Quantcast x230: msata for cache only?

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  1. #1
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    Default x230: msata for cache only?

    The x230 maintenance manual says on page 19 (page 25 according to Adobe Reader):

    do not use the mSATA solid-state drive as a bootable device. The mSATA solid-state drive is used for the “cache” function only.
    Anyone know what that's all about?
    Why would they say that? The x220 maintenance manual doesn't have any such mention.

    I interpret that as: "the msata on the x230 is buggy and therefore too risky to install your OS... but it's fine for caching, since you won't lose anything if it crashes"

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    Default Re: x230: msata for cache only?

    Actually, it says:
    If the computer is equipped with both a hard disk drive and an mSATA solid-state drive, do not use the
    mSATA solid-state drive as a bootable device. ...
    So from this I gather you can use it as a boot device if its alone. So there should be no problem with the mSATA implementation. If you read further:

    If the computer you are servicing is shipped with an mSATA solid-state drive and a hard disk drive, the
    mSATA solid-state drive is used for the “cache” function and the Intel Rapid Start Technology. Users are not
    recommended to replace the mSATA solid-state drive by themselves. Otherwise, the “cache” function will
    not work and the Intel Rapid Start Technology cannot be used any more
    From this I think that you would simply not install or use Intel Rapid Start Technology, and your mSATA should work as a boot device.

    Just in case I will hold off my X230 shopping until this thing becomes more clear
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: x230: msata for cache only?

    Why would the hard disk conflict with the msata as a boot device?

    I think the use case of having only an msata without a hard disk is unrealistic. I don't think they had that scenario in mind when writing the manual.
    The laptop comes with a hard disk by default. Why would someone take it out?
    Wouldn't there be a gaping hole on the side of the laptop if the hard disk is not there?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: x230: msata for cache only?

    Probably only applicable if you intend to use whatever caching scheme they offer. I'd think it would be presented to the system the same way it was in the X220.
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    Default Re: x230: msata for cache only?

    I think an important point is being over looked. On page iii (adobe page 5), it says
    This manual is intended only for trained service technicians who are familiar with ThinkPad products. Use this manual along with the advanced diagnostic tests to troubleshoot problems effectively
    From page 20 (adobe page 26), it says
    If the computer you are servicing is shipped with an mSATA solid-state drive and a hard disk drive, the mSATA solid-state drive is used for the “cache” function and the Intel Rapid Start Technology. Users are not recommended to replace the mSATA solid-state drive by themselves.
    Remember that word "replace."

    So my interpretation is if you receive a X230 pre-installed with a mSATA SSD, then it's already configured for the cache function so don't try to make it bootable or replace it. BUT, if it doesn't come pre-installed with an mSATA SSD, then you have nothing to worry about if you want to put in your own and make it your bootable drive, since you'll be "installing" and not "replacing."

    I wondered if the X230T that I ordered will come with an mSATA SSD or not. I didn't opt for the WWAN adaptor, so there's room for a mSATA SSD. Today, I chatted with Lenovo sales, who told me to call tech support (who had practically no info on the X230T since it's too new) an they referred me to a sales team. Long story short, it's not coming with one, unless I picked that option. I told the sales rep it wasn't an option when I ordered my ThinkPad; the rep's reply, it might be an option in the future.

    Conclusion: If Lenovo didn't install a mSATA SSN on your X230, then I think it's safe to install your own and put your OS on it.

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    Default Re: x230: msata for cache only?

    Quote Originally Posted by boxxer13 View Post

    So my interpretation is if you receive a X230 pre-installed with a mSATA SSD, then it's already configured for the cache function so don't try to make it bootable or replace it. BUT, if it doesn't come pre-installed with an mSATA SSD, then you have nothing to worry about if you want to put in your own and make it your bootable drive, since you'll be "installing" and not "replacing.

    Conclusion: If Lenovo didn't install a mSATA SSN on your X230, then I think it's safe to install your own and put your OS on it.
    This seems like the most likely scenario. I would expect that their use of the mSATA for caching is a component of what Lenovo calls their Windows "Enhanced Experience."

    Even if your mSATA was included, you should be safe if you blank all the drives and start fresh with the OS on the mSATA.
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    Default Re: x230: msata for cache only?

    from what i read, mSATA smaller then 30 gigs shipped with your ThinkPad will be used as advanced cache (Rapid Boot of some sort).
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    Default Re: x230: msata for cache only?

    Quote Originally Posted by lead_org View Post
    from what i read, mSATA smaller then 30 gigs shipped with your ThinkPad will be used as advanced cache (Rapid Boot of some sort).
    If that's true, then the models that have the integrated WWAN adapter will not have an advanced cache nor have Rapid Boot? (I think you mean Intel Rapid Start Technology.) Anyway, if that's the case, then wouldn't selecting the Qualcomm Gobi 3000 actually save you money since you'd be getting a mSATA SSD instead? My newbie-ness may be showing when I say: maybe for models with WWAN, Lenovo established cache function and Intel Rapid Start on the hard drive.

    To make matters more confusing, on the datasheet for the x230T, on the last page, under Storage, SSD, 16gb mSATA SSD is listed along with the other SSD's and there's a footnote that says
    32GB mSATA SSD is in addition to other Hard Drives and fits in the WWAN Slot. As a result it is not available with WWAN
    It seems that maybe Lenovo planned to offer either a 16gb or 32gb mSATA SSD for nonWWAN models. OR, for models that have a SSD hard drive, they come with an mSATA SSD to make up for the loss of storage space that HHD models have?

    Conclusion: If the X230t without WWAN comes with a 16gb mSATA SSD, then Lenovo would have offered a 32gb mSATA SSD as an option. Since they didn't offer that (at least when I ordered mine), it doesn't come with one. I'm betting that either the mSATA SSD will be a future option for customers or it was something Lenovo wanted to implement, but didn't get around to it.

    The only way to know for sure is for someone to open up their X230(t) and see if it came with a mSATA SSD.

    Update: spoke to Lenovo tech support. CTO (configure to order) models do not come with mSATA SSD, unless it was specifically selected. Some models do come with it, think of reconfigured models that might you get from a reseller, and those types would have the mSATA SSD set up for caching and have the Intel Rapid Start.

    Conclusion: if you told Lenovo how you want your X230 configured, it won't come with a mSATA SSD by default even if you opted for non-WANN. Of course, who's to say they didn't slip one in for free when they were assembling it?
    Last edited by boxxer13; 13th June 2012 at 05:07 PM. Reason: Update

  9. #9
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    Default Re: x230: msata for cache only?

    hopefully one of the early orderers can try their mSATA + HDD setup and let us know. I cant see any reason why it wouldnt work, as long as you dont have the cache software drivers trying to interfere.

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    Default Re: x230: msata for cache only?

    So many of use use the mSata (boot/os) and HDD (games/junk/data) combo on our x220's. I just don't see it changing with the x230. Like others have said, I believe this is a note only for those preinstalled mSatas. But even so, you can simply clean it and put your OS on it. However under 30gbs won't be enough room.

 

 
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