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I've just installed a new Samsung 830 256GB SSD and have configured BootCamp with Lion and Windows 7.

Under Lion, I have installed Trim Enabler.

Under Windows 7 I have installed the Samsung (Wizard) software that came with the SSD. In this software I've applied all of the recommended optimisations under 'OS Optimisations', however, the Samsung wizard software is informing me that AHCI is not enabled at present and for best performance, this should be enabled.

I'm not sure a) what implications there are if it's left disabled (will it affect the lifespan of the SSD or is it purely a speed thing?) and b) if there is a way under BootCamp for an Early 2011 MacBook Pro to have AHCI enabled?

I was also concerned that if AHCI is not enabled, perhaps TRIM won't be enabled either? However, I did run a tool which I found online that said that TRIM was enabled on this Windows 7 install (despite AHCI not being enabled).

This is my first SSD drive so am not very familiar with the technology, terminology and best practices etc.

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2 Answers 2

You can't. Apple has implemented a Compatibility Support Module (CSM) into the Mac firmware that emulates the PC BIOS specification. Since the Mac firmware is not 100% UEFI compliant, that CSM is the only way Windows can boot on a Mac.

Unfortunately, the ACPI tables in that CSM are just the bare minimum necessary to allow Windows to boot and nothing more. You lose several features when using it:

  • No graphics switching (always uses the discrete card).
  • No AHCI support (SATA devices are in IDE compatibility mode)
    • No support for TRIM
    • No support for Native Command Queuing (NCQ).
  • No support for advanced power management features (only basic S1, S3, and S4 states are supported).

Basically Windows sees your SSD as just a really fast IDE hard drive. This will not affect the SSD in terms of lifespan. It may, however, make the SSD a little slower over time than it would otherwise be when running Windows.

NOTE: Some people have reported that they have been able to install Windows 7 in UEFI mode on a Mac, which would enable all those missing features. However, it cannot be done on your model. I've tried. With sufficient hacking you can get it up and running, but it's plagued with audio and video issues.

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In windows go to Control Panel\System and Security\System, click on the "windows experience" link and "Re-Run the assessment" this will update info about the drive and enable trim.

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Macs do not support TRIM in Windows so your solution wouldn't work. –  Wes Sayeed Sep 23 at 22:02

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