Windows 10 thinks the VDI is SSD when it's not

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Windows 10 thinks the VDI is SSD when it's not

Postby filthyPierre » 20. Jun 2016, 07:31

Hi there,

Trying to compact a VM's VDI after update to Windows 10, have deleted Windows.old and all the update files, but for some reason Windows thinks it's installed on SSD (it's not) and won't run optimisation (Optimise Drives tool reports media type as solid state drive, optimise button is greyed out).

Background: I had a Windows 7 Pro VM, base install, nothing extra added. Updated to Windows 10, which went without incident. During the install, it saves the old Windows files in C:\Windows.old, which was about 11 GB. So the dynamic VDI has grown to about 23 GB. I want to shrink it down so I can use it as a barebones template for other VMs I will create. I used the disk cleanup tool to get rid of as much stuff as possible. First thing to do (so I'm told) is to defrag/optimise the guest's disk so that the "vboxmanage modifyhd --compact" will work.

Under Settings -> Storage the "Solid-state Drive" is unchecked. The physical disk where the VDI resides is a conventional disk drive, not SSD. However, my OS/boot disk *is* an SSD, so I wondering if VirtualBox is seeing this and reporting same to the guest.

VirtualBox version is latest, 5.0.22. Windows 10 version is 1511, build 10586.420.

Any help much appreciated. And apologies if this has been answered before, I could not find anything specifically for my issue.

Cheers,

Pete
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Re: Windows 10 thinks the VDI is SSD when it's not

Postby mpack » 20. Jun 2016, 10:02

The guest OS will think you have an SSD if the "Solid-state Drive" checkbox is enabled in the Storage settings for that drive (*).

Naturally, being a VM, it is irrelevant what kind of technology your host's physical drive uses. The guest OS thinks what you tell it to think.

(*) Note for other readers: of course the guest OS must be "SSD aware" too. Windows 10 is. XP for example isn't.
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Re: Windows 10 thinks the VDI is SSD when it's not

Postby filthyPierre » 21. Jun 2016, 02:12

Thanks for your reply, but as I mentioned in the original post, "Solid-state drive" is UNchecked. As in, not checked. That's why I'm wondering why Windows 10 thinks it's on an SSD when I have not checked that box.

Any ideas?

Cheers,

Pete
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Re: Windows 10 thinks the VDI is SSD when it's not

Postby mpack » 21. Jun 2016, 10:06

At at guess, I'd say that the checkbox was originally ticked, and that fact has been recorded, if nothing else then by the fact that data structures were created to track trimmable ares of the disk. If what you say is correct then we can be pretty sure that the cause is not anything VirtualBox is currently doing, nor is it anything on your host.

Still, I admit that this raises more interesting questions than I first thought. I assume the supposed underlying data structure must be informed by the specific hardware, including information on flash sector size or at least trim block size. I assume that e.g. VirtualBox informs it that its trim block size is 1MB. If this speculation is correct you could have problems migrating Windows images between different SSDs, and different problems going between hd and SSD. I may have to investigate these issues for my CloneVDI project.
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Re: Windows 10 thinks the VDI is SSD when it's not

Postby jeroenvlek » 27. Jul 2016, 13:17

Host: Arch Linux
Guest: Windows 10
Virtualbox: 5.1.0_OSE r108711

I have the same issue. The checkbox was unchecked. Then I checked it, saved, unchecked again, saved, and restarted. Still only appears as an SSD. I also don't recall ever installing it as an SSD, but let's say I did and forgot about it: How can I convert the .vdi to appearing as a conventional hard disk? (The underlying disk is an SSD).
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Re: Windows 10 thinks the VDI is SSD when it's not

Postby mpack » 27. Jul 2016, 13:31

That isn't a VirtualBox question. If you told the guest OS that it's an SSD, and now you want the guest OS to forget what you told it - and your problem is that Windows is ignoring (virtual) hardware changes, then that is a question you'll have to ask on a Windows support site. There's probably some DiskPart command to do it.

I do wonder why you care? What's the downside of letting the guest OS trim the VDI, i.e. by leaving the VBox checkbox ticked?
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Re: Windows 10 thinks the VDI is SSD when it's not

Postby mynick » 23. Jun 2019, 15:54

Just for future reference:

- Apparently Windows 10 uses actual performance to decide whether something is an SSD or not. You can run the Windows system assessment tool manually with: "winsat diskformal" to see the results. So that checkbox we flip in VirtualBox has no bearing on the Disk Optimisation application, because if the VDI file is on an actual SSD of the host, it will be detected as such.

- If what you are after is invoking the disk defragmenter, you can still do that with "defrag C:". In fact, if you open the "Defragment and Optimise" application while the command is running, you will see the progress reflected in the GUI as well.

P.S. All commands mentioned need an administrator command prompt
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Re: Windows 10 thinks the VDI is SSD when it's not

Postby socratis » 23. Jun 2019, 19:02

mynick wrote:Apparently Windows 10 uses actual performance to decide whether something is an SSD or not
I've seen Windows doing weird things, but that's got to top them all!!! :shock:

mynick wrote:You can run the Windows system assessment tool manually with: "winsat diskformal" to see the results.
What am I missing here? Where in the output of that command do you see that it's an SSD?

Windows 10 - 64
C:\WINDOWS\system32>winsat diskformal
Windows System Assessment Tool
> Running: Feature Enumeration ''
> Run Time 00:00:00.00
> Running: Storage Assessment '-seq -read -n 0'
> Run Time 00:00:00.47
> Running: Storage Assessment '-ran -read -n 0'
> Run Time 00:00:00.09
> Disk Sequential 64.0 Read 1730.18 MB/s 8.9
> Disk Random 16.0 Read 348.71 MB/s 8.1
> Total Run Time 00:00:00.75

Windows 7 - 32
C:\Windows\system32>winsat diskformal
Windows System Assessment Tool
> Running: Feature Enumeration ''
> Run Time 00:00:00.00
> Running: Storage Assessment '-seq -read -n 0'
> Run Time 00:00:04.05
> Running: Storage Assessment '-ran -read -n 0'
> Run Time 00:00:00.45
> Running: Storage Assessment '-scen 2009 -drive C:'
> Run Time 00:00:54.19
> Disk Sequential 64.0 Read 758.10 MB/s 7.9
> Disk Random 16.0 Read 248.29 MB/s 7.9
> Responsiveness: Average IO Rate 0.53 ms/IO 7.9
> Responsiveness: Grouped IOs 7.24 units 7.6
> Responsiveness: Long IOs 1.53 units 7.9
> Responsiveness: Overall 11.11 units 7.9
> Responsiveness: PenaltyFactor 0.0
> Total Run Time 00:01:00.74

What I did find however with a quick search was the "Get-PhysicalDisk" Power Shell command, but mine wasn't showing anything. Yet another option is to use the "Defragment and Optimize drives", which under Win10 shows the disk kind.
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Re: Windows 10 thinks the VDI is SSD when it's not

Postby mynick » 23. Jun 2019, 20:50

You don't. It's the numbers that Windows uses to determine the type in terms of optimisation requirements.

I've read some articles claiming it fixes mismatched disk types (e.g. https://computingondemand.com/fix-windo ... isk-drive/) because obtaining a fresh performance metric causes Windows to re-clasify the drive. My assumption is that if the performance metrice was high to begin with, it would classify a VirtualBox disk as an SSD regardless.

Either way, in my case in order to defragment the "SSD" (it's actually set to be a regular non-solid-state disk) in my Windows guest, I need to fire it up manually from command line with "defrag c: /x /v /u" which works no matter what...
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