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Old systems and SSDs

Discussion in 'Linux Hardware' started by SunTzuTech, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. SunTzuTech

    SunTzuTech New Member

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    So I found a couple of old Athlon XP systems, and wondered how'd they work.

    A big box computer store has some really cheap 120GB/240GB SSDs and the speedup I got on an old Lenovo R61 with one of those SSDs made the system really usable, so I bought a couple SSDs to test those Athlon systems with.

    2 Systems. 1) Asrock A7KTA Pro 2) HP Pavillion A620n (XP 3200+, Asus A7V8X-LA)

    Both systems are VIA chipset (8237 Southbridge, VT6420 via raid/sata controller)

    None of those systems recognize any SATA3 disk (HD or SSD) in the BIOS. Suspect that it has to do with the bugs in those chipsets (https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Sata_via)

    Found an older SATA2 disk, and could see that disk on the MB SATA ports. Installed BL Lithium on the Asrock MB on the SATA2 device. Still can't see one of the SSDs on the other onboard port.


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    The HP Pavilion A620N still had a valid Windows XP. Installed the VIA drivers from the website, and couldn't see the SSD.

    Tried a VT6421a raid card. The VIA drivers recognized the card. Once the system booted, the VIA RAID could see and format the SSD. Even after rebooting, the SATA card doesn't report the disk.

    Tried an Adaptec SA1205 (Si3112 chipset). Same problem. Can't see the disk.

    All those controllers seem to exhibit the inability to initialize at SATA3 back to SATA1 at boot time, but the Windows Raid software definitely seems able to recognize the SSD once windows was booted.

    Picked up a cheap PCI Si3114 and threw it in the Pavilion A620N. System posts through, reports the Si3114 and it says "SSD". Silicon Image BIOS reports the correct stats for the SSD. Loading the drivers. I can format the disk.

    Now looking at figuring out how to clone to the new SSD and getting it to boot XP.

    Yes, I'm aware that SATA1 doesn't do trim, but for a $17 SSD, I'm not too concerned about it for an old system. It's gotta be better than an old 5400rpm IDE disk.

    I also found a PCI SATA2 controller available. But I'm going to hold off on that. SATA2 would saturate the PCI bus and the only thing it buys me is SATA2 management (trim) of an SSD.

    Figured I'd save some folks some head banging regarding old SATA1 controllers and SSDs.
     
    wizardfromoz likes this.
  2. poorguy

    poorguy Well-Known Member

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    I just bought my first SSD a 120 GB HP for $17.99 and yes I can hear all of the comments and questions from others asking why.

    Well I'll tell you why it was cheap like its new owner and I want to see what SSDs are about and if it takes a dump and craps out so be it its $17.99 so there. :p:D

    I will have to say the increase in preformance is amazing. :)

    Perhaps these may be helpful.

    https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/p/ssd.html

    https://itbeginner.net/tweak-optimize-ssd-ubuntu-linux-mint.html

    https://askubuntu.com/questions/1400/how-do-i-optimize-the-os-for-ssds

    https://www.addictivetips.com/ubuntu-linux-tips/optimize-an-ssd-on-linux/

    https://alltechstricks.blogspot.com/2017/12/how-to-optimize-ssd-on-linux.html
     
  3. SunTzuTech

    SunTzuTech New Member

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    So I just figured out that the cheap SSD ($17) on a SI3114 works in WindowsXP, but Linux can't seem to start it. It's obviously seen in the BIOS, otherwise XP wouldn't boot.

    A live hotplug, of a SATA-3 HD and a Teamgroup SATA-3 SSD, both see the devices appear in my 32-bit PAE Bunsenlabs Image, so it's not SATA-3. The cheap SSD apparently has some issue holding to standards.

    Yeah. XP boots in 2 seconds, compared to some ridiculous time on the 5400RPM IDE.
     
  4. poorguy

    poorguy Well-Known Member

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    @SunTzuTech,

    This may help I don't know.
    https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/p/ssd.html

    I didn't have any issues with my Cheap HP SSD, Ubuntu-Mate 18.04 installed without problems.
    I did some of the tweaks in the above link although make sure you understand the tweaks before applying any of them.

    My computers are Windows 7 desktops from 2010 with the original factory oem bios may or may not make a difference.

    Some computers and computer hardware don't always get along with Linux and that I base from my own experience.
     
    wizardfromoz likes this.
  5. SunTzuTech

    SunTzuTech New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. Not sure it's appropriate, especially given the SATA-1 nature of the controller.

    However, the main problem is that the debian Linux driver for the PCI SATA card doesn't seem capable of recognizing the $17 SSD. It has no problem with the hot plug of a different brand of SSD (Teamgroup) or a regular SATA-3 HD.

    There's obviously something in the drive firmware that isn't tickled by the saas_sil driver, but obviously the WinXP driver knows the secret sauce because it can boot off that device.

    I see in the driver it blacklists some drives. Not sure exactly what that does, but I may try and add the device to the blacklist, and now that I have a kernel compiled, it won't take 10 hours to redo the whole thing.
     

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