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mSATA in X220/X230

X200/X201/X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300/X301 series specific matters only.
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Billaboard
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mSATA in X220/X230

#1 Post by Billaboard » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:33 am

Thanks to advice given here, I am typing this on my X220T, with its Kingston mSATA 240GB drive and 1TB spinning rust. I am running some programs, including a virtual XP machine which is a little slow, on the HD, as I worry about running out of space on the ssd.

I traditionally use 2 main laptops as main machines for everyday use, plus a few older specialised machines for specific jobs. All but one are Thinkpads of one sort or another.

I am so delighted by the X220T that I have purchased an X230T to use as the second main machine, and it is now "in the post". I plan to install a 500GB msata drive to give more space in the fast area, and have a choice of 2 affordable ones:

Kingston UV500 which says its memory type is 3D TLC and claims a mtbf of 1,000,000 hours and data storage life of 200 TBW

Samsung 860 EVO - memory type V-NAND 3bit MLC and claims mtbf of 1,500.000 hours and data storage life of 300 TBW

Ths Samsung claims a higher speed, but I am conscious that the mSATA port is only SATA 2

I assume either will fit physically, and the Samsung is about 10% more expensive. Would it make sense to go with that rather than the Kingston that I am familiar with?

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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:32 am

Generally speaking, MLC is better than TLC, but...
Kingston is/was the pioneer that got SSDs started, they have the longest experience.
Methinks either one will do fine and will probably outlive you.
1 mio. hours = ~ 114 years.

SATA II is more than fast enough, unless you move vast amounts of data around all the time.
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#3 Post by Billaboard » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:58 am

Thanks, Blackstuff.

In the end I ordered the Samsung mSATA.

My next decision is going to have to be about the memory in the X230, which I'd like to eventually take up to 16GB to give plenty for the VM that I run.

I have read earlier discussions here without getting a clear idea of what is needed, I'm afraid.

I do know that my X220 was very picky about ram, and I ended up swapping ram with another Thinkpad to get it working reliably.

For the X230, the Lenovo spec indicates DDR3 and CPUID shows the ram is running on 1.5 volts. The 4GB Samsung stick in the machine is DDR3L,and the Samsung spec sheet says 1.35/1.5 volts. Entering into the Crucial ram finder, they indicate DDR3L for both the X220 and X230, and the spec of their ram just says 1.35 volts.

I had a spare 4GB Samsung stick with the same main part number as the one in my X230, but with a different suffix - I think yk0 rather than ck0 - and it didn't work at all in my X220. I've bunged it in the X230, and it seems to be working fine, giving me 8GB.

Running CPUID on the X230, it says ram slot 1 is running at 1.5volts, slot 2 is running at 1.35 volts. On the X220, both slots are at 1.5 volts.

It all seems a bit weird and confusing.

Looking on ebay, I see that I can buy "Crucial" and other makes of ram for about 1/3 the price that Crucial charge. I wonder if anyone has tried this ram, and is it as dodgy as it appears?

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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#4 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:46 am

Billaboard wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:58 am
Running CPUID on the X230, it says ram slot 1 is running at 1.5volts, slot 2 is running at 1.35 volts. On the X220, both slots are at 1.5 volts.

It all seems a bit weird and confusing.
The memory controller inside the Sandy Bridge CPUs doesn't have proper support for DDR3L, so it runs at 1.5v. The Ivy Bridge CPUs in the X230 support both 1.5v DDR3 and 1.35v DDR3L.
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#5 Post by apojoga » Sat May 11, 2019 6:44 pm

X230 runs RAM at 1.35V; if you have 1.5V sticks it will probably run them at 1.35 anyway. I find that 1.35/1.5 doesn't matter, X220/X230 will accept them and run them happily regardless. (I'm using dual sticks rated at 1.35V 2133MHz in my X220 at the moment, they end up doing 1866 MHz and... I can't tell the voltage by looking at CPU-Z, but they run fine.)

To your original question, 1TB SSDs are down to $100-ish nowadays. mSATA+HDD combo is looking less relevant. I'm still chugging along with it, but only for being too lazy to upgrade...
X220 i7-2640M | FHD IPS 12.5" | 16GB @ 1866 | 256GB mSATA | 2TB 5400 HDD

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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#6 Post by snitramordep » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:45 am

Hi all,

I recently bought a used Thikpad X230 and decided to upgrade it with a 2nd SSD (Transcend mSATA 230S 128GB). I installed it where the WWAN module used to be and the process was super simple.
Now, when I bootup the system I get a "2101" Detection Error. After escaping it loads Windows as normal, but it looks it can't detect the new SSD drive.
Any thoughts about that!?
Cheers!

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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#7 Post by Mandrak » Wed May 27, 2020 9:09 am

Hi everybody,

I want to upgrade my X230 with mSATA ssd.
However I would like to swap the wifi card with half size mSATA ssd.
Has anybody tried this combination or knows if it is possible?

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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#8 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed May 27, 2020 9:48 am

The WWAN slot accepts mSATA, AFAIK the WLAN slot does not.
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#9 Post by w0qj » Wed May 27, 2020 9:51 am

Just curious, why do you insist on using mSATA SSD as upgrade in your X230?

We can confirm that our X230 had successfully upgraded to 2.5" SSD (Samsung 850 Pro).
Yes, you may need to do Product Recovery, but you get a clean Windows installation also!
ymmv
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#10 Post by theterminator93 » Wed May 27, 2020 10:00 am

Why not? It allows use of more than one storage disk. Having distributed filesystems on separate buses increases overall R/W throughput compared to having it all go to a single disk.
T480 with T25 keyboard | T25 | W520 i7-2860QM·Quadro 2000m·IPS FHD | T601F T9900·NVS 140m·LED AFFS UXGA
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#11 Post by atagunov » Wed May 27, 2020 12:44 pm

I wonder if the ExpressCard to NVMe adapter is going to be available for purchase.. Campaign is closed now of course. What undermines this project however is that there is so little choice of half-length NVMe disks. I personally didn't see the appeal as the speed wouldn't have exceeded SATA III for X220 or SATA II for T60/T61; so I didn't pay for it. However I hear people who would have wanted this adapter anyway periodically.

Okay one advantage is that you can swap it so easily between your Thinkpads. Even the disks you're booting from. I can already swap my SSD-s now between a small pool of X220 and T520 machines that I have (OS is Ubuntu and all Windows is in VM-s), but I have to unscrew those covers each time. This adapter would have allowed me to swap drives like 3.5" disks :) Maybe I should have paid for it just for this reason.
X220, 2 *T520

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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#12 Post by Mandrak » Wed May 27, 2020 1:16 pm

Thanks RealBlackStuff. Much appreciated.

As for storage question.
I generally use 2 drives. SSD for booting and software while 2nd drive (non SSD) is for storage.
It is just to be safe because non SSD usually gives some dying signals.

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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#13 Post by riffer » Wed May 27, 2020 3:32 pm

The problem will be finding a reasonably priced and reliable mSATA with reasonable performance. I ended up just throwing a Samsung 860pro SSD in my T420 because of that. I just use my mSATA as a Windows drive for the occasional task (Linux user).

I think you can find 850 EVO's in mSATA here and there, but they aren't cheap.

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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#14 Post by dr_st » Wed May 27, 2020 4:15 pm

I upgraded my T430s with an mSATA SSD (Kingston UV500 240G). It's very affordable; not the most performance-oriented option, but as I needed it mostly for storage extension, that did not bother me. This allowed me to keep the main-bay SSD that my T430s came with, and not bother with moving the operating system to a different drive.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#15 Post by w0qj » Wed May 27, 2020 9:51 pm

We have never observed any data corruption from storing our data on SSD; it is reliable to us.

Slight tangent to OP's original question:

Just some anecdotal sharing fyi: we have had an a mini-fleet of ThinkPad all equipped with SSD for almost 5 years now,
and I myself have been using ThinkPad (over various models) with SSD on them for almost 15 years now.
First SSD was back in the days of PATA SSD--Parallel ATA [IDE] on our T42.

No data corruption from using SSD observed. Ever.

But we do insist that all of our data backup storage is done on PMR hard disks (perpendicular magnetic recording) for longer data archival survival.
ie: hard disks because SSD may lose its data signals after sitting on the shelf for (maybe) 12+ consecutive months.
ie: we don't use the newer shingled magnetic recording [SMR] hard drives; these are MUCH slower and subject to write amplification.

Mandrak wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 1:16 pm
...As for storage question.
I generally use 2 drives. SSD for booting and software while 2nd drive (non SSD) is for storage.
It is just to be safe because non SSD usually gives some dying signals.
Daily Driver: X1 Extreme 1st Gen (X1E1): i7 | 16GB | 1TB | IPS
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#16 Post by dr_st » Thu May 28, 2020 3:53 am

w0qj wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 9:51 pm
No data corruption from using SSD observed. Ever.
The point is that when SSDs die, it's usually sudden with no warning signs and no time to back up the data. I experienced that myself once. With hard drives, it's usually the opposite. With that said, regular backups is the only reasonable approach, regardless of whether one uses HDDs or SSDs.
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#17 Post by theterminator93 » Thu May 28, 2020 8:37 am

Very much agreed. We have a client that installed some "cheap" TLC SSDs into older 1st gen i/C2D desktops some 3-4 years ago in order to extend their lifespan, and they are failing left and right all of a sudden with little/no warning lately. Thank goodness for folder redirection! :)

I personally keep no less than 3 copies of all my data. One copy on the SSD/HDD of the original computer I created it on; one copy on a backup of that computer that runs automatically to a networked HDD; one copy that I create manually via an xcopy script to back up important folders to a networked RAID5 array, so that even if one of the HDDs fails I lose no data.
T480 with T25 keyboard | T25 | W520 i7-2860QM·Quadro 2000m·IPS FHD | T601F T9900·NVS 140m·LED AFFS UXGA
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#18 Post by cadillacmike68 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:43 am

theterminator93 wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 8:37 am
Very much agreed. We have a client that installed some "cheap" TLC SSDs into older 1st gen i/C2D desktops some 3-4 years ago in order to extend their lifespan, and they are failing left and right all of a sudden with little/no warning lately. Thank goodness for folder redirection! :)

I personally keep no less than 3 copies of all my data. One copy on the SSD/HDD of the original computer I created it on; one copy on a backup of that computer that runs automatically to a networked HDD; one copy that I create manually via an xcopy script to back up important folders to a networked RAID5 array, so that even if one of the HDDs fails I lose no data.


I make 7 or 8 copies. At least weekly (rotating 3 or 4 backup destinations), sometimes daily.

Storage is cheap nowadays. 8)

I'd like to get a RAID setup to replace the plain NAS, but that's one part of storage that is still not "cheap". It's far less expansive to just buy another single disk NAS and copy back over from one of the other backups.
600, 600X
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#19 Post by Grabber5.0 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:36 pm

cadillacmike68 wrote:
theterminator93 wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 8:37 am
Very much agreed. We have a client that installed some "cheap" TLC SSDs into older 1st gen i/C2D desktops some 3-4 years ago in order to extend their lifespan, and they are failing left and right all of a sudden with little/no warning lately. Thank goodness for folder redirection! :)

I personally keep no less than 3 copies of all my data. One copy on the SSD/HDD of the original computer I created it on; one copy on a backup of that computer that runs automatically to a networked HDD; one copy that I create manually via an xcopy script to back up important folders to a networked RAID5 array, so that even if one of the HDDs fails I lose no data.


I make 7 or 8 copies. At least weekly (rotating 3 or 4 backup destinations), sometimes daily.

Storage is cheap nowadays. 8)

I'd like to get a RAID setup to replace the plain NAS, but that's one part of storage that is still not "cheap". It's far less expansive to just buy another single disk NAS and copy back over from one of the other backups.
How do you keep them all in sync? How do you manage moving or deleting something from the original location? This is something I've struggled with for a long time with my photos and music. When I do any cleanup or moving of photos, they are out of sync with my backup, so I haven't really accomplished anything.

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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#20 Post by cadillacmike68 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:16 pm

Grabber5.0 wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:36 pm
cadillacmike68 wrote:

I make 7 or 8 copies. At least weekly (rotating 3 or 4 backup destinations), sometimes daily.

Storage is cheap nowadays. 8)

I'd like to get a RAID setup to replace the plain NAS, but that's one part of storage that is still not "cheap". It's far less expansive to just buy another single disk NAS and copy back over from one of the other backups.
How do you keep them all in sync? How do you manage moving or deleting something from the original location? This is something I've struggled with for a long time with my photos and music. When I do any cleanup or moving of photos, they are out of sync with my backup, so I haven't really accomplished anything.


Oh I've screwed up the sync issue a few times. That has only happened when I was making edits or new data files on more than one computer at a time.

I TRY to make ALL of my changes from one central system. I back up that system (replicate) to the backup devices, and use one or two of those devices to sync (reverse replicate) to the other computers. The only time i messed up to the point of no recovery was when I was too quick in clearing out the recycle bin and somehow managed to trash the only good copy of an in-progress Cadillac Club newsletter that I was working on just prior to finishing it and emailing it to my regional members. I had printed one proof and had to go to Kinkos (FedEx) to get it scanned to a PDF and had to send that. I had the entire omelette on my face for that one.

What I use is Karen's Power tools Replicator. Karen has left us (RIP Karen), but her useful replicator utility is still available:

https://www.karenware.com/

You set up "jobs" to replicate any directory to another location, a thumb drive, 2nd HDD,, USB HDD,NAD drive, etc. It can replicate deletions and either completely erase them or put them in the recycle bin. I can check the Date / Time stamp and copy over newer files only, etc. Very flexible. You either enable to jobs to run automatically or fire it up, select the jobs to run and let it loose. Nice.
Last edited by cadillacmike68 on Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#21 Post by dr_st » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:50 am

Grabber5.0 wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:36 pm
How do you keep them all in sync? How do you manage moving or deleting something from the original location? This is something I've struggled with for a long time with my photos and music. When I do any cleanup or moving of photos, they are out of sync with my backup, so I haven't really accomplished anything.
There are tools like Syncplicity, but they are cloud-based. I believe that major NAS vendors, like Synology or QNAP, bundle their boxes with software suites that include apps that can be installed on any PC, and automatically sync up multiple PCs with the NAS.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#22 Post by Grabber5.0 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:24 am

Thanks for the ideas.. BTW I didn't just hijack the thread intentionally, sorry about that. I had subscribed to it because I was looking into installing an mSATA drive, because we can't let that darn slot stay empty now can we??! I got a freebie 128GB Samsung SSD and installed it last weekend. The SATA II interface slows it down a bit - I tested it in a USB3 adapter beforehand and got double the transfer speeds. Granted that wasn't a very scientific test.

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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#23 Post by cadillacmike68 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:18 pm

That's OK, I want to migrate to SATAs as well, especially in the T/W500 series that I got, just not X series - too small of a screen.

These tiny screens baffle me. We were all bemoaning the small 10, 11, 12 in screens back in the day and now have 14 & 14 in screens, but there is so much hype over the little screen jobs... I'm not getting a newer TP in 14" or smaller, I'm only interested in the older ones in 4:3 ratio like T40 T60 series.
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#24 Post by Grabber5.0 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:15 pm

After a couple of big heavy laptops with 15.6" screens, I wanted something smaller. The X230T was really a bit on the small side, but I liked the specs and the idea of having a touch screen. That of course made it bulky for a sub 13" screen. Now the small screen isn't as friendly on my farsighted eyes, so I'm not sure what I'll do when it stops meeting my needs.

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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#25 Post by cadillacmike68 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:52 pm

All in perspective.
A T500 or T530 is a lot lighter and easier to deal with than a full body armor with ESAPI plates, kevlar, M9, 50 rds of 9mmPara, M40 mask, etc. and all that other stuff I was carrying around in the 'stan... e.g. ONE ESAPI plate weighed as much as a T500.
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#26 Post by Grabber5.0 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:57 am

cadillacmike68 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:52 pm
All in perspective.
A T500 or T530 is a lot lighter and easier to deal with than a full body armor with ESAPI plates, kevlar, M9, 50 rds of 9mmPara, M40 mask, etc. and all that other stuff I was carrying around in the 'stan... e.g. ONE ESAPI plate weighed as much as a T500.
Ha, this is very true. In utility per pound, I think your load wins. :)

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