Tuesday 26 June 2012

Intel 330 SSD in Dell Latitude D830 with Windows XP needs AHCI not ATA mode

Just fitted a 120GB Intel SSD model 330 into a 3yr old Dell Latitude D830 running Windows XP Pro. The drive imaged over and loaded ok (although I wasn't able to use the Intel Data Migration Software - it crashed on install). Imaged it with some third party software instead and a cheap USB SATA adapter.

I noticed the boot time wasn't improved as dramatically as I'd expected. Ran the AS SSD Benchmark test and some of the figures were on the low side, especially the 4K-64Thrd Read value of 17.26MBps. But it did remind me in the top left that the controller was using the BAD old PCIIDE driver (dated 2006) and so wasn't in AHCI mode.

Switching ATA to AHCI isn't straightforward, however check out the post from kent1146 here.

This method worked perfectly, even down to the identical Intel 82801HEM/HBM SATA AHCI controller. I used the current Intel Matrix Manager 8.9 download (note Rapid Storage Technology isn't compatible).

After rebooting back in AHCI mode, the AS SSD Benchmark came in at 103MBps for the same test - now thats more like it. And boot time is rapid.

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