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daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2

Intel SSD Toolbox for non-Windows system

The SSD Toolbox (»downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_···ID=18455 ) is intended for use only on Windows systems and it requires that the SSD be directly connected to the motherboard (a USB connection will not work). This presents a significant inconvenience when using an Intel SSD with another operating system- the SSD has to be removed from its original home and installed into a Windows PC to use the Toolbox, then reinstalled back where it came from.

Has anyone been able to run these tools from a bootable CD or flash drive, so that the SSD can be managed without physically moving it?


Shootist
Premium
join:2003-02-10
Decatur, GA
kudos:3

There is only one real tool in the toolbox and that is the SSD optimizer. I use it every now and then and to be totally honest I see not difference in how my 2 Win PC run with Intel 320 series drives after using it.

The only thing the Toolbox is really good for is updating the firmware but I believe you can download that as a separate install.

In any event you could make a WinPE boot ISO to run the Toolbox on and load that on a USB thumb.
--
Shooter Ready--Stand By BEEP ********


daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2

There are also tools that tell you the health and expected lifetime of the SSD.

Thanks for the tip on WinPE- I will try that and see how well it works. The Mini Windows XP that is part of Hiren's BootCD might perhaps also be helpful, but I haven't tried it yet.


Shootist
Premium
join:2003-02-10
Decatur, GA
kudos:3

Only if you run the Hires from a USB that you can actually install software to. The Toolbox needs to be installed.

That in itself may be a problem.
--
Shooter Ready--Stand By BEEP ********


daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2

I read somewhere that not all of the programs on the Hiren's BootCD will run properly from a USB flash drive. Unfortunately, it was never stated which programs will be affected, so I don't know how Mini Windows XP will work. I suppose the best way to find out is to try it.

Since the computing world is not exclusively Windows, Intel should provide a way to manage their SSD's on other operating systems. If they only wish to put out one version of their tools, a good choice would seem to be a LiveCD that can boot and run on any computer. Unfortunately, someone there had other ideas.


Shootist
Premium
join:2003-02-10
Decatur, GA
kudos:3
reply to daveinpoway

Between TRIM and the built in Garbage collection there really isn't much to manage.

Maybe more on the Windows OS then an other.

Lets face it the world runs on Windows.
--
Shooter Ready--Stand By BEEP ********



berserken

join:2011-03-27
Oakland, CA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to daveinpoway

In the non-Windows system known as Linux, there are some native tools for extracting SMART data from capable drives:

$ urpmq -i ide-smart
Name        : ide-smart
Version     : 1.4
Release     : 9mdv2011.0
Group       : Monitoring
Size        : 12424                        Architecture: x86_64
Source RPM  : ide-smart-1.4-9mdv2011.0.src.rpm
URL         : http://lightside.eresmas.com/
Summary     : A system utility for monitoring a SMART capable hard-disk
Description :
The ide-smart program enable to monitor a SMART capable hard-disk.
The SMART protocol define several items. When one of these items is under
a certain level, this means that the disk is about to break.
 
 # ide-smart -d /dev/sda
Id=  1  Status=15  {Prefailure  Online }  Value=100  Threshold= 50  Passed
Id=  5  Status=51  {Prefailure  Online }  Value=100  Threshold=  3  Passed
Id=  9  Status=50  {Advisory    Online }  Value=100  Threshold=  0  Passed
Id= 12  Status=50  {Advisory    Online }  Value=100  Threshold=  0  Passed
Id=171  Status=50  {Advisory    Online }  Value=  0  Threshold=  0  Failed
Id=172  Status=50  {Advisory    Online }  Value=  0  Threshold=  0  Failed
Id=174  Status=48  {Advisory    OffLine}  Value=  0  Threshold=  0  Failed
Id=177  Status= 0  {Advisory    OffLine}  Value=  0  Threshold=  0  Failed
Id=181  Status=50  {Advisory    Online }  Value=  0  Threshold=  0  Failed
Id=182  Status=50  {Advisory    Online }  Value=  0  Threshold=  0  Failed
Id=187  Status=50  {Advisory    Online }  Value=100  Threshold=  0  Passed
Id=194  Status=34  {Advisory    Online }  Value= 30  Threshold=  0  Passed
Id=195  Status=28  {Advisory    OffLine}  Value=120  Threshold=  0  Passed
Id=196  Status=51  {Prefailure  Online }  Value=100  Threshold=  3  Passed
Id=201  Status=28  {Advisory    OffLine}  Value=120  Threshold=  0  Passed
Id=204  Status=28  {Advisory    OffLine}  Value=120  Threshold=  0  Passed
Id=230  Status=19  {Prefailure  Online }  Value=100  Threshold=  0  Passed
Id=231  Status=19  {Prefailure  Online }  Value=100  Threshold= 10  Passed
Id=233  Status= 0  {Advisory    OffLine}  Value=  0  Threshold=  0  Failed
Id=234  Status=50  {Advisory    Online }  Value=  0  Threshold=  0  Failed
Id=241  Status=50  {Advisory    Online }  Value=  0  Threshold=  0  Failed
Id=242  Status=50  {Advisory    Online }  Value=  0  Threshold=  0  Failed
OffLineStatus=3 {unknown}, AutoOffLine=No, OffLineTimeout=11 minutes
OffLineCapability=123 {Immediate Auto SuspendOnCmd}
SmartRevision=10, CheckSum=170, SmartCapability=3 {SaveOnStandBy AutoSave}
 

or...

 $ urpmq -i smartmontools
Name        : smartmontools
Version     : 5.41
Release     : 1.2
Group       : System/Kernel and hardware
Size        : 1183285                      Architecture: x86_64
Source RPM  : smartmontools-5.41-1.2.src.rpm
URL         : http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/
Summary     : For monitoring S.M.A.R.T. disks and devices
Description :
SMARTmontools controls and monitors storage devices using the Self-Monitoring,
Analysis and Reporting Technology System (S.M.A.R.T.) built into ATA and SCSI
Hard Drives. This is used to check the reliability of the hard drive and
predict drive failures. The suite contains two utilities. The first, smartctl,
is a command-line utility designed to perform simple S.M.A.R.T. tasks. The
second, smartd, is a daemon that periodically monitors smart status and
reports errors to syslog. The package is compatible with the ATA/ATAPI-5
specification. Future releases will be compatible with the ATA/ATAPI-6 and
ATA/ATAPI-7 specifications. The package is intended to incorporate as much
"vendor specific" and "reserved" information as possible about disk drives.
man smartctl and man smartd will provide more information.
 
# smartctl -i /dev/sda
smartctl 5.41 2011-06-09 r3365 [x86_64-linux-3.2.18-nrj-desktop-1mib] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-11 by Bruce Allen, http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net
 
=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Device Model:     OCZ-AGILITY3
Serial Number:    OCZ-9M7SR5EHGGH0BA54
LU WWN Device Id: 5 e83a97 732e73dee
Firmware Version: 2.25
User Capacity:    60,022,480,896 bytes [60.0 GB]
Sector Size:      512 bytes logical/physical
Device is:        Not in smartctl database [for details use: -P showall]
ATA Version is:   8
ATA Standard is:  ACS-2 revision 3
Local Time is:    Mon Dec 17 17:58:08 2012 PST
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled
 

There is palimpsest, part of gnome-disk-utility, a gui frontend to the smart monitoring programs




It seems to me these sorts of tools are more art than science, that the data is not always correctly interpreted, but there might be some flags of some use that show up.

I was reading about trim at the OCZ forum and the OCZ techs seem to be saying the drives handle it capably internally, external tools are not required.

said by Tony the Tiger :

There is actually no real need for wiper anymore, it will be phased out soon. The GC on the drive does the same job :)

Anyway, I've been playing with wiper.sh from the hdparm package:

[root@localhost wiper-3.3]# umount /moz
[root@localhost wiper-3.3]# ./wiper.sh /dev/sde1
 
wiper.sh: Linux SATA SSD TRIM utility, version 3.3, by Mark Lord.
Preparing for offline TRIM of free space on /dev/sde1 (reiserfs non-mounted).
This will be a DRY-RUN only.  Use --commit to do it for real.
Syncing disks.. 
Simulating TRIM operations..
(dry-run) trimming 15326192 sectors from 675 ranges
Done.
[root@localhost wiper-3.3]# ./wiper.sh /dev/sde1 --commit
 
wiper.sh: Linux SATA SSD TRIM utility, version 3.3, by Mark Lord.
Preparing for offline TRIM of free space on /dev/sde1 (reiserfs non-mounted).
 
This operation could silently destroy your data.  Are you sure (y/N)? y
Syncing disks.. 
Beginning TRIM operations..
 
/dev/sde:
trimming 278192 sectors from 64 ranges
succeeded
trimming 6872 sectors from 64 ranges
succeeded
trimming 12760 sectors from 64 ranges
succeeded
trimming 76480 sectors from 64 ranges
succeeded
trimming 1917824 sectors from 64 ranges
succeeded
trimming 2740096 sectors from 64 ranges
succeeded
trimming 2901663 sectors from 64 ranges
succeeded
trimming 3466519 sectors from 64 ranges
succeeded
trimming 1835066 sectors from 64 ranges
succeeded
trimming 200976 sectors from 64 ranges
succeeded
trimming 1889744 sectors from 35 ranges
succeeded
Done.
[root@localhost wiper-3.3]# mount /moz
[root@localhost wiper-3.3]# 
 

daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2

I would still like to see Intel's prediction regarding the expected drive lifetime, since the software I am using writes thousands of log entries to the drive each day- you can see the drive activity light on the front panel of the PC flicker every second or so. How long will the SSD hold up under these conditions?

I have downloaded the Hiren's BootCD files and will see about transferring the ISO to a USB flash drive.


daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2

I couldn't get the Intel SSD Toolkit to install into Mini Windows XP, so (even though I did not want to do this), I installed an additional hard drive into the PC and am putting the full version of Windows XP Pro, SP3 onto it. Hopefully the Toolkit will install here. I already have the .exe file loaded onto a flash drive, so I can easily import it into XP Pro.


daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2

OK, I got the Toolkit to install on Windows XP Pro, SP3 (had to install .Net 3.0 first), but I cannot use some of the functions, since Windows did not assign a drive letter to the SSD (the SSD does not even show up in My Computer, since it is not formatted as FAT or NTFS). Oh, well.