Best Way To Wipe / Reinstall SSD (Intel X25-M)

Good Morning!

I have had my Intel X25-M for a while now and also have run the firmware update from a couple of months ago that fixed some of it's issues. I'm about to wipe my system for a reinstall and want it to be back to the speed it was when I first got the drive. I have a couple of questions if someone could please help.

1. Just ran benchmarks and they are half the speed that they are posted on various websites + from benchmarks I ran myself on my X25-M when I got it long ago. I know that there are a lot of different variables, but what is the best way to wipe the info to start again? I ask this because before the firmware released by Intel, a few articles (one here i believe) suggested to do a sort of low-level format to clear out a cache.

2. The system that I use it in is an Alienware m9750 laptop. I also have another drive for data which is a 500gb 5400 plain-jane drive. Is it advisable to keep my page file on the secondary drive even though it's much slower? I know that page files have a lot of read / writes so I'd guess yes. - Speaking of - I do have 4 gigs RAM on a 64-bit Windows 7 system. Should I even use a page file?

Any other suggestions to improve anything would be much appreciated. Thanks so much and hope you have a great day!

5 answers Last reply
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  1. Use HDDErase 3.3 to wipe it. Also, make sure that you're running in AHCI mode, that can be one thing that doesn't allow the disk's full potential.

    edit: lol double negative fail.
  2. rcpratt said:
    Use HDDErase 3.3 to wipe it. Also, make sure that you're running in AHCI mode, that can be one thing that doesn't not allow the disk's full potential.

    Thanks - I appreciate your help. I did try to disable AHCI before, but it appears that even though my BIOS is more extensive than others - I couldn't find it.
  3. You don't want to disable AHCI - you want it on.
  4. HDDErase does a deeper job of erasing than any OS-level tool.

    You know all those articles about how a flash drive translates what the OS thinks is happening into block-level writes the flash drive is required to carry out? That requires tables in an abstraction layer beneath the interface seen by the OS. HHDErase wipes those tables, too.

    In my case, I swapped my MacBook battery too quickly on a flight, and hosed my Intel X25-M so completely that Intel replaced it under warranty. They had no idea HDDErase existed, and claimed there was nothing I could do.

    Before the swap, I learned about HDDErase, and used it. Before HDDErase, an OS-level partition and erase was wildly unstable. After HDDErase, my drive was fixed.

    I described all this in an Anandtech thread, and a goal-tender there with exponentially more posts than me ridiculed my story and explanation, until I just left. I don't think he understood.
  5. Syzygies said:
    HHDErase wipes those tables, too.
    What evidence do you have of this? I've looked at the web site for HDDErase and also through the release notes and I see nothing to indicate support of any kind directed specifically at SSDs. The description of what the utility actually does isn't as clear as I'd like, but it appears that simply invokes the drives' "Secure Erase" command. What that command does is entirely up to the drive firmware.

    It may be that some drives interpret this command in the way you describe, but I'd like to see a reference that supports it - and I'd be hesitant to make the claim that all drives interpret it the same way.
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