Computer Hardware Hard Drives

Windows 7 – Windows cannot be installed to this disk

I was trying to install windows on my new ASRock H81M-ITX motherboard and for some reason loading windows 7 pro 64bit to my OCZ agility 2 I got this error message:

Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer’s hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk’s controller is enabled in the computer’s BIOS menu.

BIOS saw 60GB SSD, the windows installer tool saw and let me format 60GB SSD, so if you are in my shoes and sounds similar, what I did to fix it was go to BIOS, enable SMART, DISABLE EXTERNAL (this seemed to do it), and enable HOT PLUG (not sure if needed, but I did enable).

Hope that helps!

Computer Hardware Hard Drives

Can Dell PE860 (power edge 860) run 3TB drives on the motherboard SATA?

I found out the answer is yes! I have hooked up 2 3TB drives into the onboard SATA and was able to successfully raid 1 them within Ubuntu 12.10. I was not able to do this with the Perc raid controller, as it only saw 2.2TB.

Computer Hardware Hard Drives

Samsung 830 256GB in raid 0 with Z77 chipset and TRIM

Got my new drives, two Samsung 830 256GB I then dropped them into an intel ROM raid 0 with Intel RST 11.6 drivers and I get some pretty great looking benchmarks AND TRIM! These were running on my Asus P8Z77-I DELUXE ITX motherboard.

[zp src=”AS-SAMSUNGRAID0.png” album=”vivi/” width=”600″]

The benchmarks speak for themselves. If anyone would like me to run some other tests, let me know.

This is the test PC build by the way : El Linko

Hard Drives

Lenovo X220 IDE vs AHCI comparision with SSD Sata 6GB/s

I accidentally formatted my new x220 as IDE, so I ran some benchmarks of before :

[zp src=”m4-crystal.png” album=”blog/CrucialM4/” width=”600″]

and here are some now AHCI benchmarks.

[zp src=”m4-crystal-ahci.png” album=”blog/CrucialM4/” width=”600″]

resolution : AHCI + 6GB/s = faster then IDE!

Hard Drives

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 128GB in x220 – modded to 7mm

This was a very simple mod, did not require anything, other then 4 new/shorter screws to replace the ones that were longer on the M4, and a bit of electrical tape. Without hte electrical tape, the drive was undetected, it was shorting out by touching the metal top…so there is a reason to the spacer :).

So far battery life has improved over the 320gb 7200rpm drive the x220 came with. I’d say a good 30 minutes over a usage. The battery still needs a bit of burn in though.

[zp src=”m4-mod1.JPG” album=”blog/M4-SSD-Mod/” width=”600″]

EDIT : Thanks to mark for commenting, you can get these screws :
“The screws are M2X3MM part #10124 from”

Hard Drives

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5″ 128GB SATA Benchmarks in an Lenovo x220

I recently purchased an awesome little laptop…the Lenovo x220.

Specs :

Intel Core i7-2620M Processor (3.4GHz, 3MB L3, 1333MHz FSB) w/ USB3
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
12.5″ Premium (IPS) HD (1366×768) LED Backlit Display, Mobile Broadband Ready, 2×2 Antenna
IntelĀ® HD Graphics 3000
4 GB PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz SODIMM Memory (1 DIMM)
250 GB Hard Disk Drive, 5400rpm
ThinkPad Battery 29++ (9 cell)
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 (2×2 AGN)

I decided I wanted to get an SSD, and opted for the Crucial M4 series. It required a little tweaking to get into the x220. I had to unscrew the middle spacer, and it slide right in.

Benchmarks in IDE mode:

[zp src=”m4-crystal.png” album=”blog/CrucialM4/” width=”600″]

Benchmarks in AHCI mode:

[zp src=”m4-crystal-ahci.png” album=”blog/CrucialM4/” width=”600″]

These aren’t bad numbers at all, considering the manufacturer rates them at :

Sequential Access - Read
Up to 415 MB/s (SATA 6Gb/s)

Sequential Access - Write
Up to 175 MB/s (SATA 6Gb/s)

What I really like about this drive is the low power consumption, SATA 6/Gbp/s, as well as the 40,000 IOPS. I still think SSD’s are the number one upgrade for any PC (as long as they are SATA 3+ capable). They just make the system that much faster.

Hard Drives

OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGTE60G Benchmarks IDE vs AHCI

I just purchased an OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGTE60G for my server, and got rid of my 2x320GB RE3 WD drives. I made sure it had the latest 1.24 firmware on it.

These first marks are AHCI
[zp src=”agility2-AHCI.jpg” album=”blog/OCZAgility2″ width=”500″]

These are IDE
[zp src=”agility2-IDE.jpg” album=”blog/OCZAgility2″ width=”500″]

you can definitely see an improvement over AHCI. As usual, short and sweet post, with raw numbers, enjoy. If you want me to test something else, let me know.

Hard Drives

Western Digital Elements 2TB/1TB USB 2.0 speed test

I had someone ask me to benchmark my WD 2TB elements drive. It might be useful to someone else, this is running on USB 2.0.

[zenphoto src=”1TBexternal.jpg” album=”blog/etc/” width=”500″ /]

Computer Hardware Hard Drives

ICH9R Fake Raid Failed when Reinstalling OS DISC?

Hello, if you’ve read anything on my blog, you’ll note that I had a 6 x 1 TB HDD SATA raid going through my ICH9R ABIT IP35 motherboard. I recently decided to reformat the ‘server’, and was told by a few that I should be able to reformat the OS drive (separate from the array), and I would not have any issues. So ahead I went … reinstalled OS, got into windows for the first time, and noticed the array was bjorked.

The array had gone into a failed state, and decided to pull 1 drive out of the array as well. I tried removing the 1 drive, re-adding it as a spare, but it would not take/rebuild. I used about 14 different recovery software applications (get data back, undelete, raid recovery, ubuntu live disc, R-Studio, etc) , over the span of 4 days and I could only recover 1/6 items I lost. I was hosed, as a last resort, I decided to rebuild the array, EXACTLY how it was prior to losing the data.

What I did was delete the entire 6 disk array, and re-built the array as I had done before this fiasco. My steps are a little more technical, these are assuming you know how to set up your own raid. If you need any more help, you can comment and i’ll respond.

Step 1 ) Remove array, via option 3 in CTRL – I
Step 2 ) Recreate array with the exact same HDD’s as before
Step 3 ) Use the exact same options as before, raid 5, 64KB strip, etc
Step 4 ) boot into windows
Step 5 ) Go to Disk Management
Step 6 ) It will ask you to specify the GPT or MBR, select the option you previously chose
Step 7 ) Go through the options, but do NOT format the disk
Step 8 ) Use Getdataback, or some other NTFS recovery software

It took about 5 minutes for GetDataBack to show me my entire file structure, and recover ALL of my data back, 100%.

This is all assuming you have NOT done the following :

1) formatted your hdd
2) raid 5, with ICH9R controller – fakeraid
3) you did NOT write any data to your hdd’s
4) technically, this should work with 5 out of 6 HDD’s, or 2 out of 4, etc for a raid 5

I did not think this would work, but boy was I happy I tried it.


Computer Hardware Hard Drives

ICH9 + 6 1TB Seagate (ST31000528AS) in a RAID 5

Hardware :
Motherboard : Abit IP35+ICH9
CPU : E8400
Memory : 2GB x 4 OCZ DDR2 running @ 399MHZ (5-5-5-18)
OS Hard Drive : 1 x Seagate ST31000528AS
Raid Hard Drives : 6 x Seagate ST31000528AS
Raid info : RAID 5 64KB strip
PSU : Antec Basiq BP430 430W

Software :
OS : Windows Server 2008 Data Center Edition R2 x64
Intel Matrix Storage Manager Driver Version : v.
Benchmark : ATTO Bench32 v2.41

Here are some photos of the box, not the best quality (iPhone), but you get the idea :
[zenphoto src=”1.jpg” album=”blog/nas” width=”500″ /]
[zenphoto src=”2.jpg” album=”blog/nas” width=”500″ /]

Here are the benchmarks with write back-cache on

[zenphoto src=”bench1.jpg” album=”blog/nas” width=”500″ /]
[zenphoto src=”bench2.jpg” album=”blog/nas” width=”500″ /]

Now here they are with benchmarks with the write back-cache off

[zenphoto src=”bench3.jpg” album=”blog/nas” width=”500″ /]
[zenphoto src=”bench4.jpg” album=”blog/nas” width=”500″ /]

Overall, a great little set up, where I did not have to purchase a RAID card, the ICH9 was plenty fast for my home storage. I run it with write-back cache on, for the obvious reason. I would see sustained copy (When I want to write a file from my Windows 7 box to my NAS box) speeds of around 120MB/s, bursting to about 170MB/s. I have played 48GB movies off the NAS streamed to my PS3 with no hitch (via Ehternet).

I have been running this set up for a little over 5 months now with the 430W Antec PSU in an Antec 300 case. No drives have dropped from the array, I have not had to rebuild at all. I have zero errors in the read/write area as well so all is well. I have been adding/removing movies/media/files/storage/backups from that array since it was set up and running. I have a 7th ST31000528AS running as my main OS Hard Drive, so the NAS is purely for storage.

For reference, you can get ICH9 beta software/drivers from this website :