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Corsair P128 Advice


gazman2k3

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Hi I am wondering if I could get some advice on my Corsair P128 SSD drive.

When I first started using it the speeds were great Windows 7 gave the P128 a windows experience score of 7.3 for the drive,and all in all everything really ran nice and fast,but lately for some reason the drive has been running slower and getting these really annoying pause stutter type problems.

 

Like now it doesn't matter how many times I reinstall Windows 7 I only get a windows experience score of 5.9 for the drive,but that's not the main problem the drive benches a fair bit lower than it did when I first started using it,with HD Tune I am getting this score

Minimum 88MB

Maximum 172MB

Average 168MB

And that benchmark is straight after I do a full fresh install of Windows 7,disable defrag,disable indexing on the drive,disable windows search,disable system restore and disable page file.

I have done everything possible to make the drive run at it's best.

 

The biggest problem I have of all is the stuttering,I have been testing encoding avi to dvd with ConvertXtoDvd 3,and normally when things are going good,even with my previous WD Raptor harddrive,I would get an average of 400 frames per second with the encoder,now when you install ConvertXtoDvd 3 the default out put folder is on C the corsair P128 in my documents,and ever since the P128 has been running slower,I have also noticed that ConvertXtoDvd 3 is encoding the movie slower,now it only does between 150 frames per second to 200fps,instead of my normal 400fps,and while ConvertXtoDvd 3 is encoding at a slow 150fps,if I try and watch another movie at the same time like another avi file,the movie will stutter like mad,pause every couple of seconds until I stop watching it.

 

I wasn't sure what was causing ConvertXtoDvd 3 to run slow like this and why I was getting stuttering when watching movies at the same time,so I decided to go into ConvertXtoDvd 3 options and change the output working directory to another harddrive,I moved it to one of my Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB drives,and all of a sudden ConvertXtoDvd 3 is encoding the movie at 400fps again and I can watch another avi movie at the same time with no stutters at all.

 

To prove it to myself that it is the P128 causing the problem I moved the output working directory back to C the P128 and ConvertXtoDvd 3 went back to encoding slow again at 150fps,and I can't watch another avi movie at the same time without getting massive stuttering.

 

I also get the same effect with pc games,if I install the game onto the P128 I get the odd bit of pausing every now and then,not as bad as watching the movie while encoding but it is still there,but if I install the pc game to another harddrive there in no pausing problems at all.

 

Could I please get some advice from someone on how to go about fixing this problem,my overall plan was to buy a second P128 drive and raid0 them,but this current problem has put those plans on hold until I can get it soughted somehow.

 

I read on these forums about using hdderase 3.3 to get the back back to new again,but for some reason I just can't get that program to work,I can get it to boot up but it's just to confusing to use,I did manage to run the free version of http://www.killdisk.com/ the free version only Erases with one-pass zeros,but I used it on the drive,then reinstalled windows 7 but still didn't get any better performance.

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For what its worth, I found my best performance was achieved with only disabling indexing for the SSD, and keeping everything else at default. Even disabling indexing only made a small difference but I do that with all drives since I don't use Windows Search.

 

I haven't tried HDD Erase, but I found that just doing a quick format before installing a new OS works just fine. No stuttering has been detected in everyday use and HD Tune only gets one or two stutters at the beginning of the test, just like every other drive I own seems to do. My average reads are 223 and writes are 187 and have been consistant over several tests.

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When you run HDD erase it can take some time for the menu to come up, does it show the drive listed? when you run the software?

 

Hi thanks for the reply,that's the thing I wasn't totally sure if I had HDD erase working or not because when I downloaded HDD erase it was just an exe file and I couldn't figure out how to make it into a bootable cd,at first I just burnt the HDD erase exe onto a cd and restarted the pc but that didn't work,I think I need some sought of auto run file on the cd aswell but I am not sure how to go about doing that.

 

Then I downloaded this ultimate boot cd http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ which contains HDD erase,so I went into my bios and set the P128 to IDE because I had it running in the other AHCI mode before,so I set it to IDE and then booted up the ultimate boot cd,went into the harddrive tools section and tried loading up HDD erase,it looked like it was loading but then I just got this black dos screen with 3 options I can't remember exactly what they were but something along the lines on

A:ulbcd

B:

C:

And that was it no mention of any drives in a list or anything.

Now I think about it I don't think I did have HDD erase working something must of gone wrong.

 

I would like to get HDD erase running,RAM GUY would it be possible for you to create a bootable iso of HDD erase 3.3 and attach it to the forum for people to use,or even if you could explain to me how I can go about making the HDD erase exe into a bootable iso,because I really would like to get this soughted out if I could,because as the drive is it really isn't very usable for windows in it's current performance state.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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For what its worth, I found my best performance was achieved with only disabling indexing for the SSD, and keeping everything else at default. Even disabling indexing only made a small difference but I do that with all drives since I don't use Windows Search.

 

I haven't tried HDD Erase, but I found that just doing a quick format before installing a new OS works just fine. No stuttering has been detected in everyday use and HD Tune only gets one or two stutters at the beginning of the test, just like every other drive I own seems to do. My average reads are 223 and writes are 187 and have been consistant over several tests.

 

Thanks for the reply,your drive seems to be running pretty good from the benchmarks you mentioned,that's how I would like to get mine running,with my drive I have to disable all those options because when I first boot up windows 7 after a fresh install my Minimum bench results are only around 9MB in HD tune,it's only when I start disabling all those options like windows search,indexing,page file defrag ect is when my Minmum bench score goes up to around 80MB.

When I first got the P128 my HD tune results were a lot better my Maximum read speed was around 206MB and my Minimum was around 150MB,but for some reason lately the performance has really dropped.

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You didn't happen to do a full format did you? You might want to remove the partition and repartition with a quick format. Never do a full format on a SSD drive.

 

If you have a Vista PC handy, you could use Diskpart.exe to setup the drive and align the partition when creating it... This would also be beneficial to a SSD drive from what I've read.

 

FWIW, I like HD Tune for HDDs, but I question its accuracy on SSDs, much the same with HD Tach. Here's an interesting article for SSD owners. http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=270&Itemid=38

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You didn't happen to do a full format did you? You might want to remove the partition and repartition with a quick format. Never do a full format on a SSD drive.

 

If you have a Vista PC handy, you could use Diskpart.exe to setup the drive and align the partition when creating it... This would also be beneficial to a SSD drive from what I've read.

 

FWIW, I like HD Tune for HDDs, but I question its accuracy on SSDs, much the same with HD Tach. Here's an interesting article for SSD owners. http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=270&Itemid=38

 

Actually yes I did do a full format on the drive,but this was only after I noticed it running slow,the full format neither helped or made it any worst than it already was though.

 

I do have a vista cd handy,but if I manage to get HDDerase running and wipe the drive with HDDerase,would that be the same as using the vista cd,I just managed to find a bootable HDDerase iso image on the net after doing a search on google,I was about to go ahead and give it a try,but before I do,do you know what options I should use,do I pick the 1 pass option or is there another option I need to use with a SSD drive.

Before I go ahead I'll wait to see what you think,if I should use the vista cd or just go straight ahead with the HDDerase cd.

GaPony could I ask are you using AHCI mode or IDE mode in the bios.

Thanks

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I use RAID Mode, but have always used AHCI Mode in the past in order to have NCQ and hotswapping active for my system. If you're currently in IDE Mode, I'm not sure I'd change over just for performance. Its not that much different. However, contrary to popular belief you don't need to reinstall Vista in order to boot in AHCI Mode, should you want to change. You just need to make a simple registry change before making the change in the BIOS.

 

I've never used HDD Erase, so I can't help you there, but I would try diskpart to try to setup a fresh disk before reinstalling the OS. Its part of Vista, is easy to use, doesn't require any 3rd party software, and certainly won't make anything worse. Assuming you have Vista running one a regular HDD, you can run the diskpart utilities on the SSD and run some benchmarks on it before installing the new OS onto the SSD to see if the speeds are where you think they should be. In all honesty though, I would just run the disc management utility of Windows (Right click My Computer, click manage, click storage, click Disk Management Local, remove the partition on the SSD drive, make a new partition and just do the quick format. I think it will help.

 

I would definitely have the drive formatted before install the new OS in order to make sure it doesn't do a full format.

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I use RAID Mode, but have always used AHCI Mode in the past in order to have NCQ and hotswapping active for my system. If you're currently in IDE Mode, I'm not sure I'd change over just for performance. Its not that much different. However, contrary to popular belief you don't need to reinstall Vista in order to boot in AHCI Mode, should you want to change. You just need to make a simple registry change before making the change in the BIOS.

 

I've never used HDD Erase, so I can't help you there, but I would try diskpart to try to setup a fresh disk before reinstalling the OS. Its part of Vista, is easy to use, doesn't require any 3rd party software, and certainly won't make anything worse. Assuming you have Vista running one a regular HDD, you can run the diskpart utilities on the SSD and run some benchmarks on it before installing the new OS onto the SSD to see if the speeds are where you think they should be. In all honesty though, I would just run the disc management utility of Windows (Right click My Computer, click manage, click storage, click Disk Management Local, remove the partition on the SSD drive, make a new partition and just do the quick format. I think it will help.

 

I would definitely have the drive formatted before install the new OS in order to make sure it doesn't do a full format.

 

Thanks for the reply,that's good to know I always thought you had to reinstall windows once you start changing IDE to AHCI,anyway I have always used the AHCI mode so I may as well leave it on that mode.

I have just managed to fix my problem and restore the performance of the drive back to new,I found out the reason why I couldn't get HDD erase to work was because I didn't have Legacy support enabled in the bios,soon as I enabled it the program kicked straight up,I then wiped the P128 drive,I was surprised at how quick it actually wiped the drive it must of take 20 seconds,I was expecting about 1 hour or longer.

 

So once the drive had been wiped with HDD erase I then put the bios back to AHCI and reinstalled Windows 7 and once I got it installed and without disabling any options like indexing or anything I did a bench with HD Tune and got these results

Minimum 161MB

Maximum 209MB

Average 204MB

http://img196.imageshack.us/i/capturelih.jpg/

 

And now instead of windows experience score for the P128 being 5.9 it gets 7.4

http://img403.imageshack.us/i/capture2a.jpg/

 

So I am really happy that I finally have my drive back to the way it should be,the only thing I might try now is what you mentioned in your original post and disable the indexing only and leave everything else alone,because I noticed that your average read speed is 223MB and mine is 209MB maybe disabling indexing might get it to 223MB or around that.

Thanks for your help.

 

Actually I just tried disabling the indexing and ran the HD tune bench but my score stayed around the same,but I think my score now is still descent enough anyway I spose.

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try to keep 20GB free on the SSD and leave the computer alone from time to time as the P128 has or should have self healing on it you need to keep 15% free on the drive

do not run programs that Wipe free space and make sure auto defrag is off on windows defrag on the SSD

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try to keep 20GB free on the SSD and leave the computer alone from time to time as the P128 has or should have self healing on it you need to keep 15% free on the drive

do not run programs that Wipe free space and make sure auto defrag is off on windows defrag on the SSD

 

Thanks I will do that thanks for letting me know.

There is a bit of a learning curve to these SSD drives.

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  • Corsair Employees
I would suggest going to bootdisk.com and down loading the Boot disk image from them then search for how to add files to an ISO image If you have Nero they come with a utility to do that. Or just use a Win98 Boot Floppy and I have found some MB's may not detect the SSD's correctly and then when running HDD Erase will not show up. I am not sure if that is because of the controller or if its the way the BIOS is listing the HDD's. But I have to use an ASUS A8N32-SLI to use HDD erase here, I could not use a M2N32SLI MB with HDD Erase.
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@Ram Guy... ist seems that some motherborards doesn't support LEGACIY IDE - as mine... "ABIT P35 Pro" - I think thats the reason that "HDDErase" would not work on my MB. I used "MHDD" von Dmitry Postrigan for that "ATA Secure Erase" - did the job fine.
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I would suggest going to bootdisk.com and down loading the Boot disk image from them then search for how to add files to an ISO image If you have Nero they come with a utility to do that. Or just use a Win98 Boot Floppy and I have found some MB's may not detect the SSD's correctly and then when running HDD Erase will not show up. I am not sure if that is because of the controller or if its the way the BIOS is listing the HDD's. But I have to use an ASUS A8N32-SLI to use HDD erase here, I could not use a M2N32SLI MB with HDD Erase.

 

Thanks yeah I will do that,I actually found the HDDerase iso bootable image while googling for it,someone on the ocz forum was hosting the file,I'll go to bootdisk.com aswell and try and put together a proper disk with nero etc.

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Looking for an HDDerase bootable ISO image as well... Hopefully someone comes up with a freely distributable working copy.

 

Maybe this will help. The zip file includes an .iso image and the HDDEraseReadme.txt file has instructions for creating a bootable CD or USB drive. v.4.0

 

http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml

 

 

There is also a suite of utilities provided on The UltimateBootCD which includes HDDErase v.3.1.

 

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/index.html

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  • Corsair Employees

I have just got through running a bunch of tests and from what I have found you should not need to use HDD Erase unless one of these instances have happened.

 

1. You have formatted the drive using a full format.

2. The performance is much slower than advertised.

 

ExEngineer do any of these fit your situation? If not what exactly is the issue?

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GaPony: Thanks for the links. My understanding was that HDDErase v3.3 was the only version that was recommended here. I had previously downloaded the UBCD ISO and, as soon as I get time, I will try to edit the ISO to include v3.3 instead of v3.1.

 

RAM GUY: You're a hard working dude! Thanks for the info. I knew about the quick-format-only rule, but I'm moving from Win7 RC to Win7 RTM and I want to freshen up the drive as much as possible before setting up the OS. I'd like to get this PC build finished and not have to touch it again for a while. Also, it just pays to be prepared for future problems. ;)

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  • Corsair Employees
There is no need from what I have seen just delete the partition and then let Windows 7 quick format it and you should be fine. I just used Acronics True Image and did some testing and once the partition was created then run the image back on and the drive was performing back to new again. As long as you have not done a full format you should be fine and I have used HDD Erase Version 3.3 and Version 4.0 both have worked fine for me. Just your MB has to be able to see the S-ATA as an IDE, some MB BIOS may not with an SSD Drive and that is the issue that I have seen in the lab and what I think others have been seeing.
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Here's a zip file of HDDErase 3.3 for anyone who wants to restore their P128 to factory condition. Unpack and just put the application on a bootable USB drive or use a floppy drive. Make sure to point your bios to Legacy IDE drive configuration and USB and or Floppy disk as the first boot device. I used it on an Asus Rampage 2 Extreme X58 mobo yesterday and it works just fine and very fast as well.

 

Here's a W7(MSDN) WEI and HDTune scrennie

 

http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/2861/ssdw7refresh.th.png

hdderase_33.zip

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