10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 14, 2011 8:05 AM by deskjockey

    Toolbox 2.0.1 menu selections greyed out

    deskjockey

      Toolbox 2.0.1 shows drives and I can click between them. It also works on “exit” and “refresh” buttons but none of the menu buttons work and are greyed out.

       

      Config; Intel SSD 120gb X25-M G2 working fine on port 0. Have one partition at 83GB and leaving rest empty as suggested on Internet. I suspect firmware current but tried Cystaldiskinfo and it doesn’t see any drives. Vista Device Manager doesn’t have the “Device Instance ID” selection shown on this site but one of the ID labels had this extension 2CV1. I assume the remainder was cut off. Using MS drivers. 

       

      Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H AM2 mobo. Bios updated. AHCI mode with MS driver, Vista 64bit. Have second AHCI plate drive for storage. No RAID. Superfetch, hibernation and defrag disabled.

       

      Any ideas?

        • 1. Re: Toolbox 2.0.1 menu selections greyed out
          DuckieHo

          You really don't need to make a 80GB partition on a 120GB SSD... There is no benefit as it sets a hard limit on avaliable space.

           

          The issues are due to the drivers:

          * I do not believe the MS or AMD AHCI drivers allow pass through of the SMART or drive information.

          * The Vista AHCI drivers do not support TRIM.

          • 2. Re: Toolbox 2.0.1 menu selections greyed out
            deskjockey

            Thanks for the depressing news. If I understand, toolbox only works on Win 7 and Linux, on Intel boards. AMD, VISTA, and XP are out.

             

            Is there anyway I can manually run this by temporarily doing something different in VISTA, maybe change to IDE mode run the TRIM manually or do some other temp config change to run manually and then switch back?

             

            Can I pull it and stick it in a linux machine and then have that machine run TRIM on the drive, clean it or whatever it does, and then stick back in mine?

             

            Would it be completely restored if I just do a format once a year and start over, or does the toolbox do other things that saves the drive?

             

            Regarding using only part of the disk space, another site said performance went up because the disk would use the unused part of the disk for something in its operations. They had a chart of test showing the trade off of space sacrificed and better performance. Seemed convincing so I did it.

             

            Thanks for you help,

             

            Michael

            • 3. Re: Toolbox 2.0.1 menu selections greyed out
              parsec

              Your first statement is basically correct, Windows 7 is the only MS OS that supports TRIM.  Also the Toolbox will only run on Intel chipsets and the correct drivers.  Regarding the AMD side of things, meaning your mother boards chipset and drivers, the Intel forum is obviously not the best place to get information on those things.  I would strongly recommend visiting the AMD support forums and search for solutions to your situation, I'm sure that topic has been thoroughly discussed there.

               

              Regarding partioning your SSD as you did, into user space and a saved space for the SSD controllers use, indeed was suggested for SSDs, the purpose was to have more free space available for the SSD controllers Garbage Collection function to work with, and was also meant to help with "wear leveling" in an SSD.

               

              What DuckieHo didn't quite say, is that at least in Intel SSDs, the actual creation of a "scratch" or saved partition area is not necessary, since the Intel SSDs controller will simply use whatever free space is available in the user partition for the same purpose.  Therefore a specifically defined saved partition is not necessary.  That may not be true for non-Intel SSDs, and was also not known to be unnecessary with Intel SSDs.  Your intent was good given what continues to be the mystery of dealing with SSDs.

               

              The problem with putting your SSD in another PC to "trim" it is this:  TRIM tells the SSD controller which pages and blocks are no longer valid data.  The SSD does not have that information, but the OS does.  But how would the OS in a PC that was never connected to the SSD know what data on it is no longer valid?  All it can do is read the file folders and then send TRIM commands from then on when files were deleted or changed.  Unless I am missing something, that technique will not work as you hoped it would.

               

              But doing a secure erase, rather than a format, would put the SSD back to its new condition.  A format won't cut it, the Secure Erase function in the Toolbox is necessary, and could be done on any PC with the Toolbox installed, no problem.  Well,maybe any Windows 7 PC.  You could also use the free HDDerase tool on your SSD to acomplish the same thing.

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Toolbox 2.0.1 menu selections greyed out
                mistermokkori

                deskjockey wrote:

                 

                Thanks for the depressing news. If I understand, toolbox only works on Win 7 and Linux, on Intel boards. AMD, VISTA, and XP are out.

                 

                the toolbox optimizer can run under vista and xp.  the whole point of the optimizer is to provide users of operating systems that do not natively support the trim command the ability to 'trim' all of the invalid data on the ssd.

                 

                switch to ide mode.  if that doesn't work, it is probably an issue with the ide drivers.  try changing them to the 'standard dual channel pci ide controller' (pciide.sys).

                 

                you can also try connecting your ssd as a secondary drive on another pc with toolbox installed, then run the optimizer that way.

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Toolbox 2.0.1 menu selections greyed out
                  mistermokkori

                  parsec wrote:

                   

                  The problem with putting your SSD in another PC to "trim" it is this:  TRIM tells the SSD controller which pages and blocks are no longer valid data.  The SSD does not have that information, but the OS does.  But how would the OS in a PC that was never connected to the SSD know what data on it is no longer valid?  All it can do is read the file folders and then send TRIM commands from then on when files were deleted or changed.

                   

                  this is true for the native trim functionality of those operating systems that support trim.  but the toolbox optimizer works a little differently.  it doesn't know which blocks are already invalid, but it doesn't matter because it fills all of the free space with dummy files, then deletes those files, rendering all of the blocks invalid.  the optimizer then passes the list of blocks to the ssd and the ssd takes it from there.

                   

                  so if you've got a pc with the toolbox installed, you can connect any g2 to it as a secondary drive and 'trim' it that way with the optimizer.

                  • 6. Re: Toolbox 2.0.1 menu selections greyed out
                    parsec

                    mistermokkori wrote:

                     

                    parsec wrote:

                     

                    The problem with putting your SSD in another PC to "trim" it is this:  TRIM tells the SSD controller which pages and blocks are no longer valid data.  The SSD does not have that information, but the OS does.  But how would the OS in a PC that was never connected to the SSD know what data on it is no longer valid?  All it can do is read the file folders and then send TRIM commands from then on when files were deleted or changed.

                     

                    this is true for the native trim functionality of those operating systems that support trim.  but the toolbox optimizer works a little differently.  it doesn't know which blocks are already invalid, but it doesn't matter because it fills all of the free space with dummy files, then deletes those files, rendering all of the blocks invalid.  the optimizer then passes the list of blocks to the ssd and the ssd takes it from there.

                     

                    so if you've got a pc with the toolbox installed, you can connect any g2 to it as a secondary drive and 'trim' it that way with the optimizer.

                     

                    I was uncertain (and remain uncertain) how the Toolbox Optimizer truly functions, I'd love to know how you learned or know those details. I understand your explanation, but a detail seems to be missing.

                     

                    Assuming that the SSD we connect to an Optimizing-able PC has both valid and deleted files on it, how does the SSDs garbage collection function know which are which?  Given your explanation, is seems to me the result would be a nicely garbage-collected SSD, with the deleted files preserved, and not returned to available space.

                     

                    I'm not saying your explanation is wrong, but I don't understand how the operation you described also free's the space of deleted files.

                     

                    One other thing, you seem to be saying the Toolbox/Optimizer can run with an AMD chipset, given the correct OS settings?  Again I'm not saying that is false, I am just trying to understand and learn whether or not that scenario will work.

                    • 7. Re: Toolbox 2.0.1 menu selections greyed out
                      mistermokkori

                      parsec wrote:

                       

                      Assuming that the SSD we connect to an Optimizing-able PC has both valid and deleted files on it, how does the SSDs garbage collection function know which are which?  Given your explanation, is seems to me the result would be a nicely garbage-collected SSD, with the deleted files preserved, and not returned to available space.

                       

                      let's say we have a 'dirty' g2 that was used under windows xp.  from the perspective of the operating system, the ssd contains valid data (existing files as well as files in the recycle bin), and free space.  this information is stored in the ntfs master file table on the ssd.  xp doesn't have native trim functionality, so a number of blocks in the file system free space will contain data that the ssd is not aware are invalid.  only when the operating system writes to these blocks (remember, the os thinks they're free) does the ssd realize that the data on them is not valid.  had we been using an operating sytem with native trim support, this would not be the case because when we quick format or delete files and empty the recycle bin, the os sends a list of these just-freed blocks to the drive.  the ssd then immediately knows that the blocks contain invalid data.

                       

                      the intel toolbox optimizer fills up the drive's free space with dummy files (you can see these files being created in the root directory of the ssd when you run the optimizer), then deletes them.  at this point, then, all of the free space contains invalid data (because they were dummy files, and not your data or program or system files).  the optimizer then passes a list of all of these blocks to the ssd.  the ssd now knows which blocks are invalid.  from the perspective of the operating system, you still have the same amount of free space that you did before you ran the optimizer, since all it did was create files and delete them.  the blocks that are free (from the os's viewpoint) coincide exactly with the blocks that contain invalid data (from the ssd's pov).  this is what we want.

                       

                      if you take a 'dirty' g2 and plug it into another pc and run the optimizer on it, it works exactly the same way.  the optimizer forces all free space on the drive to become invalid, and then communicates this to the drive.  now the drive knows exactly which blocks are dirty and need to be cleaned.

                       

                      the native trim functionality of windows 7 works only on-the-fly.  it cannot retroactively trim, because there is nothing in the ntfs metadata to indicate which blocks 'need trimming'.  blocks are either used (valid data), or free, or bad (unreadable).

                       

                      so if you use a g2 in a windows 7 pc, then modify the data on it using an operating system without trim support, the ssd will have blocks on it that will contain invalid data, but the ssd won't know.  this is a situation where you may want to use the toolbox optimizer even when you're using an os that supports native trim.

                      • 8. Re: Toolbox 2.0.1 menu selections greyed out
                        deskjockey

                        I took your advice and went NATIVE IDE and the toolbox now isn't  greyed out. Thank you very much.

                         

                         

                        Now it was suggested earlier that I use the entire drive. Also I did about 2 or 3 formats and a few erase everything when initially trying to get Vista on it. So I'm thinking it may make sense to remove the partition and then do a secure erase and start over. Does that make sense, is something gained?

                         

                        I notice in the instructionsthat I have to run secure erase from my other drive. Do I put toolbox on the old HDD drive to run it for the SSD erase?

                         

                         

                        I spent the day studying about AMD SB750 drivers. AMD now has a TRIM driver for the SB8XX and higher models running on WIN7. Also I found out that they had one for the SB750 but removed it. I did download the file from somebody for future use if necessary. If I remember people had problems with it so they pulled it but a few guys said they have been using it with no trouble. Would running TRIM automatic be better than doing it manually?

                         

                        Thank agains for everything,

                         

                        Michael

                        • 9. Re: Toolbox 2.0.1 menu selections greyed out
                          mistermokkori

                          deskjockey wrote:

                           

                          Now it was suggested earlier that I use the entire drive. Also I did about 2 or 3 formats and a few erase everything when initially trying to get Vista on it. So I'm thinking it may make sense to remove the partition and then do a secure erase and start over. Does that make sense, is something gained?

                           

                          it makes sense to use the entire drive, but you can resize the partition without reinstalling windows.  vista and windows 7 disk management can extend and shrink volumes.

                           

                          I notice in the instructionsthat I have to run secure erase from my other drive. Do I put toolbox on the old HDD drive to run it for the SSD erase?

                           

                          no need to use secure erase now that you've got the optimizer working, but yes, you'd boot off the other hard drive, install the toolbox, and run secure erase on the ssd.

                           

                          I spent the day studying about AMD SB750 drivers. AMD now has a TRIM driver for the SB8XX and higher models running on WIN7. Also I found out that they had one for the SB750 but removed it. I did download the file from somebody for future use if necessary. If I remember people had problems with it so they pulled it but a few guys said they have been using it with no trouble. Would running TRIM automatic be better than doing it manually?

                           

                          windows vista won't have native trim no matter what drivers you install.  those amd trim drivers simply allow the windows 7 native trim commands to pass through to the ssd.

                           

                          you will simply need to run the toolbox optimizer every once in a while.  the rule of thumb i would use is if the system becomes noticeably slower during write operations, run the optimizer.  how often you end up running it will depend on your personal usage patterns.  the toolbox can help you schedule regular optimizing if that's what you prefer.

                          • 10. Re: Toolbox 2.0.1 menu selections greyed out
                            deskjockey

                            mistermokkori, you are the man.

                             

                            Thanks for everything.

                             

                            Michael