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on January 10, 2013
Although this SSD is not listed as one of the compatible SSDs with lenovo ideapad y480 laptop in Crucial's website, I took the risk and well it definitely works! Although at first I thought of buying an SATA3 SSD for my laptop, I later realized it has a vacant mSATA slot and decided to buy this SSD (an SATA3 SSD would require me to remove my HDD since there is only one drive bay in y480 and now with mSATA SSD, I am using both my HDD and SSD).

The SSD arrived with two screws and it took me like 5 minutes to insert the SSD in the PCIe slot. At first boot, the system did not recognize SSD. I opened Device Manager and looked for hardware changes and it did not recognize again. After that, I rebooted the system again. When I opened the Disk Management (can be clicked from the menu Win+X), the SSD was there. I initialized it using quick NTFS format and default unit size. Since my system was pretty new, I didn't want to bother myself with installing everything from scratch. I searched the Net and saw ppl talking about how Paragon Migrate OS to SSD software can seamlessly make the transition from HDD to SSD. My system came with Windows 8 and I discovered only the latest version (v3.0) of Paragon Migrate OS to SSD which costs like $20 supports Win 8. I searched for coupons/promotions and found out that today (01/10/13) Paragon Drive Copy 12 Compact which also supports migration of Win 8 to SSD is offered as a freebie to my luck. I quickly read the Help section (it was actually damn straightforward) and migrated my OS to my new SSD. Then, I restarted my computer and entered BIOS settings by pressing F2 at the boot and moved the SSD up as the first booting device . When the OS booted from the SSD, I opened disk management again and reformatted my HDD not to cause any conflicts.

That's all! Now my computer boots in 6 sec before entering password and 7 sec after entering password. My Microsoft Primary Hard disk index went up from 5.9 to 8.1. In the end, I did a little tweaks like moving the Downloads folder of my Interner browser into HDD and so on. I really suffered from the deficiency of information on the Net about how to migrate Win 8 into SSD effectively and seamlessly. I hope my review has been helpful for the ones trying to do the same thing.
44 comments| 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 5, 2012
I purchased a Crucial 256Gb mSATA and installed it in a Dell XPS 8500. Then plugged the 2Tb HD the XPS came with into Port 0. The Dell specs were incorrect. The two SATA III ports are Port 0 (blue) and the mSATA port. This configuration works great and leaves two free SATA II ports for expansion. There is one other SATA II port taken by the optical drive.

Using Acronis 11.5 Server, was able to migrate a Win 7 64bit image to the mSATA drive. Interestingly, Acronis 10 also worked, but not Acronis 11.0. The drive is set to AHCI in the BIOS. However, was not able to configure the XPS in RAID 0 and migrate the image. When I contacted Dell they said I'd have to install Win 7 64bit from scratch to use it in RAID 0 configuration. Not worth the hassle. Simply migrating the image to the mSATA in AHCI mode provides excellent performance. Furthermore, AHCI is more stable than RAID 0. Would be a hassle to reconstruct the RAID 0 array is case of corruption. As it is with the mSATA drive I can restore a 76Gb image in about 9 minutes. The image is created onto and restored from the 2TB HD.

I'm getting advertised performance: about 500 Mb/s sequential read. I have Diskeeper 2011 Server running in the background. So far it does seem to keep the mSATA drive running in an optimized state.

Overall, looks like the Crucial mSATA drive is an excellent primary drive for the Dell XPS. Just be sure to buy the two screws that you will need to secure the mSATA drive to the XPS motherboard, or in your laptop. I purchased the Rhino LapTop Screw Kit at Frys. It was only $6.50, but did have the CM2x3 screws (five of them) you will need to do the job. Otherwise you could spend a whole lot of time hunting for that specific screw. Without the screws to secure the mSATA to the motherboard it will pop out of the socket.

Be sure to check around on the price. You should be able to get it for $181 or less as of 11-4-2012. I have other Crucial SSD drives. They make good products and support them. Highly recommended.
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on January 31, 2013
I bought the Crucial M4 mSATA after spending a good deal of time researching various products in the market. I decided to invest in the Crucial M4 series mSATA, owing to its good reputation in the market with regards to its reliability as well as the R/W speeds it offers.

During my first attempt at placing the order (@199USD), amazon had issues charging my card. Luckily, when I tried purchasing the item the second time using another card, the price had dropped by 20USD to 179.99USD, which made this a rather sweet deal.

Being a prime member, amazon dispatched my shipment citing a '2 day delivery' time frame. However, the shipment was lost while it was in transit, the day it was supposed to be delivered.
I contacted the helpful amazon support staff, and they immediately sent a new replacement shipment, which I received the next day.

The Crucial 256GB M4 mSATA came with 2 additional screws required to mount it to the motherboard. This was an unexpected surprise as there are tons of complaints by customers on the internet regarding the absence of the same.

Anyway, installing the drive was rather straight forward. The steps that I followed are listed here, to make it simple for people installing this on Lenovo Thinkpads:
Required: 1) Thinkpad Restore USB or DVDs. 2) Phillips head screwdriver set.

1) Disconnect the AC adapter from the laptop, and remove the laptop battery before proceeding.
2) Remove the 2 screws (located near the keyboard icon) at the base of the laptop to slide the keyboard off. (One of the screws is located inside the compartment for RAM modules.)
3) Remove the placeholder for the WWAN slot and a small screw under it (Factory installed by lenovo). (This screw is the same that Crucial provided with the mSATA SSD, required to secure the drive onto the motherboard)
4) Plug the mSATA drive in this WWAN slot, and secure it with the fore mentioned screw.
5) Slide the keyboard back in place.
6) Remove the back panel that houses the HDD. Then, lift the HDD up and remove it from the system before proceeding with the OS re-installation. (This is a precautionary measure to prevent OS re-installation on the Platter based HDD, as there is no option to select a specific HDD in the system restore menu)
7) Plug the laptop battery in and connect the AC adapter.
8) Power the laptop ON. Hit 'Enter' as soon as the lenovo logo appears to interrupt the boot process.
9) Select the option to enter BIOS by pressing F1.
10) Change the boot order and move SSD to the top, followed by the HDDs, Optical Drives etc.
11) Save changes and reboot.
12) Insert the USB restore Key as soon as the laptop shuts down after saving BIOS changes. Follow Step 8 again, and then select the system restore option this time.
13) Follow the instructions, and the system should be ready to use in about 7-8 minutes.
14) Once everything is installed and the system is in a usable state, power the laptop off to plug the Platter based HDD back in place.

That is it. Your laptop should be booting off the mSATA drive while recognizing the platter based HDD, which you could later use for storing data.

There isn't much to say about the performance of this specific mSATA drive that hasn't already been said, over and over again.
Even on the SATA2 interface on my Thinkpad W530, this drive offers excellent performance and completely saturates the available bandwidth (which is very close to the R/W capability of this drive anyway).

In short, this is a very good investment and the best possible upgrade for your laptop. It'll undoubtedly remove the bottleneck that the conventional platter based HDDs present on modern PCs.

I hope Thinkpad owners looking for a good mSata solution find this post useful.
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on December 3, 2012
Satisfied with the performance of this SSD. Under a dollar per gigabyte and good speeds, making it a worthwhile upgrade if you have a motherboard that accepts mSATA or a laptop or other device that has removeable onboard mSATA storage. Very happy that this is SATA 3.

I'm seeing read speeds of 400MB/s, write speeds of about 140MB/s, and very quick access times. Speeds are about on par with older 2.5" OCZ Vertex 3 and older Intel X25 SSD drives that I have used in the past (and am still satisfied with). From the cursory check that I did on other mSATA manufacturers, this appears to have the highest speeds / dollar in the mSATA form factor.

I feel good about the reliability of this SSD as Crucial manufactures their own SSDs (Crucial is a brand of Micron Technologies) and offers a good warranty. The large SSD manufacturers are Micron/Crucial, Intel, Hynix, Samsung, and Sandisk. Any other brands, such as Corsair or OCZ, source their parts from aforementioned manufacturers. Micron was one of the first to release SSDs that used the new 6 Gb/s SATA III standards, so I feel confident about their technology's reliability.
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In my research I learned about the mSATA card that could be used in my Drobo 5N. There is a slot on the bottom of the 5N that you can insert at anytime – no need to reformat or change anything.
I have used it in my Drobo 5N for a few months now and think it’s one of the best investments I’ve made.

I was thinking that using the Drobo 5N over a network with 7200 RPM drives would be slow, It's not and with using the mSATA card it makes it even faster.

Drobo 5N uses Data-Aware Tiering technology. Usually reserved for business-class storage solutions. It intelligently uses the high-performance SSDs to accelerate performance of the storage array, allowing applications such as Adobe Lightroom, Apple iPhoto or iTunes fast access to data.

Now with my mSATA card I can tell that it’s such an improvement.
Is the mSATA card a product I would recommend to you? YES VERY MUCH SO!
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on December 18, 2013
I've used a LOT of these in Asterisk/voiSip phone systems.

They get a serious workout since they run 24/7 as server drives.

All of them have been great, except for one that failed after about a week. So I'm taking off 1 star for that.

The performance isn't the fastest. I really like SSD drives from Intel and OCZ for situations where I need utmost speed. But for basic systems, these perform soooo much faster than traditional hard drives. It is crazy.

Put one of these in an Intel NUC box, and you can boot Windows 8 in a few seconds. Crazy.

I have to admit, one reason I use this particular item is because it is usually readily available for Amazon Prime shipping. Other brands and models are not always available when I want one, and I like to try standardizing.

In short, this is a really good bang for the buck if you need an mSATA device.

Enjoy!
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on May 31, 2013
I got this SSD for my Lenovo Y580. I never actually saw an mSATA SSD before and boy is this tiny! It is about 1/2 the size of a RAM module. I got this because the laptop stock boots in about 55 - 70 seconds. Also, programs take a while to load up the first time.

The day before it came in, I cleaned my C drive, basically backing everything up and wiping whatever is unnecessary. Well, after doing that, I saw that Windows 7 uses 30GB+ and the software I use another 50GB!!! The total was around 84GB, which would immediately use 2/3 of the SSD! It's not a big deal, but just be aware before making the decision to buy that you may need the 256GB depending what you run. For me, Adobe CS6 and all the other video editing software uses up a lot of space. For most people who just use a laptop for internet and such, this is not an issue.

After researching about installing the mSATA, I kept on reading that Lenovo does not come with the screw, so you have to buy a screw... Well, I did, but those are coming from China or something because it is like 1 month delivery time... Anyway, I thought I would put it on the side until the screws come in... well when this came in, to my surprise IT COMES WITH TWO SCREWS!!!!!

So that was awesome, I don't have to wait another 3+ weeks for the screws to use it! Anyway, installing is simple. First put the screw in the right hole of the SSD. Then you basically place it in where it is angled up about 45 degrees. Then you use your finger to get it flat and hold it there and screw it in.

The Laptop boots fast now! Even with the bloatware that comes with the Laptop it boots in about 22 seconds at least that is what the boot optimizer program says. It feels faster. I have to be very quick to hit F2 if you want to enter BIOS now and I almost instantly get to the windows login screen! Firefox launches in about 1.5 seconds, Premiere Pro CS6 in about 4.5 seconds, Davinci Resolve in about 8 seconds. Those are huge improvements! Basically the same speed as if software was cached in RAM.

I cannot comment on reliability as it has only been installed for 1 day now, but I love the speed boost. For those interested in where this is made, it is made in Singapore.
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on January 1, 2013
I was running out of room on my stock 128 Gig so I upgraded to this product. Primary hard disk score on the windows experience index went from 6.7 to 7.8 and on the Crystal Disk Mark 3.0.2 improved from
Sequential Read : 163.942 MB/s
Sequential Write : 40.715 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 148.465 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 32.623 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 7.910 MB/s [ 1931.2 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 2.612 MB/s [ 637.7 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 8.590 MB/s [ 2097.3 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 5.547 MB/s [ 1354.3 IOPS]
to
Sequential Read : 268.041 MB/s
Sequential Write : 204.500 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 238.115 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 215.235 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 18.556 MB/s [ 4530.3 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 45.690 MB/s [ 11154.7 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 172.541 MB/s [ 42124.2 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 141.667 MB/s [ 34586.6 IOPS]

To install, I followed the YouTube video "Toshiba Portege Z830 / Z835 Teardown (e.g. to upgrade the memory of the Ultrabook). I created a backup image in windows and restored after booting from CD. I managed the new unallocated space by using EaseUSPartition Home Edition(which is really free) created a new primary partition and then merged to the C drive. Almost took more time to write the review than actually do the install.
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on December 16, 2012
Installed Ubuntu onto the SSD, so that I could have Windows 8 on my laptop's Hard Drive and Ubuntu for dev work on the SSD in my laptop. A few hours after using, and testing the drive with SMART Extended tests (which all passed)... the drive suddenly failed. Wouldn't mount, wouldn't respond, wouldn't provision. Tried recovering data using a mSATA-to-SATA adapter and some computer forensics software that I turn to as a last resort... but the drive's firmware wouldn't even enumerate the drive to attempt recovery.

And yes, the first thing I did was update the firmware to the latest version. So, this wasn't a matter of the drive not being set up properly.

In all, could I have gotten a one-off? Sure. But judging from some of the other reviews, I don't think I'm alone on writing this drive off as a bad cookie.
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on December 12, 2012
This is installed in a Lenovo X220 4286CTO with BIOS Rev 1.36. It has an 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD as the primary drive, this mSATA was installed for additional storage. My primary SSD was getting too close to capacity for good performance. SSD's suffer when the capacity exceeds about 75~80%. The two are now at about 50% capacity.

The drive installed without problems after removing my laptop keyboard.

I used AS SSD Benchmark to check on the performance.

Crucial M4 mSATA 256GB formatted to 238.5GB.

Sequential Read: 261.7mb/s Write: 234.5mb/s
4k Read: 14.3 Write: 2.8
4k-64 Read: 159.6 Write 59.7
Acc. Time Read: 0.175ms Write: 1.502ms
Score Read: 200 Write: 86 Overall: 392

OCZ Vertex 3 LT 240 GB

Sequential Read: 459.2mb/s Write: 183mb/s
4K Read: 12.3 Write: 30.7
4K-64 Read: 153.2 Write: 186.5
Acc. Time Read: 0.271ms Write: 0.345ms
Score Read: 211 Write:236 Overall: 545

Although the OCZ SSD clearly beats the m4, it is sufficient for my needs and is an easy way to expand storage without having to purchase a new larger and much more expensive drive. I use Photoshop and Lightroom, downloading files to my laptop. The type of file transfers I do are more limited by the speed of the SD card and interface. An SDXC x400 Class 10 card will unload to my laptop at about 72mb/s.
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