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A quick guide to install and tweak Windows 7 after installation of mSATA

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by kohyeekan, May 10, 2011.

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  1. kohyeekan

    kohyeekan Notebook Consultant

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    Hi,

    This is not meant for the experts, but probably you know all these already. It is more for newbies like me. This is what I found out what you need to do to install and tweak Windows 7, using a Recovery Discs (not clean installation), after you install a new mSATA into your T420.

    My system: T420, 4178-6VU (i5-2520, NVS 4200M, 500GB 7200rpm HDD, 4GB). I bought a new 4GB RAM and a 40gb Intel 310 mSATA. This is the summary of what I did:

    1) Create Recovery Discs from the laptop (use ThinkVintage program)
    2) Remove the HDD from the laptop (else the Recovery Discs will again install W7 in your HDD).
    3) Install the Windows 7 (and other programs) using the Recovery Discs.
    4) Put the HDD back to the computer.
    5) Remove the Recovery Discs and restart the computer, follow instructions

    6) Open "Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Computer Management - Storage". Do the following:
    a) delete the partition "Lenovo - Recovery" from the mSATA
    b) extend the memory of the partition C to the maximum
    c) create and format partitions in your original HDD

    7) Uninstall programs that you don't need. Uninstall Windows components that you don't need.
    8) Move temporary folders (users) to the HDD (eg D Drive or RAMDisk) following the instructions in (a) or (b):
    ** Caution, for (a), you might have trouble log into Windows if you ever removed your HDD. http://forum.notebookreview.com/lenovo-ibm/577433-help-cannot-log-windows-after-removing-hdd.html

    (a) How to: Setup SSD boot drive with secondary Hard disc optimization - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net

    (b) You can either choose to put some temporary files in RAMDisk, or HDD. We won't move the whole users to the new drive though. To install RAMDisk, use this program:
    http://memory.dataram.com/products-and-services/software/ramdisk#download-ramdisk
    Then, change the location of the IE and windows to the RAMdisk (X) following the steps;
    i) Internet Option - Browsing History Settings - Move Folder
    ii) My Computer (right click) - Properties - Advanced System Settings - Advanced - Environment Variables
    Change to X:\\AppData\Local\Temp

    9) Do the tweaks (choose the necessary ones) below:
    The SSD Optimization Guide | The SSD Review
    (I skipped #6 (only disable paging in SSD, but enable it in HDD), #9, #10 (Disable Windows Search only), #13, #14, #15, #16,#18)

    These sites might also be useful...
    http://www.mydellmini.com/forum/win...-ultimate-solid-state-drive-speed-tweaks.html
    TweakTown’s Solid State Drive Optimization Guide - Windows 7 Optimizations :: TweakTown USA Edition

    10) Do Windows Experience Index. If your system is similar to mine, you should get (something close to)
    Processor: 7.1
    Memory: 7.5
    Graphics: 5.9
    Gaming Graphics: 6.3
    Primary Hard Disk: 7.6

    11) Do updates, install other programs, etc

    Hope this help...

    Yee Kan
     
  2. kilou

    kilou Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for this! I don't have yet an mSata drive but I may consider one for my next X220 purchase. However one thing I don't really get is why put temporary files (or web browser history etc) on the HDD. I understand this would kind of make the SSD more "durable" but on the other hand you'll probably make the HDD wear faster by constant spin-up and down (unless you stop HDD spin down). On a laptop you'd prefer stop the HDD from spinning while on battery but putting temp files on it would probably (I guess) cause trouble in this respect...

    I mean is the "SSD weardown" due to copying/erasing things on it really an issue or is this just hype? Personally I'd still prefer a full SSD option than mSata+HDD. What do you think?
     
  3. edwardlican

    edwardlican Notebook Enthusiast

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    thanks for the detail outline on how to add an mSATA drive. Can you explain how to delete the "lenovo- recovery" partition and how to extend the partition on the mSATA drive? If I did not format the normal Hard drive and keep the OS there as a backup if the mSATA dead, will it be fine? Thanks for any help. Edward
     
  4. hp79

    hp79 Notebook Evangelist

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    I wouldn't move the temp folder to the mechanical drive. That'll defeat the purpose of using a speedy ssd. Besides, I would want my hdd to stay spined down as much as possible.

    One reason moving cache directory is to prevent wear on ssd, but the more important reason was because they had shiitty ssd's in the old days which caused horrible stutters on small random writes. Intel ssd's will not stutter, so you are better off just keeping the cache directory where it is. Also, there is trim support, so small writes will not cause much negative on the performance aspect.

    If you have 8GB RAM, I would even further suggest to leave the superfetch enabled. RAM is much faster than the fastest ssd.
     
  5. kohyeekan

    kohyeekan Notebook Consultant

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  6. kohyeekan

    kohyeekan Notebook Consultant

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    edwardlican,

    To delete Lenovo_Recovery, under "computer Management", right click the drive, choose "Delete Volume". Then, right click C:, choose "Extend Volume".
     
  7. kilou

    kilou Notebook Consultant

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    How would you do that?
     
  8. zephir

    zephir Notebook Deity

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    A lot of these tips will make a long time SSD user shakes their head. First of all, superfetch should be disabled, even Intel SSD tool suggests you do this. Second, moving temp files to the normal HDD is a very bad idea, as it is horribly slow. Third, SSD life time for around 10GB of writing a day is around 10 years. I'm pretty sure you don't keep old hardware for that long.
    And these are just barely scratching the surface of SSD optimization.
     
  9. kohyeekan

    kohyeekan Notebook Consultant

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    Dear All,

    I reinstall the Windows and modified the procedures. Now, it seems working fine...
     
  10. edwardlican

    edwardlican Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thank you so much ! That is a very good start for all the people who want to install the SMATA dirve themselves. Thanks again.
     
  11. hp79

    hp79 Notebook Evangelist

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    Intel SSD tool suggests disabling it, but you have to think on what ground they are suggesting it. I think intel's decision came from most users having 2 to 4GB ram. Ram is dirt cheap now, if you have 8GB and don't have other much good use for it, then I would leave the Superfetch enabled. I tried opening more than 20 programs that I have on my laptop, and I was only able to use maybe 3GB. Why not use the extra for caching data from SSD?

    You don't do anything, Superfetch is enabled by default.

    What? Temporary files are usually small pieces. SSDs are incredibly faster on small writes. Especially the intel ones. For writing large files (10MB+), the 40gb mSATA ssd will be slower than the HDD, but for small files, the 40gb mSATA still wins by huge.
     
  12. PatchySan

    PatchySan Om Noms Kit Kat

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    I'm pretty sure the reason for moving such files is to reduce wear on the SSD rather than because it's faster? :confused:
     
  13. kohyeekan

    kohyeekan Notebook Consultant

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    Yup, you guys are right and I am confused. The reason to write temp files to HDD is to avoid wear in SSD. I am now actually put the temp files in RAMDisk because of high write speed of RAM.

    Anyway, I admit that I am far from a pro, actually a newbie spending a lot of time to understand and try out different tweaks to make my T420 experience better. Can someone with a lot of experiences with SSD help people like me to write a comprehensive list of things that we should do? Bear in mind that I have only 40GB mSATA and as a result disk space is very important to me.

    Just hope that my efforts will be beneficial to someone, until the experts write a much better guide.....
     
  14. zerodivide

    zerodivide Notebook Enthusiast

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    Anyone else get "Windows cannot verify the digital signature for this file" while doing the restore?
     
  15. bayernjuven

    bayernjuven Notebook Consultant

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    I installed a new SSD on my t420s. I restore the system using the recovery discs. My previous HDD has two partitions: (1) System Reserve partition (100MB) and (2) the C partition.

    Now when I checked alignment using diskpart. The system reserve partition has an offset of 1024KB, but the C partition has an offset of 101MB. I guess the first partition is aligned but what about the 2nd?\

    Thanks!
     
  16. zerodivide

    zerodivide Notebook Enthusiast

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    Turns out I had a bad stick of RAM causing this problem. Took it out, recovery disk succeeded on the mSATA. Offsets were

    Boot - 1.17GB
    1,048,576 bytes / 4096 bytes = 256 (no decimals, aligned)
    OS - 57.93GB
    1,258,291,200 bytes / 4096 bytes = 307200 (no decimals, aligned)
    Recovery - 15.62GB
    63,249,055,744 bytes / 4096 bytes = 15441664 (no decimals, aligned)

    Now to follow the rest of this document. Then maybe move the Recovery partition to the HDD (using Clonezilla or something like that)
     
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