written by cail • posted in How-To • 46,713 views 5 comments

So far, I got two SSD hard drives:

* the old one: 64G Patriot Warp V.2 SSD - with Ubuntu/Karmic

* the new one: 30G OCZ Vertex Series 30GB SATA 2 Solid State Drive - with Windows XP

The experience is great with these SSD drives. Superior speed increase! However, I did find some stuttering with the old warp, even after the system wide optimization.

When the new drive came, I did some googling and found that:

# ocz vertex supports TRIM on solid-state drive; however, only windows 7 supports this technology currently (linux/mac supports are coming) - I don't have another license to upgrade my windows xp on the eeepc netbook :-(

# with ssd, no need for paging in windows - disable it in system preference

# traditional hard drive starts at 63, but solid-state drive starts at 64 because of the 4096 ... (something too technical for me to complete digest) - many many posts online talking about align the ssd could significantly improve the performance: 1. format the partitions in windows 7 or vista, which will align the partitions automatically, then pause win7/vista installation; 2. use a windows xp tool called diskpar, more details at http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/wiki/

I did tried these two methods. However, I just cannot get my cloned disk image back live (via ghost or clonezilla)! With the ghost tool, I cannot fix the booting error "cannot find operation system", no matter how many tools I tried (fixmbr, fixboot, fdisk /mbr, ...). With the clonezilla, since my backup image is a disk clone, entire disk including the partition table would be re-written, which means losing the ssd alignment.

However, during my googling, I found one post saying that using GParted and left 1MB in the front of the partition could do the 64 alignment trick ...

Then boot back into GParted, and "copy" the partition over to the new drive. At this step, to get the alignment right you need to do two things:
1) UNCHECK the box that says "align to cylinders"
2) when you size the target partition, you want to leave 1MB of free space *before* the new partition. This results in an offset of exactly 2^20 bytes or 2048 512B disk sectors, which is excellent alignment for virtually all applications, SSD types, RAID array stripe sizes, etc.

I am not copying partition from the old drive to the new drive. I just resize the partition with "align to cylinders" unchecked! I did that for all partitions in the solid state drives. (I know it is speed-wise meaningless to do partitions on ssd. I did it for easier data handling.) Here is the results

In Ubuntu, test by

hdparm -tT /dev/sda

before:

/dev/sda:
 Timing cached reads:   3014 MB in  2.00 seconds = 1509.96 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  288 MB in  3.00 seconds =  95.92 MB/sec

now:

/dev/sda:
 Timing cached reads:   5926 MB in  1.99 seconds = 2980.28 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  292 MB in  3.02 seconds =  96.68 MB/sec

In Windows XP, test by HD Tune

before

now (separated two rounds)


I know, with ocz vertex, expecting speed is above 150MB/s - why I am lower? Any comments are welcome!

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