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wditters
Posts: 156
Registered: ‎07-30-2009
Location: Netherlands
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W520 - various SSD issues

Until now I have found the following issues with various SSD drives. I would like to use this thread to gather the various issues and to advise potntial buyers:

 

Intel 510 Sata3 SSD - 240gb:

- Cold boot without USER/MASTER password works fine

- Cold boot with USER/MASTER password works fine

- Warm boot without USER/MASTER password takes much too long with lot of drive activty

- Warm boot with USER/MASTER password halts due to unreadable POP/USER password

(Subsequential Cold boot accepts the password again)

 

OCZ Vertex 3 Sata3 SSD - 240Gb:

- does not fit the HDD bracket well

- setting USER/MASTER passwords results in inaccessible drive -> RMA is only option left

- setting USER passwords results in inaccessible drive -> HDD unlocker tool (ATAPWD) is only option

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ThorsHammer
Posts: 2,400
Registered: ‎04-08-2011
Location: USA
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

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grantallenbrown
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎04-11-2011
Location: US
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

[ Edited ]

Lenovo (Litium) needs to get this **bleep** ie9 "blank comments" issue worked out, come on guys, get with it.

 

I have seen that the RAID enabled boards are working with the Intel 510 so I have a W520 on order with RAID and will post about how it behaves... Waiting until mid-May though...

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Devhack
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎04-14-2011
Location: Colorado
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

Referencing the opening post:

OCZ Vertex 3 Sata3 SSD - 240Gb:

- does not fit the HDD bracket well

 

Just FYI,

 

  1. I posted the "fit" problem on the OCZ Sandforce Forum, as well as exchanged e-mails with their tech support.
  2. They actually asked me to RMA my V3-240GB, then claimed they mounted it successfully in several laptops, but never specified which models or brands.
  3. There was some indication that there was another housing/casing for the V3 other than the standard casing, but that never panned out, and the RMA'd drive is on its way back to me, as-is.
  4. Two of their forum techs admitted that the V3 proportions are on the high side of the specs, but still within specs (the relevant spec is SFF-8201). I concurr with that conclusion, but told them that it does not solve the problem.
  5. My observations which I shared with the OCZ tech support & RMA departments are as follows:
  • At the connection end of the drive, the V3-240GB is approx 1/16" wider than the V2-200G that I also have.
  • Consequently, only the non-connection end of the V3 fits into the W510 & W520 primary drive bay caddies. (Probably affects the T510 & T520, too.)
  • The connection end of the drive is too wide for the caddy.

 

 

Alternatives:

 

  1. The only way to get the drive into the caddy as-is, is to use only 3 of the 4 mounting screws, but that leaves the non-screwed in flange of the caddy bowed out. This results in too tight a fit in the drive bay and possible torquing of the electrical connection to the laptop; heat causing further expansion may also be an issue.
  2. Mount the drive without the caddy and/or rubber bumper rails. This leaves the drive so loose in the bay that I believe it risks actual disconnection from the laptop while remaining in the bay.
  3. My at least temporary solution; mount the drive with the caddy and bumpers after cutting a notch out of the caddy at one of either side of the connection end of the caddy; essentially cutting off the flange through which the 4th mounting screw would be inserted. This allows the drive/caddy/bumper assembly to rest in the drive bay as intended.

 

 

===============
W520, i7-2920, 16GB, NVIDIA 2000M, Full HD, OCZ VTX-3 & VTX-2, Win7 Ult 64
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JameZ
Posts: 3,110
Registered: ‎07-11-2010
Location: Malaysia
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

@All,

We're escalating this issue to engineering for them to check.

//JameZ

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W520 | 4176-38U | i7 - 2720QM | Quardo 1000M | 8GB RAM | 60GB OCZ Agility 3

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ibmford
Posts: 173
Registered: ‎05-02-2011
Location: United States of America
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

"Escalating this issue to engineering."

 

its' about time engineering took a look at this isue. I see many problems with W520 drivers, as if it was rushed out the door with the attitude "we'll get it right later with software updates, let's just rush these black boxes to customers..." It's still unclear if primary HD bay sata controller supports Sata III 6Gb/s reliably!

 

Maybe lack of full Sata 3 support on primary bay increases the problems with SSDs like intel 510 that use sata 3 speeds as many users who are buying SSD, are buying Sata 3 models. Also in that case I wonder if the new intel 320 SSD would work fine because it is SATA II and not as fast as SATA III, but that would feel like drinking "lite beer". After all we all waited and paid for SATA III on W520.

 

I'm holding off buying an SSD because there are many problems being reported with SSDs freezing on W520 and needing reboots. 

 

As for system hang during reboot, back in the old days, there was a BIOS option to wait X number of seconds for HDD to spin up at power on. Although SSD doesn't need to "spin up" maybe the method that Thinkpad uses to speed up warm reboot time is not compatible with instruction set on SSD.

Thinkpad W520, 2720QM, Crucial SSD M4
802.11n
wditters
Posts: 156
Registered: ‎07-30-2009
Location: Netherlands
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

[ Edited ]

Oddly enough I have had not a single issue with the Sata3 speed in the main HDD bay. Both the Vertex 3 and the Intel 510 have been performing admirably in that perspective. What I did notice though is that the warm boot issue specifically seems to occur in legacy bios mode and not in (U)EFI bios mode. Can anyone confirm this?

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ibmford
Posts: 173
Registered: ‎05-02-2011
Location: United States of America
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

wditters, thank you for your contribution. It's good to have other passionate and caring users working for the common goal; a better laptop.

 

I wish I could confirm the settings youre asking about in BIOS but I don't have an SSD on W520. I keep hearing from other users posts that sometimes their system stalls, hangs, or locks up entirely due to SSD timeout. Are you experiencing anything like that. Have you made any changes to registry as suggested by some other SSD users or are you using different drivers? 

 

Honestly, on my previous laptop "A 3 year old MacBook Pro running Windows 7 exclusively (started out with XP, then Vista, and finally  Win7) with a Samsung 256GB SSD" I never had such problems. I had other problems with touchpad, but not with the SSD. It's quite disappointing after waiting so long for a laptop like W520 to compete directly with MBP and then these problems coming up. I thought I was going to build my "dream machine" and I sort of gave up on that dream after hearing the AUDIO on W520. Now these problems with SSD is just outrageous.

Thinkpad W520, 2720QM, Crucial SSD M4
802.11n
wditters
Posts: 156
Registered: ‎07-30-2009
Location: Netherlands
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

[ Edited ]

I am convinced that there are some issues with the Intel 510, but I am not convinced these issues neccessarily lead to stalling, crashing, blue screening etc.

 

Using an SSD does mean abiding to some basic rules though. One of them is installing from scratch. Some tooling out there does not neccessarily format an SSD well when cloning. (Acronis actually does!).

 

Another one is installing RST drivers from Intel (or Station-Drivers.com for that matter).

 

Equially important is optimizing the OS for SSD use. This means running tools such as SSD Tweaker.

 

If one abides to those rules, the return on investment is an absurdly smooth running system. Ever since I started using SSD's for the first time, I keep realizing that I will never return to classic hard drives period.

 

At the end of the day, SSD technology still is relatively new though. Things can happen and manufacturers usually find and fix things as they go along. I accept that :-)

 

PS When it comes to audio, well. Unless you're an audiophile (which incidentally I am) or a music engineer, you should be fine with using the W520 as an ultimate dream machine. What it lacks in sound it makes up in sheer performance, stability etc. Thinkpads never ever had good sound, they're business machines, not multimedia stations. I personally am fine with the current quality. It; not great but it ain't bad either.

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ibmford
Posts: 173
Registered: ‎05-02-2011
Location: United States of America
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

I agree, Thinkpads are work machines, they don't have as much eye candy (like aluminum finish) and if it had been another THINKPAD model, I would concede, but I expect WS series to outperform an MBP on every aspect. There's no other excuse. If you look at the speaker layout and size of the WS520 , it's very comparable to MBP dimensional aspect ratio and design layout. There for I expect nothing less from the WS series Thinkpad. 

 

Going back to SSD, I never performed any of the steps you mentioned when I upgraded my HD to an SSD. I just got an external enclosure, and duplicated the disk, bit by bit. It worked fine for 2 years. It must have been pure dumb luck? I ordered the WS520 with a regular HD, thinking 2 years after I got my Samsung 256GB SSD upgrade, the market would have matured. Back then TRIM support was a big controversy. Reading about all these problems with SSD is very disappointing indeed. I assumed past 2-3 years the science would have been proven by now. That's what SSD manufacturers and their marketing would have you believe that SSD is "the storage solution". uber reliable, uber fast! Instead there's allot of fact fudging. 

 

Thinkpad W520, 2720QM, Crucial SSD M4