Possible Intel SSD 25x-M Trim solution for mac?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ml2k1, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. ml2k1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    #1
    I've been using a 2nd generation intel ssd and it's a big improvement over my hdd but I've noticed lately that ssd isn't as fast as it once was. I know that mac doesn't support trim and windows 7 does.. so wouldn't it be possible to activate the trim suppport while using parallels?

    Sorry if this had been posted before...I tried looking for a thread about this high and low..but found nada.
     
  2. cokeb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    #2
    No, I'm sure that won't work.
     
  3. tenderidol macrumors regular

    tenderidol

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    Sep 5, 2009
    #3
    As stated, it will not work within virtualization. It "may" work via bootcamp, but it will only see the Windows partition. We are at the mercy of Intel and Apple for a firmware update. Given the market size of Apple, it is most likely that Intel wont be doing much :(

    If it is really slow, I've seen some tools that format the SSD and you can restore your programs and files from a Time Machine backup.
     
  4. gfiz macrumors 6502

    gfiz

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    Virginia
    #4
    of course it will work with bootcamp, but only the windows partition.
     
  5. tfstone macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2007
    #5
  6. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 30, 2009
  7. fibrizo macrumors 6502

    fibrizo

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    Jan 23, 2009
    #7
    No, trim won't touch the OSX partition still for me, even from the intel utility. If you are really concerned, you can remedy it pretty easily with a bit of work. I moved from a gen 1 to a gen 2 drive this way.

    Just download clonezilla and boot with it. Clone the HD to an external HD of any size (will destroy the data on the external drive.) then use a low level formatting tool like HDDerase to erase the SSD. Then boot clonezilla again and clone the disk back.
     
  8. newdeal macrumors 68020

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    Oct 21, 2009
    #8
    ...

    the intel utility only works with NTFS partitions so the only way you could use it is if you could get os x to install on an NTFS partition which I assume is impossible
     
  9. MikeSantor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, Dirty South.
    #9
    Best thing to do in my experience is to clean up about once a month to once every other month. Takes about an hour but I delete everything I dont need, clean the cache, history, empty garbage can etc, etc. Then use carbon copy cloner on an external HD. partition your SSD. restore it back to all 0's. Boot from the external HD that you cloned and reclone from the external HD to your internal SSD. BAM back to blazing fast...

    I a heavy downloader and that leads to lots of deleting. in an average month to 2 month time my boot time will almost double from so much stuff being deleted. So for an hour of your time once every other month I have found this method to be the best way thus far. hope that helps.

    .02
     
  10. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #10
    +1
     
  11. MikeSantor macrumors regular

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    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, Dirty South.
    #11
    I'm sure that's dependent person to person but it is defiantly noticeable for me...
     
  12. ml2k1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    #12
    Well I just started noticing this when I was trying to show my coworker how much better a macbook is compared to a dell notebook, so I rebooted and was surprised that it took so long. Then today, I finally decided to measure it and recorded several attempts to be ~52-55 seconds :eek: (from the moment i pushed the power button to when my dock and stuff is loaded).

    Imma try that clonezilla idea tomorrow... but another question, isn't a ssd limited to a certain number of writes and if I do that like once a month, wouldn't I be shortening the life of the drive alot quicker?

    btw thanks for the replies
     
  13. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #13
    Are you sure that the slower booting is the result of the hard drive performance degradation? My gut tells me that it's most likely just files and the usual junk building up.

    MLC SSDs have write limits, and you would be shortening the life of the drive, but I think the math works out that you're still not likely to come close to the write limit in a decade.
     
  14. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

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    Aug 2, 2008
    #14
    You do know that you cannot "restore it back to all 0s"? It's not like it has zeros written to every block when it gets delivered, it is empty. So all you do is replace your data with zeros. Unless you mean you use some Intel wiper tool that completely clears every block. If you do please tell us how you got it to run outside a NTFS partition :).
     
  15. tfstone macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    #15
    That is right. To all the other post, NO a simple format or even partitioning won't help. There are plenty threads concerning that topic already.

    May I recommend the search function or this thread (again):

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=841182

    Please also read the great Anandtech anthology (http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3531) about SSDs and understand it before you add your 5cents to this topic.
     
  16. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

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    Aug 2, 2008
    #16
    I always wondered how that "myth" about using the "writing zeros" would somehow clear the drive started? Do people really think that storing a zero is just a empty block and zeros require no space to store?
     
  17. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #17
    I agree. I have had the 160 GB Intel X25-M G2 since last September or October and it still runs just as fast as the day I installed it. Boots in about 15 seconds on my 13" MBP.
     
  18. fibrizo macrumors 6502

    fibrizo

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    Jan 23, 2009
    #18
    That's why I used HDDerase. It can restore intel drives to a pristine state in terms of performance. But it wipes everything and requires that you use version 3.3 since 4.0 doesn't support intel drives.

    Here's the quote from intel, addressing the issue on G1 drives without Trim, which unfortunately is where OS X is at. (boot into a windows partition on another drive, and use the intel tool to wipe the disk also)

    SSD devices are not aware of the files written within, but are rather only aware of the Logical Block Addresses (LBAs) which contain valid data. Once data is written to a Logical Block Address (LBA), the SSD must now treat that data as valid user content and never throw it away, even after the host “deletes” the associated file. Today, there is no ATA protocol available to tell the SSDs that the LBAs from deleted files are no longer valid data. This fact, coupled with highly random write testing, leaves the drive in an extremely fragmented state which is optimized to provide the best performance possible for that random workload. Unfortunately, this state will not immediately result in characteristic user performance in client benchmarks such as PCMark Vantage, etc. without significant usage (writing) in typical client applications allowing the drive to adapt (defragment) back to a typical client usage condition.

    In order to reset the state of the drive to a known state that will quickly adapt to new workloads for best performance, the SSD’s unused content needs to be defragmented. There are two methods which can accomplish this task.

    One method is to use IOMeter to sequentially write content to the entire drive. This can be done by configuring IOMeter to perform a 1 second long sequential read test on the SSD drive with a blank NTFS partition installed on it. In this case, IOMeter will “Prepare” the drive for the read test by first filling all of the available space sequentially with an IOBW.tst file, before running the 1 second long read test. This is the most “user-like” method to accomplish the defragmentation process, as it fills all SSD LBAs with “valid user data” and causes the drive to quickly adapt for a typical client user workload.

    An alternative method (faster) is to use a tool to perform a SECURE ERASE command on the drive. This command will release all of the user LBA locations internally in the drive and result in all of the NAND locations being reset to an erased state. This is equivalent to resetting the drive to the factory shipped condition, and will provide the optimum performance.


    Intel provided the tool to SSD reviewers, in this case HDDerase 3.3 which is able to perform the secure erase command. It takes ~2ms per block of 512KB, and on the 80gb drive took like 20 seconds.

    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=669&type=expert&pid=6

    I don't think that HDDerase runs straight on a mac because EFI doesn't support the necessary bios level commands, so I pop the drive into my dell mini and do the erase there... here's another macbook pro owner's experience.

    http://www.markc.me.uk/MarkC/Blog/Entries/2009/8/13_Erasing_an_SSD.html
     
  19. tfstone macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2007
    #19
    You cannot wipe the mac partition. You have no access.
     
  20. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

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    Aug 2, 2008
    #20
    Yeah, what I wanted to make clear was that wiping and writing zeros is not the same thing ;)
     
  21. fibrizo macrumors 6502

    fibrizo

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    Jan 23, 2009
    #21
    Umm yes you can. If you boot into a dos environment on a machine that uses bios. the low level ATA command set HDDerase uses will wipe anything because it doesn't see partitions or any data, it sees LBA data. And having done it twice already... I can say it does wipe the mac data, in less than 20 seconds

    Please take a minute or so to read on on the Secure Erase Command built into the ATA Specification, which, while unused most of the time, is built into every ATA and SATA drive since 2001. It's one of the tools intel recommends themselves for this. This command can wipe bad sector data which can't be touched normally. mac partition data means nothing to it. It's supposedly more secure than any external overwriting program according to the NSA.

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/storage/?p=129
     
  22. fibrizo macrumors 6502

    fibrizo

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    #22
    Yeah, a world of difference I agree. Though the Iometer way is kinda doing the same thing, just takes a long time and puts alot more wear on the drive.

    If you wanted to write it, you'd actually have to write 1s to the drive as I recall for it to work properly with SSDs to reset the info.
     
  23. angemon89 macrumors 68000

    angemon89

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    #23
    No way an Intel x-25 should take 50 seconds to boot into OSX. There must be something wrong. Are you sure your boot drive is selected in

    System Preferences > Startup Utility
    ?
     
  24. ml2k1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    #24
    I checked the startup disk and it is ssd. Also i just timed it right now and it's 53 s with 59 gb of free space out of 80 on my ssd. Could the problem be that my ssd is in the optical drive? (I took the optical drive out with the optibay method so I could have two hd).
     
  25. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #25
    I would swap the HDD and the SSD and see if that does help. I sort of doubt it but it's possible. My SSD is in my MP and it's still as fast as ever. I've even filled it to 140 GB, although that was temporary.
     

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