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Occasional Contributor
rhesuspieces
Posts: 14
Accepted Solution

Upgraded to SSD in R705-P35

I decided to try replacing the 5400rpm disk drive with an SSD. I chose a Corsair F240 because of good reviews at storagereview.com. It was highly recommended. If you look at the forums on the Corsair site some folks are having a few problems. Most people, in my estimation, are not having problems. This report is to show what I did to my machine. The second reason for choosing this drive was price. It was 25% less than storagereview's top recommendation. That difference in price made the difference for me.

 

The R705-P35 had Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit installed. Make sure that you've upgraded the software on your laptop. This is important because the SSD required the latest drivers. As the operating system was installed by the vendor I found three partitions on the original disk. The first partition is a boot partition and contains recovery software. The second partition is the C: drive. All your stuff is here. The third partition is the hard drive recovery partition. The first and third partitions are hidden. You don't normally see them.

 

The drive bay is accessible once you take the memory bay door off. One of the drive bay screws is hidden. Use the proper sized screwdriver.

 

The R705-P35 has room for a 2.5 inch drive. The connector is a SATA  connector attached to a mylar ribbon cable. There are rubber spacers to hold the drive tight. The one problem I had was fitting the drive into the available space. The Corsair drive is just a little thicker than the original drive. You'll need to remove some of the rubber spacers and make sure that the SATA connector is firmly attached. I may tape my connector into place to make it more secure.

 

You'll need a #000 philips screwdriver. Purchase an external enclosure, either USB or eSATA. I used eSATA - it's faster. I also purchased the Acronis Disk Director software to do the copy.

 

I put the SSD into the external enclosure and connected the eSATA cable. I also attached the USB power cable. My enclosure required this for power. 

 

I installed the Acronis software. The reason I chose this software was that it enabled me to copy all the partitions on the internal disk to the smaller SSD. This software has an option to shrink all the existing partitions onto the smaller SSD. The software even copies the boot information and copies disk identification so that the new drives looks like the original drive. This sure made things easy. Other copy software would not copy to a smaller disk.

 

Once the copy was done. I shut everything down and put the SSD into the laptop. Booted up and everything worked fine.

 

My boot times went from 34-38 seconds to 18.6 seconds. The boot times are amazingly consistent with the SSD installed. Applications start up perceptibly faster. 

 

That's my experience. I think taping the connector in place would be advised for reliability reasons. My cable came off twice before I was careful in getting the drive in the drive bay.

 

-Michael Cerda

 

 

Member
Jim_Mims
Posts: 1

Re: Upgraded to SSD in R705-P35

Thanks Michael, you gave me the confidence to try this myself. Here's my experience.

 

After reading a lot about the TRIM command, disk partition alignment errors,
needing to change settings to accomodate the SSD drive, etc. I was wondering how hard
of an upgade this was going to be.


Well, the good news is this was one of the easiest upgrades I've ever done.
I took the cover plates off the back of my Toshiba, unplugged the old hard drive,
plugged the new SSD in (a perfect fit), and reinstalled everything from the Toshiba
Recovery Disks and was back up and running without a hitch. It did take about an hour
to reinstall 3 DVD's worth of data from the recovery disks, though. This was on a new

disk, so I wasn't worried about copying any programs or transferring any data to the

SSD drive.

 

As soon as I got my Toshiba R705-P35 home, I burned the 4 DVD Recovery Disk Set.
A few days later I received my Intel X25-M 120gb SSD drive in the mail.

The migration software doesn't come in the box with the SSD drive, you need to download
it from Intel's website. As it turns out, I didn't need it.


One thing I wanted to check was whether the Recovery Disks would work with a smaller drive
or would I would need to clone the hard drive using Acronis or another program and resize
the partitions. That's the main reason I bought the Intel drive, it comes with a version of
Acronis software.

 

I pressed F12 while booting and changed the BIOS to first boot from the DVD drive and
rebooted with the first Recovery Disk in the DVD drive.


I chose all the default options with the Recovery Disks and I'm glad to say they worked
flawlessly, creating 3 partitions on my hard drive, which included the recovery partitions.
Because I now know I can reinstall everything from the Recovery DVD's I deleted the recovery
partition containing the data files and gained another 10gb space on my hard drive.

 

After installing the SSD drive, I started checking and verifying a checklist I prepared
from my research (links at the end):

 

1. I Right-clicked the Command Prompt icon and chose "Run as administrator".
Then I typed "fsutil.exe behavior query DisableDeleteNotify"
It responded with DisableDeleteNotify = 0, as it should have.

 

2. Verified that Disk Defragmenter was changed to manual (or disabled is good)

 

3. I left my page file dynamic and it's currently at 3gb

 

4. Turned off "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching"

 

5. Disabled Windows Search

 

While I still had the command prompt open I verified the disk partition alignment, something
which, from my research, I read should be set to an offset of 1024 kb:

 

C:\windows\system32>diskpart

 

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7600
Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: JT

 

DISKPART> list disk

 

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          111 GB  1024 KB

 

DISKPART> select disk 0

 

Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

 

DISKPART> list partition

  Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
  -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
  Partition 1    Recovery          1500 MB  1024 KB
  Partition 2    Primary            110 GB  1501 MB

 

DISKPART>

 

What a worthwhile upgrade!

 

Links:
http://lifehacker.com/5586733/how-to-take-full-advantage-of-your-solid+state-drive
http://www.overclock.net/ssd/700470-tutorials-real-world-windows-7-ssd.html

 

I ordered an eSata/USB enclosure for my 500gb hard drive, which hopefully should be here today
and my next step is to see if the eSata connector is powered or if I'll need to also plug in
a usb cable for power, which is probably what I'll find, as Michael did.

- Jim

Member
carmalcoz
Posts: 8

Re: Upgraded to SSD in R705-P35

Here's my experience with the Portege R705-P41 + INTEL 80 GB X25-M (SSDSA2MJ080G2C1):

 

The loading times for W7 and apps are outstanding, a hard disk, no chance here.
-The Windows index for the original config was 5.8 on disk data transfer rate. 
-The drive came with the last firmware (02HD) so no need to update it. 
-The X25M increased the disk index to 7.7, just awesome! 
-From power on to a ready desktop the system takes almost 20 secs (including the apps that run at windows start). 
-I put the laptop's HDD on an USB external enclosure.
-I leave on the SSD the priority files, the rest goes to the external drive (pics, movies, music, docs)
Now, some tips that I followed to get the best of the X25M drive: 
-Download the Intel SSD Toolbox and set the optimizer to run once at week.
-Do not use disk defragmentation on the SSD.
In order to keep the writes cicles as low as possible, I disabled some features:
-The system Write Caching, there is no cache on the SSD.
-The cache on disk of the web browser.
-The page file (I dont need it).
-The system restore.
-The hibernation.
-Avoid to do any intense benchmark on it.
-Do not use the Drive Wiper feature of CCleaner.
With all these steps, I hope the drive has an increase on the performance and its life span.

 

p.s. I took the notes from my review at amazon.

Win
Member
Win
Posts: 7

Re: Upgraded to SSD in R705-P35

I did the SSD upgrade using Acronis True Image - newest version.

I used the Linux based Acronis boot disk to image the HD to an external HD.

Installed the SSD and booted again to the Acronis boot CD. I then restored

the image to the SSD without incident.

Have done this on two Toshiba laptops without difficulty.

With the 705, I have a lightweight laptop of ample power

and quick boot ups, all for under $685.  Sweet deal.

Occasional Contributor
rhesuspieces
Posts: 14

Re: Upgraded to SSD in R705-P35

I had a problem with the Corsair Force Series F240 SSD. The problem was that about 30% of the time the laptop would not see the SSD and the boot would fall through to the network boot. If you did a soft reset the laptop would boot without any problem. The problem was either that the SSD was not being shutdown correctly or the machine booted too quickly.

 

This problem was fixed with the last BIOS update. Thanks TOSHIBA! The two items that fixed this problem are:

 

 

Everything is working as it should. There are compatibilty problems with some BIOS' and the Sanforce SSD controller.  

 

Occasional Contributor
rhesuspieces
Posts: 14

Re: Upgraded to SSD in R705-P35

It's been several months since my last report. The 'boot disk not found' problem was not completely solved. It got a lot better. This was part of the documented problem with SSDs using the SandForce controller.

 

So, things are better. This is my current state:

 

Toshiba R705-P35

BIOS 2.10

Windows 7SP1 64-bit

Intel series 5 4-port SATA ACHI Controller (driver version 10.1.0.1008)

Corsair Force Series F240 SSD

Corsair SSD firmware 2.4

 

I think these are the relevant components. I haven't seen the 'boot disk not found'  error is a while. When I upgraded to the Intel  series 5 SATA drivers (version 10.8.0.1003) I started to see BSOD after a sleep. No problems with the hibernate. 

 

I backed down to the Intel series 5 SATA drivers (version 10.1.0.1008) and am testing to see if the BSOD problems go away. It didn't happen every time, maybe once in 10.

 

This hasn't been a true experiment because I've changed several things at once. The ideal there is that the goal is to eventually run the latest versions of everything. Onward through the fog!

 

-Michael Cerda

 Austin, Texas

 

 

Member
jnsanders
Posts: 1

Re: Upgraded to SSD in R705-P35

First off, thank you for the info! I plan on doing this upgrade soon with my R705-p35. Curious, for any of you that used a 240gb or 256gb SSD, how much does your computer actually show as usable?

Member
deeznutz
Posts: 6

Re: Upgraded to SSD in R705-P35


jnsanders wrote:

First off, thank you for the info! I plan on doing this upgrade soon with my R705-p35. Curious, for any of you that used a 240gb or 256gb SSD, how much does your computer actually show as usable?


I have the Samsung 830 256gb model that I put in my R705-P35 and it shows 238gb capacity.  After a clean Windows 7 install and the installagtion of SQL Server 2008 it shows 202gb available.  So probably add back 3-5gb because of the SQL app and it should be around 205gb available.