How close are SSDs to onboard memory?


S

Seymore4Head

I have always wanted my OS on a chip where if it gets infected you
could just start over without a new install.

With that in mind, could an SSD drive be designed so it plugs into the
mobo? I assume memory is still much faster than SSD, but it would be
nice if everything was self contained.
 
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P

Paul

Seymore4Head said:
I have always wanted my OS on a chip where if it gets infected you
could just start over without a new install.

With that in mind, could an SSD drive be designed so it plugs into the
mobo? I assume memory is still much faster than SSD, but it would be
nice if everything was self contained.
If you want that sort of control, there is SteadyState.
This is an example of an idea, as it is no longer available
or kept up to date.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SteadyState

Public libraries use a similar scheme to protect their computers
from hacking. You can't save anything on the hard drive, and all
memory of the session is wiped out when the next user logs into
the computer. Changes that accumulate are effectively kept separate
from the drive image.

If you want storage on such machines, you plug in a portable drive
to keep the user data.

Commercial software to replace SteadyState exists, and is used
by Internet cafes and by your public library.

*******

Other than that, logically there is no difference between an
SSD and a Hard drive. They're storage devices. They support
read/write.

*******

And yes, there are form factors consisting of an SSD, which
fasten to the motherboard with one screw. Some of the newest
motherboards have a slot for stuff like this.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c5/M.2_and_mSATA_SSDs_comparison.jpg

You can certainly solder such hardware right to the motherboard,
but that does not improve the maintenance aspects. If the
storage needs to be replaced, or sent out for data recovery,
soldering is a barrier to maintenance. Having a removable
module helps.

Paul
 
V

VanguardLH

Seymore4Head said:
I have always wanted my OS on a chip where if it gets infected you
could just start over without a new install.

With that in mind, could an SSD drive be designed so it plugs into the
mobo? I assume memory is still much faster than SSD, but it would be
nice if everything was self contained.
So why not clone your OS partition to another drive and then disable
that drive's controller in the BIOS (which you password protect)? Or
start doing image backups on either an internal drive that is never
assigned a drive letter and requires a password to access the hidden
partition (eg., Acronis Secure Zone) or to external storage media that
is disconnected from the computer until whenever you want to restore
that "base" image.

Considering your request is to immediately switch back to a "base"
version of the OS then cloning and disabling the device (in Windows
Device Management or in the BIOS) looks close to your goal. Just
remember that when you clone that you are cloning to a different
physical drive so the bootup may report a missing OS because it is
pointing at the old drive instead of your cloned drive. If you don't
want to get into figuring out how to fix the physical device ID in the
boot config then just clone back to the old drive.

At one time, there was a proposal to add a fixed set of HDDs to the
mobo. This would use the 1-inch miniature HDDs that were soldered on
the motherboard. I don't recall anyone selling a mobo like this. Users
wanted the flexibility and cost effectiveness of attachable drives along
with repairability if an HDD fails. Oh, and SSDs fail, too, so there
would still be the problem of repairing your mobo when an SSD failed
that was soldered onto the mobo.

There are mSATA SSDs that can plug into a mini-PCIe slot. See
http://www.atpinc.com.cn/images/itx_board_mSATA.jpg. The mSATA SSD
would be plug into the mSATA port and lay parallel to the mobo. There's
even SSDs that themselves use the mSATA port(s), like the one at
http://content.hwigroup.net/images/products/xl/194599/9/zotac_zbox_nano_id64_plus_2x_msata.jpg.I
haven't bothered looking into these. Seems the mobo must support the
SATA protocol from a mini-PCIe slot to the SATA host controller.
Gigabyte had one come out back in 2011 based on the Z68 chipset
(http://www.gigabyte.com/press-center/news-page.aspx?nid=1017). Using a
slot means the mSATA SSD can be replaced when it fails or when the user
wants more capacity. There are lots of mSATA SSDs you can buy; see
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=msata+ssd&N=-1&isNodeId=1.
You'll also need a mobo with an mSATA port. I only found 1 currently
listed at Newegg. Although Newegg doesn't carry all computer hardware,
it bodes that mSATA isn't yet popular with consumers (outside of
notebooks).

Since the normal intent is to use the mSATA SSD as the primary storage
medium but your intent differs, you'll still need cloning software,
another SSD drive to use as your primary drive, and disable the mSATA
port in the BIOS when you want to isolate it your protected "base" image
to clone back to the primary SSD. The cloning software would have to be
on bootable media so the infected OS is quiescent on the primary SSD to
prevent your protected mSATA SSD from getting corrupted. Maybe you
could just enable the mSATA SSD in the BIOS and boot from that so the
infected OS is quiescent on the now-data drive for your primary SSD.
Just make sure if you re-enable the mSATA SSD in BIOS that you don't
accidentally boot from the infected primary SSD. Of course, you could
just unplug the mSATA SSD after you got its image the way you want as a
"base" image. When you plug it back in, make sure to boot from it and
not from an infected device. A 256GB mSATA SSD costs about $160 while a
256GB SATA SSD is about $40 cheaper. Unless the case is tiny with no
drive bays, most users would opt for the cheaper but larger SSDs since
they do have drive bays.

Sorry, I've not owned an mSATA-capable mobo so I don't know what BIOS
options are available. I would expect the BIOS would have an option to
disable the mSATA port although unplugging the mSATA SSD would also
work.
 
F

Flasherly

I have always wanted my OS on a chip where if it gets infected you
could just start over without a new install.

With that in mind, could an SSD drive be designed so it plugs into the
mobo? I assume memory is still much faster than SSD, but it would be
nice if everything was self contained.
I do that. ...Yeah, I plug it in to my SSD. It's in a world where
it's plug-in. Why, then, shouldn't I?

Takes me 30 seconds to plug it in and 60 sec to plug it out. I do it
with Ghosting imagery, writing to SSDs, which is a lot more
complicated than thinking about plug-ins, but that's just the way it
is. Otherwise it's the same.

-
Service Fee Rates:
$75 hrly for correct answers
$20 hrly for maybe answers
Dumb looks are still free
 
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D

DevilsPGD

In the last episode of <[email protected]>,
Seymore4Head said:
I have always wanted my OS on a chip where if it gets infected you
could just start over without a new install.
"Start over" to what? Modern versions of Windows have a "Restore my
computer" that takes you back to a fresh install, but I don't think
that's what you want.
With that in mind, could an SSD drive be designed so it plugs into the
mobo? I assume memory is still much faster than SSD, but it would be
nice if everything was self contained.
RAM is an order of magnitude faster than a SSD, and SSDs can easily plug
into the motherboard (SATA or PCIe are typical interfaces)

But I think what you're asking is something different, you don't
necessarily want to start over from scratch, but from a known/configured
state, is that correct?

Depending on your needs, a ChromeBook might be a better fit than a full
computer? There are also Linux based bootable USB sticks that will
revert to their state after every reboot.
 

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