TRIM clarification - motherboard support

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TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:28 am

Hi Experts,

I have what may be a simple question. I've have recently installed a SSD drive to my computer - what a speedup! But I have been intermittantly seeing mention of TRIM with regards to SSD's on this forum and elsewhere. I've read a little bit about it and recognize what it is. But it this something that is completely taken care of by Windows 7? Or is it something that my motherboard has to support as well?.. if so see next question.

I'm having issues with my computer (i thought reinstalling windows from scratch on the SSD would solve them - but NO...you may find more of my questions elsewhere in the forums), and may replace my motherboard. Do I need to look for specific chipsets for TRIM support? I have an AMD 1090T with a MSI 890FXA motherboard. Any recommendations for a good motherboard that supports TRIM and my AMD 1090T?

thanks,

dave
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:51 am

It's not the motherboard support you need to worry about as much as the drive (and the OS).
If your drive supports TRIM, and your OS (win7, newer linux kernels, newer versions of FreeBSD) supports TRIM, you should be OK as long as it's a SATA drive (the few IDE/PATA SSD drives made do not support TRIM).
The one thing on the motherboard is you need to have the ability to get into the BIOS/UEFI and set the SATA port as "AHCI" instead of IDE mode, which most motherboards let you do.

Pretty much all newer SSD drives support TRIM, but check the manufactuer spec page first, or boot into a linux livecd (knoppix, system rescue cd, etc...) and in a terminal type "hdparam -i /dev/sda" and it will bring up a list of supported commands/features of the drive. TRIM support will be shown.
Good luck.
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:50 am

thanks for that info. I bought a Crucial M4 256 MB SSD, so there should be no trouble with TRIM support there. And Win 7, so that's good. I'll check the bios options for the hard drives tomorrow.

dave
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:00 am

high disco, would please list you're pc spics.i want to jump on the ssd wagon and my eye is on the ssd you have,
can tell how much fast you feel is you're pc .
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:51 pm

OK. I've checked the bios during startup. I can find no mention of AHCI within the screens relating to hard drives or SATA ports. Everything is 'automatically selected', but there is no indication of what settings have been selected. So, I'm not quite sure what to make of that. If the drive is running on just IDE settings, will that screw it up or will there be performance losses? I couldn't find anything in device manager either...

CHECHNYAN - there is a pretty significant improvment in boot time, and the office apps definitely seem snappier. To tell you the truth, I'm having some difficulties with my machine (that I thought the new drive and reinstall of Windows would fix), so I can't really say too much more about the improved performance. I have not played any games or benchmarked anything since the install. My specs are: AMD
X6 1090T w/ 8 GB RAM. I also have a ATI/AMD 5850, and a xonar sound card.
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:43 pm

Here's a useful guide for a new SSD. As the guide states some of these settings are for pc experts only so beware. There is a way to enable AHCI and also to check if TRIM is working on the new drive.

http://thessdreview.com/ssd-guides/opti ... n-guide-2/

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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:48 pm

You should see something like this under integrated peripherals
Image

Select On-Chip ATA Devices

Then you should see this
Image

Change the RAID Mode to AHCI (or RAID, just not IDE).
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:41 pm

Thanks guys. I did see the RAID options, but since I didn't have a RAID setup, I didn't think it applied to me. I'll give it a shot this evening and report back.

thanks again.

EDIT - I meant to ask - how did you get screenshots of the bios? Just with the printscreen button?
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:28 pm

Disco wrote:Thanks guys. I did see the RAID options, but since I didn't have a RAID setup, I didn't think it applied to me. I'll give it a shot this evening and report back.

thanks again.

EDIT - I meant to ask - how did you get screenshots of the bios? Just with the printscreen button?

No, I looked up the manual online.
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:43 pm

Not Good! I changed that setting to AHCI and the computer began to go through about 5 reboot cycles before I shut 'er down. The last bit of the 'bios startup' screens looked a bit glitchy, and then I saw the windows logo only long enough for it to go black and reboot. Could I have caused a conflict by installing everything in IDE mode and the now switching to AHCI? I've changed that setting back, and now it booted fine.

Next steps? Try the RAID setting?
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:10 pm

Next step- turn off AHCI :).

The issue you're facing is normal, expected behavior. I don't know off the top of my head, but there is a way to enable proper AHCI support in Windows, after which you may safely turn AHCI on.

The issue is that Windows was installed without AHCI on, by the way.
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:58 pm

Airmantharp wrote:The issue is that Windows was installed without AHCI on, by the way.


That's what I was wondering... now I just need to figure out how to enable AHCI. Lordhawkwind posted a link to some SSD information. I skimmed through some of it, which mentioned registry manipulations. Is there where I'm heading?
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:59 pm

I've read (and seen in my own installs) the best way to do add the SSD is:
1. Put it in the system, update the firmware (via livecd or add it as a 2nd drive, boot into windows, and do it from there)
2. Once the firmware is updated, make the SSD the primary drive in the bios, remove the other drive(s), and then enable AHCI.
3. Restart with the windows DVD/usb stick in, boot off that, and install windows

AHCI should be enabled prior to installing windows. If it isn't, windows may refuse to boot, and though there is a registry hack to enable it to work (forgot the link, just google it), the "clean way" to do it is to start with AHCI enabled, and install windows from there.

Also, what motherboard are you using?
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:19 pm

I did the step 1, and did remove the original hard drive after updating the SSD firmware etc. The only think I didn't do was enable the AHCI... crap! As you may have picked up from this (and other ongoing threads) I am having trouble with a flaky system that intermittently crashes at least 1x per day. There is no apparent reason for this random crashing. I can be in the middle of MS Excel, or I can just look at the computer in the morning and find that it has crashed on its own overnight.

Anyways, part of the reason I installed the SSD was because I thought a fresh Windows install would clean up the system. So far it hasn't. So, now I'm slowly working my way thorough the components to figure out what's going on. I've switched the video card, with no luck. I'm starting to think it's the motherboard (I have an AMD 1090T with a MSI 890FXA motherboard), but I haven't really gone through any major diagnostics yet (I'm also not quite sure what those would be) because I haven't had the time.

So, I probably won't be re-installing windows until I figure out the motherboard situation and whether I need a replacement. My big question now is: If I can't change the AHCI setting until I reinstall, will I be doing any damage to the drive by not having AHCI enabled? Or is it just a short term performance issue that will go away one I re-install Windows?
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:52 pm

Looks like that board has a SATA port on a third party chip. You could try moving your boot drive to that port, enable AHCI on the regular ports and then move the drive back after the drivers are installed.

EDIT: I guess it's just the 890FXA-GD70 that has the extra SATA chip, so if you have the 890FXA-GD65 disregard my post :).
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:36 am

Disco wrote:I did the step 1, and did remove the original hard drive after updating the SSD firmware etc. The only think I didn't do was enable the AHCI... crap! As you may have picked up from this (and other ongoing threads) I am having trouble with a flaky system that intermittently crashes at least 1x per day. There is no apparent reason for this random crashing. I can be in the middle of MS Excel, or I can just look at the computer in the morning and find that it has crashed on its own overnight.

RAM sound like the most obvious culprit. Download Memtest86 and let it run over night.

You might also want to check if you have the most recent BIOS for your motherboard.
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:09 am

OK. I've run the memtest overnight. It's still going (using the laptop right now). It says that it has found 17 errs, with 7 passes. Is there a way to get a summary output file of this test, or should I be writing some of this information down? It looks like test #8 was the one that identified the errors. How serious is 17 errors for 7 passes? Does this mean i should just toss out this memory and buy some new stuff?
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:23 am

Disco wrote:Does this mean i should just toss out this memory and buy some new stuff?

A lot of memory manufacturers offer lifetime warranties on their modules, probably a good idea to check if you can get it replaced for free or at least for the cost of shipping. If you bought the DIMMs individually, you'll need to test each DIMM separately to identify the bad one to send back.
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:35 am

I'll need to look up what brand I bought - all I remember is that they are shiny and blue. :-)

Can memtest test each individual stick while both are still in place? I haven't tried going into the configuration yet because I didn't want to lose the information that is on the main screen.

Edit - I'm trying to get the kids on their way to school and my wife to work and the car to the repair shop... so I'm just jumping on the computer for 5 min at a time. We're up to 19 errors now.

Edit #2 - Kids and wife are on their way. Taken off of my email receipt, the memory I have is: OCZ OCZ3G1333LV8GK Gold 8GB DDR3 2X4GB DDR3-1333 PC3-10666 CL 9-9-9-20 1.65V Dual Channel Memory Kit. I assume this stuff should still have a warranty from Sept 2010.
Last edited by Disco on Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:11 am

If memtest has that option, I haven't seen it. The easiest thing to do is test each DIMM separately, that way if only one is bad, the computer won't be completely out of commission while you get the other one replaced.
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:18 am

Disco wrote:OK. I've run the memtest overnight. It's still going (using the laptop right now). It says that it has found 17 errs, with 7 passes. Is there a way to get a summary output file of this test, or should I be writing some of this information down? It looks like test #8 was the one that identified the errors. How serious is 17 errors for 7 passes? Does this mean i should just toss out this memory and buy some new stuff?

Anything more than 0 errors will cause stability problems.

Sometimes memtest86 will be really nice and tell what memory address the errors occurred in and you can make a reasonable guess about which memory bank that corresponds to, but in most cases it's best to just run it with only one stick in at a time.

If you bought your ram as a set the manufacturer might want you to send in both.
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:23 am

Thanks. today is too busy, but late this afternoon I'll try to pull the mem one stick at a time. The failing addresses are almost all showing >4000MB. Does that indicate that it is the 'second'' stick (whichever that one is)? only 1 error shows a value of 122.5MB.

thanks for all the speedy responses. Once I get some more information from the test, I'll start a new thread since we are so far off topic.

dave
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:17 pm

Disco, I agree with others - if you think the issue is RAM, test one module/stick at a time with memtest. If memtest is giving any errors, one issue is likely the RAM itself. If memtest gives errors on only 1 of the sticks, trying running the system with out that stick and see if stability improves. Then look up your warranty info for the RAM, as it's time to RMA it.
Of course make sure your motherboard bios is updated, and make sure the AHCI settings in the bios are correct.
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:10 am

Hey. So, as discussed on other threads, I've determined that my RAM was the problem, and new RAM has sorted out the instability issues I was having.

But, to bring this thread back on topic, now that i've figured out my primary issue and stabilized the system I'm going to try to enable the AHCI. I've tracked down the 'registry hack' to enable AHCI (on Tom's). I agree with ShadowEyez that a clean install with the correct ACHI setting is probably the best. But, my time is pretty limited due to busy field season and not much idle time in front of the computer right now. So, is there any reason why I shouldn't just use the hack?

What I will likely do is enable the registry hack, enable AHCI in the M/B bios, and leave it for the next month or two. Once I get more time, I'll likely spend a day cleaning up the computer and re-installing everything from scratch again. Is there any issue with this strategy?
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:54 am

All the registry hack does is enable the AHCI drivers, I see no reason why you shouldn't try it.
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:16 am

Disco wrote:What I will likely do is enable the registry hack, enable AHCI in the M/B bios, and leave it for the next month or two. Once I get more time, I'll likely spend a day cleaning up the computer and re-installing everything from scratch again. Is there any issue with this strategy?


No, not at all. I'm not entirely sure there is really any difference between enabling it after in the registry and before the install. I had a friend install an SSD in his system and he didn't know exactly how to get everything set up. As such, he didn't enable AHCI before install and we had to use the "hack." That was nearly a year ago and he hasn't had a single issue. Do what you said above and forget about it.
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:12 am

Done. Everything seems fine. No idea if the performance has changed - seems zippy, just like before the hack.

Thanks.
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Re: TRIM clarification - motherboard support

Postposted on Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:03 pm

It's not at all a 'hack'.
Modern Windows OS disables drivers that won't be used during startup to shave time off boot.
The fix you found re-enables the AHCI drivers so the machine boots normally - and that's all. Proceed with confidence that your OS is probably fine, unless crashing a bunch corrupted it :)
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