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This question has NOT been answered by the following due to them saying to permanently disabling these features

How can I get Ubuntu to boot with UEFI and Intel Smart Response Technology (SRT) enabled? Do I have to install Ubuntu with them turned on? if so how? or can I enable these features after I've installed Ubuntu and still have them function?

I'm not concerned with keeping windows and am wanting a linux only machine, so I do not have the dual-boot issues that complicate matters. I would like the benefits of SSD caching to apply to the entire file system and not just the OS portions or I would just disable SRT and install linux on to the SSD.

A bit of searching around the net reveals plenty of articles like Installing Ubuntu on a Pre-Installed UEFI Supported Windows 8 system that tell how to disable these features. That is not what I want. I've also found info that suggests that Intel supports mdadm and not dmraid, but I don't know if that means I can install in AHCI mode and switch after the install, or if I need to prepare a custom installer somehow. Or for that matter if that even applies to SRT, as intel have too many similar acronyms that are closely related.

Symptoms

I've tried the 12.04.2 LTS and I'm currently trying to use 13.04 ubuntu-13.04-desktop-amd64.iso
MD5 : 8d72e2db7e72e13813731eab37a14d26

The messages I receive and options I choose are:

Secure boot not enabled
Try Ubuntu without Installing
error: failure reading sector 0x60100 from 'cd0'
error: you need to load the kernel first.

Press any key to continue...

Then it goes back to the screen where I can select "Try Ubuntu without installing".

This behavior is the same with 12.04.2 LTS and 13.04 LiveCD. Though sometimes the sector it cannot read is 0x0. This same DVD boots fine in UEFI + AHCI or Legacy BIOS modes.

Hardware Info

I have the Dell Inspiron 15R special edition dw510268au with a 32GB mSATA cache and 1TB 5400rpm hdd.

While in Legacy BIOS mode the output of

sudo hwinfo --storage
29: PCI 1f.2: 0104 RAID bus controller
  [Created at pci.318]
  Unique ID: w7Y8.SQqymDbIGqA
  SysFS ID: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1f.2
  SysFS BusID: 0000:00:1f.2
  Hardware Class: storage
  Model: "Intel Mobile 82801 SATA RAID Controller"
  Vendor: pci 0x8086 "Intel Corporation"
  Device: pci 0x282a "Mobile 82801 SATA RAID Controller"
  SubVendor: pci 0x1028 "Dell"
  SubDevice: pci 0x0572 
  Revision: 0x04
  Driver: "ahci"
  Driver Modules: "ahci"
  I/O Ports: 0x4088-0x408f (rw)
  I/O Ports: 0x4094-0x4097 (rw)
  I/O Ports: 0x4080-0x4087 (rw)
  I/O Ports: 0x4090-0x4093 (rw)
  I/O Ports: 0x4060-0x407f (rw)
  Memory Range: 0xc1617000-0xc16177ff (rw,non-prefetchable)
  IRQ: 42 (22089 events)
  Module Alias: "pci:v00008086d0000282Asv00001028sd00000572bc01sc04i00"
  Driver Info #0:
    Driver Status: ahci is active
    Driver Activation Cmd: "modprobe ahci"
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
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What about using the whole 32GB SSD as the swap partition? wouldn't it enchance the memory access speed?. –  jgomo3 Feb 2 at 21:21
1  
that would only help on a system that used a reasonable amount of swap, and even then, would only speed things up once things had been read off the hdd and then pushed out to virtual memory. –  BeowulfNode42 Feb 2 at 22:13
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Whats your goal in having SRT activated?

SSD caching causes trouble in dual boot environments or will just not work as expected. If you just run Linux, then install the OS on the SSD and setup /home to use the HDD. In any case disable SRT.

Note about RAID: Don't use Hardware/Fake-RAID, see Kernel.org Wiki on RAID.


It looks like there is no solution available that simply enables Intel's SSD caching solution (SRT) on Linux, which is consistent with the advice to not use Fake-RAID BIOS implementations (read the points made against Fake-RAID in the Wiki). If you want SSD caching on Linux, you should use software solutions like flashcache.

However there is support for Intel Matrix Storage Manager in mdadm (see manpages for mdadm, dmraid and md) and someone blogged about fiddling with RST.

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1  
Installing the whole OS to the SSD is unacceptable as that leaves considerable data on the SSD that is rarely accessed. Possibly /boot is OK, but the rest needs to be for cache of the mechanical drive via the intel smart repsponse technology, and not via a swap partition on the SSD either. –  BeowulfNode42 Jun 17 '13 at 12:16
    
It seems like there is no solution available to use Intel's Smart Response Technology with Linux. So if you want to use SSD caching you have to either use a software implementation for Linux like flashcache or write your own implementation that enables SRT for Linux, if that is even possible. gerrit-tamboer.net/… –  LiveWireBT Jun 17 '13 at 21:37
    
Also note that some manufacturers like Lenovo decided to connect HDD and ODD with SATA 6G in their IvyBridge notebooks, leaving mSATA only with SATA 3G and capping it's transfer speeds at around 300 MB/s. Trust me, I dislike this situation as much as you do. –  LiveWireBT Jun 17 '13 at 22:21
    
Seems like they did that part right and connected the mSATA port with SATA 6G en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/p/19498697/… though someone needs to tell them not to put flash objects into PDF files. :\ You are aware that larger modules are available from different vendors? intel.com/content/www/us/en/solid-state-drives/… –  LiveWireBT Jun 17 '13 at 23:32
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With 13.10 you can use bcache, http://bcache.evilpiepirate.org/, using blocks to convert your partitions after install, instead of using SRT.

share|improve this answer
    
thanks for the link, this led me to a few options: bcache, flashcache, EnhanceIO, Btier, and the standard ext4 external journal option. See raid6.com.au/posts/SSD_caching I'll have to try them out –  BeowulfNode42 Nov 17 '13 at 23:56
    
there's also the askubuntu question How do I install and use flashcache/bcache to cache HDD to SSD? –  BeowulfNode42 Feb 2 at 23:25
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