i think i may have formatted my brand new SSD drives fully - instead of just a quick format, how can i test if i did this - and is it possible to restore them to their original state (i cant remember if i full formatted them or quick formatted them? (really love the way they come with no info on this pretty terrible imo)
If there was no information on them that you needed ("brand new"), then it really doesn't matter. You have a blank drive; go ahead and do installation on it.
If you had already put data or an OS on it that you need, that is another issue.
If the reason that you want to restore them to their original state is the TRIM issue, you can always download Parted Magic and do a secure erase. That will reset the drive to factory condition.
the drives are OCZ agility 3 SSDs - they had no data written onto them, i phoned up Ebuyer tech support who told me that although doing a complete write-0 format isn't recommended it should only use 1 of the several thousand writes available for the SSD, still since they are brand new i wouldn't mind returning them to their factory state if that's possible - will that be possible using the parted magic program? thx for the advice
There are two different issues at play here.
The number of writes that each cell can support is what it is. If you write to a cell, that write is used and cannot be reset. Do not worry about it. If you write to the drive all day long for five years you might have a problem.
The Secure Erase will deal with the issue that the drive keeps a list of available cells and writing to a cell takes it off that list. So after the full format, the drive may not know of any free cells and have to perform Garbage Collection to do any writes. This will result in s-l-o-w write performance. This performance degradation during normal usage is what the TRIM command addresses. Be sure to install Win7 with the drive controller set to AHCI mode so that the TRIM command will be passed through to the drive (this is a BIOS setting).
The list of free cells is reset by the Secure Erase, so the drive is "reset to factory state." The wear on the cells is what it is, and cannot be reset with current drives. The best solution is to ignore it.
the AHCI / ICE isnt an issue with PM6.2 secure erase as far as i can see, theres no mention of it in the manual regarding SSDs - however when i try to run the erase i get the following message in PM :
"the selected drives security state is set to frozen (a safe guard action performed by the BIOS at boot) to potentially reset the drives frozen security state, try following the following terminal based command :
Disconnect/reconnect the power cable to target drive and run after 30seconds.
Not sure what this is referring to / where i would enter the terminal based cmd? Also if the drives security state is protected by my BIOS does that mean when i plug these drives back into my original machine and try and re-install windows on them they will be picked up by the BIOS as if they were brand new drives out the box?
I had to do that too. I was running the Parted Magic boot drive, and it allowed me to open a command prompt.
I suspect, but do not know, that this is related to the issue that the Secure Erase command is meant to work on a disk with a password, with the password provided. The original utility required that you set a password as part of the process.