Booting/Speed Problems With External SSD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Mojo1, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. Mojo1, Apr 17, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018

    Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #1
    I seem to be digging myself deeper with my USB 3.0 Samsung T3 external drive that is running OS Sierra 10.12.6. The T3 has been my boot drive for my 2012 i7 16GB RAM Mac Mini since December 2016.

    I lost the ability to boot the SSD immediately after installing an Apple security update. When I did an NVRAM reset the SSD did not show up on the available drive list. I was finally able to boot using the SSD but it required reinstalling Sierra in order to accomplish it. I used a bootable external cloned volume. (Previous Thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...tartup-disk-changed-to-another-drive.2113860/)

    Kindly note that until a couple of days ago the SSD was operating with less than 10% free space, which may have contributed to my problems. I was getting ready to purchase a larger replacement SSD when I installed the security update.

    After regaining control of the boot SSD, I installed Disk Sensei (https://cindori.org/disksensei/) to avail myself of its various tools. I was able to locate and delete old mobile app files left over from when iTunes managed iOS apps. That alone got the 250GB SSD to regain a total 86GB free space. Previously it had around 19GB. (I will probably be able to reclaim more space as well when I have time to go through the entire list.)

    I decided to enable "automatic TRIM" using Disk Sensei, thinking that it would help maintain the health of the SSD. After doing that, I noticed a decrease in the WRITE speed to between 34-54MB/s while READ remained around 450MB/s, which is within the normal speed range. WRITE is usually somewhat less fast.

    I tried to boot into Single User Mode but I was not able to do so. I again tried NVRAM reset with the idea of being able to enter Single User Mode to use fsck -fy to force TRIM and return the SSD to its previous speed but I again lost the ability to boot the SSD. I booted from a cloned external volume with an earlier OS. I reinstalled Sierra a second time.

    After regaining control of the SSD, I disabled automatic TRIM in Disk Sensei. But the SSD speeds remain in the same range.

    And that is my Tale of Woe. Gawd Knows I probably did some things wrong out of sheer ignorance. . . I haven't had an experience like this since my OS 7 days.

    My goal is to get the SSD back to where it was before this all began, including running any diagnostic steps necessary to assess the cause(s) of my problem (besides what I did to myself). I'm asking for advice because I don't want to make things worse. I'm apparently out of my league regarding the SSD issues.
     
  2. treekram macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #2
    Are you running any software that came with the T3? It looks like there's something called "Activator" that came with the T3. If that's the case, it may be worth looking into (see if you can run without it).
     
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #3
    I have been booting a 2012 2.6 quad mini from a 1TB Samsung T3 for maybe a year and a half. No problems whatsoever. But I always keep a lot of free space, I don't think free space has ever dropped below 300GB. I setup a 2012 base mini to boot from a 500gb Samsung T3 for my daughter's family. No problems there either, they have very little local storage, they mainly just use browser based apps and the cloud, plus some games for my granddaughter. Both machines are on Sierra.

    I don't know what software came with the T3 because I reformatted it for MacOS. I'd assume anyone would do that for a boot drive, right? From everything that I've read, the T3 does not support TRIM. This is the speed I see with the T3, essentially the same on both of the machines. Sorry, don't know what is wrong with your setup... but I hope it doesn't happen to me! :)

    [​IMG]
     
  4. treekram macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #4
    Samsung has something "Activator" or "Activation" which worked under both Windows and macOS and it's listed under the T3 software. If that uses a kernel extension, I know there was something different with kernel extension loading in the first 2018 Security Update for Sierra 10.12.6. So there -maybe- something going on there - just a possibility.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    OP:
    I suggest you:
    1. Create a cloned backup of your existing install
    2. Boot from the clone
    3. REMOVE any proprietary Samsung software (if there is any)
    4. ERASE the t5 - nuke it back to "zero".
    5. RE-clone the cloned backup BACK TO the t5
    6. DO NOT enable TRIM. You were doing better without it.
     
  6. Boyd01, Apr 18, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018

    Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #6
    I still don't understand this part. My T3's were all pre-formatted for Windows. Was the OP's different? Didn't he format it for MacOS? If not, then that could have something to do with the problem.

    FWIW, the OP also said he had a T3, not a T5.
     
  7. Mojo1, Apr 18, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018

    Mojo1 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #7
    Sorry for the delay getting back here. . . I hadn't received an email regarding replies so I thought no one had responded to the thread; I neglected to enable an alert.

    The T3 did come with Samsung software installed on it but I formatted the drive for use with my Mac and that software is Long Gone. I never use the software that comes installed on bare drives and external drives.

    My Big Mistake was believing that Disk Sensei is compatible and could enable TRIM on the T3. I'm not usually so gullible but Stuff Happens. . .

    During breakfast this morning I also came to the conclusion that I should simply erase the SSD and start over. . . I do have a SuperDuper cloned volume of the SSD. It's a few days old so I would need to update it.

    Disk Sensei installed the following items to enable automatic TRIM. There is a fifth item that appears to be related labeled "TrimEnabler." Wouldn't these be saved if I simply install the clone on the SSD? If so, can I safely manually delete the items? (It might preclude having to erase the SSD.)

    My BlockBlock log (https://objective-see.com/products/blockblock.html) shows the following:

    2018-04-11 22:39:10 +0000: /usr/libexec/smd installed a launch daemon or agent (/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.cindori.TEHelper.plist -> /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/org.cindori.TEHelper)

    2018-04-11 22:49:59 +0000: /usr/libexec/smd installed a launch daemon or agent (/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.cindori.SenseiTool.plist -> /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/org.cindori.SenseiTool)

    2018-04-11 23:43:15 +0000: /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/org.cindori.SenseiTool installed a launch daemon or agent (/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.cindori.noatime.plist -> mount)

    2018-04-12 04:11:21 +0000: /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/DesktopServicesPriv.framework/Versions/A/Resources/DesktopServicesHelper created an application helper login item (/Applications/Utilities/Disk Sensei.app/Contents/Library/LoginItems/TrimStart.app -> /Applications/Utilities/Disk Sensei.app/Contents/Library/LoginItems/TrimStart.app/Contents/MacOS/TrimStart)

    This was also installed but it doesn't include the terms "Sensei" or "cindori" (the company name).

    2018-04-11 23:24:00 +0000: /bin/cp installed a kernel extension (/Library/Extensions/TrimEnabler.kext -> /Library/Extensions/TrimEnabler.kext/Contents/MacOS/TrimEnabler)
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    I'm going to repeat what I said in reply 5 above:
    FORGET ABOUT TRIM.
    DON'T USE IT OR ENABLE IT.

    From what I gather, things were working better for you BEFORE you enabled it.
    Go with "what works".
    TRIM is unnecessary.
    If it's causing more grief than advantage -- again, DON'T bother with it.
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #9
    I would also avoid filling a disk to 90% capacity, that would only be 25gb of free space on a 250gb SSD.
     
  10. Mojo1 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #10
    Fishrrman, believe me, I am done with trying to enable TRIM. . . I guess that I didn't make that clear. I just want to fix the SSD and move on. I'm going to try and obtain a refund from Cindori since the software indicated that it was compatible with the Samsung T3. (I'm not holding my breath thinking that I will be successful. . .)
    --- Post Merged, Apr 18, 2018 ---
    Agreed. . . That was my first mistake. I actually had around 19GB free space. The SSD currently has around 82GB free space and I think I can regain additional room. I had looked previously for data to delete but I couldn't get rid of enough, even though I avail myself of my external drives to store things like images, etc. I had completely forgotten about the iOS mobile apps hidden away from when iTunes backed up my iPhone. . . That freed up over 32GB all by itself.
     
  11. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
  12. Mojo1 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #12
    At some point maybe. . . But with the amount of free space I have now it isn't an issue I need to deal with at this time.
     

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