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Thread: hybrid drive with small integrated ssd

  1. #1
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    hybrid drive with small integrated ssd

    I'm planning on getting a new HP Pavilion dm4t laptop. The hard disk options include a "500GB 7200 rpm + 20GB SSD" "with Intel Smart Response Technology". I'll keep Windows 7 that it comes with for occasional use, and set up dual-booting with Ubuntu as my primary OS. The HP docs don't specify the manufacturer of the drive. This drive costs an extra $150 over the base price of the laptop.

    But I'm worried about the Intel "SRT". Is it supported under Linux, or will I have to essentially ignore it & treat the drive as an ordinary HDD under Linux, or is even that likely to cause problems? Are there any special issues with partitioning this kind of drive?


    Now I just found that for just a slightly higher price I can buy a Seagate Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid which Seagate claims "works with any laptop with any OS" and just pull out HP's standard drive. Seagate's performance claims for this drive are impressive. Anyone aware of anything wrong with that idea? Have any problems been encountered with using the Momentus XT drive under Linux?

  2. #2
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    Re: hybrid drive with small integrated ssd

    The WikiPedia page on this (see link below) doesn't fare well with non-Windows OSs. I would not be surprised if Linux OS are not able to actually "see" the drive ...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_drive
    Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17; MS Win 8.1.
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  3. #3
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    Re: hybrid drive with small integrated ssd

    Yes, thanks, I already read that, as well as the wikipedia pages about Smart Response Technology and Intel Matrix RAID. I was just hoping that someone might have some more up to date "good" news.

    I'll probably go with the Seagate solution, unless someone pops up with info that would discourage that (or a better idea).

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    Re: hybrid drive with small integrated ssd

    One other thing I should mention is that laptops are notorious for NOT having their specialized hardware supported under Linux, the most recent case in point being the "hybrid graphics". What I read on this most recently is that even Ubuntu 12.04 won't have native support for this.

    So, you're going to jump into another "hybrid" technology solution?

    Sure, it's going to work in Windows -- because that will come preloaded on the PC. But, if it's anything like "hybrid graphics" it could be 6 months, to a year (or longer) before the Linux community has working drivers that support it.
    Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17; MS Win 8.1.
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  5. #5
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    Re: hybrid drive with small integrated ssd

    No, it's not like that. The Seagate drive doesn't need a special driver. The OS sees it the same as any standard SATA drive. The caching is handled internally in the hardware and firmware of the disk. (See link in post #1.)

    Actually I just found out that Seagate now offers a 750GB version with 8GB built-in flash cache for only $50-$60 more which according to PC Magazine is considerably faster, so that seems a still better choice.

  6. #6
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    Re: hybrid drive with small integrated ssd

    Quote Originally Posted by r.stiltskin View Post
    No, it's not like that. The Seagate drive doesn't need a special driver. The OS sees it the same as any standard SATA drive. The caching is handled internally in the hardware and firmware of the disk. (See link in post #1.)
    Thanks for the update.

    It's good to know this is one new technology that we can use NOW in Linux -- without waiting months or years for working drivers to get written.
    Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17; MS Win 8.1.
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  7. #7
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    Re: hybrid drive with small integrated ssd

    Hey Mark, still thinking about my new laptop plan. I'm now looking into the question of moving the Windows7 from the original disk to the Momentus, which I'll have to do before installing Ubuntu.

    I came across this thread in which you wrote about Macrium Reflect -- which is great because it's been a long time since I messed around with saving/restoring Windows images & I'm not familiar with current utilities.

    Will Macrium let me copy just the Windows System and C partitions over to a blank new drive & end up with a bootable Windows? Does it create the MBR and partitions on the new drive, or will I need something else to do the partitioning first?


    Update: I found this article on replacing a Windows 7 hard drive using Windows Backup and a Windows system repair disk. Is there any reason that Macrium Reflect would be preferable to this?
    Last edited by r.stiltskin; January 13th, 2012 at 08:35 AM. Reason: addl info

  8. #8
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    Re: hybrid drive with small integrated ssd

    I've done essentially the same with Macrium Reflect (MR) ...

    Image off the OS partition (and if there is a separate 100MB BOOT partition, as well) to an external drive.

    IF you have the FREE version, use the option to create a Linux Boot CD.

    If you have a drive adapater, connect up the new drive; otherwise, shutdown the laptop and replace the drives.

    If you have two drives connected, simply Restore the image you just made to the second drive.

    If you have only the new drive, boot from the Linux Boot CD and restore the image to that drive.

    There have been times when the new drive wouldn't boot, so BEFORE you remove the old drive, if you have Win7, use the Backup feature to create and burn a Win7 Repair CD. If the laptop doesn't boot after the image restore is done, boot from this Repair CD and run Startup Repair three times (yes, three times).
    Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17; MS Win 8.1.
    Will not respond to PM requests for support -- use the forums.

  9. #9
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    Re: hybrid drive with small integrated ssd

    Sounds good. Thanks. I'll post back if there are any problems.

  10. #10
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    Re: hybrid drive with small integrated ssd

    I bought an hp dm4 laptop with the same hybrid drive. I'm trying to install ubuntu 12.04 on it but the installer cannot see any partitions. Did anyone else face the same problem?

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