SSD Support FAQ

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Troubleshooting Questions
After formatting, my SSD's capacity is smaller than advertised. Why?
Definition of capacity: KIOXIA defines a megabyte (MB) as 1,000,000 bytes, a gigabyte (GB) as 1,000,000,000 bytes and a terabyte (TB) as 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. A computer operating system, however, reports storage capacity using powers of 2 for the definition of 1GB = 230 = 1,073,741,824 bytes and therefore shows less storage capacity. Available storage capacity (including examples of various media files) will vary based on file size, formatting, settings, software and operating system, such as Microsoft Operating System and/or pre-installed software applications, or media content. Actual formatted capacity may vary.
I’m unable to boot from my EXCERIA PLUS SSD/EXCERIA SSD. What can I do?
This can have multiple reasons. Please ensure that your system or motherboard supports NVMe™. If it doesn’t, you will be able to use EXCERIA PLUS SSD/EXCERIA SSD as a storage device only, not as a boot device.

If you have made sure that your system or motherboard supports NVMe™ and you’re unable to boot from an OS installed on EXCERIA PLUS SSD/EXCERIA SSD, please review the following points:

- Is the drive recognized in the BIOS/UEFI?
- Is EXCERIA PLUS SSD/EXCERIA SSD on top of the boot priority list?
- If you use an onboard M.2 slot, could this slot’s bandwidth be shared with any other media in use? Your system/motherboard manual contains information on media bandwidth sharing.

Should you still encounter issues, please get in touch with our support team.
Why is my SATA SSD slower than it should be?
If you're experiencing low performance using your SATA SSD, this may have one of the following reasons:

1. Different benchmark method
All SATA SSD models have been specificed using the ATTO benchmark to determine sequential read and write speeds. Other tools may have different benchmark patterns, configurations (different queue depths, block sizes, etc.), file sizes and may thus yield different results.

2. Low performance third-party SATA controller
Many motherboards feature additional onboard SATA controllers from vendors like Marvell, ASMedia, etc. These controllers may not have sufficient PCIe bandwidth and/or generally inferior performance metrics compared to the chipset vendor's solution. In some cases on older motherboards, the first party (AMD, Intel®) SATA2 controller may even outperform a third party SATA3 controller.

3. Using SATA controller in IDE mode instead of AHCI or RAID
All EXCERIA SATA SSDs are optimized for use on a SATA controller running AHCI mode, RAID mode will work just as well. IDE mode however may cause the drive performance to be lower than specified.

4. Outdated or not optimized driver
All modern operating systems come with standard AHCI drivers. In Windows, vendors like AMD, Intel®, Marvell etc. offer additional AHCI driver sets that may improve SSD performance. Please refer to the chipset vendor's website for available driver packages.

5. SATA 6Gbit/s SSD on SATA 3Gbit/s controller
All EXCERIA SATA SSDs meet the SATA Revision 3.0 or later standard and support SATA 6Gbit/s link speed. They require a SATA 6Gbit/s controller to achieve it's specified performance metrics. All models are compatible to SATA 3Gbit/s controllers but would be limited in performance, usuAll EXCERIA SATA SSDs meet the SATA Revision 3.0 or later standard and support SATA 6Gbit/s link speed. They require a SATA 6Gbit/s controller to achieve it's specified performance metrics. All models are compatible to SATA 3Gbit/s controllers but would be limited in performance, usually maxing out around 250-260MB/s.
Windows does not recognize my SSD with a drive letter when I connect it, what do I do?
Please make sure to have data and power cables properly connected to your SSD.

If this is that case, you will have to initialize your SSD in Windows in order to use it.

Please use the steps below:

- Please go to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk Management
- Once the SSD is recognized, a popup will appear
- Please follow the instructions to initialize and format your drive
- Please assign a drive letter to the drive
- Once the process has finished, your new SSD should appear in Windows Explorer with the previously assigned drive letter.
How do I install EXCERIA PLUS SSD or EXCERIA SSD as a boot drive?
To install your EXCERIA PLUS SSD or EXCERIA SSD as a boot drive, please make sure the following criteria are met:

- Your motherboard or system has a free M.2slot
- Your motherboard or system supports NVMe™ (please see the manufacturer's manual)
- You do not share resources with another device that could render said slot unusable (Example: M.2 slot disabled if certain SATA ports are used, refer to manufacturer's manual).
- Ensure that the install media you wish to use contains the latest version of the OS you are about to install. Windows 8.1 and later have integrated NVMe™ drivers and don't require additional drivers to complete the setup.
With the requirements met, please install NVMe™ SSD in the desired slot and insert the OS install media. The following process should be similar to installing the OS to a SATA drive:

  1. Boot from the OS install media
  2. Choose the desired drive to install the system on
  3. Complete the installation
  4. Reboot and enter BIOS
  5. Adjust the boot priority list to move NVMe SSD™ to the top of the list (alternatively, the "Windows Boot Manager" on NVMe™ SSD in case of an UEFI install)
Product Questions
Can I use EXCERIA PLUS SSD/EXCERIA SSD in a MacBook (Pro) with M.2 slot?
No, Apple utilizes proprietary slots that will not work with standard M.2 drives such as EXCERIA PLUS SSD/EXCERIA SSD.
I’m interested in EXCERIA PLUS SSD/EXCERIA SSD Which prerequisites have to be met?
Thanks for your interest in EXCERIA PLUS SSD/EXCERIA! To use EXCERIA PLUS SSD/EXCERIA SSD, you require:

- A motherboard or system with a free M.2 PCIe slot. Please do not confuse with an M.2 SATA or mSATA slot.
- Your motherboard or system’s BIOS/UEFI must support NVMe™ if you wish to use EXCERIA PLUS SSD/EXCERIA SSD as bootable system drive (please refer to your motherboard’s or system’s manufacturer for further details).
- Your operating system must support NVMe™ drives.
Will EXCERIA PLUS SSD and EXCERIA SSD work in any M.2 slot?
EXCERIA PLUS SSD and EXCERIA SSD will work in any M.2 slot that supports PCIe NVMe™.

Systems not compatible are:

- M.2 with only legacy SATA or PCIe AHCI. mSATA slots, which are easily mistaken for M.2 slots, are incompatible as well.
- M.2 WWAN slots which are usually compatible with wireless WAN modules only.
Do I need additional mounting material to install EXCERIA PLUS SSD or EXCERIA SSD?
Yes, you usually need a screw for the installation to M.2 slot. However many systems or motherboards with an M.2 slot should include the screw necessary to mount EXCERIA PLUS SSD or EXCERIA SSD.
Are RAID configurations with SATA SSDs a viable option?
Yes. The reliability and/or performance benefits one can obtain via SATA HDD RAID configurations can be had with SATA SSD RAID configurations. Setup, maintenance, RAID levels, etc. are the same as with SATA HDDs.
Do I need to make changes to my system UEFI / BIOS to install an EXCERIA SATA SSD?
Your EXCERIA SATA SSD requires the SATA mode to AHCI or RAID if the default is IDE. On older systems we do recommend changing the SATA mode to AHCI or RAID if the default is IDE.
Does EXCERIA SATA SSD include a 2.5" to 3.5" mounting bracket?
No, the EXCERIA SATA SSD doesn't come with a 3.5" mounting bracket.
Do EXCERIA brand SSD products include a SATA cable?
None of EXCERIA brand's current SSD products include a SATA cable with the drive.
Do all KIOXIA EXCERIA SSDs support TRIM?
Yes, all KIOXIA EXCERIA SSDs on the market today support TRIM.
Does Windows support TRIM?
Yes, all versions of Windows since Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 support the TRIM command.
Does the Windows Search Indexer operate differently on SSDs?
No, it does not. It will operate exactly as it would if operating on HDDs.
Is NTFS Compression of Files and Directories recommended on SSDs?
Compressing files help save space, but the effort of compressing and decompressing requires extra CPU cycles and therefore power on mobile systems. That said, for infrequently modified directories and files, compression is a fine way to conserve valuable SSD space and can be a good tradeoff if space is truly a premium.

We do not, however, recommend compressing files or directories that will be written to with great frequency. It may consume writing cycle of SSD, and may shorten the life of SSD. Your Documents directory and files are likely to be fine, but temporary internet directories or mail folder directories aren’t such a good idea because they get large number of file writes in bursts.
Should I disconnect all other storage drives prior to the installation?
Yes. Pleae disconnect all other storage drives. Please connect only your KIOXIA EXCERIA SSD and the OS installation media (USB or DVD). If multiple drives are connected at the time of installation, the installer may sometimes place critical files on other drives.
Can I partition my SSD?
Yes, you can partition any SSD just as you would partition an HDD.
Should the pagefile be placed on SSDs?
Yes. Most pagefile operations are small random reads or larger sequential writes, both of which are types of operations that SSDs handle well.
SSD Utility and Firmware Questions
How can I flash a firmware to a drive that is part of a SATA RAID array?
To update your EXCERIA SATA SSD, running the SATA controller in AHCI mode is required. SSD Utility is unable to communicate with a drive that's part of a RAID array. To update EXCERIA SATA SSDs in a RAID array, please backup your data and temporarily disable RAID mode. Update the firmware of your drives using SSD Utility and set the SATA controller mode back to RAID again.
What is new in a firmware update for my SSD?
With every new firmware version, KIOXIA publishes so-called "release notes". This list contains all the fixes and improvements made with a particular firmware release.

Please find the release notes for your SSD’s new firmware here:
personal.kioxia.com/support and please visit Download page.

Upon choosing your drive model, you will be provided with the latest firmware version and the release notes if there is any. Changes may include performance enhancements, compatibility improvements or even bug fixes.
What does a High Unsafe Power Loss alert in SSD Utility mean?
It usually occurs when a PC or system cuts power to the drive too eagerly when it gets shut down or enters power saving modes. SSD Utility offers an option to suppress these alerts under the "Settings" tab.
Why should I update my SSD’s firmware?
A firmware is a embedded software much like a BIOS. It provides electronical devices with crucial sets of software instructions. Without a firmware, electronical devices would lack the "knowledge" of how to function. In SSDs, firmwares are responsible for how the drive communicates with the system it's installed in, handled TRIM, Garbage Collection, and manages how data is being distributed among the drive's capacity. Firmware updates may contain improvements in terms of compatibility, performance or reliability as well as corrections of bugs that may have caused issues in certain situations. KIOXIA recommends keeping the firmware of SSDs up to date.

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