SSD not performing as expected

Hi

  I have recently bough a Corsair 60GB SSD after reading some good reviews, to replace my normal sata hard drive with windows 7 on it.

  I used Acronis to clone the C and D drive from the old HD to the new SSD. After the transfer I am not finding any SSD performance on the disk at all, whatsoever (log on times, disk read and access are similar to traditional HD)

       After spending few hours on the forums, I found out several recommendations like turning off defrag, fixing misaligned partition using paragon's PAT (eventhough the software couldn't align the C drive for some reason), tweaking RHCI setting on bios etc. After that the performance has improved slighlty (as you can see from the 2 screenshots).  

     But the performance is still not a SSD class (corsair said their SSD provide up 280MB/s R/W). I am trying to find out, am I missing anything here.BTW the hardware is Dell precision 380 and os is win7 ultimate 32 bit.
as-ssd-bench-Corsair-CSSD-F60-08.png
as-ssd-bench-Corsair-CSSD-F60-08.png
ExchangeGroupAsked:
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ExchangeGroupConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
I managed to reinstall the OS (clean installation) and the SSD is now performing as expected. Much improved performance.
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rindiCommented:
Have you made sure that the HD controller in your BIOS is set to AHCI or SATA native mode, or whatever it is listed as there. You'll have to have the appropriate Drivers installed for this to work.
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brettkmCommented:
Have you tried the tweak utility from the link below?

http://www.techspot.com/guides/246-ssd-performance-tweak-utility/
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
The Bios is set to AHCI option.  Can you explain please what driver you are talking about?
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rindiCommented:
The disk controller driver.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
>>I used Acronis to clone the C and D drive from the old HD to the new SSD<< - Acronis misaligned your partitions thus you do not get increase in speed.
Align the partitions to physical start of HDD  (offset 2048 or 1024) with Paragon Alignment Tool: http://www.paragon-software.com/business/partition-alignment/
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
Hi Rindi

       The SSD ( Corsair F60) doesn't come up with any disk controller driver nor I could find on their website.
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rindiCommented:
Not a driver for the SSD, but rather a driver for the SATA controller of your mainboard. But as AHCI is already active you'd have a driver installed already, or windows wouldn't start properly. So it's more likely to be what noxcho mentions above.
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
Thanks, As mentioned in my first post, disk alignment has been done using Paragon Alignment Tool.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
>>(eventhough the software couldn't align the C drive for some reason)<< - does PAT report it aligned now? Can you post STUBACT.log file from PAT root directory here?
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rindiCommented:
Another thing, from the specifications of the mainboard, i can't see what it supports. Does the SATA controller support SATA-I or SATA-II?
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
Noxcho- Please find the attached log file (C drive couldn't be aligned)

rindi - I am not precisely sure if it is Sata1 or 2? I looked at the motherboard but couldn't find the information. Is there an easy way to check it?
stubact.log
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Thanks for file. You system partition is not aligned. I see it asked for restart two times. Did you apply it? For system partition the alignment must be done in Restart mode. If yes what error did it give you so you could not complete alignment?
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
I did restart when it gave a prompt. After the restart, Paragon software launched  and gave a message saying C drive couldn't be aligned.

  I am inclined to think the problem is more than just aligning partitions because the performance is very poor (like a normal hard disk)

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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
Hi all

 I have also done the steps in this link below and stil it hasn't improved the performance much

http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=85344
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
I still think the problem is in alignment. Can you run PAT again and tell me the exact error message? Also did you contact their support team and request boot CD for PAT that runs alignment in WinPE mode?
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
please find the attached screeshots and logs after the alignment. I haven't spoken to their support team. I am also in touch with corsair forum to see if I can get anything out of them.
stubact.log
Afteralignment.jpg
PAT-beforealignment.jpg
PAT-beforealignment01.jpg
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
So you press Restart and align - what does happen after restart? I know they have WinPE based alignment tool try to request that.
Also, this is Windows 7 installation can you shrink the C: partition for 100MB via Windows Disk Management and try to run PAT again on it with restart?
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
After the restart, PAT launched automatically and gave the message in the screenshot(After alignment).

I will try shrinking volume a try and update you tomorrow.
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
I tried with the shrink options and also command line as well. It said the size specified (100MB) which is too large for the volume to shrink...
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
WOW! This means that partition has problems. If Windows cannot shrink it then there are definitely issues with your file system. Did you try 50MB not GB?
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
Can windows shrink a live root parition? I tried with MB.
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BigSchmuhCommented:
As the above experts, I think the Offset misalignment is an important step to a better performing SSD...but I think your expectations are to be lowered down.

Let see your crucial CSSD-F60GB2 claims :
  Maximum sequential read speed 285MB/second
  Maximum sequential write speed 275 MB/second
  Random 4K write performance of 15,000 IOPS
Please consider:
-Corsair use ATTO to benchmark their drives
-sequential read/write is possible only on a non OS partition that is not in use by any application
-sequential read/write is limited by the volume NTFS cluster size (default to 4KB, can be up to 64KB...but a "1 byte file" will use 64KB on your SSD)
-Random 4K write performance of 15,000 IOPS = 15000x 4K = 58.5MB/s if and only if your are 4K ALIGNED (which is not the case for 20GB on your drive)
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Can windows shrink a live root parition? I tried with MB. - yes it can.
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
Hi Bigschmuh

      Is there a reason why I can't fix the misalignment. I used teh PAT tool but in vein. I have also attached logs in my previous posts as well. I am sort of beginning to lose the mentality to fix this as I already spent a full day at my work trying to fix this.

do you think it may be to do with the motherboard, as my PC is 5 yrs old.

 I may need to live with it for now..I believe..
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BigSchmuhCommented:
Your motherboard supports the AHCI mode.
I hope you are using the latest Intel or NVidia Storage drivers.

Regarding alignment of a partition:
-the C partition starts at the 63rd sectors (31.5KB which is the XP/Win2003 default)
-the D partition starts just after the C one...so you have no available sectors between them
-the utility (Ex: PAT) tries to align which means it tries to make the C partition to start at a different offset (128th sector / 64KB would be just enough in your case)
-to do that, it needs some sectors available between C and D...

==> May be you can try shrinking your C partition by 64KB, and, after shrinking, try to align to 64KB
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Did you try to use Windiws shrink tool as advised? It must shrink system volume.
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
I did try to shrink the volume and ran PAT tool to assign it. All the volumes have been aligned. But still

 THE PERFORMANCE IS SLACK for a SSD
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BigSchmuhCommented:
Can you please post the results of this VMI commands ?
   wmic partition get BlockSize, StartingOffset, Name, Index, Bootable, BootPartition, NumberOfBlocks
==> It will shows all the details for your drives/partitions
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
H:\>wmic partition get BlockSize, StartingOffset, Name, Index, Bootable, BootPartition, NumberOfBlocks
BlockSize  Bootable  BootPartition  Index  Name                   NumberOfBlocks  StartingOffset
512        TRUE      TRUE           0      Disk #0, Partition #0  80262           32256
512        FALSE     FALSE          1      Disk #0, Partition #1  38037051        42991616
512        FALSE     FALSE          2      Disk #0, Partition #2  78585856        19651362816
512        FALSE     FALSE          0      Disk #1, Partition #0  1953520002      32256
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BigSchmuhCommented:
Your 60GB SSD is Disk#0 and you have a 1TB HDD in Disk#1
Your 40MB bootable partition (Disk#0-Partition0) starts at 31.5KB and is clearly NOT aligned
The 2 other partitions (18GB and 38GB) on your SSD are 1MB aligned and should deliver the expected performance.
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:

you have a 1TB HDD in Disk#1 - This is a external USB hard drive

The 2 other partitions (18GB and 38GB) on your SSD are 1MB aligned - and should deliver the expected performance.-  I am not getting the performance and is like using a traditional hard disk. Logon times are slow, webpage browsing is slow as well, even though the memory and processor are at optimum level.

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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Actually the speed increase for aligned SSD disk are given on file opening operation. Did you compare the file opening speed on common HDD and SSD?
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BigSchmuhCommented:
"is like using a traditional hard disk"
==> 7200 rpm HDD has :
-an access time of about 12ms where your benchmark shows 0.3ms...
-a random io 4KB read/write throughput of about 4MB/s where your benchmark shows more than 40MB/s

"AS SSD Benchmark" was known to have strange behavior with many SSD.
May be using another benchmark tool will allow you to be more confident in your SSD.
==> Corsair use ATTO to benchmark their drives

Are you absolutely sure your BIOS is in AHCI mode ? Otherwise, your SSD won't use the NCQ feature which will lead to a very bad impact for any random io performance
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
Ok all

 I am planning to reformat my SSD and re install the OS as I am fedup with my SSD not performing, hoping that will fix the issue.

 I remeber reading some posts saying when installing windows 7 on the disc startup, something about aligning partitions or Not choosing the windows default partition setup.

 If the above is not clear can someone please recommend the optimal paritioning method to get the best out from SSD?
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BigSchmuhCommented:
Windows 7, 2008 & Vista reserved 1MB on your SSD by default for the partition
==> This means your SSD will be aligned to 1MB for sure

I will not have more than one partition on a 60GB SSD...

So:
-Backup, backup, backup the needed datas
-Ensure your BIOS is configured with AHCI commands (no "IDE" or "RAID" option for the IO controller mode)
-Boot on your install CD/DVD
-Delete all existing partitions
-Create a single new partition
-etc
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
Thanks

 I have only a single SSD with 60GB so I will use a single partition. Do I need to change the default parition? or I need to leave as it is?

 Of course I will backup the data and the rest can be reinstalled.
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BigSchmuhCommented:
-Ensure your BIOS is configured with AHCI commands (no "IDE" or "RAID" option for the IO controller mode)
-Boot on your install CD/DVD
-DELETE EXISTING partitions
-Create a single new partition (using Windows default)
-etc
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
When you get to partitioning tool during installation of Windows 7 there you can delete all existing partitions and then select Create Partition that will do all the tasks for you. Simply proceed further after this step and install what you want.
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
Ok, Thanks to all solution. I will be trying this next week and let you know the feedback.
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BigSchmuhCommented:
>> I tried all the other solutions given by the experts. With all due respect, nothing worked in my case.

I guess you have to pay when accepting solutions...this is an acceptable but not very fair end to my opinion
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
I tried all the other solutions given by the experts. With all due respect, nothing worked in my case.
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