1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply on Jan 3, 2011 11:08 PM by parsec

    What Features for the Intel Toolbox?

    DuckieHo

      Intel does listen to our feedback so let's get heard!  So what features would you like to see added or improved upon in the Intel Toolbox?  Make sure to provide reasons as well!

       

      So far, we have:

      1) A benchmark to assist in determining nominal performance

      2) TRIM, Driver, SATA Mode information

      3) Offical performance tweak options (write caching)

      4) Space reduction (Hibernation, System Restore, Paging File)

      5) Links to suggested tweaks.

       

      What else?   These are up for discussion as well.

       

      I'll maintain this and see what you guys demand.

        • 1. Re: What Features for the Intel Toolbox?
          redux

          Carried over from the FAQ thread:

           

          Add feature to show if native trim support is being executed by the SSD

          Add a feature to show if the drive is aligned

          Add a feature that shows if the drive is in IDE or AHCI mode

          Add a feature to identify the chipset type and driver

          Add a feature to show if the drive is operating optimally

          Add a feature to the system configuration tuner that automatically enables write caching if switched off.

          Add optional advanced user features: Turn off the page file, Turn off hibernation, Turn off System Restore (and delete restore files)

          • 2. Re: What Features for the Intel Toolbox?
            parsec

            New Toolbox Features:

             

            Extensive help and/or tips via Internet links, that would contain the latest information on optimizing a PC for use with an SSD, any news or updates related to Intel SSD's, including problems and their resolutions.  Any and all pertinent Intel SSD information available at a few clicks of the mouse.  Reason: Optimizing information and instructions would allow the user to choose which ones they want to use, rather than simply performing all of them, or none, and avoid the cost of automated implementation of optimizations.  Having general SSD optimization information available in an simply locatable area, while helping non-Intel SSD owners as well, would also bring them to the Intel web site and expose them to Intel products.

             

            Option to set folders such as: Downloads, Temp(orary), both for Windows general use and for other software and hardware.  Or simply instructions on how this is accomplished.  Reason: Reduction of writes to SSD

             

            A diagnostic analysis of impending or current performance problems with a SSD (ie, SSD usage nearing, at, or beyond capacity where performance may/will suffer.)  Also, benchmark comparison of current vs previous test results that indicate a drop in performance and warn the user something happened to cause this since the last benchmark.  Reason: Determine and solve problems before they become larger or an issue.

             

            PS: Regarding an earlier suggestion post, all but the latest restore "points" can be deleted from the second tab of the Windows 7 Disk Cleanup utility.

            • 3. Re: What Features for the Intel Toolbox?
              PeterUK

              Run as a service and minimize to notification area in taskbar.

               

              I would like RST and Toolbox to be standalone software but an option to merge the running software into one icon in the notification area where by right clicking on the RST icon links to and opens Toolbox.

              • 4. Re: What Features for the Intel Toolbox?
                DuckieHo

                PeterUK wrote:

                 

                Run as a service and minimize to notification area in taskbar.

                 

                I would like RST and Toolbox to be standalone software but an option to merge the running software into one icon in the notification area where by right clicking on the RST icon links to and opens Toolbox.

                I believe the RST and SSD Toolbox teams are independent of each other.  This means integration of them together is unlikely at this point in time.

                 

                 

                Option to set folders such as: Downloads, Temp(orary), both for Windows general use and for other software and hardware.  Or simply instructions on how this is accomplished.  Reason: Reduction of writes to SSD


                A diagnostic analysis of impending or current performance problems with a SSD (ie, SSD usage nearing, at, or beyond capacity where performance may/will suffer.)  Also, benchmark comparison of current vs previous test results that indicate a drop in performance and warn the user something happened to cause this since the last benchmark.  Reason: Determine and solve problems before they become larger or an issue.

                 

                Intel cannot implement options for 3rd party software (like Firefox or Photoshop) due to liability questions.  Official options would also require Intel to be dependent on the 3rd party vendors in communicating changes.  I don't think this will happen.... but a link to the communities suggesting performance instructions would work though.

                 

                The point where performance begins to suffer is subjective though.  Someone doing intensive random writes will encounter issues before most users.  However, I am advocating for an official Intel benchmark tool though. Most current benchmarks are really based around HDD testing.

                • 5. Re: What Features for the Intel Toolbox?
                  PeterUK

                  I believe the RST and SSD Toolbox teams are independent of each other.   This means integration of them together is unlikely at this point in  time.

                  I know thats not completely true as there is no way SSD toolbox could view SMART without the source code of the “iaStor.sys” driver.

                   

                  Not asking to fully integrate it just a right click link to run it making less mess of listed icons and quicker access to Toolbox. Anyway it would have to run independently for non-Intel systems or those that like to run it independently as an option. If not then just Run as a service and minimize to notification area in taskbar will do.

                  • 6. Re: What Features for the Intel Toolbox?
                    parsec

                    I understand DuckieHo, the liability issue is one that interferes with many things, nothing can be done about it, except accept it.

                     

                    Some of my suggestions are certainly stretches, and I'm struggling to find something useful, since redux took all the good ones... 

                    • 7. Re: What Features for the Intel Toolbox?
                      DuckieHo

                      PeterUK wrote:

                      I know thats not completely true as there is no way SSD toolbox could view SMART without the source code of the “iaStor.sys” driver.

                       

                      Not asking to fully integrate it just a right click link to run it making less mess of listed icons and quicker access to Toolbox. Anyway it would have to run independently for non-Intel systems or those that like to run it independently as an option. If not then just Run as a service and minimize to notification area in taskbar will do.

                      Are you sure?   The 3rd party party application HD Tune can read SMART values from HDDs running under the iaStor.sys driver as well.

                       

                       

                      I confirmed this yesterday while checking my home server HDDs.  I connected each of them to my X58's ICH10R ports and I know I am running iaStor.sys because I have 3xHDDs in RAID0.

                      • 8. Re: What Features for the Intel Toolbox?
                        PeterUK

                        There is no way to select a SSD or HDD made up in the array in HD Tune as all you can select is the volume so unless your running windows RAID and not off the Intel RAID controller I see no way how you could view SMART in any other way with HD Turn. When I run HD Turn I can only select a volume with Health listed as blank/nothing.

                         

                        And it has been a fact for some time that you can't view S.M.A.R.T. values of hard drive after setting up RAID.

                        http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-015002.htm?wapkw=%28SMART+raid%29

                        • 9. Re: What Features for the Intel Toolbox?
                          DuckieHo

                          PeterUK wrote:

                           

                          There is no way to select a SSD or HDD made up in the array in HD Tune as all you can select is the volume so unless your running windows RAID and not off the Intel RAID controller I see no way how you could view SMART in any other way with HD Turn. When I run HD Turn I can only select a volume with Health listed as blank/nothing.

                           

                          And it has been a fact for some time that you can't view S.M.A.R.T. values of hard drive after setting up RAID.

                          http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-015002.htm?wapkw=%28SMART+raid%29

                          Ahhh.... You had meant to say "I know thats not completely true as there is no way SSD toolbox could  view SMART of an array member without the source code of the “iaStor.sys” driver."

                           

                          That being said.... having the source code and collaborating are two different things. 

                          • 10. Re: What Features for the Intel Toolbox?
                            PeterUK

                            Ahhh.... You had meant to say "I know thats not completely true as there is no way SSD toolbox could  view SMART of an array member without the source code of the “iaStor.sys” driver."

                             

                            Are you sure?   The 3rd party party application HD Tune can read  SMART values from HDDs running under the iaStor.sys driver as well.


                            I confirmed this yesterday while checking my home server HDDs.  I  connected each of them to my X58's ICH10R ports and I know I am running  iaStor.sys because I have 3xHDDs in RAID0.

                            And you confirmed that?

                            • 11. Re: What Features for the Intel Toolbox?
                              DuckieHo

                              I am running 3xRAID0 Seagate 7200.10 500GB on a ICH10R (Asus P6T X58).  Being in RAID, I must be using iaStor.sys.

                               

                               

                              I used HD Tune to check the SMART values of 6 HDDs pulled from my home server.  I hotswapped each drive and checked their health.  I'll get a driver + SMART screenshot up when I get home.

                               

                               

                              OT: One drive is power cycling and its warranty expired 35 days ago.  The other one is out of reallocation sectors and it had just came back from RMA 3 months ago.... and is now out of warranty as well. 

                              • 12. Re: What Features for the Intel Toolbox?
                                PeterUK
                                I am running 3xRAID0 Seagate 7200.10 500GB on a ICH10R (Asus P6T X58).  Being in RAID, I must be using iaStor.sys.

                                Yes but you said “HD Tune can read  SMART values from HDDs running under the iaStor.sys driver as well.” and that you “confirmed this” by saying “I know I am running  iaStor.sys because I have 3xHDDs in RAID0” since we both know you can't do that with HD tune you could not of confirmed this in the first place for using HD tune to check SMART in your RAID0 yes?

                                 

                                Surely when you was running HD tune and Toolbox that “nope can't view SMART in my RAID0 with HD tune” and then “hey I can view the SMART of my drives in RAID0 cool”.

                                • 13. Re: What Features for the Intel Toolbox?
                                  DuckieHo

                                  PeterUK wrote:

                                   

                                  I am running 3xRAID0 Seagate 7200.10 500GB on a ICH10R (Asus P6T X58).  Being in RAID, I must be using iaStor.sys.

                                  Yes but you said “HD Tune can read  SMART values from HDDs running under the iaStor.sys driver as well.” and that you “confirmed this” by saying “I know I am running  iaStor.sys because I have 3xHDDs in RAID0” since we both know you can't do that with HD tune you could not of confirmed this in the first place for using HD tune to check SMART in your RAID0 yes?

                                   

                                  Surely when you was running HD tune and Toolbox that “nope can't view SMART in my RAID0 with HD tune” and then “hey I can view the SMART of my drives in RAID0 cool”.

                                  There is some confusion here.... I am saying that you don't need the driver source code to view SMART values from a non-member disk.  To view SMART values from members of an array is a different story.  You would need the driver information to support that.

                                   

                                   

                                  Here is the confirmation:

                                  iastor.JPG

                                  • 14. Re: What Features for the Intel Toolbox?
                                    PeterUK

                                    Yes confirmation very good it allows SMART to pass through  “iaStor.sys” for a single drive we get it! Its the fact that Toolbox can view SMART in RAID being why I posted SSD toolbox couldn’t view SMART without the source code of “iaStor.sys” in the first place or else why would I say Toolbox needed source code of “iaStor.sys” in the first place.

                                     

                                    And yes by RAID I mean the drives in RAID not single drives and thats why Toolbox already can view all SMART for all drives in any config and HD tune can not.

                                     

                                    Thats all and “iaStor.sys” is commonly known for it being a RAID driver.

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