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35 Posts

03-15-2011

Seattle, WA

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  • Message 11 of 16

Re: mSATA mini PCIe SSD in X120e

2011-03-25, 5:04 AM

Check out the rest of the SuperTalent "Netbook SSD" line-up: http://www.supertalent.com/products/ssd_category_detail.php?type=Netbook.

 

Notice the rows labeled "Interface." Interestingly, it appears they DO have products that have SATA or PATA controllers on a mini PCIe card. Let's say one of those fits in the X120e. The next question is does the uEFI allow you to boot from other controllers (sometimes these are referred to as option ROMs)? Or does it only let you boot from USB and onboard SATA? My ThinkPad finally shipped, so maybe I'll know in a few days.

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35 Posts

03-14-2011

NY, USA

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  • Message 12 of 16

Re: mSATA mini PCIe SSD in X120e

2011-03-25, 12:57 PM

That is not how those work.  They are the same deal as the Intel SSD i mentioned at the begining of the thread.  They are only PCIE in form factor, electrically they are wired differently.   In order to use those you must have a motherboard that runs SATA lines out to the Pcie slot.

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56 Posts

12-25-2010

Toronto, Canada

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  • Message 13 of 16

Re: mSATA mini PCIe SSD in X120e

2011-05-29, 1:48 AM

Has anyone been able to confirm whether the CoreStore MVs boot?

 

My bios lists PCI as a potential boot.. i think?   see link beloiw of pic

 

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/19/biosboot.jpg/

 

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4280 Posts

12-02-2007

United States of America

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  • Message 14 of 16

Re: mSATA mini PCIe SSD in X120e

2011-06-01, 9:11 AM

Hello,

 

I believe that is for PXE booting off of a network, and not for booting from an SSD in a MiniPCIe slot.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 



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1 Posts

08-06-2011

Tulsa, ok

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  • Message 15 of 16

Re: mSATA mini PCIe SSD in X120e

2011-08-06, 4:22 AM

i have an x120e and got the corestore MV.  i applied a modified firmware with the white list removed and verified that a dell 6300 wifi card worked in place of the realtek wifi card.  i put the corestore MV in the slot, and while the laptop boots, it does not detect that there is new hardware in the slot, much less boot to it.  my dell e6410 shows a bios style page for the corestore MV, however, i can't get the dell laptop to even boot to the internal hard drive while the corestore mv is in the laptop (hangs right after bios looking for a boot device.)

 

i'm not sure if this means the corestore mv is a bad flash card, but i will be contacting supertalent for further help.

 

@zac: you just described a dedicated raid controller.  the corestore mv plugs into a pcie slot and runs as its own controller that *should* be bootable in most mini pcie slots, however, laptop makers do funny things with pcie slots.

 

i've got a mini pcie to pcie x1 adapter that i will try in a desktop too. 

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35 Posts

03-15-2011

Seattle, WA

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  • Message 16 of 16

Re: mSATA mini PCIe SSD in X120e

2011-08-09, 5:19 AM

In general, BIOS only knows how to boot from floppy disks and IDE (PATA) hard drives. In order to boot from a RAID controller, SATA AHCI controller, network controller, or other device that allows the computer to boot into an operating system, these devices provide their own BIOS code (sometimes called option ROMs) that the BIOS loads, one by one, when it starts up. Once the BIOS has loaded all the option ROMs, it has a list of devices that it can attempt to boot from.

 

On most desktop computers, the BIOS will check each PCI and PCI Express device and load its BIOS code if possible. If you enter the BIOS setup program, you will see the list of available boot devices based on what code was loaded, and you can change the boot order, and enable/disable booting from those devices.

 

I would imagine that with something that is locked down like the Lenovo ThinkPad BIOS, it may not go check for option ROMs to load, aside from the AHCI controller and the NIC. So, if you install your mSATA SSD controller, turn on the computer, go into the BIOS setup program, and do not see the mSATA controller listed as a bootable device in the boot order section, I don't think there's any way to make the computer boot from it (apart from modifying the BIOS :)

 

I had an idea while thinking about this, though. If you have both the 2.5" disk and the corestore MV installed, and you boot into Windows, does the corestore work normally as a second disk? If so, it might be possible to install Windows onto it. Windows 7, by default, creates a 100MB partiton on whichever drive you choose to install Windows to. It stores the boot manager stuff here, so when you turn on the computer, you're actually booting from this partition. The boot manager knows which of the other partitions Windows is installed on and loads accordingly.

 

What I'm thinking is that you could create the 100MB partition on the 2.5" disk, but install Windows onto the corestore. Now, the tricky part is that I'm not sure if you can create the 100MB partition manully using the Windows 7 installer (which is really Windows Preinstallation Environment, BTW), because when you use the WinPE interface to add and remove partitions, it makes the 100MB partition automatically. I know from doing Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 imaging at work that in order to make a fully unattended Windows installation (where you can deploy Windows without prompting the user for any input), you have to actually specify the two partitions in the answer file. In other words, I have to put some instructions in my answer file that say something like, on Disk 1, creation partition 0 as 100MB, format NTFS, then creation partition 1 as the remainder of the space, format as NTFS, and assign drive letter C:. So theoretically, if the corestore is Disk 2, you could have the C: partition be there instead of Disk 1.

 

Another way you could try this, is when you run Windows setup and you get to the disk partitioning phase, press Shift + F8 (or is it F10, I can never remember) to open up a command shell window. Then you could run DISKPART.EXE and manually create the partitions the way I described above. I'm not actually sure how WinPE knows to install the boot manager stuff in the 100MB partition. Maybe it just automatically chooses whichever partition is first. You should be able to create the two partitions, one on each disk, then exit DISKPART and close the command window, then rescan the disk in the graphical interface. It should display the partition you created on the corestore. You would then select it and click Next, wait for Windows to install, then see what happens.

 

Let me know if this works!

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