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Thread: Z68: Installing OS to SSD, then accelerating HDD with 2nd SSD; advice wanted




  1. #1
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    Default Z68: Installing OS to SSD, then accelerating HDD with 2nd SSD; advice wanted

    Hi all,
    Previously I had the following setup:
    ASRock Z68 Extreme4 (B3)
    Intel Core i5-2500K
    750GB Samsung hard drive with 2 partitions
    - 1 for C: (OS)
    - 1 for programs
    OCZ SSD 60GB SATA 2,5' Vertex 2 Extended solid state drive (used as SRT cache for above drive).
    Unfortunately the drive no longer boots (was first getting blue screens, when boot errors when I attempted a repair).
    So I'm about to buy a 120GB SSD to use as my C: (OS) drive, and will then use the 60GB to accelerate the 750GB hard drive.
    I'm wondering how I should set up RAID intially. Would the following be correct?
    1. Physically install the 120GB SSD only, and set it up as IDE.
    2. Install Windows 7 to it.
    3. Physically install the 60GB SSD and the 750GB HDD.
    4. In the BIOS, configure them as RAID.
    Any advice appreciated,
    P.
    ASRock H61M-DG3/USB3/Intel Core i5-2500K/Be quiet! Dark Rock Advanced Cooler/8GB-Kit (2 x 4GB) G.Skill RipJaws-X PC3-12800U CL9/OCZ Petrol SSD 128GB (OS drive)/OCZ Vertez 2 SSD 60GB (used as cache for HHD Drive)/GTX 960 /Corsair TX750 750W PSU

  2. #2
    Acebmxer's Avatar
    Acebmxer is offline Gigabyte Elite
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    Default Re: Z68: Installing OS to SSD, then accelerating HDD with 2nd SSD; advice wanted

    have a look at this link here Step-by-step guide to setting up SSD caching on Z68. Everything you need to know.
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    Default Re: Z68: Installing OS to SSD, then accelerating HDD with 2nd SSD; advice wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebmxer View Post
    have a look at this link here Step-by-step guide to setting up SSD caching on Z68. Everything you need to know.

    Thanks; unfortunately that guide doesn't quite clarify what I wants. It covers what I did before - that is, an installation where the OS resides not on an SSD drive but on an accelerated HD.

    1) Plug your caching SSD and storage HD (the one to accelerate) into the Intel SATA ports. Do not use 3rd party like Marvel, it will not work.
    2) Enter BIOS, change HD mode to RAID
    3) Install OS
    In my case, I don't want to accelerate the drive on which my OS resides, since that drive is an SSD one anyway (call this SSD1). I will, in tandem, have an HD drive that is acccelerated (using SSD2).

    In this case, before I install the OS onto SSD1, do I switch to RAID in the BIOS?

    Regards,

    P.
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    Default Re: Z68: Installing OS to SSD, then accelerating HDD with 2nd SSD; advice wanted

    you need raid for caching or else it wont work,your os needs to be on the hdd your accelerating too so i dont know if it will work on a blank/storage hdd

    best way would be to set to raid add your 120gb ssd install windows once installed install rst rapid storage drivers,then add your second ssd and hdd,then see if you can accelerate the blank hdd with the smaller ssd
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Z68: Installing OS to SSD, then accelerating HDD with 2nd SSD; advice wanted

    I've been curious about this as well. I would like to run an SSD for OS & programs, then another SSD to cache for several slow HDD's, but I guess it won't work this way?

    Anyway tell us what you get worked out as I would like to hear about it.
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    Default Re: Z68: Installing OS to SSD, then accelerating HDD with 2nd SSD; advice wanted

    Thanks for feedback. Is it advisable _not_ to install your OS on an accelerated HD drive? I ask as it doesn't seem possible to repair such an OS.
    My system was previously as follows:


    • ASRock Z68 Extreme4 (B3)
    • Intel Core i5-2500K
    • Be quiet! Dark Rock Advanced Cooler
    • 8GB-Kit (2 x 4GB) G.Skill RipJaws-X PC3-12800U CL9
    • OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 60GB (Cache)
    • Palit GTX 560Ti 1GB
    • Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer
    • Corsair TX750 750W PSU

    Originally, my OS was installed on a physical HD (lets call this HDD1), accelerated using Intel SRT using the 60GB SSD (call this SSD2).

    However, one day my system was blue-screening on boot (would boot into safe mode fine). I tried removing startup programs without success. Finally, I tried to do a repair install. However, the OS would not show up, even when I loaded the RAID drivers from the motherboard CD. HDD1 was inaccessible.

    --

    After messing around for a while, I finally just decided to buy a new OCZ Petrol SSD 128GB (SSD1), and perform a brand new OS install on that drive (not cached).

    Once I'd done that, I then added HDD1 and SSD2 to the system in order to access files from HDD1. But while HDD1 showed up in the bios, it wouldn't mount and show up in Windows Explorer.

    I installed my motherboard CD's version of the Intel SRT drivers. After that, HDD1 and SSD2 _did_ show up in the SRT utility, but were still inaccessible via Explorer.

    Only after I'll installed the latest copy of the SRT drivers could I access HDD1. In fact, once I installed those drivers, HDD1 was _automatically_ accelerated using SSD2, which is strange as I'd (a) done a completely new install and (b) cleared my CMOS BIOS settings.

    If HDD1 is accessible only once Intel SRT is running successfully, does that mean that doing a repair install from the OS DVD is impossible? In which case, it's definitely not advisable to have your OS running on an accelerated drive? Or am I missing something here?

    P.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Z68: Installing OS to SSD, then accelerating HDD with 2nd SSD; advice wanted

    it should work fine with os on the hdd and ssd for caching,if it blue screens it will ask you or you can copy over the data that was stored in the caching ssd to your os hdd in the raid console by pressing ctrl-i then once copied it will/should boot up into windows and you can enable acceleration again
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Z68: Installing OS to SSD, then accelerating HDD with 2nd SSD; advice wanted

    Sorry to bump an old thread, but How'd this wind up working out? Is the system still going strong and are you happy with the performance values?

    I'm looking to build a new system and would like to put Windows 7 on 2 128Gb Raid 0 SSDs. I would then like to use a smaller ssd (30Gb or 20Gb) to cache a 1TB Storage Drive. I've been told not to go that route, and that SRT is just a gimmick, so I was a bit discouraged. I keep re-thinking the possibility and applicability of this and if I'm going to have an SSD, I want my system slowed down as little as possible by an accompanying cheaper HDD.

    First time builder (though TONS of research) so any help is appreciated. Also, I'm wondering why there aren't more forum topics on the web about this. (This is the reason I was inclined to believe the "gimmick" accusation).

  9. #9
    Acebmxer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Z68: Installing OS to SSD, then accelerating HDD with 2nd SSD; advice wanted

    SSD cacheing only working if its caching the boot drive. Dont believe it works for a storage drive.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Z68: Installing OS to SSD, then accelerating HDD with 2nd SSD; advice wanted

    If you check the Help information on "Accelerating the storage system" (SSD caching), available from Intel's IRST Windows GUI, you'll find this:

    Accelerate one system or non-system disk or volume present in the system by associating it with the cache volume, and subsequently caching its content.

    So you can create a cached volume with a non-system/OS HDD, although Intel recommends that caching be used with an OS HDD.

    I use SSDs in RAID 0 volumes for the OS on several PCs, which also have HDDs as storage drives. I created a non-system cached volume recently, but due to the nature of the caching software, and its intent, it doesn't do much for you.

    I can tell you that in my experience, a HDD does not slow down a PC that uses a SSD or a RAID 0 volume of SSDs for the OS. I only use good quality, new models of 7200 RPM HDDs, but slower "green" drives running at 5400 RPM may benefit from the help of a SSD cache. Then again, what you do on a PC may be very different than what I do, and your particular usage requirements may benefit from this feature.

    Why don't you see much about SSD cached volumes in forums, etc? IMO, that's simple:

    SSDs have become much cheaper, with good SATA III models of ~120GB going for ~$100. That's plenty of space for an OS and more, so why bother with SSDs smaller than that for caching? You can get by with a 64GB SSD as the OS drive, if you have a HDD for storage. I own 64GB SSDs that I bought within the last year, but would not buy them now, given the current prices.

    Users thought you used caching to turn a large HDD into a SSD, which is just plain wrong. You won't get the same performance from a cached system that you will from a single SSD, both using the same SATA interface. People that wanted SSD performance cheaply tried caching, and found it was not the same. I should say that is in benchmarks, not in real world use.

    It's important to understand that caching takes a while to build up, while the caching software learns what you use frequently. I'm talking days and weeks, not minutes and hours. Many users created a cached system and benchmarked it five minutes later, and were disappointed. They complained about it and called it a gimmick. So it became unpopular. Users that gave it time are more pleased with it, but don't spend time on forums writing about it, they just use it. I also can't think of one PC hardware review site that reviewed a cached system. So it's not cool, or "the best" and "fastest".

    There is also more than one way to use a cached volume, for backup purposes. not only for speed.

    Caching works the best when the same things are used over and over, all the time. For random, occasional file retrieval, it is worthless, but it was not designed for that type of usage. There's no harm in trying it, as I have, but don't expect magic on day one. If you understand its purpose, then it will work better for you, but don't expect it transform a 2TB HDD into a 2TB SSD, which is not its intent.

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