Detection of SSDs by Win8/8.1/10 and the use of the Optimizer (former Defrag Tool)

Function and reasonable use of the Win8/8.1/10 "Optimizer"
One of the most important tools for boosting the performance of the HDDs and SSDs is the “Optimizer” (formerly named “Defrag Tool”) as part of the Operating Systems Win8/8.1 and Win10. It is able to defragment HDDs as the former Defrag Tool, but additionally it can “clean” all SSDs, which have been detected as such drives, by sending thunderstorms of TRIM commands to them. This dual DEFRAG/TRIM function is new since Windows 8 and a very nice new feature for users of one or more SSDs running in IDE, AHCI or RAID mode.


Possible “Optimizer” problems for SSD users
The “Optimizer” will only send TRIM commands to SSDs, which have been detected by the OS as SSD. SSDs, which are shown as “Hard Disk Drive” within the “Optimizer”, will be defragmented the same way as a normal HDD. It is important to know, that the defragmentation of an SSD is not only useless, but additionally bad, because each defragmentation will shorten the life time of an SSD. That is the reason, why SSD users should make sure, that their SSDs are shown as “Solid State Drive” by the “Optimizer”, before they are going to run this tool.


How to force the SSD detection by the OS?
If the “Optimizer” should show an SSD by mistake as “Hard Disk Drive”, the user should run the “Windows Experience Index” (WEI) of the OS. This tool will measure the performance of some hardware components inclusive the storage drives and will definitively detect, if there is a Solid State Drive instead of a Hard Disk Drive.
After having run the WEI tool users with one or more SSDs within their system can run the Win8/8.1 “Optimizer” without any risk.


Win8/8.1/10 problems regarding the detection of SSDs
All Windows Operating Systems from Win8 up have sometimes a problem with the correct detection of SSDs, which are members of a RAID array. They see them as “Hard Disk Drive” instead of “Solid State Drive”.
This is what the Win8.1 “Optimizer” showed for me having 2x256GB Samsung 840 PRO SSDs as RAID0 and 1 HDD for data:

Win8.1 Optimizer doesnt detect SSDs.png


Unfortunately the Windows Experience Index option, which would force the SSD detection, is missing on Win8.1 Preview.
Look here:

Win8.1 System doesnt show WEI.png


Bad consequence for affected SSD users: The problem (SSD detection failure by the OS) cannot be solved the normal way by running the Windows Experience Index.

Workaround to solve the problem:
Meanwhile I was able to solve the problem, that Win8.1 Preview doesn’t detect SSDs, which are members of a RAID array (or just running in RAID mode?).
The key was to find the tool respective the file, which is doing the Windows Experience Index, and the command for the execution (the EXE file itself doesn’t do anything without a special command).

Here is the solution about how to force the detection of the RAIDed SSDs by Win8/8.1/10:

  1. Run the Command Prompt or the Powershell as Administrator.
  2. Just enter the words “winsat diskformal” and hit the Enter key.
    This is what you will get to see (left: Command Prompt on Win10, right: Powershell on Win8.1):

    Winsat diskformal.png

    Win8.1 Preview - Manual execution of the Windows Experience Index.png

  3. Now run the Windows "Optimizer" again.
    It will look like this (surprise-surprise!):

    Win8.1 Preview - Successful detection of the SSDs.png


    Now you can use the Windows “Optimizer” for SSDs as it has been designed for by Microsoft: It sends a thunderstorm of TRIM commands to the SSDs and doesn’t defrag them.

  4. If you want to execute the complete “Windows Experience Index” test for all relevant hardware devices (incl. Graphics, CPU etc.), the command will be “winsat formal”.

Have fun!
Fernando

Thanks, very good tip.

Hallo Dieter,

diskformal AFAIK only works for the system disk but what about SSD RAID0 secondary arrays? I think these problems all stem from the introduction of RSTe SCSI, I have not seen this problem appear when using 11.2 driver, all SSD RAID0 arrays are detected as SSD’s.

Besides that Windows Experience Index option is not available into the RTM. I noticed that today installing it.

@ cybersm:
Welcome at Win-RAID Forum!

Yes, there is still no WEI option in the currently available RTM version of Win8.1 (as already mentioned >here<), but I would be very surprised, if WEI will be missing in the “final” Win8.1 version, which can be downloaded at October 17th.

Regards
Fernando

Mine 8.1 rtm detected ssd in ahci mode (only 1, that is formatted in ntfs), so I see no problem.

You are lucky, because your SSD is not affected.
This issue only applies SSDs, which are members of a RAID array and maybe additionally SSDs, which are running in RAID mode without being a member of a RAID array.

If you have Windows Server 2012 R2 (and maybe 2012, not sure), you have the same problem with SSD in Raid 0.
To fix it:
1)Download: Microsoft Server Converter 2012 from www.win2012workstation.com (its their own converter).
2)Install/Enable: Performance and Information Tools (it Works fine for 2012 R2, but it is designed for 2012, so something might not work. Version for 2012 R2 not yet ready).
3)Use method Fernando provided for Windows 8.1
4)Enjoy, now everything is recognised.

Thanks!

I completed this task as you posted it & you was correct in stating that the Optimizer did in fact NOT detect the SSD’s until I forced it to via this post! GOOD JOB & THANK YOU as your CORRECT as usual! Here is a Screen-Shot of my SSD’s after completing the force Win 8.1 to show the SSD’s in the Defrag (Optimizer):

Untitled.jpg



Would or will this program only view the WIE or would it also force the OS to show the SSD’s Probably not would be my guess but worth asking!
http://www.intowindows.com/get-windows-e…in-windows-8-1/

After taking a different approach I was able to view the following WIE score:
<SystemScore>8</SystemScore>
<MemoryScore>8.5</MemoryScore>
<CpuScore>8.5</CpuScore>
<CPUSubAggScore>8.4</CPUSubAggScore>
<VideoEncodeScore>8.6</VideoEncodeScore>
<GraphicsScore>8</GraphicsScore>
<Dx9SubScore>8</Dx9SubScore>
<Dx10SubScore>0</Dx10SubScore>
<GamingScore>8</GamingScore>
<StdDefPlaybackScore>TRUE</StdDefPlaybackScore>
<HighDefPlaybackScore>TRUE</HighDefPlaybackScore>
<DiskScore>8.2</DiskScore>

Not being totally sure if this means much but it does give you some ides to save the result & then make tweaks then go back & see if the score has changed. Seeing as to how these scores are synthetic in nature I’m not sure they would move or not! Good Question maybe!

Running the Windows Experience Index will detect the SSDs and gives this information to the Operating System. That is why the Win8.1 Optimizer shows SSDs as Solid State Drives after the user had executed the WEI.

The WEI forced the detection so the answer is now 100% verified that it will work & thank God for Acronis, likewise I would not have been so quickly as well as easily tested to verify!

Hi Fernando, I’ll ask here because I don’t want to make another thread
just a quick one:
when I go to policies at the properties of the ssd device, I have 2 options

-enable write caching on the device

and

-Turn off windows write-cache buffer flushing on the device

Do I need to have both activated on the ssd? what about the HDD?

thx!

If you want the best write performance, you should check both options. This is valid for all storage drives (SSDs and HDDs).
Checking the first option (enabling write caching) is absolutely safe, but enabling the second one (turning off write-cache buffer flushing) may cause a data loss in case of a sudden off-power situation. I personally have never lost any data this way, although I always have checked both options.

@Fernando

I would how ever like to provide a useful method for checking if in fact "Optimization" is functioning and being run correctly…

Open PowerShell with Admin Privileges, and type the following:

"Get-EventLog -LogName Application -Source "microsoft-windows-defrag" | Sort-object timegenerated -desc | Format-List timegenerated, message"

This command will show whether TRIM was successfully executed or not… Also I would advise that one should uncheck any "Recovery" & "Restore" partitions from being "Optimized" (from within "Choose Drivers" in Optimization Settings)

“WinSAT diskformal” does not work for me any more. I have a fresh Install of Windows 8.1 (after a bout with 10 TP), and usually all SSD’s are seen as HDD and I just run “WinSAT diskformal” and all is well usually. However on this install, now my 2nd array is no longer being shown as SSD. After running the assessment it is still shown as HDD, only the OS raid array is being properly identified as SSD.

Example:
Before "WinSAT diskformal"
1. 2 x Samsung 840 Pro RAID0 = HDD
2. 2 x Crucial C300 RAID0 = HDD

After "WinSAT diskformal"
1. 2 x Samsung 840 Pro RAID0 = SSD
2. 2 x Crucial C300 RAID0 = HDD

I have tried several times with several days in between tries and my Crucial raid array is still being seen as HDD (for the past several years it has always been seen as SSD). So, the WinSAT tool is not working as expected. Is there anything else I can try to force SSD mode, perhaps editing something in the registry?

Thanks for your report. This is obviously a Win8.1 bug.
Question:
What happened while you ran Win10 TP?

I have just done a look into the registry, but I couldn’t find anything, which would help.
It is the WinSAT tool itself, which obviously doesn’t work properly.

Thanks for your report. This is obviously a Win8.1 bug.
Question:
What happened while you ran Win10 TP?

I have just done a look into the registry, but I couldn’t find anything, which would help.
It is the WinSAT tool itself, which obviously doesn’t work properly.





Thanks for the reply Fernando. I got it fixed though thanks to a friend at Intel (I worked there for 10 years) suggesting I not use the built in Windows drivers. So, I just installed the latest RST and it instantly fixed it.

I am testing USB drives and the new Win10 December driver update that was released at the same time as the new kernel. I just had to install Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to do a comparison between the three systems so I could record the improvements. On Windows 7 my USB 3.0 drive performs as advertised, but on Win8.1 there was a slight improvement from 120 MB/s (win7) to 130 MB/s (win8.1). Writes improved a whole 18 MB/s going to 8.1. However, on Win10 after the kernel update and the new USB drivers my 120 MB/s drive turned into a 250 MB/s drive, not quite the 170% improvement that the Windows team promised but its close enough and amazing enough for me. I just left Win10 to do some comparison runs with previous OS’s that’s all. I will probably go back to Win10 once the new build releases for testing later this month though, so long there are no reports of mayhem.

Next up is the possibility of a bootable ReFS which is being rumored as we speak (maybe a replacement for NTFS finally?). I wouldn’t mind testing the new USB 3.0 drivers with a large transfer to and from a ReFS formatted SSD drive. That would be fun…

Thanks for looking into the reg for me, I just didn’t realize something was wrong with the built in RAID Windows drivers, but I got it fixed this morning. Thanks again…

…Humpty bump-tea on the wall, Cyclop iPatch receives an emergency call, say…

Mee-muh-morninna ,

after all regular permutations this might do the trick, namely:
unplug power-cable, leave only one RAM-bank in, throw the battery out, push reset-Cmos/short-circuit or ePromis 4 that Head the Madder during 1/2 a minute; and voilà, Abacus is sorted! (couldn’t get a NASA-PC* upgraded onto XMP-profile after installing Win xPeriment on Samsung PM9A1 PCIe 4.o -like their 961ers- on ey 3.o MB?!)

Ta da. Screw them damn little cowboys! …and Intel RST, prefer overclocking for green-ripe lemon-frogs rather. Here’s hopping Roger the white Hare away with Fernando’s magic h<t =!-) …thru the fancy Rabbit wHole. Percola’orz, rockin’ rollerskaters.

*) around 1999, uKnow. When all year long you got a wReally weird feeling, highlighted by that massive, compl. eclipse of the sun and self-speakingly that drat Millenium Bug on the horror-skope. Almost certain 2ooo’s never gonna happen… Inquire at FAQ the nagging early worm or ‘fumfin’ what the party was like… QED, btb.

Damm boy… where do u grow ur stuff, seems a very complete product…with no side effects, at least in my point of view!
Is it green red blue yellow or shit alike…ill take any color as long as i get a a full experience like urs… cheers m8 happy gardening!!!