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D430 and mSata hard drive


ddiego
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I decided to give my trusty old D430 another lease on life.  I purchased a Pata Zif to msata adapter from Ebay (the same adapter is for sale on Amazon, as well).  I first verified that my Lenovo x220's Crucial M4 256GB mSata drive would work on the D430.  It did, and showed up in the Bios as well as booting up my Windows 8.  An Amazon review of the adapter indicated that this exact SSD would not work on it...I suspect the reviewer had his ribbon cable upside down.

 

After verifying that my current mSata drive worked in the adapter I ordered a Plextor 128GB M5M, partitioned it, and attempted to install Lion (I had SL on my Samsung HS122JC 5400 rpm spinner).  I don't know what is going on with the myHack/OSXLatitude bootpacks but I've NEVER been able to make them work properly.  My SL disk was created using a different method outlined in the D4xx forum.  My Lion install kept hanging before getting to the logo...suggestions are welcome.

 

Anyway, I eventually gave up on Lion and installed SL, instead.  I'm pleased to report that cold boot times dropped from 52 seconds to 32 seconds and my battery time (at 100% charge) increased from 1:35 to 2:52.  I'm attaching some pictures for others to use as a roadmap.

 

So don't throw out that old D430 - just upgrade it to an mSata SSD.  The beauty of this upgrade is that the SSD drive can be used later when you move on to a newer laptop.

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Very useful info, thanks for sharing this. I've been looking at an SSD for my D430 since the Zif HDD really is too slow. I might give that solution a try.

 

Am I right in thinking that the mSata adapter is not actually mounted in the HDD slot, but just placed and held there with the rubber cover?

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Herve,

 

You are right - the adapter is not secured in place.  But not to worry, the adapter weighs only an ounce or two and with the mSata drive feels like a book of stamps.  If it were to be damaged in a fall the forces would have to be so great that your laptop would be unrepairable.  The existing rubber cover is more than sufficient to protect the drive.

 

Oh, and one other thing.  I partitioned the drive into two just like my previous Samsung drive.  I finished installing Windows 7 and my cold boot times dropped from 83 seconds to 25 seconds.  This is a much more dramatic result than what I achieved with the Snow Leopard boot times.

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Thank you for pioneering this!   I ordered one of  those adapters on Ebay a few weeks ago ($15 vs. $22 on Amazon) and it has arrived, but I've been hesitant to buy the msata drive, because that is the expensive part.  

 

I've been using the Toshiba MK2431 240GB hard drive in my D430s but it is kind of slow.  Oh, I think it's reasonably speedy compared to other 1.8" hard drives, but none of them are speed demons.  MSATA would be much better.

 

And, as you write, if you change your mind later, an msata drive has other uses.   If one gets one of the 1.8" ZIF SSDs there are a very limited number of possible uses.  But an msata SSD can go in any number of devices.  The 1.8" ZIF to msata adapter seems like a good choice.    Oh, and 256 GB of msata drive is about $200, while a 240GB 1.8" ZIF PATA SSD costs about $400.

 

If the msata drives would fall by about 50% it would be a complete no brainer.  The MK2431 is about $90 up from $75 a few months ago.  If the comparable capacity msata drives fell down into that range, there'd be absolutely no reason to consider sticking with a hard drive.

 

Did you choose the Plextor based on reviews and/or research?  I've had my eye on the 256GB M5M based on reading a few reviews/roundups and relative pricing and such, but don't fell especially confident in the choice.   Still, given that it will be connected to a 100 MB/s PATA interface, the last few smidgeons of performance are probably irrelevant. 

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Having sold my 1st D430, I spent some of the proceeds on a fairly cheap Plextor M5M 128Go mSata SSD for my other D430. The specs of that little SSD are rather good but I was also eyeing on a Kingston SMS200S3 120Go. Unfortunately, I never managed to get one within the budget I had limited myself to. So, I've ended up with the same setup as ddiego.

 

I made an image of the ML HDD installation and restored it to the SSD rather than re-install from scratch. What a difference! ML 10.8.4 now boots in about 30s from the time I enter the BIOS system password to the time ML desktop is fully loaded on screen. The Toshiba 80Go HDD, albeit 4200rpm, did feel faster than the Samsung model I had in the other D430, but there's just no comparison with this SSD. It's complete night & day.

 

An absolute must on those ageing D430s, if it can be obtained cheap enough. My battery too gained about 1hr of usage!

 

NB: I was not seeing any TRIM support for that SSD module so I checked with Disk Utility. It does not seem too be detected as an SSD drive; I guess it's because it's connected through a PATA interface, i.e. non-AHCI.

DU_info.png

Plextor_128M5M.png

 

As an order of magnitude, here are some benchmark comparisons between the original 4200rpm HDD and the new mSata SSD:

ML boot time HDD: ~90s

ML boot time SSD: ~30s

 

Using BlackMagic DiskSpeedTest app (free off AppStore):

Write HDD: ~21MB/s          Read HDD: ~16MB/s

Write SSD: ~62MB/s          Read SSD: ~81MB/s

 

The D430 uses the ICH7-M IDE (PATA) interface which operates in Ultra ATA/100/66/33 mode with theoretical max read speed of 100MB/s and max write speed of 89MB/s. In practice, those rates fall to 80-90MB/s and 70-80MB/s respectively. Therefore, SSD mSATA specs get close to Zif PATA interface limits.

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I tried the MydigitalSSD BP4 240GB mSATA SSD with Sintech adapter this weekend and it did not work. I tried three of them, in three adapters and none of them worked. So, unless I got three bad adapters, or three bad SSDs, or some combination thereof, the MydigitalSSD BP4 does not work with the Sintech adapter.

 

MydigitalSSD's website's page for the BP4 states that it has a SATA III interface and is compatible with SATA II. No mention of SATA I compatibility and the Sintech adapter board uses a JMicron JM20330 chip which only supports SATA I (1.5 Gbps) on the SATA side. Sintech's website claims compatibility with MydigitalSSD brand, but I bet that was for the BP3. The BP3 is backwards compatible with SATA I.

 

I could be wrong, but that's the evidence I have and my guesses. I have not heard back from MydigitalSSD tech support so far.

 

It looks like Amazon will take them back and refund me without an issue -- I hope.

 

I tried this brand and model because they have pretty good reviews and there was a Black Friday sale.

 

I called Crucial support this morning, and the pleasant fellow I spoke with said that they have not tested it, and there could always be unknown problems awaiting, but he sees no reason why the M500 should not work with the SATA I interface on the Sintech adapter. So, I have three of those on the way now... Fingers crossed.

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