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skoehler122
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎01-07-2013
Location: Connecticut, USA
Views: 109,935
Message 1 of 17

Y500 - How do I tell if automatic SSD cache is working?

I've got an Ideapad Y500 with a 1TB regular drive and 16GB mSata SSD drive. After struggling to figure out how to set up the cache drive config on a fresh Windows 8 install, I called support. After quite a long time on hold, the support tech told me the caching is built into the hardware itself, and no software is used to configure it. This leads me to a few questions:

 

1. How can I confirm the cache is working? In Win 8 disk mgmt I see a 15GB unallocated disk 0, but no idea if it's really being used. I considered using a tool that could look at raw data off the drive like a data recovery tool, but there must be an easier way.

2. Am I supposed to format or doing ANYTHING with the SSD? Or is it truly all auto config?

3. I was pondering idea of upgrading to a 256GB mSata SSD and just use it as a primary drive and the 1TB as a secondary for additional storage. But if the mSata SSD is automatically used as a cache drive, I can't do this.....right?

 

I'm skeptical of the explanation I was provided, I think mainly because the Intel Rapid Storage Technology util/driver is listed on Lenovo's site for this model under the drivers and utils, and for many other makes/models this is the util that's used to configure the cache drive. Why list it if it's not used for the cache config?

 

Thanks in advance for any guidance.

 

Steve

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Location: India
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Message 2 of 17

Re: Y500 - How do I tell if automatic SSD cache is working?

Hi

 

Welcome To Lenovo Community

 

We are really sorry to hear about the issue you are facing,  

 

The sole purpose of the mSATA SSD drive is to cache data via the Intel Smart Response Technology.

 

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?DocID=HT074404

 

  1. Open the Start Menu, click on "All Programs", then click on "Accessories". Right-click on "Command Prompt" and then choose "Run as administrator" from the menu that appears.
  2. If a prompt appears for "User Account Control", click on "Yes" to allow the Windows Command Processor to run.
  3. Type "eccmd.exe -info" (without the quotes) and press Enter. Look at the end of the command output for one of the following scenarios:
    1. "**ERROR** ECCmd Request device is not available"

(This means that ExpressCache is installed, but the mSATA device is not configured correctly. Uninstall ExpressCache from "Programs and Features" control panel, and then refer to the Solution section of this document.)

  1. "'eccmd.exe' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file."

(This means that ExpressCache is not installed. Refer to the Solution section of this document.)

  1. "Cache Read Percent : x.xx%" (where x.xx% is some actual percentage)
    "Cache Write Percent : x.xx%" (where x.xx& is some actual percentage)

(This means that ExpressCache is installed and working properly. No further action is needed.)

To resolve the issue, first delete the primary partition on the mSATA SSD and then install the ExpressCache software. The ExpressCache installer will automatically create the necessary caching partition on the mSATA SSD.

  1. Open the Start Menu, type DiskMgmt.msc, and press Enter to start Disk Management.
  2. At the bottom of the Disk Management window, identify the mSATA SSD device. The 16GB mSATA SSD is 14.91GB. The 32GB mSATA SSD is 29.82GB.
  3. The mSATA SSD may contain a "Data2" partition with a drive letter such as D: or E:. If so, check for any saved files on the device. If any files exist, move them to the C:\ drive.
  4. Delete the Primary Partition on the mSATA SSD by right clicking on it and choose "Delete Volume..." from the menu that appears. Click "Yes" to confirm the action.
  5. There should now be at least 14GB of unallocated space on the mSATA SSD.
  6. Download ExpressCache from the following link that corresponds to the Windows 7 installation (32bit or 64bit):
  1. Install ExpressCache by double clicking on the setup file downloaded in Step 6 and follow the on-screen instructions. Reboot as prompted.

 

 

If you're planning to:

 

1. Upgrade the 32GB mSATA SSD to 120GB and use the Intel Smart Response Technology to cache data, it will be good as the size is big but it will not really take that much space to cache the data (20Gb or below is already good enough for caching). If you're planning to install the OS on the mSATA SSD, It'll also be good but not as fast as using a 2.5 SATA SSD.

 

2. Upgrade the 2.5 SATA HDD to a 2.5 SATA SSD and make it as a primary drive, this will improve over all performance especially if you get the OCZ Vertex 4 SATA III 2.5 SSD or similar.as the read/write speed is much faster than the mSATA SSD. Check this review.

 

 

 

 

 

Do give this a try and let us know  

 

 

 

Hope This Helps

Cheers!!!

 

 

 

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skoehler122
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎01-07-2013
Location: Connecticut, USA
Views: 109,782
Message 3 of 17

Re: Y500 - How do I tell if automatic SSD cache is working?

This did the trick. I was confused because the Intel RST utility was listed in the downloads section for the Y500, so I assumed Intel RST was what did the caching, not ExpressCache.

 

My only other question is how the SSD came configured out of the factory? I didn't take a close enough look before I deleted the partitions, but it sounds like Rapid Start may also be installed by default (which would explain why Intel RST needs to be installed as a prerequisite). Is it possible that the SSD drive comes with a 8GB hibernation partition for Smart Start, and the remainder (6.92 GB) goes to ExpressCache?

 

If so, I think I may find more value in eliminating use of Rapid Start (I don't care if it takes a little longer to come out of hibernation) if the extra disk will gain me performance if used all for ExpressCache.

 

Also just a suggestion for Lenovo - list the ExpressCache installer exe under the software downloads for the Y500. The link above are for Thinkpad models, and I did find these before, it just took me a while.

Community SuperMod
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Message 4 of 17
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Re: Y500 - How do I tell if automatic SSD cache is working?

mscottie
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Registered: ‎02-19-2013
Location: Idaho
Views: 109,113
Message 5 of 17

Re: Y500 - How do I tell if automatic SSD cache is working?

I'm wondering why you believe a regular 2.5" SSD drive would work better than a mSATA drive in your "If you're planning to:" section.  There are many mSATA drives out now that would be perfect for this implementation of a large SSD drive and a secondary slow Data drive. 

qaz545702799
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-05-2013
Location: CHINA
Views: 106,733
Message 6 of 17

Re: Y500 - How do I tell if automatic SSD cache is working?

Hello, excuse me why I installed ExpressCache requires the activation code?

jsmoriarty
Paper Tape
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-30-2013
Location: US
Views: 101,942
Message 7 of 17

Re: Y500 - How do I tell if automatic SSD cache is working?

Mine y500 is win8. Could you post a version of Expresscache for win8 64 bit? thx
bhartman
Paper Tape
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎06-20-2013
Location: New York
Views: 99,654
Message 8 of 17

Re: Y500 - How do I tell if automatic SSD cache is working?

Thanks for that verification process. 

 

I asked nearly the same question on the ideapad section.

This should be a sticky answer positioned prominently somewhere.  It's too bad the intel software isn't more transparent about what it's doing.  The SSD partition is shown as 100% free space, so it looked like it wasn't working even though from the command line it was running fine.

Dustin24
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎05-06-2013
Location: United States
Views: 82,275
Message 9 of 17

Re: Y500 - How do I tell if automatic SSD cache is working?

I tried following those instructions, but only got as far as uninstalling express cache. When I open disk management I see 7 different partitions including C: and D:, but nothing indicating which if any are the msata drive.

bhartman
Paper Tape
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎06-20-2013
Location: New York
Views: 82,227
Message 10 of 17

Re: Y500 - How do I tell if automatic SSD cache is working?

My Y510p partition looks just like yours.  To see expresscache performance, you need to run a DOS/CMS window as Administrator (win8 type 'cmd', right click over it and select 'run as administrator'.)  Then run 'eccmd -info'

In my opinion, this hybrid disk idea has not delivered on its promise.

 

 

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