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MJohn29
New Contributor I
6,558 Views

Are the Intel G2 SSDs telling Windows 7 they are a SSD upon install?

New/empty 160GB G2 with latest firmware from 10/26/2009.

P55 chipset on a Intel DP55KG motherboard with latest BIOS.

Storage controller set to AHCI in BIOS.

Installed Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Upon install, checked for automatic SSD optimizations that are supposed to be done if and only if the SSD properly notifies Windows 7 that it is a SSD.

Noticed that defrag was turned ON (the Intel SSD is my only drive in the computer)

Prefetch and Superfetch both turned ON per the registry

Drive Indexing turned ON (not sure if this was supposed to be turned OFF or not).

Whats up with this? Are these drives not communicating with Windows 7 properly upon install?

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19 Replies
idata
Community Manager
125 Views

me too

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

I read somewhere that Windows 7 is supposed to detect an SSD by zero rotation of the disk, which is the case of SSD. I have the same issues as you with those services and defrag being on. I am not sure if this is an Intel issue or if it is Windows 7.

Will someone from Intel come forward and give us a clue as to what is going on? We shall see...

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

I thought it recognized SSD's based on random writes. Might have been random reads though...

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

My Win7 64 bit install did turn off defrag for the system/SSD drive (C). In fact, if you look at defrag scheduling, there is no check box to select the C drive for scheduled defrag.

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

There are many others who did not have it turned off with Windows 7. This is apparently a bug in Windows 7. Windows 7 is supposed to detect an SSD by zero rotation of the disk. Isn't that simple? No rotation, drive is an SSD. Some people report defrag off and many others report defrag on. What is not stated is which version of Windows 7 are the people using? I am using Home Premium 64-bit Windows 7. Perhaps this is a bug in certain versions, maybe not, but the fact remains Windows 7 is supposed to detect the SSD by zero rotation of the disk.

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

FWIW - I did a fresh install of Win7 x64 Home Premium on an X-25M G2 160GB and Win7 did not recognixe the drive as an SSD. I received Win7 from Sony as a free upgrade for my VAIO laptop.

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

This is from the MSDN FAQ on SSD's in Win 7:

Will disk defragmentation be disabled by default on SSDs?

Yes. The automatic scheduling of defragmentation will exclude partitions on devices that declare themselves as SSDs. Additionally, if the system disk has random read performance characteristics above the threshold of 8 MB/sec, then it too will be excluded. The threshold was determined by internal analysis.

The random read threshold test was added to the final product to address the fact that few SSDs on the market today properly identify themselves as SSDs. 8 MB/sec is a relatively conservative rate. While none of our tested HDDs could approach 8 MB/sec, all of our tested SSDs exceeded that threshold. SSD performance ranged between 11 MB/sec and 130 MB/sec. Of the 182 HDDs tested, only 6 configurations managed to exceed 2 MB/sec on our random read test. The other 176 ranged between 0.8 MB/sec and 1.6 MB/sec.

This is where I got the random read thing from...

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

It is interesting Microsoft chose Random Writes to determine if a drive is a SSD. It looks like the SSD had to have random reads above 8 MB/sec to qualify as a SSD. And it looks like they used 4k Blocks, which i believe is a poor choice. My 160 SSD in a Mac gets approximately 9.9 MB/sec for random read. So that 8 MB threshold gives very little wiggle room. The problem Microsoft will have is how does one determine that it is SSD when there are probably some RAID configurations that can give the same performance. Microsoft doesn't explain how they benchmark, how many times they run the benchmark to obtain the results. I'm pretty sure they had to use the big name SSDs and Intel should have been one of them. It is also interesting that they threw this random read test at the last moment, which begs the following question: If WIN7 was built for SSD's why was this done at the last moment when their was a trial period for over a year where people were testing SSD. Microsoft said "The random read threshold test was added to the final product to address the fact that few SSDs on the market today properly identify themselves as SSDs. 8 MB/sec is a relatively conservative rate." Me thinks Microsoft broke something at the last minute. This would not be the first time.

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

I have noticed that although the standard Defrag option does appear to exist against my SSD System Drive, the automatic Defrag scheduling window does not appear to permit defragging of the System Drive.

So maybe Windows 7 does realise that it is an SSD after all, but I can't figure out why the manual option would appear to be still active if the automatic defrag has indeed been disabled....

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

I have the Intel 80Gb G2 installed, on first building Windows 7 all of the things that were supposed to be turned off for an SSD were still on, running the WEI turned them off. From what I have ascertained the Intel SSD does not announce itself as an SSD (Mine just shows as a normal HDD) this means Windows bases it's configuration on the performance of the drive.

There is an interesting article here: http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/05/05/support-and-q-a-for-solid-state-drives-and.aspx http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/05/05/support-and-q-a-for-solid-state-drives-and.aspx (Been posted here before) that explains how Windows 7 is set to work with SSD's.

Why the Intel SSD doesn't declare itself as an SSD is the main problem but if Windows detects a drive that meets certain performance criteria then it changes the settings anyway (They found that some SSD's weren't actually high enough performance so still performed better with SuperFetch etc left on)

Will Superfetch be disabled on SSDs?

Yes, for most systems with SSDs.

If the system disk is an SSD, and the SSD performs adequately on random reads and doesn't have glaring performance issues with random writes or flushes, then Superfetch, boot prefetching, application launch prefetching, ReadyBoost and ReadDrive will all be disabled.

Initially, we had configured all of these features to be off on all SSDs, but we encountered sizable performance regressions on some systems. In root causing those regressions, we found that some first generation SSDs had severe enough random write and flush problems that ultimately lead to disk reads being blocked for long periods of time. With Superfetch and other prefetching re-enabled, performance on key scenarios was markedly improved.

Will disk defragmentation be disabled by default on SSDs?

Yes. The automatic scheduling of defragmentation will exclude partitions on devices that declare themselves as SSDs. Additionally, if the system disk has random read performance characteristics above the threshold of 8 MB/sec, then it too will be excluded. The threshold was determined by internal analysis.

All I can say is looking at Disk Defrag on first build it was turned on; ran WEI went to Disk Defrag it's still on but my HDD was not selectable for defragging - Windows had disabled defrag on the SSD.

Hope this helps - oh and come on Intel please just update the firmware to announce to Windows 7 it's an SSD...thanks!

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

I have an hybrid system with the boot code and Win7 on an Intel 160 G2 SSD and a RAID0 of two SAS 15k HDs.

My win7 x64 only disabled the scheduled defrag.

Just to let you know.

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

What that article does not tell you is how the SSD is supposed to declare itself an SSD. The article I read states specifically: Windows 7 will set Defrag off as a default, when detecting non-rotating media, improving device endurance by reducing writes.

Source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/The-Windows-7-Evolution-to-NAND-Flash-Solid-State-Disks-SSDs-98097.sh... http://news.softpedia.com/news/The-Windows-7-Evolution-to-NAND-Flash-Solid-State-Disks-SSDs-98097.sh...

Perhaps Microsoft changed the method by which an SSD is recognized, but I would not put the blame on Intel because there are people with OCZ SSD also having their SSD not recognized. In other words, the problem is with Windows 7.

And my SSD was selectable for defrag after running WEI.

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

You need to run the Windows Experience Index under Control Panel\System and Maintenance\System

The drives aren't so much as announced rather their status as SSD is derived from their performance. Once the WEI has been run and the HDD has been assessed for performance Windows turns off all the appropriate services.

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

What are you talking about? I have 7.7 in WEI and defrag was on--7.7 is not good enough?!

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

@ Valkirk. What makes you say this? I could not remember if I manually disabled defrag before I ran WEI but if I did that might have explained why it did not occur automatically. To test this I set defrag to auto. I reran the WEI, ran the pc for an hour or so and then rebooted. On reboot defrag is still on.

(@Ambizytl - Ha, the answer from the Intel rep could still be read either way.....but I will concede gracefully. I don't know, the things you have to do to get a response from Intel )

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

From what you told me, I wonder if getting a response means anything.

I can't even get a decent response from Microsoft on why our SSD are not recognized and why those services are not turned off. For all we know, maybe those high Host Writes in SMART in Toolbox have to do with those services not being turned off.

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

Bingo ambizytl!

You are correct, not only that, Microsoft will not tell you that they are updating at least about 15+ log files. When I had an HP and the beta WIN 7 i disabled every log file that was being updated by Windows, plus i moved some to my Hard Drive to alleviate. Go check your systems and see what i'm saying. If I install WIN7 in my virtual environment, i will let you know where you can check for this stuff..

All you have to do is go and look in at the Performance options(i forget exactly), and you will see that your drive is constantly being updated and written to, even without prefetcher, indexing, etc.

No matter what Microsoft claims WIN7, was not designed from the ground up to take advantage of SSDs. Disabling the prefetcher and other services at installation time is not the only steps that Microsoft should have taken. Basically, win7 at is core is a re-make of Vista and Vista did not take into account SSD's, so why would win7.

I guarantee you that those high Host Writes are accurate.

idata
Community Manager
125 Views

Again, FWIW - I've run WEI several times after the fresh install and the drive was not recognized as an SSD. I turned off Superfetch and Disk Defragmentation manually.

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