As promised in my post in this thread yesterday, I am now moving on to share my most recent own experience about how to successfully upgrading T4x’s to having a fast and stable 1.8” SATA SSD
through using the eBay 1.8" microSATA to 44-pin 2.5” IDE adapter
, discussed in this thread (and note how insanely cheap this adapter is here!
Apart from this thread, there are a few other threads on the internet (that I know of!) discussing the same topic (1.8” SATA SSD’s in T4x ThinkPad’s); those threads being T42 SSD Conversion Success (1.8" SATA drive + bridge board)
and Der etwas andere SATA-Mod für T42 und Verwandte
(the latter on the German ThinkPad’s forum).
In this post, I’d like to report my experience with four 1.8” SATA SSD’s and the above-mentioned adaptor in a T42p (2373-Q2U); these four SSD’s being:
1) An Intel X18-M
(80 GB, the “G2” = 2nd generation, full model name = SSDSA1M080G2HP, using FW = 2CV102M3),
2) An Intel 320 series
(80 GB, the “G3” = 3rd generation, full model name = SSDSA1NW080G3, using FW = 4PC10362),
3) A 64 GB Kingston SSDNow V+180
(model no. SVP180S2/64G) and
4) A 128 GB Kingston SSDNow V+180
(model no. SVP180S2/128G).
Before moving on, I'd like to add that both of the Kingston’s SSD (like the two above-mentioned Intel SSD’s) supports TRIM
(which enhances device wear leveling by eliminating merge operation for all deleted data blocks), which is especially useful for Windows 7 installations, and that both Kingston’s are furthermore mentioned to have a “Garbage Collection Feature: Enables high SSD write performance even when operating system does not support TRIM” (like e.g. XP). This makes the Kingston SSD’s very attractive for people concerned about long-term performance and reliability. The Kingston SSDNow V+180 furthermore come with a three-year warranty.
Readers most interested in the GOOD NEWS
can skip the first part of this (long!) post, and jump directly to the part starting with: “FINALLY SUCCESS”
To start off chronologically, I first cloned my old 60 GB (Hitachi HTS721060G9AT00, 7200 rpm mechanical, formatted as NTFS) HDD in the T42p, containing a Windows XP Prof. (SP3) installation, to the X18-M. This XP installation on the Hitachi HDD has been running for long, was fully updated (Windows programs/drivers and Lenovo ditto), and has never caused any problems; the T42p has been running completely stable with this HDD/XP setup. During this cloning (using Acronis True Image ver. 9, build 3854) I used the standard from-outside-and-in technique, placing the old HDD in the UltraBay and placing the newly formatted X18-M (with the eBay adapter) in the internal HDD bay (the X18-M and the IDE 44 Pin to 1.8" Micro SATA Adapter was fitted in the Shapeways caddy
which I can highly
recommend). The cloning to the X18-M went smooth. I didn’t do anything to make partition alignment on the cloned X18-M. During the subsequent use the T42p with the X18-M, the SSD would unfortunately relatively often freeze during boot, and in such case leave the machine hanging. Sometimes the boot process would leave a blinking cursor in the upper left corner, and halt; other times it would halt at the splash-screen (but always passing POST with no errors). A few times I also experienced the T42p to hang (freeze) after resume from sleep (Fn+F4). When freezing under boot, the only option left was to press the power-button for 10 seconds to force a hard shutdown. During the subsequent boot Windows would typically report either an abnormal shutdown, and when proceeding to boot “again” the system would often freeze (again), or would continue to boot normally. Sometimes it was necessary to go through up to perhaps 6-7 freezes and hard-shutdowns before the T42p would finally boot OK. Once fully booted in a normal way, the ThinkPad would run tremendously good, with (in addition to the very
rapid boot time!) flash-like start of all programs. So, if the boot was OK, error(s) or freezing were only experienced very seldom, once up and running. If I could only get this to setup to run stable it would by far be worth it – retaining the otherwise superb 15” 4:3 LCD UXGA FlexView T42p with its outstanding keyboard etc. This (although "troubled") very
good performance kept me wishing that I could just somehow get this setup to work completely stable!!!
I should note that the Intel SSD Toolbox ver. 2
(or was it 2.01 at that time?) would run very, very slow on the X18-M with XP; a full diagnostic scan would take at least 30 min. to complete; the first 65 % would always go very fast (in only a few seconds), but the scan would then hang “forever” (= 30 min or more) at 65 % completed-level before completing the 66 --> 100 % very fast. What is peculiar is that I believe that the most recent release of the Intel SSD Toolbox (ver. 3.0.3
) would run very fast on the X18-M in the T42p under XP?!? (I can’t quite remember this).
In relation to using an X18-M in a T42, member tomatenfisch
(the creator of the Shapeways caddy
!) recently tried an X18-M in his T42; the results are discussed in this post
(there’s a Google Translation here
; see the post of 08/01/2012, 16:43). A better English report about Thomas’ experience with the X18-M is here:
In an e-mail, tomatenfisch wrote:
a) I bricked one adapter by flashing a new firmware to the SSD via the adapter. Die SSD is still working and actually has been flashed, but the adapter is dead now. *So you should never ever do a firmware flash via the adapter.*
b) I have the same issues as you have with the setup Intel G2 SSD and µSATA-IDE adapter (fortunately I had a second one). Hangs during boot, read errors (checked with Intel toolbox) and even worse hangs with subsequent blue screens during software installations. However, everything works fine with the SSD inside of a Lenovo SATA-Ultrabay adapter (FRU 26R9246).
So, we have to blame the adapter. Only question left: Is it a chipset issue (as far as I know, the Ultrabay Adapter uses a Broadcom SATA-IDE bridge chip) or just poor manufacturing quality (i.e. would it help to order another adapter)? Did you test the setup with different adapters?
What’s a bit confusing (?!) is however the report by our new (obviously expert-!) member, lordvalumart
who in this post
and this post
reported success with the X18-M in his T42p, also under XP?!?! Why does the X18-M work for some (lordvalumart!) but not for others???
A few peculiarities with the X18-M: Because I experienced all the freezing etc. I started wondering if the X18-M was perhaps partly defective? (I bought it as new on eBay.com, and you never really know with stuff bought there…). Therefore I conducted a number of tests:
1) First, I mounted the old T42p mechanical HDD (7200 rpm w/XP) in the internal T42p HDD bay, and mounted the X18-M with the eBay SATA-to-PATA adapter in a PATA UltraBay (IBM FRU 41N5661 which is equivalent to IBM FRU 62P4553 or to the Lenovo P/N 41U3148). After booting (on the old 7200 rpm HDD) I could see the X18-M (in the UltraBay) if the UltraBay was in the T42p.
2) I then purchased a 1.8” SATA-to-2.5” SATA adapter; the Lenovo FRU 42W7888 (I first checked that this adapter indeed contain a 3.3 V to 5 V converter circuit; as discussed in the thread FS: Intel X18-M G2 160gb SSD (2.5 inch adapter available)
). Using this converter it is possible to convert the 1.8” SATA X18-M SSD to a 2.5” SATA device which can then directly be used in all 2.5” SATA laptops, such as T60’s etc.
3) Now, I took the X18-M, put it in the 42W7888, put this 2.5” assembly in a SATA UltraBay (I used the Lenovo FRU 26R9246 SATA UltraBay but I could have used the Lenovo P/N 40Y8725 as well). Notice
however that the latter, my 2.5” SATA UltraBay, didn’t have the “tab” which original Lenovo (“T60”) SATA UltraBay caddies would have (see the thread T43 Hard drive in the DVD bay
or, more specifically, see this post
) for details about this tab), so my SATA UltraBay must have been a Chinese copy – anyway it has worked fine for years with 2.5” SATA HDD’s in both T42’s and T60’s. Next, I took this assembly and put it in the T42p (which still had the old mechanical XP-HDD in the main bay) and booted the T42p. No error messages but the T42p now couldn’t see the X18-M (not even in the Control Panel --> Administrative Tools --> Computer Management --> Disk Management). If taking out the X18-M/42W7888 and in stead mounting my standard (500 GB backup) 2.5” SATA HDD in the same UltraBay, and putting this 500 GB SATA UltraBay’ed HDD back in the T42p, I could see the 500 GB SATA HDD in the T42p as usual. So, bottom line, there is something spooky with the 1.8” SATA SSD + the 1.8”-to-2.5” SATA adapter in combination with the SATA UltraBay. I don’t know what to conclude from this experiment, just mentioned.
4) Moving on, I put back the X18-M/42W7888 in the 26R9246 SATA UltraBay, put this UltraBay in a T60, booted the T60 on its normal X25-M (also G2) SSD (w/XP), but during boot the T60 reported: “Error 2102: “Initialization error on HDD1 – press Esc to continue”. After booting, the T60 would not see the X18-M?!?
5) Finally, I mounted the X18-M/42W7888 in the T60 main HDD bay, swapped the T60 X25-M SSD to the SATA UltraBay, put this UltraBay in the T60, cloned the X25-M to the X18-M, and I have been using the X18-M in the T60 for several months with zero problems (the X18-M with the 42W7888 functions exactly like the X25-M, if/when being used in the T60).
Bottom line? Something is spooky with all these adaptors “in series” or in misc. combinations. Not that this is of core importance in relation to getting the 1.8” SATA SSD to function in the T42p, just thought I would report this as well.
After all the above quite disappointing experiences with the X18-M in the T42p under XP, I reformatted it, and installed Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit) on it, which was in any case my ultimate aim – partly because Win 7 support TRIM and partly because Microsoft will in any case stop the support of XP on April 8, 2014 (for details, see the Microsoft Windows lifecycle fact sheet
). Much regrettably, the same freezing behavior with the X-18M remained also under Windows 7.
After all this work with the Intel X18-M I decided to try the newer Intel 1.8” SSD; the Intel 320 series
so I obtained a 80 GB version (P/N SSDSA1NW080G3, which comes with an impressive 5-year warranty, and has the high Intel reliability, and is also supported by the Intel SSD Toolbox, both under XP and Windows 7, and the '320 which also support TRIM under Windows 7). What’s also important to notice is that lophiomys
has reported stable performance with an Intel ‘320 under XP in his T42p (see e.g. this
). I then cloned the Windows 7 setup from the X18-M onto the ‘320, ran the ‘320 in my T42p, but experienced the same freezing-behavior with the ‘320 as with the X18-M…
Also, I cloned the ‘320 SSD w/Win 7 to a 2.5” PATA (7200 rpm) HDD, to see if there were perhaps any errors in the Win 7 installation. The T42p with this cloned PATA HDD ran perfect… so the freezing seems to be coupled to the X18-M/Intel320 and/or to the 1.8”-SATA-to-2.5” PATA adapter.
The Intel SSD Toolbox ver. 2.0.x also ran very slow on the ‘320 (under Win 7; again hanging for long time around 65 % completed), but when I however upgraded the SSD Toolbox to ver. 3.0.1 it ran very snappy… the previous long pause at 65 % completed scan completely disappeared?!
During all of this, I messed a lot with all drivers (using both the Intel Driver Update Utility
as well as the Intel Chipset Device Software (INF Update Utility)
as suggested in this post
and Lenovo utilities (power management etc.) to see if this might be the cause for the freezing. None of all this had any effect with respect to permanently resolving the freezing issue (although there may
in principle be better drivers available somewhere, which I haven't tried, and which might
solve the problems?). Also, the “Windows Startup Repair” (under Windows 7), that would start automatically after the freezing event, could never detect any errors if allowing it to do its testing etc.
Various experience with the Intel X18-M and/or the Intel 320 is also discussed in the thread T42 SSD Conversion Success (1.8" SATA drive + bridge board)
and in the German thread Der etwas andere SATA-Mod für T42 und Verwandte
I posted some CrystalDiskMark data for the T42p with the Intel 320 SSD and with Windows 7 in the thread T43 Installed Transcend SSD observations
; see this post
the Intel X18-M or the Intel ‘320 ran without the annoying boot-freezing, it ran Windows 7 very well and very fast on the T42p, especially with Notebook Hardware Control! Hibernation and sleep is SUPERfast!
Shut-down only takes about 9 seconds.
Now moving on to something much more interesting… FINALLY SUCCESS
with the Kingston SSDNow V+180 drives!
As mentioned earlier in this thread, I have collected various user-feedback from other forum-members using the same eBay 1.8”-SATA-to-2.5”-PATA adapter, and several members have (very kindly!) reported success without issues with the Kingston SSDNow V+180 family of 1.8” SSD’s, so based on this I had the great pleasure of, through the outstandingly friendly help of GACrabill
, obtaining a 128 GB Kingston SSDNow V+180 SSD via eBay, which Gary first tested (in his T40 and in his T22, the latter as discussed in the thread Solid State Hard Drive on T23
; see this post
) and afterwards sent to me. Meanwhile, during the period where Gary investigated the 128 GB Kingston (the SVP180S2/128G), I had gotten my hands on the smaller brother here in Denmark; the 64 GB version (the SVP180S2/64G), which I then started to play with in my T42p until receiving the 128 GB "big bother".
I am very happy to be able to report that I have had no issues
with neither the SVP180S2/64G nor with the SVP180S2/128G in my T42p, running Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit, obviously). These SSD’s run FAST
, they have so far been completely stable for me, and based on the above-mentioned reports from other users, I have reason to believe that we have finally found a setup allowing us T4x/p-owners to substantially upgrade our ThinkPad’s. So far I have only been testing these two Kingston’s under Win 7, but before shipping the 128 GB SSD to me Gary also tried them under XP (in his T40), and reported likewise stable and FAST performance.
I’d like to share some benchmarks that I have recorded for the various drives. The benchmarks have been done using CrystalDiskMark (ver. 3.0.1)
and have been done both with 50 MB and with 1000 MB file size. All benchmarks were done minimum five times to investigate the “fluctuation”. In all of the following disk benchmarks, I had disabled the AntiVirus program. Both the 64 GB and the 128 GB Kingston’s had been cloned from the Windows 7 Ultimate installation on the ‘320 Intel SSD (using Acronis True Image Home 2011), and both Kingston’s were partition aligned (which is most easily checked using the Windows “chkdsk” utility to verify that the cluster-size was 4kb (= 4096 bytes), and then using the “MSinfo32” tool to find the partition offset which for both disks was 1.048.576 bytes meaning that the SSD’s were partition-aligned since 1048576/4096 = 256 = an integer number). Note: In Windows 7, the "chkdsk" program is run from a command-prompt (CMD.EXE) which must be "Run As Administrator". In XP, MSinfo32.exe is found under C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\MSInfoBelow:
The 7200 rpm mechanical Hitachi HDD with 1000 MB file size: Below:
The Intel 320 with 50 MB file size:
In relation to the above '320 w/50 MB filesize, what is strange is that when I re-do the same 50 MB filesize CrystalDiskMark test on the '320 today (still in the same T42p, with Win7Ult etc.), then I record somewhat different benchmarks; see this
and I really don't understand why? (did I perhaps change some driver in between the two benchmarks-series, and forgot to revert back to the old driver??) Anyway, I don't feel like digging too much more into that, right now.Below:
The Intel 320 with 1000 MB file size:
In relation to the above '320 w/1000 MB filesize, what is strange is that when I re-do the same 1000 MB filesize CrystalDiskMark test on the '320 today (still in the same T42p, with Win7Ult etc.), then again I record somewhat different benchmarks; see this
. Again, I really don't understand why (did I change some driver in between the two benchmarks?), but I don't feel like digging too much more into that, right now.Next, below:
The 64 GB Kingston with 50 MB file size:
If using 50 MB file size with the 64 GB Kingston, a bit variation in disk performance is seen again, as above; see e.g. this
The 64 GB Kingston with 1000 MB file size:
Note, that if using 1000 MB file size, the 64 GB Kingston shows a strange (?) variation in disk performance; see this
(five runs in total w/1000 MB filesize). Again, I don't understand this?Below:
The 128 GB Kingston with 50 MB file size:Below:
The 128 GB Kingston with 1000 MB file size:
If using 1000 MB file size the 128 GB Kingston shows practically no variation in disk performance.
The above CrystalDiskMark numbers does not easily translate to any “real-life experience”, so in order to shed a bit more light on the very, very remarkable increment in speed
of a T42p with a SSD, compared to the speed of the same laptop with an old mechanical (7200 rpm) harddrive, I have noted the boot-time for a number of disks in the T42p (having a 2.1 GHz Pentium-M 765 CPU and 2 GB of RAM, and running the same [= cloned] Windows 7 Ultimate w/SP1 installation on all disks). In all of these tests I had disabled the user-login password.
1) The old 60 GB (Hitachi HTS721060G9AT00, 7200 rpm) mechanical HDD:
From Power-on to the “Welcome”-screen: 53 sec
From Power-on to the Desktop is shown: 1 in 25 sec.
From Power-on to Firefox ver. 13 is up and ready to browse via cabled Ethernet: 2 min. 5 sec. (best-case)
2) The Kingston 64 GB SSDNow V+180 SSD:
From Power-on to the “Welcome”-screen: 40 sec
From Power-on to the Desktop is shown: 44 sec.
From Power-on to Firefox ver. 13 is up and ready to browse via cabled Ethernet: 55 sec. (best-case)
3) The Kingston 128 GB SSDNow V+180 SSD:
From Power-on to the “Welcome”-screen: 29 sec.From Power-on to the Desktop is shown: 33 sec. !!
From Power-on to Firefox ver. 13 is up and ready to browse via cabled Ethernet: 45 sec. (best-case)
With regard to the “best-case” times mentioned for the “From Power-on to Firefox ver. 13 is up and ready to browse via cabled Ethernet”
the thing is that during these tests I used a cabled Ethernet that was shared (= used) by many users, and since the net-connection time varies a bit, I have only mentioned the best-case times… obtained when the network-logon was fastest.
As I have two practically identical T42p’s (a 2373-Q1U and a 2373-Q2U, where the WLAN-interface in the latter has however been swapped to an Atheros-model), I therefore put the 64 GB Kingston in one T42p and put the 128 GB Kingston in the other T42p, simply to make a test of how fast the 64 GB feels against the 128 GB, especially under boot. This test proved that it is
evident that the 128 GB for some reason IS
a good tad faster compared to the 64GB (as also reflected in the above CrystalDiskMark-numbers). Why this is so, I have no idea about; both drives are said to e.g. have the same amount of cache. As already mentioned, apart to the very rapid boot-time, the SSD makes the ThinkPad very, very snappy
for all other applications - with practically "flash-like" start of applications. For daily-day use (e.g. browsing, writing, mailing etc.) I actually prefer the T42p over my i7-2600 (with a SATA-III SSD) desktop at work!
To compare the above T42p boot-up times to the boot-time for newer laptops, I made the same test with two T60’s, both having T2400 (1.83 GHz) Core Duo CPU’s, and both having Intel X25-M SSD’s:
4) A T60 (2007-58U) w/3 GB RAM, a 80 GB Intel X25-M (G2), running Windows XP SP3:
From Power-on to the “Microsoft Windows XP”-screen: 11 sec.
From Power-on to the “Welcome”-screen: 19 sec.
From Power-on to the Desktop is shown: 42 sec.
From Power-on to Firefox ver. 13 is up and ready to browse via cabled Ethernet: 50 sec. (best-case)
5) A T60 (2007-55U) w/3 GB RAM, a 80 GB Intel X25-M (G2), running Windows 7 Home Premium:
From Power-on to the “Welcome”-screen: 26 sec.
From Power-on to the Desktop is shown: 38 sec.
From Power-on to Firefox ver. 13 is up and ready to browse via cabled Ethernet: 52 sec. (best-case)
… which emphasize that the T42p’s are practically as fast as the T60’s, at least with respect to boot-time!
Neither the Intel nor the Kingston SSD’s for some reason will show activity in the HDD disk-LED ("5")
on the ThinkPad via the eBay adapter (whereas some Samsung SSD’s will
do this?!?). Since this disk-activity indicator is useful and desired by many users, I sought for an alternative, and indeed the free utility DiskLED: A Flexible Hard Disk and General System Activity Indicator System Tray Applet
works very well, at least on my T42p under Windows 7. Just download
and the utility, unzip it somewhere, and (under Windows 7) right-click on the DiskLED.exe file, select “Run as Administrator”, and a small red exclamation-mark will show up in the tray-bar, at right. Now Right-click on this symbol, select Configure, and configure as shown in this "DiskLED Configuration" image
. Put a mark in the lower, right box: “Update the INI file when applying settings”, choose OK ad that’s it! Then, put a short-cut to DiskLED in your Start Programs folder (Start --> All Programs --> Start (folder), and that’s it! If someone clever ThinkPad programmer can figure out a way to re-enable the ThinkPad HDD-activity LED (when using this eBay adapter), I’m certain that we are many members who will appreciate such an utility!
Note that the eBay SATA-to-PATA adapter is being shown with an OCZ Onyx SSD
in this advertisement
and note the headline in this advertisement
: “1.8" 16pin Micro SATA SSD to 2.5" 44pin IDE adapter card for SSDNow V+180
etc”! This seems to indicate that other users have reached the same conclusions as attempted herein.Bottom line seems to be
, although based on the somehow limited testing that I (and Gary) have so far done on these SSD’s, that the Kingston SSDNow V+180 line is FAST and STABLE in T40’s and T42/p’s under Windows 7
(Gary has also tested XP with these SSD’s, but will report his experience with this later). In my own modest opinion this is a remarkable “conclusion” which I hope that many forum-members (who, like me, are fond of their T4x/p ThinkPad’s) will benefit from.
The eBay SATA-to-PATA-adapter by the way is also available via Amazon.com where one user however notes in this feedback
(and whether this is true or not, I don’t know): “Works well but doesn't support Trim for SSD. Trim must be disabled otherwise computer hangs for long periods. The chip is well known to have this issue so this should have been mentioned in product description. All in all it is nice to be able to put an SSD in an old laptop, it gives quite a performance boost!”
I have verified that TRIM is enabled (under Windows 7 Ultimate in my T42p) on both the 64 GB and the 128 GB Kingston’s using the method described here
. As already mentioned, I have had absolutely ZERO issues (neither "freezes" nor "hangs" or other abnormal behaviour) with the Kingston SSD's, so I doubt whether the above feedback applies in general.
Finally, and as indicated above, I would assume that the eBay-adapter and the 1.8” Kingston SATA SSD solution would also work in other “older ThinkPad’s” which are using the standard 2.5” PATA 9.5 mm tall drive (incl. T20, T21, T22, T23, T30, T40, T41, R40, R40e, R50e, R50, R50p, R51, R51e, X31, X32, X40, X41, G40, G41 and the A3x/p-series) although I have no experience with any of these. Please spread the good news to those sub-fora, if you wish.
End of this very long post… which I actually consider being my most valuable contribution to this forum, ever!