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18 Posts

12-09-2008

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SSD Solid State Drives: Upgrading the Ultraportable X40 and X41

2008-12-10, 20:08 PM

Need some opinions ! 

 

I'm thinking of upgrading my Thinkpad X40 ultraportable's very slow 1.8" HDD with an SSD module (a DRAM unit, not a flash unit). These modules are rare - but available and expensive.

 

There are obvious issues.

 

Windows is optimized for HDDs not SSDs & uses lots of disk continuously - possibly reducing expected performance gains.

 

Some technical literature I've seen indicates (at least on Linux) that some write-activity can be deferred to RAM instead, and also there are a few options about where constantly updated files might be relocated. Maybe Windows can be tweaked (a little) but I'm not getting my hopes up.

 

Presuming I could even find a repair-depot willing to do the upgrade -

 

1: Don't DRAM SSDs need constant battery power ? If so - how does the new X300 Thinkpad avoid losing your data when you pull the main battery out - a local battery on the SSD unit perhaps ? 

 

2: If SSDs consume power even when off - would the current-draw be so low as to be met by the local SSDs battery without drawing down the main battery ? 

 

3: Some SSD upgrades fail to deliver the expected performance gains - since the drivers may not be upgradeable - and your stuck with the original I/O speed regardless.

 

Since the X40's 1.8" HDD spins so very slowly anyway - might I stand a good chance of substantial performance gains ? 

 

4: Has anyone found main battery life to drop - instead of improve - due to an SSD upgrade ?

 

5: Here is a neat link showing the whole X40 SSD upgrade procedure in living-color  www.think4d.de/nbb/x41_ssd.htm  

 

 

Any comments appreciated. 

 

Rob 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Message Edited by RobW on 12-10-2008 12:18 PM
Message Edited by RobW on 12-10-2008 12:24 PM
Message Edited by RobW on 12-10-2008 12:36 PM
Message Edited by RobW on 12-10-2008 12:38 PM
Message Edited by RobW on 12-10-2008 12:41 PM
Message Edited by RobW on 12-10-2008 12:43 PM
Message Edited by bananaman on 06-02-2009 02:22 PM
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5884 Posts

11-24-2007

United States of America

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Re: SSD Solid State Drives: Upgrading the Ultraportable X40

2008-12-10, 23:45 PM

SSDs don't require battery power to retain data.   they work just like high-speed removable flash media.

 

SLC drives are faster than MLC drives.   if you can afford it, get an SLC drive.

 

battery life will be better but only marginally.   i have an SSD in my X61s and it added about 20~30 more minutes of run time when using an 8-cell battery.

 

you may find the following articles from matt kohut of lenovo useful:

   http://lenovoblogs.com/insidethebox/?p=96

   http://lenovoblogs.com/insidethebox/?p=141

   http://lenovoblogs.com/insidethebox/?p=148

   http://lenovoblogs.com/insidethebox/?p=173

ThinkStation P700      ThinkPad X1C7

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5 Posts

05-30-2009

Virginia, USA

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Re: SSD Solid State Drives: Upgrading the Ultraportable X40

2009-05-30, 16:52 PM

Lenovo is selling a 60 gig SSD, FRU 41W0736. I purchased one on ebay, but it doesn't seem to fit right in the X40, even though it is supposed to. Is there information somewhere that will show how to install this part?


Message Edited by GPSJay on 05-30-2009 09:53 AM
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5434 Posts

04-25-2008

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Re: SSD Solid State Drives: Upgrading the Ultraportable X40

2009-05-30, 17:25 PM

Hi GPSJay and welcome to the Lenovo User Community!

 

Very interesting part you found there.

 

The Hardware Maintenance Manual is the official document for hardware removal/install.

 

But what doesn't seem to fit? It should just slide in. Do the connectors match? 

 

One little subtlety is that you need to open the lid to slide X4x drives in and out.

USB-C: Just cos it fits don't mean it works.
I don't work for Lenovo. I'm a crazy volunteer!
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5 Posts

05-30-2009

Virginia, USA

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Re: SSD Solid State Drives: Upgrading the Ultraportable X40

2009-05-30, 19:59 PM

Thanks for the reply. 

 

After I remove the single screw holding the cover over the HDD slot, remove the cover and the HDD itself, the new SSD does not slide all the way in and press into place like a regular 1.8" PATA for the X40.

 

To make it slide all the way in, I have to remove two screws on the front of the SSD's metal casing.  Those screws are on the very front.  That allows me to remove one side of the metal casing and the front of the case where the IDE pins are.

 

There is a flange of some kind on the front part of the metal casing that apparently needs to be removed or the SSD will not slide all the way in. 

 

After removing all of that and pressing the SSD into place, the HDD slot cover doesn't seem to want to move back into place properly.  The edges that would normally be screwed into the sides of the HDD don't fit between the SSD and the edges of the slot.  There are no screw holes for screws either.  It apparently just sort of slides over edges and locks.

 

Just try harder?

 

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04-25-2008

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Re: SSD Solid State Drives: Upgrading the Ultraportable X40

2009-05-30, 20:27 PM

Not having see one I'm not sure what to try next.

 

The eBay listing says "Caddy included". Maybe that's supposed to help?

 

Does the drive have any other manufacturer or part number information which might lead us to more information?

 

Oh and I forgot to include my favorite link to the removal and installation videos for many types of ThinkPads. I can watch them for hours! Don't think that helps you, but may help others who follow.

USB-C: Just cos it fits don't mean it works.
I don't work for Lenovo. I'm a crazy volunteer!
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5 Posts

05-30-2009

Virginia, USA

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Re: SSD Solid State Drives: Upgrading the Ultraportable X40

2009-05-30, 21:03 PM
I believe the ASM P/N is 41W0737

 

I love these movies too. 

 

On a hunch, I just checked the video and instructions for the X41T hard drive.  The part was originally designed for the X41 and is sold on eBay as fitting the X40 and X41T also.

 

The outer cover (part of the X40 exterior case) attaches to the drive caddy differently than on the X40!  On the X40, there are screw holes in the caddy to attach that outer slot cover.  On the X41, the slot cover does not attach to the drive by screws.  Instead, it "snaps on" and you remove it by flexing the sides away from the caddy.  I have a T60P that works in a similar fashion.  I may need to try using an X41 slot cover or just see if I am not sliding the original X40 cover on right.

 

UPDATE MAY 31, 2009- I had a second one of these SSDs and got it working on my X40!  Very exciting!  Startup is definitely faster.

 

The cover does indeed "snap on" to the X40 cover, but you have to pay attention.  Also, you do need to orient the drive correctly.  The old PATA HDD and the new SSD pins are different.  That flange I was concerned with is in place of some pins that do not actually connect on the old HDD.  So, no dissasembly turned out to be necessary. Also, cloning one of the 1.8" PATA HDDs by connecting it to an external IDE connector or trying to put it into a 2.5" housing may be risky.  The better way is to use restore disks to rebuild the drive.  I used a recovery archive created with Apricorn EZ Gig II, because I don't have the original restore disks.  I expect similar products or Lenovo Rescue and Recovery would do the trick.

Message Edited by GPSJay on 05-30-2009 02:04 PM
Message Edited by GPSJay on 05-31-2009 08:48 AM
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04-25-2008

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Re: SSD Solid State Drives: Upgrading the Ultraportable X40 and X41

2009-06-02, 18:22 PM
GPSJay, glad you got one working in your X40!

Now you got me going too!

I bought one on eBay, and installed it in my X41.

It just slid right in. It's a little snugger than the old Hitachi hard drive, but not so snug that I can't slide it in and out. The little black cover fits perfectly.

The BIOS recognizes it, and there are no boot errors.

I installed Windows 7 RC on it. It defaulted to NTFS.

Here are some before and after storage benchmark results:

Before: Hitachi C4K60 60GB 1.8" hard drive 39T2547, Windows XP SP3:

--------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 2.2 (C) 2007-2008 hiyohiyo
      Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
--------------------------------------------------

   Sequential Read :   19.918 MB/s
  Sequential Write :   18.521 MB/s
 Random Read 512KB :   12.554 MB/s
Random Write 512KB :   11.752 MB/s
   Random Read 4KB :    0.253 MB/s
  Random Write 4KB :    0.682 MB/s

         Test Size : 100 MB
              Date : 2009/06/01 15:59:23


After: Lenovo 60GB 1.8" SSD 41W0737, Windows 7 RC:

--------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 2.2 (C) 2007-2008 hiyohiyo
      Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
--------------------------------------------------

   Sequential Read :   40.475 MB/s
  Sequential Write :   27.891 MB/s
 Random Read 512KB :   40.893 MB/s
Random Write 512KB :   18.927 MB/s
   Random Read 4KB :   12.675 MB/s
  Random Write 4KB :    1.679 MB/s

         Test Size : 100 MB
              Date : 2009/06/02 13:45:41


So quite a bit faster!

Tests were run on my ThinkPad X41 2528-FRU 1.6GHz 2GB RAM.

I chose Windows 7 because of its SSD optimizations. I queried the SSD, and the 41W0737 supports TRIM. Yay!

I'm soooo glad to ditch the 4200rpm drive! This gives my X41 a whole new life. It's much snappier. Not bad for just less than $200!
Message Edited by bananaman on 06-02-2009 02:25 PM
USB-C: Just cos it fits don't mean it works.
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5 Posts

05-30-2009

Virginia, USA

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Re: SSD Solid State Drives: Upgrading the Ultraportable X40 and X41

2009-06-02, 20:50 PM

Outstanding!  Thanks for those benchmarks.  I should have done them. 

 

After so many folks have worked so long to find workarounds to the old 1.8" PATAs, this is really a welcome change. I notice these cheaper drives appears within a couple of weeks of the KingSpec drives, and they appear to be cheaper in the 60 gig range.

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28 Posts

06-04-2009

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Re: Solid State : Upgrading the Ultraportable X40 and X

2009-06-05, 14:48 PM

Hi does anyone, especially those that responded to this thread, know where I can find an ssd drive for my  x41 Tablet (I'm assuming that x41T= x41 Tablet --- Please let me know if I'm wrong).  I've tried to look up both frus that were mentioned on lenovo's website but I could not find them. 

 

Also, does any one know about the quality of the SSD drives by a company called KingSpec, these are being sold on eBay.   They claim that their drive was specifically designed for the tkinkpad x41 and x41 Tablet. Can I trust these KingSpec Drives?

 

Kind Regards,

Aniket

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