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Troubleshooter
Posts: 5

GUIDE Install ExpressCache for SSD Caching

[ Edited ]

After purchasing a M5-481T as well as setting up a M5-581T, I wanted to be able to reproduce the factory SSD caching for these models. They both come with 20GB SSD's that are used for both Intel's Rapid Start technology as well as Diskeepers ExpressCache.

 

After quite a bit of research, I became underwhelemed with Acer's support and provided downloads. While setting up these laptops, I did create the Drivers and Applications DVD's before blowing away the default build. These did not contain the ExpressCache software, nor did the download website. I even called Acer asking for support and I was told that with these models, the SSD drives are not used for caching only for the Rapid Start. The technican I spoke with was adamant about this.

 

To make a long journey short, I was able to figure out how to replicate the default SSD caching in addition to the Rapid Start that comes on the default build of these devices. This should be handy for people that are trying to do clean installs for various reasons.

 

The key to this is to have the ExpressCache software from the default build. The software is licensed to the OEM system builders and without it the software doesn't work. Fortunately for us, if you have the files then your golden. This proves quite difficult when Acer doesn't provide the software to download.

 

Two key items are needed for the ExpressCache install. The software from a different Vendor, and the files from the default system build. I have provided them for you at the following links:

 

ExpressCache Install: http://depositfiles.com/files/l73q0rizh

ExpressCache Acer Files: http://depositfiles.com/files/68vvduipq

 

Hopefully if you have made it this far, you don't need a guide on how to install software. The idea is simple:

1.) Install the Software using the installer from the ExpressCache Install link above. Don't worry if you get a message that says that it couldn't detect the SSD Drive to use. We will fix this later. Don't reboot when prompted to do so.

2.) Use the files in the ExpressCache Acer Files download link above to overwrite the ones that were created during the installation in step 1. (copy everything in that download the the program files folder) The location is: C:\Program Files\Condusiv Technologies\ExpressCache\. Once this is done, you may restart the computer.

*3.) If you happen to have restarted before completing step 2 above, all you have to do is stop the ExpressCache service and then do step 2. Start the service back up when completed.

 

Now that the ExpressCache software is installed, we need to make a decision. Do you want to use Intel Rapid Start? If you don't care about Rapid Start, the process is much easier. If you do, then go down to the Rapid Start with ExpressCache Instructions.

 

ExpressCache Only:

 

1.) Open an elevated command prompt and type diskpart.

2.) type "list disk" (note the drive number of the SSD).

3.) type "select disk n" (n= the drive number found above)

4.) type "clean"

5.) type "exit"

6.) Now that you are back to the normal command prompt, lets navigate to the ExpressCache directory. Do this by typing "cd C:\Program Files\Condusiv Technologies\ExpressCache\"

7.) type "ECCmd -partition" (this tells ExpressCache to use the whole SSD drive)

8.) Your DONE! to confirm that it is working, you can type "ECCmd -info" and ensure that it starts showing you some caching statistics.

 

Intel Rapid Start with ExpressCache:

 

1.) Open an elevated command prompt and type diskpart.

2.) type "list disk" (note the drive number of the SSD).

3.) type "select disk n" (n= the drive number found above)

4.) type "clean"

5.) type "create partition primary size=NNNN" (NNNN= the amount of memory you have in your system. So if you have 6GB's of RAM, replace NNNN with 6000)

6.) type "detail disk" (Note the volume number of the partition that you created in step 5)

7.) type "select Volume M" (Replace M with the volume number from the previous step)

8.) type "set id=84 override"

9.) type "exit"

10.) The above steps created a hibernation partition on the SSD drive approximately equal to your RAM. Before you can Install Rapid Start, you will need to reboot the computer or else it will not install. You can do this now or after you setup ExpressCache.

11.) Installation of Intel Rapid Start is straight forward. Just download it from the Intel web site and install it. You can also refer to the Rapid Start User guide for the above steps as well as how to configure Rapid Start:

 

Intel Rapid Start (as of 3/21/13): http://downloadcenter.intel.com/confirm.aspx?httpDown=http://downloadmirror.intel.com/21612/eng/Rapi...

Intel Rapid Start User guide: http://download.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/rapid_start_technology_user_guide.pdf

 

12.) Now we will setup ExpressCache. Its a little trickier now that we are using Rapid Start.

13.) Figure out how much free space you have on the SSD now that the Hibernation partition is created. You need the value in MB. So for example, if you created a hibernation partition of 6000, and the total drive size is 20480, then you have 14480MB left. You can get this information easily in Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) by right clicking the SSD drive and selecting Properties. Then go to the Volumes tab. Remember this value for later.

14.) If your elevated command prompt is not still open, open it now.

15.) Navigate to the ExpressCache directory. Do this by typing "cd C:\Program Files\Condusiv Technologies\ExpressCache\"

16.) type "ECCmd -partition X YYYYY" (X is the drive ID and YYYYY is the partition size you wish to create for ExpressCache. In other words, replace X with the drive ID from step 2 and YYYYY with the free space from step 13)

17.) Your DONE! To confirm that it is working, you can type "ECCmd -info" and ensure that it starts showing you some caching statistics.

 

 

This procedure took me quite some time to figure out and to also get written up. Hopefully you guys find this useful and can benefit from my work. Please also let me know if you run into any issues.

 

Thanks!

New User
Posts: 1

Re: GUIDE Install ExpressCache for SSD Caching

Thanks for your instructios. I was able to mount the SSD in express cache.


But I don't see good cache statistics. 0 read and 0 write. Any ideas?

New User
Posts: 2

Re: GUIDE Install ExpressCache for SSD Caching

Thank you so much MuadDib, I have finally been able to set up both the Intel Rapid Start Technology AND ExpressCache.

 

I did however run into some errors following your steps.

 

The work-around I found was (although I am unsure if the workaround "works") to install ExpressCache and perform the overwrite AFTER creating the hibernation partition. This way, when you restart the computer after installing ExpressCache and Overwriting, the ExpressCache uses the unallocated space in the SSD automatically, making the "ECcmd -partion X YYYYY" step unnecessary.

 

I had to use this workaround because I would always get errors at the ECcmd -partion part.

 

Thanks for everything MuadDib! I just wanted to post this in gratitude and to offer help to those who may have ran into the same errors as I

New User
Posts: 1

Re: GUIDE Install ExpressCache for SSD Caching

MuadDib, thank you for writing all this up.  It seemed to work for me.  I do have one question though:  when I try to start Intel Rapid Start, I get this error message:

"An unknown error has occurred while loading the configuration information for Intel Rapid Start Technology."

When I click OK, the program seems to open normally.  Is there any way for me to get rid of this error message or verify that Intel Rapid Start is working?

New User
Posts: 2

Re: GUIDE Install ExpressCache for SSD Caching

First, forgive me the wrong english, because I'm writing in the Google translator.

 

Well, I followed the step by step everything right, however when I type the

"info" appears an error message: "you have not the enough privilege to run this program"


ECCmd ** ERROR ** exited with error 0x5 (5)

 

 

Please can you help me? Smiley Sad

New User
Posts: 4

Re: GUIDE Install ExpressCache for SSD Caching

[ Edited ]

Hi,

I have an Acer S3-391 with 500Gb HDD and 20Gb SSD Cache, preinstalled Windows 8 x64.

I have canged UEFI to Legacy Bios in order to downgrate to Windows 7 x64 (with a dual boot with Ubuntu 13.04 x64).

 

Now, changing from UEFI to Legacy Bios probably settings of HDD changed, i don't know!

The question is:

In order to follow all your GUIDE, the drives must be set as IDE, AHCI or RAID?

 

This is an important features because must be the first step before installing an operating system!

And, because I want to use the boost also under Ubuntu.

 

I fund a video from Acer here:

http://youtu.be/wi9d2DGPg1o

 

Edit: I followed the "ExpressCache Only Guide" with SATA set to RAID (and not AHCI), before testing the SSD Cache with "ECCmd -info" you need to reboot your system otherwise you will not see any info and the unit appear unmonted.

It works! Smiley Wink

New User
Posts: 3

Re: GUIDE Install ExpressCache for SSD Caching

Great thread!  Marked for later!

New User
Posts: 4

Re: GUIDE Install ExpressCache for SSD Caching

I fund that this technologies works in RAID but also in AHCI mode.

What is the correct setting?

New User
Posts: 4

Re: GUIDE Install ExpressCache for SSD Caching

[ Edited ]

Hey,

I discovered that using Win 7 x86 instead of x64 my Acer S3-391 is less noisy and the fan runs just on a few occasions!

 

The problem is: how to enable ExpressCache on x86 OS?At your link i can find just X64 files..

 

Edit: is it possible to use files of X86 OS funded here, and overwrite yours files?

New User
Posts: 1

Re: GUIDE Install ExpressCache for SSD Caching

Thank you so much for this post. I just bought this laptop from a friend and am a bit confused about the configuration.

 

So I decided to do a clean install and completly wipe the ssd and hdd. I initially installed windows 8 on the ssd, considering thats what I've always done on my desktop commputers, but after I did, there wasn't enough room for windows update and things got crazy out of whack.

 

I just now installed the OS on the 500gb HDD and things are fine now, but the boot time is obviously slower.

 

Am I supposed to be installing it on the SSD or HDD? Really wish I would have done some research before wipeing everything :/. Thank you!

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