Not a question, really. WD NVME PCIe Black not showing healh

Custom built pc / Ga-z97x-ud3h
January 20, 2020 at 06:41:29
Specs: Windows 7 64bit, 16GB
As titled, this is not really a question. This purpose is to let others know about what I accidentally found out. That is, through a misunderstanding I was able to greatly speed up my machine.
A little history, I built this machine a number of years ago GA-Z97X-UD3H, i5 Devils Canyon K series, GTX750Ti, 16GB RAM, Windows 7 64bit. It was built originally with a SATA 240GB SSD drive and a 1TB Black HD. Later I installed a WD NVME Black M.2 drive on an expansion card to access the PCIe 3.0 lanes (after a lot of research and work to get it to work) and it was fast. Since the WD software did not have access to the drive's details due to Windows 7 and available drivers for the motherboard and I could not read the temperatures I installed a heat sink on it that I found online. That should cover most of the important history.
Recently I was noticing a slowing down in opening programs and such so I began worrying that maybe Windows 7 was not running Trim on the drive so I looked into the software again and downloaded other SSD monitoring and optimizing software to see if anything would give me a better picture of what was happening or maybe correct it. I did notice that the WD console showed a tiny 'drive health: Poor' on top but could not determine if it was actually the drive or just the limits of the console to access the drive's details. I found one program that directed a new optimize settings, one that gave me a way to trick a manual Trim (indirectly), one that actually shows the temperature but no other details, but nothing seemed to helped the slowing I was noticing. I was 3 years into the 5 year warranty so I decided that I would purchase a newer version of the drive with the built in heat sink in the larger 500GB size which would be at least slightly faster. I installed it on another PCIe card that I installed on the third slot (4X PCIe 2.0) to clone the drive over to it using the WD Acronis software. This went well and I swapped the drives so the new one was on the 8X PCIe 3.0 slot and the old one was on the PCIe 2.0 slot and I did a wipe of the older drive (assuming I was going to return it for WD to see if it was really bad under the warranty). The system was a little better but not 'perfect' as I would like it. I ran the WD console and noticed that the Health: Poor now showed for the new drive and concluded that it was the limits of the driver that caused the poor health report so there was no reason to return it.
In a flash of inspiration I decided to keep the 'old' drive connected to the PCIe 2.0 slot (being many times faster than any SATA connected drive) and move my Documents, Pictures, Music, etc. folders over to the older PCIe drive. WOW!!!! THAT is the secret!!! To have two fast PCIe drives, one for the OS and programs and the other for the files. I opened a Word document which always took three to four seconds or more to open, opened in just about a second give or take a tiny bit. I tried it for an Excel spreadsheet, some pictures, a few programs. Everything now is really snappy as I would expect from a quick machine with a fast drive.
While I probably will move over eventually to Windows 10 (reluctantly) and stay with this machine for a while longer, all of my future builds will include two PCIe NVME drives (two 500GB drives is probably not much more than a 1TB drive), I now feel that using separate PCI lanes for programs and files maximizes the available paths to the CPU.
Opinions or comments if you like. I hope that some benefit from this accidental discovery.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#1
January 20, 2020 at 07:01:02
Hi Fingers,

Glad you found a solution to your problem. From day zero of building machines I have it was drilled into me to separate the OS drive from the data drives keeping the OS drive uncluttered and running to its potential. This methodology has not changed for me even when technology has changed and improved. I recently built a machine with an ASUS motherboard (my go to brand for MD's) I put two m.2 Samsung drives in, 250GB for OS (Windows 10 Pro) and a 500GB for data. The Samsung magician software is absolutely brilliant, the computer is so fast applications open within seconds. I wish I knew about heatsinks for these drives, I didn't until now, otherwise I would have installed them too.

Why are you reluctant to go to Windows 10? so many people don't like it for some strange reason, I have been using it pretty much from the day it became available and I love it, its honestly extremely good, there have been some glitches here and there but nothing I have not been able to work around, and MS are have addressed these issues almost immediately.

I would recommend the jump to Win10 now mate I am sure you will like it, plus if you know where to look you can get it (a legitimate copy) for under £5......... :)


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#2
January 20, 2020 at 07:35:06
I use Windows 10 at work and don't really have a problem with it but I just prefer the 'Feel' of Windows 7 better. I know that I should change over soon because Windows 7 is no longer being supported but Windows 7 is like an old friend and everything is where is is supposed to be. On Windows 10 so many things are hidden or at least pushed back into the background that you have to work to find or open them. I am sure that in a few weeks I will make the change but I am resisting. Born in the 50's child of the 60's I am I guess a radical at heart. The more MS pushes or corners us into changing, the more I resist.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#3
January 20, 2020 at 07:39:33
I always had two partitions on the old hard drives and the first SSD was for OS and programs and the HD was for files. I did not but should have seen that the slowness of the HD for files still held the system back or I would have at least been using a SATA SSD for files since I had one I stopped using when I first went PCIe on the main drive. We should always try to learn something new each day.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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