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Intel SSD Toolbox

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March 10, 2010 3:02:49 AM

I recently got 2 Intel X-25M SSDs (one 80 gb for OS and one 160 gb for Games), and I am unable to get the Intel® Solid State Drive Toolbox program working. That program states "error connecting to drive" next to my drives, when the program is running.

I have discovered a Solution on Intel's Forums, however I am not sure if A) I even need to use this softwear, as my drives should have TRIM enabled firmware on them (they both have 02HA listed as the firmware version printed on the label) and B) If using the nVIDIA drivers would be better than using the Windows Drivers.

So my ultimate question is, should I even bother with this softwear?

Additional Information:
- There is a newer firmware out, 02HD, but that apparently does not actually change the firmware itself but rather it changes the flash tool used to load the firmware. (So far as I have read)
- When I installed the drives I did the quick format the Windows 7 installer allows you to do when installing your OS, on the 80 gb "OS" SSD, and I ran a full format on the 160 GB "Games" SSD from inside Windows after installing Windows 7. Why I mention this is I would generally run a full proper format on my previous OS hard drives before installing windows, using Western Digital's Data Lifeguard Tools. I had heard this was better. Not sure how this applies to SSDs at all, or if that was even true of mechanical hard drives.
- I am not running either drive in RAID.

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a b å Intel
a c 415 G Storage
March 10, 2010 4:22:12 AM

The 02HD firmware is the release that supports TRIM. If you don't install it, your drive won't be able to take advantage of Win7's TRIM support. I'm wondering if it's also possible that this is why the latest version of the toolbox utilities can't find the drive.

I've installed the utilities on my system but I haven't used them to do anything more than examine the SMART data for the drives. The toolbox shows some metrics (such as number of GB written by the host) which aren't shown by the other SMART utilities I have.
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March 10, 2010 4:30:00 PM

OK, I have updated to 02HD at this time, the program still says the same thing.

Additionally I have read multiple articles that state 02HA firmware enables TRIM support, and that the only reason 02HA was taken off the Intel site is that the updater tool itself was causing drives to fail. Is there something I am missing about 02HA?

All of that is besides the point though, what I want to know is because I am running Windows 7 and 2 SSDs with the latest firmware, would there be any benefit to using that program? I see it says it optimizes the drive, is that optimization more for users not running Windows 7? or will it make the drive perform better for me too? Also, even if the drive would perform better, would it be worth it to remove the nVIDIA drivers to make the softwear work?
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a b å Intel
a c 415 G Storage
March 10, 2010 10:04:00 PM

Ah, I misread your original post and postscript to it - I think you're correct in that 02HA supported TRIM but caused problems for people who tried to upgrade to it. 02HD is the final release that supports trim and also has the upgrade problems fixed. My apologies for the confusion and for possibly misleading you.

You're not using the drives as part of a RAID set are you? It's possible that might confuse the toolbox utilities. And do you have the drives configured in the BIOS to run in AHCI mode? (Warning - swapping IDE to AHCI mode can render Windows unbootable).

As I mentioned, I use the toolbox only to access the additional SMART info which I find useful. Beyond that, IMHO it doesn't really do much for me that TRIM isn't already supposed to do. It does have some diagnostics, but they're not something I'd need in regular use.
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March 11, 2010 8:21:11 PM

No, as stated, not in a raid. Yes they are set to AHCI. Did you take a look at the link under soloution? Where someone explains how they fixed the issue?

Well if I can't use the tools to optimize the drives any further than TRIM is already doing, it appears I have no use for it.
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Best solution

a b G Storage
March 11, 2010 10:42:59 PM

The Intel SSD Toolbox Optimizer was originally designed if I am not mistaken, to allow for Trim like functions for people using operating systems other then Microsoft Windows 7. Microsoft Windows Vista/XP users cannot take the advantage of Intel's Trim command and therefore need this tool to run every once in a while to keep performance up to par and cells clean. Therefore this tool will not be of use to at all if you have Windows 7 paired with Intel's latest firmware. You will be fine.

As a side note, I also have the Intel 80GB Generation 2 MLC SSD and was just wondering in smart data where it says data written to drive...mine goes up sooo fast. It seems like I can write hundreds of MB's to it per day without doing anything extreme, just browsing the web (in which the cache is directed towards my HDD) and opening up E-Mail and some other applications. Just wondering if I am the only one.
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a b å Intel
a c 415 G Storage
March 11, 2010 10:52:51 PM

If you have sleep mode enabled then Windows will dump a copy of memory out to the drive when it goes to sleep - that can account for a fair bit of writing. Unfortunately there's no way to move the hibernation file off of the system drive.

But it really isn't all that much to worry about. I checked my SMART data and it looks like in the last month I've written 200GB to the drive. It sounds like a lot, but since Intel says that the drive will last at least 5 years even if you write 20GB/day to it, I'm on track for the drive lasting something like 20 years or so.
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March 12, 2010 12:17:25 AM

Best answer selected by emeraldyautja.
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March 12, 2010 12:18:02 AM

Best answer selected by emeraldyautja.
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a b G Storage
March 12, 2010 12:49:02 AM

Thank You! Glad I could help!

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Quote:

If you have sleep mode enabled then Windows will dump a copy of memory out to the drive when it goes to sleep - that can account for a fair bit of writing. Unfortunately there's no way to move the hibernation file off of the system drive.

But it really isn't all that much to worry about. I checked my SMART data and it looks like in the last month I've written 200GB to the drive. It sounds like a lot, but since Intel says that the drive will last at least 5 years even if you write 20GB/day to it, I'm on track for the drive lasting something like 20 years or so.


20GB/s per day? Windows 7 must just be an OS that really likes to write...because I do everything I can to keep unessary write on my storage HDD...i moved my IE8 cache to my hdd as well as disabled a bunch of stuff and etc...Moreover I am home+awake only 30% of my day...half of which i spend actually working on PC and in that time I usually browse the web, email, some PS'ing, and sometimes a videogame. It must just be Windows 7 as a heavy write OS. And assuming 20GB/s per day is exactly what you can do for a 5 year life expentancy...mine should last about 33 years if i did my math correctly. But this is considering I reinstalled my OS like 4 times because my first time was trial to expiriement and mess around and everything after that i just screwed it up because i was messing to much with win7 because its awsome. Every OS install is 20GB for me (OS+PAGEFILE+HB FILE). So if you subtract 80GB from my current host writes and then calculate the equation it would be 40+ years i think lol. Currently I have 678GB of writes according to Intel SSD Toolbox and media wearout indicator is still 99 as it was when it came to me i think.
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