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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:06 am 
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In case someone can use it, here's a brief background and summary of the steps you should take to setup a SSD for v1. If you've not started using SSD's on your v1 system and data drives, they will fully saturate the SATA II connection and practically triple your file transfer speed vs mechanical hard drives. Not to mention the entire system will run cooler as well. As an aside, due to the way HP designed airflow thru the MSS, make sure you are using SSD drive caddies that are as bulky as possible so airflow continues to be properly directed past the CPU heatsink (a short discussion on the subject is here http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=15087

Keep reading below about partition alignment and file system settings. v1 is more than robust enough to continue using it, especially after you fully update it (http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14784).

Feasible SSD “support” for a 32 bit OS not as bad as many claim. There are three primary issues to work around, partition alignment, registry optimization, and garbage collection.

First is SSD partition alignment: What this does is set up the partitions so they start and end at 4k disk blocks. If the partition is misaligned all partition blocks stretch across all of the disk blocks. A misaligned SSD will need to actually process two disk blocks when accessing data slowing disk operations down. Luckily, this is easily solved with a third party partition alignment software.

Second is SSD registry optimization: We'll need to tweak just a few v1 registry settings to make it plays nicer with SSD drives. At its time v1 was created, SSD drivers were basically unknown. So what you'll be doing is just disabling a few registry settings that are baked in by M$ to speed up a hard drive's data access. These settings actually hamper the nature of SSD drives. Alternatively, you can do the same registry hacks using some freely available programs like SSD Tweaker. It will basically change the same settings for you.

(10/31/20 edit for clarification) Third is garbage collection: I've found the subject of SSD garbage collection has some of the most common misinformation on the interweb. We all know SSDs are initially very fast. But, as they begin to fill up, they can get slower over time. This is exactly the thing that SSD garbage collection is designed to prevent. SSD's require garbage collection to more efficiently handle the movement of data from one flash memory block to another. It also helps prepare a previously used block to accept new data and tells the SSD's which file system blocks are no longer in use.

Garbage collection involves having the controller search through its inventory of written pages for pages that have been marked as “stale”—that is, they were written to and then the data they contained needed to be modified by the OS; because changing the page’s state is impossible without first erasing it, the changes are always written to new pages and the old pages marked stale. Garbage collection looks for blocks that contain a mix of good and stale pages and then duplicates all the good pages into new blocks and leaves behind only stale pages in the old block. Then it erases the old block and marks it ready for use.

The most well known garbage collection method is the ATA command called TRIM. Unfortunately TRIM is one thing that was never added by Microsoft to any of its pre 2009 32 bit operating systems (including WHS v1). So you may have heard that because a 32 bit OS doesnt have TRIM, you can't run it on an SSD. However, these days not having TRIM isn't as big of a problem as most make it out to be. In fact, nearly all SSD vendors now provide tools that allow for manual garbage collection (Intel: SSD Toolkit, Samsung: SSD Magician, Adata: SSD Toolbox, etc).

Also, if your SSD uses a LSI SandForce Flash Storage Processor, their progam DuraWrite, produces similar benefits to the TRIM command whether or not TRIM is present. Intel drives do so the same with the intel SSD Toolkit, and there is a tool called wiper.exe that works with Indilinx chipset drives (also used by a variety of manufacturers) that can be set to do a free space TRIM every week. Whichever tool you choose, Just make sure you're using a version that supports a 32 bit OS.

All that to say, all modern SSD drives also have their own garbage collection routines already integrated into them. This means garbage collection has become less and less of an issue. Google if you want to learn more about this topic. And, by the way, never use defragmentation tools on SSD media, it is absolutely futile!

Now, let's get down to business:

Step 1: Begin the OS install

Perform a clean install of the v1 OS on to your system SSD. Stop the setup at the first system restart. This will prevent the install from partitioning off the drive extender partition. If the system asks you to setup a user name or password you've gone too far. Also you should only have the OS drive installed. Don't attempt to install your data disks into the server yet.

Step 2: Partition Alignment

Remove the SSD from your MSS and using a external dock and another PC, start the partition alignment process. I use Minitool for this as it is done extraordinarily easily. Note that it is important that you not create new partitions as the MSS software install disk wont complete install after creating user name and password.

Step 3: Resume the Install Process

Install the drive back in the MSS, resume the install process, then align the newly created data partition.

Step 4: Adjust System Disk Settings

These changes require you to either RDP into the server or have a VGA monitor setup.

The quickest way is to do this is by downloading the optimizations by ckirbach . They are available from this location (Windows-XP-SSD-optimisations.zip). https://filehorst.de/download.php?file=bvivFehz Save the file somewhere, unzip it, and then double-click on the .reg file. You will need to confirm the changes to the system registry by going to the below noted locations. The .reg file will make the below four crucial settings in the Windows registry in one step.
If you prefer to do the changes manually you can do that too. Open the Windows registry editor (Start->Run->”regedit”) and set the following keys (If you are not familiar with using the editor, please use your favorite Internet search engine and read about it. It is not difficult at all.):

DISABLING BACKGROUND DISK DEFRAGMENTATION:
Key Name:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction\ Name: Enable Type: REG_SZ Value: N

DISABLE BACKGROUND AUTO-LAYOUT:
Key Name: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\OptimalLayout Value Name: EnableAutoLayout Type: REG_DWORD Value: 0

DISABLE UPDATE OF FILESYSTEM'S "LAST ACCESS TIMESTAMPS":
“Key Name: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem Name: NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate Type: REG_DWORD Value: 1

DISABLE PREFETCH:
Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters Name: EnablePrefetcher Type: REG_DWORD Value: 0

OPTIONAL:
If you have upgraded to 4gb RAM, go to the system settings and disable the swap file (pagefile). By disabling it, you are forcing Windows to keep data in much faster RAM all the time. This is a controversial tweak so you might want to Google up on it.

Now, close the registry editor.

Step 5: Setup Garbage Collection

Install the garbage collection software of your choice based on the SSD you are using. Remember that the software needs to be 32 bit compatible.

Step 6: Finalize the Partition Alignment

Presuming you are using SSD's for the data drives, remember you will also need to remove them for partition realignment once they have been initially added to the drive pool. Should you care to verify the partition alignment has been properly performed RDP into the server desktop and from the Start menu, type in msinfo32 & Enter. Go to Components > Storage > Disks. Look for your SSD on the list and find the "Partition Starting Offset" item. If this number is divisible by 4096 (that is, if dividing it by 4096 equals a whole number and not a decimal), your partition is correctly aligned.

Step 7: Pour Yourself Your Favorite Liquid Refreshment! :cheers:

Reboot and you are done. Easy Peazy.

Feel free to comment with your results or if I'm overlooking something crucial

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Last edited by lioninstreet on Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:48 am 
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Very good article.
If I may add , garbage collection would not be needed in newer os systems because they support Trim.

Note from Crucial:
https://uk.crucial.com/support/articles ... vD_BwE:G:s

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:57 pm 
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True that Ruben.

I should have added that trim support started with the release of s2k8 in early 2008 and with w7 in 2009.

That makes WHS11 plug and play with SSD'd since the core OS is s2k8r2. These tweaks are only applicable to WHSv1.

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