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11ryanc

Can Windows XP Pro x86 *Safely* TRIM an SSD?

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Hi all,

I'm getting a new SSD soon and I intend to install Vista SP2 on it. Despite lack of official TRIM, I know various other people that have been going a long stretch with theirs on such setup using manual software that is made for the device to issue TRIM command.

As an experiment, I'd like to test Windows XP Professional x86. I have a good PAE patch that allows up to 64 gigs of memory, DX 10 mod, and an unofficial iso with a few desktop tweaks. (XP Ultimate By Johnny)

I do not want to jeopardize the health of this SSD at any cost, so I need some advice from those with experience on the matter. Aside TRIM. Is there anything within the filesystem of XP that can negatively impact a modern solid state hard drive? If this can be done, what must one do?

I have a 2 TB Seagate data spinner here, so I can easily put another OS on this. But the idea of a light weight NT 5 based system on an SSD does sort of infatuate me to try.

~Would appreciate any insight. Thanks

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Windows XP is a great OS for SSDs provided that you disable defrag and have a TRIM and SSD optimizer program with you.

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XP can't TRIM by itself, however we can manually TRIM SSDs under XP from some applications bundled with SSDs (provided the hardware ain't too ancient). I've tested the TRIM button in Corsair SSD Toolbox, OCZ Toolbox, and Samsung Magician under XP with success and no explosions.

 

corsair-ssd-toolbox-3.png

 

Extra touches to help SSD life under XP:

 

- XP can't align partitions correctly for SSDs, so better partition and format in advance in another comp with Windows 7, then install XP.

 

- Disable prefetch.

 

- Disable indexing.

 

- Disable hibernation.

 

- Disable scheduled defrag.

 

- Disable pagefile, or move it to an HDD or a ramdisk.

 

- Let the system idle logged-off for an hour or more from time to time, so garbage collection can work.

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XP can't TRIM by itself, however we can manually TRIM SSDs under XP from some applications bundled with SSDs (provided the hardware ain't too ancient). I've tested the TRIM button in Corsair SSD Toolbox, OCZ Toolbox, and Samsung Magician under XP with success and no explosions.

 

corsair-ssd-toolbox-3.png

 

Extra touches to help SSD life under XP:

 

- XP can't align partitions correctly for SSDs, so better partition and format in advance in another comp with Windows 7, then install XP.

 

- Disable prefetch.

 

- Disable indexing.

 

- Disable hibernation.

 

- Disable scheduled defrag.

 

- Disable pagefile, or move it to an HDD or a ramdisk.

 

- Let the system idle logged-off for an hour or more from time to time, so garbage collection can work.

Alright. So correct me if I'm misinterpreting this here.

- I use Windows 7 to format the drive partition for SSD due to XP's lack in proper alignment for drive type.

- Use optimization software that normally is made for device, grab 3rd party alternative if needed. Manually issue TRIM every so often. I'd say once per week?

- Disable said services, occasionally let OS sit in login terminal signed off. As with manual TRIM issue.

Now I'm still skeptical tbh, can't afford to frack up an SSD. Besides lack in proper partition algorithm and TRIM (services aside). Is there anything I should be advised about with XP?

Also since this is my 1st SSD. Is it relatively safe to partition them? And what is a good utility to use?

Ideal here is to have Vista SP2 and XP Pro playing nice with each other, which also means making the bootloader get along.

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^ You got it right. All the 'disables' are to spare writings to the SSD, but this ain't so mission critical with today's SSDs, so if you're particularly fond of any of those services you may let them activated (except defrag, defragging SSDs is usually not a good idea).

 

Correct partition alignment and manually TRIMming are more relevant. Under heavy SSD usage manually TRIMming more frequently would be better, say once per day. Under normal use once a week will be fine.

 

Beware some SSD makers like Crucial don't bundle a software tool for manually TRIMming, make sure the SSD brand and model you get for XP/Vista comes with such a tool.

 

 

Don't worry, lots of people succesfully run XP from a SSD. :yes:

 

If you got a comp with Vista, first plug the SSD into that comp to partition/format it like any HDD. Unlike XP, from Vista onwards Windows aligns partitions correctly by default (see here). Once partitioned/formatted, then either unplug SSD from Vista comp, plug into XP comp and install XP normally (preserving the partition/s), or just paste on the SSD a system image of XP from HDD.

 

XP will run from a SSD with non-optimal partition alignment, but reads/writes will be slower and you may experience occasional 'stuttering'.

 

 

Another healthy trick for a SSD under XP, without native TRIM, would be some overprovisioning. When partitioning the SSD just leave some unpartitioned space as 'strategical reserve', say if the SSD is a 128GB one, partition just 100GB and leave the rest unpartitioned, blank, to help with SSD housekeeping (TLDR on overprovisioning SSDs).

Edited by TELVM

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Does Windows 7 create a partition that’s usable with XP?  I once tried a Windows 7 repair disc to create an aligned partition for a W2K Pro install, but Win 7 automatically made its own extra little partition at the “head” (so to speak) of the SSD, and W2K would not install.

 

If the Windows 7 partition turns out to be a problem, the Vista (or Vista Recovery Disc) partition works fine.

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Does Windows 7 create a partition that’s usable with XP?  I once tried a Windows 7 repair disc to create an aligned partition for a W2K Pro install, but Win 7 automatically made its own extra little partition at the “head” (so to speak) of the SSD, and W2K would not install.

 

Sure it would not install (or at least have issues with the device), the "own extra partition" would have been Active and with partition ID 27 (of which Windows 2K, as well as XP know nothing).

 

The idea here is to connect the SSD to a normally working 7 machine and use 7 to create the partition (either through Disk Manager or diskpart) but of course there are no issues whatsoever to create the partition directly on a XP, only this is not possible using the built-in Disk Manager or diskpart that are set to respect cylinder/head boundaries.

 

It is possible that when you used the repair disk you somehow managed to attempt creating a 7 bootable disk, AFAICR the diskpart in WinPE (which is what the "repair disk" runs) works "normally".

 

There are tens of third party tools, including many freeware or Open Source ones capable of creating a "Mb aligned" partition running in XP, or if needed even a hex/disk editor could be used to create one manually.

 

jaclaz 

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Does Windows 7 create a partition that’s usable with XP?  I once tried a Windows 7 repair disc to create an aligned partition for a W2K Pro install, but Win 7 automatically made its own extra little partition at the “head” (so to speak) of the SSD, and W2K would not install ...

 

Don't use a repair disk. Easiest way is to partition/format the SSD from Disk Manager on a running comp with Vista/Se7en installed.

 

r7EqhviG.png

 

^ Here a 120GB SSD with a single 100GB NTFS partition, and the remaining space unallocated (for over provisioning).

 

I could format that partition, unplug SSD from Se7en comp, plug into XP comp, and start installing XP. It would show as 'C: Partition  1 [NTFS]' or alike in the XP Setup.

 

Then I'd select that partition, and choose 'To set up Windows XP on the selected item, press ENTER'. Thus XP would install on a correctly aligned partition, and run like a monkey from SSD.

 

 

Or I could directly paste a system image of XP from old HDD into the new SSD.

 

 

(Of course instead of just a single partition, from Vista/Se7en Disk Management you may create as many partitions as you like, and/or leave no unallocated space for over provisioning, etc. At your leisure.)

 

 

 

Another way would be using Gparted from a CD or similar to partition/format and correctly align the SSD before installing XP.

 

 

And yet another way would be re-aligning XP after installation, with something like Paragon Alignment Tool.

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It is possible that when you used the repair disk you somehow managed to attempt creating a 7 bootable disk, AFAICR the diskpart in WinPE (which is what the "repair disk" runs) works "normally".

 

I don't think so.  I'm talking about this:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/gg441289.aspx

 

Yep :yes:, where it is EXPLICITLY mentioned that:

 

If you’re comfortable with command-line disk management tools, you can use the Diskpart utility from the setup program to create the necessary partition. At the beginning of setup, before you select the location where you want to install Windows:

  1. Press Shift+F10 to open a Command Prompt window
  2. Type diskpart to enter the Diskpart environment
  3. Assuming you have a single clean hard disk, use select disk 0 and create partition primary to manually create a new partition
  4. Proceed with the Windows 7 setup, using this new partition as the setup location

 

 

:whistle:

 

To repeat myself, the "Windows setup program":

  1. is a form of WinPE
  2. you can use diskpart in it alright

 

jaclaz

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Not to beat a dead horse, but running Diskpart from the Vista Recovery disc works well and easily, and you don’t have to physically move the SSD to another computer (assuming one has another Windows 7 / Vista computer).

 

As the article to which I linked states, “If you install Windows 7 on a clean disk with no existing partitions, it creates a System Reserved partition at the beginning of the disk…”

 

“This ‘stub’ of a partition…is new in Windows 7…”

 

"For a truly clean installation starting from an unformatted hard drive, you must use a different disk-management utility, such as the setup disk available from many hard-disk manufacturers or a startup disk from Windows Vista."

Edited by bluebolt

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And still Diskpart works nicely from the windows 7 setup disk as I (and the article you referenced) tried to tell you.

 

If you prefer the "default" Setup of Vista will NOT create that start partition, whilst the "default" Setup of Windows 7 will, BUT BOTH the diskpart in Vista setup AND the diskpart in Windows 7 (BOTH accessed through a command prompt obtained by pressing Shift + F10) will NOT create it automagically AND BOTH will allow you to create a single partition on the SSD.

 

jaclaz

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BUT BOTH the diskpart in Vista setup AND the diskpart in Windows 7 (BOTH accessed through a command prompt obtained by pressing Shift + F10) will NOT create it automagically AND BOTH will allow you to create a single partition on the SSD.

 

I don’t think the article actually says that.

 

I used a command prompt to access Diskpart from the Windows 7 repair disc and it created the additional small partition; I used Diskpart from the Vista Recovery Disc and it created no such partition.

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I doubt I will be ever able to "convince" you about the meaning of that article, however these may help:

http://www.thewindowsclub.com/system-reserved-partition-windows

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/gg441289.aspx

www.sevenforums.com/installation-setup/14858-install-without-100mb-partition-new-drive.html

Once you have SELECTed a disk in Diskpart and CLEANed it, it is clean (i.e. there are NO partitions on the disk, even IF one or more were on it before) and you can manually create new one (s) from scratch.

But I believe that the point is more about the actual when/how you access the command prompt and Diskpart, what has been posted is about pressing Shift+F10 in the early part of the booting.

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz

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... Beware some SSD makers like Crucial don't bundle a software tool for manually TRIMming, make sure the SSD brand and model you get for XP/Vista comes with such a tool ...

 

The 'Pro' version of SSD Tweaker can manually TRIM many brands of SSD.

 

ad5ZKkyA.jpg

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