SSD - is it ok to use in XP laptop

Discussion in 'Dell' started by ps56k, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. ps56k

    ps56k Guest

    A friend has a Dell M1210 laptop running XP - works great.
    He wants to expand his disk space,
    and bought a SSD to replace the normal spinning disk.
    Both are SATA.

    However, in browsing around,
    he has read several articles about probs with XP and SSD.

    What kind of problems might there be ?

    What about Win7 and using the same SSD (SATA) device ?
     
    ps56k, Dec 10, 2013
    #1
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  2. ps56k

    Todd Guest

    Hi ps56k,

    I put SSD's into XP. But I do not use el-cheapo drives.

    I use Intel's Cherryville and download set up a schedule
    on their SSD utility.

    And, suddenly, a laptop develops some amazing performance!

    -T
     
    Todd, Dec 10, 2013
    #2
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  3. ps56k

    Paul Guest

    You can use an SSD, no matter what. It won't complain.
    You won't hear whining.

    The SSD has a preferred alignment. Flash is divided internally,
    into structures which are larger than the cluster size of
    your file system.

    On WinXP, the partition alignment is based on fake
    CHS dimensions, causing lots of stuff done by the
    WinXP Disk Management, to be divisible by 63 sectors.
    This doesn't align very well with the binary power_of_two
    sizes involved in flash internal memory blocks.

    On Vista/Win7/Win8, you might find things aligned on
    one megabyte boundaries. A little more wasteful. But for many
    file system operations, only one flash structure gets
    updated instead of two. That means you "wear out" the
    SSD, slightly slower.

    If you use a less than optimal alignment, it just
    means a few more write cycles to the SSD drive. And
    since many SSD drives fail before they actually
    wear out from too many writes, it's unclear that this
    really matters.

    There's an example here, of a company offering tools
    to WinXP users.

    https://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=20849

    AcronisAlignTool_2_0.exe

    Tools like that are "brand aware". Intel pays Acronis a fee.
    Acronis makes the tool do a check that an Intel SSD is being
    aligned. You check your SSD manufacturer site, to see if
    they bought a utility like that for you. I don't know if
    any of those tools, are completely free of a "brand check".

    On WinXP, you would place a single partition, then have it
    aligned to a preferred power_of_two boundary. Doing so will
    cause some ancient tools (like Partition Magic) to complain.
    But the SSD will receive fewer (fractional) writes that way.

    On Windows 7, all of this is taken care of, for you.
    Many of the backup/restore tools, have some awareness of
    the new alignment, and can even make changes during restoration,
    to align things. Some tools will take a "63 sector" backup,
    and re-align it to 1MB for you.

    *******

    It's a shame that OCZTechnology has folded, because they had
    some fine tutorials on the care and feeding of SSD drives.
    And I suppose when their web site shuts down, we'll lose those.
    (They'll be harder to search for.) The thing is, SSDs have
    their own mythology, and there are all sorts of little
    polishing things you can do (like turn off the "file accessed"
    feature of the file system). Note that not all the ideas you
    see in articles like this, are a good idea. You have to use
    a bit of common sense when reading this.

    http://www.thessdreview.com/ssd-guides/optimization-guides/the-ssd-optimization-guide-2/1/

    They didn't even do the "disable time stamps" one. This is
    an excerpt from the OCZ page.

    http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?43460-Making-XP-pro-SSD-friendly

    "Disable timestamp for last access to a file to speed up Windows

    Another frequently seen recommendation is to disable the
    setting that keeps track of the last time a file was accessed.
    Removing the necessity for the system to keep reading and writing
    this information may speed up Windows Explorer.

    The command is:

    fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 1

    Note that some backup programs may need this information.
    If you wish to restore the timestamp, the command is:
    fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 0
    "

    Now, a question would be, what OSes still do that. AFAIK, it's an NTFS
    feature, so all of them should do it. But it's always possible
    some OS could have a policy of turning it off for SSDs.

    Part of the fun of buying an SSD, is doing all that research :)

    Paul
     
    Paul, Dec 10, 2013
    #3
  4. ps56k

    WayPoint Guest

    Can't help you, I threw my laptop in the sea.

    It was just a dell, rollin in the deep.
     
    WayPoint, Dec 10, 2013
    #4
  5. ps56k

    dg1261 Guest

    The "problems" between XP and SSDs center around two different issues.

    One issue is partition alignment, on which Paul's post gives you a good
    deal of background. Win7 systems should already come optimally aligned.
    By default, XP systems are typically not optimally aligned for SSDs, but
    there are tools around to realign the partition(s) on a XP system to make
    them so.

    The second issue concerns TRIM, a SSD feature that keeps SSD cells
    functioning efficiently. Without TRIM, SSDs will gradually "slow down"
    over time. Win7 is already TRIM-aware, so no problem there. XP is not
    TRIM-aware, but some SSD manufacturers have a utility that can be
    installed in XP to handle that. If you plan to use XP with a SSD, make
    sure you get a SSD from a manufacturer who provides such a TRIM utility.
    (Samsung calls theirs "Samsung Magician").

    You should have no trouble with Win7 on a SSD. If you take the time to
    realign your partitions and install the manufacturer's TRIM utility, you
    should similarly have no trouble with XP on a SSD, either.
     
    dg1261, Dec 10, 2013
    #5
  6. I think the Linux "Parted" program can do that without being
    locked to any HDD maker. I guess the GUI version, GParted,
    would probably do it too. What ever the software, it's best to
    do it on a fresh install (or with a new backup), so nothing is
    lost if things go wrong.

    You could burn a Linux CD like SystemRescueCD or Knoppix to
    run (G)Parted from.
     
    Computer Nerd Kev, Dec 10, 2013
    #6
  7. ps56k

    Alan Guest

    One question is finding one which will fit. I have an ancient 2006
    Dell Inspiron 1420 with WIN7 Pro. I decided to get a SSD drive from
    Kingston, fortunately with a guarantee to work. It arrived, and did
    not have compatible connectors. I simply could not get their tech
    support to understand that tab A did not fit into slot B until I sent
    them some pictures. They were good enough to call back, apologize,
    say they would update their compatibility list, and I returned it for
    a full refund. I would like to have gotten it to work.
     
    Alan, Dec 10, 2013
    #7
  8. ps56k

    Ben Myers Guest

    I can't comment on SSDs with XP, which is just as well, because others have..

    Samsung makes pretty good SSDs too, and I retrofitted 5 i7 laptops running Windows 7 with 512GB Samsung SSDs for a client. This was back in the summer and I have not had any complaints, only accolades. VERY fast for software development, Sharepoint, and humungous Outlook PST files. I also have a smaller 128GB SSD in my older small Win 7 laptop, and it is great on power consumption (8 hrs on battery), in addition to being really fast and less susceptible to head crashes. No head crashes means you don't need to be concerned about rapid or abrupt movement of the laptop.

    And, yes, look into GParted Live for help with aligning partitions for XP. With a little help from YUMI (yes, another neat open source program), you can put the GParted Live ISO onto a even a small (256MB or more) flash stick, to boot it from there, rather than booting from a CD. Not sure what youwill find in GParted Live, but these open source folks are right on top ofthings... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Dec 10, 2013
    #8
  9. ps56k

    Ben Myers Guest

    And here's another tool to handle the partition alignment problem:

    http://www.partitionwizard.com/partitionmanager/how-to-align-ssd-partition.html
     
    Ben Myers, Dec 10, 2013
    #9
  10. ps56k

    Ben Myers Guest

    Ben Myers, Dec 10, 2013
    #10
  11. ps56k

    Ron Hardin Guest

    100% of our 3 SSDs have failed from wearing out on
    writes.

    Few of the HDs have.
     
    Ron Hardin, Dec 11, 2013
    #11
  12. ps56k

    WayPoint Guest

    lol :)
     
    WayPoint, Dec 11, 2013
    #12
  13. ps56k

    ps56k Guest

    I can't comment on SSDs with XP, which is just as well, because others have.

    Samsung makes pretty good SSDs too, and I retrofitted 5 i7 laptops running
    Windows 7 with 512GB Samsung SSDs for a client. This was back in the summer
    and I have not had any complaints, only accolades. VERY fast for software
    development, Sharepoint, and humungous Outlook PST files. I also have a
    smaller 128GB SSD in my older small Win 7 laptop, and it is great on power
    consumption (8 hrs on battery), in addition to being really fast and less
    susceptible to head crashes. No head crashes means you don't need to be
    concerned about rapid or abrupt movement of the laptop.
    -------

    -------

    My biggest concern, is that when a SSD goes bad,
    you will lose ALL of your data at once.
    I'm kinda familiar with HDs that seem to act flakey - pending doom -
    and then you might have a fighting chance to make copies,
    but with a Flash drive SSD - it's all, or nothing.

    I've had several flash USB thumb drives go bad - wham - all data gone
     
    ps56k, Dec 12, 2013
    #13
  14. ps56k

    Todd Guest

    He has a point. If you are going to use an SSD, become
    a backup whore.
     
    Todd, Dec 12, 2013
    #14
  15. ps56k

    Ken Blake Guest


    Regardless of whether you use SSDs or HDs, you are always at risk of
    losing everything at once, to many of the most common dangers: drive
    crashes, severe power glitches, nearby lightning strikes, virus
    attacks, even theft of the computer.

    That's why you should *always* protect yourself by frequent backup to
    external media, regardless of what medium your data is on.
     
    Ken Blake, Dec 12, 2013
    #15
  16. A hearty +1.
     
    Gene E. Bloch, Dec 13, 2013
    #16
  17. Not denying the importance of backing up regardless of what you're
    using.

    The fact remains, however, that as ps56k says, SSDs fail completely and
    without warning - something that makes those of us who're used to HDs
    somewhat wary of them. This is quite separate from whether one takes
    backups or not - or, for those who live in the real world of
    probabilities, rather than theory, means you might take them _more
    often_ when using SSDs, as Todd suggests.
     
    J. P. Gilliver (John), Dec 13, 2013
    #17
  18. ps56k

    Todd Guest

    1+

    And spend a little money on an enterprise grade SSD. I love
    the Cherryvilles from Intel. Not one single problem.

    You buy a cheap one, you are asking for what John states.

    -T
     
    Todd, Dec 14, 2013
    #18
  19. ps56k

    Ron Hardin Guest

    The SSDs on our I910s failed slowly. The system would crash on this or that spot
    sometimes, but it would come up and you could read data for a few hours or days.
     
    Ron Hardin, Dec 15, 2013
    #19
  20. Interesting to know, thanks. (Not that it'll affect me for some years
    yet, but it might be of interest to others, so - what makes/models?)
     
    J. P. Gilliver (John), Dec 15, 2013
    #20
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