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01-07-2012 09:27 AM - edited 01-07-2012 11:57 AM
Half a dozen notebooks - that's impressive.
One more reason for HP to take care of this problem ..
## So the m4 does work. I can only think of one 'why':
the unique Marvell 88SS9174-BLD2 controller inside the Corsair m4 ssd.
Does the M4 work flawless? (any read/write/boot issues?)
Which sequential read / write speeds are you able to get with the common AS SSD benchmark (or HDtune or something)
Consequently, if you have access to a linux live distribution, at which drive speed (sata-II or sata-III) is the drive configured and working?
The part with the drive caddys is strange.
Did you try swapping the caddys / ssds of the 'working' notebook configurations with the ones of the other notebooks that didn't?
There have been other reports of working M4 drives before, but they, too had some issues with it.
We have to find out why this happens.
Most (all?) other sata-III ssds we tested - and which didn't work - had the sandforce SF-2200 controller family (to be exact, the SF-2281).
Perhaps the problem is only related to that?
Here is a good overview on wikipedia of drive/controller combinations:
(drives which are not listed have no sandforce-chip)
Older sata-II ssds 'only' had the SF-1200 and SF-1500 controller, so everything would fit concerning an isolated 6560b/Sandforce SF-2200 incompatibility.
Sandforce had serious firmware bugs in the past, but as this thing seems 6560b-related, it is likely that the 6560b BIOS is still the main issue.
BTW, after a sucessfull BIOS modification of one of my other boards, I looked into the general possibility of analyzing / modifying the 6560b BIOS to change something. Unfortunately, HP uses RSA-signed bios updates, so the effort of actually patching a notebook with a modified BIOS is greatly increased.
Some guys are trying to modify the BIOS of the HP notebook none the less to circumvent the strict HP-enforced hardware whitelist that enables only special HP-approved hardware to work in their notebooks. You ask why?.. HP is too incompetent to include their own devices in that whitelist =P
If users want to risk bricking their hardware, let them do it .. they paid a lot of money to get the hardware to you in the first place, so they have the right to.
The 68SCE.bin BIOS file of our F.20-Bios is easily extractable, but the EFI BIOS complicates things. Modification tools mostly work for only one bios manufacturer.
Some general stuff:
-the BIOS itself is 2,5Mb in size (usual for non-EFI bios: 1 MB)
There are reports of sucessfull modifications of HP Probooks (4xxx series) with similar RSA-secured BIOS systems, but for the 68SCE and 68SCF (Probook 6xxx and 8xxx series), all tries have failed so far.
At the moment, I see no reason for modifying the BIOS anyway. It can be another source of information what hardware / software is running in our laptops, though.
01-10-2012 01:47 PM
The SAMSUNG SSD 830 Series (128GB) works. There is no Sandforce-Controller. Only when You reboot the notebook (after updates etc.) the message "NO System" appears - press <ESC> twice and the notebook will reboot, I don't know why, but I have no problem with this "feature" :-)
Samsung SSD 830 Series 128GB
Sorry for my poor english!
01-11-2012 01:03 PM - edited 01-11-2012 01:08 PM
OH YES. A FIX!
I'll try it on the weekend.
The notice of thomasz fits to my assumption that the problem had *something' to do with the new sandforce-controller.
The Samsung 830-Series seems to be using an ARM-based, Samsung-developed chip called MCX S4LJ204X01.
Let us know if the fix works for you!
I'm not sure if HP worked on the fix because of our efforts here or not.
But that doesn't really matter, because it will help affected people to find the solution to their problem way quicker.
BTW, the BIOS entry under 'Linux' at the HP Support/Download page for the 6560b is still outdated.
Use the entries for Windows.
(different operationg systems don't matter concerning BIOS updates themself, but for the program to flash the bios. I wouldn't recommend flashing your BIOS directly from windows anyway.)
01-13-2012 02:41 PM
I have updated my BIOS to F22, then cloned my primary drive to my OCZ Agility 3 and it does work but it only connected at 3gb/s. So the SATA-III is still not working but it is at least accepting the drives as SATA-II. I put the older Vertex 2 back in my computer as it has faster read speeds, I am using the Agility 3 for a backup drive (super fast backups)
OCZ Agility 3 internal
Sequential Read : 204.800 MB/s
Sequential Write : 142.528 MB/s
OCZ Vertex 2 internal
Sequential Read : 240.757 MB/s
Sequential Write : 115.839 MB/s
Note for these benchmarks I used CrystalDiskMark and these drives were already half full of data.
01-14-2012 08:47 AM - edited 01-14-2012 08:57 AM
I can CONFIRM the F.22 BIOS recognizing Sandforce-based Sata-III drives.
My Kingston HyperX 120GB (Firmware 332ABBF0) is booting an AHCI Win 7 x64 professional without a problem.
I have updated my first post in this thread on page 2 to inform affected people of the F.22 BIOS version.
However, I can also confirm tsargents reports of the drive working only at Sata-II speed.
This is reproducable on Win 7 x64 as well as on Linux Mint 12. Therefore, MS-AHCI drivers (or comparable Intel rapid storage-AHCI-drivers) are not responsible for the problem.
I suspect there is still something wrong with the internal Sata-III port of the 6560b and the BIOS update mainly solved the downgrading issue from sata-III to sata-II. The guys at HP surely know that ..
I can recommend 'AS SSD' as a windows-based benchmark tool for ssd drives. The sequential read/write values tend to be 20-25 MB below other benchmarks, but AS SSD is able to test 4K throughput, 4K queued throughput as well as acess time values for both read and write operations.
Sequential read / write values are only (!) relevant for transferring large files, which is seldomly the case when you're using a computer (except for copy / backup operations).
And while SSD drives are a heck of a lot faster with non-sequential read / write operations (about 50-100 times faster!) - and that is the reason they 'feel' so amazingly fast when you're working with them - they do work white well when using sata-II instead of sata-III.
They 'only' lose about 20-30% non-sequential speed, because most operations are not faster than 300 MB/s anyway.
The sequential read does take quite a hit though, as pracical 500MB/s with sata-II shrink to practical 270MB/s with sata-II.
I still would like HP to work on REAL sata-III support, but it was much more important to get the ssd drives to work at all.
My benchmark values of AS SSD show
-260 MB/s seq. read
-160MB/s seq. write
-40 MB/s 4K write
-115 MB 4K 64thread read
-140 MB/s 4k 64thread write
- acess time of 0,2ms read
- acess time of 0,3ms write.
Benchmark while running on plug power, otherwise energy saving-methods of cpu and chipset will slow you down. Always compare ssd benchmark values to non-emtpy drives with equal size, as a bigger drives have higher troughput values and full ssds have different (more realistic) read/write speeds.
Read benchmarks under x64 linux mint 12 show read speeds of 280 MB/s sequential read average and 283MB/s tops. Clearly, sequential read throughput hits the theoretical ceiling of 300 MB/s here. (sata-II has 3 Gbit/s and an 10b8 code for error detection, which leads to 300MB/s theoretical bandwith)
01-14-2012 08:54 AM
The new bios works, but regarding the sandforce sata 2 speed this is nothing special for HP. As a system engineer I set up a lot of pc's and servers, and I have tried many laptops from HP, Samsung, Lenovo, and Acer where the sandforce drives only works in sata 2 speed. Right now I'm typing this from a Samsung Series 7 700z5a where I first had a Corsair Force 3 240GB. It only had sata 2 speeds although Intel Controlpanel reported sata 6Gb interface. I changed the SSD to a Samsung 830 256GB and now it's working at Sata 3 speed. It seems to me that Sandforce controllers are having some issues with laptops....
01-14-2012 09:08 AM - edited 03-18-2012 06:14 AM
That is interesting. I will keep this in mind when I look for a new ssd drive for my notebook. But I doubt you'll notice the 270 MB/s vs 500 MB/s read speeds in the near future, as gigabit ethernet does not transfer more than about 120 MB/s per direction (and you'll have to use quite some tricks to get near that value) and the e-sata connection to an external drive is sata-II (=300MB/s max) anyway.
That means, there is no interface available to get more than 300MB/s out of your notebook anyway.
(LAN is not enough, e-sata-II is fast but also not fast enough .. forget USB 2.0 and WLAN 802.n)
Not that I don't want sata-III, I would definitely like to use my expensive hardware at full speed, but it is not a full deal-breaker anymore.
01-17-2012 07:26 AM
I've the same problem with my plextor px-m3s (marvell 88SS9174 controller), only sata 3 gb - reported in the intel rst dashboard
AS SSD values indicating the same , seq. read and seq. write are ~ 260 MB/s