Extremely Fast W700 Drive Configuration "Cookbook"

W500/510/520 and W700/710 series specific matters only
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tinkererguy
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Extremely Fast W700 Drive Configuration "Cookbook"

#1 Post by tinkererguy » Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:02 pm

Imagine a 17" laptop, with both the benefits of solid state disk (aka SSD, ideal for boot partition as C:), and the speed and size and affordability benefits of RAID0 (data partition as D:). This impressive combination can be made to work, but as far as I know, not with preconfigured parts ordered directly from Lenovo's order site (as of Oct 22). And if you want to see some photos, eyeball them here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/tinkererguy/W700#

I'm very happy about how my upgrade from a T61p to a W700 is working out, with excellent speed, about 2-3x faster overall, due in part to Quad Cores and big cache, and the unique (but somewhat tricky to configure) SSD/RAID0 combination. I'm so relieved I got it working at all really, after many hours of hair-pulling and thinking I may have made a big mistake. At first, I just couldn't seem to get any RAID combination booted and functional.

You can hopefully benefit from my lessons learned, and hopefully avoid learning "the hard way" that I experienced.

All feedback appreciated, please post here!

=======================================================
EXTREMELY FAST W700 COOKBOOK: by tinkererguy@pobox.com
================+++====================================

If you need both space AND speed, this document is for you!

If you consider yourself a do it yourselfer, and you don't mind these compromises:
---always using external DVD drive like the self-powered DVD burner 41N556502 (or perhaps Blu-ray drive)
---you have something like Windows Home Server for daily backups (since RAID0 is twice as likely to have data loss due to inevitable drive failure)
---you don't mind placing multiple orders for all the parts
---you don't mind mildly diminished battery life (3 drives total)
---you don't mind being in potentially an unsupported configuration, as if you need service to system, you'll likely not want to ship any of the 3 HDDs, and need to be able to reconstruct above steps upon receipt of a new mainboard
---you don't mind installing Vista yourself (or you know how to clone your preload to the new SSD)

Then by all means, build yourself an extremely fast W700 system, perhaps with the following now-tested parts. I chose to scrimp a bit on the discreet graphics memory at 512MB, since it could technically be upgraded later, and I felt the hundreds saved, coupled with more hundreds saved buying better drives elsewhere, outweighed the benefits of a preconfigured system for me. My intended use of this system is primarily for work, which involves occasional travel, with laptop use on AC power 95% of the time. I'm not a gamer, but am a bit of a photographer. And I actually like the tortured learning method of research coupled with trial and error, as I tend to learn better that way, and sometimes stumble on new ways of doing things.

So, still interested in learning more? Read onward...

HERE'S THE SHOPPING LIST FOR SUPER FAST STORAGE:
$650+$50+$20+$160+$30=$910 TOTAL ESTIMATED COST
---(external Optical Drive extra)
---(remember, you're saving some $ by not ordering the maxed out Lenovo configured system though)

0) One ThinkPad W700 (all have RAID ability built in)
Choose the cheapest drive option, since you'll likely be setting it aside (unless you can fully backup the preload before redeploying it elsewhere)

1) Qty 1 "THINKPAD SERIAL ATA HARD DRIVE BAY ADAPTER II" part # 43R1980, ~$50
Probably makes sense to order straight from Lenovo with your W700 order, as it'll ship in advance, and at no additional shipping charge

2) Qty 1 Intel X-25M SSD in Ultrabay, ~$650
Price:
http://computers.pricegrabber.com/hard- ... /st=query/
Review:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/in ... spx?i=3403
(you'll likely change your mind about Lenovo-bundled SSD after reading article above)

3) Qty 1 rubber rail kit (2 pieces, plus metal sled for mounting the 2nd drive), ~$20
(I'm using the 250GB my system came with for other projects)
Here's exploded parts diagram, the rubber rail kit is FRU 41V9756, but not sure how to also order the metal sled:
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... R-70561#18
Here's an option that includes rails and the little metal sled and the screws, only the screws were a different color than the actual rubber/cage/screws that came with my W700's original drive, took about 3 days for shipping cross country:
http://cgi.ebay.com/IBM-Thinkpad-Hard-D ... dZViewItem

this person has found a way to get the actual IBM parts here:
http://www.buy-a-thon.com/reviews/W700- ... -caddy.htm

Here's a 3rd party option you might consider:
http://newmodeus.com/shop/index.php?mai ... ucts_id=36

4) Qty 2 fast 7200rpm drives, ~$160 total (for 2 Seagate 7200.3 320GB drives)
OEM version of drive packaging will do, as you don't need big fancy box and manuals & screws & such
You probably want both the same size, though a mismatch will work, but you only double the capacity of the smaller drive, a restriction in the integrated Intel ICH9M RAID0.
Also note, you can't mix internal HDD0 (Port0) or HDD1 (Port1) with Ultrabay (Port5) for the RAID array, the ICH9M wizard won't even allow you to try. This helps explains why my instructions are so particular, having learned the hard way.
I chose Seagate, self-parking-if-dropped (even without software) Momentus 7200.3 320GB drives, see review:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/not ... 006-6.html
see pricing (about $80 per drive)
http://computers.pricegrabber.com/hard- ... sv=button/

5) Qty 1 "repair kit" for screws, ~$30
The hardware maintenance manual recommends new screws, whenever you replace a part, given the threadlock that's preapplied but comes off easily. So, buying this kit will make replacing your own keyboard, removing your Turbo Memory (if you enable RAID, see manual), etc less worrisome. I had a similar kit for my T61p, and it has the locking screw for the Ultrabay, to keep from accidentally ejecting your primary boot drive. I think it's quite likely the kit for the W700, referred to on page 149/141 of the maintenance manual, will have the same short/chubby screw that you need, but it's hard to find that FRU 43Y9789 kit now:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls= ... &q=43Y9789

So I do know that the T61p kit found here will have many if not all the spare screws you could need, including the critical Ultrabay lock-down screw, which most likely is this part, "M3 × 3 mm (black), wafer head (5)" which has one long slot for regular screwdriver, or you can also use the small cross in the middle for Philips head:
http://www.acsoutlet.com/41W4504-ThinkPad.aspx

6) Optionally, External USB Optical Drive
(if you don't already have one)
"Lenovo USB 2.0 Super Multi-Burner Drive with LightScribe", ~$225
Here's the currently available model:
Here's the model # 41N5565 currently available:
http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/cont ... 4EDF98188B

I have the older/cheaper "Lenovo USB 2.0 Super Multi-Burner Drive - Disk drive - DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM - 8x/8x/5x - Hi-Speed USB - external - business black - LightScribe - Lenovo 41N556502 (41N5565-02)"
http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_geto ... ightScribe

HERE'S THE ASSEMBLY OVERVIEW:
1) Set aside original hdd (I'd recommend backing it up prior to ever booting it, with something like free Clonezilla, or Ghost 11 or Acronis)

2) borrow the drive shell and rubber rails from the original hdd, and install on one of the two purchased 7200rpm drives

3) install 2nd metal cage and rubber rails (from purchased kit) onto the 2nd purchased 7200rpm drive

4) insert both drives in internal drive bays in the W700, screw down cover (see page 76 of pdf, which printed shows page 67 at bottom)
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... MIGR-70385
DO NOT POWER ON without rubber sleds in place, as shorting and mainboard failure can occur if you skip this step (plus metal clips kind of get caught on naked drive anyhow).

5) Power on boot system, press F1 at ThinkPad splash screen

6) Go into Configuration, SATA, then change from factory default AHCI to RAID mode, save changes and exit

7) Reboot, press Ctrl+I when prompted by Intel ICH9M utility during boot, to configure RAID0 (VERY quick and easy, since only 2 blank drives are present), save and exit, reboot,
watch Ctrl+I splash screen to confirm a healthy volume approximately double the size of your drive, then (upon error in finding OS), reboot again

8 ) Press F1 at ThinkPad splash screen, go into Configuration, SATA, change from RAID back to AHCI mode, save changes and exit, power off (the RAID volume will still be visible to SSD C: drive where you'll install your OS, it's just not boot-from-RAID)

9 ) Install Intel X-25M SSD
install Intel X-25M SSD in Ultrabay adapter
eject DVD drive unit that came with system aside, keep it, as some firmware flash utilities from Lenovo won't work in external USB DVD readers
insert Ultrabay with SSD
Note: never eject it while powered on (which would crash OS). There appears to be an optional lock-down screw on the W700 underside to prevent accidental ejection, anybody have that part#?

10) Power on, press F1 at ThinkPad splash screen

11) Go into startup sequence, ensure that the Intel SSD shows in the boot device list, and you should exclude the RAID volume

12) Install Vista Ultimate 64
This part is trickiest of all. You need to have the media, which you can order for an extra fee from Lenovo. Or you need to have Window Home Server recovery media, but it won't restore to smaller drive. So, it'd seem that cloning the preload to the new Intel SSD would be the way to go, Ghost 11 boot CD, or Acronis, should do nicely. I personally already had a Ghost 11 backup of my T61p C: drive with 65GB or data, cloned it to SSD and it resized automatically, then I booted off WinPE 2.0 CD and had to run "chkdsk c: /f" on the resized C: drive on my Intel SSD, it then booted, and worked flawlessly. Added ICH9M driver from Lenovo Support:
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... MIGR-70337
then restored my T61p D: drive to the new 600GB RAID0 Volume, could then see the data no problem. But this whole cloning topic is really a whole 'nother discussion.

Hope I've helped others, and sure wish Lenovo would offer a preconfigured system with this work done for you!
_________________
2757CTO Lenovo W700 (rec'd Oct 20 '08)
17"1920x1200,NVIDIA Quadro FX2700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD,Vista 64 UltSP1
D: Seagate 7200.3 320GBx2 RAID0
Port Replicator 43R8782
trying T61p's EVDO Sierra MC5725 mini-PCI in Turbo Mem slot w/UWB antenna (unsupported)
Last edited by tinkererguy on Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:20 am, edited 5 times in total.
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

basketb
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#2 Post by basketb » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:38 pm

Nice write-up. However, I do not quite understand the obsession with RAID 0 (especially given the higher likelihood of single point failure). How much of a performance advantage over non-RAID does it really have? Has Lenovo published any benchmark data?

Somewhat off-topic: could you use 12.7mm 500gb HDs in the ultrabay adapters?

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#3 Post by erik » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:38 am

basketb wrote:How much of a performance advantage over non-RAID does it really have?
RAID 0 offers up to twice the read and write speed as a single drive of that given array but offers no fault tolerance.   RAID 1 offers the same write speed but doubles the read speed while offering redundancy.

with RAID 0, if one drive fails then the entire array is useless and irrecoverable.   with RAID 1, if one drive fails then you can still work from the second drive like normal but with slower read speeds.
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tinkererguy
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#4 Post by tinkererguy » Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:58 am

Just something to consider, this "cookbook" is on digg.com, but buried, here:
http://digg.com/search?s=Lenovo+W700+SS ... sort=score

If "dugg" then un-buried by others, some traffic might come to Bill Morrow's site here, and drive awareness for this very useful site. Just a thought, as I personally get no financial/advertising benefit.
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

basketb
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#5 Post by basketb » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:12 pm

erik wrote:
basketb wrote:How much of a performance advantage over non-RAID does it really have?
RAID 0 offers up to twice the read and write speed as a single drive of that given array but offers no fault tolerance.   RAID 1 offers the same write speed but doubles the read speed while offering redundancy.

with RAID 0, if one drive fails then the entire array is useless and irrecoverable.   with RAID 1, if one drive fails then you can still work from the second drive like normal but with slower read speeds.
Yes, I'm aware of the theoretical performance advantages (and workings) of RAID configs. But how much is it in practice for the W700? (and what applications will benefit from it? The OS? I/O intensive databases? video editing?) thx.

tinkererguy
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#6 Post by tinkererguy » Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:09 pm

Yes, I'm aware of the theoretical performance advantages (and workings) of RAID configs. But how much is it in practice for the W700? (and what applications will benefit from it? The OS? I/O intensive databases? video editing?) thx.
I was exactly like you, sick of just reading compelling articles like these:
http://torvalds-family.blogspot.com/200 ... -ssds.html
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/in ... i=3403&p=8

which seemed way too good to be true. But really, the difference in performance between the 100GB preload on the spinning 7200 drive, versus the performance I felt (but haven't yet had a chance to measure accurately) on the SSD drive, was BIG. I dare say the biggest leap in performance I've had in say 11 years (with ~4 laptop generations in there). Boot time is less than half. The preload took rather long 2 minutes, 50 seconds to get to Sidebar load, but on SSD, it was like under a minute. Not quite apples to apples, because the drivers and utilities loaded weren't identical, and swap was on D: for T61p but on C: on W700 (SSD). But still.

For responsiveness of overall Vista UI, and starting or using programs, the boost was just huge. Picasa, opening emails in Outlook, web browsing, everything. Those long waits for drive activity light to settle down greatly diminished. I'm back on my T61p tonight, and I'll start taking note of things like how long does it take to start word for the first time since boot, and the second time, etc. And say, rendering a 30 minute Camtasia video. I'll move the temp files and swap file from my D: to C: right now, to make the comparison more fair.

Thank you for your healthy skepticism, as it is quite a bit of $ to drop on something so small in capacity. Just think of future laptops though, with say 2 1.5" drive bays that'd hold affordable 80GB SSD drives, and a 2.5" traditional drive, and an optical drive, all in a 15.4" or 17" form factor. Seems quite possible...and desirable...
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

basketb
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#7 Post by basketb » Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:33 pm

tinkererguy, thanks for sharing your observations. Do you attribute all the better performance to the use of the SSD only (as it sounds like) or did the RAID 0 config also speed up things?

BTW: I don't doubt that SSD capacity and affordability will catch up with (and possibly overtake) traditional HDs fairly soon (< 5 yrs).

tinkererguy
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#8 Post by tinkererguy » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:19 pm

basketb wrote:tinkererguy, thanks for sharing your observations. Do you attribute all the better performance to the use of the SSD only (as it sounds like) or did the RAID 0 config also speed up things?

BTW: I don't doubt that SSD capacity and affordability will catch up with (and possibly overtake) traditional HDs fairly soon (< 5 yrs).
I didn't get to do any testing on the data drive D: (RAID 0) yet, so I just don't know. But my experience with the similar Intel desktop RAID controller has shown a full 2x read and 2x write boost there, so I'm expecting similar results on the ThinkPad as well, we'll see.
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

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#9 Post by barrywohl » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:10 am

Tinkererguy, I've been wondering the following.

If I ordered two Seagate 320mg 7200 drives, will the BIOS let my RAID 1 configuration restore the preconfigured Lenovo purchased 3200 5400 drives to the 7200 rpm drives, one by one.

In other words, before I boot to Windows the first time with my W700, could I replace one of the original drives with a new Seagate drive and rebuild it, and then replace the other Lenovo drive with a 7200 drive and rebuild it, and leave the OEM drives unbooted?

I ordered my W700 with RAID 1 preconfigured, with two 320 GB 5400 rpm drives.

The reason would be for the performance boost of going from 5400 to 7200 rpm

Alternatively, I could use Acronis to do this.

I have ordered the eSATA Ultrabay adapter. I did something similar when my T61p arrived.

Barry
Last edited by barrywohl on Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
First Thinkpad 755CX in 1995. First IBM: PC 1982 8088 w 64K RAM, dual floppy. Currently in use:
X230T with Win8Pro x64, i7, 500gb ssd; W700 WUXGA RAID 1 Blu-Ray W7Pro x64, occasionally a T61p with Win7Pro x64

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#10 Post by tinkererguy » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:34 am

Hmm, I just don't know enough about the preload's partitioning scheme and recovery options to give any kind of useful answer.

I simply haven't bothered to use them, having the luxury of my own Vista DVD and licenses, and a tested, full-backup solution in place, with daily-incremental backups, and a full bare-metal-recovery-CD, that Windows Home Server provides. For example, my home's laptops wake up at night to do the incrementals in <15 minutes, then goes back to sleep. And data de-duping means the storage requirements for multiple Vista x64 backups is suprisingly low, see how it all works here:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/deta ... layLang=en
So I nuked all preload stuff in my case (after Ghost backup prior to boot), back in Aug 07 on my T61p, and kept it simple, installing Vista x64 (I have boot media and licenses) as one big C: on boot drive, and no hidden partitions or recovery partitions. This is the data/configuration I'm moving to the W700. I had to use Ghost to do the C: drive data move, as WHS (Windows Home Server) wouldn't handle the shrink operation.

And Ghost, while it sometimes has its own issues, sure gets the boot-from-CD cloning jobs done fast, using internal drives, or using eSATA or network shares on gigabit LAN. I've found USB 2.0 drives 30-50% slower. Clonezilla is free and clones well with great speed, but lacks ease of use, and doesn't handle resizing during shrink operations well. For example, suppose you have a 320GB drive with only 50GB of data: Ghost will happily let you clone to a 80GB SSD directly, but Clonezilla will trip up (and so might Windows Home Server, see reference above). Also note that I've cloned from other Intel-based desktop RAID arrays, and the W700 RAID array, and it works fine: Ghost just sees the volume rather than individual drives. I would expect Acronis to work just fine in these similar scenarios, but guessing here, as I haven't used that product.

Anybody else have an opinion to share for barrywohl? This is becoming a cloning conversation, but I realize it's an important piece of the buying decision.
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

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#11 Post by erik » Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:56 am

barrywohl wrote:If I ordeered two Seagate 320mg 7200 drives, will the BIOS let my RAID 1 configuration restore the preconfigured Lenovo purchased 3200 5400 drives to the 7200 rpm drives, one by one.
maybe... but i doubt it.   i don't know whether or not the W700's controller requires drives in a RAID 1 array to match part numbers, number of tracks/cylinders/sectors, etc.   data needs to match 1:1 to work correctly so your method would be risky even if it does work.

rebuilding each drive per your method would likely take over a day to complete.   i rebuilt one of my 300GB 15K RPM SAS drives (just to test) and it took 16 hours to complete — and my D10 has way more power than a W700.   rebuilding an array is slow.

if your goal is just to load the factory config on two new drives then save yourself a ton of time and order (or burn) recovery media, delete the original RAID volume from the controller, install the new drives, set up the new volume, and recover straight to the new array.   RAID configuration isn't difficult whatsoever.   there's even a handy guide in the W700 HMM that you can follow.

if you have any questions on RAID setup then don't hesitate to ask.
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#12 Post by barrywohl » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:00 pm

tinkererguy, tell me if you think I should take this discussion to a different thread.

Erik, I followed most of your advice. Recovery CDs / DVDs sounds like the right way to go. My goal is just to load the factory config onto two new faster drives.

What did you mean by "delete the original RAID volume from the controller."

I'll follow your guidance to the hardware maintenance manual. That might answer the question for me.

Part of my reason for jumping to the W700 is to understand better what I can and cannot do with RAID 1 and RAID 5 since I have RAID 1 and RAID 5 on my Dell Windows 2000 Server network servers at work. I know the RAID 5 doesn't apply to the W700.

Barry
First Thinkpad 755CX in 1995. First IBM: PC 1982 8088 w 64K RAM, dual floppy. Currently in use:
X230T with Win8Pro x64, i7, 500gb ssd; W700 WUXGA RAID 1 Blu-Ray W7Pro x64, occasionally a T61p with Win7Pro x64

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#13 Post by erik » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:12 pm

barry,

before removing the original two 320GB 5400RPM drives, you'll need to enter the RAID setup and delete that volume from the system.   if you don't, the controller will think you had a massive failure since it can't find the drives intended for that array.

RAID 1 will give you a working system in the event that one of your two drives fail since each drive is a 100% mirror of the other.   with RAID 0, if one drive dies then the whole array is dead and irrecoverable since files are spread across two drives.   RAID 5 can survive one drive failing but no more than that since the backup of the failed drive is striped across the other 2, 3, or 4 drives in the array.
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#14 Post by tinkererguy » Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:11 pm

Sorry barrywohl, I had totally missed your intent, to use RAID to actually do the data cloning rather than 3rd party software. My worry here is the annoying rule that the RAID controller enforces, that apparently won't let you combine internal and external drives in a volume (RAID array). It sees anything in the Ultrabay as external. I don't have a screenshot of this, unfortunately.

Moreover, I'm not sure the firmware of the TinkPad implementation of the Intel RAID controll ICH9M will allow you to call a new hard drive a member of a new volume, without trashing the data on there.

I will say that I'm rethinking that perhaps requesting the Windows Vista "Windows Anytime Upgrade" DVD could be one way to go, for a fresh simple load. You'd key in the key from the sticker on the bottom of the W700. I tested this on a T61p, with a new/bland hard drive, where the preload had been 32 bit Vista, the Anytime DVD was 64 bit, and booted from the Anytime DVD and it actually accepted the product key from the sticker on the bottom of the T61p. Didn't activate it though, so not sure if this is a dead-end route.

I've also used the slow OEM preload Vista 32 bit set from Lenovo, which I tried on a T61p, but was amazed how crazy long it took to rebuild the system as a preload (hours). Perhaps Lenovo is shipping OEM preload Vista 64 bit recovery media for a fee, with SP1, not sure. That'd be great if that could be ordered right with the W700, but for some reason, they only offer XP recovery media online. Perhaps a Lenovo salesperson knows how to sell Vista 64 bit recovery media?

Anyhow, just throwing yet more ways of tackling this issue, hoping somebody can test.
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

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#15 Post by erik » Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:20 pm

tinkererguy,

what barry was intending to do was to replace each drive in the array one at a time, not add to it.   he'd replace drive #1 and let the array rebuild, then replace drive #2 and let the array rebuild, ultimately giving him the same two-drive array he started with but using 7200 RPM drives instead of 5400.
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#16 Post by tinkererguy » Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:15 pm

Yep, that should work, as long as he sticks to internal drive bays.
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

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#17 Post by QFoam » Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:39 am

tinkererguy, did you ever get anyone to ship you the new drive rails/caddy and, if so, how do they look, quality-wise?

Thanks!
W700 T9600 @2.8GHz Vista64
8GBram 2GBTurbo 160GB+320GB @7.2k
17" 1920x1200 QuadroFX 3700M/1GB
Blu-ray Ultrabay
ThinkPad W700 Resources Page

tinkererguy
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#18 Post by tinkererguy » Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:17 pm

QFoam, just got the rail kit, ordered Wednesday from CA site, arrived in CT already on Saturday. I used the site that I had mentioned ealier in this thread:
http://newmodeus.com/shop/index.php?mai ... ucts_id=36

It has some cosmetic differences (slightly less metal used for bottom cover, clear cover and pulltab instead of black), and the rubber seems a little less dense than the Lenovo rail kit. But the differences don't seem to be significant in any functional way, so I'm glad I saved $ on this internal part that nobody will be seeing, and the shipping was reasonable, and they're US based. Not sure if Lenovo service depot folks could complain about my using this 3rd party product, but I don't tend to mail my HDDs in for any reason anyway.

Hope this helps!
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

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#19 Post by tinkererguy » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:38 am

FYI, I had used their reasonable, cheaper option, which said
"United States Postal Service (Priority Mail (2 - 3 days))"

Since I had also ordered the "1 x DTK-25U2 Drive Cloning Hardware-Software Solution for notebooks (DTK-25U2)" the total for shipping was $8.25. Needed the extra USB to SATA and USB to ATA bridge, for some (unrelated to W700) projects.
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

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#20 Post by erik » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:06 am

i'd be interested to see how your SSD and RAID 0 array each test using ATTO diskbench.   you've talked about this being a fast formula but haven't posted any benchmark results (unless i somehow missed seeing them in a post above :??:).

let's see the results! :thumbs-UP:
ThinkStation P700 · C20 | ThinkPad P40 · 600

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#21 Post by tinkererguy » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:25 am

I agree! Wish I had my W700 to test right now, but I don't.

Thanks for the pointer to an easy tool, free is good, reading about it here:
http://nodesoft.com/DiskBench/

So, do you have specific recommendations about particular tests you have in mind? For example, filesize/blocksize, reads/writes/copies, etc. And I'll try to do those as soon as I get my W700 back in my hands again. Thanks!
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

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#22 Post by QFoam » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:43 am

tinkererguy, I'd be very interested to see what kind of transfer rates you get with the Seagate drives in a RAID 0. Nearly all the W700 reviews I've seen so far have been with demo machines having the dual-160GB 7200rpm Hitachi RAID 0s in them. But I've read that the 160GB Hitachi drives that Lenovo is shipping are 7k200-series drives, meaning that they're a generation behind the latest Hitachi 7k320-series. The 7k320 drives have sigificantly better media transfer rates then the 7k200 series. And the Seagates that you bought are marginally faster than the 7k320. So it'll be very interesting to see what you find.

By the way, I decided to bite the bullet and go with the hard drive rails and caddy from IBM. The comment you made about the difference in the rubber rails that you received helped me make my decision (thanks for the info!). I'm planning on holding onto this machine for quite some time, and I figured maybe the IBM rubber would stay rubbery longer in our ozone-thick L.A. atmosphere. Given that I'm spending almost $4k on a computer, I guess I can afford the extra $30-40.

Now if Lenovo would only stop delaying my W700 order! It was scheduled to ship today, then this morning they said it'll be another week-and-a-half, due to a parts shortage. :banghead:
W700 T9600 @2.8GHz Vista64
8GBram 2GBTurbo 160GB+320GB @7.2k
17" 1920x1200 QuadroFX 3700M/1GB
Blu-ray Ultrabay
ThinkPad W700 Resources Page

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#23 Post by Marin85 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:25 pm

Also, HDTach and HDTune have free available versions of their software. They are both nice benchmark tools ;)

Cheers

Marin
IBM Lenovo Z61p | 15.4'' WUXGA | Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 2x 2.16GHz | 4 GB Kingston HyperX | Hitachi 7K500 500 GB + WD 1TB (USB) | ATI Mobility FireGL V5200 | ThinkPad Atheros a/b/g | Analog Devices AD1981HD | Win 7 x86 + ArchLinux 2009.08 x64 (number crunching)

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#24 Post by tinkererguy » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:21 pm

QFoam, if you could let us know where you bought your rail kit, it'd be appreciated. Thanks!
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

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#25 Post by tinkererguy » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:00 pm

tinkererguy wrote:QFoam, just got the rail kit, ordered Wednesday from CA site, arrived in CT already on Saturday. I used the site that I had mentioned ealier in this thread:
http://newmodeus.com/shop/index.php?mai ... ucts_id=36

It has some cosmetic differences (slightly less metal used for bottom cover, clear cover and pulltab instead of black), and the rubber seems a little less dense than the Lenovo rail kit.
Turns out, I had ordered 2 of the eBay units:
http://cgi.ebay.com/IBM-Thinkpad-Hard-D ... dZViewItem
shipping from Hong Kong took a week, but these look exactly like the Lenovo branded parts. Identical metal shell, identical black plastic insulator and pull tab, identical rubber rails in look and feel. The only difference is the screws are about 1/2mm longer and are golden in color, where the orginals have black tops.

I decided to put a metal cage on the Intel SSD drive, and it now fits more snugly in the Ultrabay tray, with very little play.

I hope this helps others!
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

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#26 Post by tinkererguy » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:02 pm

basketb wrote:Somewhat off-topic: could you use 12.7mm 500gb HDs in the ultrabay adapters?
I think it may be possible, because I spotted a gap at the top edge of the Ultrabay tray, when inserted into the W700. Not sure if enough clearance to handle a 12.7mm though.

Some more info at this wiki:
http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/UltraBay
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

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#27 Post by tinkererguy » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:05 pm

This site also sure seems to say 12.7mm is possible:
http://www.lenovoservicetraining.com/io ... O-W700.pdf

It is a very interesting website:
http://www.lenovoservicetraining.com/ion/
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

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#28 Post by erik » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:31 pm

tinkererguy wrote:I agree! Wish I had my W700 to test right now, but I don't.

Thanks for the pointer to an easy tool, free is good, reading about it here:
http://nodesoft.com/DiskBench/

So, do you have specific recommendations about particular tests you have in mind? For example, filesize/blocksize, reads/writes/copies, etc. And I'll try to do those as soon as I get my W700 back in my hands again. Thanks!
that's the wrong software.   ATTO disk benchmark can be directly downloaded in the link i provided above.   just download it, choose the correct drive, run it, and post the results to a free hosting site like tinypic.
ThinkStation P700 · C20 | ThinkPad P40 · 600

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#29 Post by tinkererguy » Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:08 pm

Ok, uploaded some pictures of "ATTO Disk Benchmark" results from my T61p, for later comparison with W700. I put them on the same site as the other W700 photos:
http://picasaweb.google.com/tinkererguy ... 0405449714

Note the captions, where the specifics of the drives are mentioned, including RPM and such. Amazing though, is how darn SLOW the Ultrabay is on the T61p for HDD use! Yep, about one third the speed! I knew it felt a bit slower, but didn't realize how much it was holding me back for my data files (which are all on this drive for this past year). I had used other benchmarks that didn't show such a pronounced difference. The slowness is likely due to some bridge chipset in the Ultrabay that I read about somewhere, whereas the W700 should have true SATA speeds, whether internal or in the Ultrabay, but some later testing will prove that out...

In Device Manager, Drives, Drive Properties, Policies tab, I have the following settings for all 3 drives tested:
Optimize for performance (radio box checked)
"Enable write caching on the disk" checkbox on
"Enable advanced performance" checkobx off

Since others are about to get their W700s and SSDs or RAID on their brand new W700s, hope they'll also consider posting results somewhere as well. Graphical not needed really, perhaps just something like this.

==========
OS: Vista x64
Model: T61p
Settings: Device Manager, Drives, Drive Properties, Policies tab
Optimize for performance (radio box checked)
"Enable write caching on the disk" checkbox on
"Enable advanced performance" checkbox off
Antivirus disabled (Symantec 10.2 x64 on or off, got same results FYI)

Tool: ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.3 32 bit
Approximate average for 64KB to 8192KB transfers:

C: 51MB/Sec Write, 55MB/Sec Read
T61p Vista x64 C drive Hitachi 7K200 HTS722020K9SA00 200gb 7200RPM

D: 15MB/Sec Write, 14MB/Sec Read
T61p Vista x64 D drive Western Digital Scorpio WD3200BEVT 320GB 5400rpm in Ultrabay

S: 55MB/Sec Write, 54MB/Sec Read
T61p Vista x64 S drive Western Digital SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200rpm on eSATA SI3132 PCI Express card in docking station
Thermaltake enclosure

F: 93MB/Sec Write, 97MB/Sec Read
T61p Vista x64 F drive Western Digital WD10 EACS-65D6BO 1024GB (7200rpm?) on eSATA SI3132 PCI Express card in docking station
Calvary enclosure
==========
Last edited by tinkererguy on Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
2757CTO Lenovo W700 with 17"1920x1200, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M
C: UltraBay Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, Windows 7 x64 SP1
D: ST9500420ASG Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GBx2 Software RAID0
http://tinkertry.com/thinkpadw520saga

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#30 Post by erik » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:34 am

my samsung SSD in the X6 ultrabase tops out at 74 MB/sec using an OEM lenovo SATA HDD adapter.   native it hits around 105 MB/sec.   i don't understand why your ultrabay is so slow. :??:

i'm anxious to see your W700's RAID 0 array.   when do you get the machine back?
ThinkStation P700 · C20 | ThinkPad P40 · 600

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