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Solid State Drives are fast, but even the fastest SSDs need some maintenance. Companies like OCZ, Intel, and Crucial regularly provide firmware updates to improve performance and reliability.

Intel's also has a Windows-based utility called the SSD Toolbox. It can show information collected by SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) to display a summary of the drive's health and its estimated life remaining. Used/unused capacity pie charts, drive diagnostics, troubleshooting guides, and a Secure Erase utility for secondary SSDs is also available.

The SSD Toolbox also has a system tuner that makes system configuration recommendations for optimal SSD performance. It will detect and determine if SuperFetch/Prefetch should be disabled and whether ReadyBoost, Defrag, or DIPM (Device Initiated Power Managemen) should be turned off. Some of these services were designed to make a HDD faster, but can impede the performance of an SSD.

The latest Intel SSD Toolbox 3.0 now enables firmware updates within Windows. Even though most enthusiasts now use USB flash drives for firmware updates, the process can be cumbersome and time consuming. Windows-based firmware updates through the SSD Toolbox will not only help improve the customer experience, but also reduce Intel's customer support costs.

Now available in 11 languages, Intel SSD owners can download the software at: www.intel.com/go/ssdtoolbox




"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997










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