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I have a Lenovo IdeaPad U310, which has a 25GB SSD and a 500GB regular hard drive. It uses some sort of fake raid in order to use the SSD ...
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  1. #1
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    Cannot get dual boot properly set up with FAKERAID


    I have a Lenovo IdeaPad U310, which has a 25GB SSD and a 500GB regular hard drive. It uses some sort of fake raid in order to use the SSD as a cache.

    I would like to set up the laptop to dual boot windows 7 and xubuntu 12.04.

    Here is what I've done so far. I disabled RAID and UEFI in the BIOS, then I booted Xubuntu from a flash drive. (If I didn't disable RAID in the BIOS, then the ubuntu installer couldn't see the partitions, and it would crash.) I wiped out Windows because I figured it would be easier to install windows second.

    Anyway, I was able to get Xubuntu installed, but it is only using the 500GB regular hard drive. It's ignoring the SSD. I would like to get it using the SSD properly (as intended) so that it's fast. Then I would like to install windows 7, also using the SSD. I'd like to be able to choose which OS to boot to using GRUB.

  2. #2
    Trusted Penguin Irithori's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome.

    You are presumably talking about SRT
    For that to work, you *need* raid enabled in bios.

    Unfortunately (and I also didnt realize that until now), SRT needs support by the OS driver.
    The windows driver has this support, linux not.
    Source: Chipset Software — Intel® Smart Response Technology User Guide

    What you can do is to use linux native tools for the same ssd caching effect: flashcache or bcache
    Linux flashcache and bcache performance testing « AccelCloud Services

    However in a dual boot scenario the native bios approach and native linux approach are mutually exclusive.
    So choose one.
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irithori View Post
    Hi and welcome.

    You are presumably talking about SRT
    For that to work, you *need* raid enabled in bios.

    Unfortunately (and I also didnt realize that until now), SRT needs support by the OS driver.
    The windows driver has this support, linux not.

    What you can do is to use linux native tools for the same ssd caching effect: flashcache or bcache

    However in a dual boot scenario the native bios approach and native linux approach are mutually exclusive.
    So choose one.
    Hi Irithori,

    Thanks for the quick and helpful reply.

    I am referring to the Intel Smart Response Technology (SRT).

    I am still having a little trouble determining the best approach here. (I want both operating systems to work, and I want linux to use the SSD in a useful way).

    Couple follow-up questions:
    1. Can I install both operating systems directly on the SSD, then use the 500GB drive to store files? I assume in this scenario I would disable RAID?
    2. Alternatively, could I set up linux to use flashcache or bcache, and then just install Windows on the 500GB drive? Would GRUB still work in this scenario?

    Thanks for your help!

  4. #4
    Trusted Penguin Irithori's Avatar
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    1) In theory: Yes, you could install xubuntu and w7 on the ssd and then use the 500gb for data only. In this scenario you would disable raid.
    But I wouldnt do it. 25GByte is quite low for w7. You might get to install it but experience shows, that it tends to grow.

    2) Yes, this approach should work. Although you will have fun with grub and/or the windows bootloader.
    (Where is what installed, and what is the first disk from bios/linux/windows perspective)
    But grub does support starting OSes from different devices.


    My suggestion would be another setup:
    - Use SRT, aka: set it up as raid in bios
    - Install w7 natively and as the only OS. No dualboot
    - Use the intel tools to configure SRT as "Write Through".
    This only caches reads, not writes. But as there is no battery to support the "Write Back" mode, I highly recommend "Write through"
    - Install a type 2 hypervisor of your choice. I use virtualbox
    - Install your linux as a VM.

    This way,
    - you make use of the hardware features
    - you can run both windows and linux in parallel
    - you can make use of snapshots
    - there wont be hardware compatibility issues with sound/wifi for ubuntu. linux will only see the virtualized devices.

    The u310 comes in multiple versions and CPUs.
    But even the smallest one (i3-2367m) has the neccessary virtualization features and should be fast enough for at least one vm.
    I would opt for at least 4GByte RAM, better 8GByte, though.
    Last edited by Irithori; 01-29-2013 at 09:57 AM.
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.

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