I have this old HP Pavilion zv5000z notebook laying around for a couple of years and since it still worked flawless I didn't want to throw it out. I decided to test what a modern SSD drive could do to improve the performance of this aging system. Of course there are a few hurdles, first of all I tried two different 44-pin SSD's but was very disappointed with the result. All available 44-pin PATA SSD's I check out came with an old controller that didn't support TRIM or Wear Leveling and they are slow and stall frequently.
Secondly I couldn't install a SATA II SSD since it only came with an IDE controller and lastly I was limited in space to cram a converter and SSD inside the Harddisk bay.
So first I had to search for a PATA to SATA converter that fits inside the bay and a small 1.8" SSD. The converter was available on ebay for $13, it also featured the necessary micro SATA port to plug the 1.8" OCZ Vertex 2 into it. (Search for: "16pin Micro SATA SSD to 2.5" 44pin IDE adapter card") There are several 1.8" SATA drives with micro SATA connector on the market. I had it narrowed down to two drives, the first one was the Kingston V+ 180 64GB 1.8" drive and the one I ended up buying, the OCZ Vertex 2 1.8" 90GB because it came with a 15% off promo code and offered a higher capacity and OS independent TRIM support.
The result was much more rewarding than I expected. It is amazing how much this SSD improved the notebooks performance. For example the notebooks boot time to Windows 7 desktop went from 3 1/2 minutes down to 25 sec. The disks transfer rate went up from 32MB/sec to 126MB/sec. and the Windows Experience Index from 3.4 to 6.7 for the disk. Installing a full copy of Libre Office took just 3'45".
If you're interested, below is a step-by-step guide and you don't mind spending $180 on an old notebook. It probably works with a lot of other PATA only notebooks too.
Step1 – PATA to SATA Converter
The converter is available on eBay for about $13, search for: "16pin Micro SATA SSD to 2.5"44pin IDE adapter card". This cards JM20330 controller simulates an Ultra DMA 6 disk with a maximum transfer rate of 133 MB/sec, which is the highest rate the notebooks internal PATA IDE controller can
Step 2 - Installation:
Remove old IDE drive and pull off the 44pin-adapter, install the 44pin adapter on the IDE side of the Micro SATA converter. Be careful that the empty pin is in the same place as on the old IDE Drive. Unfortunately the adapter has no pin coding. Now plug the Micro SATA converter back into the notebook and plug the OCZ Vertex 2 1.8" drive into the converters SATA port. Next use some foam from the SSD packaging to fill in the open space around the drive so that the drive does not come lose, but not to much so the drive won't overheat.
Step 3 - Window and Drivers
Start notebook up and install Windows 7 32bit, all patches and service pack 1. Next I had to find some drivers for Windows 7 32bit that support the Nvidia chipset. This HP Pavilion zv5000z has a Nforce3 150 chipset which is not officially supported by Windows 7. So I found the following drivers on the internet that worked and supported the correct display resolution and transfer rates:
Display Adapter: GeForce4 MX440, Driver Version 126.96.36.199 Date 12/10/2005
IDE ATA/ATAPI Controller: Nvidia PATA IDE legacy driver 6.99 Date 5/15/2007
Network Adapter: Broadcom 802.11g 4320, driver version 188.8.131.52 Date 2/15/2011
and Realtek RTL8139, driver version 6.111.723.2009 Date 7/23/2009
Step 4 – Driver Installation
Don't auto install any of the Nvidia drivers, it does not work. You have to force install them with the Device Manager since they are made for Windows XP. First upgrade the graphics card to a GeForce4 MX440 which should give you the correct 1680x1050 resolution - Reboot.
Now you can do a disk benchmark, but you'll be disappointed since it only shows a transfer rate of 32MB/sec. This is because the Windows 7 PATA driver does not support the Nvidia IDE ATA controllers Ultra DMA 6 mode.
Now to get the full speed we have to force install the Nvidia PATA IDE legacy driver v.6.99. Reboot and let Windows 7 re-install the harddisk and reboot again. Next open up the Device Manager, click on IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers and double click NVIDIA Controller. Select the Primary Channel tab and uncheck "Let BIOS select transfer mode" and now you can change the transfer mode to Ultra DMA 6 - Ultra 133. Press ok and reboot.
Make sure Windows 7 TRIM command is still on by opening a command promt with admin rights and type in at the promt: fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify
If it returns a 0 TRIM is enabled.
A quick ATTO Disk Benchmark shows that the transfer rate is now 126MB/sec write and 106MB/sec read.
PS. The Broadcom Driver needs to be manually set to 802.11g it runs default in b mode only. I also used SSDTweaker to optimze Windows 7 for the SSD. Also make sure that Windows Defrag scheduler is disabled. It's not needed for SSD's and it can shorten its live.
Picture of the adapter, the JM20330 controller is on the other side:
Edited by Memristor - 11/20/11 at 5:12am