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Support => Netbooks => Topic started by: banko on October 08, 2013, 10:27:20 am

Title: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: banko on October 08, 2013, 10:27:20 am
Hi Mark.

on my ZG5 the ssd seems to take time to work, I think this is normal as they wear out after a time, but when I log on to 'this' site I get messages such as 'waiting for cache' which seems fine but also I get the message 'waiting for facebook.com'
As I'm not on facebook, any ideas why this should be, as this can take ages for the page to load,

also is there any way of knowing if my SSD is in need of replacing?

thanks

Keith
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on October 08, 2013, 11:43:19 am
"Waiting for facebook" will be where it's having to get info from the facebook servers because of the "like" button plugin that people requested.

You might want to try clearing your browsers cache, and see if that helps.

No way to know if the SSD is wearing out that I'm aware of beyond the SMART data.
Code: [Select]
sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda
(the above assumes your SSD ia /dev/sda)
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Mad Penguin on October 08, 2013, 12:14:51 pm
(Warning :: smartctl depends on a features database that contains drive information for "known" drives .. quite often SSD's do not feature in this database ... so if this gives completely wild numbers, it probably means that your SSD isn't in the DB .. )
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: banko on October 08, 2013, 12:21:58 pm
thanks for the replies
they clear up why the facebook thing comes up,

the smartctl shows nothing.

I think its definite that the SSD giving up the ghost, so I'll look at buying a new one and get my son to install it.

again thanks

Keith
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on October 08, 2013, 12:56:19 pm
(Warning :: smartctl depends on a features database that contains drive information for "known" drives .. quite often SSD's do not feature in this database ... so if this gives completely wild numbers, it probably means that your SSD isn't in the DB .. )

Yup, mine mentions not being in the database in the smartctl output .. but mine's not the standard SSD for an AA1

[EDIT]

The AA1's SSD doesn't even support TRIM/discard .. so I doubt if it's going to give any real info on it's state .. though hdparm does suggest it supports SMART.

Code: [Select]
mark@AA1-Blue ~ $ sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda
[sudo] password for mark:

/dev/sda:

CompactFlash ATA device
Model Number:       STT_FEM16GF13M                         
Serial Number:      P756867-PRR4-921C013
Firmware Revision:  Ver6.P1C
Standards:
Supported: 5 4
Likely used: 6
Configuration:
Logical max current
cylinders 16383 16383
heads 16 16
sectors/track 63 63
--
CHS current addressable sectors:   30146256
LBA    user addressable sectors:   30146256
LBA48  user addressable sectors:   30146256
Logical/Physical Sector size:           512 bytes
device size with M = 1024*1024:       14719 MBytes
device size with M = 1000*1000:       15434 MBytes (15 GB)
cache/buffer size  = 1 KBytes (type=DualPort)
Nominal Media Rotation Rate: Solid State Device
Capabilities:
LBA, IORDY(cannot be disabled)
Standby timer values: spec'd by Standard, no device specific minimum
R/W multiple sector transfer: Max = 1 Current = 1
Advanced power management level: 254
DMA: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2 udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 *udma5 udma6
     Cycle time: min=120ns recommended=120ns
PIO: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
     Cycle time: no flow control=120ns  IORDY flow control=120ns
Commands/features:
Enabled Supported:
   * SMART feature set
    Security Mode feature set
   * Power Management feature set
    Write cache
   * Host Protected Area feature set
   * WRITE_BUFFER command
   * READ_BUFFER command
   * NOP cmd
   * CFA feature set
   * Advanced Power Management feature set
    SET_MAX security extension
   * 48-bit Address feature set
   * Mandatory FLUSH_CACHE
Security:
Master password revision code = 65534
supported
not enabled
not locked
not frozen
not expired: security count
supported: enhanced erase
60min for SECURITY ERASE UNIT. 60min for ENHANCED SECURITY ERASE UNIT.
Checksum: correct
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: chemicalfan on October 09, 2013, 09:13:25 am
I think I'm correct in saying that the standard SSD in the AA1 was actually slower than the HDD version in some tests, it was that poor. It was basically just a USB flash drive soldered into a drive case! I always thought it was quite reliable though...?

I kinda miss my AA1, it was a neat little machine that taught me the ins-and-outs of Linux well. The BIOS died on it (apparently) - I thought it was toast, so I gave it away to a friend who said that he Googled the symptoms, flashed the BIOS, and it was fully functional, doh!!  :(
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on October 09, 2013, 12:59:49 pm
Yeah I've covered the BIOS recovery procedure on here somewhere .. kinda freaks you out the first time it goes all blank on ya  :o

Yeah the stock SSD isn't quick and it isn't pretty, reliable as they are like any other solid state drive they will eventually die, and most AA1's are now pretty old, so depends how often it's used and what for.

That said, the SSD doesn't usually "slow down" as much as one day just won't work at all.
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: chemicalfan on October 09, 2013, 01:33:17 pm
Yeah, I'd assumed the motherboard had died, as it didn't even give a POST beep and no HDD access (so not dead GPU or screen)

Mine was a good three years old when it died (mine was one of the first), and I don't do laptop hardware repairs (well, at least until I found this website - http://www.tim.id.au/blog/tims-laptop-service-manuals/ - now I'm like "let me at it!"). A friend fancied having a go, and fixed it without even opening the case! If only I'd known!! Hindsight is 20:20  ;)
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on October 09, 2013, 02:39:34 pm
Handy site .. cheers :)

I'm now a master at stripping down AA1's .. to tell the truth, other than keyboard removal which is a bit tricky the first time you do it (and easily broken) they're pretty simple to strip, damn site easier than the MSI Wind (who's plastics break just undoing screws) that's for sure  ::)
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: banko on October 09, 2013, 07:12:10 pm
Any recommendations on SSD's, makes etc, I've had a look and there's loads.
I'm not looking for a large capacity, only 16 or 32 gig and not too expensive .

thanks
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on October 09, 2013, 07:20:02 pm
There's NOT loads .. the one for the AA1 is VERY specific .. it's a ZIF 1.3" PATA (IDE) SSD

I have one of these 16GB SSD's:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Super-Talent-miniPCIe-Solid-Aspire/dp/B002HRE1H2 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Super-Talent-miniPCIe-Solid-Aspire/dp/B002HRE1H2)

or 32gig version:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Super-Talent-Aspire-Solid-State/dp/B001H14G4M (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Super-Talent-Aspire-Solid-State/dp/B001H14G4M)
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: banko on October 09, 2013, 07:47:30 pm
thanks Mark, i didn't know they were specific ones for certain computers

the 16 gig one seems reasonable, so I think I will give it a try,

I'll let you know how I get on.
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on October 09, 2013, 07:54:01 pm
Here's a link to the service manual with strip down instructions:
http://tim.id.au/laptops/acer/aspire%20one.pdf (http://tim.id.au/laptops/acer/aspire%20one.pdf)

Thank chemicalfan for that :)

There's also a video on this forum somewhere
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: chemicalfan on October 10, 2013, 12:02:02 pm
How about replacing it with an HDD? Or is that a specific one too? Or is the chassis different between the SSD & HDD AA1 (A110 vs A150)? Wiki mentions a Samsung P-SSD 1800 as a faster alternative SSD that came with later AA1s, might be worth searching for.
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on October 10, 2013, 01:28:10 pm
The chassis IS different, but it''s still possible to fit (hack in) an HDD .. though YES it has to be a specific one (60 GB Samsung HS06THB.), any 1.8" ZIF IDE HDD should work, but you may need to get a different cable for say the Toshiba drives.

See here (and other places):
http://tnkgrl.com/2008/08/16/modding-the-acer-aspire-one-hard-drive/ (http://tnkgrl.com/2008/08/16/modding-the-acer-aspire-one-hard-drive/)

BTW, the SuperTalent SSD's I linked to are supposed to be faster than the stock ones too .. but I reckon there's not much in it between any of them, probably as much of a "bus" limit as a limit of the SSD's'
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: banko on October 10, 2013, 04:31:35 pm
Thanks both Mark and chemicalfan,
a good link, enjoyed having a look at it, but as my son used to repair and update laptops, doing a fair few netbooks, I'll let him do it, ;D

I think I bought my aa1 in 2008 (I'll have to check) and all the talk then was the 2 different SSD cards, one quicker than the other, luckily mine was the quicker samsung one, up until about a year ago it was still very quick, but it gradually become slower and at times now is almost unusable,
I've used mine everyday for a couple of hours or so,(if not more) so it hasn't done bad,
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on October 10, 2013, 04:40:15 pm
If you're going to replace the SSD (or anything else that requires stripping down the AA1), can I suggest you take this opportunity to install a 1gig RAM upgrade (so you have 1.5gig) .. that makes a HUGE difference to the speed of the AA1, and how smoothly it runs.

See here:
http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/listparts.aspx?model=Aspire%20One%20%28A110%29&Cat=RAM (http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/listparts.aspx?model=Aspire%20One%20%28A110%29&Cat=RAM)
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: banko on October 10, 2013, 05:40:40 pm
Mine already has 1 gig of memory,

in your opinion would it be worth adding another 500 (if I can add that amount) as I've never had a problem with memory (I think)
I can't believe how cheap memory is now days.
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on October 10, 2013, 05:45:53 pm
Your call .. you need to see if you ever end up using the swap file .. if you do, more memory is best.

running:
Code: [Select]
free -m
when your system is under load (ie wtha few web browser tabs open, and mamybe a flash video running in one of them) should tell you.
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: chemicalfan on October 11, 2013, 09:29:18 am
The motherboard will take 2G (I think!) - you can never have too much RAM when you've got under 4G. These modern web browsers & HTML5 just eat it up, and it's only going to get worse with time.
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on October 11, 2013, 01:49:34 pm
Nope .. motherboard of an AA1 has 512mb soldered to the board, and a single slot that can take a 1gb SODIMM (no larger) .. so 1.5gb is your maximum.

Then I use adblock plus and flashblock .. so I only play flash that I want to play.

With that, 1.5gb is enough .. and I regularly have about 20 tabs open in firefox, though I try not to :)

--
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Gavmack on September 14, 2014, 01:09:27 am
Sorry for the big-ish bump but relevant folks.

I'd lost the bookmark for the forum for this terrific AAO resource but good old google with the keywords about this issue I knew would have to be here has saved the day, hooray.

Came here for Peppermint 3 help after Ubuntu went unity-insane and Mark came to the rescue. AAO ZG5 with 32 Gb Supertalent IDE ZIF SSD, been working like a champ ever since with 1.5Gb even though flash bogs it down now.  But the SSD has started to slow down and I think it's got a garbage problem.

Trim needs AHCI support and not IDE like this drive is. I am tech by trade, SSD is often so it's straight to the point.  Has anyone (cough) found a method to trim the drive by the OS live or intact even - or is it backup, zero the SSD wiping the refuse away via hiren boot USB then restore the only way to clean up the rubbish? I'm thinking it is but need confirmation from (ah-hem)

And also if there's a better long term distro for the ZG5 since my last visit I would be interested; it might get a second refit with 3rd antenna + N card from eBay and an exotic heatsink polish/tint to make it still the go to little computer when any iPads, even plus keyboards just wont do. 

I still have to pinch myself that Acer, of all manufacturers can make a computer that I'm as fond of as any of my Macs and PC's I've had in over 25 years  :D

Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on September 14, 2014, 02:30:51 pm
AA1 SSD's simply don't support TRIM

You can test this with:
Code: [Select]
sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda | grep -i TRIM
and you'll get no output.

So I'm afraid wiping the drive is the only option  :(

Couldn't agree more with this though:-

Quote
I still have to pinch myself that Acer, of all manufacturers can make a computer that I'm as fond of as any of my Macs and PC's I've had in over 25 years

I've rebuilt mine a ton of times because I'm simply not happy without it .. which still surprises me.

I'm currently trying to source a replacement SSD for a second AA1 as a backup unit .. which considering the price of AA1 SSD's should tell you something ;)

I have a couple of other netbooks with HDD's .. it would be chaeper to replace their SATA HDD's with "proper" SSD's but for some reason I can't quite put my finger on, I still prefer my AA1 .. weird innit ?
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: FrancBryan on April 16, 2015, 07:56:54 am
Are there any free or paid devices which can repair SSD bad sectors or, some way or another, read the data in these bad sectors during a clone/image/recovery process?
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on April 16, 2015, 01:36:58 pm
Whilst there is Windows software out there that claims to be able to (sometimes) read data from failed/failing NAND/NOR (flash memory), I'd be seriously sceptical of those claims .. it's not like the data on a HDD where thought the data is stored in digital format it's actually read in an analogue fashion (so the magnetic signature may be there but weak), so reading it multiple times *may* result in a signal.
AFAIK anything stored on a chip is stored and read in true digital format (logic gate) .. so it's either readable or it isn't, which is why modern SSD controllers tend to move stuff around the SSD to level the wear on any given logic gate
(the bad news .. the AA1's SSD doesn't support TRIM or AFAIK wear levelling)

I can only assume the software I mentioned earlier is either a plain lie, or that it's going to "best guess" any unreadable logic gate based on the data around it .. more like a data recovery program, but probably WAY less effective than the same thing on an HDD.

Be aware, I'm NOT a NAND/NOR data recovery "expert" (if there is such a thing) .. so you may want to get advice from elsewhere ;)
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: chemicalfan on April 17, 2015, 09:32:31 am
If the SSD doesn't support wear levelling, one could put a filesystem on it that did it from the kernel? I'm sure they exist and I'm not crazy!
Title: Re: slow SSD or other reasons
Post by: Mad Penguin on April 19, 2015, 01:08:45 am
Yup, JFFS2 effectively supports wear levelling, you'll find it was used by "FlashLinux" to run a live distro "on" a USB key .. :)
[note however it doesn't behave like a 'normal' filesystem, and you don't want to put it on a 'large' volume, the startup time and memory usage will be prohibitive]

Just bought a bunch of SanDisk X110's (120G) which look quite promising for 32 quid .. they're definitely getting cheaper ..
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