Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Recovering the ExpressCache on Windows

OK. I did the thing that I'm best at. Formatted my new Samsung Series 5 14" notebook (or ultrabook, though I'm totally convinced). I'm not talking about a normal system partition format, I'm actually talking about a full hard drive and solid disk drive format. To be frank, I thought I was covered, having the Recovery DVD at hand. It turned out that the Recovery DVD is merely a copy of Windows 7 Home Edition, and it didn't even recognize my network card driver!

Unfortunately, I destroyed the Recovery Partition in the process, and hence the recovery option [F4 on booting] wouldn't work, anymore.

Well, it was surprising to me that the Recovery DVD didn't have the drivers embedded, or slip-streamed, into the Windows installation, and I found myself in a very disappointing situation: no drivers and no way to connect to the internet. I tried plugging in my USB modem, but it was like dead. I looked around, and knew that the drivers for the USB 3 ports were also missing. (Later, I realized that the port on the right side of the device is a USB 2).

But to tell the truth, the Samsung web site had all the drivers and utilities needed, although in very large file sizes, which enabled me to download them and install them one by one. As tedious as it was, and feeling those bad feeling of someone working with Windows after being on Linux for quit sometime, I could revive the system to a state very similar to that it was on.

The only thing that was missing now was the instant on feature, or as I knew later, the ExpressCache. I know that this relates to the SSD installed, but I couldn't get it to work. I installed all the drivers, including the intel ExpressCache driver, and the intel ExpressCache application, among the Easy Settings and the Easy Software Manager, but nothing changed. I still don't have that feature.

The feature I'm talking about is the ability to "SLEEP" Windows, with the device going almost on no power. The normal Sleep will keep the power led blinking slowly, but with the express cache thing, it was like an instant hibernate. With setting it to turn on with the lid opening, I also had an instant-on, sort of thing.

I googled around a little, and found this article on NoteBook Review, which pointed to something I found very weird, to say the least. It turned out that for the Intel ExpressCache to work, the SSD must be in Mac Disk format!

I did just that and had the ExpressCache back on.

My next thing to do is try to simulate the same behavior on Ubuntu!

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