptop, I kept both ssd’s, installed them in external cases with proper USB 3.0 interface. and I use them as external storage. I just checked them using ClearDiskinfo (Thanks Ben Myers and Older Geeks) and both disks are in excellent condition (98% and 96% lifetime remaining).
      I think they’ll outlive me…

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2487135

      My old Dell tower was slowing down considerably, despite all my tweaks. I maxed out the memory and that helped a little. About a year ago I installed a 1-tb SSD. No exaggeration, the old thing instantly got as fast as any gaming computer I’ve ever seen, with zero problems.

      SSD: $90
      Performance boost: Priceless

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2487152

        I honestly don’t know why SSD vendors don’t highlight a weakness inherent in all rotating HDDs:

        To maintain nearly constant recording density on all tracks, the amount of raw data on any given track is directly proportional to track diameter thus, with a fixed rotation speed, e.g. 7,200 rpm, the outermost tracks store much more data than innermost tracks.

        And this weakness exists whether or not any given file is fragmented.

        platter.transfer.crossover.graphs

        Attachments:
        • #2487156

          Remember, hard disk drives were once the latest and greatest thing.

          Kind of like electric typewriters and (gasp) whiteout.

          Carpe Diem {with backup and coffee}
          offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
          offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.674 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
          online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.819 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox108.0b7 MicrosoftDefender
          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2487158

        Another way of driving this point home, using an analogy, views each CPU core as a radio frequency broadcast antenna.

        The raw bit stream can be approximated by multiplying the number of CPU cores TIMES 64 bits per CPU register TIMES CPU clock rate.

        In other words, a single 64-bit CPU register can change 4 billion times per second @ 4GHz.

        e.g. assume 4 CPU cores, each running at 4.0 GHz, raw bit rate  =  4 cores x 64 bits per register x 4.0 GHz

        Typically that calculation results in a bit rate that far exceeds a motherboard chipset’s capacity to PUSH or PULL all that raw data to and from peripheral devices.

        Future versions of PCIe are designed to address this restriction.

        • #2487980

          Are you saying that my 10-core Xeon computer is a slug?  ;>)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2487984

            Re:  “10-core Xeon computer is a slug?”

            Yes!  Whenever any one of its amazing cores needs to talk with a USB 2.0 thumb drive!!

            10 bits per byte too  🙂

            p.s.  Isn’t English fun?

            “sluggish” is slow

            “slugger” describes my baseball team:  L.A. Dodgers 111 wins this year.

            bet your Xeon can’t outrun THAT record!!!

            • #2487987

              I had no problem with Cleveland Indians.

              Now they’re the Cleveland Guardians of the Milky Way Galaxy.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2487979

        Your experience explains well why I keep a decent inventory of SSDs to make even the older computers truly usable.  People are invariably delighted when they use a computer with an SSD for the first time.

        Case in point: A 2000 vintage MS-DOS system rigged up to use a new SSD.  Makes it almost pleasant to use, except when I have to correct the commands I type on the command line.

        My first laptop with an SSD was a venerable Lenovo Thinkpad 12″ X201, and it ran nicely until I needed something newer.

        It drives me bonkers to use and troubleshoot a computer with a mechanical spinning hard drive.  It is an absolute shame that computer manufacturers still produce so many computers with hard drives, and the big box stores foist them off on unaware buyers.

        Fortunately, SSDs are now priced like the commodity items they are.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2487983

          Re:  “big box stores foist them off on unaware buyers”

          I strongly suspect this is yet another symptom of poor education systems.

          Just to illustrate, I remember telling the SATA standards group about the 128b/130b jumbo frame in the PCIe 3.0 standard.  It was news to them.

          They were also pushing SATA-Express, which was DOA.

          Even very experienced Prosumers continue to err when calculating data rates:  they very often divide the clock rate by 8 bits per byte, instead of 10 bits per byte for the legacy frame and 8.125 bits per byte for the jumbo frame.

          Don’t underestimate the enormous value that readers here derive from your extraordinary expertise, Ben. 

        • #2488096

          Thinking out loud, I would like to see some discussion about the PROs and CONs of add-in cards that utilize a single x16 PCIe expansion slot without needing to “bifurcate” those x16 lanes into a 4×4 configuration.

          The latter are working quite well, but the aggregate controller overhead is still much larger than the same overhead measured with 6G SATA-III SSDs.

          Here’s the math:

          PCIe 3.0  =  8G / 8.125 bits per byte x 4 lanes  =  3,938.4 MB/second per M.2 SSD

          4 x M.2 @ 3,938.4 MB/second  =  15,753.8 MB/second

          Our Highpoint SSD7103 in 4×4 RAID-0 mode performed READs at 11,697.7 MB/second — as one example of a functional 4×4 configuration:

          Thus, overhead equals 1.0 – (11,697.7 / 15,753.8)  =  25.75%

          Seems as if the latter overhead is a little high, leaving room for improvement.

    • #2487190

      I replaced all my HDs with SSD’s (and the system drive with a Silicon Power 512GB NVMe M.2 PCIe Gen3x4 which, in 2020, was $52 vs $40 now) under the assumption that they would last longer, so I hope they do. I also increased RAM to 64GB, even though Windows still insists on writing to the drive (which is the M.2 with plenty of space and indexing it turned off). Of course, often I’m using upwards of 70% of RAM (no gaming or video editing) but see further below.

      Crystal Disk info says all my SSDs (ADATA, Airdisk, EMTEC, Team) are “good”, but ranging from 99% to 87%, whatever that means.

       I used to run hundreds of tabs in Firefox.

      While many others may be incredulous at this, I myself have run hundreds of tabs for years, mainly multiple profiles of Firefox when Tab Mix Plus enabled multiple. Since it decided to become more like Chrome I run multiple portable copies of FF Quantum portable, after using the Izheil Multi-row tabs patcher to enable this.

      This for me is much more efficient, as each one can be dedicated to a general purpose.

      With all the above and just a Ryzen 3200G on a MSI B450 pro, I rarely need to shutdown and can keep my standard programs running and, with hundreds of tabs and multiple documents (under customized W/11: TB image), rarely with any slow downs. I thank God for such.

       

      peacebyjesus.net

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2488008

      It is an absolute shame that computer manufacturers still produce so many computers with hard drives, and the big box stores foist them off on unaware buyers.

      There’s still a downside to SSD drives. The last several times I’ve gone browsing in computer departments at a big-box store, it’s been disappointing to see PCs for sale with 256GB or even 128GB SSDs as the main or even the only drive. Usually now these are the newfangled M.2 NVMe drives. The storage amount still comes off as paltry to my eyes and it leads me to move on to the next PC model on the shelf.

      Of course, one can upgrade the SSD or install a high-capacity HDD if needed, but this represents extra work and might void the warranty. I won’t be impressed until new PCs come standard with 1TB+ SSD main drives.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2488043

      but this represents extra work and might void the warranty.

      No OEM will void warranty for replacing a SSD or adding a HDD unless the users has damaged the PC during the upgrade process.

      My laptop came with 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD (C drive) and 1TB HDD. it is more than enough for majority of users.

      My previous Windows 7 laptop had 128GB M.2 NVMe and 1TB HDD even that was enough and I never was short of free space on the SSD.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2488338

        It looks like the issue is more complicated than either “open the case and you’re toast” or “no OEM will void the warranty”. There is this:

        Whichever type of case you have if you are not sure about the way it opens then consult the manufacturer’s literature as some manufacturers have special systems for opening their cases. Also, ensure that you will not breaking the terms of your warranty by opening the case as some manufacturers put a security seal which, if broken, can void the warranty.

        And then (maybe more important from a practical standpoint) there is this:

        …Technically, you’ve always been able to bust open consumer electronics yourself without voiding the warranty. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, it’s actually illegal for companies to void your warranty just because you repaired or modified something yourself. They have to prove that your DIY repair or modification caused something else in the device to malfunction. Which means those scary warranty stickers that you see on a lot of consumer electronics are actually meaningless…at least from a legal perspective.

        Of course, the repair technician can always say “sorry, we won’t repair this, you broke the sticker”, and your only recourse would be to sue them—which almost no one will do. So, while those stickers are legally meaningless, they still usually serve their intended purpose: scaring you away from repairing your device (or making you pay for another repair after the fact).

        2 users thanked author for this post.
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