Own an Intel
SSD? Your life is about to get a little bit better. Intel
just released a new Solid State Drive Toolbox, and considering the
effort that the company has shown in enhancing their SSD
line over the
years, we'd say a toolbox release warrants some attention. Users
interested in the enhanced box can install it right over their current
If you're wondering what a new install will get you, here are the
details: new features include a System Configuration Tuner and a Secure
Erase function. The toolbox itself is a free, downloadable utility for
Intel SSD users that helps monitor and manage the health of the SSD. The
previous version allowed monitoring and optimization of the SSD itself,
but now with the System Configuration Tuner, the SSD can be optimized
for the user’s specific host system and OS.
The System Configuration Tuner checks the system configuration and optimizes settings for best performance, power efficiency and endurance. It checks settings of four key functions:
· DIPM—power management
· Disk Defragmenter
For example, with an SSD it is recommended to turn off the prefetch and disk defrag elements. These were created to speed up the performance of a traditional hard disk drive. SSDs are so much faster, these operations are not needed, so users will be prompted to turn them off and not waste system resources.
The convenient Secure Erase function will wipe the SSD clean so it can be restored to its original state (note there is a safeguard element to this so users don’t wipe clean a bootable drive within their system.)
The Intel SSD Toolbox will continue to allow Windows XP and Vista users the benefits of Trim which Windows 7 users enjoy. Intel suggests Trim operations be scheduled once per week for optimum performance of the drive. To download and check out the enhancements to the Intel SSD Toolbox go to www.intel.com/go/ssdtoolbox. Other toolbox features still include the Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) to review thresholds and recommended actions; viewing of drive information for drive identification; fast diagnostic and full diagnostic scans to test the read/write and other basic SSD functionality.